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Steering intermediate shaft install help.

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Steering intermediate shaft install help. Empty Steering intermediate shaft install help.

Post by Joe73 Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:43 am

Never ran into this problem before. Working with my original, stock, steering column and intermediate shaft. I've had this in and out of my car plenty of times and never ran into this problem.

The bell end, directly below the brake power booster slides on and off the column splines with relative ease. I have the splines lined up so the flat spot on the column lines up with the window opening on the bell in the center of the clamp. This is to allow the bolt to go through.

Well, the bell wont go on enough. The bell needs to slide on like another quarter inch. The bell is flush up to the column, no column splines exposed. Theres no play in and out on the column shaft.

I havent put much time into this install. This was supposed to be a quick install, LOL.

Any pointers to look for before I get out there again?? Thanks in advance.
Joe73
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Post by g3chevy / Mr Pontiac Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:19 am

Hey Joe, Hawk03 and I discovered that a 77 steering column is different than 73-76. Did you happen to update the column to a 77? I ended up sending Hawk03 a hybrid shaft I made out of a 77 lower intermediate shaft section and a 76 upper intermediate shaft section since I sold him a 76 tilt column for his build. He had a similar problem with his until we came up with this solution. I would PM him directly to get more details.
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Post by Joe73 Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:25 am

Hi G3. No upgrade. Still my original 73 column with original 73 intermediate shaft. All rebuilt. Just trying to install the original stuff back into the car. Dont know why the splines on the column arent out far enough. Have to take a good look at it again.
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Post by g3chevy / Mr Pontiac Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:03 pm

The only thing I can think of is the shaft inside the steering column worked its way up into the column itself. These are a "collapsable" shafts as well as the intermediate. That might be an area to look at. Would love to hear what you discover when you get it fixed. Good luck!
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Post by Joe73 Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:07 pm

Thanks. I actually tried to pull the column splines down a bit with a thick towel and pliers. I'll take a look again and post up the results. But I agree, that seems to be the issue.
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Post by Joe73 Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:55 am

Ok, tried looking at it this morning and I think I got it. Read about this issue on a couple vette forums which all stated that you either take the column apart or you have to put steady pulling pressure on it. NO hammering or you will damage the bearing. So since I have no idea why the column splines are in about a 1/4", I opted for the pulling option.

I took a pair of medium sized (about 6" long) vise grip pliers. I would have used a larger pair but they dont fit INSIDE the end of the column splines. I want to try to grip the splines with the least amount of damage if any. I inserted the vise grip inside the column spline tube and lined up the other side of the vise grip to the flat area where the coupler through bolt goes through. I figured if there was spline damage, that would be the easiest place to dress with a file but then again, the coupler doesnt have splines there anyway. So it should be good. I put a doubled piece of rag on the splines and clamped down tight.

Then I used a large pair of vise grips and clamped onto the small pair of vise grips. The forums suggested using a come along for steady pressure. I thought that would be difficult and I didnt think I would need all that much to pull this out. So I opted for a 1" ratchet strap. I hung the hook on the smaller vise grip since it wouldnt be able to slide down past the larger vise grip.

Then I ran the strap down, below the steering box and put the strap around the sway bar and hook it back onto the strap coming down. That way there was no metal on metal contact anywhere to scratch things up.

Snugged up the excess strap, gave it three clicks and it was pretty tight. I opted for a forth click which I got and then I noticed the strap went a bit slack and the column end bearing came out about a 1/2" inch. No problem, the splines were out where they needed to be.

I removed the bearing and retainer, cleaned them up and decided to change them. Well, I was finding out that the lower bearing, retainer and clip are used throughout several decades on GM vehicles as well as jeeps. Couple suppliers have the parts in a kit with prices ranging from 20 to 75 bucks all for the same stuff. I was able to get the part numbers from the parts in the kit.

Adapter 7805822
Clip 7804439
Bearing 7805700
Retainer 7804440

I cross referenced those numbers in my 1974 GM dealer parts manual, and they are correct. Then I looked through my stash of info I've saved over the years and found an article that mentioned Crown Automotive 4487696K as the kit for GM columns. Found some specs on this kit and it matches the GM parts. Prices varying on the kit from 20 to about 65 bucks. Ordered it on Amazon for $19 with free one-day shipping. So it will be here tomorrow. That crown part number is common for Jeep vehicles from back in the day that used GM columns.

Thats what I've found and how I'm proceeding. Will post up after I install.
Joe73
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Post by Joe73 Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:11 pm

Ok. Finished the install. The crown automotive lower column bearing/retainer/spring clip/and plastic thingie are all correct for my car. I mic'ed them up and they match. Bearing was already packed with grease.

Connected the lower part of the intermediate shaft to the rebuilt manual steering box using a lares 200 coupler rag joint coupler. Perfect fit. Rockauto has the cheapest price for that coupler at $18.

Thats about it. Everything is torqued down and ready. Just have to install the plastic coupler cover. The cover for the manual rag joint is pretty much round and about the size of a softball. Never seen another one.
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