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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have 68 Malibu with non tilt, not column shift, steering column. When column was in the car, I noticed when accelerating and pulling on the wheel, the steering column shaft could be pulled back 1/4 inch or so. After taking apart I believe the problem to be the upper bearing and aluminum bearing housing. I can easily pull the bearing out of the housing. Looking at the housing bore there are ribs but some are wore. My questions are:

With the steering column on the bench, what keeps you from pulling the steering column shaft out of the steering column? Appears to me the only thing is the interference fit of the bearing in the housing.

Should there be a snap ring that retains the bearing in the housing?

Can a new housing and bearing be bought?

What are my other alternatives....JB Welding bearing into the housing?

Any help or advise would be appreciated. I am getting frustrated and want to get the car on the road. I can email pictures if needed.

Thanks a lot.
ANDY
 

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When you removed the nut and steering wheel was there a spring under the wheel? The spring puts preload on the upper bearing and keeps the column pulled up in the correct position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Agreed, the spring pulls the shaft up and preloads the bearing but what keeps you from pulling the shaft/bearing out of the column. There is a snap ring on the bottom side and top side of the bearing. If you pull on the steering wheel the spring does not do anything to prevent you pulling the shaft and bearing out of the column/housing. There has got to be something that retains that upper bearing in the housing. If the bearing would stay put in the housing and would not come out then I would have no problem.

Thanks for you help...any ideas???

THANKS
 

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You may also have a worn steering rag joint, that is where the upper column attaches to the steering box, check that too.
 

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The upper bear sits in the bore of a die cast housing. The housing is supposed to have a lip that is spun over and permanently holds the bearing in place. You typically need a Dremel tool to grind away that lip to allow the bearing to come out. Obviously, someone has monkeyed with the bearing and housing in the past. If the bearing is in good shape, you could epoxy the outer case of the bearing back into the housing.

There should be a round wire ring on the steering shaft just below the upper bearing. This should prevent the steering shaft from pulling through the bearing.

If the upper bearing is loose in the housing, pulling on the steering shaft probably causes the round wire ring to pull the upper bearing out of the housing bore.

Hopefully this picture might help.



Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Jim,

Thats kind of what thinking. Thanks for the advice....appreciate it. I will try JB Welding it into the housing, or maybe JB Welding a retainer to the housing on top of the bearing.

Thanks again,
ANDY
 
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