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Loose steering column

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by rocko, May 21, 2003.

  1. rocko

    rocko 1/2 ton status

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    Steering column is loose at the tilt mechanism on my '89 Blazer... is it possible to tighten or do you have to rebuid?

    If I have to rebuild, Dorian Yeager - where is your article on rebuilding these?
     
  2. BrianDamage

    BrianDamage 1/2 ton status

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    you can tighten it

    I'm fixing to rebuild mine. Got both the parts kits from GM and now waitng on a new cruise control lever. I figure if I'm going to go through the trouble of tearing it down, might as well replace the worn out stuff.

    do a searh for "column" on this forum and the garage. SEVERAL threads on this already...most have that article
     
  3. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Actually the write up I had was one from here anyway, but I don't have it up anymore. As was suggested, there is at least one floating around on this board. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  4. 83ZZ502_Jimmy

    83ZZ502_Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    I kept this in my favorites /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    John



    [ QUOTE ]
    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 & 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.


    BigBurb
    I Like my Burb'n on the ROCKS !!
    Imported to Kentucky through military channels !!


    [/ QUOTE ]
     
  5. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Rocko, I just fixed the loose column in my S-Jimmy using those instructions. 2 hours later the column was tight as can be! I removed each of the 4 bolts, one at a time. Cleaned them with some brake cleaner then put a couple drops of blue Loctite on each one and tightened it down. It came loose the first time at about 140K miles (there was NO Loctite installed at the factory!) /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif so I'm guessing that I'll never have to take it apart again.
     
  6. mrs_rocko

    mrs_rocko Registered Member

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    Thanks all for the info! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif I will pass this along to Charles since he won't be able to get to CK5 for another week.

    Pam
     
  7. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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  8. rocko

    rocko 1/2 ton status

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    I'm going to try and attempt to fix it today.. wish me luck...
     
  9. BrianDamage

    BrianDamage 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I'm going to try and attempt to fix it today.. wish me luck...

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Hey me too!

    Got it almost all put back together. I took it all the way down to the shaft since I had bought the 2 parts kits from the dealer. I could be finished, but today's the wife's birthday so I had to stop so I can get ready to go out to eat. Should be alot better when I get done, all tightened up & new bearings & races /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    new cruise control switch too /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  10. rocko

    rocko 1/2 ton status

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    It's all back together. it was scary at first.. too many damn small parts to remove..
    I didn't order the replacement/repair parts.. I just tore it down and tightened all the 1/4 inch bolts down past the tilt column base.
    The directions listed above were very helpful.. I read them over numerous times before beginning the teardown.
    The hardest part was making sure the high beam switch mechanism was installed properly..
    To all that replied .. Thanks very much..
    Column feel's like new..
     

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