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Steering Column Repair/Alternate Suburban Steering Column Fix?


Hello Douglas, I own a 1989 Suburban that I use as a work vehicle. I am in the minerals exploration business and while I don't drive fast, the truck gets worked very hard at times.  

Unfortunately it has the problematic tilt steering mechanism (and auto trans column shifter).

I am considering buying a non-tilt mechanism as a way to eliminate just another thing to break. However, like most these days I'm watching my nickels and dimes.

By removing the tilt mechanism rod (only) and then the plastic cover that secures the switch gear on the drivers' left there is a "cutaway" in the metal tube that follows the centerline of the steering column. By turning the steering wheel I can one-by-one feel the tops of all four of the torx head bolts. I have spent hours looking and no one seems to think there is a way to use this fix  - perhaps with a quality 1/4" or 3/8" flexible driver bar, to tighten these bolts down this may be workable?

I don't have the flex bar but will buy one - firt wanting to hear what you thought. I know the bolts might eventually work their way back out but if this works it would be a 10 minute fix, not a two-three hour job. And I think this may be a fix put in place in the late 80's onwards to help the dealers make more money.

Thank you! Gary

Hello Gary:

I have been repairing these tilt columns for looseness my entire career.  I know of no other way or tool that allows you to properly secure all 4 torx screws to repair this problem.

My company sells a step-by-step repair instructions if you decide to do it the way it is always done.  Here is that link

Good luck

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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