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Old 10-23-2004, 02:40 PM
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GM steering column tilt/wobble repair HELP (pics inside)

Hello,

I have taken up the task of trying to fix the wobble/slop in the column of my '88 Chevy Silverado. The pics pretty much show where I am stuck. I have managed to get the pivot pins out. On the websites that show how to do this it says to pull the tilt lever and tilt it up as far as it will go.

I have been using the following sites since they seem to be the most comprehensive on this topic. http://home.t-online.de/home/O_Scholz/steering.html and
http://www.gnttype.org/techarea/susp..._steering.html " 15. Tilt column housing up and then to the right. What you are trying to do by rotating to the right is to get the rod that come up from the ignition switch (located on the side of the column) to the actuator rack that move back and forth when the key is turned."

I can not get my column to tilt to the the right at all. I have tried and tried and it just feels like something else is holding it. Also, some things I do not understand. Do i need to take out the 4 gold bolts under the column? Do I need to take the support bracket off? Am I supposed to keep pulling back on the tilt lever while trying to turn the tilt unit to the right? Am I supposed to leave my ignition key tumbler in the column? It is out right now. Te two sites take different approaches on this.

Any help that any one can give will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Jeff
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Old 10-23-2004, 02:41 PM
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Old 10-23-2004, 04:34 PM
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You shouldn't need to go any deeper than that.

Use a 1/4 deep socket taped to a 12 inch 1/4 ext. reach in and tighten them from where you are. You might have to tape a wobble joint in between to get to one of them. But it can be done.

Troy

Last edited by troy-curt; 10-23-2004 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 10-23-2004, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by camaroguy1969
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A while back I fixed the tilt wheel in my Son's Camaro. There are 3 or 4 bolts that hold it in place. those bolts worked loose. That's why I took his apart. There is a hard to see snap ring holding the bearing and race in place. Did you get that off? I think the turn signal lever needs to come out (Not sure) My son's was held in by a clip. Ignition key assembly and the rack N' pinion type mechanism should come out. It's been a while and my memory is a little fuzzy (Geezer problem). You said you got the pivot pins out. can't think of anything else. I did "Jeff's" in the Wal Mart parking lot since that where it decided to die.
I don't know if this helps. We just learned as we went. Just kept diggin' until we could get at all the bolts.
BTW: It goes back together allot faster than it comes apart. He HE HE
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Old 10-23-2004, 04:42 PM
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The ignition switch needs to be out. If you have both pins out and pull on the tilt lever while pushing up on the shaft, it should rotate up and to the right. Make sure your wires aren't holding you up. I think I had to disconnect part of the harness and feed it back out of the column an inch or two. I will have to see if I still have the site I used as a reference when I did mine. It isn't impossible, but close. I took my bolts out, cleaned them, and put on some Loktite so I wouldn't have to do this again (hopefully).
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Old 10-23-2004, 04:49 PM
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Now that you mentioned it I remember unplugging the wire harness under the dash and that was enough to get the assembly over the end of the steering shaft. We also used loctite. Found out from the dealer that this is a fairly common problem. It's the first time I've run into it myself.
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Old 10-23-2004, 07:02 PM
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Wow! Thank you for all of the replys. It is already dark here so I will post my success or failure tomorrow or any more road blocks I run in to.
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Old 10-23-2004, 07:12 PM
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Yep, it's a fairly common problem on GM cars and trucks. over the years I've fixed many of them. Good Luck

Troy

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Old 10-24-2004, 10:43 AM
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Well guys, I am still stuck at the same place I was yesterday. I made sure all my connectors were unplugged under the column. It still feels like something else is holding on to it. One question I had earlier that no one has answered yet was "Am I supposed to keep pulling back on the tilt lever while trying to turn the tilt unit to the right?" I have actually tried it both ways and have already bent my tilt lever handle a little. I know I have enough strength to do this but something it still holding on to it. I also removed the 4 gold bolts at and bracket at the bottom but that has not helped any. I have analyzed the whole unit very carefully and the only thing I can tell is that there is a stud like piece of metal holding the ignition actuator in place. The actuator is free and moves around but it stopped by this stud. I have wrestled with this all morning and I am fearing I am about to break something on it if I am not careful. Can any tell what I might be missing? I need to get this off because all 4 bolts are loose and need tightening.
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Old 10-24-2004, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by troy-curt
You shouldn't need to go any deeper than that.

Use a 1/4 deep socket taped to a 12 inch 1/4 ext. reach in and tighten them from where you are. You might have to tape a wobble joint in between to get to one of them. But it can be done.

Troy
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Old 10-24-2004, 11:34 AM
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Hi Troy, I can barely get to the lower right hand bolt. Even with the deep socket and messing around the column to give me more room i can not get on it. Plus, I can see 2 other bolts and they are so loose they are not even sitting against their mating surface. I really need to get this off. I have looked for a clip of something holding the bearing on. All I can see is a black plastic ring but it does not look like it holding it on. Everyone says to pull the tilt lever, push it up as far as i can and turn to the right. Mine goes up pretty far and it feels loose but it does not turn to the right.
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Old 10-24-2004, 01:16 PM
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I've done hundreds of them like I posted. This same thing was posted about 3 months ago, and it worked for them.

You have to use a 1/4 drive extension and socket with a wobble joint all taped together. this makes it stiffer and helps get your tools back out of the hub. There is no such word as "can't".

Troy
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Old 10-24-2004, 01:23 PM
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Okay Troy. I will go out and buy a set of 1/4 deep sockets and a wobble joint. Do I need to buy standard or metric sockets? I do have a set of 1/4 drive torx bits and they are fairly fat at the base so I am guessing this is what is holding me up. I do not see how I will get to the upper right hand bolt. I can barely see it. Do you have any suggestions for getting to it? Thank you for your help.
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Old 10-24-2004, 01:50 PM
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I found this for you. It's the same way I do it.

http://www.chevyasylum.com/column/tiltcol.htm


After 2 hr. I finaly got this to work

this one needs to be in the knowledge base, it works.
http://www.chevyasylum.com/column/tiltcol.html

Then you remove the phillips head screw that holds the turn signal lever bracket in place.





There are 3 phillips head screws that hold the turn signal assembly in place. Remove these and pull the wire harness up through the column housing so that the assembly can be moved out of the way.

This is a lot easier when the column is out of the car, but it can be done with it still in.





Don't forget to remove the hazard flasher switch knob. There's one phillips screw inside it. And don't lose the spring inside the knob.





Use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove this switch and its retaining spring. Don't let the spring sail into low earth orbit. They're hard to find.





This is the screw that retains the lock cylinder in place. It might be a phillips or T-20 Torx head. Remove this screw and then pull the lock cylinder straight out of its housing. Now might be a good idea to replace the lock cylinder if it's worn. It made a big difference in my El Camino.





These are the 3 #30 Torx screws that hold the housing in place. Remove these and the housing will be ready to fall out in your hand.





When you remove the housing, the smaller housing for the tilt lever will leap off when you're not looking. And then the dimmer switch actuator will come off and you'll wonder how in the heck it goes back in. Well, this is what it should look like as it gets reassembled.






In this photo you can see one of the culprits. These are the bolts that loosen up and cause all the grief. They take a size E8 reverse Torx socket. I had to use a 1/4 inch extension to get to them. I don't think there is enough room for a 3/8 extension.

Now here's the semi-posterior (half-assed) part. There are 4 of these bolts, but only 2 of them are accessible without REALLY tearing things apart. I did an informal poll of people who had tightened up their columns and a couple of mechanics who do this for a living and the overwhelming majority said that they usually only tightened up the two accessible bolts. So in the two columns I just did, I used this method. So far, so good.





Here's a closer view of the little darlin'.





This is your friend. Loctite. Coat the threads liberally before tightening the loose bolts (you'll want to take them all the way out) and if you've said the right magic words, you won't have to do this again for a LONG time

I found this for you. It's the same way I do it.




Then you remove the phillips head screw that holds the turn signal lever bracket in place.





There are 3 phillips head screws that hold the turn signal assembly in place. Remove these and pull the wire harness up through the column housing so that the assembly can be moved out of the way.

This is a lot easier when the column is out of the car, but it can be done with it still in.





Don't forget to remove the hazard flasher switch knob. There's one phillips screw inside it. And don't lose the spring inside the knob.





Use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove this switch and its retaining spring. Don't let the spring sail into low earth orbit. They're hard to find.





This is the screw that retains the lock cylinder in place. It might be a phillips or T-20 Torx head. Remove this screw and then pull the lock cylinder straight out of its housing. Now might be a good idea to replace the lock cylinder if it's worn. It made a big difference in my El Camino.





These are the 3 #30 Torx screws that hold the housing in place. Remove these and the housing will be ready to fall out in your hand.





When you remove the housing, the smaller housing for the tilt lever will leap off when you're not looking. And then the dimmer switch actuator will come off and you'll wonder how in the heck it goes back in. Well, this is what it should look like as it gets reassembled.





In this photo you can see one of the culprits. These are the bolts that loosen up and cause all the grief. They take a size E8 reverse Torx socket. I had to use a 1/4 inch extension to get to them. I don't think there is enough room for a 3/8 extension.

Now here's the semi-posterior (half-assed) part. There are 4 of these bolts, but only 2 of them are accessible without REALLY tearing things apart. I did an informal poll of people who had tightened up their columns and a couple of mechanics who do this for a living and the overwhelming majority said that they usually only tightened up the two accessible bolts. So in the two columns I just did, I used this method. So far, so good.





Here's a closer view of the little darlin'.





This is your friend. Loctite. Coat the threads liberally before tightening the loose bolts (you'll want to take them all the way out) and if you've said the right magic words, you won't have to do this again for a LONG time

The pictures did not come through, I'll try again.

Troy

Last edited by troy-curt; 10-24-2004 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 10-24-2004, 01:54 PM
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I coulda' used this post a couple months ago. Would have saved sum' head scratchin'. Workin' in the dark in a parking lot didn't help edder'.
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