Steering Column Removal

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By AMC Eagle Nest member ericarmstrong

Step 1. Disconnect the battery, your working with old wiring and you don't want to short anything if you can help it.

Step 2. Remove floor console (if you have one), package tray, and lower column trim piece. I figured this was fairly basic so I didn't include pics, If anyone wants them added I can do it later.

Step 3. Remove two bolts at the rag joint. This is located were the steering rod connects to the gear box under the hood. The red circle shows one of the bolts with the nut removed. The bolt in the green circle may be easier, but I didn't try it. You want to mark the how the joint is put together and keep track of the bolts, they are two different sizes.

Steeringcolum01.jpg

Step 4. unplug high/low switch. Its located on the driver side of the column just behind the dash bolts.

Steeringcolum02.jpg

Step 5. unplug column harness. opposite side of high/low switch. The ignition switch needs unplugged as well, but its easier to wait for later. Be careful with this one, these wire have to work for your brake lights, signals, and hazards to function.

Steeringcolum03.jpg

Step 6. Remove the 4 bolts that connect the firewall to the column mount. The rod in the top of the picture is the brake booster connector rod. That should give a good idea of where you need to look. Some insulation may need to be moved to access these. An a/c equip vehicle is a little tighter when accessing the top passenger bolt, but its still totally accessible.

Steeringcolum04.jpg

Step 7. Sit in the driver seat so that your knees can hold up the wheel and remove the two under dash bolts.

Steeringcolum05.jpg

Step 8. Let the column drop easily, it may take a slight tug. Once the column is free from the dash bolts you ill have direct access to the ignition switch, unplug it. The pic shows its location, although the column is half out in the pic.

Steeringcolum06.jpg

Step 9. Pull column straight back. It should slide right out. Be careful of the trans shift linkage and miscellaneous tubes under the hood, its easy to catch the rag joint on them. This may be avoidable by using the bolt in the green circle and not bringing part of the rag joint with the column. I really don't know, I didn't try it. You will want your seats as far back as they go. I pulled my parts column out of a wagon with power seats and no battery and almost couldn't get it out.

Steeringcolum07.jpg

Install in reverse order, A friend makes lining up the rag joint much easier.

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Note: be careful putting strain/odd angles on your rag joint ( have a friend help line it up ), old seals in old gear boxes like to bust, trust me on this one. You'll also want to check your brake lights, ignition, and all signals before reinstalling the dash trim parts.