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"Stalling" while driving due to loose steering wheel by seq
Started on: 05-26-2014 10:31 PM
Replies: 11 (390 views)
Last post by: fffttt1 on 05-30-2014 06:28 AM
seq
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Report this Post05-26-2014 10:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for seqClick Here to Email seqSend a Private Message to seqEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
This is more of an FYI based on a discovery today -- not sure if this is documented, since I didn't see it in Ogre's cave.

While I've been trying to fix things up on my 87 GT, I've been somewhat pressed for time and haven't had a moment to doing a few important things, like tightening the loose steering column.

Over the last week or so, the car has started stalling while driving. Usually just when I come around a corner and am changing gears. I put GM's Fuel System cleaner in a week before that, so i thought maybe crud from the tank clogged the fuel filter causing a fuel delivery issue. So, all ready to change my filter, but I don't have the correct size wrench -- off to the store. This time, the car "stalled" while still in gear. I simply touched the key, and it "bump" started (was still in gear).

Turns out, it's not a fuel delivery issue at all, and I can now reproduce at will. With the key on, I can move the steering column from side to side until it shifts the key just outside of the 'on' position -- close enough that I can poke it back to 'on' easily with one finger.

Obviously I've parked the car until I have some time to fix the wheel (Maybe I'll finally pull the seats to put on my Mr. Mikes leathers).

The punchline of the situation is my Cobalt, which works fine, is waiting on recall parts to replace it's potentially faulty ignition module, which can cause loss of power steering and airbags. So I've been driving the Fiero to work, which actually has been turning itself off, and also doesn't have power steering or airbags.

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Seq

1987 Fiero GT : Information | Gallery

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seq
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Report this Post05-27-2014 08:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for seqClick Here to Email seqSend a Private Message to seqEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
For anyone curious, I filmed it in action.
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85 SE VIN 9
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Report this Post05-27-2014 08:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 85 SE VIN 9Click Here to Email 85 SE VIN 9Send a Private Message to 85 SE VIN 9Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Your ignition switch may need to be adjusted. It only needs to move a hair, but to do that you pretty much have to take the dash off. You can try spraying white lithium grease down the top of the steering column. The pushrod may be binding between the switch and column. Somebody may have adjusted it to work with the loose steering column. Could you have left something out or something that would make the motion that causes the problem possible?
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84fiero123
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Report this Post05-28-2014 10:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
ignition switch is attached to the lower section of the steering column and should not be affected by movement of the column itself as they both move together as one unit. it sounds more like something is getting hung up on the rod coming from the key switch to the rod connecting it to the electrical switch on the lower part of the column. just tighten the bolts holding the column in place and your problem should be solved.

Steve

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Technology is great when it works,
and one big pain in the ass when it doesn't



Detroit iron rules all the rest are just toys.

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seq
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Report this Post05-28-2014 10:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for seqClick Here to Email seqSend a Private Message to seqEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I got about half-way through the disassembly last night when a thunderstorm started -- and it was already far too hot and humid to continue with the doors & windows closed.. I'll hopefully finish tonight.
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seq
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Report this Post05-29-2014 11:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for seqClick Here to Email seqSend a Private Message to seqEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I finished my tear-down last night. Between the how-to I was following (for a fiero) and a video I was referencing (for a suburban with the same column), I didn't have any issues I couldn't easily solve by re-examining the instructions.

The torx sockets I bought were far too large to get on the four bolts at the base, but carefully using a regular socket, I was able to remove, apply loctite, and re-install. At least two of the bolts appeared to be entirely loose. Whether that was due to my fighting with the column, or if they were indeed just hanging there I can't say for sure. I'm not sure how well the other two were installed, because I didn't try to just pull them out right away.

When I disassembled the column, I put parts into numbered sandwich bags, roughly corresponding to the "layer" I was working on. During reassembly, I started at bag #7 and worked my way to the next bag when all the parts were gone. I managed to get the column back together. I didn't even have any spare parts left over!

Car drives wonderfully now.

I find it handles a bit better, too, but that might just be pride and confirmation bias, and I've really only driven it for an hour so far. However, I did find the car kind of wandered around the road a bit before, particularly when I was changing gears. It doesn't at all now. Since there was several cm of travel in the column, I'm curious if I was holding the edge of the wheel still with one hand, but the column itself was pivoting around, causing the car to turn very slightly.

Either way, it's much better to drive when the steering wheel stays in one place, and the car isn't turning itself off.

Total time was two days after work. Probably would have been better to do on a single day over a weekend.
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ag9123
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Report this Post05-29-2014 11:57 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ag9123Click Here to Email ag9123Send a Private Message to ag9123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Did you see anything other than the loose bolts that would cause the care to stall?

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1984 Indy Fiero

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seq
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Report this Post05-29-2014 12:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for seqClick Here to Email seqSend a Private Message to seqEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Nothing else out of the ordinary that wasn't caused by the loose bolts.

The column was so loose there was a lot of play on the actuating arm that actually controls the ignition. Not sure what the name is, but it's the one that looks like a bottle opener with teeth on one side (second last picture on this page). However, after tightening the bolts, there is no excess play on that part.
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85 SE VIN 9
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Report this Post05-29-2014 05:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 85 SE VIN 9Click Here to Email 85 SE VIN 9Send a Private Message to 85 SE VIN 9Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
"Ignition pushrod follower"

I was under the impression you had already done the tightening.

The wandering sounds familiar. It sounds like I have another column teardown in my future.

Good job on getting that done and getting everything back in on the first try. Not the easiest job in the world!

Thanks for the update!
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fffttt1
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Report this Post05-29-2014 10:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fffttt1Click Here to Email fffttt1Send a Private Message to fffttt1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Had the loose steering colum issue a few years ago. Found some good info/images on disassembly from a S10 forum. Reassembled and coated the bolt threads with red loctite, didn't want to ever do this fix again!!
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seq
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Report this Post05-29-2014 11:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for seqClick Here to Email seqSend a Private Message to seqEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fffttt1:

Had the loose steering colum issue a few years ago. Found some good info/images on disassembly from a S10 forum. Reassembled and coated the bolt threads with red loctite, didn't want to ever do this fix again!!


I probably should have used red, but only had blue on-hand.
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Report this Post05-30-2014 06:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fffttt1Click Here to Email fffttt1Send a Private Message to fffttt1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Blue loctite should hold forever........I went for overkill !
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