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Location: San Jose, CA
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Steering wheel bushing / copper sleeve

Hey guys, i think this copper sleeve is way out of position. From other pics I've seen, it looks like it should be below the bearing center, not riding up the steering shaft like this.

My steering wheel turning has gone crunchy, and I found the typical bushing remnants when I got in there. (see pics)

But... looks like someone somewhere along the line has bodged a crappy fix and put a bunch of spacer washers around the shaft rather than replace the bushing, I presume to stop the copper bushing coming out further, precipitating an expensive and complicated steered wheel bearing replacement fix.

Can this copper sleeve be pushed back down somehow without damaging the bearing? It's clear there's minor damage to the exposed part, and that's likely why the steering is grinding.

I've ordered a new support bushing already, but need some coaching on what to do about that copper sleeve.

Help?





Old 05-07-2020, 10:16 AM
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I don't think that belongs there at all. Looks like someone slipped it in there to replace the broken plastic bushing.

Copper is softish, can you jam something into it (like a punch or sharp screwdrivers) in two places 180 degrees apart, and try to pry it up and out?

Mark
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Old 05-07-2020, 10:48 AM
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Yes, that is not stock. Needs to come out for your sleeve bushing repair to work.
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Old 05-07-2020, 01:15 PM
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Lash
 
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Just finished installing new bushing. Took this picture after removing the steering wheel. You can see the plastic crumbs laying on the bottom lip and the yellow ring came out in one piece. No copper bushing. This is a 1980 SC.
Looks like someone came up with their own quick fix.

Lash

Old 05-07-2020, 07:43 PM
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I just did this today with the porsche replacement from the 928. I used a skim of wheel bearing grease. I have a question; theres a big washer between the nut and the shaft. Is this supposed to be there? I have searched somewhat but I think someone may have put this in place. Thx.

Never mind washer check...thx

Last edited by ab1752; 05-07-2020 at 09:04 PM..
Old 05-07-2020, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Salvetti View Post
I don't think that belongs there at all. Looks like someone slipped it in there to replace the broken plastic bushing.

Copper is softish, can you jam something into it (like a punch or sharp screwdrivers) in two places 180 degrees apart, and try to pry it up and out?

Mark
Maybe. It's thickish tho. Looks like a short bit of copper pipe split down one side.

My biggest concern is damaging the shaft or bearing (which moves freely along with it) in the removal process.

Any ideas how to get it out? It seems jammed in there good.
Old 05-08-2020, 09:29 AM
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The bearing may already be damaged. When you turn the wheel, does the bearing turn with the copper bushing? If it does, then the copper isn't causing the crunchiness, it would have to be the bearing.

Or maybe the remnants of the old plastic bushing got pushed down the shaft (the usual approach) and they are now crunching the lower bearing. I think that has occasionally happened to people in the past.

Mark
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Old 05-08-2020, 09:58 AM
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Prior owner was probably a plumber.......
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Old 05-08-2020, 10:07 AM
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The "crunching" is most probably coming from plastic bits falling down the steering
tube and interfering with the steering wheel lock mechanism, not the lower bearing. Had this problem with my 911SC and almost caused a wreck when the plastic bits locked the wheel while making a left turn, almost hit the oncoming car till I jerked the wheel real hard which freed up the wheel by busting up the plastic bits. I then pulled the
ignition/lock mechanism and cleaned it all out.

You are quite lucky the the copper piece is a good bit exposed and you should be able
get a hold on it with some experimentation and pry it out. Don't think you will mess
up the bearing, they are pretty tough. I hope when you get the copper out, you
install the Leland/Redline bushing fix.

I saw in a post here someone was installing the "OLD" 928 bushing fix. BIG MISTAKE, as down the road that 928 metal bushing can cause wear problems and screw things up, and then if the metal 928 piece was driven in deeply, it's almost impossible to remove.
This problem is documented in many prior threads. Beware.
Good luck,
Grant
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'80SC Widebody 3.6 transplant Anthracite "The Rocket"
Long gone but still miss them all:
'77 911 Targa, '72 BMW 3.0CS Coupe(finest car I ever had!)
'71 911T Coupe White, '70 911T Coupe Blue
'68 911 Coupe Orange, '68 911L Soft Window Targa
Old 05-08-2020, 10:31 AM
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Bushing.

Have a look on this site.

There is a member who makes
the correct bushing.

Search bushing.

Gerry
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Old 05-08-2020, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86 911 Targa View Post
Have a look on this site.

There is a member who makes
the correct bushing.

Search bushing.

Gerry
That member is Mitch Leland. He sold many of his bushings through Pelican.
It appears he has sold the design to Redline and they are now available
on Pelican under the Redline name.
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'80SC Widebody 3.6 transplant Anthracite "The Rocket"
Long gone but still miss them all:
'77 911 Targa, '72 BMW 3.0CS Coupe(finest car I ever had!)
'71 911T Coupe White, '70 911T Coupe Blue
'68 911 Coupe Orange, '68 911L Soft Window Targa
Old 05-08-2020, 04:33 PM
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The 928 bushing I used is indeed smooth metal with a split down one side. It also has a significant collar so removing it wont be any drama as there is no way this is going any deeper down the shaft. I installed it and removed at the same time just to give it a try. Bit of wheel bearing grease and it's fine.
Old 05-08-2020, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ab1752 View Post
The 928 bushing I used is indeed smooth metal with a split down one side. It also has a significant collar so removing it wont be any drama as there is no way this is going any deeper down the shaft. I installed it and removed at the same time just to give it a try. Bit of wheel bearing grease and it's fine.
Glad to old 928 bushing fix is working well for you and hope it lasts a long time.
The Mitch Leland bushing fix was developed some years ago as a better mouse trap
and has been the "go to" fix for most Pelicans for the steering bearing problem for years.
It is so effective that Redline bought the rights from Mitch and now market it
as the most effective fix.
Over the years the 928 bushing can cause shaft deterioration problems
as noted by 911 guru (John Walker) on this forum, due to metal to metal wear.
That can create a need for the dreaded complete shaft replacement.
The best thing about the 928 bushing is the price!
Read this thread re the problem by John Walker, toward the end of the thread (post 52) Mitch Leland posts his "new fix"
to address all the problems the thread had addressed. That bushing is the one now made by Redline!
problems arising with metal steering bushing
__________________
'80SC Widebody 3.6 transplant Anthracite "The Rocket"
Long gone but still miss them all:
'77 911 Targa, '72 BMW 3.0CS Coupe(finest car I ever had!)
'71 911T Coupe White, '70 911T Coupe Blue
'68 911 Coupe Orange, '68 911L Soft Window Targa

Last edited by uwanna; 05-08-2020 at 06:17 PM..
Old 05-08-2020, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwanna View Post
That member is Mitch Leland. He sold many of his bushings through Pelican.
It appears he has sold the design to Redline and they are now available
on Pelican under the Redline name.
Yep... I bought this one:

https://www.pelicanparts.com/More_Info/RENI69.htm?pn=REN-I69
Old 05-08-2020, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwanna View Post
The "crunching" is most probably coming from plastic bits falling down the steering
tube and interfering with the steering wheel lock mechanism, not the lower bearing. Had this problem with my 911SC and almost caused a wreck when the plastic bits locked the wheel while making a left turn, almost hit the oncoming car till I jerked the wheel real hard which freed up the wheel by busting up the plastic bits. I then pulled the
ignition/lock mechanism and cleaned it all out.

You are quite lucky the the copper piece is a good bit exposed and you should be able
get a hold on it with some experimentation and pry it out. Don't think you will mess
up the bearing, they are pretty tough. I hope when you get the copper out, you
install the Leland/Redline bushing fix.

I saw in a post here someone was installing the "OLD" 928 bushing fix. BIG MISTAKE, as down the road that 928 metal bushing can cause wear problems and screw things up, and then if the metal 928 piece was driven in deeply, it's almost impossible to remove.
This problem is documented in many prior threads. Beware.
Good luck,
Grant
I'm not quite following how the ignition / lock mechanism plays into it... can you describe and/or provide me some pics? It think this is what happened, because the bearing is smooth when I rotate the copper piece.
Old 05-08-2020, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damntall View Post
I'm not quite following how the ignition / lock mechanism plays into it... can you describe and/or provide me some pics? It think this is what happened, because the bearing is smooth when I rotate the copper piece.
Don't have a pic, but the steering shaft has a "pocket" machined into it that receives
the plunger from the ignition lock mechanism when you take out your key and turn the wheel to lock it. The plastic bits can fall down the steering tube and kinda lodge in
the pocket in the shaft. On my car, even when the lock plunger was retracted the plastic
pieces interfered with the plunger. If indeed the crunching noise you hear is from the
plunger interference, it should probably disappear with use when the plastic bits get
"ground up". I was just unlucky enough that a larger plastic bit lodged in the wrong place while making a turn and momentarily locked my steering till I jercked the wheel
hard to bust up the plastic. Just to be on the safe side, I removed ignition lock assy and cleaned it all out, but you may be OK. Just be mindfull when making large turns.
If grinding persists it may be caused by something else.
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'80SC Widebody 3.6 transplant Anthracite "The Rocket"
Long gone but still miss them all:
'77 911 Targa, '72 BMW 3.0CS Coupe(finest car I ever had!)
'71 911T Coupe White, '70 911T Coupe Blue
'68 911 Coupe Orange, '68 911L Soft Window Targa
Old 05-09-2020, 06:17 AM
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What that copper sleeve is, is a 3/4 copper coupling. My plastic bushing failed and instead of going back with plastic i used a copper coupling with a cut on one side.

Been in there for around 10 years now with no problem. You can use a piece of PVC pipe to tap against the copper sleeve to drive it down equal with the bearing.

Since it's been quite some time since i did this, I can't remember if I had to shorten the length of the coupling. So, if you place the pvc sleeve over the steering wheel shaft and tap it, be careful to make sure it will go down.

It's possible that the plastic wasn't fully cleaned out before the copper sleeve was installed. My plastic bushing came out in one piece, so i didn't have any issues. Also, if you ordered a new bushing, you can compare the length to a 3/4" copper coupling length to see if they match.

Lastly if you are not satisfied with the copper sleeve being installed, you can probably take a pair of channel locks, work the sleeve back and forth while pulling up. It should come out. Make sure you put some lube between the coupling and steering wheel shaft.

As i previously stated mine has been in for around 10 years and never had an issue. Good luck.
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Old 05-10-2020, 08:32 PM
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Lash
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Western NC
Posts: 147
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by uwanna View Post
Glad to old 928 bushing fix is working well for you and hope it lasts a long time.
The Mitch Leland bushing fix was developed some years ago as a better mouse trap
and has been the "go to" fix for most Pelicans for the steering bearing problem for years.
It is so effective that Redline bought the rights from Mitch and now market it
as the most effective fix.
Over the years the 928 bushing can cause shaft deterioration problems
as noted by 911 guru (John Walker) on this forum, due to metal to metal wear.
That can create a need for the dreaded complete shaft replacement.
The best thing about the 928 bushing is the price!
Read this thread re the problem by John Walker, toward the end of the thread (post 52) Mitch Leland posts his "new fix"
to address all the problems the thread had addressed. That bushing is the one now made by Redline!
problems arising with metal steering bushing
Uwanna,
I'm a bit confused, is there a difference in design between the 928 bushing and what Redline sells through PP?

Thanks Lash
Old 05-11-2020, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kltarga72 View Post
Uwanna,
I'm a bit confused, is there a difference in design between the 928 bushing and what Redline sells through PP?

Thanks Lash
Lash,
They are completely different.
The 928 bushing is an OLD fix that almost no one uses anymore. It is just
a small metal kinda shell the is driven into the space where the broken plastic
bearing spacer used to be. The Leland/Redline unit is a much larger engineered
piece made of a plastic composite that is easily installed and also has a provision
to easily uninstall it if necessary.
If you click on the link I put in my post and then scroll thru the thread, you will see plenty of pictures
and discussion on the 928 bushing, then in post #52 you will see a pic of the Leland/Redline unit.
__________________
'80SC Widebody 3.6 transplant Anthracite "The Rocket"
Long gone but still miss them all:
'77 911 Targa, '72 BMW 3.0CS Coupe(finest car I ever had!)
'71 911T Coupe White, '70 911T Coupe Blue
'68 911 Coupe Orange, '68 911L Soft Window Targa

Last edited by uwanna; 05-11-2020 at 07:58 AM..
Old 05-11-2020, 07:53 AM
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Thanks for the help, everyone. I ordered the Leland / Rennline part and undid that crappy fix from a previous owner (or shop job).

Whoever installed it used a piece of copper pipe that they split down the side and pressed into the bushing area, and then built up the remaining slop area with 5 oil filter crush washers.

SOOOOOO JANKY.

So I drilled a hole opposite the split in the copper pipe "repair" for a place to hook, and and then bent up an ear of the split side to pry it out evenly with pliers and a hooked scribe. I was preparing for a battle, but it came out without too much difficulty. Replaced it with the Leland / Rennline part.

Grinding in the steering column is gone. Smooth as silk again. Appreciate all of you!



Bryan

Old 05-12-2020, 08:41 PM
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