80-91 tilt column rebuild

Austin86250

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Not really sure what happened at the mechanic shop now the steering shaft and move in and out an inch and up and down play is 1/4”
so are these rebuildable easily?
I’m tired of used columns that have bearing play and just need a fresh start without paying 800$
 

david85

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Uh...well, as it so happens I did this a few months ago. While I wouldn't call it easy to rebuild, it can be done. You also have to be really careful with this, because it's a complex assembly. How much time to you have? Because I have lots of photos. I was going to attempt a tutorial but ran out of steam by the time I finished putting everything back together.
 

david85

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Hmm. I'm looking through my photos and trying to figure out how 1 inch of axial movement is possible. The shaft can be pushed in slightly, if the retaining snap ring is dislodged. But it can't really be pulled out because the shaft is captured by the upper section of the column (the part that tilts).
 

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david85

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Here's some notes on the tilt mechanism. The hinge pins themselves are machined dowels that have to be removed with a machine threaded screw. I don't know the pitch, since it was just something I had in a junk box that happened to fit.

The tilt ratchet itself is fairly robust, but I suppose it's not impossible for the catch pin or the hinge pin to have come loose. Hopefully they didn't break any of the pot-metal aluminum components because the whole thing is made of the stuff.

And be warned, the spring is very strong on this. Getting it apart and then back together is a battle. Try to keep your fingers out of the pinch points too!
 

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Rdnck84_03

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Is it just the wheel moving around or is the entire upper part of the column wobbling around where it tilts?

James
 

Austin86250

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Uh...well, as it so happens I did this a few months ago. While I wouldn't call it easy to rebuild, it can be done. You also have to be really careful with this, because it's a complex assembly. How much time to you have? Because I have lots of photos. I was going to attempt a tutorial but ran out of steam by the time I finished putting everything back together.
I have alot of time, worst case senerio I just have to get another one
Do they sell rebuild kits?
 

Rdnck84_03

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Only thing that I am aware of that would allow that is the outer bearing below steering wheel.

James
 

david85

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Seems to be only about 1/2" of axial slack. Still too much, but makes sense based on what I remember when tearing mine apart.

You'll have to remove the signal switch assembly (white plastic piece).
There are several Phillips head screws that hold it in place.
The signal lever itself simply un-threads from the switch assembly. Look for the two flats near the base of the signal lever. You can use a small wrench to grab it there.
Once the signal switch is loose, you may need to carefully feed the wiring harness up toward the switch to get it clear from the steering shaft.

Once the switch is off, that should expose the ball bearing to see if the snap ring is still there (see pictures 52 and 54 in Post #3 above). If that snap ring is missing, it will cause the axial slack you're seeing. Good vid, by the way. It helps.

Another thing to check. Grab both ends of the steering shaft and try to twist in opposite directions. I'm curious if there is any torsional slack withing the shaft itself. The U-joint can work loose, but the lower shaft has a collapsible section as well.
 

Austin86250

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Seems to be only about 1/2" of axial slack. Still too much, but makes sense based on what I remember when tearing mine apart.

You'll have to remove the signal switch assembly (white plastic piece).
There are several Phillips head screws that hold it in place.
The signal lever itself simply un-threads from the switch assembly. Look for the two flats near the base of the signal lever. You can use a small wrench to grab it there.
Once the signal switch is loose, you may need to carefully feed the wiring harness up toward the switch to get it clear from the steering shaft.

Once the switch is off, that should expose the ball bearing to see if the snap ring is still there (see pictures 52 and 54 in Post #3 above). If that snap ring is missing, it will cause the axial slack you're seeing. Good vid, by the way. It helps.

Another thing to check. Grab both ends of the steering shaft and try to twist in opposite directions. I'm curious if there is any torsional slack withing the shaft itself. The U-joint can work loose, but the lower shaft has a collapsible section as well.
I’ll start tearing down tommorow thank you!
 

Rdnck84_03

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What exactly did you find that you need? For the bearings I would just measure them, anywhere that sells bearings should be able to find something that fits. Anything else I'm not really sure.

James
 

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