Tilt Column Install

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Tilt Column Install

Post by Hawk03 on Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:08 pm

I tried to install a tilt column yesterday and ran into a couple of issues.

The ignition starter switch on the column is different between the non tilt and tilt column. Do I only need to turn the plugs the other way (upside down from the non tilt column) and they will plug in fine to the starter switch?

The steering wheel positions on the two columns are different. The steering wheel sits straight and the car is aligned with the old column, once I install the new column, the steering wheel is off center when the front wheels are straight. Can you adjust anything in the column to align it in the same position as the old column?
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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by fasrnur on Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:29 pm

I believe the answer to both questions are yes Hawk03. I know the switch problem is as simple as flipping the plugs. The other one I believe is just as you stated.
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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by g3chevy on Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:58 pm

Hey Hawk03! I'm assuming that's the column you got from me? The ignition switch plugs should be the same but could be oriented differently than the non-tilt column. As far as the steering wheel not lining up with the tires, how far off is it? 45 degrees? 90 degrees? The groove in the shaft on the engine side of the firewall should be positioned just as your old column. Same with the mark on the steering wheel shaft. Let me know or better yet post some pics and we'll get it figured out.
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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by Hawk03 on Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:34 pm

Thanks! Yes Bill, it is the one I purchased from you. Below is how it sits now, painted firethorn red. I think its about 90 - 180 degrees off from the old one. I don't have any pics to show but it seems but when the notch in the shaft is aligned with the collar (on top) in the engine bay the steering wheel notch is almost at the bottom. Looking at the column now the steering wheel notch (horn button plastic tube) is in the correct position compared to the old column but the notch on the shaft is on the right side when looking down the column. Its like I need to turn the shaft to align the notch while the steering wheel stays put.

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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by g3chevy on Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:23 pm

Hmmmm....not really sure what's going on. I'll have to look at another column I have at my shop tomorrow and see how it lines up. So if you position the steering wheel correctly where is the groove in the output shaft pointing?
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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by Hawk03 on Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:13 am

The below pics are of the shaft notches aligned. The new column is about 45 degrees off from the old column.




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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by g3chevy on Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:18 am

Great pics. From what I can tell you need to remove the turn signal cover plate that has the 3 screws and rotate it 1/3 turn clockwise and then screw it down. That should get you back where you need to be. Let me know if that works.
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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by Hawk03 on Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:54 pm

I took the cover off and I need to move the plastic tube the horn wire goes through but its all the way toward the top it can go. Can I take the black ring off and move the plastic tube up more?

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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by Hawk03 on Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:43 pm

I think I figured it out. I pushed in the black button type thing in the top left of the above picture and was able to push the assembly up. I will hopefully try installing this again soon.
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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by g3chevy on Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:48 pm

Dang! I forgot about that. You'll need a lock plate depressor to push in the lock plate and take out the clip around the shaft that holds it in. If you don't have one you should be able to rent one at the local auto parts store Then you can take everything off and clock it properly. Send me a pm if you need help and I'll give you my phone number.
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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by g3chevy on Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:16 pm

After looking at the clocking on the lock plate and the mark on the steering shaft I'm thinking that this is clocked properly comparing it to your original column. If you turn the mark straight up then the horn contact will be positioned correctly as well. Where is the notch on the lower column shaft positioned when everything up top is in the correct position?
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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by g3chevy on Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:40 pm

Just checked the other extra tilt column I have. Looks like when the steering wheel shaft is straight up in the 12 o'clock position the notch in the shaft at the end of the column should be on top. Here are pics for reference.




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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by Hawk03 on Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:53 pm

Thanks for the pics. I bought the lock plate tool and a new turn signal switch. I figured since I was already there I might as well replace the switch with a new one. Getting the locking ring was a little difficult and a pick set is a must. I adjusted the notch and now everything should line up.

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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by 77camino on Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:20 pm

Iím giving thought to replacing my column with a tilt one also. At 6í4Ē itís a little tough getting in and out. I have never pulled one out before, how hard is it to remove out of the car and did you change out the ignition switch? Did you take pictures off the removal?
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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by Hawk03 on Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:46 pm

Its not hard to take a column out. There is a bolt you have to remove on on the steering shaft in the engine bay along with the gear shift linkage. If you notice in the above pics, the gear on the end of the column, the bolt fits in that grove. Then there is a brace on the inside of the firewall you need to remove as well as all of the HVAC ducking below the column. Then you unbolt the column from the dash and it should pull out. Make sure to unhook the electric connectors as well.

The column I bought did not come with a ignition cylinder so I bought a new one and installed it. From what I have read, removing the cylinder can be tricky to remove from the column since you have to remove the lock plate, turn signal switch and then find the button to unlock the cylinder. The ignition switch, the connection on top of the column are different between standard and tilt columns. You will need a steering wheel puller to remove the steering wheel.

I haven't tried to reinstall the column, I'm not sure when I will try again. When I do, I will try and take some pics.
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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by g3chevy on Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:44 pm

Glad you got it figured out. Let me know how it works when you get it installed.
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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by Hawk03 on Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:31 pm

Attempt #2 was a bust. Not sure what year the tilt column is out of but the output shaft if shorter then the one from my 77 and the notch is not the same size. I tried pushing it in the rag joint but it wouldn't go in all the way and was tough to remove. The diameter seems the same just the length. The one on the right is the 77 non tilt and the left is the tilt column.





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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by pila on Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:41 pm

Not to muddy up this thread, but when removing the column, the cable for the shift indicator has to be removed ( a screw into a Tinnerman nut) before dropping the column.. Finding one of those little cables could be a pain ! Wink

The tilt on my Malibu has become very stiff to move up & down. Not looking forward to taking it apart ! Surprised

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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by Limey SE on Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:01 pm

I would lay money you have a 73 Column your trying to swap I went thru the same thing with my Old Black se had to get two different columns to fix it because first one I got guy swore was from a 74 Come to find out was a 73

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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by pila on Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:59 pm

Mine came from a '73, and it fit OK. The stiff tilt it has now is the only problem I've had with it....

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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by g3chevy on Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:24 am

Hawk, I'm not certain of the year since I got this column with a bunch of other g3 parts when I purchased 2 parts cars about 10 years ago. This was in the trunk of one of them. But I would guess its a 75 or older since it has the metal lock plate cover. The 76 and up had the plastic cover. If it is a 73 it may use a different intermediate shaft??? I have couple in my stash so I'll compare for any differences and send you some pics. If I have one I'll send it to you so you can try it. If we can't find a fix for it I'll be happy to refund you for the column.
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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by g3chevy on Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:47 am

Hawk, I've found a 77 intermediate shaft and a 75 intermediate shaft and compared them side by side. You are correct, they are different. It looks like GM changed the steering assembly quite a bit in 77. They used a different steering box which has a smaller splined input shaft as well as different hose fittings. The 77 intermediate shaft is clocked 90 degrees different from the 73-76 intermediate shafts. The 77 even has a smaller rag joint. So there is a possible solution to this. The intermediate shafts slide apart so you have an upper and lower shaft. I could send you a intermediate shaft pictured below from a 75 Laguna and you could slide the upper part of the shaft off and place it on your lower shaft to make a hybrid. It should bolt up to the end of the steering column shaft without issue. Another solution is I can refund you for the column since I don't have a tilt column for a 77 that I can swap. Let me know what you think.

75 Shaft On The Left / 77 Shaft On The Right




More Pics Of Side By Side Comparison


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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by Hawk03 on Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:06 pm

Bill - No worries, thank you for the options! What's a project car without a project? Very Happy

I think I would like to change the intermediate shaft so the column would fit. How difficult is it to separate the two shafts? Do they just pull apart?
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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by g3chevy on Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:09 pm

Yes, they are all projects for sure! And yes, the intermediate shafts just pull apart. They may take some persuading though. And be sure not to lose the tension spring when you pull them apart. Its basically a long metal piece located near the end of the upper shaft with a slight bend to it to keep pressure on both parts of the shaft. I'll take some pictures tomorrow of the one that I have so you have a reference. From what I've measured both the pre-77 and 77 have the same dimensions on the upper and lower parts of the intermediate shaft so it should go together without too much trouble. Sorry about all this extra work I created for you. This is one of those learning curves that keep getting thrown at us no mater how many years we've been playing with these "projects"!
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Re: Tilt Column Install

Post by Hawk03 on Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:36 pm

Thanks. Not a big deal. One of the reasons I wanted to start this thread was so it could be here for future reference. I did notice when I was trying to remove the new column from the rag joint, after forcing it in, that the shaft was pulling away from each other.
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