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Old 01-03-2018, 12:58 PM   #1
Anoria
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2001 SL
Default What should I know about the steering wheel linkage?

Over the last week or so I've been working on by far my biggest mechanical undertaking, following how-tos and tons of advice from this forum to replace my transmission, clutch, and a bonus CV axle. I got everything reassembled today, started up the car for the moment of truth, and... first gear worked, reverse worked, steering very much didn't. Wheel spins freely.

Turns out the steering column seems to have come disengaged from the universal joint because of how much I had to drop the engine cradle to get the transmission out (and then the extra couple of inches the transmission decided it needed when it was halfway out). On the floor mat under the pedals I found a little grease-covered rectangle of seemingly springy steel that I expect belongs inside the joint.

My question is, is there anything I should know about this link before I drop the cradle back down and pop it back in? Are there parts that should be replaced now that it's come apart? Retaining clips that I should make sure are intact and not terribly bent? Tips on how to work basically inside the firewall without going mad?

'01 SL, if that matters. Thanks as always.

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Old 01-03-2018, 01:39 PM   #2
fetchitfido
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Default Re: What should I know about the steering wheel linkage?

If the column use's a nice slip-joint, you should be able to just drop the rack and slide the column back together (same idea as trucks with a slip-joint in the driveshaft, not much fun out on the trail when it falls apart but not overly complicated to fix either). If it's not a nice slip-joint then the column will have to be replaced.

Odd that the guides you found didn't suggest unbolting the rack from the cradle and tying it up. It's just 2 bolts that are pretty easy to get to and pull out (one stays in the rack, but pulls out of the cradle).

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Old 01-03-2018, 01:43 PM   #3
Anoria
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2001 SL
Default Re: What should I know about the steering wheel linkage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
If the column use's a nice slip-joint, you should be able to just drop the rack and slide the column back together (same idea as trucks with a slip-joint in the driveshaft, not much fun out on the trail when it falls apart but not overly complicated to fix either). If it's not a nice slip-joint then the column will have to be replaced.

Odd that the guides you found didn't suggest unbolting the rack from the cradle and tying it up. It's just 2 bolts that are pretty easy to get to and pull out (one stays in the rack, but pulls out of the cradle).
It feels like a slip joint, definitely a part that should be inside and a part that should be outside and presumably the part that fell out is meant to keep them braced against each other.

Now I'll be able to help out the next bunch of stranded off-roaders I meet too ;)

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