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Steering column bushing ordered...any tips?

Hey all,

Got the old sloppy steering wheel and ordered the metal bushing from Pelicans. Should be in by the end of the week. What am I in for on this repair? Car is an 88 model 911. What size nut do I need to be ready for? How do I get the nut loose without damaging the steering lock or rack? Any tips would be helpful.

Thanks,
mark
Old 04-02-2002, 03:50 PM
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1. Remove horn pad by simply pulling, as hard as it takes. Trust us on this one. It's still attached by a wire to the wheel once it comes off though, so remember to stop pulling once it lets go.

2. Just use a deep socket and a looooong ratchet or breaker bar on the nut. I counterhold the steering wheel with my other hand. If that doesn't work, recruit someone stronger, or hold the wheel with a Club, or a second breaker bar, with rags to cushion the impact point on the wheel. It's only 50 lb-ft or so.

3. Sit down in the car and note how much easier it is to sit down without that pesky wheel in front of you. With the wheel off, put the bushing on the steering wheel shaft. Use a very deep socket that fits around the steering wheel shaft well to tap in the bushing. It will match up exactly with a whitish/yellowish plastic bushing already on the shaft. As you tap the new bushing on, it displaces the old one down the shaft a bit.

4. Reattach steering wheel. Use a torque wrench if you have one to reattach the nut. 46 lb-ft torque, which is less than "really tight", "gorilla", or "fused", but more than "loose", "snug", or "firm". It's "Pretty Tight". The horn button just snaps on once you reattach the wire.

Enjoy smooth steering.
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Old 04-02-2002, 05:12 PM
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Uncanny...

As this thread was being written, I was searching though the archives to find some information about this problem.

I'm not quite sure what my problem is yet... but I was just getting ready to ask.

Just these past few weeks I've noticed an increased amount of "play" somewhere in my steering.
Lets say I'm going over a slight curb at about 5 miles an hour... as soon as the tires hit the curb, there is a delay of sorts before I feel it in the wheel... it's slop... I'm just not sure where it is coming from.

I can't hear any audible clicking or other noises... just a bit of unusual "play" in the wheel... It is especially noticable when in reverse.

How do I go about trouble shooting this?
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Old 04-02-2002, 05:24 PM
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Leland, are your lugnuts tight? That's where I'd start.

The bearing being shot usually results in symptoms like physical lateral play at the wheel, grinding, and increased steering effort.

I would look seriously at your tie rods, wheel bearings, and steering linkage. One place to easily look at your linkage is in the smuggler's trunk, if you didn't know.
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Old 04-02-2002, 05:30 PM
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......you'll be hearing from me again, Mr. "Old Skul"...

... I'm going to go look.
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Old 04-02-2002, 05:42 PM
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Well I went and did a quick check...

...all wheels are tight and I did an inspection of the universal joint of the steering rack in the smugglers box.
No sign of wear at the joint... but I can move it back and forth by hand... does this indicate a bad rack?

The wheel bearings are old... I repacked the fronts about two years ago... maybe it's time for a new set all 'round?
I understand that the rears are a bear???
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Old 04-02-2002, 06:00 PM
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I remember Warren saying that the front wheel bearings are over-designed (as far as load capacity, I guess) by a factor of 5. If you repacked them a few years back, they're most likely still good? I'd search elsewhere.

Take a look at the steering coupler on the rack if you decide to go there. Rack relubing is plenty simple if you wanted to do that as well. You'd be surprised how much grease has left the rack and resides as slime in your boots.
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Old 04-02-2002, 08:06 PM
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Well, how're the tie rods?

I'm no expert, Leland, just ticking the easy ones off. Lugnuts're easy
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Old 04-02-2002, 09:08 PM
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After a quick search I found this post but was wondering if I am diagnosing the right thing? My car basically feels like it has sloppy tilt steering but I don't have tilt steering.What I mean is I can lift my steering wheel up and down about a 1/8 of an inch or so.I never noticed it before today and now I can't stop doing it.Is this the bushing that needs to be changed?Thanks
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Old 05-06-2002, 09:33 PM
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Critter,

This is likely the bearing at the top of the steering column. It has a nylon/plastic part that is notorious for wearing out and causing play at the top.

You can replace the bearing, but it is a tough job. Alternatively, there is special repair part for this.

It is a little "sleeve" that slides inside the existing bearing. It replaces the worn out nylon piece. Real easy to install since you don't need to pull the bearing.

I assume Pelican carries this item.
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Old 05-06-2002, 10:46 PM
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Geez....talk about syncronized car failures. My steering wheel has developed the sloppy syndrome too. This weekend while on a club drive all of a sudden it started to feel sloppy. When I pulled over I found I could move the wheel up and down with about 1cm of movement.

So I searched the board and found the suggestion of repairing with the metal bushing from the 968 (?). Anyhow I thought this was a fairly straight forward job but I see Chuck says its tough.

Geez.........

Cheers
Mark
Old 05-07-2002, 01:36 AM
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Leland,

I've found it helpful in the past to have someone in the driver's seat rocking the steering wheel back and forth while you look along the steering column, rack and tie rods. While the steering wheel is moving, feel each part - you'll know where the play is.

The column bushing is probably very difficult to replace. I put the repair sleeve on and it is a piece of cake.

Here's a picture of my disintegrated bushing - you can see the flecks of beige plastic where the top of the bushing was. After you remove the clip (the one with red paint on it), you just slide the repair sleeve onto the shaft, pushing all the old bushing into the column.

Chris.
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Old 05-07-2002, 02:37 AM
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Mark (old skull)...so are you saying no need to remove the old bushing, just slide on the new metal bushing and the old will slide further down the shaft out of the way?

Thanks heaps.

Cheers
Mark
Old 05-07-2002, 06:51 AM
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Geez....talk about synchronized car failures

G'day Mark.
Crikey, you can say that again! Telepathic Porsche de-bugging?
I have the same shaft movement and you may recall in our last conversation regarding the bump steering kit I mentioned I was chasing my steering column chatter.
I ordered the bushing, installed it - and it made absolutely no difference! In fact the nylon bearing WAS intact (not disintegrated) before I installed it. In hindsight I now wish I'd left it alone, oh well. The installation of the bushing is a piece of cake - a talent rating one, but it WILL destroy what maybe a perfectly good nylon bearing as was my experience, causing an increased lateral movement between the shaft and the bushing. Interestingly it was a snug fit upon installation but after a couple of days .....I was disappointed.
I don't mind if someone here says I'm giving wrong advice - but my humble opinion is that if the shaft itself is worn - the bushing will do nothing or very little, except maybe where the OEM nylon bearing is visibly and actually knackered - it *may* reduce the lateral shaft movement but I'm now sceptical that it will actually eliminate it. I'm sure the flexibility of the upper OEM nylon bearing is designed correctly as a snug firm fit (albeit sacrificial)
I found the shaft to be slightly worn where it is contact with the upper bearing but I don't have the tools to remove it so I've booked it into Melbourne Porsche with instructions to dismantle and rebuild the complete assembly - replacing the upper OEM nylon bearing and being new it will take up the worn shaft slack) replace the shaft if necessary, the uni joints, the yoke will be investigated and the lower bearing replaced together with what ever else they diagnose.
This is all happening in 3 weeks and costing $$$ but I'm assured of near as new steering Stay tuned if you wish.
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Old 05-07-2002, 08:42 AM
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Sean,

You can buy another bearing and tap it in on top of the old bearing!!! I don't think want to pay to have the steering column removed. It's a pretty big job because of all the surrounding things you need to remove in order to just get the column out of the car. I've done this job and it's not fun. Lots of potential for your car to get boogered up by someone who's impatient.

I'm not sure how the shaft would wear unless the plastic sleeve was completely gone and causing the shaft to contact the bearing metal surface. Those u-joints aren't going to be cheap either ($120 over here). Most of the time you can put a few drips of oil on the joint pivots and they'll move like new again. If I were to do it again, i'd do the new bearing on top of the old bearing method. Just my two cents...............

As long as you're overhauling the whole steering assy., why not tackle the steering rack as well? A good repacking of the rack grease should make a big difference in the feel of the steering system. Much smoother operation. New tie rods sure would help (if they're needed) as well.


Good luck.
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Last edited by KTL; 05-07-2002 at 09:30 AM..
Old 05-07-2002, 09:26 AM
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Leland,

I have had the same thing you are describing in the past but found the problem in a different area.

Get someone to sit in the seat and move the wheel. Put your food against the tire on both sides to stop the movement and see where the play is in the system.

I found one car where the rack was moving on the frame and that was where the play was, not in the tie rods, steering wheel or bearings.

Joe
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Old 05-07-2002, 09:43 AM
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Thumbs up Kevin

Well there ya go! I didn't think of that. Just remove the retaining ring and tap the new one over the old, then replace the retaining clip. Thanks Kevin, I'll check it out. Thing is, this chatter noise maybe coming from inside the old upper bearing and I've had a gut full of it in my ear, so I'll definitely remove it if that's the case.
Yeah I know what you mean "It's a pretty big job" in removing the shaft. The whole fan plenum assembly, uni joints, lower bearing, steering wheel and binnacle etc etc - about 6 hours there and back (for me).
The tie rods are good but I will do the rack. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 05-07-2002, 10:12 AM
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hey guys,

I have to do the same repair!

I already ordered the upper shaft bearing for an early car. Does the repair sleave work for pre 74 911s?

If not can the new bearing be pressed over the old as described above?

Thanks

Brian
Old 05-07-2002, 10:52 AM
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Yeah Sean. That job was crap. You have to take out all sorts of crazy stuff to get that column out. Tach, ignition lockset, a handful of shear bolts (easy to install, some a PITA to remove), ventilation box, some air vents inside the car, blah, blah, blah. I'd bet this is a job that the shops do not look forward to doing!!!!

The bearing sandwich idea was not mine. Ray from Motodelta in Chicago suggested this fix. My pea brain was too tiny to come up with this simple solution! Lots of room inside that steering column tube. You could probably push 5 or 6 new bearings in there!!! Not that you'd want to............. just saying there's no doubt that there's room for two.
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Old 05-07-2002, 10:54 AM
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Sean,

What have you decided to do now?

Guys,

The info here is a bit confusing but am I right saying there's basically three ways to attact this sloppy steering shaft problem?

1. Buy a sleeve that slides inside the existing bearing. Seems simple enough...where do you get this sleeve?

2. Buy a new bearing and simply slide it on the shaft. As you tap it in, the old plastic one just moves further down the shaft. Seems simple too.

3. Pull the whole steering column and renew the bearing. Seems like a major PITA.

Thanks guys.

Cheers
Mark
Old 05-11-2002, 07:40 AM
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