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#1063918 - 10/28/19 09:16 PM Steering column lower bearing.  
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mmc427ss Offline
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mmc427ss  Offline
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Posts: 4,471
Pottstown, Pa
Well the lower bearing in the steering column is actually just a plastic bushing, not a bearing. While looking at another G-body forum for rear coil spring info I ran across a post about replacing a worn steering column bushing with a kit designed to fix the problems with the Jeep sloppy/worn lower bushing. Of course this is related to the swapping in the Jeep intermediate shaft, a common swap for a G-body.

There are several good videos of how simple the job is, can be done with the column in the car. 87 Olds 422 in this video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Jz62rV6R_Q


My 86 SS has quite a bit of mileage on it now, the high effort XH steering box, fat tires, all contribute to wear on that bearing. A quick check of it for slop there didn't show excessive play but just thought for 20 some dollars I'd pull the old and replace it with a bearing instead of the bushing. The kits are all over Ebay, ordered this kit last night.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/76-95-JEEP-CJ-SJ-YJ-XJ-STEERING-COLUMN-BEARING-KIT-4487696K-18019-03/172645707109?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D40719%26meid%3Dfa6444952e104a64908f7fe50cc8e317%26pid%3D100667%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D8%26mehot%3Dag%26sd%3D254238793344%26itm%3D172645707109%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2334524&_trksid=p2334524.c100667.m2042

I've had the top of the column apart several years ago to fix the loose tilt bolts, never gave it much thought about the lower column bushing. Have never seen any info on this forum about that bushing. Anything to tighten up the steering is a good thing.
Installed a Borgeson intermediate shaft a long time ago, before the Jeep shaft swap showed it's face.
Bob

#1063921 - 10/28/19 11:42 PM Re: Steering column lower bearing. [Re: mmc427ss]  
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AkronAero Offline
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AkronAero  Offline
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Akron OH
Bob - a great reminder. I swapped out my worn bushing two years ago for the bearing kit. Available at about $35 from both Mikes and Dixie.
Swapped the intermediate shaft too, but it is loose where the two pieces come together with the set screw; that for another day.
Now I need to sort out why I have so much play going at the input of my new Lee Performance steering box?
Anyway - a few links...

From Mikes Montes: https://www.mikesmontes.com/Reproduction-Upgraded-Steering-Column-Bearing-Kit_p_1159.html
From Dixie: https://www.dixierestorationdepot.com/Product/Detail.aspx?s=DM90835

Thanks again,
Gordon

#1063922 - 10/29/19 12:08 AM Re: Steering column lower bearing. [Re: mmc427ss]  
Joined: May 2019
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T5montecarlo Offline
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T5montecarlo  Offline
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Lederach, PA
Manual transmission Malibu steering columns came with ball bearings, just as in the video Bob referenced, while the automatic transmission steering columns came with plastic bushings.

I wonder if the same bearing kit may be less expensive if you look for a cross-reference to a manual transmission Malibu vs. a more trendy Jeep.

Marc

#1063925 - 10/29/19 04:33 AM Re: Steering column lower bearing. [Re: mmc427ss]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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mmc427ss  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,471
Pottstown, Pa
I believe there are many companies that make or resell that kit, Crown, OMIX, even Jeep has a part number for it. Prices are all over the place, who knows who has the best bearing that really is a good bearing. The Crown kit is what's in the mail for Fri, hopefully it's a good bearing.

Sorry to hear about play in the Lee. Could be a couple things. No experience with the 650 box if that's what you have. Rebuilt my XH box several years ago. It's been a very good performer, knock on wood.
If you think you need to tweak on it pull the box and put it on the bench to diagnose it. Making adjustments in car usually doesn't end up well.
Bob




Last edited by mmc427ss; 10/29/19 04:34 AM.
#1064030 - 11/05/19 07:18 AM Re: Steering column lower bearing. [Re: mmc427ss]  
Joined: Jan 2000
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mmc427ss Offline
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mmc427ss  Offline
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Member

Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,471
Pottstown, Pa
Tonight pulled the Borgesen intermediate shaft, which is collapsible, but was a PITA. Had to make a compressor using #10 insulated solid wire thru the u-joints at each end and twist the wire to shorten it. Worked like a charm. There is very little room in that area. An R&R of the shaft where the upper and lower shafts slide was due, been 10 years since last lubed. Shaft is now as good as new.

With the shaft out simply removing the C clip and pull the old bushing and related parts out was easy. Comparing the old and new parts and you realize the inner seal of the old setup is not included in the kit. I cleaned it up and did a test fit. It doesn't attach to the backside of the new plastic bearing housing. Installing the parts on the column and see that it will be OK for me. Without the seal water could like leak into the column. Although not a snap onto the new plastic housing it has pressure holding it to do a good enough seal on my car. Nothing rotates at that seal, just a contact seal. Like once a year my car would get wet there, maybe. My thinking is there is another seal GM or Jeep uses to mate to the new bearing housing. Will look for a part number for it later.

Installing the new C spring clip was a little bit of a challenge, didn't want to located into the bottom point. The 12" brake booster made seeing that area a problem. After several tries of reinstall success,
After added grease to the new bearing, lubed everything and install was 3 on the 10 scale.

The video showing the guy doing this install on column out of the car neglected to reinstall the original seal. Hmmm.

Was the old plastic bushing worn and loose, not really. Just another mod on the long list of doner'.
Bob


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