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My tilt steering joint is suddenly very loose any way to adjust?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by shum1, Mar 23, 2001.

  1. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    Its wierd, suddenly my steering colum at the tilt joint wobbles around very noticeably, I dont fell any crunching, is there a way to tighten this joint up in a 1990? Thanks.
     
  2. elkboy

    elkboy 1/2 ton status

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    If you search back a few months, I think the Grim_reaper posted a how to guide. It was right on the money for my 82.

    [​IMG]<font color=red> Elkboy</font color=red> [​IMG]
     
  3. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    Boy that seems like a nightmare to fix, anyone have any Idea how much the dealer charges? I hate to ask but I dont have the down time right now to figure this out. Thanks
     
  4. lowlevell

    lowlevell 1/2 ton status

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    Go to www.thirdgen.org It tells you how to fix it right on theyre front page. Hope you have a printer:) It sounds like a real mofo to fix.

    One From None
     
  5. Here it is again !!!

    This is not for the weak hearted !! It actually wasn't that hard, but takes patience and a couple of hours, and a few special tools(might be able to borrow them from AutoZone)too. Good Luck, do not forget the loctite !!
    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.


    [​IMG]<font color=red>BigBurb[​IMG]
    <font color=purple>IF YOU'RE SCARED, SAY YOU'RE SCARED !!
     
  6. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Here it is again !!!

    Thanks Big Burb! I actually just did a search and found your how to. I just got done installing my bow tie overdrive, and 4" lift on my burb. Carpet in my house, New baseboard in my house, New sprinkler system for my yard, now my kids need me to regrade my backyard so I can put down grass for them to play on, all this while I'm working full time at the hospital and trying to finish my Doctorate degree, (I forgot that I promised to install a 4" lift this weekend on my brothers Burb) I'm burnt! Call me a wimp but this time I guess I'll bite the bullet and call the dealer. Thanks for the awesome how to review, though.
     
  7. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Here it is again !!!

    A couple of years ago, my mom had the dealer do this job on her Caprice, and it came out to $175.00. Alot of small shops will do it for half that. I'd call around.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. pcorssmit

    pcorssmit 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Here it is again !!!

    In the future, when entering the truck pull on the side of the steering wheel (9 o'clock) instead of the top or bottom. This also helps out the lock mechanism.

    Pete

    '83 K5, 350 TBI (ex 6.2), 700R4, NP208, Dana 60/14 bolt, 4.56s, Detroits, 3" lift, 15-39.5x15 TSLs
    '97 Dodge 2500 4x4 CC LB Sport, Cummins 5 spd
     
  9. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: Here it is again !!!

    Big Burb:
    Good write up. How about cutting and pasting that to Steve and score yourself some CK5 stickers. That's well worth being in the Technical section. Might do some snooping around on some of the GM boards and see if you can find a picture or 2 that can go with the story. That's what I did on my Heater core story. The 2 cores side by side were from a Nova hehe.

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/>http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/</A>
     
  10. Re: Here it is again !!!

    A guy on here or Off-Road.com mailed it to me in a longer form and I cleaned it up and added my $.02 into it too. I should have taken some pictures of it when I did mine, but someone else could take the pics and I will put together the whole write-up. I did a write-up on Off-road.com an a dual battery install on my 2000 Z71 and it looks pretty good. <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.off-road.com/chevy/reviews/wranglerdb/>http://www.off-road.com/chevy/reviews/wranglerdb/</A>

    [​IMG]<font color=red>BigBurb[​IMG]
    <font color=purple>IF YOU'RE SCARED, SAY YOU'RE SCARED !!
     
  11. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Here it is again !!!

    I've got to go through mine soon, I'll take pics and get them to you when I do it.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Re: Here it is again !!!

    That sounds really good ! Look through the write-up that I did and see at which points through the procedure you'd want to get some good pics. You can e-mail them to me when you get them done or post them somewhere and I can copy them that way to. Thanks

    [​IMG]<font color=red>BigBurb[​IMG]
    <font color=purple>IF YOU'RE SCARED, SAY YOU'RE SCARED !!
     
  13. J.C.Staley

    J.C.Staley Registered Member

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    Took mine to a mechanic I deal with and it cost me about $100 to get it fixed. All labor, just needed to tighten a nut or two with some lock tight added but it's a pain in the butt even if you have the tools and know how. For me it was worth the $100 to have some one else do it.
     

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