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Old 03-14-2011, 12:52 AM
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1979 Trans am steering collum

Hey everyone, I hope this makes some sense, but I wouldnt hold my breath since I am just dead tired right now. My buddy and I have spent all night working on the steering collum for my 1979 Trans am. The first one had the **** smashed out of it because some genius who had the car before me was too impatient to wait to find the keys. They absolutely destroyed it. So i figured I would pull the PERFECT one out of my '81 parts car and stab it in. Well I figured since its out, and the other one is broken to ****, I might fix the turn signal not wanting to return with parts from the broken one. After wrestling with it because we didnt have the right tool to remove the snap ring, we got it it apart. Turns out the replacement one had been apart before and was only missing the spring to return the turn signal. So we went to put it back together and I realized the end of the internal shaft had slipped into the collum. Well we didnt think much of it and pulled it back out. We ended up doing something stupid and shoving the internal shaft even further into the collum, about a inch and a half inside. Now the shaft wouldnt turn more then a 1/4 turn, even after we pulled it out it was very rough turning. Since we had both been up for the past 17 hours working our ***'s off, you can see we weren't thinking very straight. It took me that long to realize we must have collapsed the shaft. I am at a absolute loss at what to do at this point. can I swap the internal shaft from the broken one to the replacement one? Should I cut this one open and replace the collapsible part of the tubing? Or is it something else? I really dont know what to do right now. All I know is my eyes burn, and its time to get some rest. If you guys need pictures I could get you some, Not a problem.

I really appreciate any help you guys can give me

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Old 03-14-2011, 06:44 AM
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The lower shaft just slides over the upper shaft. It sounds like the bearing/bearing adaptor/snap ring at the bottom of the column might have been knocked askew.

A diagram is HERE.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
The lower shaft just slides over the upper shaft. It sounds like the bearing/bearing adaptor/snap ring at the bottom of the column might have been knocked askew.

A diagram is HERE.

Thanks SOOOO much for the help cobalt. My buddy is on his way over and we are gunna take another look at it. The bearing you mean it #67 right? I just am not sure on the snap ring, witch number is that?
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handymann3
Thanks SOOOO much for the help cobalt. My buddy is on his way over and we are gunna take another look at it. The bearing you mean it #67 right? I just am not sure on the snap ring, witch number is that?
The clip is #63 on the tilt diagram. Once you get a 'fresh' eye on it, I think it'll all come together for you.

Good luck.
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
The clip is #63 on the tilt diagram. Once you get a 'fresh' eye on it, I think it'll all come together for you.

Good luck.

Hey cobalt, sorry to bug yea again, but we just got working on it again. Its been a day full of set backs so yea. I am not sure how we would be able to get in there to fix or even see the bearing. Do we have to disassemble the whole thing and pull it through the top? Or is there a easier way?
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:37 PM
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We are both sitting here scratching our heads. We have no idea how to actually get to this joint. Do you need to pull the whole shaft out from the top end? Thats what we tried to do on the junk collum just to practice, but we could only get one of the two plugs that the tilt part of the collum are held on with. When we tried to pull the plugs on the replacement collum, none of them would move at all. So once we got to the end of our patience, I slipped a screw driver in the end and tried to pull the inner shaft back out and snap the ring back into place if at all possible. Well I think we managed to snap the ring back in because it doesn't want to slide in anymore, but there is still a problem. When you try to turn it, it only turns half a revolution, but when you stand the collum up, and put the weight of the collum on the end of the shaft, it turns like a dream. Any idea what we should do now?
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:59 PM
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It all comes apart from the top. THIS shows how to carefully remove the plugs. If it was me, I'd go ahead and disassemble the entire column. Take photos, and notes to help reassembly. I apologize for using the links, but in all honesty, I have no idea the exact cause of the problems you are now having.

HERE is a reassembly that should help.

Note that there's a plastic "pin" that holds the two sections of the telescoping steering shaft in position, so the length is right. If the shaft will telescope readily, this pin has been broken. I do not know if a replacement is available, you might try Year One, etc. or a dealership.

Good luck and keep us posted if there's anything you think of.
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