Help with swapping out steering columns?
I have an '03 Ranger Edge 4x4 that has a non-tilt steering wheel. I am 6'4, and need a little extra room in the cab. I am wanting to swap out my non-tilt steering column for a steering column with tilt. Before I begin looking for a column, I have a few questions I am hoping you guys can help me out with. Here goes:
1. Is swapping out steering columns a big job? I'm fairly mechanically inclined, but I'm not sure what to expect if and when I get started on this job. How long should it take? Do I need any special tools, etc.
2. My steering wheel currently doesn't have cruise control on the wheel, but it does have an AFTERMARKET cruise control system on the column that someone else put on before I got the truck. All of the tilt steering columns that I have seen have the cruise control incorporated into the wheel. What am I going to need to link the aftermarket cruise control to the new steering column cruise control? Could this potentially be a big job?
3. My truck does have a red "theft" light that flashes occasionally. When I buy the new column, I'm just going to buy the whole thing. New key and all. Does the key have anything to do at all with the anti-theft system? Will I have any trouble with the anti-theft system by swapping steering columns? Could I potentially lock the starter up by switching columns?
4. If I get a new steering column, should I switch out key chambers so I can keep the original key that opens the doors? Is it a difficult job to switch out key chambers?
5. Anyone know of a good step-by-step website for removing and reassembling a ranger steering column?
Sorry for the long post and all of the questions. I just want to make sure this is something I can tackle before buying the new steering column. Thanks so much for any help you guys can give. AC.