Tilt Steering Fix
Contributed By: Chris Enos
This is what I did to fix a loose steering column (at the pivot point for
the tilt) on a '78 Cherokee. Hopefully this will be of help to others with
the same problem.
Special equipment required: Universal puller set (this is what I used) or
perhaps a regular steering wheel
- Disconnect battery
- Remove horn button
- Remove large nut and washer on steering shaft.
- Remove the 3 screws in plastic insulator for horn button. Remove as an
assembly: plastic insulator, metal dish, and metal plate.
- Scribe an alignment mark from steering shaft to steering wheel so you can
reassemble with the wheel in the correct orientation.
- Use steering wheel puller and remove steering wheel.
- Remove plastic anti-theft plate.
- Install steering wheel puller over steering shaft, (be careful not to
crush the plastic cancelling cam (it's also where the horn circuit comes
and tighten shaft nut and washer (that you already took off) over puller.
- Use two bolts and nuts and install with bolt through puller, with nut on
bottom so you can use the bolts to push on (compress) the steering lock
- Remove clip from steering shaft. NOTE: My Jeep technical service manual
sais NOT to re-use this clip. I've had mine out twice and have re-used
times, the decision is yours.
- Decompress lock plate.
- Remove steering nut, washer, and steering wheel puller.
- Remove lock plate.
- Remove cancelling cam, and spring.
- Remove 4 bolts securing support brace to steering column under dash.
- Remove 2 bolts securing support to dashboard.
- Remove column support brace.
- Disconnect wiring coming from under the column, remove plug from it's
and leave hanging.
- Remove screw holding turn signal switch handle to switch assembly.
- Remove 3 screws holding turn signal switch (you'll have to turn the
switch to get
to all 3 screws).
- Remove turn signal switch, you should be able to feed the wired up
column to give you enough slack to do this. You can get a little more
lifting the plastic cover (under the column) over the wires.
- Put key in ignition lock. Turn to locked position. You should be able
to see a small bar coming out of the end of the lock. Just to the
right of that is a small slot, inert a small screwdriver into the slot
push. Remove key lock assembly.
NOTE by Mike Saltsgaver:
Every fsj (or AMC for that matter) that I've taken the ignition switch
out of has had some die cast "flash" covering the small slot where you
must push the tab to remove the lock. If you've never done one before,
your totally lost because there's no slot where the book says there is.
The fix is to take that very small screwdriver & "punch" thru the flash
order to get to the tab.
- Use a pair of long nose pliers, and remove spring clips from shift
indicator on top
of steering column.
- Remove shift indicator.
- Remove 2 screws on top of column, shift indicator light, and metal cover.
- Remove tilt handle.
- Remove upper column housing (Painted housing where ignition key goes).
- Reinstall tilt handle.
- Tilt steering wheel in full up position.
- Their's a round metal piece towards the bottom with a square hole in it.
Using a screwdriver, push in and turn about 1/4 turn until this piece
- If it didn't come out with the metal cup in the above step, remove
- Using a puller tool (I made my own) remove pivot pins. This is what I
Get a 1/2" open end wrench, the screw that came out of the turn
handle, a washer & a nut that will fit the screw. Install nut
onto screw until
it bottoms out, and install washer against nut. Put the 1/2"
wrench over the
pivot pin (make sure the pin will go through the wrench ends when
or you'll strip something out). Install the screw into the pin,
and tighten the
nut until the pin is loose. This is what *I* did, something
better for you.
- Hold the housing on the column, pull on the title handle, and remove the
That's all the disassembly their is. Their should be 4 loose bolts after
They're not regular bolts, they look almost like a torque bit. I used a 12pt
socket (don't remember what size). Remove one bolt at a time, clean it,
apply locktight, and reinstall. Then reverse the disassembly instructions
and you're finished. The pivot pins just press back in, not a problem.
Hopefully I didn't leave out too many steps. If anybody uses this info,
please let me know how accurate or helpful this was, and feel free to add to
this, I just went by memory here. I don't know what all years will be
exactly the same. This how-to could also be used for lock replacement, just
stop after step 22.
Chris Enos ('78 Cherokee, TH-400, Q-Track 16% OD P/T, 3.55, 33")