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Old 01-12-2005, 10:27 AM
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steering column shaft moves

I have a steering column that came out of my daily driver (1983 monte carlo), and I'm trying to put on my new steering u joint. I noticed that the shaft that mounts into the u-joints moves in and out (about 3" of movement). Is this suppose to do this? The shaft doesn't rise up off the other end. I have never had a problem with this column before.

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Old 01-12-2005, 10:51 AM
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No! Something has come loose.
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Old 01-12-2005, 11:16 AM
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Are they able to be fixed or do I need to just get another column?
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Old 01-12-2005, 12:19 PM
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They are definitely fixable but unless you are a very patient person, consider a replacement. I am not saying I wouldn't fix it myself 'cause I would but those things are really frustrating to work on, especially for a first timer. If you don't want to tackle it yourself, go to Pick-A-Part and get a good replacement. It would be very expensive to pay someone to fix it 'cause there is an amazing amount of hand work required to hack on these puppies.
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Old 01-12-2005, 12:29 PM
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Got it. I am searching for one now. Now it's a good time for me to upgrade to a tilt.
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Old 01-12-2005, 12:36 PM
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I have an '85 Corvette column and it moves the same as you described. The inner shaft and the lower smaller diameter tubular housing and lower bearing all move as a unit. When installed the upper larger diameter tubing section is bolted to the bottom of the dash and the lower section bolts to the firewall.

I'm now wondering if I also have a defective column. I was assuming that the unit was designed that way to enable some flexibility in mounting from one vehicle to another. I also thought this might be a safety feature (think collapsible steering column). The lower shaft does not "fall out", it just can be retracted into the upper section.

Anyone know how it is supposed to be?

Reason for edit: additional info.

Mine is a telescopic/tilt unit.
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Old 01-12-2005, 01:27 PM
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Re: steering column shaft moves

Quote:
Originally posted by RodFather
I have a steering column that came out of my daily driver (1983 monte carlo), and I'm trying to put on my new steering u joint. I noticed that the shaft that mounts into the u-joints moves in and out (about 3" of movement). Is this suppose to do this? The shaft doesn't rise up off the other end. I have never had a problem with this column before.
Are you referring to the shaft that connects the column to the steering gear box.? (intermediate shaft)
If this is the shaft in question they do move in and out, I recently replaced the intermediate shaft on a 92 Olds Bravada, both the OE that was replaced and the new GM replacement both did this. It is to collapse in a collision, and it also aided in the removal of the old shaft and the install of the replacement.

If you are not referring to this shaft, then Never Mind.
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Old 01-12-2005, 07:06 PM
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this shaft is meant to move in and out for collsion purposes. the shaft slides into the next shaft which has a tight fitting nylon bushing in it. this shaft will move in or out when tapped with a hammer, but should not slide freely. hope this helps.
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Old 01-13-2005, 07:08 AM
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Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2005, 07:48 AM
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telecopic shaft.

I don't know about its collision potential. Steering rods come out through the bottom of the column. I can't see it popping out at you.

It is for easy installation and removal. Also this same shaft is used on several different models requiring different lengths. I took one off a Vette and put it on a Pontiac. Also you can put 2 identical bodies on identical frames and not get them the same distance from the steering box.

Last edited by bracketeer; 01-13-2005 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 01-13-2005, 03:56 PM
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You are right the shaft won't come popping out at you, but the entire column will.
Most intermediate shafts are model specific, you may have been able to use one to another in that case, but the slip joint is there for collision purposes.
Be safe and use a collapsible intermediate shaft.

Last edited by 1ownerT; 01-13-2005 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 01-13-2005, 05:13 PM
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With the collapsible intermediate shaft the column is usually forced to move in a different way than if the shaft was solid. The collapsible shaft will "give" at first and let the more solid "frame" of the car move in or up some. Then it changes direction and pushes the bottom of the column in and down, forcing the top (steering wheel) up and away from the driver. A solid shaft would push the steering wheel back into the driver's chest, and may not change direction of the steering wheel.

Before collapsible columns there were long solid rods extending from the steering box to the steering wheel. There were no joints in one of these at all! They were used through 1964 on most US cars. They were nick-named the "spear of death" afterwords.
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