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Old 01-05-2012, 10:24 AM
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1991 chev pickup tilt steering column broken

The tilt mechanism seems to be letting go on my 91 chev halfton. Feels like the whole wheel and upper part of the column is going to come off at any time. Has anyone had one of these apart? Can I take it all apart to get at the joint from the top (wheel end) or do I need to remove the column and go at it from the bottom? Is this even fixable (lose bolt/pin or something) or am I replacing the column? I know it's not much to go on but I can't tell anything till its apart and the casing has to slide off one end or the other, just wondering if anyone has seen this before.

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Old 01-05-2012, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speede5
The tilt mechanism seems to be letting go on my 91 chev halfton. Feels like the whole wheel and upper part of the column is going to come off at any time. Has anyone had one of these apart? Can I take it all apart to get at the joint from the top (wheel end) or do I need to remove the column and go at it from the bottom? Is this even fixable (lose bolt/pin or something) or am I replacing the column? I know it's not much to go on but I can't tell anything till its apart and the casing has to slide off one end or the other, just wondering if anyone has seen this before.
I remember the seventies tilt columns on GM cars having bolts that would loosen up and look the same way. I believe you simply have to pull the wheel off and tighten these bolts.

Brian
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:24 AM
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you can go to the parts guy at the chevy dealer ,,, and ask him for a tear down on your column ....
you can tear it down from the top ,,, but it's not real easy.. and you might need a cartoon to put it together .....
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:33 AM
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Brian's probably right. As I remember there are three bolts under the turn signal switch that loosen up. I use to use a 5/16" 1/4" drive flex socket on a long extension to tighten them. 12 point socket comes to mind but I may be wrong.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:59 PM
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There are 4 bolts that loosen up, I call them tilt knuckle bolts, they are an E8 Torx. To get to them, you must unplug the T/S switch below the dash, remove the steering wheel, lockplate, horn contacter, T/S switch, ignition lock cylinder, pivot pins, and the shift bowl (I may have left a couple other items out). I would remove the bolts one at a time and Loctite them. This job takes me about an hour and a half. If you've never done one, it may take you twice that or more.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickracer
There are 4 bolts that loosen up, I call them tilt knuckle bolts, they are an E8 Torx. To get to them, you must unplug the T/S switch below the dash, remove the steering wheel, lockplate, horn contacter, T/S switch, ignition lock cylinder, pivot pins, and the shift bowl (I may have left a couple other items out). I would remove the bolts one at a time and Loctite them. This job takes me about an hour and a half. If you've never done one, it may take you twice that or more.
Just saw this post this morning and that is exactly what I did last night. Except I only could see two bolts in there, the lower ones. They were backed off a fair bit, but I didn't loctite them. Took me about an hour and a half, way harder to put back together as I had some trouble with the dimmer rod. Didn't have it in the switch at the bottom of the column properly and kept trying to tighten down the signal mech. Pretty easy job but I did have to borrow the steering wheel removal kit from Canadian Tire. Couldn't have got that lock plate off without it.

Do those pivot pins just slide out? They had an internal thread, so I assume a puller threads into them. I didn't take the shift bowl(?) off, is that the main frame the shifter is attached to? i was starting to get worried about things going back together at that point and the bolts were easy to tighten. Since I couldn't see 4 I assumed the bottom two were the only ones. I have the kit for the weekend so I can pop it apart again.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
I remember the seventies tilt columns on GM cars having bolts that would loosen up and look the same way. I believe you simply have to pull the wheel off and tighten these bolts.

Brian
Same idea, but the column has a few levels to got through. The first set of bolts you get to just hold the signal and lock cylinder housing onto the column. You have to go deeper to get to the ones that hold the column together. If I take it apart again i'll take some pics.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:07 AM
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Yes, the pivot pins just pull out. There is a tool made for that:



The one pictured above is $6.60, http://www.etoolcart.com/steeringpiv...rlis19940.aspx

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Old 01-06-2012, 12:07 PM
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I think the kit I rented has that in it, I'll see when I get home but there was something very similar in there. Don't know why I didn't think to try it last night. Thanks.
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Old 01-13-2012, 01:42 PM
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OK, here's the breakdown if any of you are actually interested.

This is the kit I rented (free on return) from Canadian Tire;



Step one, unplug the wires at the bottom of the column so you have some play at the top, then remove the steering wheel. Here is what you get once the wheel is off. (if you need me to tell you how to get here, stop, you aren't ready to go any deeper);



Then you use the compressor in the kit to compress the locking plate and expose this locking ring;



And remove the ring;



Then you remove the locking plate, plastic piece and spring;



Next you remove 4 screws. One attaches the signal lever to the signal mech, and the other three attach the signal mech to the column. Oh ya, and one more attaching the hazard switch;



Then you remove that little white piece with the copper contacts, it pops right out. The lock cylinder set screw is under that(black one), and the three main screws (white ones) which hold the outer cover to the frame;



Then you slide the main cover off, and see this;



The first time I removed this I was quite proud as I found the offending loose bolts and tightened them up. Did not know there were two on top, but you can see one on the bottom in this pic;



Next you use this tool;



To remove these pivot pins, one on each side (hold the shaft secure while tightening the nut, you can bust the tool if you don't);



Then the spring pops the whole thing into a disjointed mess, using the tilt lever you release the tilt lock and remove the frame. Careful, little bearings may fall out and cause you a headache, a little sticky grease helps on assembly. There are the top bolts I missed the first time;



Here's what should be off;



Loctite on all four bolts and reverse the removal. It's tricky, go slow and look at the position of all the springs, clips and wires so they all go back together the way they came out. Everything works together and the tolerance is actually pretty tight. Make sure the dimmer rod gets inserted into the switch under the dash, if it's not in the hole it binds up the mechanism.

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Old 01-13-2012, 02:34 PM
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NICE WRITE UP!!!!!!
If you stick a #2 or #3 Phillips screwdriver into the cap on that spring (that you see in the 8th and 9th pics, directly below the steering shaft), push in and turn about 1/8 of a turn, the spring will come out and remove the tension from the tilt mechanism, that would make things considerably easier.



Aside from that, GREAT JOB!!!!

Last edited by Rickracer; 01-13-2012 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:54 PM
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That makes sense. Would have been much easier. Thanks for the tip about the pins. I'm much happier to have all the bolts tight!
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