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 FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement

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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:13 pm

BMD wrote:
Rickw wrote:
I had not heard of this issue until you posted about it, that's why I made the statement that I did above.
If this is a widespread problem then I agree with finding alternate parts that will last longer.
I personally have not had a problem, but that doesn't mean one doesn't exist.
Please post what you may find for alternative parts.
Thanks

Edit: I just noticed this thread is 5 pages long with a lot of complaints such as yours. I will read from the beginning.

If I was the only one with this problem then obviously there wouldn't be a need for a solution or a thread and if I find any alternative parts then I will definately post them. My comment is directed more to the mechanically inclined here at Rivperformance, who have the skliis and know how to perhaps try finding a permanent solution to the steering wheel slop! wink

The problem is that when you start altering the design of the steering column, you are putting your car, passengers, lives and lives of others at huge risk. If something unexpected happens, you can't STEER. Yes, I'm sure I could create a stronger knuckle. The thing we don't know is if it was designed that way for a reason.

For reference, my '98 has 140K on it and there is no slop. I mean, you can rock the steering wheel a teeny tiny amount side to side but I wouldn't even consider it much of anything.
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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:30 pm

BMD wrote:
. My comment is directed more to the mechanically inclined here at Rivperformance, who have the skliis and know how to perhaps try finding a permanent solution to the steering wheel slop! wink
Sorry I posted without reading the entire thread and sorry for my lack of skill, know how and mechanical ability.
I guess if you possessed the above traits you would not be asking for help either.
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BMD
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:11 pm

Rickw wrote:
BMD wrote:
. My comment is directed more to the mechanically inclined here at Rivperformance, who have the skliis and know how to perhaps try finding a permanent solution to the steering wheel slop! wink
Sorry I posted without reading the entire thread and sorry for my lack of skill, know how and mechanical ability.
I guess if you possessed the above traits you would not be asking for help either.

I am not exactly sure why your coming after me Rickw? scratch I wasn't suggesting that I have the skills to figure this out or that you are incapable of figuring it out or if it is even something that is safe enought to figure out as deekster_caddy indicated. All I said was that the bracket on many Rivs does have serious slop in them, some are at the point that doing nothing about it may result in personal injury and that if, there was a solution or if someone who is mechanically inclined wanted to attempt to figure out a solution, then that would be great.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:18 pm

My suggestion is to replace with OEM parts, period.
I'm not "coming after you", I was just responding to your statement.
Obviously a misunderstanding on both our parts, I apologize if I offended you in any way.
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robotennis61
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:11 pm

reading into this thread reminds me that i too have a slight wheel flop. while i havent gone into the steering column yet one day i will. the riv design imo does everything it can to minimize vibration in the column by using plastics and bushings and whatever else,again i have only gone into the manual and made observations at this point. what we have is a multiple component column that has many pieces and some are bound to fail.plastics cast alu..etc. if i were going to do a repair i might just go ahead and replace the column for a fraction of the cost of a new one. 1 big fat borgesson u joint and a straight chrome-moly tube and maybe a tilt mechanism if i could find one. thats alot of fabrication but will adress all these slop issues. and will also transmit vibration. but the steering would feel awsome. imo fabricating a bracket would not be too invloved. just alot of crap to get out of the way. and say goodbye to all the little goodies on the wheel. not to mention the air bag. but trying to engineer around the stock design that was designed to collapse along with all its supporting bits would be really expensive. its on my list of to do things. if it happens ill post pics.....i didnt read the whole thread ..so...am i off base here?
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BMD
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:15 pm

Rickw wrote:
My suggestion is to replace with OEM parts, period.
I'm not "coming after you", I was just responding to your statement.
Obviously a misunderstanding on both our parts, I apologize if I offended you in any way.

Cool, thanks Rickw, I apologize for the misunderstanding. I think that for many people the original OEM bracket on some Riv's didn't last long in the first place and thus my suggestion for an alternative.

@ robotennis61. It would be cool if you succeed and can share your results!
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99Rivman
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:45 pm

deekster_caddy wrote:
For reference, my '98 has 140K on it and there is no slop. I mean, you can rock the steering wheel a teeny tiny amount side to side but I wouldn't even consider it much of anything.
I'll have to agree here.

Of the two low mileage Rivs I have, a '95 @ 58K miles, and a '99 @ 67K miles, they neither one have any slop/play. I have pretty much all of the records from these two and know nothing was done to them before I got them.
Of the two high mileage Rivs I have, a '95 @ 202K miles, and a '99 @ 185K miles, they are both solid also. I don't have the history of these two but the way they were treated before I got them I'm sure there wasn't any high dollar repairs done by any of the previous owners, meaning I don't think they have had a problem with the column either.

I guess what I am getting at here is that it might not just be a design issue but also an issue of how the steering wheel/column is "used" during its life?

Just my $0.02 anyway.
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robotennis61
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:53 pm

ive noticed a little more slop in the steering when my ps pump blew and i drove around a couple days with no p.s...this could cause probs too!
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:59 pm

The wifes 99 Riv did not have any slop in it when I bought it in 02/08 but since then it has developed some slop. I think you guys are right it depends on how the tilt is used and if someone is using the wheel for leverage while exiting the car.

I figure my wife does it because she lets it fly up when she moves it to exit the car.

While it is on my mind I will attempt to explain to her what she should do instead of letting the wheel flop up out of the way. nono
You note here I said attempt to explain because these type of corrective conversations if not handled correctly tend to blow up in my face if they dont include the words dear and please and other such terms of endearment.

Bert tavis
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:14 pm

And even then your not guaranteed success. I know I end up in the dog house over such things.
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robotennis61
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:37 pm

ive been in the dog house for 5 years! what can i say? ya git used to it! cold love gavel headbutt help
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:33 pm

robotennis61 wrote:
ive been in the dog house for 5 years! what can i say? ya git used to it! cold love gavel headbutt help

how often do you get new straw for the doghouse floor?

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:19 pm

lol!
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99Rivman
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:27 pm

I forgot to mention, I am aware of what a frame machine is used for, I guess I just wasn’t aware of …

albertj wrote:
Hence the slang, "wrecked and pulled."

Albertj
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:48 pm

For your purposes Randall I got carried away with the explanation, it went way past what was needed, sorry...

For some others reading Rivperformance, the explanation and links may be of some use. In the back of my mind was the number of newbies we've had on lately. Sorry if I went overboard - at that point I was thinking about the broader inexperienced audience.

Albertj
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1998 Riv
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:32 am

I still haven't done anything about my S/W slop issue. Just went out and measured the amount of travel from 1 extreme to the opposite, and it moves about a full inch. I had some dealer work done a couple years ago, and they offered to "fix" the wheel for a couple hundred... should have taken them up on that quote.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:22 pm

1998 Riv wrote:
I still haven't done anything about my S/W slop issue. Just went out and measured the amount of travel from 1 extreme to the opposite, and it moves about a full inch. I had some dealer work done a couple years ago, and they offered to "fix" the wheel for a couple hundred... should have taken them up on that quote.

with the economy down they might still do the fix for about that price, you might want to call them and ask.

Albertj
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99Rivman
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:34 pm

1998 Riv wrote:
I still haven't done anything about my S/W slop issue. Just went out and measured the amount of travel from 1 extreme to the opposite, and it moves about a full inch. I had some dealer work done a couple years ago, and they offered to "fix" the wheel for a couple hundred... should have taken them up on that quote.
I would think with that amount of play that a pin has come out of the bracket. They are "staked" to hold them in and with the soft metal around them it is usually the reason they come loose.
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PostSubject: Steering column replacement   Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:15 pm

Hello,
The wiper switch died in my '97. Reading other threads, it seems that replacing that unit is rather involved and given that my tilt mechanism is broken and I have found a cheap steering column from a '96...

The newest vehicle I've pulled a steering column from is from 1968. How involved is this?
Thanks,
Mikel
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:26 pm

Mikel,
In addition to the cost of the new/used Steering column you might consider finding a set of used Factory Service Manuals (FSM) for your vehicle on EBay Motors, parts and Accesories.
If you plan on keeping the car it will be a worthwhile expense and give you all the technical information you need.
I'm not trying to blow you off, but the procedure is quite lengthy.
Another alternative is to buy a one year subscription to AlldataDIY.
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:54 pm

Rickw wrote:
Mikel,
In addition to the cost of the new/used Steering column you might consider finding a set of used Factory Service Manuals (FSM) for your vehicle on EBay Motors, parts and Accesories.
If you plan on keeping the car it will be a worthwhile expense and give you all the technical information you need.
I'm not trying to blow you off, but the procedure is quite lengthy.
Another alternative is to buy a one year subscription to AlldataDIY.
Just echoing Rick. I replaced a steering column in a Datsun 710 once. It was *way* simple. The current Saginaw columns are somewhat more involved, but do-able (which is why it's not that tough to get a replacement *column* - actually somewhat easier to pull the column than it is to R&R parts of it).

No kiddin' your best bet is to get the FSM. As for columns, contact Ed Morad I'm sure you can get a good one including steering wheel for under a $100. You might have to have the wheel refinished though.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:23 pm

yeah not the most demanding job but patience and a flexible back are key. take your time and take pics if necessary to put everything back into place. hard to mess up the wiring though,all connectors are different i think so..shouldn't be too hard. whatever you do be gentle with the wiring in and around the column and work the connectors delicately until you pry them loose...BTW,dont forget to weigh the column after removal ..I'm curious how heavy it is?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Tue May 25, 2010 6:53 pm

deekster_caddy wrote:
99Rivman wrote:
That could very well be a safety feature engineered into the column but I thought that was the purpose of the air bag?

Yes, but the steering column being able to collapse/breakaway is also part of the deal. The airbag is not the end-all of the impact engineering, but only a smaller (but more visible) part of the big picture.

Right, airbags came along much later. However, I'm pretty sure that this POS tilt bracket is not a safety feature... The collapsible column is the safety feature. The outer housing of the column, around the actual steering shaft(s) is coaxial, and the inner part is glued to the outer part with engineered plastic. When your chest slams against the wheel, one tube slides down inside the other. I believe Pontiac was the first one to install them back in the late 60's, and they even printed "Energy Absorbing" on the horn buttons... And speaking of the late 60's, GM has been building tilt/collapsible columns for 40 years, and we never had this BS problem with the 'round' columns. They just had a few screws beneath the locking collar that would occasionally come loose. On these 'square' columns, I think it was the engineers who had screws loose... crazy


ANYhow, I'm reading this thread because I just joined the loose-column club last night, at 90,000 miles! On the last drive-cycle of the day, I found that I suddenly had the dreaded "2-o'clock to 8-o'clock" diagonal slop. I'm hoping it means that the right pin has just now moved out of place, and if I take it apart before driving it anymore, the left pin won't torque & break the left ear off the bracket...

Any fresh info would be appreciated
, especially because I'm damned if I can figure out how Okiedrifter was able to get the column covers off without pulling his dash apart... (Guess I should shoot him a PM.) From what I can tell, and have experienced, those bastards designed this dash like a Chinese puzzle box!

To get the column covers off, you have to remove:
- the A-pillar moldings
- the defroster grill
- the black trim panel above the gauges
- the dash pad
- the entire dash trim panel,
- and then you can remove the 2 upper screws for the knee bolster.

AAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! headbutt shoot hammer twak

(Nor do I see why the wheel has to be pulled...)
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99Rivman
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Tue May 25, 2010 7:31 pm

WOW!
A question I can actually answer!

Eldo wrote:
To get the column covers off, you have to remove:
- the A-pillar moldings ... NO
- the defroster grill ... NO

- the black trim panel above the gauges ... YES
- the dash pad ... NO
- the entire dash trim panel ... YES,
- and then you can remove the 2 upper screws for the knee bolster ... YES.

Don't forget the sound deadener screws and the two lower screws for the knee bolster. And then you can get to the screws that hold the column covers on the column.
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99Rivman
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Steering Column Slop, Problems & Replacement   Tue May 25, 2010 7:34 pm

Oh, and I forgot, the steering wheel doesn't have to be removed to fix the pins! thumbsup
Unless of course it is more than just a pin that has come out!?! headbutt
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