Last year the steering column plastic starting falling apart on my 2000 gem car so I asked around to a few Gem people/builders what could be done or can the column be replaced? I got a few different answers like, yes but the new plastic is not cheap, a few nobody does that and a we do not do that kind of stuff. So I set out this winter to make this mod happen. This would give my car a tilt wheel, canceling turn signals and a horn button in the center of the wheel. Sounded easy but this mod turned out to be challenging and had a few wiring obstacles but I am happy to report that it was a success and everything works as it should.
Gem columns are one solid piece so had to chop the shaft and weld a 3/4 round 3/4 D coupler to existing lower shaft so I could install lower shaft.
@grantwest I was on the fence at first. Now after driving for a week I really like it. It makes it feel just like a car and it does not have that cart feel to it anymore. I will post a few more pics later today of how I wired it up.
One other thing that I really like is now that the column and lower steering shaft are two pieces it makes it so much more convenient when your working on steering or under hood. You do not have to drop the entire column. a two piece steering shaft is something I would do on every Gem.
Here what how I would do it. Chop lower shaft into two pieces and weld a 3/4 round coupler solid on one end and use set screws on other end. After removing excess to compensate for length of coupler, trim the non welded side of the shaft 1/4” shorter to give you some slack. That slack is just enough to make it easy to get the shaft off where it attaches to the steering rack.