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Steering Wheel Loose in Column

 
Old 06-17-2019, 07:06 PM
  #21  
FLYNAVY30
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JC, I'll be finishing up reassembling mine tomorrow....Ill post pics of what it should look like. At a minimum, Id definitely pull your steering shaft, examine it, and replace the upper and lower bearings.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:13 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Frankie the Fink View Post
I donít see a spring there and if there is the clamp is too tight. You may have other problems though. You have an inordinate amount of rust at the bearing and Iím not sure you can assume itís ok.

There should also be a washer there above the spring that prevents damage. See item 19 on the ďAĒ exploded view in post # 5 above. That washer is very important. If itís missing the spring can destroy the bearing - Iíve seen it before.
It does have quite a bit of rust. Over the winter Iím planning a couple of projects and replacing most of this would be a good one. I would like to do what I can to make it serviceable and safe for the rest of the summer. Iíll try and get a pic from a different angle tomorrow that shows the spring.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:19 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by FLYNAVY30 View Post
JC, I'll be finishing up reassembling mine tomorrow....Ill post pics of what it should look like. At a minimum, Id definitely pull your steering shaft, examine it, and replace the upper and lower bearings.
Awesome. Thanks. Iím looking forward to seeing the pics and hearing about your experience.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:21 PM
  #24  
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Ok, here we go. If you're just looking to replace the bearings, there's no need to remove the entire steering column, you can just pull the shaft out from the top.

Start by loosening the rag joint, then loosen that clamp on the steering shaft. After knocking the shaft out of the rag joint, you can pull it out from the top. I removed my steering wheel to make it a bit easier. Now you can remove and replace the upper bearing. This is what you should be looking at after removing the steering shaft:



The gold retaining clip and the bearing just pull right out...



Install the new bearing (I got mine from Zip) and reuse the gold retaining clip (i cleaned mine off) ensuring you get the prongs back in the correct slots.

Moving to the lower bearing, simply taking a screw driver and insert it in the gap between the old bearing and the shaft itself. Two good pops with a rubber mallet and mine popped right out. If you have significant corrosion, you may want to use some rust penetrant and let it sit over night. The old bearing assembly popped out will look like this:


Prior to installing the new one, I used some WD40 and some fine grit sand paper just to knock down some mild corrosion inside the column itself. Installing the new bearing was done with a rubber mallet.



With bot bearings installed, you can now insert the steering shaft from the top. Once that is fully seated, you can slip the clamp, spring, and washer back onto the steering shaft and insert the shaft back into the rag joint.





Note that in that picture, nothing has been tightened up. That is really a 3 handed job as you need to snug that clamp up far enough to compress the spring to the point where you have .010 to .030 gap between the spring coils. That will preload the bearings and remove the slop from your steering. Mine feels night and day different. Here is a useful exploded view of the lower assembly:




Hope that helps, let me know if you have any additional questions
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:22 PM
  #25  
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I apologize in advance for my lack of grasping this completely. I took another picture and the spring is definitely in there. Should the gap between the coils be the .001Ē-.003Ē? Mine is huge. I canít imagine itís putting any pressure on it.




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Old 06-18-2019, 01:27 PM
  #26  
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Steering Wheel Loose in Column......... Best to get a new one....try Summit Racing

Last edited by CorvetteMikeB; 06-18-2019 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:35 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by CorvetteMikeB View Post
Steering Wheel Loose in Column......... Best to get a new one....try Summit Racing
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:01 PM
  #28  
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The gap between the spring coils should be between 0.010" and 0.030" and I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see them too loose; I see it all the time on C2 cars....

The only other thing I would add to FLYNAVY30's excellent post is that you can save some trouble by putting a dab of white paint on the splined portion of the steering column and the rag joint where the column enters the rag joint - that way you can reinstall it in the proper position and depth......makes life a bit easier..
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:03 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Frankie the Fink View Post

The only other thing I would add to FLYNAVY30's excellent post is that you can save some trouble by putting a dab of white paint on the splined portion of the steering column and the rag joint where the column enters the rag joint - that way you can reinstall it in the proper position and depth......makes life a bit easier..
Good point....I was installing a manual rack and pinion set up at the same time, so that didn't apply, but it will make your life easier for reassembly.
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:10 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by FLYNAVY30 View Post
Ok, here we go. If you're just looking to replace the bearings, there's no need to remove the entire steering column, you can just pull the shaft out from the top.

Start by loosening the rag joint, then loosen that clamp on the steering shaft. After knocking the shaft out of the rag joint, you can pull it out from the top. I removed my steering wheel to make it a bit easier. Now you can remove and replace the upper bearing. This is what you should be looking at after removing the steering shaft:



The gold retaining clip and the bearing just pull right out...



Install the new bearing (I got mine from Zip) and reuse the gold retaining clip (i cleaned mine off) ensuring you get the prongs back in the correct slots.

Moving to the lower bearing, simply taking a screw driver and insert it in the gap between the old bearing and the shaft itself. Two good pops with a rubber mallet and mine popped right out. If you have significant corrosion, you may want to use some rust penetrant and let it sit over night. The old bearing assembly popped out will look like this:


Prior to installing the new one, I used some WD40 and some fine grit sand paper just to knock down some mild corrosion inside the column itself. Installing the new bearing was done with a rubber mallet.



With bot bearings installed, you can now insert the steering shaft from the top. Once that is fully seated, you can slip the clamp, spring, and washer back onto the steering shaft and insert the shaft back into the rag joint.





Note that in that picture, nothing has been tightened up. That is really a 3 handed job as you need to snug that clamp up far enough to compress the spring to the point where you have .010 to .030 gap between the spring coils. That will preload the bearings and remove the slop from your steering. Mine feels night and day different. Here is a useful exploded view of the lower assembly:




Hope that helps, let me know if you have any additional questions
Great explanation and pictures. Thanks. Iím going to go through them and Iím sure Iíll come up with some questions.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:51 PM
  #31  
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For the sake of testing it would it make sense to loosen and push the stop clamp towards the bearing compressing the spring? After seeing pictures of everyoneís clean setups my winter project will be replacing all of the brackets, stop, bearings and maybe shaft etc along with sending the box out to be rebuilt while everythingís apart. That said Iím in Ohio and have had the car for about a month. Iíd like to safely drive it the rest of the summer. Hereís some pics of the car. It definitely needs some things but the steering assembly makes it look a lot rougher than it is. I think when it was repainted in the mid 90s they got overexcited blacking out some rust in the engine compartment. Haha.




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Old 06-18-2019, 09:49 PM
  #32  
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Very sharp car! Given the fact that it takes $60 in parts, and less than 2 hours of your day, if your steering wheel has up/down and side to side play, I can't see any reason not to do it sooner rather than later. Just my $.02

Side note, I wouldn't waste time sending the box out to be "rebuilt" unless you car is a rare, all original, unicorn. I sent mine out, waited almost 6 weeks to hear back (from a reputable forum vendor), only for them to tell me that the box was shot and not rebuildable. So I bought a remanufactured box....which I could have done from the start, 6 weeks prior, and not incurred the cost of shipping my box to them. Just something to think about.
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Old 06-19-2019, 06:09 AM
  #33  
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I'm with FLYNAVY30 - that car is too nice not to go "whole hog" on a marginal component...

I rebuilt my 63 column myself and it wasn't that tough (and 63 has unique parts - like the turn signals and upper column bearing). I recently bought a correct, original 63 professionally rebuilt steering box and an NOS rag joint. If you want yours rebuilt then I can give you the name of the only person I trust to do it in a PM.... Many rebuild kits have a built-in issue and if you don't know how to compensate for it the box won't be right when its finished. So -- don't let Joe Schmuckatelli do it...

If you're going to safely drive these cars then its nice to have the confidence that critical systems are in tip-top shape - and besides the difference in driving the car when everything is optimal is amazing...

You could try adjusting the spring clamp but that area of your car looks pretty crusty and I suspect there are other issues there.

Last edited by Frankie the Fink; 06-19-2019 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:48 PM
  #34  
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Thanks! Good call from both of you guys. I plan to do both. That said with my level of expertise this may turn into a 10 hour, $1000 job that includes a $100 tow to the local Corvette place. Real silly question but whatís the first step to pop the horn button off without damaging it?
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:03 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by jc03 View Post
Thanks! Good call from both of you guys. I plan to do both. That said with my level of expertise this may turn into a 10 hour, $1000 job that includes a $100 tow to the local Corvette place. Real silly question but whatís the first step to pop the horn button off without damaging it?
Just pull it off by hand, it literally pops right off. Youll then have access to the 6 screws holding the steering wheel and the 3 screws holding the horn ring. Pull both of those off, and youre all done up top.
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:31 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by jc03 View Post
Thanks! Good call from both of you guys. I plan to do both. That said with my level of expertise this may turn into a 10 hour, $1000 job that includes a $100 tow to the local Corvette place. Real silly question but whatís the first step to pop the horn button off without damaging it?
The FIRST step -- is to disconnect the battery, the horn power is always hot...
THEN you just pop off the chrome button...
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Old 06-19-2019, 02:51 PM
  #37  
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Here's some info that might be of use to you.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:02 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by DZVette View Post
Here's some info that might be of use to you.
Dave Z

Good info, but keep in mind when looking at that document, there is no reason to remove the hub in order to change the upper and lower bearings. Thus, you will not need a steering wheel puller...you can simply unbolt the steering wheel from the hub which remains attached to the steering shaft.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Frankie the Fink View Post
The FIRST step -- is to disconnect the battery, the horn power is always hot...
THEN you just pop off the chrome button...
good call
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:53 PM
  #40  
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Welp. Based on all of your advice Iíve decided to go all in on this one. I figure Iíll basically replace everything 2-19 in the AIM picture including the shaft plus the upper bearing. Since itís apart Iíll also do the rag joint. The steering box seems fine but is it worth getting a rebuilt one since everything will be apart? With having all the parts off how will I line up the shaft with the rag joint since I wonít be able to mark them?
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