Tilt steering column vertical slop (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jan 6, 2013
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Golden, CO
Here's a picture taken from the top of the steering column with the plastic shroud removed. First step is to loosen the bolt holding the pawls in place. Second step is to rotate the bushing until the slop is gone. Finally tighten the nut loosened in step one and replace the shroud. I'd also recommend cleaning and re-greasing everything, but that may not be necessary.

Tilt Fix.jpg
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
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Location
Richmond, CA
Had this problem too...just disassembling it and cleaning off the old dried up grease with solvent and a wire brush did wonders for mine. I reassembled it with a small amount of good quality grease and the "slop" went away. No new parts were needed.

One hint: The nut on the long bolt that holds the pawls in place should not be too tight, as this sets the friction in the mechanism.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
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Golden, CO
Been driving for a few days and it's still tight! I'd say she's fixed.

Also, I finally checked the FSM and it seems to show this procedure in the upper left diagram of the attached page. I think step 8b might be where it's mentioned.

It also shows what the differently marked stoppers are for. Apparently, they are all different widths. E is the narrowest and A is the widest. You're supposed to choose the one with the proper width so that the marks align (mine don't align). Apparently, they expected these things to wear or they didn't make the columns with very tight tolerances? So, if rotating the bushing or getting tighter springs doesn't work for you, maybe try buying the wider stoppers (if they are even available anymore).

Tilt Column.jpg
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2011
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Kansas
Fixed ! This post just made my day. That 1/4" of vertical play in my steering wheel was driving me nuts. Thank you for the excellent documentation. Took a while to stumble on this in the search program. Maybe it would be added to the FAQ if enough people are having issue. Thanks again.
 

alia176

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Aug 21, 2003
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Tijeras, NM
Nice job Darkness, rotated the eccentric shaft a "wee bit" <- tech term alert.... and all is well. I think it was about 1/8" of rotation and that's all it took!!

Tag words: steering slop, steering column adjustment, steering play, steering free play, steering column slop, Steering wheel slop,
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
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Location
Little Rock, Arkansas
This is great, thank you. I've had significant play in my steering column and this fixed it 98%.

Forgive me for being presumptuous for a newbie but there is also an additional fix I found on ttora and have done on my Tacoma with great success. I had nagging play in the Tacoma steering column on larger or quick bumps, so 4 years ago I did this fix and today there is still no play in the column. Both the 80 and Tacoma have a slip joint on the steering column main shaft which can develop play over time. I've now done this for the 80.

The fix from ttora was to either tack weld or install a dowel pin through the slip joint. Note this is potentially a safety concern because supposedly the shaft is designed to collapse in a crash. Some concluded on the other forum that the strength of the tack weld or dowel pin is much less than the other safety mechanisms and therefore would sheer or break readily in a crash.

The main shaft per the FSM must be removed from the column housing. The tilt mechanism does not have to be disassembled for this. The lock cylinder must be removed and requires tapping the cone bolts. I used a 1/8 drill bit and then tapped in a T-20 torx socket. The shaft cannot be removed without this step, as the shaft lock must be removed to slide out the shaft.

To remove the swivel mechanism bolt studs I used a 19mm closed wrench, a washer, and the nut setup as a puller. The large spring will fall out once the lock cylinder and swivel bolt studs are removed.

The main shaft on my 80 appeared to have two places where either it has been pinched or had a dowel pin installed. Honestly I could not tell. I decided to go ahead with installing a dowel pin. I drilled out the shaft as shown in the photo and installed the dowel pin.

For assembly, the large spring is a PITA. To reinstall I had to install the swivel bolt studs first, then squeeze the spring back into place from above. I didn't think it was going to work but finally succeeded.

IMG_0541.jpg IMG_0543.jpg IMG_0545.JPG IMG_0548.JPG IMG_0551.jpg
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
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Portland, OR
Cannot wait to look into mine this weekend; this thread and its results gives me hope that my issue--while small in stature and real "need" to solve--is going to get done. And it seems half banana, which saves me some bananas for my front axles, brakes, speakers installs, ad infinitum.

EDIT: done! Needed a skinny 17mm wrench. Gave it a couple turns, then snugged up the bolt on the side. Perfect.
 
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Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
7,513
Worked on my tilt mechanism with help from these photos/Darkness's experience; made a big difference. One major issue as mentioned is that the original grease over the years turns into a sticky paste preventing free movement of the small parts IMO. I disassembled the pawl mechanism, bushing, and cross bolt, cleaned off the old grease, adjusted the bushing and applied a lithium based silicone grease (Dow Corning Molykote 33 Medium) mixed with a touch of a moly paste. Tilt mechanism works better than ever now.
 
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Joined
Sep 2, 2012
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761
Location
Ashland, OR
Mad props to @DARKNESS for this how-to and that top-down picture! I just did this and my small amount of slop has turned a major annoyance into a steering wheel that feels solid solid solid. Night and day difference when driving on rough roads. Thank you!!!
 
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Jul 26, 2012
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SacTown!
Here's a picture taken from the top of the steering column with the plastic shroud removed. First step is to loosen the bolt holding the pawls in place. Second step is to rotate the bushing until the slop is gone. Finally tighten the nut loosened in step one and replace the shroud. I'd also recommend cleaning and re-greasing everything, but that may not be necessary.


Can't believe it took this long for me to bump into this thread. It took me longer to take the cover off than fixing the slop, since space is limited I just used a pair of pliers to turn the nut about 1/4.

Now there is no slop what so ever! It's now tighter than a virgin sphincter, amazing!

Thanks darkness!
 

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