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Steering and Suspension

How do you replace the steering column?


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July 15, 2015 7:04PM

this info might help

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How to replace a steering columnBy torque63, eHow Member

Does your steering column look like someone tried to steal it? Is the lock assembly broken and need replaced? Sometimes replacing the column is the best (or least expensive) repair. I will show you how easily this is done on a 1996 Pontiac Grand Am GT.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You'll Need:

· Replacement column

· Hand tools, sockets and wrenchesStep1

Obtaining a replacement column can be a challenge, going to a salvage yard and finding one from the same year and model is an option. Most salvage yards have interchange manuals that will show which will interchange between years and models. Buy a column that has the keys with it or you will have to change the lock cylinder or pay a locksmith $50-75 to make one for you. I found mine on Ebay with keys for $35 + $40 shipping. It came complete with keys, switches, steering wheel and airbag. It was even the right color, ask all the question before you buy.


Disconnect the battery, you don't want an airbag deploying in your face.

You could also save your wiring from burning up in case you pinch a wire during column removal. This really is a safety step.


Remove upper and lower column retaining bolts, two at the top and two at the bottom. This is the point at which I disconnect all the wiring at the top and bottom of the column, some connectors can be a challenge to separate. Some switches may need to be removed and transferred to the replacement column, I had to change over my turn signal switch so I could have cruise control switches. There was also a steering angle switch of some sort at the bottom I had to change over.


Remove the retaining bolt at the flex coupling at the bottom of the column, you will have to move an accordion boot out of the way to access the bolt. You will have to completely remove it to pull out the shaft.


Another view of removing the flex coupling bolt, this will have to be completely removed.


Install your replacement column, torque all fasteners to specification. Connect all your wiring and assemble all the parts back together. Turn the key to the "on" position then reconnect the battery. This will make sure your airbag won't deploy in your face when you turn on the key, I have yet to see this happen but this is the safe way of doing things.

Tips & Warnings


Make sure you get keys with your replacement column, this simplifies things.

· If you have a security system such as the passlock system (mine did) then you will have an additional challenge of resetting the security system to read the new resistance in the new ignition cylinder, mine was having the key in the on position for about half an hour.

Watch for smoke or sparks, these are not a good sign and would indicate you may have damaged wiring. Disconnect the battery immediately if you see smoke!