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Old 03-02-2011, 11:07 PM   #1
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steering wheel wobbles at tilt joint

i have a 1990 yj with a tilt wheel in it and it has a pretty generous amount of play where the wheel actually tilts. ive seen steering column bearing replacement parts but im not sure if that is what i need or not. if anyone has any ideas please let me know.

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Old 03-03-2011, 12:46 AM   #2
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I just fixed this on mine.

There are 4 star bolts (opposite of a Torx) that hold the assembly together. To get to them you will need to remove:
the horn cover,
steering wheel (you will need a puller for this),
steering lock plate (this will reqiure a plate compression tool to push it back enough to remove the lock ring),
the ignition switch,
Steering wheel bearing,
move the wire harness assembly,
the Turn Signal lever (it pulls straight out),
the Tilt wheel lever (it unscrews),
the Upper column housing,
the tilt pins (they require a special tool)
and then tighten the bolts.

I have been told some people were able to tighten the bolts without removing the tilt pins, I'm not sure how, or how many othe parts they could skip, I couldn't see all four without doing that.

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Old 03-04-2011, 08:27 AM   #3
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The bolts are reverse torxs.If you are not pretty good at wrenching I would NOT attempt this repair.If you do it without pulling the pins you only tighten three bolts which is fine if you learn to get in and out of your Jeep without pulling yourself in and out with the steering wheel.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
if you learn to get in and out of your Jeep without pulling yourself in and out with the steering wheel.
If find some 12 step program to stop this, sign me up.
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:36 PM   #5
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awesome thanks a ton to both of yall... ive got some grab handles that go onto the roll bar maybe if you get a really nice $60 pair you'll be more motivated to use them instead of the wheel lol
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:23 AM   #6
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The three you can get to, I used bead lock on them and its held for 3 months.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undead-89 View Post
I just fixed this on mine.

There are 4 star bolts (opposite of a Torx) that hold the assembly together. To get to them you will need to remove:
the horn cover,
steering wheel (you will need a puller for this),
steering lock plate (this will reqiure a plate compression tool to push it back enough to remove the lock ring),
the ignition switch,
Steering wheel bearing,
move the wire harness assembly,
the Turn Signal lever (it pulls straight out),
the Tilt wheel lever (it unscrews),
the Upper column housing,
the tilt pins (they require a special tool)
and then tighten the bolts.

I have been told some people were able to tighten the bolts without removing the tilt pins, I'm not sure how, or how many othe parts they could skip, I couldn't see all four without doing that.
Excellent help there. Been looking for that. I got half way there and thought I was going in wrong direction but appears I was almost there. THanks hope this helps my wheel is scarrrryyyy.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:38 PM   #8
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I would suggest to the mods to put this one in the stickies somewhere seems common
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undead-89 View Post
I just fixed this on mine.

There are 4 star bolts (opposite of a Torx) that hold the assembly together. To get to them you will need to remove:
the horn cover,
steering wheel (you will need a puller for this),
steering lock plate (this will reqiure a plate compression tool to push it back enough to remove the lock ring),
the ignition switch,
Steering wheel bearing,
move the wire harness assembly,
the Turn Signal lever (it pulls straight out),
the Tilt wheel lever (it unscrews),
the Upper column housing,
the tilt pins (they require a special tool)
and then tighten the bolts.

I have been told some people were able to tighten the bolts without removing the tilt pins, I'm not sure how, or how many othe parts they could skip, I couldn't see all four without doing that.
Just a bump for this. I did get the compression tool (Autozone Part #27044) and made the next few steps make much more sense! I wanted to take pictures of each step and try to make a write up but was crunched fr time and just wanted to know I could do it. So sure enough got up to the last step of removing tilt pins because another special tool was needed. I however only see 2 out of what everyone says is 4 bolts. They are reverse torques or "start" bolts. However because of the small amount of room in there I managed to use a 1/4" drive shallow 1/4" socket on a long extension and wratchet to take the two bottom ones out. I wanted to weld them in but didn't have time nor room. So I used a good bit of loc-tite and ran them in nice and tight. The 1/4" socket worked perfect. Re assembled all of it and superise for me it worked. Without that compression tool that cost me $0.00 after returning it I was good to go and YIPPIE a tight steering wheel! So with a few wrenches and a small twisted bezel I got out that clip holding sterring lock in and a phillips head screwdriver and it can be done easy. Took maybe an hour tops. Wish I could have got to the other 2 bolts but the wheel has not one bit of wiggle so if they decide to loosen again i'll go in deeper with confedence.

Hopefully people can find this thread who also had this issue and feel free to ask for any questions in the future cause I couldn't find a bit of help when I did it. Next time i'll do a step by step with pics.
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:01 AM   #10
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I had the exact same problem and avoided this for months because it looked overwhelming. I was told about this Youtube video and i was amazed. This video walks you through the exact process to get to those screws. It isn't nearly as bad when watch this.

Unfortunately for me I got it all torn apart and tightened the loose bolts but found that wasn't my only problem. The actual metal column on mine was cracked through about 75% around the column. So instead of putting it back together I tore deeper and pulled the entire column. Now I am looking to buy a total replacement column instead.

Anyone know of a good place to buy replacement columns? The most reasonable place I have found is on eBay for about $200. I agree this thread should be a sticky.

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Old 05-30-2011, 07:42 AM   #11
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Great post for sure. i wish i had this video when i did mine.... as far as buying a column i couldn't even find a place that had an entire column except for amazon.com they had a used one for $150. either that or ebay seem like your only choice.
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:40 AM   #12
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I hate to resurrect and older thread but I'd also hate to start a new one with my question. How much steering wheel wobble is too much? I measured the wobble on mine and it moves up and down 1/8 of an inch, not too much to notice.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:37 AM   #13
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1/8inch should be alright... just probably getting a little age on it. If there is a real problem it usually gets exponentially worse as time goes on. Also, right after I did my fix I still had about that same amount of wobble. Possibly due to play in the tilt lock mech. = no biggy
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:40 AM   #14
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an 1/8" play up and down is fine. nothing to worry about at all. its from the teeth on the tilt mechanism being worn. when you can move it 1/2" or more is when you want to look into the problem.

these guys that did the torx bolt tightening sequence were experiencing side to side play, which is caused by yanking on the wheel trying to get in.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:05 PM   #15
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Or using it for support, like an "Oh Sh*t" bar when going around corners fast; or on inclines.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:24 PM   #16
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Replaced the steering column with a unit from Flaming River

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