Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Anybody pull apart a tilt column?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by jimmy88, Oct 1, 2002.

  1. jimmy88

    jimmy88 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Posts:
    351
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Detroit, MI area
    The Jimmys column is moving side to side, pivoting at the tilt joint. My question is if its better to pull the whole column or work on it it the truck. Or are the tilt columns such a PITA that I should swap in the non tilt column from the parts truck and be done with it? (only use the tilt when working under the dash or the like)
     
  2. muddysub

    muddysub 1 ton suburban status Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2001
    Posts:
    10,451
    Likes Received:
    489
    Location:
    my garage, Henderson, NV
    i tried once but gave up and put it in a shop, now it's moving up and down i'm thinking of going to non tilt. /forums/images/icons/frown.gif
     
  3. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2001
    Posts:
    22,060
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Pleasanton, CA.
    It is easier to work on with the column still in the truck. The only reason they become loose is from using it to pull yourself into the truck. You can install the non tilt column if you wish just don't be fooled when it comes time to install the ignition switch wiring. The wiring is the same for tilt versus non tilt but the plug is upside down. The switch however is not interchangable between tilt and non tilt. The difference is that one the rod pushes the switch to crank and the other pulls the switch to crank.
     
  4. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2000
    Posts:
    6,737
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Los Banos, CA
    <font color="green"> I found it easier to do outside the truck, but it wouldn't be worth pulling it just to do the rebuild. There is an album in my webshots that has some pics that will help you see what you're getting into. Not that difficult of a job, took about an hour from start to finish.</font color>
     
  5. KrebsATM02

    KrebsATM02 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2000
    Posts:
    553
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    College Station, Texas
    OHHHH MAN!!! Your in for a fun job!!! I just got done doing this. Here is the info that i got from old posts, i believe it is from BIGBURB and DepDog:

    Here is the infamous “GM tilt column loose problem” fix:
    Disconnect the Battery, Tilt the column to the full UP position, Pull the wheel
    Remove the locking plate, the large spring &amp; the bearing cover (This comes off fine, but is a pain in the butt to get back on so I made a tool to put it back on)
    Disconnect the connectors for the turn signal switch, cruise and the "smart" switch
    Remove three screws that hold down the turn signal switch
    Gently pull the switch up and pull out of the housing folding down and hang by harness
    Remove the Ign Key buzzer switch and retainer clip
    There is either a screw on the right side holding in the IGN KEY LOCK or a slot in which you push a tab.
    Remove the screw or push the tab and remove the Ign Lock Cylinder.
    Most of us have been this far before into the tear-down.
    Next there are three or four torx head screws that hold the housing onto the tilt bowl, remove them.

    Return the turn signal switch back into the housing, do not put the screws back. This step is to give you some play in the wiring

    Gently pull up on the housing up and over the steering shaft. Tilting the shaft down will help but it puts the upper ball bearings in danger of popping out. The small cover for the tilt handle, the plastic push piece will all fall out

    There will now be a black bowl exposed. It has the bearings for the short shaft. The Hi Beam actuator rod will be coming through on the left side. There will also be a small rod through the top parallel with the floor. It is the sector shaft for the IGN Switch and has a small gear on the left.

    THIS IS IMPORTANT!! THIS IS THE PART THAT IS SPRUNG LOADED!!

    At the bottom is a small, about the size of a quarter, round silver plug with a square cutout in the center. This is the spring retainer. by tilting the column up most of the load has been removed from the spring. Take a #3 Phillips screw driver, put into the square hole. The object is not to go through this hole but to engage it. Push the plug down/in about 1/8 inch and turn counter-clockwise. There are two ears 180 degrees apart that retain the plug. REMEMBER IT IS SPRING LOADED!! Ease up until there is no load and pull out.

    The next step requires a small puller. I used small screws and vise-grips on one and a small crow bar on the other one !! They are in there pretty tight too !!

    There are two pins 180 degrees apart on the sides of the bowl. These are the tilt pivot pins and they need to be removed. Kent-Moore makes the special puller but I have seen other folks put a small screw in the hole and pull them out with Vise-grips. If the screws break you are hosed! The pins are harden and can't be drilled out if it gets screwed up.

    Once the pins are out put the tilt lever back in. Pull like you want to tilt the column. This releases the pawls from the retainer grooves.

    While holding them released, gently pull the bowl up towards you. The ball bearings are in danger of popping out again as they are disengaged from the races.

    You will notice that the upper shaft is connected to intermediate shaft by a white plastic ball socket. DO NOT BEND THIS TO 90 DEGREES OR IT WILL BECOME DISENGAGED!!

    Slide this to one side and two of four torx head screws will be exposed. I use a ¼” drive ¼” socket on a flex universal to gain access. This eliminates the danger of bending the tilt ball too much.

    If it's real loose tighten one from each side diagonally, That way the mechanism will seat and not bind. I recommend that you put locktite on them !!

    Going back together is just doing it in reverse with some extra steps.
    Reposition the tilt bowl on the shaft, pull back on the lever and slide on. Make sure the pawls engage the retaining grooves. The rods down to both the starter switch and the headlamp dimmer need to be lined up.

    Replace the tilt spring by depressing with a screw driver and turning

    To time the start switch the small snap ring retaining the sector gear, white or black plastic, and gear needs to be removed

    These will not be replaced until after the pivot pins are reset.

    Install these pins with a gasket hammer, SMALL! You may need to jiggle the bowl by actuating the lever disengaging the pawls

    Now time the ign rod rack with the gear and actuate a few times to make sure the Large cutout in the gear for the ACCESSORY position is timed. The rod has a tit that has to go into the racks crescent shaped area. This crescent shaped area allows the rod to be actauted from any tilt position when the key has been turned.

    Slide the turn signal housing down over the bowl, aligning the small tilt lever cover and headlight dimmer actuator. Small daps of grease will help hold this in position while trying to put it all together

    The rest is put together as taken apart.

    The Ign lock cyl goes in before the buzzer switch. The small tab on the lock cyl that actuates this switch needs to be held up in the close position. The IGN key needs to be out of the cyl for this to happen. Small dabs of grease will hold this up during assembly
    Another tip:
    Loosen the two nuts, maybe three that hold the column up to the dash frame. They are either 17mm or 15mm bolt heads. This will give you a little more play in the wiring.


    http://community.webshots.com/album/17272977QOQEcrhPHn


    GM Tilt Column Fix

    INTRODUCTION

    Got a loose, floppy tilt steering column? You don’t need to sell a pint of blood and take it
    to the dealer, it can be done in the comfort of your own driveway, for a very small
    investment in tools and parts. You can expect to spend around 3 hours doing this job,
    possibly less, depending on your luck. I typically replace only one part when I do these, I
    toss the factory lockring and put a 10 cent 5/8” C-clip in it’s place. You should also have a
    tube of white lithium grease, red LocTite, and a can of your preferred cleaning solvent
    handy. I was essentially rebuilding my column in these photos, so mine is torn apart more
    than you should have to just to tighten it.

    There are a couple of specialty tools that will make this job much easier, a steering wheel
    lockplate remover, an E8 external Torx socket, and a pin puller. I don’t use the pin puller,
    I use a pair of 45º bent needlenose pliers and an 8-32 machine screw to pry them out. If
    you go this route, make sure to use a good quality screw, or else you will have a whole
    new problem on your hands. (Photo #1)

    PREP

    Disconnect the battery, or else in addition to risking shorting something out, you will also
    be blasting the horn while you open the column up, and probably turning the hazard
    flashers on for the duration of the repair.

    GETTING TO WORK

    Tilt the column to the full UP position, remove the tilt lever, and then pull the wheel. You
    will now be staring at the dreaded lockplate. (Photo #2) Pop off the plastic cover, then
    thread the lockplate remover onto the column stem, (Photo #2A) and tighten the nut on
    the tool to compress the plate. Pull the lockring with a pick or small screwdriver, then
    slowly release the lockplate remover, until you feel no tension in it. remove the tool, and
    pull off the lockplate, spring, and horn contact. Now you should be looking at the turn
    signal switch - remove the four Phillips head screws holding it in, and the hazard flasher
    knob. Gently pull the switch up, and it should come out far enough to allow you to open
    the column up the rest of the way. If it fails to come out further than an inch or two, you
    will have to go underneath the dash and unplug the harness (mounted on the right hand
    side of the column - it will pop right off of the brackets holding it). (photo #3)

    Now you should remove the ignition buzzer switch and it’s retaining clip - I left mine out
    entirely since I tossed the buzzer ages ago, and remove the screw holding the ignition
    cylinder in place. Remove the 3 Torx screws (T30) holding the housing onto the tilt bowl.
    (photo 4) If you had to unplug the switch to gain enough slack to get the switch out,
    ignore the next step, and jump to the next paragraph, if you didn’t, place the switch back
    into the housing, and gently pull the housing and switch over the housing as a unit. At this
    point the upper ball bearings will want to fall out, and if they do, don’t panic - just gather
    them all up and place in a paper cup or similar container to save for later.

    If you did unplug the signal switch, just pull some slack and then gently pull the upper
    housing back. Now the small cover housing the tilt lever, and the push cam for the
    dimmer switch will fall out. (photo 5)

    You will now have exposed a black “bowl”, this contains the lower bearings, along with
    the sector shaft for the ignition, and the steering wheel lock pin. (photo 6) Go ahead and
    remove the screw holding the lock pin spring, the sector gear and pin - having these out
    will make the job of timing the ignition much easier during reassembly. This is the part that
    is spring loaded - at the bottom of the column, you will see a round piece, about the size
    of a quarter with a square hole in the middle. Push a #3 Phillips screwdriver in the hole,
    and compress it about 1/8” while turning it 90° counter-clockwise. Slowly ease up on it
    until you feel no more tension and remove the spring. (photos 7 &amp; 8)

    Now you are at the dreaded pins - these are almost a personal matter, since everyone has
    their own way of removing them. My pliers and machine screw have never failed yet, but
    you may prefer a slide hammer and 8-32 screw. In the photo I screwed in a stud just to
    illustrate the location, the rest is up to you. (photo 9)

    Once the pins are out, put the tilt lever back in, and pull back on it to release the pawls
    holding the bowl in place. Gently pull the bowl over the steering shaft, and again watch for
    bearings falling out. You will now see a large plastic ball socket - DO NOT BEND THIS
    TO 90 DEGREES OR IT WILL BECOME DISENGAGED. You will now see the 4 E-8
    screws that caused this problem in the first place. Remove one, give it a dose of Loctite,
    and replace - repeat this process in an “X” pattern until all 4 are done. The steering shaft
    ball socket will obscure either the upper or lower screws, but it will move right out of the
    way. (photo 10&amp;11)

    Now is a good time to take a short break- the fumes from Loctite will attack some
    plastics, so it is a good idea to give 10-15 minutes for the the Loctite to dry and air out
    before reassembly.

    Going back together is basically just doing it in reverse, with a few extra steps thrown in.
    Give the bearings in the bowl a nice coating of sticky disc brake wheel bearing grease, it’s
    good for the bearings, and helps them stay put during reassembly. Reposition the bowl on
    the shaft, pull back the tilt lever and slide it on. Make sure that the headlight dimmer rod,
    and the ignition rod are lined up, as well as the pin holes. Tap in the pins with a small
    gasket hammer, you may need to jiggle the bowl a little to get the pins lined up and driven
    in.

    Now time the ignition rack with the gear, and actuate a few times to make sure that the
    large cutout for the accessory position is timed. While you are here, give the rack, gear
    and lock pin a light coating of white grease. The ignition rod should ride in the large,
    crescent shaped groove in the rack, this allows the switch to work in any tilt position. Test
    the ignition in a few different tilt positions and remove the tilt lever again.

    Now, give the upper bearings a grease job, as before with the lower bearings. Slide the
    turn signal housing back over the shaft and onto the bowl, aligning the tilt lever cover and
    dimmer actuator cam. Another dab of wheel bearing grease will help hold everything in
    position.

    If your bearings came apart, get a flat surface to work on, and gently push them back into
    the plastic retainer, with a thick coating of wheel bearing grease to hold everything in
    place. Gently slip the bearing over the shaft, and seat the bearings into the race on the turn
    signal housing. Place the ignition lock cylinder back into the housing and remove the key,
    now replace the buzzer switch.

    The rest goes back as removed, except for the lock ring which should be replaced with a
    new one.

    I hope this article was of help, there’s alot of people out there who pretend that this job is
    too difficult to be done at home, and charge upwards of $200 to do it for you. It’s really
    easy after you’ve done it a time or two, just take your time, and don’t let it get you too
    frustrated.

    http://community.webshots.com/album/17272977QOQEcrhPHn


    <font color="red"> The tools definately needed are the steering wheel puller and the compressor. Then you can use a 8 32 Machine screw and try to pull it out with that and vice grips, but it didn't work for me. I just kept bending screws, so i went to the auto parts store and bought the damn tool. Cost about $30 and it's the size of my pinky!!!! But the damn thing worked!!! My advice is to be patient and remember where everything goes!!! Good luck!!! </font color>
     
  6. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2001
    Posts:
    3,369
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Why bother posting URLs when you can just CUT AND PASTE all the content! /forums/images/icons/tongue.gif /forums/images/icons/grin.gif Yikes...

    -Dan
     
  7. 86blazerk5

    86blazerk5 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2000
    Posts:
    387
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hagarstown, Maryland
    Hey Jimmy88, i toomjust got done rebuilding my tilt stearing column. i did it in he truck. I used the directions from Big Burb that are posted above. I just did this about 2 months ago and it is all farley fresh in my mind. I would definently fix the tilt over swaoing in the non-tilt. Honestly fixing the tilt was dificult enough, i would think it would actually be harder to swap in all the parts of a non tilt. Not only that but if you fix it right you shouldnt ever have to wory about it again, or at least for a long long time. If you decide to venture into this, and you run into trouble, PM me, i am kinda an expert becuase I did a few things wrong and went through the whole prcess probably 5 times before i got it fixed right, but now i know what to do and what not to do. Goood luck. and dont forget when you get to the lose screws to thred lock them.
    Ike
     
  8. KrebsATM02

    KrebsATM02 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2000
    Posts:
    553
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    College Station, Texas
    Sorry Krazie, but I didn't have the URL's anymore, i just saved the text into a word file and printed it out so i could have it in the truck with me /forums/images/icons/crazy.gif
     
  9. jimmy88

    jimmy88 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Posts:
    351
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Detroit, MI area
    Doh /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif I forgot to use the search.
    Thanks for the info. I'll give it a shot in the truck. Its definitely from pulling myself into the truck. Gotta figure a grab handle or something. Just have to put in a full cage I guess /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif.
     
  10. jimmy88

    jimmy88 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Posts:
    351
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Detroit, MI area
    One hour in the truck???!!! You da man! To bad your not east coast, I'd pay to see how you get the pins out! After busting the heads off some screws I just gave up on the pins! Just pulled each bolt, cleaned, loctited and reinstalled em. Tightened three good and the upper right one just got snug. Had to grind the socket way down and use a wobbly extension to get at that one. What a PITA. Gotta be a better way to get the pins out than beating on the already sloppy column! Well feels good as new, so thanks to everybody for the info. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  11. weisel

    weisel 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2001
    Posts:
    491
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Laveen, AZ
    I just did mine like KrebsATM02's instructions,
    but it still wobbles up and down. What causes
    this? Is it the torx head bolts being loose, or
    the paws being worn out? What do I need to
    fix next time I tear into it?
     
  12. FLASHLIGHT76

    FLASHLIGHT76 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Posts:
    255
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    OREGON
    I did this a year back and man oh man. Took about 3 and 1/2 hours and the steering wheel puller and the locking pin compresser. Managed to get the pins out with a pair of plyers but I followed the instructions in my chiltons manual. Saved my butt!!!! It recomended a small slide hammer. Like the one you find at walmart in the auto section. If all you have is the up and down motion then that is most likely the tilt teeth wearing. good luck if you try this. I went into the dealer shop and the guy let me look at there tech schematic. Full dissasembly diagram!!!!!!! Check it out.
     
  13. weisel

    weisel 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2001
    Posts:
    491
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Laveen, AZ
    Thats what I thought. The teeth are probly worn out. I'll
    try to find a not so worn out one and put it in.
    I had no problems getting the pins out. I used a puller that
    I made.
    It is just a bolt (6-32 I think) about an 1 1/2 inches
    long, a 1 inch long (about 3/4 inch diamiter ) pipe or
    tube, and an assortmant of washers. Just
    put the tube over the pin, put the bolt (with the right amount of
    washers) through the tube, and screw it into the pin. The bolt
    will pull the pin out into the tube. Just make sure you have enough
    threads engaged in the pin so you don't strip it out. And also don't
    tighten the bolt so much that you bottom it out in the pin. As the pin
    is being pulled out a little at a time, put more washers on to make sure
    the bolt engages the right amount of threads. It didn't cost me a dime
    to make this puller, I just found the peices lying around. I'll post a
    picture next week.
     

Share This Page