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Ever have "one of those days"? Aarrrggghhh

Jeb

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
456
Location
Covington, Louisiana
Corvette
1987 Convertable
Ok. My 87's tilt steering column wobbles up and down like a beer drinker at a Budweiser giveaway if it's in any position except straight out.

So, I do the due diligence route and scrounge up all the tech articles I can find to supplement my shop manual and think that I'm all set to carefully take it apart and tighten up at least 2 of the 4 bolts on the knuckle. I've even purchased a couple of tools to make the job easier and went all out and bought a fresh tube of threadlocker to apply to the threads on those pesky bolts.

All set, right?

Nope. Not even close.

I get the wheel off fairly easily (using the handy dandy wheel puller I had laying around from my racing days) and all is going fine.

Then disaster struck. Under the wheel, there are several washers, a rubber bushing, and a plastic plate which is listed as a "Retainer, Snap Ring Horn Cnct Carr" in my shop manual. I'm lifting this "Retainer, Snap Ring Horn Cnct Carr" off the shaft when it just disintegrates. The plastic has turned to powder and I'm left with several thousand minute parts of what used to be the "Retainer, Snap Ring Horn Cnct Carr".

OK, no big deal, right?

So I go on, deeper and deeper into the maze of crap calling itself a steering column assembly. All goes well until I reach the promised land and start looking for those 2 easily assessible (the other 2 aren't easy to get at) bolts which are supposed to have reverse Torx heads.

They aren't there! Instead, there are two standard head bolts, the presence of which tells me that I am not the first person to be doing what I'm doing. Anyway, I remove them, apply the Locktite and reinstall them.

I start putting the whole shebang back together and am breathing easier until I see that I have a small spring looking thing, about 1 inch long, left over. I have absolutely no idea where it came from. I didn't remove it when disassembling and I didn't see it fall out of a larger part.

No matter. Putting it aside, I complete the reassembly, which is a real bear with a telescoping wheel since the Lockplate Compressing tool won't work if there is already a bolt on the shaft to lock the shaft in place. Nevertheless, I summon the Old Lady and brief her on where the "Retainer" goes so that I can use both hands to compress the lockplate spring far enough to get the "Retainer" in place. Now, those of you who are married or otherwise hooked up with Ms Klutz's will understand why it took 10 minutes to point to a slot on the shaft and another 10 minutes to describe the action required to insert the "Retainer, Shaft Lk" into that slot but nevertheless, after bending my thumbs backward several times by pressing against the lockplate, my True Love. finally gets the "Retainer" into the slot and I think I'm good to go. I reinstall the steering wheel (which really looks good now that I've been able to refinish it with leather die and buff it out while it was off the car) and I'm now ready to re-attach the positive battery cable and see how things came out.

Has anyone ever been locked in a garage-sized room with a horn (Notes A and C) blaring?

OK, So maybe that's what that "Retainer, Snap Ring Horn Cnct Carr" was good for.

That little spring I mentioned eariler? I think it went to the High/Lo beam switch.

Anyway, I'm now resigned to finding a good used tilt/telescope intermediate steering shaft assembly (black in color) which will fit a '97 Vert. I really don't want to take mine apart again except to exchange the ignition key lock. If anyone has a line on one, I will be forever in your debt and, if pressed, I might even include the loan of my now-knowedgeable Old Lady if you ever need someone to insert the "Retainer, Shaft Lk" in your steering column while you press in on the lock plate.

Oh! Did I mention that the damned shaft still wobbles as badly as it did before I "repaired" it?

IOW, I'm looking for some big time help here.:cry
 

Tom Maine

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
64
Location
Minneaoplis
Corvette
1991 Yellow Converible
Parts

I have used the following to find parts for my C4. It is a nationwide system to find parts. I got lots of replys, some with the parts and others indicating that they do not have them. Cost is about 5 bucks to find the parts.
 

Jeb

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
456
Location
Covington, Louisiana
Corvette
1987 Convertable
Thanks. I might give them a try if Corvette Salvage doesn't come thorough. I could probably find the part in a junkyard if I wanted to crawl through a bunch of junked cars but my ol ticker isn't what it used to be so I'm doing it the lazy way.:)
 

Edmond

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2001
Messages
5,218
Location
Louisiana
Corvette
2003 Z06
Hey, can you really think of a better way to spend one of your two days off?:L
 

G Winter

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2004
Messages
2,177
Location
NW Iowa
Corvette
1990 red convert 6 sp
Ever have "one of those days"? Aarrrggghhh

"one of those days"? Feel lucky, I have had them a week at a time :mad

Steering columns are a real pita. I always lay the pieces out in order as I take them out. And hope someone don't move anything.

Glenn
:w
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2003
Messages
525
Location
Newark, OH
Corvette
2003 50th Anniversary Convertible
WOW!! That thing sounds like a real nightmare!! I hope I never have to do that!!

Jim
 

Jeb

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
456
Location
Covington, Louisiana
Corvette
1987 Convertable
Got lucky today and will pick up my new steering column at Corvette Salvage later this week.

Then all I'll have to do is swap out the ignition lock. I might just get the new column's key changed over to my VATS code and not take it apart at all...which is the direction I am leaning.

I've learned a valuable lesson.
 

wishuwerehere82

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 6, 2003
Messages
2,314
Location
Rochester, NY
Corvette
Red '82 Coupe,Sebring Silver '98 Coupe
Yes Jeb,

Sometimes those days really get you.
I had one Wednesday. Let's just say, never ever take your seatbelt retractor apart unless your looking for a real learning experience.:L
 

AdvancedAutoCC

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
381
Location
Cape Coral, FL
Corvette
'96 coupe (Torch Red), '85 4+3 coupe (flat black)
Jeb said:
Got lucky today and will pick up my new steering column at Corvette Salvage later this week.

Then all I'll have to do is swap out the ignition lock. I might just get the new column's key changed over to my VATS code and not take it apart at all...which is the direction I am leaning.

I've learned a valuable lesson.

A VATS key is cheaper in the long run compared to the brain damage you've already experienced... good choice.
 
M

Medicash

Guest
sorry to hijack this post but I am new and I can't seem to find a way to post a new topic can anyone help?
urs thickly Jerry
 

Achilles

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
447
Location
Back in Sunny California!
Corvette
1982 CE, 03 MY Z06
Medicash said:
sorry to hijack this post but I am new and I can't seem to find a way to post a new topic can anyone help?
urs thickly Jerry

Go back 1 page and click the rectangular button that indicates "new thread" in the top left.
 

Jeb

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
456
Location
Covington, Louisiana
Corvette
1987 Convertable
OK.

Got the "new" steering column.

Can someone tell me if there is anything I should know, or be careful of, when taking the kick panel off from under the dash so I can do the swap? It looks rather straightforward but I don't want to bugger something up by removing something that doesn't have to be removed, or otherwise messing with a perfectly good kickpanel.

See? I've learned my lesson. LOL
 

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