Written By Steve Baur
Photography by Steph Bardekoff and Kevin DiOssi
IDIDIT has long been known as one of the top aftermarket steering column manufacturers and it took a step towards the racing market a while back with its Pro-Lite product line, which offered factory looks with a lightweight design. Now, the company offers its Pro-Fab product line for serious racers and car builders who are looking for the utmost in weight savings and performance.
Currently, the Pro-Fab product line includes numerous direct-fit applications that come with the main mounting brackets welded on to the main tube already for an easy, bolt-in installation. Of course, the Pro-Fab columns lose the factory style look to shed unwanted pounds and are designed with racing in mind.
The Pro-Fab columns are designed for drag racing, road racing, autocross, and off-road racing, and when paired with IDIDIT’s quick release hub and a lightweight racing steering wheel, can save significant weight over the factory steering assemblies.
Installation is pretty simple, and we followed along as Eric Bardekoff of EB Customs installed an IDIDIT Pro-Fab column in his S550 Mustang.
The IDIDIT Pro-Fab steering column for the S550 Mustang (PN 1090151955) retails for $263 and includes everything you see here with the exception of the quick-release hub, which sells for around $100 depending on application. It bolts in the factory location and the only fabrication required is welding the quick-release hub spline on.
The quick-release hub that Bardekoff orders from IDIDIT meets SFI specifications, and as he noted, also allows quick and easy installation of the steering wheel where some aftermarket options require a bit more finesse to fit the hub onto the splines.
IDIDIT welds on a bracket to allow the Pro-Fab column to mount to the original dash skeleton or mounts. Included are aluminum bushings to prevent the bolts from crushing the brackets together.
Bardekoff explained that he prefers the IDIDIT columns in part because of the quality construction and the use of a roller bearing, which eases turning effort.
The Pro-Fab column uses a solid universal joint that not only saves a bit of space in the engine bay, but also provides more direct steering input and increased reliability.
To seal up the new column to the firewall, IDIDIT includes two aluminum plates that sandwich a rubber gasket between them. The is a foam gasket to seal the plates to the firewall of the vehicle.
Bardekoff noted that it is easier to mount the foam gasket to the factory firewall studs and then install the column.
With the column stabbed through the firewall, make the connection to the steering box before bolting the column in.
Bardekoff uses locking nuts to secure the column to the firewall, making sure it is lined up with the factory upper mounting bracket.
Be sure to use the included aluminum spacers so you don’t crush the brackets together when tightening the fasteners to secure the column. Bardekoff replaces the factory hardware for grade 8 fasteners.
Installation is complete and while your tilt function is obviously gone, so are some unneeded pounds. IDIDIT also offers mounting brackets for aftermarket instrument panels like those from AEM, Auto Meter, Racepak, and Holley EFI. The steering shaft still needs to be cut to the correct length, which depends largely on the driver’s preference.
With the shaft cut to length, the quick release hub spline can be welded to the steering shaft. Bardekoff praised the product IDIDIT sells for its sturdy construction and keyed spline.
With the quick-release hub mounted to the steering wheel, it’s ready to test the fitment out. You can see here that Bardekoff has already reinstalled the factory column clamshell, and fabricated his own mounting plate for his MoTec instrument panel.
The installation of IDIDIT’s Pro-Fab column is a pretty simple and straightforward project, with the welding of the spline to the shaft the only specialized aspect. Bardekoff recommends spending good money on a quality wheel that is built to withstand the rigors of racing. While Bardekoff normally runs a 12-inch wheel, this particular one is a 13-inch piece that has helped further reduce turning effort.
EB Custom Works