1969 Steering Wheel Locking Feature (often doesn't work) - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 11, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Wes
 
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1969 Steering Wheel Locking Feature (often doesn't work)

Starting in 69 (I believe) Chevys were equipped with a locking steering wheel as an anti-theft measure.

On one of my 69's the steering wheel locking feature often doesn't work (non-tilt column). In an effort to diagnose, I pulled the steering wheel, removed all the parts behind the SW including the locking plate. There's a bullet shaped peg that should engage one of the many slots on the lock plate when the ignition key is turned to the 'off' position.

But the peg sometimes doesn't spring far enough (toward the driver) to reach the locking plate.

Has anybody solved this problem? I'm not even sure what activates the 'peg',..perhaps the rod that attaches to the ignition switch further down the steering column.

(I need to be careful here. Last thing I need is a 'fix' that locks the steering wheel while driving).

Jim? You out there?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 11, 06:01 AM
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Re: 1969 Steering Wheel Locking Feature (often doesn't work)

The locking bolt is spring loaded toward the locking plate. So corrosion, crud, etc could prevent the spring from pushing the bolt rearward (toward the locking plate) far enough to lock the steering.

As reference: The ignition switch has 5 positions from full CW to full CCW they are: START, RUN, OFF, OFF-LOCK, & ACCESSORY.

The die cast rack is designed to mechanically pull the bolt back from the locking plate when your are in any ignition key position except OFF-LOCK and ACCESSORY. In these two positions the spring should push the bolt into the locking plate. (You can see the small coil spring on the locking bolt in the following picture.


Most literature that I have reviewed says to NOT lubricate the locking bolt where it passes through the turn signal switch housing. This might be so that in cold weather any grease or lubricant could prevent the spring from pushing the lock bolt into the locking plate.

It seems pretty obvious, but have you tried to clean out the locking bolt bore to insure that the bolt is free?

Otherwise, you will need to disassemble the steering column head to inspect the locking bolt parts as shown.
Here is the address for a number of Steering System papers that relate to the 69-76 Camaro/Chevelle:
http://jimshea.corvettefaq.com/?cat=4

Scroll down to the 69-76 Standard Steering Column Section. You will find three Disassembly & Repair Papers, two Disassembly & Repair Pics, and a Standard Column Blowup Pic.

These papers and pics should provide you with nearly all the information that you might need to take the column apart and determine the cause of your lock bolt problem.

Good luck,
Jim
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 11, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Wes
 
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Re: 1969 Steering Wheel Locking Feature (often doesn't work)

Thanks Jim!,..and thanks for the photo and link.

Yes, with some WD-40 I cleaned around the 'bolt' (or what I was calling the 'peg') and this cleaning helped slightly but it still often fails to travel far enough to engage the locking plate.

The bolt will usually engage the locking plate if I turn the ignition key to the 'accessory' position.

I'll need to decide if I can live with this minor problem or if I want tear further into the steering column.

Thanks again.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 11, 02:35 PM
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Re: 1969 Steering Wheel Locking Feature (often doesn't work)

Two things... from experience....
The die-cast rack gear could be slightly bent. Or the rod that actuates it could be slightly bent.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 11, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1969 Steering Wheel Locking Feature (often doesn't work)

HWS and/or Jim,..bent rod? Is the rod that actuates this bolt the same rod used for the ignition switch further down the column?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 16th, 11, 02:33 AM
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Re: 1969 Steering Wheel Locking Feature (often doesn't work)

You got it.
Take a look at the spring also... I believe it sets on a plastic bushing, which gets brittle and falls apart. Or maybe it's lost it's 'springy-ness'.

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