1984 SL Restoration

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
Before i quit working on this one for a two month hiatus, I had pulled part of the steering column apart to change out the broken turn signal switch, investigate why the key would not lock/unlock properly, and determine why the wheel would not lock. Should have stayed in bed.

Cracked plastic turn signal switch. They typically crack where the lever screws on: (NOTE missing part, will come to this, eventually)

20200829_104752.jpg

The lock pin that slides out and engages into the lock spring plate, locking the steering wheel when the ignition is off/locked. It is stuck in its bore. I "fixed" this on my green Scrambler with some liquid lube, and working it back in forth. No bueno on this one, it is packed full of crud.

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It should be out like this in the lock position. It is hit or miss, due to all the crud in the column.

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Lubed/worked the pin back and forth, got it working. Installed a new turn signal switch:

20200829_112731.jpg

Don't forget to screw on the lever: ( NOTE the lock spring, I am missing the part the spring rests on, more on this later)

20200829_114515.jpg


Install the plastic cam thing:

20200829_114534.jpg

Break out the trusty lock plate compressor tool:

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Pressing the plate on. NOTE, the plate only goes on the steering shaft one way, there is a gap in the splines that has to line up. This also dictates the positioning of the plastic cam/steering wheel.

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The groove that the lock plate snap ring goes on:

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Don't forget to put the snap ring on the smooth gold part of the tool, before installing it, like I did in the previous picture LOL:

20200829_115143.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
And the snap ring in place:

20200829_115328.jpg

Remove tool, install dust cover...............

20200829_115536.jpg

And realize the column still is not "right". Key is not working correctly, lever by key is froze up, shaft is loose in the housing, whole thing feels like crap. So, no "short cuts" , let's pull the whole damn thing apart for a through cleaning/inspection/rebuild. Like I said, should have stayed in bed!!!!!

So, pulled out all the stuff I just installed, removed the outer upper column bearing. Loaded with grit, some of the balls had previously fallen out:

20200829_125521.jpg

Removed three screws, removed the lock cylinder, and pulled out the this outer plastic shroud. NOTE all the grit and grime.

20200829_125526.jpg

Fully tilt column upward, use a #3 screw driver, remove this big spring thingy:

20200829_125545.jpg

They make a special tool to remove the two big shoulder bolts, I used cheap screws. The tool is probably best, I think it is a "Lisle 19940". Anyway, "RedneckRay" tool:

20200829_125800.jpg

Sometimes you can pry them out easy:

20200829_125921.jpg

Other times, you have to mimic how the proper tool would work and pull them out. So, thread the screw in through socket with a washer on one side of the socket to keep it level, tighten the nut down, pull the shoulder bolt out. This works, tool would be best, but this works fine. No matter what, DO NOT hammer or beat on this stuff.

20200829_132429.jpg

The two pins out, remove this part of the column:

20200829_133459.jpg

Again, note all the grit and grime. I do not care if the Jeep has been a garage queen it's whole life with only 10k miles. Every column I have ever pulled apart is usually full of dust, sand, hair, gunk!!!!!!

Note the lock rack part in bottom of the column, it will fall loose when you carefully remove the previous big chunk of the column:

20200829_133506.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
You are supposed to remove the steering shaft next. The lower bearing on this shaft was rust froze in place. Instead of beating and banging, I pulled the shaft out as far as I could, after breaking the outer bearing race off and letting all the little balls go all over the floor, leaving the inner bearing race froze to the shaft:

20200829_141946.jpg

I carefully cut the race with the Dremel, without cutting into the steering shaft:

20200829_142559.jpg

What is left of the OEM lower bearing assembly:

20200829_142926.jpg


Pulling the shaft out, not sure why I took the upper part of the shaft off at this juncture, but Parts Monkey happy!!

20200829_143012.jpg


I had to remove the four bolts from the final column die cast part, slide out the shaft. I have to remove this inner bearing race to remove the grey part from the shaft:

20200829_143502.jpg

The plate that the four mentioned screws thread into. These four screw were not thread locked by GM, they come loose, like these were, and make the steering loose.

20200829_143515.jpg

Note the grime above.

I removed the plate, ignition switch, and ignition switch "remote rod":

20200829_145259.jpg

This final plastic part twists off:

20200829_145354.jpg

You are left with the stripped down bare steel column tube. I ended up removing this part, too, to hose it out, it was full of crap:

20200829_145402.jpg

And a big mess inside the Jeep:

20200829_145411.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
A few random picture I took of this part of the column before I tore it apart. IMO, this is the trickiest part of the tilt column. No real order or description, just random picture I took for reference. When doing work like this, even with the FSM, pictures are worth a thousand words.

NOTE all the grit and grime, no wonder this thing did not work!!!!!

20200830_100731.jpg 20200830_100749.jpg 20200830_100803.jpg 20200830_110638.jpg 20200830_110651.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
I spent probably 3 hours cleaning all these parts. Beside OCD and correct operation, you will be messing with these parts a whole bunch for a few hours, intimately. Cleaning everything also allows for inspection to find broken/damaged parts. So, much better working with clean stuff, greasing as you go. I had no broken parts, only a little wear here and there, but nothing critical.

Biggest issue - I am missing a part, more on this later.

All the cleaned parts:

20200830_125605.jpg

20200830_125612.jpg

20200830_125616.jpg

20200830_125621.jpg

I used this grease, for two reasons:

1) plastic safe!!
2) if you use chassis grease, you will smell chassis grease every time you get inside your Jeep!!!!!

Also note the "tea strainer" thing, great for holding/cleaning all the little bb size bearings!!!!

20200830_125627.jpg

And another important piece of the puzzle, the FSM:

20200830_130016.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
So, let's rebuild a tilt column!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One important note - Take your time, pay attention, do not force things. This stuff only goes back together one way. If you are in a bad mood or a hurry, I would not even try it. I have rebuilt quite a few of these, still took me 4 hours. That is taking my time, paying attention, not rushing. Your miles may very.

I followed the FSM. This will not be a total step by step, but good supplementary material. Anyway, this is how I did it.

Start by installing the new lower bearing inside the bottom of the steering column tube:

20200830_130024.jpg

I had to "reshape/re-round" the bottom where the bearing goes, it was out of round.

Installed:

20200830_130859.jpg

Next, installing the key latch thumb lever thingy:

20200830_131027.jpg

Grease all sliding surfaces, don't forget the spring!!

20200830_132046.jpg


Install the steel plate that has four threaded holes next. It only goes in one way.

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Make sure the grey metal part's holes line up with the steel plates threaded holes, note orientation of parts:

20200830_133203.jpg

The four notorious screws. I install all four dry, first. Then. remove one at a time, apply red Lock Tite, reinstall:

20200830_133650.jpg

And assembled, again, note orientation:

20200830_134754.jpg

Install the ignition switch remote rod, as shown, lubing all sliding surfaces:

20200830_140016.jpg

I temporarily taped it in place:

20200830_140020.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
Quick note about the steering shaft: It is made like the "intermediate shaft", i.e. it is two parts, held together with melted plastic, designed to slide together in a crash. Another good reason not to beat on the shaft. If you do, and collapse it, then pull it back apart, it will be loose.

20200830_140131.jpg

I installed the shaft next. Should have put both parts of the shaft together at this point, but I did not. Live an learn.

20200830_140230.jpg

This next part of the column is the biggest PIA.

20200830_140320.jpg

Install the lock shoe things/springs first:

20200830_140817.jpg

Put two big springs in the housing first:


20200830_140945.jpg

I used a nail to line up the holes in the shoes with the holes in the housing:

20200830_141258.jpg

Then, drive the pin into place, pushing the nail out the way it went in. Note my little punch in the back ground. You need a longer one when you take these parts out!!!!!

Pin installed:

20200830_141542.jpg

The tilt lever and associated parts next:

20200830_141755.jpg

A dab of grease to hold the tiny spring in position:

20200830_141851.jpg

I used a small piece of steel to hold the lock shoes in the open position:

20200830_141925.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
Install the lever and roll pin like so:

20200830_142346.jpg

20200830_142351.jpg

20200830_142359.jpg

Now the fun part:

20200830_142752.jpg

Not too bad. Slide in the sector shaft:

20200830_142857.jpg

Gently tap on the plastic sector:

20200830_143158.jpg

Not the clearest pictures, but I tap the shaft through the sector far enough that the little clip recess in the shaft sticks out past the plastic gear.

20200830_143213.jpg

20200830_143226.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
Install the lock pin, spring, like so. Note orientation of sector gear. I took a few pictures of this, hard to describe with words:

20200830_144527.jpg

20200830_144535.jpg

Install the big metal lock rack part like so. Square hole to square peg. It has to go together like this or the key/ignition switch will NOT work properly.

20200830_144803.jpg

Install the little screw that holds the spring to the housing:

20200830_150110.jpg

This little spring is what forces the lock rod outward through the holes in the lock plate. So, when the ignition is off/locked, this little pin slides into the lock plate. This is why, sometimes, you have to turn the wheel a little bit one way or another to get it to lock - only this little spring pushes the pin outward, and a hole in the plate has to align with the lock pin bore.

Installing the lower upper column bearing assembly next. The FSM says to do this first, I wait till last. To easy to knock all the little balls loose when you are working on the other parts of this assembly.

20200830_150224.jpg

Greased up and installed. Be careful with the plastic bearing race, easy to break, expensive to replace!!!!! Also take care not to knock out the little balls!!!!!!!! There are 14 inside each bearing.

20200830_151520.jpg

When I was cleaning parts, I did NOT remove either upper column bearing races. No real reason to do this, easy to damage. Each bearing has a steel outer race, then the ball secured into place with a plastic cage, then and inner steel bearing race on the shaft. This is the upper column lower bearing inner steel race. Again, I did not remove it, no reason to, easy to damage, no gain in removing it IMO.

20200830_151642.jpg

Only tools used so far, besides patience!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

20200830_151527.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
At this point, I loosened up the column mounting plates from the firewall:

20200830_152110.jpg

And loosely installed the lower steel column into place. Easier to put the rest together with the column mounted inside the vehicle.

20200830_152607.jpg

I removed the long part of the steering shaft to assemble it with its shorter upper half.

Tilt column steering shaft parts:

20200830_154746.jpg

Plastic parts that make up the "elbow". The little metal clip keeps slight outward pressure on the two halves, ensuring they stay tight inside the metal shaft knuckles.

20200830_154754.jpg

Cleaned up the lower shaft where the bottom bearing rides:

20200830_154801.jpg

Grease up the plastic parts, slide them into place, Not hard, but they only go in a certain way. Hard to explain, easier to figure out when it is in your hands.

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Hold the two parts at 90 degrees to each other, slide it all together. Again, hard to explain, easy to figure out when it is in your hands.

20200830_155613.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
This next step sucks, and it easy to knock the little BB bearing out of place. Ask me how I know.

Slide steering shaft back through column. Note position of remote rod pin:

20200830_160603.jpg

Installing the previous sub assembly to the column. This part sucks. Installing the previous sub assembly to the column. You have to relase pressure from the tilt lock shoes, I installed the tilt lever to ease this. Guide the assembly into place, while lining up the lock rack on the remote rod, and without knocking BB's out all over the place. Patience, and practice, and several attempts LOL:

20200830_161412.jpg

Keep the upper part of the steering shaft pulled tightly outward to keep the lower bearing assembly from falling apart.

20200830_161423.jpg

The dowel pin holes should be aligned:

20200830_161431.jpg


Install both dowels. I lightly grease them, lightly tap them into place. It should go together EASY. If not, something is WRONG.

20200830_161834.jpg

Tilt column all the way UP, ready this lower spring assembly:

20200830_162107.jpg

I do not know why they say to heavily grease these parts? Anyway, heavily greased and assembled:

20200830_162449.jpg

Slide it into its hole, use a #3 screw driver to push/twist the retainer into place:

20200830_162502.jpg

20200830_162556.jpg

Install the thin metal "tilt lever shield". I installed it earlier, pulled it back out, reinstalled it. I would install it NOW, not earlier.

20200830_162748.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
Install the upper steering column outer bearing. I do this now, not earlier, to avoid knocking out the little BB's.

Ready for the next step:

20200830_164352.jpg

And do a happy dance, you are through the hard part!!!

Test all functions, and note the steering shaft will NOT turn and the tilt lever will NOT lock. WTF?

Remember those BB's, yeah, they fall out easy, and jamb stuff up, especially the upper steering column lower bearing!!!!!!!!!

Hard to see, but BB jambed up the lock shoes:
20200830_164400.jpg

And another:

20200830_170950.jpg

So, pull it all back apart, get the little BB's, reassemble the bearing, put it all back together. Test, good to go.

NOTE - keep the upper part of the shaft pulled outward at all times. Do NOT let is slide down, or the lower bearing will fall apart.

Like this, this keeps the lower bearing seated in its race(s):

20200830_172343.jpg

Install the outer bearing and note a problem, no way to keep inner race pushed in? Something is missing?

20200830_172351.jpg

20200830_173913.jpg

Another picture, keeping the shaft pulled upward/outward to keep the lower bearing together:

20200830_173925.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
Install the outer shroud next, three screws:

20200830_173946.jpg

Slide in the lock cylinder, test operation:

20200830_174521.jpg

Install turn signal switch:

20200830_175242.jpg

OK, everything is fine and dandy, EXCEPT I have no way of keeping the upper column outer bearing's inner race tight inside the bearing. The lock spring does not contact the outer race:

20200830_175852.jpg

This is when I realize this column is missing a very important part, the "Bearing Race Seat":

20200830_175745.jpg

Without this part, the upper bearing will fall apart, and cause the shaft to be loose, and make everything not good.

So, I had to order this part. Hard to find, and even used is expensive.

I had to go back and check my notes, all the other tilt columns I worked on had this part:

My 1985 Spring Special, Tilt, note the "bell shaped" piece of metal on the shaft:

1598889379625.png

My now sold 1984 Tan Scrambler, Tilt, note the "bell shaped" piece of metal on the shaft:

1598889573132.png

Josh's 1981 Scrambler I put back together, Tilt, note the "bell shaped" piece of metal on the shaft:

1598889666669.png

No picture, but my green 1983 Scrambler has the same thing.

So, basically, missing a very important part.

On my red 1983 Scrambler, non-Tilt, it has a thrust washer below the lock spring, and a totally different, single, upper bearing:

1598889869387.png

Basically, the large lock plate spring keeps pressure on the bearing. Without the retainer/thrust washer, no bueno.

That's it for now, until I get that part!!!!!!!!!
 

Hoover

CJ-8 Member
LIFETIME
City
Livingston
State
AL
Great step-by-step, and excellent photos, spank! I’ve rebuilt two tilts, Indeed a tedious process, but made easier with the right tools and when you have ALL the parts. Your photos are the best I’ve seen outlining the process. Look forward to seeing the finished product!

And, have to admit, parts monkey is a little freaky, haha.

Hoov
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
Great step-by-step, and excellent photos, spank! I’ve rebuilt two tilts, Indeed a tedious process, but made easier with the right tools and when you have ALL the parts. Your photos are the best I’ve seen outlining the process. Look forward to seeing the finished product!

And, have to admit, parts monkey is a little freaky, haha.

Hoov
Appreciate it :thumbsup:

Yep, that monkey is a freak, I think he is LSU alumni or something :rotfl:

Missing steering column part should be here before the weekend, hope it fits :fingerscrossed:
 
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