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Unread 02-17-2008, 03:46 PM   #1
Registered User
1981 CJ8 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Delaware
Posts: 175
loose steering wheel....not loose steering

Hello again everybody,

I have a 1981 CJ7 with an adjustable tilt steering wheel (you can pull a lever and tilt the wheel up or down to meet your preferences). Lately, there has been some play in it. This happens without pulling the lever. And it moves in all directions (not just up and down). This led me to believe that something is loose (possibly a bolt that connects the steering component to the drive shaft?). So, I took off the steering wheel to find this supposed loose bolt, and that's as far as I could get (just was able to get the steering wheel off...could not get deeper into it than where the wheel bolts on...probably missing something here).

Anybody else have this problem? Am I on the right track? Is there an easy way to tighten it up? Do I have to replace the whole thing?

This seems fairly serious, as I am afraid that the whole tilt wheel will fall off if I continue to drive it. Is this is real fear?

thanks to any and all responses.

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Unread 02-17-2008, 04:04 PM   #2
Mike Romain
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1986 CJ7 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Off the Grid in Chester Grant, Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 18,090
You can borrow from the parts stores usually, a tool called a 'GM lockplate tool'. It compresses that center ring so you can get the circlip out. If you are strong, you can do it with your fingers and have someone else pop the clip out for you. You push down on it.

You will find some loose bolts in there I believe. There are kits for the hinge too I think. It is a Saginaw column, same as lots of GM's like full sized vans, Camaros, etc...
86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG AT's, 'glass nose to tail in '00, 'New' frame,wires and plumbing in '09. Carter BBD Carbed 4.0 HO in '10.
89 YJ Renegade. BBD Carbed 4.0 HO. Locked front and rear with 33x9.5 BFG AT's
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Unread 02-17-2008, 06:28 PM   #3
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1984 CJ7 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Manchester, NH
Posts: 119
Sears also sells the tools needed to remove the steering wheel. They are only $19.95 for two kits, one to pull the steering wheel, and one to remove the o ring holding in that lock plate.

I figured since I owned a Jeep and would be taking it apart from time to time, I would just buy the two tool kits.

Here is a good link to help you fix loose tilt.. The webpage is down now, but I am sure it will be back online shortly..


1984 CJ7 258 CID, Carter 2 bbl carb, T-5 trans, AMC 20 rear
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Unread 02-19-2008, 03:06 AM   #4
Registered User
1981 CJ8 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Delaware
Posts: 175
thanks for the help guys. this looks a bit technical, but i'm going to buy the kits and give it a whirl.

ps-that web page link is pretty amazing
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