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Steering column "knock"

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 22:05
by MetBlue
I've got a "clunk" noise and feeling coming through the steering column when ever you hit even a small hole in the tarmac.
There's no detectable play when rocking the wheel, either with or without the engine running. It feels more like a bearing or bush in the steering column.
Talking here about the later model column with the tilt adjustment.
Looking at parts list, for the tilt shaft, items 32 and 35 are bearing supports both ends. On the main column, item 5 is the lower bearing, but there's only a seal at the top. I suppose having just 3 bearings, allows greater tolerances for the tilt action to work. but I'm thinking it could also be contributing to my clunk feeling if things are getting worn. I'd have liked to see 4 bearings, but i guess the pivot position would have to be very accurate

Anybody got knowledge of the bearings and bushes in the tilt steering rack, stripped one down or experienced similar feelings through the column?

Searched some old threads, and removal of the column looks pretty straight forward fortunately.


Re: Steering column "knock"

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:55
by rbgosling
Check steering rack mounts too, as another option. Also the UJ in the steering column - there's a large rubber grommet in the wheelarch you can use to get access to it.

Re: Steering column "knock"

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 17:37
by MetBlue
Sometimes, things get progressively worse, then the solution becomes blindingly obvious.
Took a trip to LB today for rear seat belt plates primarily, but spoke with Mike about the knock. I got very close to buying a replacement column, agreeing with Mike that by the time you've removed and stripped it down, found the problem, then repaired it, you may as well just fit a full column.

Anyway, before parting with the wrong sort of wedge, thought I'd just check the 2 main bolts were tight and problem wasn't so basic.... They were tight.

But in touching the bolt head and rocking the steering wheel, I could see the steering wheel moving on the column boss. Removed the trim cover to find the 6 c'sunk hex head screws. All took at least half a turn before going tight!

The drive home was wonderful. 😊. What a difference it makes when the steering wheel is actually securely fixed to the car.


Re: Steering column "knock"

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 18:00
by rbgosling
They do say that the most critical component of a car is the nut holding the steering wheel - I don't think this is quite what they meant!

Re: Steering column "knock"

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 20:27
by Lotus-e-Clan
Good result!

The next question I'd ask myself is ..why were they loose? I've never taken the steering wheel off my Excel (and I've had it longer than the previous 2 owners combined) so haven't got a clue why anyone would want to.

EDIT: And I mean that from a 'being stupid and can't think" point of view rather than a "I know everything and therefore can't think why" point of view. :lol: