HOW TO: Tighten Steering Column Play (8 Viewers)

Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
1,814
Location
Golden, CO
Does your steering wheel move up and down vertically a quarter inch or so? If so, your tilt column locking mechanism is probably loose. Fortunately this is one of the cheapest and easiest fixes you'll ever do to your 80.

1) Remove the clamshell behind your steering wheel
2) Loosen the nut noted in the picture
3) Rotate the nut noted in the picture until the up and down play disappears
4) Tighten the nut from step 2 to 52 inchpounds (not too tight or it will bind)
5) Replace the clamshell
6) :beer:

Tilt Fix.jpg

Why does this work? The tilt column is held in place by two pawls with teeth that engage. In order for the connection to be tight, the teeth have to engage just right with significant pressure. This adjusted by a rotatable offset bushing in the pawl:

Pawl Bushing.JPG


When you rotate the nut from step 3, your're rotating that offset bushing and changing the way the teeth mesh. Notice the offset hole is in a different position from the previous picture to the next picture:

Rotated Bushing.JPG


Apparently, over time, this offset bushing rotates on its own and the mechanism becomes loose. Aside from being vibrated for 20 years, the fact that the old grease becomes sticky probably has something to do with it. Basically, every time the tilt column is used, the sticky grease rotates that bushing until the column is loose. I pulled the whole mechanism apart, cleaned, and regreased. That probably isn't necessary, but you can do it if you want extra cruiserpoints. It's been over a year since I did this and my column still has no play and has not needed readjustment.
 
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Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Messages
6,034
Location
Kansas
Did this to my 97 when I first got it. That steering wheel slop will drive a guy crazy. Thank you for posting this and it needs to be in the FAQ for sure.
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
2,009
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
THANK YOU!
Thank you for contributing something that can actually be considered "Tech!"
This is perfect and simple.
Thank you!
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
363
Location
Portland, OR
+1000 This finally cured my annoying jiggle. Jiggle; yes I said it. I would only add that I needed a really slim crescent to adjust #2 bolt. Other than that, a pretty straightforward, pretty furkin awesome GODSEND.
 

Tapage

Club 4X4 Panamá
Joined
Apr 4, 2003
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23,562
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Panamá
I had this problem and found this very solution on a older thread ,.. where else here in MUD ..
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
1,814
Location
Golden, CO
I think there's like 7 or 8 mud members scattered around the globe who all have to show up at a remote mountain bunker, insert their keys into a giant vault door, and turn them simultaneously.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
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Location
SacTown!
I think there's like 7 or 8 mud members scattered around the globe who all have to show up at a remote mountain bunker, insert their keys into a giant vault door, and turn them simultaneously.

Also need authorization code "Lima, mike, Alfa, Oscar" then secondary authorization code "whiskey, tangle, foxtrot".





...Misspelled via IH8MUD app
 
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Joined
Jan 12, 2006
Messages
1,107
Location
St. Louis, MO
Seriously?!

All the crap I've done to my cruiser since buying it new in '96 and I stumble upon this by accident. This will improve my daily irrritation level more than any other fix.

Thanks dude!


(Now back to searching for battery recommendations and finishing the camera install under the cruiser so I can see obstacles to avoid on my stereo screen :)
 

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