steering column or seat modifications

1941 - 1945, MB, GPW modifications, sugestions, and ideas, official MWO's and unofficial WWII field mods NO EBAY or COMMERCIAL SALES.
phendriks82
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steering column or seat modifications

Post by phendriks82 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:39 pm

Hello im in the process of trying to restore my ww2 willys jeep,
however im not the skinniest person and the steering wheel is very uncomfortably close to my gut ,
how can we modify this without messing with the originality too much?

1:can the steering column be shortened, and if so how? or would this result in the opposite: my knees hitting the steering wheel?
2: is there a way to modify the seat other than thinner cussions? without cutting stuff up too much (cutting in the seat is fine)

at the moment it is very uncomfortable to drive, even so for a less "big" friend of mine.
so any help would be appreciated.

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Re: steering column or seat modifications

Post by Boyso » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:41 pm

You can modify the seat back to allow you to be seated less upright and gain a bit of belly room. Or buy one of the panels that cut into the wheelhouse and modify the seat further.
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Mark Jesic
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Re: steering column or seat modifications

Post by Mark Jesic » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:59 pm

A mate of mine who is known as "Big Dave" for obvious reasons, had the same problem, a WW2 jeep supplier near us cut out some of the wheel arch, extended the seat frame by about 2 inches and Dave was very happy and comfortable. Then he had the bill for the work !!! Not quite as happy. :shock:

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Re: steering column or seat modifications

Post by 70th Division » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:23 pm

Hello,
Another option is to perhaps use a smaller steering wheel that will give you clearance and not have to cut the wheel wells.

I think a Farmall tractor wheel may fit and is a smaller wheel that a jeep.
You may want to look at old tractor wheels, to see what are out there and would fit the jeep steering column.
I have seen a wheel like that installed on a jeep and it does give more room, and looks good as well.

It may be something to look at.

Ray

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Re: steering column or seat modifications

Post by Tin Ear » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:53 am

I modified the seat frame to gain more room by replacing the round cross brace on the seat frame back rest and replacing it with a flat steel brace. After welding the flat brace in place I bent the seat back rest until the flat brace just hit the rear fender well. I was able to bend the seat back with out heating it by clamping the seat frame to a bench and then use a porta power to bend the seat rest back. The increased angle of the seat back provided more clearance from the steering wheel and you did not have to modify the wheel well. I believe I found the modification on this site.

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Re: steering column or seat modifications

Post by twinflyer17 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:49 am

Daryl Bensinger sells a frame which is already modified for larger drivers:

https://www.dlbensinger.com/product_inf ... bce7db3872

Something to think about instead of cutting up an original seat frame.
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Re: steering column or seat modifications

Post by gpwmke » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:37 am

I like the idea of a smaller steering wheel from a tractor. Anybody try this? Where do u find a wheel with the correct splines? Best wishes; Leo

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Re: steering column or seat modifications

Post by Clemedc » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:42 am

Leo H Jankowski wrote:I like the idea of a smaller steering wheel from a tractor. Anybody try this? Where do u find a wheel with the correct splines? Best wishes; Leo
Cub cadet garden tractors used a Ross steering setup maybe worth looking into. I don't know the spline size. Steering wheel I'm sure is smaller diameter.

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Re: steering column or seat modifications

Post by Tom Lach » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:00 am

Being a bit girth challenged, I had 1 1/2 removed from the top of the shaft and the machine shop redid the splines. As I recall it cost me around $100. I also put 1/2 spacers under the front legs to tip the seat back a little bit. What a difference and nobody notices.

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Re: steering column or seat modifications

Post by 70th Division » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:46 pm

Hello Leo,

I think the splines on the tractor are the same as the jeep.
I have a CJ2A that has a smaller wheel on it, and I think it just went on, I will take a closer look tomorrow.
Naturally it was off likely a vintage tractor like a Farmall Cub from the 1950's or a similar style from a tractor maker.
Will let you know what I find.


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Re: steering column or seat modifications

Post by gpwmke » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:26 am

I've been looking into alternate steering wheels from tractors. Most old tractor wheels are at least same diameter as the MB/GPW wheel or even larger diameter so far.

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Re: steering column or seat modifications

Post by 70th Division » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:25 am

Hello Leo,

I looked at the wheel on my cj2A, it isn't a direct swap.
The wheel is 15" wide, but who ever made it used the original center spline from the jeep's original steering wheel.
They cut off the original wheel, and drilled new holes into center spline and welded the tractor wheels steel rods into the center.

It does look pretty straight forward, and the wheel they used, from a tractor, the arms were not a straight rod,
but were straight then had a taper down to the center.

I have an MB with a similar set up, but it appears that the original wheel was used,
and the steel rods of the wheel were cut down to fit a metal wheel on the outer circumference of it, then welded up together.

I would imagine either method would be fine, but both used an original center spline.


Best Regards,

Ray

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Re: steering column or seat modifications

Post by gpwmke » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:39 pm

Thanks Ray, Best wishes;

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Re: steering column or seat modifications

Post by phendriks82 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:19 pm

does anyone know if a steering column of perhaps a later model (CJ series) which is shorter might fit?

i tried smaller cushions... didnt help comfort.
im not going to cut up the wheel weld as i have an Original 82nd jeep
smaller steering wheel doenst help that much.


only option left is shorter steering column (iNterchange, without welding which is dangerous for that part as it endures a lot of stress)
does anyone know anything?

thanks for all your replies alread :)

ps what actually was the original dimension of the column? since it is mentioned nowwhere

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Re: steering column or seat modifications

Post by Marty, SoCal » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:51 am

I'm 6'2", the seat backs in my GPW were already laid back by removing the bottom rear brace when I bought it back in '84. I fit very comfortably. Easy mod. Buy a repro seat frame if you don't want to butcher your original. I did the same thing to a buddy's Willys. He and his son are both 6'3".
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