Steering columm bearing kit

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Steering columm bearing kit

Postby Greybeard » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:59 pm

I just found the lower steering columm bearing is totally gone on my Vega. I did a search here and didn't find a discussion about it.
Tried ebay search and a zero. Where can I find the parts to rebuild it? Or?
Thanks
Mike
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Re: Steering columm bearing kit

Postby Smiley » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:14 pm

My 73 has no actual lower bearing, only a plastic bushing.
I believe the upper is the same as a 65 to 79 Corvette.
Last edited by Smiley on Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Steering columm bearing kit

Postby Monza Harry » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:09 am

:popcorn: I am watching this thread close as I am planning a column mod and I should do a rebuild while it is all apart and under the "knife" anyway :idea: Please keep us posted on your progress especially how the hunt turns out and then the fit of the parts after that! Thanx Harry
I'm not a hoarder I'm a preservationist 78 Monza Spyder (Soon To Be 2+2 with Spoilers)
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Re: Steering columm bearing kit

Postby cjbiagi » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:29 pm

Is this power steering or manual steering? I will try to research the GM parts manual and see if I can see anything.
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Re: Steering columm bearing kit

Postby Greybeard » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:11 pm

This is a manual box.
It was kind of strange. Got a call, pulled off the road and shut it off. I got kinda agitated during the call and started moving the steering wheel back and forth and I was hearing a clunk. Went oh sheet. Checking it out I found the clunk was in the steering shaft at the columm. Using my cell for inspection, I could see scouring on the shaft were I thought a bearing should be, but nothing at all that looked like a bearing or bushing. The car drives fine, no issues there, but it's a little disconcerting to hear that clunk.
1937 Chev 2dr sedan
1966 Chevy El Camino (daily driver w/300K miles)
1966 Chevy V8 Corvair https://greybeard.shutterfly.com
1972 Vega GT
1985 Corvette
1999 Safari Sahara 30' with Cat 330
1999 Jeep Cherokee 'toad'
Next: 1964 289 slabside Cobra, LS525 power
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Re: Steering columm bearing kit

Postby hammerdown7 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 3:57 pm

My column is from a '77 and there is no bearing where the steering shaft exits, just a white plastic insert that does not keep it centered, it's more toward a 10 o'clock position.

Dick
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Re: Steering columm bearing kit

Postby chevyart » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:04 pm

john: you were strangling the wrong person when you tried to strangle the steering wheel. hope all is going well art
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Re: Steering columm bearing kit

Postby cjbiagi » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:39 pm

According to the GM parts book all I see is what Smiley and Dick were referring to, a white plastic bushing. If this is the part you need I should be able to get a NOS one. I am not exactly sure what this bushing does, but it's all I see in the book.
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Vega lower bushing.JPG
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vega lower bushingg.JPG (25.11 KiB) Viewed 619 times
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Re: Steering columm bearing kit

Postby Smiley » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:29 pm

The early non-tilt manual steering shaft was a double "d" colapsable shaft, you may be missing the square sheet metal clamp that looks like 2 muffler clamps with 1 straight bolt to tighten it.
That clamp prevents the hollow section of the shaft from being pushed into the column housing in an accident.
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Re: Steering columm bearing kit

Postby Greybeard » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:41 pm

Slid the "clamp" down the shaft and took some pics.
image.jpg
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image.jpg
image.jpg (66.31 KiB) Viewed 612 times


As I understand from this conversation, this "bushing" does nothing, and the only bearing is on the upper end of the columm.. Humm?
From the looks of the alignment, I need to raise the columm, and it appears I have 1/2 to 5/8 inch under the dash to do that. The upper bearing is sloppy, so I will need to find one of them. At the same time I can replace the turn signal stuff as it doesn't cancel to the left, and I have to hold it to turn right. Good thing I haven't put a four speed in it yet, cause I don't have that many hands.
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image.jpg
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1937 Chev 2dr sedan
1966 Chevy El Camino (daily driver w/300K miles)
1966 Chevy V8 Corvair https://greybeard.shutterfly.com
1972 Vega GT
1985 Corvette
1999 Safari Sahara 30' with Cat 330
1999 Jeep Cherokee 'toad'
Next: 1964 289 slabside Cobra, LS525 power
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Re: Steering columm bearing kit

Postby Smiley » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:17 pm

the white bushing rubs against the square clamp.
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Re: Steering columm bearing kit

Postby Greybeard » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:01 pm

Smiley,
That's where the clamp was before I slid it back to take pictures.
It appears to me I need to get into the top of the columm and sort out the issue with that bearing. I can move the steering wheel up and down more than I think it should do. Then I need to adjust the columm clamp under the dash so the shaft is more centered in that nylon bushing and not laying on it as it is now.
Am I going in the right direction?
Thanks
Mike
1937 Chev 2dr sedan
1966 Chevy El Camino (daily driver w/300K miles)
1966 Chevy V8 Corvair https://greybeard.shutterfly.com
1972 Vega GT
1985 Corvette
1999 Safari Sahara 30' with Cat 330
1999 Jeep Cherokee 'toad'
Next: 1964 289 slabside Cobra, LS525 power
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Re: Steering columm bearing kit

Postby cjbiagi » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:54 pm

The parts book does show some type of seal at the end of the bushing, do you see that? Hard to believe there is nothing holding the lower part of the shaft at the firewall.
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Re: Steering columm bearing kit

Postby Smiley » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:17 pm

the top bearing should be pressed and crimped in to the housing and there should be a spring on the upper end of the shaft under the column lock plate.

here is a link to rebuild instructions:

http://coloradok5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=219831

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Re: Steering columm bearing kit

Postby gt350fme » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:34 pm

Yes, adjust by loosening the 2 nuts holding the steering Columm under the dash, move column around to center the shaft as it inters exits the firewall, no bearing or seal behind that clamp, just center it as best you can, I have seen a centering jig for that in a manual but never seen one in the real.
Loosening the 3 bolts at the firewall where the column goes through can also give some adjustment.


It is strange that there is no seal at the firewall, heat and all can travel right up the columm.
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