This is the most common problem with this type of steering column and
it becomes loose by using the steering wheel to get in and out of the
car. The answer here is general and there will be some slight
differences as it pertains to your car.
I have been asked where to get a good blow up drawing of the column and
the problem is that even the service manuals don't tell you all you
need to know.
You will need to purchase or rent at a parts store a steering wheel
puller. A lock plate compression tool and a pivot pin removal tool.
I don't know of a good blow up. Commonly factory service manuals will
have you take apart things that are not supposed to come apart. The
bearings are most likely not the problem but the 4 yoke bolts are. They
commonly come loose by grabbing the steering wheel to get in.
Remove the horn pad (7 mm or 9/32 either will work on the back of the
steering wheel. Push downward on cancel cam tower and turn counter
clockwise. The horn wire is now disconnected. Remove 13/16 steering
wheel nut. Index marks may be hard to see. Take a screwdriver and put
on upper shaft and tap. Put adjoining mark on wheel if these factory
marks can't be seen. It is for reassembly and so that the steering
wheel is put on the way it was taken off. Never use a hammer on the
upper shaft to remove steering wheel!Install puller using 2(2) 5/16x 16
x 3 bolts. Draw the wheel off. Install rented lock plate removal tool.
Note the position for reassembly. Compress lock plate down and remove
snap ring by holding one side with a flat blade screwdriver. Insert an
ice pick awl at the ring opening and bring upward. Remove lock plate.
Take note for reassembly that lock plate only fits one way om the
splines. There is a matching broach (Tooth missing on lock plate and
spline missing on shaft. Pull off cancel cam and upper shaft spring.
Take a small Phillips and push in on the 4 way flasher and unscrew.
Hold together while unscrewing so it does not fall apart on you. Take a
Phillips and remove the turn signal screws and the turn signal pivot.
Pay attention to how this pivot slides in the groove of the wiper
Here comes the fun part____
Remove the screws from the panel under the steering column.--- The
shift bowl is located where you shift the transmission. Below the bowl
leading under the dash is the lower shift bowl shroud. On the passenger
side of the shift bowl under the dash will be a clip and string. Remove
the clip by pulling it off the lower bowl shroud. You are doing this so
you don't wreck the PRNDL.
Under the dash remove the (2) 9/16 nuts that hold the steering column
bracket on. Remove the (4)1/2" bolts that hold the bracket to the
column. Underneath the dash on the passenger side of the steering
column will be a plastic sleeve holding the wiring. Pull away from
column and the downward. Don't worry about the gray thin shroud. That's
just for the cruise wire which when putting back together can be
installed in the main black plastic shroud.
Push upward on turn signal wiring from its column bracket. You may no
have to disconnect any wiring. Go back to top of steering column.
Remove (3) #2 Phillips screws. Make sure keys are not in ignition lock.
Take hook tool and grab edge of key buzzer and pull upward. Steel
retainer spring will fall out for key buzzer when you remove upper
cover. Watch for it. Its about an inch long, doubled up piece of black
spring steel. Set to side when you get that far. Next remove the
ignition lock cylinder by inserting a screwdriver into the clip at the
rear of the lock inside the steering column. Pull lock out. Pull upper
cover upward and let hang by wiring. You will find at the tilt lever
there is another part to the upper cover. Look for a piece of white
plastic with a circular end that slides on the inside of the cover
(left side). This is called the high beam actuator. Leave the tilt
lever and end cap attached. Tilt the bearing housing to full upward
tilt. Insert a Phillips into the square hole in the tilt spring
retainer cap. Push down and turn counter clockwise. Grab spring and
retainer and remove.
Insert pivot pin tool on passenger side of column. Now, once you have
screwed the tool into the pivot pin, do not over tighten. Hold the
screw head with 3/8 wrench. Use ½ open end to draw nut down. If it
seems like the pin is seized tilt the column up and down a couple of
times. Usually there is not a problem, but trust me, you don't want to
break the puller off in the pivot pin. Repeat on left side. Hold your
foot on the brake. Pull on tilt lever while with tilting in upward
position, go a little left and remove housing. The ignition actuator
rod will become disconnected with the rack. The rack has a loop on one
end and teeth on the other. Set it to the side. Do not let the upper
shaft fall downward. It could fall off or the little shaft inside could
fall out. You will see (4) inverted torx bolts. Some people will remove
one at a time and install locktite. I have never done this and have
never had one come back. Its up to you. If you intend to use the
steering wheel for getting in and out of the car you may want to use
Now, you do not need a special socket here. Use a ¼ nut driver with
both hands and tighten. Then use a vice grips, wrench, whatever you can
to tighten these bolts. They are tight enough when the socket starts to
slip. Do not tighten any tighter than this. To install the rack insert
a screwdriver into the slot of the geared sector on the left side of
the bearing housing. Rotate sector far enough where you can slide the
rack in. You need to line up the big tooth in the sector to the big
tooth opening in the rack. Once this is done pull the spring towards
you either with your fingers or needle nose and insert spring into slot
on sector. Take the ignition actuator rod on the left side of the
column and pull until dash lights come on. Make sure it is set into the
groove. Grab the bearing housing with both hands. As you are getting
close to the steering column you need to take the loop from the rack
and put it over the end of the ignition actuator rod. The high beam
actuator rod that is bent outward goes through the big hole on the left
and let it just hang. Once looped around pull on tilt lever and install
bearing housing slightly tilting up and down once attached. Insert
pivot pin. Insert other pivot pin. Insert bearing race, retainer and
spring on upper shaft. Hold the spring downward with one hand and tilt
the column up and down with other hand. This helps center the race and
it also checks the tilt. Next, take a needle nose and turn lock shaft
on right side of bearing housing. Engine should start. Put shaft in
lock position. Hold the spring on the upper shaft while tapping on
pivot pins till flush. Put in full upper tilt and install tilt spring.
Push downward and push cap with screwdriver downward and turn clock
wise till seated.
Under dash on driver's side of column you will see high beam switch.
The rod fits in the center of this switch. Back at the column to make
sure the high beams work, push on the rod. You will hear a clicking.
Take the high beam actuator and insert it into the groove in the cover.
Make sure circular end is facing towards the lever. You need to slide
this actuator all the way forward. When looking down the rounded end
should be facing downward towards the floor. You will see where this
cover rests on the bearing housing. Hold cover up against housing by
the tilt lever. With the other hand insert the upper cover back on the
column. As you are doing all this pull on the wiring from under column.
Line up lock pin in cover. Take an awl to line up high beam actuator
with cover. Cover will lie down on column once lined up. Hold cover
downward and pull back towards you the turn signal lever to make sure
high beam switch works. Pull wires at bottom of column gently accept
for turn signal. Inert three # 50 torx. Insert ignition lock cylinder
and retaining screw. Take awl and push button up from lock cylinder
from key buzzer hole. Insert key buzzer spring to key buzzer. Squeeze
and insert into hole and push down. Install turn signal switch and pull
wires at bottom of column gently where turn signal switch lines up.
Insert three screws. Line up ball from turn signal pivot into wiper
switch groove, line up with t/s hole and insert screw. This screw has a
Install 4 way flasher. Install cancel cam as you marked it for
disassembly. Install lock plate. Wheel has to be lined up with the
index marks. Install. Insert horn wire into cancel cam tower and press
down on cap and turn clockwise. Install horn pad. Under dash install
plastic wiring shroud. Reinstall t/s connector on column. Install
bracket. Attach steering column to dash. Hold the brake. Put trans in
neutral. Pull on string and install clip so PRNDL says neutral. Put
trans in PARK. Start engine. Check PRNDL when putting in drive. You may
have to adjust clip's position to get this lined up. Install lower
Jun 18, 2008 |
1994 Chevrolet Caprice Classic