Column reassembly questions *REVISITED* - Team Camaro Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 10, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Question Column reassembly questions *REVISITED*

Continueing with the PUSH towards June Carlisle...

Trying to put the steering column back together, and I'm using both the Chassis Service Manual and Jim Shea's Steering Papers.
I still can't make heads or tails of some of it...
I'm referncing Page 9-15 Fig. 34.

This'll be the first in what I'm sure will be a series of questions....
These pics show the lock plate and canceling cam. It looks like my canceling cam has a tab broken off.
Am I right?

The pics of the switch rack and sector show a preload spring. Is the spring right, or is it bent incorrectly? And which way does it go in? It doesn't look like the pics in Fig. 34.
Should the rack and sector be lubed where the gear teeth meet? Or dry.

Does the preload spring sit in the rack like this? What keeps it there while the rack is going in and out?
In the pic of all the assorted left over parts, what are the three copper bushings\washers for?
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Last edited by HwyStarJoe; Mar 15th, 10 at 06:19 PM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 10, 03:12 PM
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Re: Column reassembly questions

It's been a lotta years since I've been in one a these columns but here goes.

The canceling cam has a "post" broke off, it should stick up thru the hole in the lock plate and the horn contact goes there. the horn contact for the wheel it looks like you're running is a spring loaded brass pin.

I think that flat spring in pic 2 is for the key minder switch and it too is broken.
NO clue what the brass washers are for. what size is the hole in them?

Jeff
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 10, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Column reassembly questions

Thanks Jeff.
I don't have the key buzzer switch or spring anymore. Tossed it a long time ago. Need to get a new one.

I kind of figured there was a broken piece on that cam. It broke so nice and clean though that it's impossible to tell. Bummer! More $$$
I know the snap ring holds the lock plate in place, but there's so much slop between the groove and the ring. And it looks like I'm going to need the lock plate tool to get that ring on! Holy crap that spring is strong!

I have no idea what the washers are for except maybe brake hose banjo bolt washers?? I have no idea how they ended up with the steering column stuff.

I'm assuming the two parts on the far left (they go together?) are parts of the horn or something? The one with the screws is pink plastic. I'm using Grant steering wheel adapter kit #3196 and wonder if I still need these two pieces or not?

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 10, 07:59 PM
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Re: Column reassembly questions

Regarding the copper washers, my '67 had a "wave washer" that was put on before the circlip. Those washers get very brittle after forty years and often break. Maybe the copper washers were used in place of the wave washer.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 10, 09:02 PM
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Re: Column reassembly questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by HwyStarJoe View Post
Thanks Jeff.
I I'm assuming the two parts on the far left (they go together?) are parts of the horn or something? The one with the screws is pink plastic. I'm using Grant steering wheel adapter kit #3196 and wonder if I still need these two pieces or not?
You got it. The pink plastic and the cup hold the horn button on a later model GM four spoke wheel. I doubt you'll need that with a Grant wheel.

Jeff
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 10, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Question Re: Column reassembly questions

That makes sense since there was a 2nd Gen steering wheel on the car when I got it.

Thanks guys.

In this pic of the shaft, there are 3 grooves for snap rings. The bottom one has a ring on it already (for what, I don't know), then two up higher. Is the middle one NOT a groove for a snap ring? It's wider than the other two. I know the top one is to hold the lock plate in.
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Last edited by HwyStarJoe; Feb 21st, 10 at 06:17 AM.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 10, 08:16 PM
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Re: Column reassembly questions

That middle groove is just an undercut for the rolled splines on the upper shaft. It does not hold a snap ring. The snap ring in the groove that is furthest from the steering wheel seats against the inner race of the upper steering shaft bearing. You are correct, the upper groove is for the round wire ring that retains the locking plate.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 10, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Column reassembly questions

Excellent... Thanks Jim.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 10, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Column reassembly questions

I saw a post or thread about a way to depress the lock plate enough to get the snap ring on recently, and I can't seem to find it now. It may have been just a quick blurb buried in someone's reply.
I could go to AutoZone or Harbor Freight but I'm lazy and in a hurry today. Is there something I can fashion real easy in the shop?

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 10, 02:58 PM
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Re: Column reassembly questions

I made my own plate depresser tool. It's way easier to just buy one though because they are so cheap.

I took a piece of steel bar stock 1" X 1/4" thick, bent it in a U shape put a bolt through the center and found a "tall" nut that fits the steering shaft and welded it onto the end of the bolt, then used a nut on the bolt to pull the U down to push on the plate. Some steering shafts have quite a bit of protrusion sticking up so a tall nut or nut with a short piece of tube on top of it will give the shaft a place to stick into when the nut is screwed on. On mine, I welded two nuts together with threads lined up by screwing them onto a junk bolt.

Ive done it without one of these tools but it's worth the time to get one or make one.
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Last edited by davidpozzi; Mar 13th, 10 at 03:09 PM.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 10, 09:24 AM
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Re: Column reassembly questions

My son has strong thumbs. He was able to compress the locking plate while I "dug" the round wire ring out of the groove and again when I reinstalled the ring. It gets a bit close with four hands all reaching into the same part of the steering column.

Jim
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 10, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Column reassembly questions

I'd ask my wife, but I don't want any loose broken nails floating around in the mechanisms!

Maybe I'll just get a good running start from across the shop and STAB it on.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 10, 08:29 PM
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Re: Column reassembly questions

Many automotive shops will just loan you the lock plate compresser tool.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 10, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Question Re: Column reassembly questions

Thanks all... I've got the lock plate\snap ring figured out. I am now an expert at installing\removing it several times over the period of half an hour.

Here's why.... I think I have something within the lock cylinder and\or ignition switch boogered up.

Is this picture showing the spring that returns the cylinder to RUN after the car starts? Am I correct in assuming it's what pulls the rack back by itself?
I had the whole thing together and was about to put the steering wheel on but remembered I better try the cylinder first. Good thing I did!

When I turned the cylinder to START, I had a hard time. I felt resistance as if I was stressing the ignition switch or something in the rack\sector gear. It didn't want to return by itself either. I had to force it.
That makes me think that either the ignition switch wasn't adjusted right (which is almost impossible to do because there's only 1/4" of play) or the rack\sector are wrong. I took the ignition switch loose from the column and it didn't help anything at all.

I know the rack and sector go together so that the last tooth on the rack and sector are just started. When the sector gear is in the OFF position, the tabs are in the correct orientation for the lock cylinder to engage it. The second picture shows how it sits in the OFF position.

So at that point the cylinder was stuck somewhere around RUN or just before shutting off so the key couldn't be removed. I had to pop it out of the column.

I've got it all apart for the 20th time. I'm stuck as to what could cause the resistance at the START position.


I just noticed that I cannot get the key to the ACC position because the brass rack is too far in. As I try to turn the key back, the top of the rack hits the slot in the collar and blocks it. I had to pry it up with a jewelers screwdriver to get it past the edge of the slot and THEN it goes into the ACC position. Is the rack broken off at the top or do I need to adjust how it and the sector are mated?
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Last edited by HwyStarJoe; Mar 15th, 10 at 06:21 PM.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 10, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Column reassembly questions *REVISITED*

Where does this switch rack preload spring go on the rack? Is mine bent the correct shape or not? I put it in between the rack and the housing like the drawings show, but when it's installed it's does nothing at all. It just rides up and down between the rack and the housing for no reason.

I still can't figure out why the lock cylinder gets jammed going into START and won't return by itself. I'm not missing any parts.... just my sanity!!

Is the second picture showing how the preload spring goes against the rack correct or is it backwards? If it's correct in that picture, it seems to catch on the housing as the key is turned back towards OFF. It must not be bent correctly or I'm turning the cylinder too far too the START position. I have the assembly in my hand.

Also, instead of just relying on pictiures (Thank you Jim Shea and the chassis service manual) I actually READ what Jim wrote about taking the column apart. Now I KNOW why the lock cylinder was so hard to turn to the START position.... the ignition switch has one seriously stiff spring inside it.
As usual, I hemmed and hawed long enough to realize it was my cranium being stuck you know where.

Is this the correct ignition switch for a '69 non-tilt with automatic and console shifter?

It's the reason my lock cylinder will not turn all the way to START, and then won't return to RUN. It can't be adjusted up the column far enough for the switch rod to actuate it properly. I can see where it was attached before from the star washer marks, and it was pushed as far up the column as it can possibly go already. I need another 1/4" up towarss the steering wheel to make it work correctly.
WTH?!?!
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Last edited by HwyStarJoe; Mar 18th, 10 at 06:11 PM.
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