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tilt column rebuild ?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by beater74, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. beater74

    beater74 1/2 ton status

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    my column seems to have somthing rattling inside and it has had a hose clamp around the tilt lever ever since i bought it, so i figure it's time for a rebuild.
    -how has done it
    - what did you
    - what parts did you use
    -where did you get your parts
     
  2. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    -how has done it -
    For me it's been great. Very happy I did it.

    - what parts did you use
    I had to buy 2 kits from the dealer. They were about $40 each. Kinda spendy, but they are the only place you can get the parts you need. I wanted to use some aftermarket bearings, but nobody make a suitable replacement with the right od/id dimensions. /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif I also bought the steering wheel puller, spring compressor, and pivot pin puller. It was definitely worth the money in tools. They made the job much easier and saved me a ton of grief!


    -where did you get your parts
    Like I said, the rebuild kits you'll need are pretty much dealer only items. When your there, ask them to print out the exploded view of the steering column assembly. I might still have one saved that I can e-mail to you. If not, you can drop muddytazz a pm. He has a ton of stuff like that.

    Oh yeah..if you have the column tore down that far, do yourself a favor and tighted the 3 hex/torx (can't remember which they are /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif bolts) for the tilt mechanism. If you don't, you REALLY wish you had later! Don't ask me how I know this /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif
     
  3. scrappy88

    scrappy88 1/2 ton status

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    Searched and came up with this. These are the exact instructions I used when I tore mine down, it helped a lot.
    ------

    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.
     
  4. 87BrnRsd

    87BrnRsd 1/2 ton status

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    If I were you I would try to find the cheapest shop around to do it for you. I had to take my tilt steering column apart 2 weeks ago to tighten those 4 hex bolts that Shane was talking about, and it was the biggest pita ever. You need a steering wheel puller, pivot pin puller, and spring compressor to get it all apart. Besides that, there is more s@!t in the tilt steering column than you can imagine. There are tons and tons of little parts, and nothing seems to want to come apart without having to take something else apart. I could only get to 2 of the bolts to tighten mine, and I said f-it. I put it all back together the exact same way it came out, and now the steering column doesnt lock, and the horn doesnt work. I would definitely recommend you taking it to a shop, unless you are really broke, or are really good at working with tons and tons of tiny parts that dont seem to want to go where they are supposed to. If I had a choice between taking apart another tilt steering column, and setting up ring and pinion, I would choose ring and pinion. And we all know the complications with setting up ring and pinions. /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif
    -Harrison
     
  5. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    I know exactly how you feel! /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif

    In my case though, nothing worked until I rebuilt the column. I had no blinkers, horn, ign. steering wheel lock, NONE of that stuff! The stinkin' PO fubared the steering column so bad that it took me many hours, lotsa beer, MORE cuss words (I think I made up some new ones!) and a cool parts guy at the dealer that let me photo-copy several pages from their assembly manual. I can now tear down and rebuild a chevy column in less than an hour /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif
     
  6. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    I've done 2 (one old one and one new one).

    The old one was IMPOSSIBLE to buy bearings for. I ended up having to buy some metric bearings and modify the shaft and housing to make them fit /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif

    On the newer one I had to buy some stupid tools because of the lock plate and the ign tumbler...Alot of parts in there to remember how to put it back together.

    If I ever had to do it again I would rebuild a tilt column by unbolting it, throwing it in the trash, and bolting in a non-tilt column!
     
  7. beater74

    beater74 1/2 ton status

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    great i'm feeling really good about this /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  8. GM Man

    GM Man 1/2 ton status

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    Triaged: So Im guessing that an older column would be 73-80?? Cause mine is really loose right now and I have been into these things before, without to many cuss words. Im hoping to fix this, Thanks. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  9. Tweetysuarus

    Tweetysuarus 1/2 ton status

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    After White-Rhyno and I tore into my tilt column to change out the ign cam gear that activates the push rod for the ign switch, I feel I can do this rebuild no problem now that I know the tricks to tearing down the column.
    Bill
     
  10. jakeslim

    jakeslim 1/2 ton status

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    It's sooooooooo much easier to just replace the column. I got mine off of ebay for $50 bucks and its in perfect condition. Yards are full of them also. Very easy to pull old one and install a new tilt column.
     
  11. 77 Mud Buddy

    77 Mud Buddy 1/2 ton status

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    My tilt column in my 77 had a very bad wobble to it a while back. I just delt with it until my truck would just stop running and I was forced to look into it. I will agree it is a bit of a pain it the arse, I had it apart and back together four of five times before I got everthing to work just right. Every time I pulled it apart a couple of the darn bearings would fall out which made each event even more frustrating. However, I am glad I did it. I now know how the darn thing works and now this is one more thing to my list of things I know how to do. I would suggest doing it your self but it takes a gluttin for punishment to do it.
     

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