Loose steering column

Loose steering column

Postby icebrrg3rdicebrrg3rd is online! [OP] » March 16th 2010, 5:25pm

Well, I looked thru the steering stuff, not sure if I need a new column or just tighten 4 bolts as in another post. Here's what my column does: where it pivots up and down for the tilt, there is also some slop left and right. I can move the steering wheel to the left & right about 1-2". This in in the column, not the linkage. There is no slop or free play in turning the vehicle. Any advice?

Thanks, Andrew
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Re: Loose steering column

Postby Mr_Bowtie » March 16th 2010, 5:36pm

Thats what my old Safari was doing exactly. I assumed the only fix was a new steering column. Unless there is something you can tighten up like your saying inside of the steering column?
Swapping out the steering column isn't that hard at all if thats what you end up doing.
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Re: Loose steering column

Postby icebrrg3rdicebrrg3rd is online! [OP] » March 16th 2010, 5:57pm

I wasn't sure if it could be fixed. This is the post that I'm wondering about. Maybe $uperjoe can chime in since it looks like he answered that post (if he's not welding up some super fantastic 4x4 thing for his rig) I'd rather tighten a few bolts over replacing, but either way I can do it. Was looking cost savings, tho. Is the column only from other Astros, or can you use full size van ones?
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Re: Loose steering column

Postby remark123 » March 16th 2010, 8:25pm

There are 4 torx heads down in the column that need to be tightened. I can't remember exactly how far down you have to go, certainly as far as the tilt mechanism. Use some Loctite 243 on the ends of those bolts when you put it back together... why GM never released a fix for that is beyond me...
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Re: Loose steering column

Postby offroad safari » March 16th 2010, 8:51pm

pm me i have a pdf that shows how to fix it, it's not the easiest thing to do, but if you're careful, lay the parts out, and be super careful when you get to the bearings, its not too bad.

if anyone knows how to post a pdf, let me know
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Re: Loose steering column

Postby Mr_Bowtie » March 16th 2010, 10:10pm

icebrrg3rd wrote:I wasn't sure if it could be fixed. This is the post that I'm wondering about. Maybe $uperjoe can chime in since it looks like he answered that post (if he's not welding up some super fantastic 4x4 thing for his rig) I'd rather tighten a few bolts over replacing, but either way I can do it. Was looking cost savings, tho. Is the column only from other Astros, or can you use full size van ones?


Dang wish I would have known that a couple months ago. :lol:
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Re: Loose steering column

Postby Jasen » March 17th 2010, 2:11am

Had this problem in an 80 Buick. Pull the wheel and I believe the lock cylinder and a few other pieces and remove the screws that hold the knuckle together, a drop of loc tight on the screws and put it back together. Not sure about these vans, but if there is a little retaining ring at the top of the steering shaft, chase the groove out with a hacksaw blade and make sure it's clean. BTDT.
The stealers flat rate book says 4.5 hrs on a 80 Buick. Took me 2 hrs and I left a part out twice :banghead:
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Re: Loose steering column

Postby icebrrg3rdicebrrg3rd is online! [OP] » March 17th 2010, 4:51pm

Ok thanks. I'm going to look into it this weekend. I didn't want to waste time taking it apart if it wasn't fixable, and I didn't want to replace it if it could be fixed. I'll try to take some pics (if I remember) when I tear into it. Gotta pick up a repair manual, Haynes at least. Maybe I'll come across a good factory one for sale.

Oh, and I can put my "custom" steering wheel on it too! Have had it since my Camaro in the late 80's, and has been on every Chevy (GM) I've owned!

-Andrew
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Re: Loose steering column

Postby astro355 » March 17th 2010, 6:56pm

Jasen wrote:Had this problem in an 80 Buick. Pull the wheel and I believe the lock cylinder and a few other pieces and remove the screws that hold the knuckle together, a drop of loc tight on the screws and put it back together. Not sure about these vans, but if there is a little retaining ring at the top of the steering shaft, chase the groove out with a hacksaw blade and make sure it's clean. BTDT.
The stealers flat rate book says 4.5 hrs on a 80 Buick. Took me 2 hrs and I left a part out twice :banghead:


Yes, and please don't forget that loc-tite. Unwise you'll be doing it again. And yeah, 4.5hrs seems like a very long time to r&r a steering column.
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Re: Loose steering column

Postby icebrrg3rdicebrrg3rd is online! [OP] » March 22nd 2010, 4:40pm

Actually, that 4.5 hrs sounds about right for someone who hasn't done it before, doesn't have a manual (yet), and lacks the special tools to do it faster. But I did get it fixed! One bolt was actually all the way loose! I just had to pull it out. But they're loc-tited and replaced, and my steering wheel is as solid as a rock! Here's a pic of those 4 offending torx bolts. I'll have to write up a how-to on it later, I did take a few pics during the assembly.

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And my new steering wheel that graces all my Chevys

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Thanks for the help, saved me from spending a few bucks on a used column, and learned/did something new. Still gotta get me a manual, tho.

-Andrew
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Re: Loose steering column

Postby Mr_Bowtie » March 22nd 2010, 4:48pm

Nice work! Now I know what to do next time I got a loose steering column. :clap:
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Re: Loose steering column

Postby Jasen » March 23rd 2010, 2:38am

:thumbup: :thumbup:
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Re: Loose steering column

Postby danielturbo » May 16th 2011, 6:26pm

I know this thread is from last year, put did you ever made a "how to" ? Is that just to remove the steering wheel with a puller and re-torque these bolts with Loctite ?

THanks !
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Re: Loose steering column

Postby chevy57bertchevy57bert is online! » May 16th 2011, 11:25pm

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Re: Loose steering column

Postby Drifter » September 11th 2011, 7:24pm

What year did chevy change or fix the problem or did the design stay the same through 05?
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