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Changing steering U-joints  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: 04-10-2010 10:02 pm
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subwoofer
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I was hoping it would be possible to change the U-joints in the steering without having to remove the column, but so far no luck. There is just not enough room to get either axle to disengage. Is it at all possible?

On the other hand, I guess I will have to have the column out to change the column lower bush. There is about 1/8" play in it. Ouch!

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Joachim

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 Posted: 04-11-2010 04:53 am
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Dakota123
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Hi,

you don't need to completely remove the column, you just need to be able to slide the shaft up a couple/few inches.  From memory, remove the wheel, remove the shroud hiding the switches, and the switches.  I seem to recall that the wires have enough slack that you can slide the assembly over the end of the shaft.   Remove the upper shaft bearing by removing three screws.  I drilled two small holes in the lower instrument panel (which are covered by the shroud once it is back in place) to access two of the screws.  I'm probably leaving something out, but that's the general picture.  It's a good time to clean and re-lube the upper bearing, too.

Once you remove the pinch bolt (not just loosen; there is a flat that will prevent complete disengagement of the shaft) you can slide the shaft up.  Don't pound or use too much force or you can collapse the shaft, which of course is designed to collapse in an accident.

From there replacing the bush and the shaft/upper joint is pretty tight work, but not bad. 

Mike

Last edited on 04-11-2010 11:43 pm by Dakota123

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 Posted: 04-12-2010 11:44 am
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Jim Ketcham
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I've found it easier to loosen the steering rack (2 bolts) which then gives you the free play to slip the pinch bolts off.

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 Posted: 04-12-2010 09:49 pm
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subwoofer
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Since I was replacing the lower bush, I went for option 1. Not all that much hassle, so now both joints are replaced, along with the bush. I think the bush was the main culprit for the play, since the joints didn't seem all that bad once I got them out.

I also found out that there is a bit of radial play in the steering pinion, so the rack should get an overhaul next year. Now I just have to get stuff back together before the second weekend of May...

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Joachim

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