- Posts: 61
- Joined: Nov 7th, 2009 10:04 am
- Tell us about your Corvette: 1973 vette currently being restored. L82, 4speed, 350 engine, metallic yellow paint, medium saddle interior.
- Location: Strudsburg, PA
steering column with an aftermarket steering column
I am going to give you Jim Shea's opinion on this matter. Take it for what it is
Energy absorbing steering columns were introduced for the 1967 model year on
all GM passenger cars. All GM passenger car steering columns have been
collapsible and energy absorbing since that time. General Motors and Saginaw
Steering Gear Division spent millions of dollars designing, testing, barrier
crashing, and validating original equipment, energy absorbing, collapsible
steering columns. This was so the steering column and the vehicle structure
working together would provide the maximum protection for the driver in a severe
frontal collision and would meet U.S. Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
A rigid design steering column will completely defeat the above design and test
objectives. Some aftermarket steering column manufacturers now claim “energy
absorbing” and “collapsible” features. However, those steering columns have not
been crash tested in actual vehicles for the claimed design. (Steering columns
that are copied from the Saginaw design will not necessarily perform the same
when subjected to dynamic testing and real world crashes.)
I have no problem replacing earlier (pre 1967) GM solid shaft steering columns
with the newer aftermarket columns from Flaming River, Ididit, etc. OEM
steering columns before 1967 have no claimed safety features.
Admittedly, vintage vehicles are usually not driven to a great extent. A severe
frontal collision would be quite rare. However, I hate to see someone remove a
collapsible, energy absorbing OEM steering column and replacing it with a
design that has not been validated in real world testing and simulations.
Source (http://jimshea.corvettefaq.com/wp-conte ... Design.pdf)