65 impala ss steering column in 66 imp - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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65 impala ss steering column in 66 imp

I have a 66 Impala that i'm looking to clone as an SS...Can anyone tell me if a 1965 IMPALA SS steering column is the same as a 66 IMPALA SS steering column? Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 09:11 AM
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My best guess is that it will be a drop in. Not too much difference between a 65 and a 66
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 11:01 AM
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You're good to go


1965 Impala SS 396
1967 SS427
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 01:31 PM
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Should interchange from 1965 through 1970.

The tilt steering was not part of the SS package. It is a fairly rare option in any Chevy. It was very common to standard equipment on the costlier brands that GM made that same year going up the ladder from the entry level Chevy , Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, Buicks until you get to the Caddy where it would be standard equipment as opposed to a rare option.

Big Dave
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
Should interchange from 1965 through 1970.

Big Dave
No, the 67 and up column is very different. If you are willing to rework some wiring (67 and up has hazard flashers as part of the column), either add a 67 or newer steering wheel because the jacket diameter is different, and fabricate some sort of retainer to hold it up under the dash you can make it fit from 67 or newer. The 67 and up column is the collapsible style and uses a flat 3 bolt mounting where the 66 and down just uses a U clamp under the column to hold it up. If you want a bolt in you'll need to stick to 65 or 66.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 01:49 AM
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I am wrong again. I forgot that all important detail.

In terms of safety I would like to point out that I witnessed a horrible death while sitting at the road side. I observed a brand spanking new red 1965 Corvette roadster coming around a sharp bend in the road and accelerating as hard as he could. It drifted as the driver was new to the car (still had the paper plate on the back) and trying to find third gear as he hit a relatively new Olds 88 station wagon just about head on. I was showered in fiberglass shards (actually got a few stuck into my exposed skin).

The old lady who was driving the Olds was all shaken up as her car was totaled but still in one piece. Sad to say the Corvette only had a third of the body left attached loosely to the frame at the back behind the rear wheels. The front of the frame was all bent out of shape hitting hard enough to dislodge the motor. A tragic loss.

Oh yeah the young pilot that was flying the 'vette died instantly as the steering wheel pieced his chest like a dull four inch diameter spear. He had been a lieutenant at the time as he had on his jump suit with name and rank (I assume flying F-4's out of MacDill AFB though as an instructor or a student I don't know as it was mostly a training facility back then).

I had forgotten how much the plethora of safety modifications which have nearly doubled the price of cars have changed people's rate of survival in accidents. It is worth considering buying a collapsible steering column, in addition to adding seat belts with a shoulder harness which didn't exist as standard equipment back then either.

Big Dave
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 07:54 AM
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65 column

The 65 column will interchange with 66. Not sure if you are talking about a tilt column but if so then you have the collar issues. In 66 although you could get tilt and of course tilt-tele, 66 tilt was not offered with the gauge package. The reason was that when you did get the gauge package you also had the lower padded dash and Chevy didn't warn to make a separate lower collar that would fit over the thicker padded lower dash. As far as an SS package, once again there was no such thing for the 65 or 66. In these years this was a model to itself. There were no full model Chevrolet models that included tilt as part of any package, it was a separate option that did not belong to any package.



1966 Impala SS

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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no tilt on the column..just want to make sure a 65 SS column will work on a 66 SS clone?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 08:35 PM
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Most SS models had buckets and floor shift console. Most non SS Impala's had column shift.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 01:12 PM
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You are very correct. The 1965 and 1966 steering columns will interchange. The 1967 and 1968 steering columns were the first generation, energy absorbing (EA), collapsible steering columns. The steering column jacket was known as a mesh jacket. For the most part, these "mesh" columns only interchange within the 1967-68 model years.

This jacket (with all the diamond cutouts) was not very rigid. So this type steering column required a very large, three and four capsule, mounting bracket to provide some rigidity to the whole steering column. Otherwise, the steering wheel would bounce up and down when driving down a rough road. GM also knew that Federal anti theft legislation was going to require a locking steering column in 1969. So with the added weight of the ignition lock cylinder and steering wheel locking mechanism being added to the steering column head, the already whimpy steering column was going to get even worse.

So Saginaw Steering Gear Division invented a steering column jacket with a new method of absorbing energy. They created a two piece jacket with a series of ball bearings that were indented into the area between the two different diameter jackets. This was the 2nd generation EA steering column.

This invention was known as the "Ball EA" jacket. As the two jackets telescoped on each other the ball bearings would plow grooves into the jackets and absorb energy. This jacket was considerably more rigid than the old first gen jackets and only required a light weight two capsule mounting bracket. All GM passenger cars started using this type, 2nd generation, EA, steering column beginning in 1969.

Last edited by JIML82; 04-24-2013 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Added EA Column Pics
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