Fuel and Engines
Ford F-150

How do you repair a tilt steering column in a Ford that is loose and sloppy?


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2015-07-16 19:33:12
2015-07-16 19:33:12

you need to remove the steering wheel...then all the directional parts (unscrew the directional arm if it is an older style remove the screw holing in the key cylinder then lstart looking for 4 screws sometimes they ar hex others have torx then tighten them and reassemble in reverse ...if you have air bag be extremely carefull not to deploy it or you will be hurting while sitting there so close working on it

answerI don't think this answer is useful at all, because no specific year or type of vehicle is mentioned let alone type of column. I have owned older fords a 71 F-100 and a 65 t-bird, while their simplicity makes home mechanics easier i don't think their repairs for this problem will help the general public :) . My 1990 ford Bronco failed its Maryland inspection (very tight $ grubbing state) so along with other items to repair i delved into the sloppy steering wheel (the wheel moved 3/16 th's of an inch when beared down on!). It was a tilt column. After purchasing a Harmonic balancer puller, a 2 in 1 tool purchase, I removed the steering wheel. Know that ford uses fine treads on the steering wheel 5/16 diameter I believe, so i had to tap course threads to pull the wheel, as my harmonic balancer puller kit did not supply fine treaded bolts. I would still insist the home mechanic purchase this tool if engine rebuilds lay in the future long fine course treaded bolts can always be purchased at a hardware store. The root of the problem for me was the bearing. After removing the obvious screws holding the plastic wiring asembly out of the way and disconnecting the ignition wiring so to move the harness beneath the wheel up and out of the way I removed the snap ring that contains the steering wheel bearing. I went to the junk yard a week before searching for a good column to solve the problem, unfortunetly it must be common w/ford tilt wheels. Use a hooked wire or rod to slip the bearing out through the two slots ford provides for removal. Happy hunting and be certain that the best jigsaw puzzle ever created was the automobile :) !

I fixed a 1975 Ford tilt steering column. This was my process. Remove horn button and unscrew big castle nut. Use steering wheel puller and remove steering wheel. Mine had a lock plate to be removed. Push in on this plate as it is spring loaded, and pop out the C-clip. Plate came out with a plastic disc with an electrical contact at the 11 o'clock position. This contact is spring loaded and may come out. Next, I had to unplug wire harness running down steering column near brake pedals (firewall area) to allow enough slack in the harness to pull out turn signal switch. (Also had to take off bracket holding steering column up to remove wire harness retainer.) Now, remove turn signal lever with one Philips screw. Remove 3 Philips screws and pull out turn signal switch and let it hang there. Now, remove ignition lock tumbler. Mine had a vertical slot with a spring loaded catch that is pushed in with a small screwdriver, while at the same time, pushing lock cylinder out from the inside with another screwdriver. (Or you can probably just pull on the outside key turner thing while pushing in through that slot.) Now, remove 3 big Philips head screws holding ignition housing on steering column. Mine had a little plastic dual contact pin partially obstructing right Philips screw. I pulled it out, but if you do, make a note of how the clip that it comes out of is situated. Mine fell out at the next step, so I guessed. Unscrew tilt-lever from column. Now pull off ignition housing. Now, make a note of how the spring for the steering wheel lock pin on left side of column is situated. Mine fell off, and I spent awhile figuring out how to reinstall spring. At this point, you can now access 2 male Torx head looking bolts, although I used a 1/4 inch 6 point socket to tighten. One can remove the right bolt fairly easily to put on lock-tite, but the left bolt is still in there pretty good, accessed through a long hole, so I left well enough alone. These loose bolts were toward the bottom of the steering column, so I am not sure if there are any more hidden Torx heads behind the rest of the stuff there, but tightening those two Torx heads did the trick! Good luck, as it only took me 3 days working on it here and there. (I spent a lot of time analyzing stuff though.) Have fun! (Oh yes, I forgot the last step. Reassemble in reverse order!)


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There are 4 bolts at the bottom of the steering column that tend to get loose after entering and exiting your vehicle. Pulling your self up on the steering wheel puts stress the steering column and causes it to become loose. If you do not correct the problem fast by tightening the bolts you will have to replace the entire steering column.. -Henry's locksmith and steering column repair

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You have to replace the entire steering column. It is not loose, the lock is broken on your column height adjuster.

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Typically, it'll be the u-joints in the steering column.

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