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gmc steering column interchange? 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:04 am
Posts: 1006
Location: Hell
Post gmc steering column interchange?
anybody help me out with swapping sterring columns? hit the turn signal in my dd 90 gmc today and it kills the truck. something is loose with the tilt, and the shifter and turn signal lever slip around the column. my mudder is a 93 gmc, wondering if the columns are switchable. hoping for an easy or atleast cheap fix for now. appreciate all the help i can get, thanks

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54 GMC 5 window
89 Chevy Dually Crew , big bottom, big bottom, talk about mud flaps, my girls got em!


Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:54 am
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:37 pm
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Location: Central Wisconsin
Post Re: gmc steering column interchange?
I posted your question on another forum. The responses I got so far are listed below.

*****
There are three bolts that hold the tilt assembly together, pull the steering wheel and maybe the next piece, it's been a long time since I did mine, and tighten the three bolts. No need to swap the whole thing.

*****
It sounds like it might have lost an important ground and is grounding through the turn signal.
When he turns on the signal the ground goes away.

Or he has a bad short in the harness.

*****
he's probably got a short in the ribbon harness at the tilt part.

no clue on year break off in the later stuff, but chances are those 2 column's might be interchangeable, depending on the features...

*****
I had to pull one out of the junkyard & I learned a bit via trial & error.
Check the wire harness to make sure the wire colors match, also check the turn signal & tilt to make sure it's the same. The first one I got didn't exactly match & I had to take it back. The second one I pulled was close enough that I combined parts & made it work.

*****
fyi 88-94

95 -up got new inside style and new steering setup.

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1987 GMC Jimmy - http://www.wi4x4.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3275
1971 Jeep CJ5 - http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2608975/1
1992 Jeep YJ - http://cardomain.com/ride/3139147
1993 Damon Challenger RV - http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fusea ... page/1.cfm
2000 Jeep XJ


Last edited by magik235 on Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:46 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:58 pm
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Location: St Croix Falls, WI
Post Re: gmc steering column interchange?
conwaymuddy wrote:
anybody help me out with swapping sterring columns? hit the turn signal in my dd 90 gmc today and it kills the truck. something is loose with the tilt, and the shifter and turn signal lever slip around the column. my mudder is a 93 gmc, wondering if the columns are switchable. hoping for an easy or atleast cheap fix for now. appreciate all the help i can get, thanks


yea the only thing that would prevent a full switch would be if you need cruise and the 93 doesn't, but that should be able to switched from one to the other

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Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:01 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:04 am
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Location: Hell
Post Re: gmc steering column interchange?
pulled apart the column in the 90 to check for wire damage that may cause my truck to kill when i hit the turn signals, reverse, and now also just turn, and couldnt find any issues. any ideas what may be causing this, or whatever screws i should tighten up to atleast get the slop out of the tilt? thanks again... :bang:

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54 GMC 5 window
89 Chevy Dually Crew , big bottom, big bottom, talk about mud flaps, my girls got em!


Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:14 pm
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Location: Central Wisconsin
Post Re: gmc steering column interchange?
This might help.

Here is the infamous “GM tilt column loose problem” fix:
Disconnect the Battery, Tilt the column to the full UP position, Pull the wheel
Remove the locking plate, the large spring & the bearing cover (This comes off fine, but is a pain in the butt to get back on so I made a tool to put it back on)
Disconnect the connectors for the turn signal switch, cruise and the "smart" switch
Remove three screws that hold down the turn signal switch
Gently pull the switch up and pull out of the housing folding down and hang by harness
Remove the Ign Key buzzer switch and retainer clip
There is either a screw on the right side holding in the IGN KEY LOCK or a slot in which you push a tab.
Remove the screw or push the tab and remove the Ign Lock Cylinder.
Most of us have been this far before into the tear-down.
Next there are three or four torx head screws that hold the housing onto the tilt bowl, remove them.

Return the turn signal switch back into the housing, do not put the screws back. This step is to give you some play in the wiring

Gently pull up on the housing up and over the steering shaft. Tilting the shaft down will help but it puts the upper ball bearings in danger of popping out. The small cover for the tilt handle, the plastic push piece will all fall out

There will now be a black bowl exposed. It has the bearings for the short shaft. The Hi Beam actuator rod will be coming through on the left side. There will also be a small rod through the top parallel with the floor. It is the sector shaft for the IGN Switch and has a small gear on the left.

THIS IS IMPORTANT!! THIS IS THE PART THAT IS SPRUNG LOADED!!

At the bottom is a small, about the size of a quarter, round silver plug with a square cutout in the center. This is the spring retainer. by tilting the column up most of the load has been removed from the spring. Take a #3 Phillips screw driver, put into the square hole. The object is not to go through this hole but to engage it. Push the plug down/in about 1/8 inch and turn counter-clockwise. There are two ears 180 degrees apart that retain the plug. REMEMBER IT IS SPRING LOADED!! Ease up until there is no load and pull out.

The next step requires a small puller. I used small screws and vise-grips on one and a small crow bar on the other one !! They are in there pretty tight too !!

There are two pins 180 degrees apart on the sides of the bowl. These are the tilt pivot pins and they need to be removed. Kent-Moore makes the special puller but I have seen other folks put a small screw in the hole and pull them out with Vise-grips. If the screws break you are hosed! The pins are harden and can't be drilled out if it gets screwed up.

Once the pins are out put the tilt lever back in. Pull like you want to tilt the column. This releases the pawls from the retainer grooves.

While holding them released, gently pull the bowl up towards you. The ball bearings are in danger of popping out again as they are disengaged from the races.

You will notice that the upper shaft is connected to intermediate shaft by a white plastic ball socket. DO NOT BEND THIS TO 90 DEGREES OR IT WILL BECOME DISENGAGED!!

Slide this to one side and two of four torx head screws will be exposed. I use a ¼” drive ¼” socket on a flex universal to gain access. This eliminates the danger of bending the tilt ball too much.

If it's real loose tighten one from each side diagonally, That way the mechanism will seat and not bind. I recommend that you put locktite on them !!

Going back together is just doing it in reverse with some extra steps.
Reposition the tilt bowl on the shaft, pull back on the lever and slide on. Make sure the pawls engage the retaining grooves. The rods down to both the starter switch and the headlamp dimmer need to be lined up.

Replace the tilt spring by depressing with a screw driver and turning

To time the start switch the small snap ring retaining the sector gear, white or black plastic, and gear needs to be removed

These will not be replaced until after the pivot pins are reset.

Install these pins with a gasket hammer, SMALL! You may need to jiggle the bowl by actuating the lever disengaging the pawls

Now time the ign rod rack with the gear and actuate a few times to make sure the Large cutout in the gear for the ACCESSORY position is timed. The rod has a tit that has to go into the racks crescent shaped area. This crescent shaped area allows the rod to be actauted from any tilt position when the key has been turned.

Slide the turn signal housing down over the bowl, aligning the small tilt lever cover and headlight dimmer actuator. Small daps of grease will help hold this in position while trying to put it all together

The rest is put together as taken apart.

The Ign lock cyl goes in before the buzzer switch. The small tab on the lock cyl that actuates this switch needs to be held up in the close position. The IGN key needs to be out of the cyl for this to happen. Small dabs of grease will hold this up during assembly
Another tip:
Loosen the two nuts, maybe three that hold the column up to the dash frame. They are either 17mm or 15mm bolt heads. This will give you a little more play in the wiring.

_________________
1987 GMC Jimmy - http://www.wi4x4.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3275
1971 Jeep CJ5 - http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2608975/1
1992 Jeep YJ - http://cardomain.com/ride/3139147
1993 Damon Challenger RV - http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fusea ... page/1.cfm
2000 Jeep XJ


Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:25 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:04 am
Posts: 1006
Location: Hell
Post Re: gmc steering column interchange?
this is a huge help! almost want to go work on the clunker in the dark til i figure out all the issues. ive got to quit buying old vehichles to get around smog laws.... thank you so much

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54 GMC 5 window
89 Chevy Dually Crew , big bottom, big bottom, talk about mud flaps, my girls got em!


Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:27 pm
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Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:47 pm
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Post Re: gmc steering column interchange?
conwaymuddy wrote:
this is a huge help! almost want to go work on the clunker in the dark til i figure out all the issues. ive got to quit buying old vehichles to get around smog laws.... thank you so much

Nah, you just gotta get outta the emission areas. Jefferson has no emission regulations! I don't have to take ANY of our 4 vehicles through emissions! Besides, older vehicles are simplier to work on and parts are cheaper. Like I said before, I have an entire tilt steering column with all the wiring harness intact siting in my garage. Only downside is, it's outta an 85.


Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:04 am
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:04 am
Posts: 1006
Location: Hell
Post Re: gmc steering column interchange?
id like to get out of this part of town for sure, just isnt happening at the time. i was told that as the shifter/turn signal part of the column is rotating, it may be causing the ignition to switch itself off. hopefully once its tightened up, and all back together (possibly even right) i wont have this problem. thanks for pointing me to the right guy to ask bluecrew.

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54 GMC 5 window
89 Chevy Dually Crew , big bottom, big bottom, talk about mud flaps, my girls got em!


Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:19 am
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:04 am
Posts: 1006
Location: Hell
Post Re: gmc steering column interchange?
anybody have a suggestion on getting one of the pins in the side out? wont budge for anything. tried pulling and prying but it wont go. torch it out?

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54 GMC 5 window
89 Chevy Dually Crew , big bottom, big bottom, talk about mud flaps, my girls got em!


Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:12 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:04 am
Posts: 1006
Location: Hell
Post Re: gmc steering column interchange?
ended up snapping the screw i had in the stuck pin, go figure. managed to get the bottom two bolts of the tilt covered in loctite and tightened down though. everything is back to normal. big thanks to everyone for the help. :cheers:

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54 GMC 5 window
89 Chevy Dually Crew , big bottom, big bottom, talk about mud flaps, my girls got em!


Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:31 pm
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