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Fixing column tilt

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by BMR, Jul 20, 2001.

  1. BMR

    BMR 1/2 ton status

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    In my 85 my tilt steering has loosened up greatly. I have about 4 inches of up and down play. Had it fixed once, about 2 years ago. Now I need to fix it again. Any advice? Any need to know info?
     
  2. schwinnd

    schwinnd 1/2 ton status

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    Do a search on the tilt steering column and you'll find the instructions on how to fix it. Or do what I just did today. Read the post 'its very satisfying'.

    Just collecting rusty mid-70's chevy's
    1976 Blazer, 1975 Vega SW
     
  3. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    I just recently did a writeup on it - it's in your Email, and there's photos of it here pugsley.alloffroad.com
     
  4. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Pugs,
    Does your instructions include using lite Loctite?

    Steve should post your instructions and pics - this is such a common problem. Have you submitted it to him?

    Dave

    If You Drink Don't Park, Accidents Cause People.

    91 K5 - in the process of 4" lift with D60/14FF plus LOTS of extras. ETF August 1.
     
  5. BMR

    BMR 1/2 ton status

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    THANKS!! That will help me out alot!! I'll be tearing it apart this weekend.
     
  6. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    I submitted it to him last week - and I definitely included Loctite - I wrote it up for the "fix it once and never again" plan.

    Generic Signature
    <a target="_blank" href=http://pugsley.alloffroad.com>pugsley.alloffroad.com</a>
     
  7. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    While it is not a 'cool' upgrade, it is probably one of the most needed topics. Good job.

    Dave

    If You Drink Don't Park, Accidents Cause People.

    91 K5 - in the process of 4" lift with D60/14FF plus LOTS of extras. ETF August 1.
     
  8. Mr.Chevy4x4

    Mr.Chevy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Pugsley,
    Would you please e-mail me the write-up for this procedure. I plan on attempting this fix next week.

    Thanks,


    '85 K5 : Run it til it breaks, then fix it and go again!
     
  9. 6.2 man

    6.2 man 1/2 ton status

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    Is it possible to get those instructions too ??? thanks !!!
     
  10. shaneopie

    shaneopie 1/2 ton status

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    Why dont you post your instructions on here on how to fix the column it would help everyone out and save you alot of emailing. And those are some great pics.
     
  11. Here is the one I did and had posted a bunch of times !

    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.


    [​IMG]<font color=red>BigBurb[​IMG]
    <font color=purple>IF YOU'RE SCARED, SAY YOU'RE SCARED !!
    <font color=black>From Kentucky
     
  12. Mr.Chevy4x4

    Mr.Chevy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Here is the one I did and had posted a bunch of times !

    Thanks BigBurb! And I must say that yes this scares me just a little!!!!

    '85 K5 : Run it til it breaks, then fix it and go again!
     
  13. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Re: Here is the one I did and had posted a bunch of times !

    I know the best way to fix it. Rip out the worthless GM steering column with tilt. Mine broke beyond repair, and if yours hads 4" of movement, yours is broke beyond repair too. Don't even bother disassembling it. Go to the junkyard and pay the $50 to get a non-til column. Any 73-87 truck column will fit your truck. It takes about a half hour to swap the column, and you're good to go. No more problems.

    I tried fixing mine and I gave up. It was a waste of time even taking it apart. All the bearings were shatterred and the shaft was all chewed up.

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     
  14. Re: Here is the one I did and had posted a bunch of times !

    It has a nylon ball in there that can go bad if it stay loose too long and doesn't get fixed properly. It took me about 2 hours if I remember correctly and that was making the puller piece too. Don't ever give up on fixing something, it is always a learning experience. Hell at least you will find out how it comes apart and what makes the thing tick !!

    [​IMG]<font color=red>BigBurb[​IMG]
    <font color=purple>IF YOU'RE SCARED, SAY YOU'RE SCARED !!
    <font color=black>From Kentucky
     
  15. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Re: Here is the one I did and had posted a bunch of times !

    My shaft was too chewed up. New bearings couldn't be used. That's why I gave up on fixing it.

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     

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