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Im working on my steering column of my 1989 Cadillac Brougham.. its got alot of play in it right at the tilt pivot joint. In other words, if you grab the wheel you can move it horizontally left and right and vertically up and down (its only supposed to "turn" left or right). I've taken it apart and it seems that the bearing is shot. Does this look like a shot bearing to you? (pictures with wheel removed)....







 

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Re: Steering colum berring question.

Nice pictures. That's a real common issue on those older columns. Believe it or not, quite often, the problem is just the large phillips head screws under the turn signal switch get loose. Other than that, the bearings DO have a history of going bad.
 

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Re: Steering colum berring question.

Katshot said:
Nice pictures. That's a real common issue on those older columns. Believe it or not, quite often, the problem is just the large phillips head screws under the turn signal switch get loose. Other than that, the bearings DO have a history of going bad.

Thanks for the reply. I just got back from the junk yard to find another bearing. But they are just as bad as mine. And I made sure to check for "play" before I took the junkers apart, they were solid! So I dont think its the bearing anymore. Something else is going on... I'll check those phillips head screws...

Paul
 

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Re: Steering colum berring question.

Paul_K said:
Thanks for the reply. I just got back from the junk yard to find another bearing. But they are just as bad as mine. And I made sure to check for "play" before I took the junkers apart, they were solid! So I dont think its the bearing anymore. Something else is going on... I'll check those phillips head screws...

Paul
I think the bearing is ok. When you have the wheel and the lock plate removed that bearing is no longer under load. Hence it will flop around. A very common problem on the saginaw columns is 4 bolts very deep inside the column will loosen up.

Check #61 in the attached photo

http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/3768672/1062546650016_column.jpg

Logan
 

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Re: Steering colum berring question.

Logandiagnostic said:
I think the bearing is ok. When you have the wheel and the lock plate removed that bearing is no longer under load. Hence it will flop around. A very common problem on the saginaw columns is 4 bolts very deep inside the column will loosen up.

Check #61 in the attached photo

http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/3768672/1062546650016_column.jpg

Logan

Ahhh yes... Ive seen that diagram in my repaire manual and while I was at the junk yard, I took apart a columb down past that point. I know what your talking about. I will check both of your suggestions out tommarow....
 

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Re: Steering colum berring question.

Paul_K said:
Im working on my steering colum of my 1989 Cadillac Brougham.. its got alot of play in it right at the tilt pivot joint. In other words, if you grab the wheel you can move it horizontally left and right and vertically up and down (its only supposed to "turn" left or right). I've taken it apart and it seems that the berring is shot. Does this look like a shot berring to you? (pictures with wheel removed)....







No the problem is the tilt bowl is worn. The holes that the tilt bowl pins fit are worn out, reamed out. You will need to take the steering col. down farther to remove the tilt bowl. Not knowing your ability, its a tough job for the trained. Lots of little pieces and they have to go back in the right spot, no close enough!!!!!!!!!
 

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Re: Steering colum berring question.

cadfan said:
No the problem is the tilt bowl is worn. The holes that the tilt bowl pins fit are worn out, reamed out. You will need to take the steering col. down farther to remove the tilt bowl. Not knowing your ability, its a tough job for the trained. Lots of little pieces and they have to go back in the right spot, no close enough!!!!!!!!!



where is the tilt bowl on this drawing, if you dont mind me asking?
 

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Re: Steering colum berring question.

Paul_K said:


where is the tilt bowl on this drawing, if you dont mind me asking?
Ok Mr. Paul K. If you are ready for the task. The bowl- nice diagram by the way- is part #46. The pins in ? are parts# 39. You will have to tear the column farther down than you have it in the pictures. Do you have telescopic steering wheel, cuase that will make it alittle more difficult. Anyway, the trick is getting the pins out. They have holes that are threaded in them. There is a special tool for pulling them out. I dont have the tool part number with me and is very difficult to descirbe. Without it damage to many parts of the column will occur. Wish I read this during the day, I could have gotten that number for you. The pins need to be pulled out straight, they dont unscrew- a major misconception. When you get to the bowl you should be able to see the bowl pin hole that is reamed out. By your expanation, should be the right side- most common. If more help is needed, e-mail me, more than happy to help.
 

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Re: Steering colum berring question.

I doubt I'd suggest an un-trained person try to tear-down a column. I've had to rebuild ones that were given to me in baskets by supposedly trained mechanics. It's NOT an easy job. Very easy to loose parts etc. Most junk yards around here will do one for like $150 complete. Well worth it in most cases.
 

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Re: Steering colum berring question.

Katshot said:
I doubt I'd suggest an un-trained person try to tear-down a column. I've had to rebuild ones that were given to me in baskets by supposedly trained mechanics. It's NOT an easy job. Very easy to loose parts etc. Most junk yards around here will do one for like $150 complete. Well worth it in most cases.
It was late last night. The info is correct, but I would agree, this is not a task for even some train techs. I myself remember many times saying oh sh*t when doing one of these.
 

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I found your site through Google, while trying to look up information for a "computer illiterate" friend whose only mode of transportation, a 1970 El Dorado, broke down when he came to visit us in the mountains. As "po folks" we make a habit of attempting to repair problems ourselves...but we got really stuck on this one. (We got to the point in the pictures) After reading this tread, we looked into hiring a mechanic to complete the work. In short, your site has been extremely helpful. I particularly appreciated the print friendly version, which enabled me to print the information for their reference. My brother in-law just purchased an older cadillac, and I will refer him to your site as well.

:) :) :) :) :)
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!
Carla, Michael, and John
 

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Re: Steering colum berring question.

cadfan said:
Ok Mr. Paul K. If you are ready for the task. The bowl- nice diagram by the way- is part #46. The pins in ? are parts# 39. You will have to tear the column farther down than you have it in the pictures. Do you have telescopic steering wheel, cuase that will make it alittle more difficult. Anyway, the trick is getting the pins out. They have holes that are threaded in them. There is a special tool for pulling them out. I dont have the tool part number with me and is very difficult to descirbe. Without it damage to many parts of the column will occur. Wish I read this during the day, I could have gotten that number for you. The pins need to be pulled out straight, they dont unscrew- a major misconception. When you get to the bowl you should be able to see the bowl pin hole that is reamed out. By your expanation, should be the right side- most common. If more help is needed, e-mail me, more than happy to help.
I am having a similar problem with my tilt steering but I don't seem to be able to see any of the pictures or diagrams that are referenced in this thread. I'd love to get a better idea of what the inside of the column looks like.
Thanks, Steve
 

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Re: Steering colum berring question.

Logandiagnostic said:
I think the bearing is ok. When you have the wheel and the lock plate removed that bearing is no longer under load. Hence it will flop around. A very common problem on the saginaw columns is 4 bolts very deep inside the column will loosen up.

Check #61 in the attached photo

http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/3768672/1062546650016_column.jpg

Logan
I am having the same problem with my steering wheel. Could you please send me the image that you referred to. It doesn't show up in the forum.
Thanks,
Steve [email protected].com
 

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Check here: http://www.gnttype.org/techarea/suspension/t_steering.html

This is the most common problem with GM Columns.

GM sells the bearing kits and also a rack kit for the column. Check on them. I broke the bearing cage on mine. Steering columns are not fun. I was successful, but hated it. I was doing mine at night, in the car, at 10 degrees F. And as you know, you have to have the battery disconnected..... It sucked, bad. I eventually broke a major part of it years later in an unrelated incident. And it was not repairable without dissassembly. It is still broke to this day.... I hate steering columns!
 

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I agree, replacement is often easier!

And if you don't have one, you can get a tilt/teloscoping column! But not if you have an airbag....(In the COLUMN, not the person sitting in the passenger seat!)
 
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