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I have a 69 cougar I'm building in to a fun 300 something horsepower daily. The guy that had the car before me wanted to build the highest option cougar but never got around to it, so the car came with bins full of rare parts including 69 xr7 tilt away column. I really want to have this in my build because being 6'5" getting in and out of lower cars is not easy. The problem is there are no YouTube videos on installation and I'm worried daily use would destroy the $1600 column. I do have a power steering car and I try to be gentle with my stuff but it sounds like these columns are fragile and I don't want to destroy a part this rare. Right now every interior part is out of the car so this is the perfect time to install this if I'm going to do it, please let me know your thoughts on this below.
 

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I would not be worried about destroying it by using it. They lasted for a long time when new. However if it has not been I would send it off for a fresh rebuild. Or you could sell it and get an aftermarket tilt column.
 

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I put a tilt away in my 68 Mustang. i wouldn’t consider them Fragile. Trea5 them with respect and they’ll be fine. Install wasn’t too bad. I have the assembly manuals and that helped a lot.
 

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I have a 69 with a tilt-a-way, 90,000 miles. When I rebuilt the rimblow horn i had the wheel off so I took the time to clean out what I could access on the column, old lumping grease and dust. White lithium grease to replace. It snaps open quickly, so I try to keep a hand on it when it does open.

one callout. When you reassemble the wheel, the tilt function teeth will not align at both top and bottom at the same time. One or the other will fit... I thought I had screwed something up until someone set me straight.
Enjoy her!
 

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The biggest problem with these tilt columns is that the pawl catch pins work their way out over time. This causes the locking pawl jaws to fail to engage and the wheel slips to the bottom position with a slight tug. The solution is the pins with e-clips sold by WCCC:
Pin - Locking Pawl - Tilt / Tilt Away - 2 Pin Set - Repro ~ 1967 - 1969 Mercury Cougar / 1967 - 1969 Ford Mustang
These clips will keep the pins from working loose.

Another problem is that the tilt lever mechanism flexes the turn signal switch. I used to replace my tilt switch about once a year when I was daily driving my '68 Cougar. The solution is to convert to the "Plasma" LED bulbs thus reducing the load on the switch contacts.

Finally, if you are going to auto-cross your Cougar, plug the vacuum line feeding the tilt-away reservoir. I had the wheel tilt away in a 120 deg right turn at the end of a 60 MPH straight - it was quite a surprise! I believe the extra vacuum caused by hard braking and deacceleration overwhelmed the vacuum solenoid and released the column.
 
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