got tilt column problems? - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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got tilt column problems?

Does your steering wheel pull up and slide down? Well here is your problem. The original locknut that holds the U-joint together on the shaft loosens up. About the only way to solve this is to completely dissassemble the entire column to get to the nut. You could just tighten the nut up once your to this point but I can guarantee that within a few weeks of driving it the nut will again be loose. Replace the nut with a new one and your problems are solved.



This is the tilt mechanism completely taken apart. The spring is not the easiest thing to get back together with the upper and lower unit. You can see the 2 little pins in the bottom of the picture, those are what holds the top and bottom section of the tilt mechanism together.



I use a machine screw and a pair of pliers to pull those pins out. They are not threaded in.



The two halves need to be seperated to take out the wiring harness. I do not pull the wire ends from the plug. When turned the right way they will come out of the upper half.



This column is going to be made into a 4 speed tilt column like I did for the crew and then dumped onto ebay. If it sells like I think it will I will make another one.













Link to get bigger pictures of the manual: https://www.supermotors.net/registry/20292/71054
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Last edited by Ranger429; 10-07-2010 at 04:01 PM.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 04:17 PM
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Just curious, how much you plan on asking for the auto turned manual tilt column?

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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I'm going to let ebay buyers figure that out. I'll probably put a 100 reserve on it and let it ride. If it goes over good I'll make more. After doing the first one for the crew I know a little more about what it takes to do it so it shouldn't be a real long process to make.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 11:00 PM
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The cover just below the steering wheel is loose on mine. Think one of tabs inside is broken. Do you know where I could find another?

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 02:33 PM
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Very nice write up. I came across it while trying to figure out why my steering column moves all over the place. You're right about that spring being a pain to get back in, I almost lost it when I was taking it out. I found that the nut holding the u joint together was tight and that I had other problems, but I replaced it any ways just for good measure.

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The cover just below the steering wheel is loose on mine. Think one of tabs inside is broken. Do you know where I could find another?
When I took mine all apart, I found that two of the three tabs inside the column shaft were broke. These are the tabs that hold the tilt mechanism to the column, and are held in by one allen bolt each three in total. I was very lucky to find the broken pieces in the column and I had my local machine shop weld them back in. They even beefed it up a fair amount. Total cost, $10
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 05:39 PM
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AWESOME write up Brother, would a Non-Tilt column have the same issue....if so is it possible or worth it to drill thru the shaft and nut to slip in a small "cotter pin" so the nut won't back off OR Loc-Tite, lock nut with plastic insert.....

Not to hijack...., FYI for anyone looking at this first time and you need to tear down the column to complete this repair, consider checking/replacing the "upper ignition actuator" with a new a part, used for BOTH Tilt and Non-Tilt steering columns as referenced by part number in the thread titled "ignition actuator replacement on an 85 w/tilt'......a picture step by step how to....

Good Luck ~
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 08:19 PM
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do you have any pictures of the wireing harness plug i had to replace the turn switch on my tilt column but when i unpluded everything i forgot to take a picture or write down what colors go where so now none of my signals or flashers work.
thanks
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-30-2011, 10:57 AM
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My column doesnt pull in and out, but you can grab the steering wheel and move it from side to side a pretty good bit. Would the same part be the culprit? I suppose I may just have to take the whole thing apart and see what's loose or broken - but obviously don't want to if I can figure out what's up first.

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-31-2011, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JKossarides View Post
AWESOME write up Brother, would a Non-Tilt column have the same issue....if so is it possible or worth it to drill thru the shaft and nut to slip in a small "cotter pin" so the nut won't back off OR Loc-Tite, lock nut with plastic insert.....
Thanks, I would suspect that a non tilt will not have the U-joint.


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do you have any pictures of the wireing harness plug i had to replace the turn switch on my tilt column but when i unpluded everything i forgot to take a picture or write down what colors go where so now none of my signals or flashers work.
thanks
I might, check when I get home from vacation.

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Originally Posted by ehummelman View Post
My column doesnt pull in and out, but you can grab the steering wheel and move it from side to side a pretty good bit. Would the same part be the culprit? I suppose I may just have to take the whole thing apart and see what's loose or broken - but obviously don't want to if I can figure out what's up first.
As easy as these columns are to R+R just pull it apart and check. There isn't a whole lot that can go wrong internally. You could always pull it out and send it to me for R+R as well.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-31-2011, 01:22 PM
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Well that's a relief Brother thanks...lol lol...so you rebuild columns .....?

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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-31-2011, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Well that's a relief Brother thanks...lol lol...so you rebuild columns .....?

For 78-79's.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-31-2011, 01:34 PM
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I see, thanks ~
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-20-2011, 12:33 AM
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Stupid question but here is the tilt release ... my 79 should have tilt but all I see is the shifter and turn signal.
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-20-2011, 01:12 AM
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Push forward on the turn signal stalk.
Might be stiff from lack of use.

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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 12:26 AM
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I ran across this older thread in searching how to tighten up the my 78-79 tilt column. I'm not having the typical up/down movement, or general looseness of the steering column itself.....I am fighting more what I would call radial looseness, meaning the end of the steering column shaft is not snug tight with the steering wheel end of the shaft.

If you grab ahold of the end of the steering shaft where it exits the column at the bottom and grab ahold of the steering wheel and then turn, there is a very very small amount of radial looseness in the steering shaft itself. It can be "felt" thru the steering wheel most often when you drive across a rough road. It is more of an annoyance than anything as it doesn't affect steering control, but I would like to get it feeling snug since I have the steering column out of the truck currently for other reasons. Thank you in advance.

Edit: I just took the column apart a little further and I can now see the looseness is in the U joint "block" which probably means tighten/replace the nut, correct? Is the only way to tighten the nut by complete disassembling the tilt mechanism? That's a bummer if so.
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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 06:57 AM
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If the lower column bushing is worn or missing you will get a wobble at the coupling. This is the case with most columns of this age.

There is an easy fix and I would almost say permanent.

Replace the lower column bushing with this kit. If you can use a drill and a screwdriver you can install it.

Lower Steering Column Bearing 78-79 - WILD HORSES Full Size Bronco Parts

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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 01:11 PM
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Thank you for the suggestion. I have a good lower column bearing in there...it took a while to find a good one. I can see the loose movement of the u-joint block when I turn opposite ends of the steering shaft.

On another note, I have seen a very similar tilt column in late 70's full size cars such as Ranchero, Lincoln, LTD, etc. I have never seen one of those cars have the loose sloppy column problem that truck tilt columns have. That is probably because the driver didn't use the steering wheel as a handle to get in the car. In the car the driver would just slide on in, lower onto the seat. The reason I ask this is I am wondering if those columns use the same part that wears/breaks over time and that is obsolete and no longer available, what is it part # 38661? If that part is the same, there is a solution for worn, broken Bronco/truck columns.

Another thing to look at on the car columns is how long are they. If close or the same length, just adapt it into the Bronco, truck????
Anyone tried this already?
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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattt View Post

Edit: I just took the column apart a little further and I can now see the looseness is in the U joint "block" which probably means tighten/replace the nut, correct? Is the only way to tighten the nut by complete disassembling the tilt mechanism? That's a bummer if so.
Yes the only way to fix it is to completely disassemble.

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what is it part # 38661? If that part is the same, there is a solution for worn, broken Bronco/truck columns.

Another thing to look at on the car columns is how long are they. If close or the same length, just adapt it into the Bronco, truck????
Anyone tried this already?
What is this part you speak of?

I've never seen anyone adapt a car column to a truck. Fix the original column and your good.
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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 01:34 PM
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Yes the only way to fix it is to completely disassemble.



What is this part you speak of?

I've never seen anyone adapt a car column to a truck. Fix the original column and your good.
I got the part # wrong, it is 3B661, not 38661. I thought I had read about this obsolete part here on FSB, but it was on Ford-Trucks. See post #7 for the info I was referencing.

Tilt column with cruise, swap or repair? - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

It appears that my question about using parts from a car column would work too according to the info that NumberDummy provides in that post. You mentioned "fix the original column, don't try to adapt car column"....well, if the truck column is broken and no parts available, then necessity is the mother of all invention, falling back to the car column.
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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 04:15 PM
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This thread might help some

79 auto tilt column, upper bearings - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

79 XLT, 400/C6/mog 404's/42 IROKS, 8.5" lift.
79 XLT, 400/C6/D60-D44 8 lug, 2" lift, 35 BFG AT
74 Bronc build, 408/C6/Black Box/205/406 mogs/43 SX stickies

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