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Steering Column Repair/Tightened tilt part of steering column, now won't shift


QUESTION: I disassembled and tightened the tilt part of the steering column in my 1988 chevy 2500 Silverado and now when I try to shift, the shift lever moves, but doesn't engage into gear.  What could be wrong?

ANSWER: Hi Melinda:
Sorry about your truck.
The only thing that will make allow the shift lever to move, but not the transmission would be a disconnect between the two.  Therefore, one of four things had to have happened...either the shift bowl has broken inside (where it slides on the shift tube), the shift tube has broken the weld where the bowl slides on) or has separated (at the plastic weld 1/2 way down the tube) or the linkage is disconnected.  It has to be one of those 4 things.  Sadly, I think your may be the tube or the bowl, which means not only disassembling the column again, but more parts required.

Let me know if this helps at all
Good luck

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Do you know of anywhere I can get drawings/diagrams of the column shifting connections and components for my 88 chevy silverado with tilt steering?

Thank you!

Hi Melinda:

We have exploded views on our website.  They are not very detailed and the reference numbers go to GM, but at least it's a start
Exploded View
the part I was talking about (shift tube) is # 65

Steering Column Repair

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Douglas Gan


My specialties are stolen vehicles, steering column and ignition locks repair, airbag service and installation and diagnosis. My work includes both domestic (USA) vehicles and foreign designs.


30 years owning a company that specializes in steering columns, ignition & airbag related problems

GM certified, ASE certified, 4 yrs college, Mech Tech degree
I own multiple auto repair companies and can help you professionally through any of our websites at: ---- we stock many older steering column parts and can rebuild your column if you ship it to us --- we sell airbag replacement information (no parts) -- we perform investigations for many types of vehicle claims
Please feel free to contact us through any of our websites for more information or help

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