HOW TO: Tighten Steering Column Play (1 Viewer)

Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Messages
207
Location
Bellingham WA.
My rig doesnt have this problem but a friend and I noticed his does.
For all those wondering about the head gasket connection I can say its absolutely a point of concern as we also discovered some scoring along the steering column to head gasket pinch weld.
Im not a mechanic but I would be dead serious when searching out the pinch weld failure points..youll notice itll have a weird green scoring/hue if yours has been adversely affected.

My buddy had some but luckily we caught them just before it blew.. AND if you dont know that could be a SERIOUSLY expensive repair!
Sorry if I'm coming off like a know it all but head gaskets are no laughing matter, good luck.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
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Location
Golden, CO
Well, I'm happy to report that my tilt column is still free of play after about 4 years. Also, my headgasket hasn't blown. However, my body did get badly dented in a hailstorm. I suspect that's not a coincidence. So, while this fix does seem to prevent head gasket failure, it also seems to cause hail damage.
 

Dissent

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Joined
Sep 27, 2012
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3,717
Just finished doing this after being rattled to death on the last run. Very tight now and saved $1500 which is what Lexus quotes to fix it (replace entire column). o_O :hmm::flipoff2:
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2011
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6,034
Location
Kansas
I have done this twice now on my 97. The last time I realized that the two little springs that pull the dog latches back had started to weaken. A quick trip to the hardware store for new springs and its back to tight.
 

bryson

I do stuff.
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Jan 3, 2008
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1,297
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Utah
The things we do for love...:love:

20180815_163201.jpg


Had to shorten and narrow a 17mm open end wrench to adjust things, but it's nice and tight now.

Thanks for the thread @DARKNESS .
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
217
Location
Atlanta
The one I purchased had this play and I was very dismayed until I found this post. Not a mechanic, but a 10 minute fix and worked like a charm Thanks for posting this.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
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Location
Rancho Palos Verdes
On my list :)

Kinda related, check out your firewall where the column go thru. I found a huge hole it went thru just loose, I took some left over heater hoses and cut a 3" piece and made a bushing grommet. No more slop and keep the critters out to boot.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
1,814
Location
Golden, CO
On my list :)

Kinda related, check out your firewall where the column go thru. I found a huge hole it went thru just loose, I took some left over heater hoses and cut a 3" piece and made a bushing grommet. No more slop and keep the critters out to boot.

Not too expensive to get the part abd do it right as well:

Hot drivers feet? This may be your fix.
 
Joined
Sep 5, 2019
Messages
16
Location
Wallan vic
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:

View attachment 936846
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:

View attachment 936847

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:

View attachment 936848

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.
I don’t think it moves up and down mate I’ll check tomorrow but it just feels loose and harsh over bumps. like every bump u hit u feel it threw the wheel and feels loose. front end feels like s*** over bumps and nirmal
Driving. What else could I check
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
1,814
Location
Golden, CO
I don’t think it moves up and down mate I’ll check tomorrow but it just feels loose and harsh over bumps. like every bump u hit u feel it threw the wheel and feels loose. front end feels like s*** over bumps and nirmal
Driving. What else could I check
Bumps throwing the wheel is normal due to the design of the steering system. The looseness could be a number of things. Basically any joint in the system. Tie rod and drag link ends are probably the most likely.
 
Joined
Sep 5, 2019
Messages
16
Location
Wallan vic
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:

View attachment 936846
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:

View attachment 936847

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:

View attachment 936848

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.
Hi mate this bolt here do I tighten it or

image.jpg
 

bryson

I do stuff.
SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 3, 2008
Messages
1,297
Location
Utah
Hi mate this bolt here do I tighten it or

View attachment 2164710
That assembly rotates and adjusts for slop in the tilt mechanism. The larger hex near your finger is how you adjust the eccentric. The smaller nut with the lock washer under it needs to be tightened once the adjustment has been made. The steps you need to take are outlined pretty thoroughly in the first few posts of this thread.
 

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