Tilt Wheel Again

Hello All,

Well you all helped me determine why my column felt like a hair dryer since the bottom tube was missing the seal. So I fixed that by laser cutting some 1/2 foam pieces.

As luck would have it, you fix one thing, you get another issue. My 67 tilt-away wheel has worked flawlessly and then yesterday I noticed on the way home from work that my wheel has about 1/8" play towards the locking direction. So I got home and took the wheel off and checked the pivot pins and they are all in place. Everything looks good and nothing is broken. The swing away works fine opening and closing the door. It just seems like the locking position has developed slop.

While there, I checked the tilt locking levers. They look good and pins are where they should be. One thing I did notice is that the levers don’t engage at the same time. See Image

Looking at WCCC site I noticed this image and it shows them the same way.

So I guess this was correct? Ford’s way of giving more tilt positions?

So back to the swing, is there some adjustment that can be made? Will I need to pull the column?


Hi Jim: Yes the way your tilt wheel locking levers are positioned is correct.
When the upper lever is ‘hooked’ into a groove in the corresponding lever retainer, then the lower lever is ‘riding’ on the top of one of the peaks of its retainer. This allows for 4 positions of the tilt wheel ( above center ) and the 4 below - nine positions in total.
The issue of the 1/8" play in the wheels position ( towards the fully locked position) can be corrected by adjusting the screw and retainer at the bottom end of the tilt wheel cable ( 68 and 69 ). Since '67 Cougars use a metal rod connected to the vacuum ‘motor’ the adjustment to remove the slack between the rod and the motor is accomplished by loosening the two screws that fasten the motor to the steering column and repositioning the motor ( up or down slightly on the steering column outer case ) so it’s internal plunger is fully at the top inside the beige plastic motor ( with the steering wheel in the straight ahead position and door closed, as well ).
1967 Tilt Away steering Vacuum Motor

So when the door is opened and the relay allows vacuum to retract the plunger fully into the motor, thereby causing the rod to be pulled down the column - this will allow the column to swing to the side ( door open ), and to lock securely into position when the door is closed.
Here is a link to a useful trouble shooting guide:


Thanks so much for this detailed response. I’m glad I read it before tearing into the column more. After reading your post I started putting back together what I had taken apart. In doing so, I manually actuated the rod and vacuum motor. After doing that, the steering wheel locks into place like it used to with no slop. It probably needs some lubrication.

While I had the top partially disassembled, I lubricated what I could get at.