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Tilt Steering Column - Crippled Column Cure

A Do-It-Yourself Fix For Your Tilt Steering Column Blues.

By Mike Harrington

Take a break for a moment and go down to the base of the column and unplug the wiring. After that you will need to unbolt the bracket that holds the steering column against the dash. You will need to do this in order to create slack in the wiring harness, which is attached to the column housing.

Remove the buzzer switch and turn signal switch assembly next.

The column cover should be ready for removal at this point.

The tilt spring is held in place with a clip; use a flat tip screwdriver and compress the clip for removal.

Here's a shot of the tilt spring being removed. Should you feel so inclined, clean all the old packing grease off and re-lube it.

This greasy mess is the steering wheel lock and lock shaft, and-you guessed it-pull them out too.

One more tool you will need is a pivot pin removal tool. This tool should not run more than $4 at any parts house. Just don't ask the guy behind the counter because he'll probably ask you if it has air conditioning.

Lastly, remove the race and spring and this job is just about done.

Now slide the housing out of the way, and you will find the cause of this whole mess: four bolts. These four miserable bolts (two on top and two below) have a tendency to loosen up over time. Using a torx bit or a 11/44-inch socket, remove these guilty bolts, then slather them with some red Loctite. If all is done right, these bolts should never cause you another problem. But the job is only half done. Now we get to put all this stuff back together again. If a digital camera was used, now would be a good time to scroll through the photos and see how each piece fits.

See, that wasn't so bad. A short while later, everything should be back in its place and no one is the wiser. Now what do we do with all those extra parts we have left over? We're kidding, of course. There should be no extra parts.

By Mike Harrington
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