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View Full Version : How To: Replace steering column bushing



DMage
05-24-2011, 03:43 PM
Tools:

2 - 13mm box wrenches
7mm socket wrench (small)
17mm socket wrench
17mm box wrench
2 2x6 boards
Small & Large phillips screwdriver
Hammer
Socket Extension
Vice Grips
Marker (sharpie fine point)
New Bushing (used Tobys Delrin remanufactured replacement)
A Helper (preferably a petite person, will be needed toward the end)


Steps:

(1) Jack up car, remove driver wheel, prop some wood under passenger wheel, set car down with passenger wheel up on wood and the underside supported by a jack stand on the drivers side of the front frame. This helped keep some weight on the steering rack and make the wheel stay in one place for the most part.

(2) Get on your back in the drivers foot well. Remove the seat if you want (I didn't). Remove the steering wheel surround. Remove the knee pads. Unhook wiring from the steering column (3 plugs). You now have two brackets hanging down from where the knee pads were connected. Bend these up and to the rear of the car. They bend back, but they need to be out of the way for reinstall anyway, so make it easier on yourself now.

(3) Get back out of the car and crawl under the front/side. Look up and you'll see where the column comes through the firewall to the u-joint. Remove the bolt that goes through the u-joint.

(4) Get back in the car, pull the seat forward a bit (if you removed the seat, your going to need help now). Remove the two bolts holding the column into the dash. Drop the column down onto the seat. Get out and start giving it a tug to begin pulling it out of the u-joint.

(5) Get back under the car, use the pen to mark where it is coming out of the u-joint. I marked where the splines were 'open' (not covered by the u-joint, where it compresses) so I could see them easier upon reinstall.

(6) I had to go back and fourth at this point, pounding with my palm on the u-joint connection and then in the car giving small tugs. I found it easier to use vice grips on the inner column on the inside of the car to help finish pulling it off the u-joint. Once disconnected remove the column from the car.

(7) Time to install the new bushing. I have seen comments on the board that the new bushing needs to be 'pulled' into the firewall. I had no problems just pounding it in place. Pushed in with my fingers, grabbed a socket and an extension, placed the socket around the bushing (used a towel as padding) and pounded it in. Took some force but popped in without a problem.

(8) Cleaned the unmarked splines off the steering column connection point and drew my marks darker. Now you'll need help. With vice grips around the inner column where it sticks out of the outer column, put the column back in the car and have a helper sit in the seat and lift the column up. Line it up and begin feeding it through the bushing.

(9) Now start to use some force, the inner column will begin to be pushed by the outer column, but be careful not to collapse the outer column cage. I had the helper push on the wheel while I pushed on the vice grips. It fed through with some force. Go slowly at this point and hop back under the car to feed it correctly into the u-joint. If you push it all the way through you'll need to feed it back a bit in order to get it back in the u-joint.

(10) Now that you have started to get it in the u-joint, just keep feeding it through and readjusting until it has reseated itself. It needs to go all the way in, as that 'curve' cutout in the splines is where the bolt holds it in place. Slide the bolt in the u-joint before rebolting the column to the dash. Give your helper some thanks and get back in the car to start the reassembly.


Stats:

How annoying the job was to replace a small piece of plastic: 8 (out of 10)
Mechanical knowledge required: 4 (out of 10)
Electrical knowledge required: 1 (out of 10) (can you unplug and replug in things?)
Time: 2-3 hours

funkstuf
03-24-2012, 06:42 PM
Good instructions.

I did find one way to simplify the process and not require two people. If you loosen the nut on the lower U-joint the shaft going to the upper U-joint will slide. This allows putting the steering column all the way in and then sliding that connecting shaft to put the upper U-joint back on the steering column shaft. To do this remove the cover over the brake master cylinder inside the trunk space. It's all quite accessible and one person can do the job fairly easily. You still need to mark everything to get them lined up properly. I did this alone and it was quite easy this way.

DeLorean6934
05-23-2012, 10:32 PM
I ended up just cutting the bushing and snap it in around the shaft. Steve from Houston taught me that.

kings1527
06-23-2012, 01:48 AM
What are symptoms of a bad column bushing?

Alex

sdg3205
06-23-2012, 04:10 AM
What are symptoms of a bad column bushing?

Alex

Rattling, excessive vibration. It's pretty easy to tell. You can also do a visual inspection.

Ron
06-23-2012, 09:50 AM
Rattling, excessive vibration. It's pretty easy to tell. You can also do a visual inspection.
+1

...wobbling steering wheel, shaft scrubbing the firewall, if extreme.

stevedmc
06-23-2012, 10:49 AM
I ended up just cutting the bushing and snap it in around the shaft. Steve from Houston taught me that.

Thats okay if you want to keep buying new bushings year after year. I've found the best way to install the bushing is by pressing it in with a long bolt, socket, and some washers. It also helps to coat the outside of the bushing with RTV.

I did this about 6 months ago and my bushing is still snug as can be.

kings1527
06-23-2012, 02:59 PM
Rattling, excessive vibration. It's pretty easy to tell. You can also do a visual inspection.

That's exactly what I've got going on. Thanks for the info.

Alex
6575

DMC5180
06-24-2012, 11:37 PM
I judged a Car at DCS-12 (Delorean Marque Certification) (formerly known as Concours) The car had less than 3000 Miles had been in a Museum since the early 80's. It had NO column bushing. Probably never did considering the low miles.

stevedmc
06-24-2012, 11:40 PM
I judged a Car at DCS-12 (Delorean Marque Certification) (formerly known as Concours) The car had less than 3000 Miles had been in a Museum since the early 80's. It had NO column bushing. Probably never did considering the low miles.

No offense but low mileage means nothing on a Delorean considering the fact angle drives break all the time. Did anyone bother to see if the angle drive worked on this low mileage car?

opethmike
06-26-2012, 06:24 PM
Not trying to argue with Mr. Rice here, but I have had my cut and cram bushing in my car for ~3 years now, without any issue.

stevedmc
06-26-2012, 06:57 PM
Not trying to argue with Mr. Rice here, but I have had my cut and cram bushing in my car for ~3 years now, without any issue.

My opinion is based on Farrars experience.

ramblinmike
06-27-2012, 09:27 AM
I judged a Car at DCS-12 (Delorean Marque Certification) (formerly known as Concours) The car had less than 3000 Miles had been in a Museum since the early 80's. It had NO column bushing. Probably never did considering the low miles.

910 had no bushing when I got it at 17,000 miles. I figured the original bushing had fallen apart.