Heavy Steering - Collapsed steering column?

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Heavy Steering - Collapsed steering column?

Postby elnaught » Wed 28.06.2017, 10:04

After a rather heavy handed (failed) attempt to remove the steering wheel to investigate a horn fault I now find I have very heavy steering which does note centre easily.

I have seen posts regarding collapsed steering columns, is this the most likely cause and if so is it fixable without a new column?

Also any ideas on a puller for the steering wheel, its been on for nearly 28 years and apparently likes where it is, horn only works when on lock, I assume this is something to do with the plates behind the wheel!?

Cheers Leigh
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Re: Heavy Steering - Collapsed steering column?

Postby par » Wed 28.06.2017, 10:52

It may be that you have disturbed the position on a worn universal joint where the column attaches to the steering rack when trying to remove the wheel. I had something similar when I changed the steering wheel on mine - the steering became very heavy and notchy. It did free up a bit through use but changing the universal joint resolved it completely.

It is a cheap part and readily available, I think it was under £10 for a Land Rover part. It is a pig of a job though, if I was to do it again I would consider removing the drivers seat for better access.
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Re: Heavy Steering - Collapsed steering column?

Postby elnaught » Wed 28.06.2017, 12:11

Cheers,

I've checked out the parts, for that money i'll give it a go (seat out!).
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Re: Heavy Steering - Collapsed steering column?

Postby dapinky » Wed 28.06.2017, 13:27

Hi Leigh,

I agree that the first thing to look at is the UJ.....

.... there is a write-up on here somewhere about the way to do it, but I found that it *can* be done in about half an hour.

It worked for me - and the most awkward bit was trying to line up the screws for the steering cowling afterwards.

Basically, remove the plastic cowling, lower steering wheel adjustment to lowest setting, that means you can see and access the 2 bolts which hold the steering column to the dashboard - loosen them but do not remove them completely (They are on slotted holes). Then you need to get down into the footwell and remove the carpet from round the steering column, and the rubber cover to the floor.

Now you have (limited) access to everything you need - loosen, but don't yet remove, the top and bottom bolt of the UJ joint (you need to turn the steering to get best access at various times). Mark the orientation of the joint on the column and rack (I use tippex). Undo and remove the 2 bolts which hold the column to the bulkhead, then remove the bolts for the UJ and manoevre the column up and away enough to remove the joint - it will swing and pivot around the top bolts enough to get it out.

Transfer the tippex markings to the new joint, and refit in the same place - do everything up - job done!


As for a steering wheel puller, I made one up out of a flat steel bar (quite substantial!) with a hole in the middle. This fits through the steering wheel (behind the rim, but in front of the hub). Use a suitable nut and bolt through the hole (nut on the hub side of the bar) - turn the nut whilst holding the bolt - it will bear on the column and after a while there will be a loud bang as the splines come free - Keep the nut on the end of the column, but loosened if you want it to not hit you in the face :lol: You may need to apply force to the bolt, then tap the hub with a small hammer - it is a tight fit (as you now have realised).
Dave

Just the one now, but this one's mine! - and it will be finished eventually.....

go on - click this link - you know you want to!
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Re: Heavy Steering - Collapsed steering column?

Postby Artaban » Wed 28.06.2017, 21:04

Leigh,
Replacing the UJ would be my first course of action as well. Its what I did though it didn't solve the problem for me. When you say your attempt was a bit heavy handed what does that mean? The top of the steering column has a cast carrier that carries a bearing and the horn push pin and spring. I'm wondering if you have damaged that because my bearing was shot and I had no trouble removing the steering wheel so I'm just wondering if your attempt to remove the wheel finally caused the bearing to seize up. Its what I'd look at next after replacing the UJ. I'd probably take the car to a local mechanic to get the wheel off and give them a tenner for their trouble; they do it all the time.
Andy
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To be fair I panicked and swam straight for the surface.
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Re: Heavy Steering - Collapsed steering column?

Postby elnaught » Mon 03.07.2017, 21:39

Hi,

The carrier was fine but I have since put a puller on and the end result is a hair line crack in the cast carrier, it still has not moved on the splines! one way or another it will have to come off now! does anyone know where I can get my hands on a replacement boss? :banghead:

Cheers
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Re: Heavy Steering - Collapsed steering column?

Postby elnaught » Mon 17.07.2017, 23:04

Update;

I have now changed the steering column, wheel, boss and UJ, the steering is still heavy, can now only be the rack? has anyone got any thoughts on what it may be or what the rack is like to take out?

Cheers Leigh
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Re: Heavy Steering - Collapsed steering column?

Postby Kipperozzy » Sat 12.01.2019, 19:51

I’m just back in from a test drive after changing my steering column universal joint and the steering is now light and self centres again :D

A few issues I found were that,firstly I removed and fitted longer bolts into the plate that bolts to the bulkhead as per tip, but after loosening the bolt on the top UJ and slackening the bolts under the dash I couldn’t move the column up enough and it felt like something was stopping it so I completely removed the dash bolts and when this didn’t work I realized you need to completely remove the upper UJ bolt as there is a lip at the flat :oops:
Anyway, it was a pig to refit these dash bolts so hopefully no one else makes this mistake !

I wonder if the column could be moved enough while keeping the original bulkhead bolts in place but only in by a couple of threads, this would save using double jointed hands to get these back in ?

The lower UJ was tight on the rack spline even after wedging it with a screwdriver so I sprayed it with XCP and left it a few days. It then came off easily , the old uj was quite loose and I though I was going through all these contortions for nothing but it probably just freed up with the spray .
Boxed it all up and took her a run, I noticed that there was a notchy feel and knew it wasn’t the stub piece misaligned as I made sure that was ok. I had noticed that the new land rover uj was about 5mm longer so when I fitted it I pushed the upper uj down as far as I could to compensate and this caused the stub piece to just foul the upper uj at certain wheel positions . So I loosened this bolt and the under dash bolts and moved it up a bit . Took it a run again and all is smooth :D

I originally removed the seat as I’m going to remove the carpets which allowed me to lie upside down in the wheel well but managed to reset the uj with the seat in.
I didn’t remove the steering wheel to do this.

Overall, this was a pig of a job, but the result makes up for it (like most of the jobs on the Elan) :clap:
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