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Discussion Starter #1
DISCLAIMER: You will be working with the SRS (Airbag) System during this procedure. I won't be held responsible if you hurt yorself, someone else or your Focus doing this. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!!! That said, if you're conscientious and careful and know your car, you'll have no problems doing this. If you don't feel comfortable with it, don't even try.

I made this HOW-TO to show how easy it is to swap in a Tilt and Telescope steering column into your Focus. If you're like me and didn't have it, I highly recommend snagging one from your local junkyard. Makes a huge difference in driver comfort, I'm now able to sit a good 3 inches further back from the pedals, avoiding the so-called "Monkey Driving Position". Now I'm much closer to legs straight, arms bent rather than the other way around. As close as possible in a Focus anyway. Also I'll cover getting the clockspring out, in case anyone's is broken.


Tools Needed:
A good socket set
A T-15 Torx bit
A T-40 Torx bit


Go out and disconnect your battery while you get your tools ready. Wait a good 10 minutes to make sure the SRS (airbag) system discharges. I sure don't want an airbag blowing up in my face, and neither do you.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Step 1
Once you get these 4 bolts out you can either disconnect the hood latch and OBD2 port, or just let the panel hang there like I did. It doesn't really get in the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Step 2
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Step 3
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Step 4
Once you've done Steps 4 and 5, remove the turn signal lever and wiper arm if you're planning on replacing the clockspring or if the column you bought doesn't have them. They unclip and slide up out of the column. You'll see how when you get the upper shroud off.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Step 5
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Step 6
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Step 7
Now, this is where I had a minor issue. The column I got had a nice leather steering wheel. My Focus is a 2000, the column is out of an '04. They changed the design of the clockspring at some point between those years, but I'm not sure when. This is important because the connectors on it (for the airbag and cruise control switches, and also the one on the back of the clockspring itself) changed shape. I got around this by using my old clockspring (actually fairly new since I'm on my 3rd replacement). Or just make sure the column you get if from the same year as yours. I believe the change coincided with the switch to the bigger Ford logo on the airbag, but I'm not sure on that. The airbag connects to the left side of the connector, and the cruise to the right.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Step 8
Now you need to transfer your old ignition lock cylinder to the new column. Dont worry about PATS, that black ring around the barrel is just the antenna. Whatever determines if you have the right key is somewhere else. The column I bought had a cylinder and key already in it. Either buy one this way, or most seem to have them already removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Step 9
All that's left to do now is unplug the headlight switch. I just reached behind it, it's not too hard to get to. Pop off the plastic wire harness holder from the column, and remove these last 4 bolts. The column will try to fall on your head while you do this, keep a hand on it. Once they're all out it should pull out pretty easily, just watch out for all the wires hanging around. Bolt the new one in, reconnect everything and enjoy Tilt and Telescope. And self-canceling turn signals too, if yours broke.
 

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Yeap, if your swaping from a ZX3 tilt steering to a SVT one, you will need ya ol clock spring, also don't forget to get the key for the new tilt steering to take out the key mechanism of the new tilt steering and put yours, also you will need to swap your pats transmiter.
My change took like 5 hrs because when i bought my tilt (used) it didn't came w/the key so i had to drill and destroy the key mechanism in order to put mine in.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I actually didn't have to swap the PATS antenna/transmitter, I just used the one that was on the new column and it worked just fine.
 

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Looks like a very nice write up, I'll see about getting it added to the "How To" archive. Nice job.

BTW, I will "sticky" this for the time being until it gets added to the "How To" archive just in case anyone else is interested in doing this swap.
 

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I've wanted to do this for a while...always thought it'd be too hard with all the wires and such, but this looks pretty easy. It'll probably be my next mod...I think Focus Salvage sells the column for ~$120.
 

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Just did this tonight, I got a used SVT steering wheel and tilt/telescope column for $180 shipped from someone on here who totalled his SVT and parted it out. Took me about an hour from start to finish, its very straightforward; unplug all the connectors and the wiring is taped to a piece of plastic which is only held in by two tension tabs, remove the three nuts and torx bolt and the bolt holding the column to the steering rack and the whole thing pops out. Installing the new column is pretty much reverse of removing the old one. This would be a good project for someone just getting their feet wet as far as wrench turning is concerned.
 

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Very nice job. If I ever manage to come across the right parts for cheap, I';ll consider doing this for sure!

Now I wonder how easy it could be to install cruise control...
 
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