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.

Rebuilding steering columns

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by thatK30guy, Jun 27, 2003.

  1. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2001
    Posts:
    32,076
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    .
    Anybody done this? Is it hard? Special tools? Anything to watch for?

    I got an '85 tilt column for my '88V30 project as the cab was missing the column. The wires appear to be the same from what I pulled off the '85. Just wanted to check into rebuilding the column to make sure everything is good and functional before bolting it in for good.
     
  2. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2002
    Posts:
    20,073
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salem, Or.
    Not really that hard, just a pita cause of the tight places to work in. All i used when i did mine was just a standard wheel puller and the lock plate thingy (can't think of the name of it right now /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif ) and patience /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  3. rocko

    rocko 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2000
    Posts:
    3,380
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ellsworth, Maine
    Wes.. do a search for column.. I just took mine down and tightened everything up and my column is perfect now.. the write up was very detailed.. you'll just need a socket that's 1/4 star socket to once you get down past the tilt/shift portion of the column..
     
  4. rocko

    rocko 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2000
    Posts:
    3,380
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ellsworth, Maine
    Wes.. i found the column rebuild/teardown article.. here ya go.. it's a bit long..
    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    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.
     
  5. OL14BLAZ

    OL14BLAZ 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Posts:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    TEXAS, USA
    It was the first thing I had to do to my K5 when I bought it. It wouldn't pass inspection because the tilt column was loose. /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif

    Anyway it took me about 2 hours to do it (you need to have patience) and I had to have a steering wheel puller and a tool to pull the metal cam plate that is spring loaded. Just be careful and take your time. My .02 worth. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif


    Eric
     
  6. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2001
    Posts:
    32,076
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    .
    Hey guys, thanks for the quick replies! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif

    Charlie, damn, thats looooooong and detailed directions! /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif Like you, and the others said, I'm gonna wait til I have a real good day and a clean bench before I tackle a job like this. Seems complicated enough as is. /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif

    Thanks for the info! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  7. Fletch79

    Fletch79 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    Posts:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Southern Wisconsin
    [ QUOTE ]
    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 !!


    [/ QUOTE ]

    If I am understanding this correctly, the loose problem is caused by these four torx fasteners working their way loose?

    That sux.
     
  8. 70~K5

    70~K5 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2002
    Posts:
    2,032
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    sillycon valley
    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    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 !!


    [/ QUOTE ]

    If I am understanding this correctly, the loose problem is caused by these four torx fasteners working their way loose?

    That sux.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Not allways, mine was loose cause the bearings were shot in the part that tilts.
     

Share This Page