Sunday, October 6, 2013

Steering Column - Coming Together

With some bad engineering drawings, a bad memory, and some skill with Tetris from growing up, I finally figured out how the steering column's Tilt/Telescopic components fit together.  There were a few steps to get me to a point that the Chevrolet manuals talked about :

  1. Find out how the light dimmer switch shaft sets into the housing.
  2. Find out how the turn signal switch connects to the dimmer switch (hint - it uses a plastic carrier that sets into a plastic shell that the tilt/telescopic lever runs through).
  3. Understand how the wiring fits into the wiper/turn signal switch carrier housing (that also houses the ignition lock cylinder)
  4. Locate a suitable pivot pin for the wiper/turn signal switch that connects the switch to the housing.
  5. Put that all together in one fell swoop (you kind of have to do this - without the housing, the parts will fall out, and without the parts in the right place, the housing won't connect.
For the pivot pin, I had lost mine, and found out that no one sells a replacement.  Goofing off, I realized that my Honda Civic (metric) had six bolts for the timing belt cover, and (since I had replaced the engine this year) I had the old bolts laying around.  Those bolts fit into the threads for the housing, and the shoulder on the bolt had a slightly larger diameter (that's a good thing) than what it should be (it wouldn't fit into the switch).  I grabbed my drill, slapped the bolt into the chuck, and grabbed a file.  I basically turned the shoulder without a lathe until it was the right size.

Then I ran out to grab the ratchet to install it..... and found the old pivot bolt still in the socket from nine months ago!  I compared them, and they were almost identical, the original had an extra pivot pin on the end (e.g. two shoulders of different sizes with a threaded section sandwiched in between).  The "replacement" would have still worked, but I opted for the original (anyone wonder why?).

I set about installing everything, and had success in getting those parts completely installed (complete with a new ignition lock cylinder).  Next up, finishing the rest of the assembly, which I can now use the AIM for (the assembly instruction/engineering diagrams at the factory).

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