Sunday I repaired my extremely loose steering column with some very inexpensive tools and only about 1.5hr of my time! Here is what I bought, where, how much, and a little insight as well. I went to Autozone and purchased a Steering Wheel Puller $19, Lockplate remover $14, E8 External Torx Socket $9, Locktite Threadlocker $6, and Needle Now Pliers $9. I also used but did not need to buy a Phillips Head screwdriver and Socket Set. My steering column was ultra loose. It would move up and down and side to side but now it is solid!!
Here is a link to a great write up that shows pics and step by step on how to repair this while the column is out of the vehicle. I did mine inside the vehicle so I will add instructions for it. I did not take pics unfortunately since I was low on time but I will describe it the best I can. Tilt Column Repair
First step was to remove the horn pad. It should easily pop off if you grab it and wiggle it a little. Actually, my first step was to disconnect the battery so that I would not accidentally short out any electrical components. It should easily pop off if you grab it and wiggle it a little. Then you will see 3 phillips head screws holding the horn button assembly in place. Remove all three. Then make sure the steering wheel is in the locked position and remove the center nut holding it to the steering shaft. Next, attach the steering wheel removal tool. The tool will pay for itself as it keeps you from damaging your wheel when you bang on it to try to pop it loose. The tool makes it effortless. As you remove the wheel there will be a horn contact pin at the upper left that has a spring beneath it. Be prepared for this as you do not want it to launch. I kept track of every part and at the end could not find this little spring so now my horn is inop! I had the spring during reassembly and somehow it disappeared. Next, I removed the dash panels that surround the steering column. You will then see two bots that hold a bracket which secures the column in place. Remove both of these so that you can lower the column. Mine were kind of tough to get to so I also removed the assembly which contains the warning lights and turn signal lights. There is a wiring harness which rests on the top of the column under the dash. Unplug it so that you can slide it up through the column a little. There is also a wiring harness which comes out of the column and goes to a switch just below the headlight switch underneath the dash. I unplugged this one as well. Now you can follow the instructions in the link. Pay close attention as to how everything looks before you take it apart so that reassembly will not be a pain. You will remove a screw that holds a metal piece connected to the turn signal switch. Look at how this metal piece is attached. It took me awhile to remember what that piece hooked up to when I was reassembling the column. Overall, I would say this is an easy repair for any shade tree mechanic. When removing the retaining ring under the lockplate, I used a very thin flat head used for sunglass repair to help pry it off. Then I grabbed it with the needle nose pliers. Also, just like the instruction say, only 2 torx head bolts are visible and one of the 2 is very difficult to get to. I fully removed the one on the bottom right and applied a generous amount of red locktite to it. I then tightened it down. I could not find a way to remove the one on the bottom left so I simply tightened it as tight as I could. For now the column is as good as new! It does not move at all! Now I just need to find a spring for that horn button!! Here I come ebaymotors! I do not believe that I will need the steering wheel removal tool, lockplate removal tool, or the e8 socket so if anyone wants them we can work out a deal!! Maybe just pay me what I paid and I will ship them for free!
I also replaced the ignition lock cylinder since you could just remove the key while Jeep was running and you could somtimes start it without the key. The cylinder is very easy to remove and I found a new one on ebaymotors for $23 which included 2 keys. There is one philips head screw holding the cylider in place. Once you remove this, the cylinder simply slides out and you slide the new one in during reassembly of the column!