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Steering Wheel Loose in Column

 
Old 06-15-2019, 12:36 PM
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jc03
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Default Steering Wheel Loose in Column

Hello. My new to me 66 has some up and down play with the wheel through the column. There is no steering issue or lack of response but the wheel and whatever it attaches to wiggles in the column. If you turn more than half way it makes a small squeak and I would describe the feel as slightly springy. I have a short video but canít figure out how to attach it. Does anyone have any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

Last edited by jc03; 06-15-2019 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 06-15-2019, 12:43 PM
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Sounds like your upper and lower barringa are shot. Long Island Corvette has a good diagram of the columns to help
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
Sounds like your upper and lower barringa are shot. Long Island Corvette has a good diagram of the columns to help
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:06 PM
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Keith is probably correct.

Mine were. The wheel was loose and squeaked, but steered fine. Pulling a non-telescoping column is very easy, and replacing the bearings a simple job.

More importantly, the lower bearing can tear up your steering shaft when it fails - this was shown just last week in a similar thread.

See below pics of a scary-looking steering shaft:

https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...n-turning.html

(this thread was last week - search is a great utility)

Last edited by Easy Rhino; 06-15-2019 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 06-15-2019, 03:15 PM
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Might simply be that the lower column clamp is not adjusted properly. It needs to have pressure on the spring to take the play out of the upper bearing.


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Old 06-15-2019, 03:51 PM
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I have a friend with a 66, telescopic steering, with the same issue. We took it apart and the upper bearing rollers were chewed up and falling out into the hub.

Last edited by 65GGvert; 06-15-2019 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Easy Rhino View Post
Keith is probably correct.

Mine were. The wheel was loose and squeaked, but steered fine. Pulling a non-telescoping column is very easy, and replacing the bearings a simple job.

More importantly, the lower bearing can tear up your steering shaft when it fails - this was shown just last week in a similar thread.

See below pics of a scary-looking steering shaft:

https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...n-turning.html

(this thread was last week - search is a great utility)
Awesome! Thanks. I couldnít find an article on directions to pull the column. Would I be able to find that in a shop book?
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by jc03 View Post
Awesome! Thanks. I couldn’t find an article on directions to pull the column. Would I be able to find that in a shop book?
I found an article on column removal by searching this forum, but it's been a while.

Last edited by Easy Rhino; 06-16-2019 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Easy Rhino View Post
I found an article on column removal by searching this forum, but it's been a while.
Is this it?

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Old 06-16-2019, 10:23 PM
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I don't think you will know what is loose until you tear into it. Plenty of U-tube videos that give you an idea of what to expect. You will need a couple of specialty tools that are fairly inexpensive and a good large vise will help hold the column while you disassemble and then reassemble the column.

Good luck.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:24 AM
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Don't blow by BUNS advice in post #3, he's a smart guy and it would only take a minute to adjust the clamp and see if that resolves the issue... I see a ton of cars with the clamp misadjusted...that clamp is what "preloads" the bearings and ensures they seat correctly..

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Old 06-17-2019, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Frankie the Fink View Post
Don't blow by BUNS advice in post #3, he's a smart guy and it would only take a minute to adjust the clamp and see if that resolves the issue... I see a ton of cars with the clamp misadjusted...that clamp is what "preloads" the bearings and ensures they seat correctly..
Awesome! Thanks. Will do.

Iím not real clear in the adjustment piece. Can anyone give me a quick explanation. Thanks in advance.

Last edited by jc03; 06-17-2019 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:02 PM
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There is a collar clamp on the steering column in the engine bay that sits on the steering shaft itself, it holds spring tension against the lower bearing and therefore the entire steering wheel mast jacket all the way up to the upper bearing under the steering wheel nut. It centers and preloads the entire assembly... The clamp should be adjusted so that a feeler gauge between the spring coils is between 0.010 and 0.030 of an inch... Its one of those jobs that takes three hands.

To do it, I cut some sheet metal stock that is 0.020" thick and make a "saddle" to sit between the spring coils and I tape it in place temporarily so I don't need that third hand then its just a matter of muscling the clamp rearward until the homemade "shim" is snug in the coils and then tighten the clamp..but you can certainly use a feeler gauge at 0.020" as well..



If you make this adjustment and there is no binding, crunching or movement in the steering shaft then I'd say you're home free...

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Old 06-17-2019, 02:34 PM
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This was my steering shaft when I pulled it last year...like the above post. Don't keep driving it until you check the bearings. The lower bearing was completely gone and cutting the shaft in half and as you said..didn't steer poorly.
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:02 PM
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Timely post as I'm in the middle of this job myself. How do you go about getting the lower shaft bearing and collar out of the steering column after the steering shaft has been pulled out from the top?

Thanks!
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:21 PM
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Its been a while but I thought you just tapped around the perimeter of the collar in a few spots with a screwdriver or the like and it pops out....??
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Frankie the Fink View Post
Its been a while but I thought you just tapped around the perimeter of the collar in a few spots with a screwdriver or the like and it pops out....??
Ok, that's kind of what I assumed but wanted to verify before I went and mangled anything. I didn't see anything in the AIM specifying a technique or procedure.
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by FLYNAVY30 View Post
Ok, that's kind of what I assumed but wanted to verify before I went and mangled anything. I didn't see anything in the AIM specifying a technique or procedure.
Yeah, itís really low tech.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Frankie the Fink View Post
There is a collar clamp on the steering column in the engine bay that sits on the steering shaft itself, it holds spring tension against the lower bearing and therefore the entire steering wheel mast jacket all the way up to the upper bearing under the steering wheel nut. It centers and preloads the entire assembly... The clamp should be adjusted so that a feeler gauge between the spring coils is between 0.010 and 0.030 of an inch... Its one of those jobs that takes three hands.

To do it, I cut some sheet metal stock that is 0.020" thick and make a "saddle" to sit between the spring coils and I tape it in place temporarily so I don't need that third hand then its just a matter of muscling the clamp rearward until the homemade "shim" is snug in the coils and then tighten the clamp..but you can certainly use a feeler gauge at 0.020" as well..



If you make this adjustment and there is no binding, crunching or movement in the steering shaft then I'd say you're home free...
I see the collar clamp and it doesnít look like itís pitting any tension in the spring. Does that make sense?

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Old 06-17-2019, 05:18 PM
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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.

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