2 inches of movement in my steering wheel

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by keevy, Jun 20, 2004.

  1. keevy

    keevy Registered Member

    Aug 24, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Hello, I'm a newbe! I'm driving a Blazer k5 '87.
    My problem is, I can move my steering wheel, 2 inches forward...what is wrong?!! How can I fix this?
    Thanxxx guys!...love this site... /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
  2. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

    Nov 24, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Dillon Colorado, Hang'in in the mountains. Renting
    Does it have tilt?
    If so, do a search on tilt steering repair. I know a bunch of guys have talked about it here and what to do.
    Oh, and welcome to the best dam web site out there!
    Get ready for a major addiction /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    BTW, my 87 doesn't have tilt.
  3. keevy

    keevy Registered Member

    Aug 24, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Mine is with tilt. But I'm sure, there's nothing wrong with it. It moves just after the tilt...
  4. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

    Jun 30, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Salem, Or.
    What the problem is, the tilt pivot is loose and needs to have the top half the column torn apart and tightened up. I have the complete write-up of how to do it saved on my harddrive /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif If you give me an email addy, I can email you the pics that go along with this /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Tilt wheel column fix!

    OHHHH MAN! ! ! Your in for a fun job! ! ! I just got done doing this.
    Here is the info that i got from old
    posts, i believe it is from BIGBURB and DepDog:

    Here is the infamous "GM tilt column loose problem" fix:
    Disconnect the Battery, Tilt the column to the full UP position, P
    ull the wheel
    Remove the locking plate, the large spring & the bearing cover (Th
    is 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 t
    he "smart" swi tch
    Remove three screws that hold down the turn signal switch
    Gently pull the switch up and pullout 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 L
    OCK 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 housin
    g onto the tilt bowl, remove them.

    Return the turn signal switch back into the housing, do not put th
    e 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. Tilt
    ing the shaft down will help but it
    puts the upper ball bearings in danger of popping out. The small c
    over 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 th
    e 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.

    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 tu
    rn 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 vis
    e-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. The
    se are the tilt pivot pins and they
    need to be removed. Kent-Moore makes the special puller but I have
    seen otqer folks put a small screw in
    the hole and pull them out with Vise-grips. If the screws break yo
    u 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 wa
    nt 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.

    Slide this to one side and two of four torx head screws will be ex
    posed. I use a ~" drive ~" socket on a
    flex universal to gain access. This eliminates the danger of bendi
    ng 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 st

    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 an
    d 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 ji
    ggle 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 h
    as to go into the racks crescent
    shaped area. This crescent shaped area allows the rod to be actaut
    ed from any tilt position when the key
    has been turned.

    Slide the turn signal housing down over the bowl, aligning the sma
    II tilt lever cover and headlight
    dimmer actuator. Small daps of grease will help hold this in posit
    ion while trying to put it all

    The rest is put together as taken apart.

    The Ign lock cyl goes in before the buzzer switch. The small tab o
    n the lock cyl that actuates this
    switch needs to be held up in the close position. The IGN key need
    s 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 da
    sh frame. They are either 17mm or 1Smm
    bolt heads. This will give you a little more play in the wiring.

    GM Tilt Column Fix


    Got a loose, floppy tilt steering column? You don't need to sell a
    pint of blood and take it
    to the dealer, it can be done in the comfort of your own driveway,
    for a very small
    investment in tools and parts. You can expect to spend around 3 ho
    ~ urs doing this job,
    1!" possibly less, depending on your luck. I typically replace only on
    \c, e part when I do these, I
    toss the factory lockring and put a 10 cent 5/8" C-clip in it's pI
    ace. You should also have a
    tube of white lithium grease, red LocTite, and a can of your prefe
    rred cleaning solvent
    handy. I was essentially rebuilding my column in these photos, so
    mine is torn apart more
    than you should have to just to tighten it.

    There are a couple of specialty tools that will make this job much
    easier, a steering wheel
    lockplate remover, an E8 external Torx socket, and a pin puller. I
    don't use the pin puller,
    I use a pair of 45° bent needlenose pliers and an 8-32 machine scr
    ew to pry them out. If
    you go this route, make sure to use a good quality screw, or else
    you will have a whole
    new problem on your hands. (Photo #1)


    Disconnect the battery, or else in addition to risking shorting so
    me thing out, you will also
    be blasting the horn while you open the column up, and probably tu
    rning the hazard
    flashers on for the duration of the repair.


    Tilt the column to the full UP position, remove the tilt lever, an
    d then pull the wheel. You
    will now be staring at the dreaded lockplate. (Photo #2) Pop off the
    plastic cover, then
    thread the lockplate remover onto the column stem, (Photo #2A) and
    tighten the nut on
    the tool to compress the plate. Pull the lockring with a pick or s
    mall screwdriver, then
    slowly release the lockplate remover, until you feel no tension in
    it. remove the tool, and
    pull off the lockplate, spring, and horn contact. Now you should b
    e looking at the turn
    signal switch -remove the four Phillips head screws holding it in
    , and the hazard flasher
    knob. Gently pull the switch up, and it should come out far enough
    to allow you to open
    the column up the rest of the way. If it fails to come out further
    than an inch or two, you
    will have to go underneath the dash and unplug the harness (mounte
    don the right hand
    side of the column -it will pop right off of the brackets holding
    it) .(photo #3)

    Now you should remove the ignition buzzer switch and it's retainin
    9 clip -I left mine out
    entirely since I tossed the buzzer ages ago, and remove the screw
    holding the ignition
    cylinder in place. Remove the 3 Torx screws (T30) holding the hous
    ing onto the tilt bowl.
    (photo 4) If you had to unplug the switch to gain enough slack to
    get the switch out,
    ignore the next step, and jump to the next paragraph, if you didn'
    t, place the switch back
    into the housing, and gently pull the housing and switch over the
    housing as a unit. At this
    point the upper ball bearings will want to fallout, and if they d
    0, don't panic -just gather
    them all up and place in a paper cup or similar container to save
    for later.

    If you did unplug the signal switch, just pull some slack and then
    gently pull the upper
    housing back. Now the small cover housing the tilt lever, and the
    push cam for the
    dimmer switch will fallout. (photo 5)

    You will now have exposed a black "bowl", this contains the lower
    bearings, along with
    the sector shaft for the ignition, and the steering wheel lock pin.(photo 6)
    Go ahead and
    remove the screw holding the lock pin spring, the sector gear and
    pin- having these out
    will make the job of timing the ignition much easier during reasse
    mbly. This is the part that
    is spring loaded -at the bottom of the column, you will see a rou
    nd piece, about the size
    of a quarter with a square hole in the middle. Push a #3 Phillips
    screwdriver in the hole,
    and compress it about 1/8" while turning it 900 counter-clockwise.
    Slowly ease up on it
    until you feel no more tension and remove the spring. (photos 7 &

    Now you are at the dreaded pins -these are almost a personal matt
    er, since everyone has
    their own way of removing them. My pliers and machine screw have n
    ever failed yet, but
    you may prefer a slide hammer and 8-32 screw. In the photo I screw
    ed in a stud just to
    illustrate the location, the rest is up to you. (photo 9)

    Once the pins are out, put the tilt lever back in, and pull back o
    n it to release the pawls
    holding the bowl in place. Gently pull the bowl over the steering
    shaft, and again watch for
    bearings falling out. You will now see a large plastic ball socket
    TO 90 DEGREES OR IT WILL BECOME DISENGAGED. You will now see the 4
    screws that caused this problem in the first place. Remove one, gi
    ve it a dose of Loctite,
    and replace -repeat this process in an "X" pattern until all 4 ar
    e done. The steering shaft
    ball socket will obscure either the upper or lower screws, but it
    will move right out of the
    way. (photo 10&11)

    Now is a good time to take a short break- the fumes from Loctite w
    ill attack some
    plastics, so it is a good idea to give 10-15 minutes for the the L
    octite to dry and air out
    before reassembly.

    Going back together is basically just doing it in reverse, with a
    few extra steps thrown in.

    Give the bearings in the bowl a nice coating of sticky disc brake
    wheel bearing grease, it's
    good for the bearings, and helps them stay put during reassembly.
    Reposition the bowl on
    the shaft, pull back the tilt lever and slide it on. Make sure tha
    t the headlight dimmer rod,
    and the ignition rod are lined up, as well as the pin holes. Tap i
    n the pins with a small
    gasket hammer, you may need to jiggle the bowl a little to get the
    pins lined up and driven

    Now time the ignition rack with the gear, and actuate a few times
    to make sure that the
    large cutout for the accessory position is timed. While you are he
    re, give the rack, gear
    and lock pin a light coating of white grease. The ignition rod sho
    uld ride in the large,
    crescent shaped groove in the rack, this allows the switch to work
    in any tilt position. Test
    the ignition in a few different tilt positions and remove the tilt
    lever again.

    Now, give the upper bearings a grease job, as before with the lowe
    r bearings. Slide the
    turn signal housing back over the shaft and onto the bowl, alignin
    g the tilt lever cover and
    dimmer actuator cam. Another dab of wheel bearing grease will help
    hold everything in

    If your bearings came apart, get a flat surface to work on, and ge
    ntly push them back into
    the plastic retainer, with a thick coating of wheel bearing grease
    to hold everything in
    place. Gently slip the bearing over the shaft, and seat the bearin
    gs into the race on the turn
    signal housing. Place the ignition lock cylinder back into the hou
    sing and remove the key,
    now replace the buzzer switch.

    The rest goes back as removed, except for the lock ring which shou
    ld be replaced with a

    I hope this article was of help, there's alot of people out there
    who pretend that this job is
    too difficult to be done at home, and charge upwards of $200 to do
    it for you. It's really
    easy after you've done it a time or two, just take your time, and
    don't let it get you too

    The tools definately needed are the steering wheel puller and the
    compressor. Then you can use a 8-32
    Machine screw and try to pull it out with that and vice grips, but
    it didn't work for me. I just kept
    bending screws, so i went to the auto parts store and bought the damn
    tool. Cost about $30 and it's the
    size of my pinky! ! ! ! But the damn thing worked! ! ! My advice is to
    be patient and remember where
    everything goes! ! ! Good luck! ! !
  5. keevy

    keevy Registered Member

    Aug 24, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Thanks a lot man!!! /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif

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