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Vanagon Tilt Steering
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Sam Tosti
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Joined: August 07, 2017
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Location: WA
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:40 am    Post subject: Vanagon Tilt Steering Reply with quote

I am the original owner, buying the car via tourist delivery in March 1986.

I recently installed BMW M3 Vader seats that work like the stock seats in the car and it drives and feels fabulous.

Sadly, it raises the driving position a bit so installed a Moto Lita 14in racing steering wheel in place of the stock wheel which made the driving such a treat. I called this thing a Sport Vanagon Westy now. I have added sway bars, shocks, bigger tires and wheels. Next are The Big Brake kits and an engine, well those are my plans. But for now I need your help with the steering wheel column.

I would like to put a tilt wheel to allow ease of entry and exit for the driver.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:09 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Tilt Steering Reply with quote

Hello, welcome to the Samba. Sounds like a nice ride. Have you removed the d/s seat swivel? That will drop you about an inch or so. If you look, the original seat tracks are there waiting to be used. It also adds a nice storage area under the seat. I don't think there is a vanagon ready tilt column. You'd need to find something and adapt it. You might look at Summit Racing and Speedway Engineering. They have a lot of aftermarket hot rod stuff. If you don't have the fabrication skills, it will take a specialty shop to do something like this for you. Not your basic auto repair business. I don't recall seeing any threads with a tilt column story. I do recall one or two threads where someone adapted and electric power steering column. Search for those threads and it will give you an idea of what is involved.
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MsTaboo
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Tilt Steering Reply with quote

Hi Sam, welcome to the Samba!
I think it's safe to say that most people like the steering wheel placement of the VW vans, but we're always open to new ideas. Let us know what you come up with.

By the way, change your fuel lines!
(and post some photos of your new ride Cool )
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Tilt Steering Reply with quote

I've long wanted to install the entire tilt/telescoping column from a C4 Audi, though I've never seen it done on a Vanagon before. It seems doable
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campism
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Tilt Steering Reply with quote

Lots of hotrodders use this company's product.

http://www.ididitinc.com/
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Waldemar Sikorski
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Tilt Steering Reply with quote

Westfalia Tilt Steering.

http://www.griffco.ca/interest/vw/steer.htm
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MsTaboo
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:52 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Tilt Steering Reply with quote

Waldemar Sikorski wrote:
Westfalia Tilt Steering.
http://www.griffco.ca/interest/vw/steer.htm

That's pretty cool work! Wonder how well it has held up and whether there are any safety issues.
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spitsnrovers
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Tilt Steering Reply with quote

Hi Ms Taboo,
Just to let you know the tilt steering mod is holding up very well after over 10 years since installing it. I do not tilt it every day, but at times while on long trips I do adjust the position for a different posture while driving.

Also, having installed power driver's seat, I can slide the seat forward or back easily, making entry and exit easier without tilting the wheel.

I cannot think of anything I would have done differently in its manufacture - for my own preferences.

PS: The original poster did contact me about the mod and we discussed it a bit. I have to say I am not in a position to design or make any other tilt systems.
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Tilt Steering Reply with quote

I wonder if that's a manual or power steering column. The manual steering takes, at times, quite a bit of BRUTE FORCE on my part, i'm up to it, but would a tilting column transmit it all efficiently?

What I'd be interested in was a column that would let the front driver's seat swivel more. I've not been able to get mine, which I suspect is a retrofit, to turn even the 'stock Westy' 90 degrees.

Best!
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spitsnrovers
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:01 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Tilt Steering Reply with quote

My tilt steering mod is in a power-steering vehicle, so suspect it doesn't need much brute force.

Since the inner column is made up of the original VW column, plus a Ford pickup column - pinned and welded together, I am confident it can stand as much force as any vehicle.

As well, since installing the Ford Club Wagon seats, the driver's seat swivel no longer works. Passenger side still swivels 180 degrees.
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OddN
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:52 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Tilt Steering Reply with quote

I am intrigued by the idea of having tilt steering in my syncro. I am in the process of fitting Recaro seats, and I'm a little unsure about the steering position.

However, there is one thing I really like about the Vanagon and that is the angle of the steering wheel. And by fitting a Ford Pickup (or GM for that matter) steering column you get a tilt steering wheel that alters the angle of the wheel quite much. This is of course due to the fact that the pivot point of the column is so high up near the steering wheel.

Has anyone considered using parts from a Golf/Rabbit/Jetta for this conversion? They have a tilt column with the pivot point much further down towards the wirewall. If that could work you would get an adjustable steering wheel without altering the angle of the steering wheel to much.

A column like this:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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