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Old July 20th, 2007, 04:57 PM   #1
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Steering Column Removal/Installation

Guys I am new to the forum, and I just purchased my manual from ebay.Well in the interim I need to know how difficult/easy it is to remove and install my steering column.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 07:23 PM   #2
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Just currious Make Model & Year & reason for the R&R. In this forum details are important,
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Old July 20th, 2007, 07:31 PM   #3
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Sorry bout that guys 1972 cutlass S 2 door post coupe 422
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Old July 20th, 2007, 08:24 PM   #4
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Not too difficult, just take your time as you do it. I like to remove it at the steering box, there will be two bolts/nuts that are 9/16" and 1/2" I use open box end wrenches. Then if it's a column shift there will be a rod under the hood near the firewall, I pull the clip and remove the rod from the column. Then move to the interior, there is a plastic kick plate with two 3/8" sheet metal screws in it over the carpet, remove that from around the base of the column. Then there's a plate attached to the floor board with something like 6 to 8 3/8" sheet metal screws around the edges of it. After that's removed there's a plastic cover under the column where it comes out of the dash, two phillips screws hold it on. Then behind that under the dash there's two studs that point down toward the floorboard, they have 9/16" nuts on them that hold the column tight to the underside of the dash. Before you totally remove those you will need to unplug the main column wiring harness that's against the column I believe on the passengerside, and there's two other wire plugs on the topside of the column down toward the floorboard. I believe the last thing is a small wire that hooks on the passengerside of the column close to where the plastic cover was with the two phillips screws. The wire goes from the column to the speedometer head and attaches to the lever that moves the transmission gear indicator. You will need to unhook that wire, I think I usually take it off the column. Once you unbolt it pull it into the car working the metal plate around the brake pedal, and as it comes through you'll also need to work the arm that the rod under the hood hooked to around the brake pedal as well. The piece that bolts to the rag joint on the steering box may hang up on the A-arm under the hood so you'll have to watch for that too. This is the stage where you'll need to keep your patience and rotate, pull and work the column out. I believe this should be the steps you'll need to take but I've got some columns in the rafters of the garage if you need to see photos of anything. John
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 07:27 PM   #5
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not to hijack, but could someone give me input as to why the column in my 1971 Cutlass 442 has movement? My mech says he can not tighten the bolts bc of some aluminum something or other where the bolts attach. Makes no sense to me that it could not be tightened and he only speaks Spanish so i am having difficulty understanding. oh yea, and I have not stuck my head under there yet. thanks
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 09:11 PM   #6
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not to hijack, but could someone give me input as to why the column in my 1971 Cutlass 442 has movement? My mech says he can not tighten the bolts bc of some aluminum something or other where the bolts attach. Makes no sense to me that it could not be tightened and he only speaks Spanish so i am having difficulty understanding. oh yea, and I have not stuck my head under there yet. thanks
The column is held to the underside of the dash with a "U"-shaped bracket. This bracket has ears on either side that fit over threaded studs sticking down from the bottom of the dash and is retained with nuts. The bracket has aluminum wedges with slots at these locations. These are part of the collapsible column system and are designed to absorb energy in a frontal collision to prevent the column from centerpunching your chest. There are also plastic shear pins in the telescoping part of the shaft under the hood and sections of the tube under the dash that have controlled crush portions built in.

These aluminum wedges snap into the U shaped bracket and can come loose - or worse the car has been in an accident and repaired. You'll need to take a closer look at the bracket.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 07:00 AM   #7
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The column is held to the underside of the dash with a "U"-shaped bracket. This bracket has ears on either side that fit over threaded studs sticking down from the bottom of the dash and is retained with nuts. The bracket has aluminum wedges with slots at these locations. These are part of the collapsible column system and are designed to absorb energy in a frontal collision to prevent the column from centerpunching your chest. There are also plastic shear pins in the telescoping part of the shaft under the hood and sections of the tube under the dash that have controlled crush portions built in.

These aluminum wedges snap into the U shaped bracket and can come loose - or worse the car has been in an accident and repaired. You'll need to take a closer look at the bracket.
my mech thinks the column has been out of the car bc it is loose, but i see no signs of previous collision. so these aluminum wedges are U shaped and go around the bolts that secure the U shaped bracket? What I did not understand from my mech, remember he speaks spanish, was why can't the bolts just be tightened, or maybe the can, but one of the alu. wedges is missing. i will go take a look in a few minutes to check it out.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 08:55 AM   #8
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my mech thinks the column has been out of the car bc it is loose, but i see no signs of previous collision. so these aluminum wedges are U shaped and go around the bolts that secure the U shaped bracket? What I did not understand from my mech, remember he speaks spanish, was why can't the bolts just be tightened, or maybe the can, but one of the alu. wedges is missing. i will go take a look in a few minutes to check it out.
Actually the wedges are rectangular with slots for the studs to fit through. The wedges have ears on them that fit into openings in the U shaped bracket. They sort of snap into place. You SHOULD be able to simply tighten the nuts. If the nuts bottom out before clamping the wedges then I would guess that they have snapped out of place somehow or are missing completely.
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62 F-85 Deluxe wagon (the NV desert car)
62 F-85 Deluxe wagon (the San Jose car)
64 Vista Cruiser
64 Jetstar 88 Conv
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70 W-30
72 442
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Old August 5th, 2007, 07:29 PM   #9
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Actually the wedges are rectangular with slots for the studs to fit through. The wedges have ears on them that fit into openings in the U shaped bracket. They sort of snap into place. You SHOULD be able to simply tighten the nuts. If the nuts bottom out before clamping the wedges then I would guess that they have snapped out of place somehow or are missing completely.
this makes sense to me. i will check it out. thanks joe
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Old August 5th, 2007, 07:29 PM
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