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  #1  
Old 10-11-2009, 12:25 AM
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dakatl dakatl is offline
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Arrow Loose steering column. Fix or replace ?

I have a 1989 Grand Wagoneer with a tilt steering column with loose/excessive play. What would you choose…. Tear down the steering column and tighten/repair loose components or, replace steering column with a used replacement part.

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  #2  
Old 10-11-2009, 05:21 AM
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I would fix it.. not very hard to fix and definatly much easier than putting in a new column.
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  #3  
Old 10-11-2009, 05:53 AM
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My 88 got lose once and it turned out there were loose bolts inside the column. Worth digging in to.
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Old 10-11-2009, 05:58 AM
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The time to fix it is much quicker than the time to take one out and replace it with another. I have personal experiece with that. Beside, the new one may not match color wise.

The big problem is that there are 4 "reverse-torx" type bolts that hold the lower portion of the steering shaft in place. These become loose and let it flop around which effects everything else. Tear into the column and put locktite on the bolts, shouldn't have a problem again. It took me roughly 6 hours but I forgot a piece when putting it back together.

Oh, by the way, you will need some specialized tools: 1) wheel puller, 2) lockplate compressor, and 3) pivot pin puller.
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  #5  
Old 10-11-2009, 07:31 AM
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Fix it - much easier. Make a diagram or take pictures though as you take it a part for a reassembly reference. Don't ask.

You will need a steering wheel puller for sure, and I can't remember anything else special. Took me about 4 hours altogether, but it's been rock solid ever since.
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Last edited by turtlejoe : 10-11-2009 at 07:37 AM.
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  #6  
Old 10-11-2009, 03:58 PM
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Serious Johnson Serious Johnson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas792
...Oh, by the way, you will need some specialized tools: 1) wheel puller, 2) lockplate compressor, and 3) pivot pin puller.

And a set of picks is helpful.

I replaced my column once because I happened to have another that was nice & tight. Within a couple of years it was as floppy as the original.

S.J.
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  #7  
Old 10-11-2009, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 89Woody
I would fix it.. not very hard to fix and definatly much easier than putting in a new column.


x2 Fix it right and it will last longer than your Wagon. I went through the same thing. I took it to a guy and it only cost around 65.00 and he also used Loctite to keep it from happening again. Now it feels real solid.
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  #8  
Old 10-11-2009, 07:34 PM
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You'll find this very helpful:

http://www.epiccomputer.com/dale/jee...tilt/tilt.html

Excellent write-up. It's about baby Jeeps but the columns are the same.
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  #9  
Old 10-11-2009, 08:34 PM
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I think you already have your answer, but the Tech Support guy in me just won't die. What do you mean by excessive play? The column moves, or play in the steering, or other? I assume you mean play in the tilt mechanism, which is common, as mentioned earlier. Play in the steering is very rarely removed by attempting a repair to the column.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandWag&Prix
Actually, now that I think about it, that could be either awesome or really terrible.


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  #10  
Old 10-12-2009, 03:24 PM
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dakatl dakatl is offline
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Thanks for the responses guys. It appears the consensus is to tear into it and fix it. So I will put that on the project list.

By 'excessive play' I just meant the sloppy column mechanism . It steers and drive just fine.
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  #11  
Old 11-14-2009, 07:00 PM
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dakatl dakatl is offline
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I finally had the time to tackle this project today.

It wasnt as bad as I thought it was going to be. I did have to do it almost twice because I screwed up the key ignition lever thingy, oh well, live and learn.

Thanks to all here and the valuable info from this site !!!
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  #12  
Old 09-20-2011, 06:03 PM
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MidwestWagoneer MidwestWagoneer is offline
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Thanks again to this website, my 89 and I are back on the road.
Thumbs up to: Jim C "Jpcoutts" for pointing to the article- with pictures!
I didn't realize the snap-ring was holding on the steering lock 'disk', but after that it was not bad.

NOTE: on late model SJ's like my 89, you can tighten two of the three bolts while the tilt is still on the columm- which is all mine needed. Also, there is a screw that holds the gear select indicator light bulb at 1'o clock on the OUTSIDE of the tilt housing. Easy to miss unless you know about it. (which I didn't:- )

Many thanks!!
Midwest Wagoneer
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2011, 06:23 PM
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serehill serehill is offline
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no doubt

Column repair with Dale rocks. Glad tyou did it the easy way
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NP208
Edlebrock performer intake
Holley 4180
Msd total multi spark.
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If you can't make it better why waste your time. No use repeating the orignal mistakes. I'm to old to push it that's why.

Last edited by serehill : 09-23-2012 at 02:14 PM.
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  #14  
Old 09-23-2012, 01:07 PM
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no one needed the bearings and repair sets to fix the problem?
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  #15  
Old 09-23-2012, 01:27 PM
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the original Honcho the original Honcho is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cma
no one needed the bearings and repair sets to fix the problem?

When the original column in my '79 Honcho broke I was unable to find new bearings. The races were plastic, and very dry and brittle. This was back in the 90s. I eventually swapped columns out (2 or 3 times now) and the junkyard replacements dont last very long
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  #16  
Old 09-23-2012, 02:11 PM
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Yeah

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpcoutts
You'll find this very helpful:

http://www.epiccomputer.com/dale/jee...tilt/tilt.html

Excellent write-up. It's about baby Jeeps but the columns are the same.

This is exactly the same column it's an easy fix. Bearing & everything is available. Look closely if it's only slack in the column then this will take you about 3 hours worst case. It's rewarding & a lot easier that changing out the column.
If it's more than slack in the column it doesn't matter then. You'll have to do this & fix the other steering issues also. Steering shaft or gear box. look closley..
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80 Cherokee
360 ci 727 with
Comp cams 270 h
NP208
Edlebrock performer intake
Holley 4180
Msd total multi spark.
4" rusty's springs
Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association

If you can't make it better why waste your time. No use repeating the orignal mistakes. I'm to old to push it that's why.

Last edited by serehill : 09-23-2012 at 05:43 PM.
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  #17  
Old 09-23-2012, 02:17 PM
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serehill serehill is offline
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actually tons of resource for these saginaw columns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the original Honcho
When the original column in my '79 Honcho broke I was unable to find new bearings. The races were plastic, and very dry and brittle. This was back in the 90s. I eventually swapped columns out (2 or 3 times now) and the junkyard replacements dont last very long

These columns were used in tons of GM rigs with exactly the same bearing. Cross reference & year one & all tose type guys have them.
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80 Cherokee
360 ci 727 with
Comp cams 270 h
NP208
Edlebrock performer intake
Holley 4180
Msd total multi spark.
4" rusty's springs
Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association

If you can't make it better why waste your time. No use repeating the orignal mistakes. I'm to old to push it that's why.
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  #18  
Old 02-18-2014, 05:47 PM
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This is an old thread and the link to the repair no longer works. does anyone have another link to a repair?
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  #19  
Old 02-18-2014, 06:00 PM
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serehill serehill is offline
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Yeah I lost it too

http://street2mud.com/webfiles/Tilt%20Column%20Fix.pdf



Git r dun
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80 Cherokee
360 ci 727 with
Comp cams 270 h
NP208
Edlebrock performer intake
Holley 4180
Msd total multi spark.
4" rusty's springs
Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association

If you can't make it better why waste your time. No use repeating the orignal mistakes. I'm to old to push it that's why.

Last edited by serehill : 02-18-2014 at 06:03 PM.
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  #20  
Old 02-18-2014, 08:40 PM
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spyoung spyoung is offline
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Just what we need for Saturday morning! Thanks!
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