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Steering coupler joint (rag) trouble. Help?

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Old 09-13-2017, 07:35 PM   #1
Tonycorkovic
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Default Steering coupler joint (rag) trouble. Help?

I'm trying to replace my ignition switch on my 78. Some folks said I can do it without dropping the column but unless I have baby hands I have no idea how to get in there.

My steering wheel and everything is off from another repair and I removed the two dash bolts and fire wall bolts so the column did drop a bit.

As I turn the bolt on the coupler rag joint the steering column naturally moves. Should I be getting someone to hold it tight while I try and take the bolt off? Do I need to put the steering wheel back on? The bolt is super rusted so I sprayed with wd40 but damn.

Any help is appreciated.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:25 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Tonycorkovic View Post
I'm trying to replace my ignition switch on my 78. Some folks said I can do it without dropping the column but unless I have baby hands I have no idea how to get in there.

My steering wheel and everything is off from another repair and I removed the two dash bolts and fire wall bolts so the column did drop a bit.

As I turn the bolt on the coupler rag joint the steering column naturally moves. Should I be getting someone to hold it tight while I try and take the bolt off? Do I need to put the steering wheel back on? The bolt is super rusted so I sprayed with wd40 but damn.

Any help is appreciated.
Im pretty sure there are 3 bolts at the fire wall that come off and the reverse lock out cable comes off too I took mine out in 20 minutes,, it will come out with the steering wheel off

Last edited by forman; 09-13-2017 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:27 PM   #3
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Im pretty sure there are 3 bolts at the fire wall that come off and the reverse lock out cable comes off too I took mine out in 20 minutes,, it will come out with the steering wheel off
Firewall bolts aren't the issue though. It's the ones on the steering coupler (rag joint).
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:33 PM   #4
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little heat ,,, rust can be a real bitch,,
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:55 PM   #5
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There are 2 bolts that need to be removed. Both are 12 point heads and go thru the coupler just above and below the rag joint. The bolts that are THRU the rag joint do not need to be disturbed. Remove the 2 12 point bolts, use a small hammer and a chisel to gently open up the split in the coupler, then tap the coupler toward the box. Once you get it driven down with very little of the upper shaft in the coupler, it should come free.
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:16 PM   #6
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Im not sure if you need to even drop the column....most of the time its feel for a nut and try to get a socket on it....does anyone know if column has to drop or not?? Havent done mine on vette, but ive done before on old 70's chevs, camaros, firebirds, and its tight , and you work blind....just like number 2 sparkplug with AC....hahahaa
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:52 PM   #7
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I replaced the one on my '73 without dropping the column, but I had removed the A/C duct first. Like san said, feel around for the one little bolt and get a small socket on it.

Maybe '78's have more stuff in the way under there?
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:41 AM   #8
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I replaced the one on my '73 without dropping the column, but I had removed the A/C duct first. Like san said, feel around for the one little bolt and get a small socket on it.

Maybe '78's have more stuff in the way under there?
Might just try to do it without dropping....wish me luck
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