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Loose Tilt Stearing Collum! Help!

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 86blazerk5, Jul 29, 2002.

  1. 86blazerk5

    86blazerk5 1/2 ton status

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    Hey guys, the joint in the tilt part of my stearing collum is loose and it kinda shakes around a lot. I cant stand it. When I go over bumps the stearing wheel moves a lot... Is there a way I can get in there and tighten up the joint? Thanks,
    Ike
     
  2. Rebel88

    Rebel88 1/2 ton status

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    pull the horn button off and start taking the column apart...get a steering wheel puller and take the wheel off...you will get down to where the turn signal lever connectors are and there will be three(maybe two but i think three) bolts that bolt the top section into the bottom section of the tilt wheel...tighten them up and you are good to go...

    trust me on this one...dont let it go too long...nothing like driving a truck and the whole steering wheel just comes off in your hands...ive seen it happen...not pretty

    Later
     
  3. JP's K5

    JP's K5 Registered Member

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    Remeber to add a couple drops of lock tight when you tighten it up. You dont want to have to do it a second time.

    Jared
     
  4. 86blazerk5

    86blazerk5 1/2 ton status

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    Wow, That sounds pretty straight forward. Thanks guys. I will do this in the next couple of days. I have to find a stearing wheel puller first. Hopefully my neaighbor will have one. Hes a mechanic. If not, I'll rent one from Auto Zone. Thanks again.
    Ike /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
     
  5. jms

    jms 1/2 ton status Author

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    Nope, these bolts ain't it, gotta go in way deeper than that; there's a really detailed writeup on the procedure in one of the recent post on the subject; it's four bolts behind the tilt joint that you want to tighten.
     
  6. ArrowheadK5

    ArrowheadK5 1/2 ton status

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    I let it go too long and the steerign column eneded up breaking. It would still steer, but the ignitiong would cut of going around a left turn. Really annoying with a manual tranny. Shelled out about $150 for a fix.
     
  7. hawglet

    hawglet 1/2 ton status

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    Don't know if you have got to your steering prob. yet but my 84 had the same prob. about 3 months ago, the steering column wouldn't hold itself up even. yeah yeah I just let it go for to long. but it was three or four bolts. They are those extroverted allenheads. Pain in the #%*. Anyway I could find a socket to fit them correctly and it was about 11:30 at night on a Sunday so it had to be done in order to get to work in the morning, I finally wound up using a 7mm 12 point I think may have been 8mm,not sure. They are hard to see at first though, once you see them you will know.
     
  8. Rebel88

    Rebel88 1/2 ton status

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    maybe its the four farther down but mine had three bolts loose near the white plastic turn signal connector...hard to explain but you know what im talking about if youve been in the column before

    Later
     
  9. 86blazerk5

    86blazerk5 1/2 ton status

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    This will be my first time in the column. So I dont know what your talking about yet. but i will figure it out, the only part I am really worried about is pulling the staering wheel. I've never done it. I think I am going to tackle this on saturday... Not sure yet, but I need to do it soon... Thanks for all the advice, and i will try serching the subject as well.
     
  10. twenty_below0

    twenty_below0 1/2 ton status

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    ok, first off it's not rocket science but it's not quite as easy as it sounds!! Once you get the wheel off you will get to the plastic piece for the signals,.......( which is connected to wires running down the column, I believe)....you will have to unplug the wires down toward the end of the column under the dash to get enough slack to pull the piece over the stub in the middle (that the wheel was on) and then move it to the side. now you will have to remove the cover,.... (around the upper part of column that is where the key comes out, signal knob etc.)..... Now this sounds scary but it's not to bad just be patient and you will figure it out, depending on the year you will be able to get to 2 or 3 of the bolts like this, LOCKTITE or you'll be doing it again in 6 months. It will take a 6" extension to get to them 1/4" with the correct socket or as the other guy said use a 12 point it will work and tighten the hell out of them. This is some what vague but it's been a few years for me.Once you start you'll see the part that the wires are connected to and it will make more since, really no big deal just common since, they make a tool for pushing the plate down, (right under the wheel) so you can get the lock ring back on, this is a must! and you'll see what I mean when you pull the wheel it's right under it. good luck and if you have any more questions feel free to e-mail me.
     
  11. jms

    jms 1/2 ton status Author

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  12. Here it is !!

    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.
     
  13. 86blazerk5

    86blazerk5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Here it is !!

    Wow, sounds pretty complicated. I am planning to jump into this saturday after noon I think. I will print out these lengthy insrtuctions so I can read them while I am actually pperforming the task. And I will definently Lock tight it becuase this dosnt sound like fun... Thanks guys
     
  14. Re: Here it is !!

    The directions with you will help and just keep a watchful eye at parts and how they came out. If you don't use locktite you will have wasted alot of time.
     
  15. Boss

    Boss 1/2 ton status Author

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    Re: Here it is !!

    86,
    Just saw this post. I had to do this on my truck last year. I ignored it for so long, that when I got in there, 3 out of 4 bolts were off and the 4th one was just hanging in by a few threads! /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif
    Anyhow, it's definately a time consuming job, I tell yah, I think putting an ARB locker in my front diff was more enjoyable...
    Just pay attention to where everything is/were before you take everything apart. Trust me on this, Removing the steering wheel is probably the easiest task in this, after that....down hill!!
    Sorry to scare yah, just want you to pay attention in there or you'll be forking out some cash to get it right.
    Hey, PM me if you want my # to call if you're in a jam. I know you live only about an hour from me...
    I'll be working on my truck all day on Sat. too...
    Boss
     
  16. Re: Here it is !!

    Steering wheel coming aff was a BIG PAIN IN THE A$$ if you ask me and that darn spring loaded piece under it !! The worst piece is that little detent that you have to pull out and you are scare to break it or break the screw off in it !! Have fun !!
     
  17. Boss

    Boss 1/2 ton status Author

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    Re: Here it is !!

    If I remember right, all that you're describing is AFTER the wheel is off.
    To take the wheel off, you just pop off the horn button, remove the large nut and use a Steering wheel puller to pull it off, and that's it...then AFTER that is what I was talking about, being a pain, blah blah...
    Boss
     
  18. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    Re: Here it is !!

    <font color="green"> OK, a buddy of mine has a tilt column that he sent to me, it should be heremonday or tuesday. Before I put it in the truck I want to make sure that it doesn't need to have this procedure done to it. What is an acceptable amount of play in the column? He said that with the steering wheel on it had about 1/4" of play in it. Too much? Should I go through this precess to get it tighter? </font color>
     
  19. Boss

    Boss 1/2 ton status Author

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    Re: Here it is !!

    After my fix, I don't have any play in it. It's really tight now.
    I never swapped a non tilt for tilt, so not sure of the procedures, but basically, you'll want to put loctite on the 4 bolts that bolt the column on and get em in there tight! You should be good to go from there.
     
  20. Re: Here it is !!

    If I remember correctly I popped off the ole horn button and the nut and of course was too cheap to get a puller so I beat on the nut while pulling on the wheel to get it off and I think the wheel had been on for at least 10 years so it wasn't fun !!!!
     

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