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Post Info TOPIC: Lower steering column bearing replacement


A Poncho Legend!

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Lower steering column bearing replacement


I enjoy when guys post up pics and details of their projects. I figured I'd try to return the favour.

The project is quite basic, replacing the lower column bearing but for some reason it intimidated me slightly. No need for that, I have it all apart now and it appears to be an easy job. I'll post some pics of how far I am so far and update when I get a chance to put it back together.

The floor shift column that 66GrandeGuy had for me. (Thanks yet AGAIN Ken for helping me out with something I needed for my car)

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Typically these bearings get old and dried out, even rusty when the hood is not on the car and it's sitting out in the elements. No worries, it's not complicated.

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My column came with the steering wheel removed so this is what I started with. 3 screws need to come out of the signal switch. One is down the hole as shown and the other 2 are visible.

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The brass ring for the horn contact just has some tabs down the side that snap into place. Gently work it up all around being careful not to bend the flat surface of the ring.

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On the side of the column, remove 1 bolt, 5/16" head that holds the signal switch harness in place.

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I used a small 90 degree hook and gently pulled up on the switch as I worked around with the hook to remove the switch.

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Remove the one bolt that holds the lower bearing housing in place.

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Remove the shaft and lower bearing assembly. One thing I would recommend. Leave the steering wheel retaining nut on the end of the threaded shaft as much as possible in case you happen to bump the shaft on something when you are working around with the column. One innocent little bump on the exposed threads (if the nut is not on to protect them) can cause you a lot of grief.

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To remove the bearing and sleeve assembly, I found an open end wrench as close to the right size as possible, set it on the sleeve and gave a few good taps on the wrench as close to the open end as I could.


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It came off quite nicely.


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To remove the bearing, I found a piece of pipe that was big enough to support the housing around the perimeter, yet had enough room to let the bearing fall inside when I tapped it out. Then I found a socket to fit inside the housing and fit the bearing nicely to tap it out.

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Voila! (That was for you, JohnneeD!) Bearing and housing separated.

I was the recipient of Pontiax's generosity (he ordered my lower bearing for me repro with some other stuff he was ordering) so have the new bearing. In the meantime, I ran across a deal on an NOS GM bearing for a great deal in Canada, so I bought it too. Debating, but I think I will likely put in the GM bearing. The repro bearing sure looks perfect though.

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So that's as far as I am. I plan to clean up the whole shaft real nice before I reinstall it, and I may order a new signal switch because I know how troublesome these switches are in these cars, and it's no extra work for me to install it right now.






















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1966 Strato Chief 2 door sedan 283 "survivor"


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I will update once I have reassmbled the column. I need to paint it up to match my interior as well.

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door sedan 283 "survivor"


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I forgot to mention, this is a 66 full size column. 65 would be the same and I am betting that Beaumonts 66 and older, also full size 64 and older could be very similar although I think the signal switch is different.

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door sedan 283 "survivor"


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Thanks Carl, have to replace mine as well, looking forward to watching your progress.

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65 Catalina 2+2 421 4bbl,  Auto, White, w/red interior, Buckets w/column shift.

66 Grande Parisienne, 2dr HT, 327 4bbl, Auto.

Had the 66 since about 83 and the 65 since 88.
Both still require a lot of work.


A Poncho Legend!

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Fun job. I think I might even head out to the garage now (10 PM) to do a bit more work on it. I finally have some time after a hard day of yard work...

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door sedan 283 "survivor"


A Poncho Legend!

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Posts: 33225
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Just for fun, I took the old bearing apart. It's very easy, that ring with 4 tabs just pops out with some gentle prying/twisting. I greased it all up, put it back together and it pretty much feels as good as the NOS bearing. I'm not going to put the old one back in but I was curious if it would actually work just to regrease it and it seems to. New bearings don't really cost that much but if a guy is in a pinch, he could likely use the old one over again.

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door sedan 283 "survivor"
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