broken steering column / steering wheel loose? -
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Unread 04-13-2009, 09:35 PM   #1
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2003 WJ 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 1,621
broken steering column / steering wheel loose?

while wheeling sunday, suddenly there was pop/crack sound from my steering wheel column and then the steering wheel was loose. by loose i mean you can wobble it forward and backward. it is NOT loose when turning left/right, just you can wobble the whole wheel as if it was barely attached to the column.

this is a tilt column, and i can still tilt it and lock the tilt just as always. it's like something is broken between around the key area and the wheel itself.

i removed the airbag and can see the main nut that attaches the wheel to the colum is still firmly seated. i will have to get a puller tomorrow to remove the wheel and further inspect the column inside of where the clockspring and switch stalks go.

in the mean time... anyone had a problem like this before? does the clockspring assembly or some other bearing type assembly in there actually center the column in the housing?


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Unread 04-13-2009, 10:58 PM   #2
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1997 ZJ 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: nj
Posts: 150
i have the same issue, its been that way for over 2 years now lol, i learned to deal with it, but i would like to fix it one day.... maybe? its on my list, you know the never ending list of things i SHOULD do...
but if you find out whats causing this let me know im def interested.
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Unread 04-19-2009, 10:49 PM   #3
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2003 WJ 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 1,621
well i took off the wheel this weekend and found that something inside the column housing was broken (seemed to be inside the tilt area).

ooked like you could maybe take a snap ring off the end of the column and maybe remove the shaft from the housing... but i opted to just grab a new entire steering column from an 04 with low miles at the salvage yard. cost me $150, but that included a new wheel/airbag that i can probably sell on ebay, and clockspring and switches that i will keep for backups since i hear that the clockspring is a common failure.

video showing the play in the column:

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