Question about 1994 Chevrolet Caprice Classic
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 switch.
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 locktite.
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 wide head.
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 dash.
Posted on Jun 25, 2008
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