Steering Column swap

7

78SUPREME

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Mar 3, 2011
6
0
0
#1
Steering Column question

Hi, I am a new member with a question. Does anyone know if the turn signal assemblies can be swapped out on a G-body steering column? My reason for asking is, I have a '78 Cutlass with column shift that I am converting to floorshift. I would like to swap the column to a floorshift column, but all I seem to be able to find is '82-up floorshift columns with the windshield wiper controls on the turn signal stalk. Is it possible to put a '78-'81 turn signal assembly into a '82-up steering column? It looks like all the columns are identical from '78-'88 except for the turn signal assemblies. Also, I am aware that the '78 cars have the splined shaft, but I plan to do the Jeep Cherokee steering shaft upgrade so that's not a problem. Thanks in advance for any help.
 
tc1959

tc1959

Comic Book Super Hero
Dec 23, 2009
3,809
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Surprise AZ.
#2
Re: Steering Column question

The turn signal switches and not interchangeable.
 
7

78SUPREME

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Mar 3, 2011
6
0
0
#3
Re: Steering Column question

I know the turn signal switches aren't interchangable. I'm referring to taking the complete turn signal assembly out of a '82-'88 column with the wiring harness/plug that runs down the column and swapping in an assembly from a '78-'81. I figured somebody else might have tried this, am I overlooking something?
 
8

81Regal

Royal Smart Person
Apr 5, 2009
1,306
198
63
Terril Iowa
#4
Re: Steering Column question

The actual switch is interchangeable, but the part that the turn signal lever locks into is different.
 
Bonnewagon

Bonnewagon

Geezer
Sep 18, 2009
5,778
1,842
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Queens, NY
#5
The directionals swap around no problem. If you can find an 82' or 83' column you will be golden. The difference in wiper systems is this- up to 83' is a negative switched circuit and 84' and up is a positive switched circuit. Totally different and much involved to swap over, not to mention expensive parts. So any column up to 83' will work with your 78' wiper system which is negative ground. Do you have a delay wiper system? The column mounted switch for that is over $100. The standard switch is $25. Do a search on this site and you will find a lot of topics on this subject.
 
Blake442

Blake442

Geezer
Apr 24, 2007
6,748
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Minneapolis
#6
78SUPREME, You do not need to post the same question in two different forums. Pick one and wait. People will see it.
 
dougfather

dougfather

Master Mechanic
Jul 11, 2006
288
0
16
Altoona PA
#7
I just put these 2 posts together since they are the same and had some different replies
 
dougfather

dougfather

Master Mechanic
Jul 11, 2006
288
0
16
Altoona PA
#8
Bonnewagon said:
The difference in wiper systems is this- up to 83' is a negative switched circuit and 84' and up is a positive switched circuit. Totally different and much involved to swap over, not to mention expensive parts. So any column up to 83' will work with your 78' wiper system which is negative ground.
I have an 84 GP that I am switching from column to floor shift. It just so happens that I have an 81 floor shift column that is partially torn apart. Do the shift bowls from the 81 swap over to an 84? I never knew this about the wiper systems from 78-83. I kept thinking 78-81 (except cruise was different in 81) and 82-87 were the only two major differences.
 
Bonnewagon

Bonnewagon

Geezer
Sep 18, 2009
5,778
1,842
113
Queens, NY
#9
Dougfather, I am not sure if the bowls physically interchange. But knowing GM, I would think they do, and the only difference would be the wiper switch mounted in the later type. Are you thinking about switching the 84' bowl onto the 81' column to keep the wipers on the column? I just peeked at my 86' column and it "looks' like it should swap, but I've never tried. They both have the dimmer function, only the wiper switch is different, and the wires for that snake down the column just like the directionals do. Yeah, I found out the hard way about the neg/pos wiper types by putting an 86' column in my 83' car. Looking at the wiring schematics is the best way to understand the difference.
 
dougfather

dougfather

Master Mechanic
Jul 11, 2006
288
0
16
Altoona PA
#10
Bonnewagon said:
Looking at the wiring schematics is the best way to understand the difference.
I have an old Chilton's Complete repair manual with schematics for 70-87 Cutlass. Sure enough, looking at the 82-83 page and comparing to the 84 page, they are different. Looks like an extra wire for the wiper switch too!!!
 

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