Craig Restores a Series III OTS - Part XVII

Got it. I believe that splined section keeping the short telescoping shaft aligned with the larger column was well and truely stuck on my car- lots of surface area for corrosion. Many days of penetrating fluid were required as well as some creative use of force to get them apart. Total PITA…

In my case, I had soaked, cleaned, and lubed those two pieces.
I suspect that when I compressed the mesh part of the main body, I drove the small piece too deep into the bigger piece.

Specifically, the split collet (which I never removed)
fits onto the topmost part of the column sliding shaft.

I feel the fingers of the split collet have been stuck/jammed into the upper opening of the steering column body. Like you said

Dark days ahead . . .

I turned my attention to the brakes and clutch hydraulics. Spent too much of the last few days upside down and squinting.


That included installing the brake light switch and bracket. What a PITA!!
I am trying to annotate any non-stock changes/updates I make as I go.
Can you read this scribble? It’s a bit harder cuz the black paint reflects the white ink

I was on my budda-belly, breathing hard, head cranked up too far, under the dash in the driver’s wheel well, trying to write in a confined area with a pen the size of arm (shoulda marked it while it was on the bench - damn).

Hint - I replaced the original swItch with a mechanical one

The next small restoration feature was to prepare the new grab handle for installation.
Shoulda been easy-peasy, but . . .

. . . that’s when I noticed the chromed hardware weren’t round (that’d be too easy); there is a flat on each. Seems superfluous to me since there is only 0.001" difference in the ID and OD. Those chrome bolts apparently used to fit pretty tight - almost a friction fit. They came out easily . . .

So do I ignore the flat on the bolt and just drill?

And what size drill? A 3/8" drill = 0.3750 ought to work (just 0.0015" small). I don’t know the composition if the handle. The original:

looks metallic.
Close up:


A 7/16" drill = 0.4375 which is too big (doesn’t matter much cuz I don’t have one on hand).

Once someone explains the size holes to make, then has anyone done this? The handles are ovoid which makes it hard to line up the old with the new handle to mark the center of the hole to make.
I’d like to get it right the first time. These trimmed grab handles are dear: $150 each. At that price you’d think they’d come pre-drilled

Am 11mm drill should be between 3/8 and 7/16. Might be worth a try.

AFAIK 11mm is exactly 7/16”


Ps. Calculated it to 7/16” = 11.11mm. (3/8” = 9.525mm)

I never even considered metric (God Damn 'Mericans)

11mm = 0.433"
10mm = 0.394"
09mm = 0.354"

Now that is worth considering. Thanx

Ooops - I didnl;t see Pekka’s post when I posted this

Thank Dr. Google! BTW, Metric works nicely for replacing worn door hinges with minimal reaming. Hardened bar is available on Amazon.

Craig you do know a trimmer would be able to recover the handles quite easily ….minedoes it all the time …. The reason for the original bolts( actually nuts) being shaped is so that thetiop can be domed …. I am surprised by the lackofholesin the new ones ……

From a quick measurement of your photo, it appears the new handle in appreciably shorter than the original.

Prolly a combination of camera angle and dealing with a piece that has an arc in it:

Two photos with the old and new handle stacked


1 Like