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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning ladies and gentlemen,

I was wondering what parts to buy to repair my 81’s tilt steering wheel problem. The wheel can be pushed up or down without pulling the lever. I have a shop manual but I have not found this problem listed as of yet in any of the troubleshooting areas. I noticed that Eckler’s has parts for the tilt steering wheel column but again I do not know what parts to buy.

The problem I have is very common to tilt steering wheel columns. I actually had a 76 Camaro back in the 80’s that had the same problem. Took that one to the Chevy dealership and had it repaired for about $150. I am sure that some of you have already dealt with it on your Vettes and I would like some input. I will fix this one myself, sorry Chevy.
 

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You may just need to adjust the lock wedge. If you remove the horn button and horn contact you will see a star bolt. There are two small screws that hold the locking ring. Remove the two screws then tighten the star bolt with a phillips screw driver. Then reinstall the lock ring with the two small screws. Then check the travel of the lock ring so it will lock and unlock .
 

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I had the same problem with one of my vettes.
The cure to my problem was,
i had to removed the horn button
and screw the big star shaped screw(the one with one small screw each side of it )
down a notch.You need to remove the two small screws before you can tighten the big one.I think some p/o had done some work on the column and had left it loose.
Since then my steering wheel only moves when i use the lever.
Before you buy any parts you might want to check this first.
:thumbsup:
 

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You may just need to adjust the lock wedge. If you remove the horn button and horn contact you will see a star bolt. There are two small screws that hold the locking ring. Remove the two screws then tighten the star bolt with a phillips screw driver. Then reinstall the lock ring with the two small screws. Then check the travel of the lock ring so it will lock and unlock .
Sorry ArtsVette73 you posted while i was typing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys, I will give it a look if I get some time tomorrow. What usually happens is when I get into the Vette and put any weight on the steering wheel for support it will flop down.

Thanks again for the input:thumbsup:
 

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You must be talking about the tilt - not the tele function.

The tilt funtion works off a rack & spring lever system that is at the base of the tilt mechanism.

It access it you have to pull the whole column apart.

Not hard to do, but you will need some column tools. Also, because the car is a tele car - there is a trick to getting the steering wheel off.

You have to get a 5/16x18 bolt and cut the head off. Then SLOT the head with your saw so you can put a screwdriver in it and turn it. You pull the tele mechanism off (the plate and star screw the guys are talking about) - then put your new bolt in. You need one at least 1" long. Thread it in place of the star bolt and get it good and tight. NOW you can use a standard steering wheel puller tool and yank the wheel. You can rent those at the local auto parts store.

You will also need the special tool that screws on after that and holds the horn ring down so you can pop the C clip and slide it off. After that you will use a philips (or possibly torx) and remove the three screws that hold the blinker mechanism in. You have to remove the hazard button and blinker stalk.

Now you can wiggle and jiggle and slide the blinker switch off the top of the column shaft and let it hang. You will then be able to pull the tab for the ignition switch and unscrew the next three large fasteners you see below. You can slide the ignition switch out and now slide the cover and mid section off the end and over the shaft.

Now - you are looking at the tilt stuff. You will see a pin pressed in each side of the column at the tilt point. I would bet yours are working out anyway. I screw a #10 bolt/screw in there and then pull those out. When you do the whole thing will plop out. Make sure you have either taken pictures - removed and placed parts in sequence, or have a good blow up schematic.

You will find the teeth are worn on the rack - or the pins are worn and sloppy. All of these parts can be bought new.

Find the problem there - then reverse the steps to get it slammed back together.

OH - make note of where the steering wheel is on the shaft so you put it back the same way.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks 69MyWay, you are correct sir. I am talking about the tilt not the tele portion of the mechanism. The other advice I was getting on this topic was starting to sound to good to be true lol. I thought to myself, my god why hasn’t someone else fixed this problem before me, it sounds so easy to do.

Now I know why I spent all day at the Chevy dealership with my Camaro getting this fix done back in 1987. I got there when the service department opened and sat in the lounge for about six to eight hours waiting on them to come get me. :thud: That car did not even have the tele wheel just the tilt. I still may try to do this myself, I just have to get motivated and tackle the job!
 

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Thanks 69MyWay, you are correct sir. I am talking about the tilt not the tele portion of the mechanism. The other advice I was getting on this topic was starting to sound to good to be true lol. I thought to myself, my god why hasn’t someone else fixed this problem before me, it sounds so easy to do.

Now I know why I spent all day at the Chevy dealership with my Camaro getting this fix done back in 1987. I got there when the service department opened and sat in the lounge for about six to eight hours waiting on them to come get me. :thud: That car did not even have the tele wheel just the tilt. I still may try to do this myself, I just have to get motivated and tackle the job!
You really need to download Jim Shea's papers on this. Do a search. Hopefully someone will post it.:thumbsup:
 

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You want to download my first Tilt & Telescoping Disassembly & Repair Paper #1. It has some quick tests that can help diagnose the problem.

Also, one thing I do remember that a steering column engineer friend mentioned to me. He said that the lock shoe slots and the pin that the shoes engage must be "dry as a bone." No grease or lubricant in the slots or on the pin. Otherwise, you can get the column head to ratchet.

You should be able to get to the shoes and pin without pulling the steering column from the car. Hopefully, all you need to do is disassemble the column head to the point where you can swab out the grooves and clean the pin. Otherwise, you may need to replace some of the shoes or pin.

Off the top of my head, Dr. Rebuild is the only company that has T&T shoes, pins, etc for sale. (If you need them.)

Jim
 
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