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Tilt wheel loose. Hazardous or just annoying? by Rsvl-Rider
Started on: 05-10-2015 08:56 PM
Replies: 20 (1523 views)
Last post by: Rsvl-Rider on 05-17-2015 02:36 PM
Rsvl-Rider
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Report this Post05-10-2015 08:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well, I guess I am now experiencing the dreaded loose tilt mechanism in the steering column in my 88 GT. I have read a lot of threads on the topic and I'm not sure when I can get to it. It's not a job I am looking forward to. I've been into the column up to the wiper switch recently but any deeper seems like a royal pain, and I lack the preferred tools. I also have other projects on the 86 GT ahead of this new and unexpected problem.

Is this something that can wait, or is there an urgency in order to prevent a major failure?

------------------
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" I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them."

My rides...
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2006 Harley Sportster
'cause I love the twisties on two wheels or four.

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theogre
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Report this Post05-10-2015 10:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Very annoying now can because very dangerous very quickly.
It's not something to fool with. Fix it ASAP.

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84fiero123
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Report this Post05-11-2015 11:44 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
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:

Very annoying now can because very dangerous very quickly.
It's not something to fool with. Fix it ASAP.



Agree

Steve

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and one big pain in the ass when it doesn't



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zmcdonal
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Report this Post05-11-2015 03:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I just fixed mine over the weekend. If it's just starting to loosen up, it will progress very fast. The job isn't too terrible, took the better part of an afternoon. That was the first time I had ever been that deep into a column, I had done a turn signal switch before as well but never any deeper. I will say that it is worth the money to go buy the tilt pin puller tool, the parts store near me had to order one because it wasn't something they stocked.

When I got down to the loose bolts below the tilt mechanism, I discovered that 2 of them had completely backed all the way out, and the other 2 were very loose.

Here are a few links to youtube videos that were extremely helpful to get the job done:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nq4zNp61uII
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns_IYsDshuo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvq-qQFhqm0

The threads and write-ups on here are good, but it really helps to watch someone else do the job step by step.

[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 05-11-2015).]

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gmctyphoon1992
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Report this Post05-11-2015 06:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gmctyphoon1992Click Here to Email gmctyphoon1992Send a Private Message to gmctyphoon1992Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
and just an FYI if you decide not to do it yourself look for about 2 -3 hours of labor at a reputable shop!

Also a tasteful suggestion some lock tight on those 4 simple hard to get to bolts would be a good idea if your that deep in the column.

You do Not want to have to do that job a second time for awhile TRUST Me! lol.
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Patrick
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Report this Post05-11-2015 07:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Seriously, I think it's easier to just replace the whole column. Obviously that requires finding a good used replacement, but after having tightened up those damn four bolts in my first Fiero years ago, I wouldn't want to have to do that procedure again.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 05-12-2015).]

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seq
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Report this Post05-11-2015 09:39 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
It can be dangerous. My car kept turning off when I was driving, and it turns out the column was moving enough to turn the key.

I did this last year, following these instructions and having about ten numbered baggies handy (one for each "layer").

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Rsvl-Rider
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Report this Post05-11-2015 11:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by gmctyphoon1992:

and just an FYI if you decide not to do it yourself look for about 2 -3 hours of labor at a reputable shop!


Yeah, I really don't want to do this myself. I got an estimate of 2 hours labor at the Chevy dealer. I figured they must have some experienced guys that could knock this out in good time but with a $260 estimate I am rethinking it. Also considering Patrick's suggestion of the column swap. Might be something at Pick N Pull if I can find one. I'd just hate to replace it just to find out the replacement has some other problem.

I know this column was in wide use in GM vehicles but don't know which ones. Anyone got a list of easier to find vehicles that used the same one?
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pdemondo
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Report this Post05-12-2015 12:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for pdemondoClick Here to Email pdemondoSend a Private Message to pdemondoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rsvl-Rider:


Yeah, I really don't want to do this myself. I got an estimate of 2 hours labor at the Chevy dealer. I figured they must have some experienced guys that could knock this out in good time but with a $260 estimate I am rethinking it. Also considering Patrick's suggestion of the column swap. Might be something at Pick N Pull if I can find one. I'd just hate to replace it just to find out the replacement has some other problem.

I know this column was in wide use in GM vehicles but don't know which ones. Anyone got a list of easier to find vehicles that used the same one?


I don't think any column but one for a Fiero will work. without some modification. (from Fiero Secrets page)

You can fix the wobble yourself. There are a few threads on the forum that will show you most the of the steps, Just make sure to have a pivot pin puller and the
star socket to tighten the four bolts. Oh and some medium lock tight. You also need the steering wheel removal tool.

I have done 4 steering wheels so far. Each time I have done one, it had been so long since the last time that I have to pretty much relearn what to do. If you take
pictures as you are disassembling the steering wheel it will help you to remember how to put it back together.
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theogre
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Report this Post05-12-2015 12:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rsvl-Rider:
I know this column was in wide use in GM vehicles but don't know which ones. Anyone got a list of easier to find vehicles that used the same one?

Not quite...
Upper tilt section is used on many old GM vehicles.
Tube that mounted to dash is different and is made model specific.

You can get tilt parts from many cars but Replace a whole column need to come from a Fiero.
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theogre
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Report this Post05-12-2015 01:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

theogre

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quote
Originally posted by pdemondo:
You can fix the wobble yourself. There are a few threads on the forum that will show you most the of the steps, Just make sure to have a pivot pin puller and the
star socket to tighten the four bolts. Oh and some medium lock tight. You also need the steering wheel removal tool.

Pin puller often not needed but can help. Most time easy to pull out w/ screw and pliers. W/o puller be careful or can break the column.
Torq/star socket is nice but not needed either. The bolts don't need much torque. Over torquing will wreck the tube and metal "nut" part.

Use loctite blue on the 4 bolts.
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Rsvl-Rider
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Report this Post05-12-2015 02:18 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:

You can get tilt parts from many cars but Replace a whole column need to come from a Fiero.


Sigh... That thins out the possibilities pretty well.

So, any year / model Fiero?

And it has to be from an automatic to go in my automatic, right?

I seem to recall seeing one with that annoying key release lever. Was that just the 84 model?

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Report this Post05-12-2015 05:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for flimbobSend a Private Message to flimbobEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You have no guarantee that another column will not develop the same issue, as this problem is common to all Fiero columns with tilt. I would not trust a used column. The work is not that difficult. The tutorial is precise and easy to follow. You may have to bite the bullet on one or two of the tools, but in the end you will have major piece of mind.

[This message has been edited by flimbob (edited 05-12-2015).]

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seq
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Report this Post05-12-2015 09:48 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
You might even be able to borrow required tools from the parts store. I know the stores near here have tool loan programs.

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Report this Post05-12-2015 02:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for E.FurgalSend a Private Message to E.FurgalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rsvl-Rider:


Yeah, I really don't want to do this myself. I got an estimate of 2 hours labor at the Chevy dealer. I figured they must have some experienced guys that could knock this out in good time but with a $260 estimate I am rethinking it. Also considering Patrick's suggestion of the column swap. Might be something at Pick N Pull if I can find one. I'd just hate to replace it just to find out the replacement has some other problem.

I know this column was in wide use in GM vehicles but don't know which ones. Anyone got a list of easier to find vehicles that used the same one?

What makes you think an other unit isn't about to do the same thing, not many cars in a u=pull-it that are low miles..
it's not that bad...
I'm sure many on here bought the tools.. you might put a want to buy ad in the mall and get the tools, and do it..
you might even find someone that will loan you the tools, but the shipping back and forth,might cost more than the tools,
the stear wheel puller you don't need, you just need one person to be pulling on wheel and with nut loosened to the top of threads,, someone to give it(nut) a nice tap with a hammer, it comes right off..
the other tools are cheap.. compaired to the bill for a shop.. and you can always sell them to the next guy with a g.m. tilt..

[This message has been edited by E.Furgal (edited 05-12-2015).]

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ltlfrari
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Report this Post05-12-2015 02:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The only special tools you need are the lock plate compressor which you can rent from most auto stores and the pivot pin removal tool J21854-01
There are plenty of guides on here and the net eg http://www.fieros.de/en/articles/steering.html on how to do this. It's not hard to do. Heck, if I can do it anyone can!

And it might just save your life (or at least avoid a bad crash).

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zmcdonal
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Report this Post05-12-2015 05:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by zmcdonal:

Here are a few links to youtube videos that were extremely helpful to get the job done:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nq4zNp61uII
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns_IYsDshuo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvq-qQFhqm0



These 3 videos are a 3 part step by step how everything comes apart and will show you everything you need to know. No need to take pictures or even keep small bags of parts to keep things straight, I pretty much had everything in a pile on the floor. There were a couple times during dis-assembly that I wanted to double check my memory of how exactly something came apart (like the locking pin for the steering and the spring for it) so I pulled out my phone and watched that specific part again.

No need for a star socket either, a 1/4 socket fits the bolts very tightly, and like theogre said, they don't need much torque but loctite is a good idea, I used red myself because I don't see any reason I would ever have to tear into the column that far again.

You can rent a wheel puller and lock plate compressor from autozone, $20 a piece rental charge. The only "special" tool I had to buy was the tilt pin puller.

[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 05-12-2015).]

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Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post05-12-2015 07:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've done the job a few times and it IS necessary to fix for safely reasons. Once you pull the wheel and remove the lock plate; disassembly and reassembly isn't too hard. You've got to strip the column down all the way and remove the U joint to get at the last of the 4 bolts that hold the bowl in place. If you haven't done the job, do not be afraid to tackle it as the column is idiot proof and all parts only assemble (or go in) one way. Just be careful during the process, not to lose the small bearing balls and use grease on them (to hold them in place) when they are put back in.

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Report this Post05-12-2015 08:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cmechmannClick Here to Email cmechmannSend a Private Message to cmechmannEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
These have been doing this for years. In all GM Saginaw tilt units. I've have repaired 100s. But only 2 of my own. 1 being the 85 GT. Might be doing the 87, just as a precaution.
They are durable for what they are doing. The biggest issue is that most people let them slam to the top when they pull the tilt handle back. It is not designed for that. It is designed for you to have one hand on the wheel and one on the tilt handle. The spring is to keep the wheel from dropping with your hand on it.
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theogre
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Report this Post05-13-2015 02:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by cmechmann:
These have been doing this for years. In all GM Saginaw tilt units. I've have repaired 100s. But only 2 of my own. 1 being the 85 GT. Might be doing the 87, just as a precaution.
They are durable for what they are doing. The biggest issue is that most people let them slam to the top when they pull the tilt handle back. It is not designed for that. It is designed for you to have one hand on the wheel and one on the tilt handle. The spring is to keep the wheel from dropping with your hand on it.

That and many love to use Steering Wheel as a Handle to get in/out of car. Repeated abuse will cause problems even in many current models.

LT Blue just make sure can't vibrate loose but isn't a problem when you don't use it. I did mine 15+ years ago... Didn't use loctite and still fine but I don't beat the crap out of the column. Unlike PO that let tilt to slam and use the wheel as a handle.

Saginaw columns were used by GM and some others often w/ different trim like Chrysler gen 1 and 2 mini vans.
Many said "GM make junk columns" but they had it wrong and still think so... GM and all others made them "weak" on purpose to meet FMVSS. Why? So the column and wheel will bend/break in a wreck so does less damage to the Driver. Since late 60's Ever Column and Wheel are made like this to save Driver's life. Not for Anti Theft reasons.
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Rsvl-Rider
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Report this Post05-17-2015 02:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
All fixed!

I saw mmeyer86gt/gtp at his place on Friday and he fixed it up. He really knows his way around the steering column and he has the tools to get the job done. Nice and tight. Feels great again!

A big thanks from me, Matt!

------------------
John Wayne as John Bernard Books in The Shootist...
" I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them."

My rides...
1988 GT with a 3.4L V6 automatic
2006 Harley Sportster
'cause I love the twisties on two wheels or four.

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