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Reply to "Steering Column Issue?!?"


First the warning:


OK, now that THAT is out of the way, let's see what's going on.  (You might want to start at the set of Asterix **)

Loosen the driver's side front lug nuts, then jack up the front of the car and get it on jack stands.

Remove the driver's side front wheel for easy access.

Get a bright light and stick your head into the wheel well and closely examine the crush cage in-line with the steering shaft.  Make absolutely sure that the cage (if there is one there) is completely intact and crack-free.  If you find ANY cracks or breaks, the crush cage needs to be strengthened with a pipe welded over the cage, OR the entire steering column must be replaced.

Next, examine the steering column rag joint for defects that might allow the shaft to extend towards the cockpit.  If it is defective (torn or cracked), replace it.

Examine the splined ends of the steering coupler - The clamping bolts may have loosened and allowed the steering shaft to loosen and slip out a bit, lengthening the shaft.  If so, loosen them, remove the horn button on the steering wheel and using a wood dowel, tap the steering shaft back down to where it belongs, then re-tighten the coupler splined shaft clamps.

The next is probably my favorite potential solution:

**The last place (or maybe the FIRST place) to look is the bolts holding the steering column to the underside of the dash.  If they loosen, then the column (which surrounds the steering shaft) can slip down towards the firewall leaving the shaft inside of it slightly exposed.  The fix is to loosen the two bolts, pull or tap the column back into place and re-tighten the bolts.