Steering Column Coupler problem

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stevebritt007
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Steering Column Coupler problem

Post by stevebritt007 »

Have a 65 with two piece steering column. Steering coupler is jammed against the underside of the floorboard/bracket and is grinding on it.( Previous owner had a new turn signal switch installed and the column may have been moved to facilitate installing lock ring) Has anyone had experience with this problem and know how to correct it ? I am afraid the coupler could have been damaged with the car being run this way. Would it be easier remove the steering box and short shaft together as a unit ? ( The bolt on that little clamp on the shaft looks impossible to reach ) Thanks

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terribleted
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Re: Steering Column Coupler problem

Post by terribleted »

photos?
Corvair guy since 1982. I have personally restored at least 20 Vairs, many of them restored ground up.
Currently working full time repairing Corvairs and restoring old cars.
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Located in Snellville, Georgia

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bbodie52
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Re: Steering Column Coupler problem

Post by bbodie52 »

The illustrations seen below are from the attached 1965 Corvair Assembly Manual - STEERING. This portion of the Assembly Manual may be helpful in assisting you with possibly correcting the installation in your car...

Image
1965 Steering Column — Sequence of Assembly.jpg
Left-click this image to enlarge for better viewing. Click a second time for maximum enlargement.

You can download the complete 1965 Assembly Manual and many other technical publications at no cost using the following link...
COMMON AND USEFUL CORVAIR WEBSITES
:link: viewtopic.php?f=225&t=6007

:chevy: :wrench:
Attachments
1965 Corvair Assembly Manual - STEERING.pdf
1965 Corvair Assembly Manual - STEERING
(1.92 MiB) Downloaded 12 times
1965 Corvair Chassis Shop Manual - SECTION 9 - STEERING.pdf
1965 Corvair Chassis Shop Manual - SECTION 9 - STEERING
(4.31 MiB) Downloaded 12 times
Brad Bodie
Lake Chatuge, North Carolina
Image 1966 Corvair Corsa Convertible

66vairguy
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Re: Steering Column Coupler problem

Post by 66vairguy »

Steve - There is some valid confusion about the 1965 model year steering. Your description of the "coupler" was a mid 65 model year change that was NOT documented in the 1965 shop manual. This change was carried through the 1966 model year so you need a 1966 shop manual supplement.

Brad shows the revised assembly manual page which is helpful.

The change in mid 65 was to address safety issues on the early 65 solid steering wheel shaft that was determined to be more dangerous in a crash (this was during the early research that eventually led to the mandated "collapsible column" for the 1967 model year).

The heavy gauge steering shaft stop plate is held to the bulkhead with a big sheet metal screw so when the steering mast (tube around the steering shaft) bolts are removed the plate won't fall off the bulkhead.

Without a picture it's not possible to figure out what your interference is, BUT the upper steering shaft to the steering wheel has a clamp an spring that was adjusted at the factory to allow the steering shaft to be pulled up about 1/16" to get the infamous wire clip off the upper shaft to remove the turn signal/bearing assembly. Make sure the steering mast is bolted to the floor, NO sound deadening or carpet UNDER the steering mast flange to the floor bulkhead.

Trying to adjust the clamp and coupler, or inspect the coupler is very difficult while it is installed in the car. I found the easiest way is to remove the steering box and coupled shaft. This requires pulling the pitman arm, steering wheel, turn signal mechanism, and steering shaft mast. You can "wiggle" the shaft up and over the bulkhead stop plate. Although "easy" is a relative term for this process.

stevebritt007
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Re: Steering Column Coupler problem

Post by stevebritt007 »

Am I right in thinking the unbolted steering box will come out with the coupler and short shaft as an assembly ? Is there anything holding the coupler to the the steering column shaft at the bulkhead ? I don't see anything attaching it to the steering column in the diagrams , i.e. it is held up to the steering column shaft with the spline clamp on the box side . Thanks for the help and the diagrams.

66vairguy
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Re: Steering Column Coupler problem

Post by 66vairguy »

stevebritt007 wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:09 am
Am I right in thinking the unbolted steering box will come out with the coupler and short shaft as an assembly ? Is there anything holding the coupler to the the steering column shaft at the bulkhead ? I don't see anything attaching it to the steering column in the diagrams , i.e. it is held up to the steering column shaft with the spline clamp on the box side . Thanks for the help and the diagrams.
The diagram doesn't show that the end of the upper shaft out of the coupler. The 66 shop manual supplement pg. 9-3 Fig. 3 shows the dismantled coupler. The upper shaft is held in the coupler by a clip that holds a pin and blocks that slide into the coupler housing that bolts to the lower (steering box) shaft.

The factory installed the steering box with shaft, coupler, upper shaft as a unit from the front of the car, just like the early 65 solid shaft steering box.
HOWEVER the shop manual suggests cutting a hole in the fender wheel well to access the coupler bolt so a mechanic can just remove the steering box with it's shaft. I DON'T RECOMMEND DOING THIS. I don't need another hole in my car and by now the coupler needs to be greased, the rubber boot may be bad, and the mast shaft lower bearing and felt seal usually need to be cleaned and greased (BTW when the lower bearing stops turning it can cut a groove in the steering shaft). I was surprised how much smoother my steering wheel turned after I cleaned and greased the lower mast bearing.

So removing everything seems like a lot of work to pull the box and two piece shaft as a unit, but trying to unbolt an old rusty coupler bolt via a hole in the fender wheel is also difficult and a waste of time since you'll most likely have to pull the upper steering column out to access the coupler and mast bearing. This is one of those "not fun" jobs.

stevebritt007
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Re: Steering Column Coupler problem

Post by stevebritt007 »

I figured they must have installed it as a complete unit. I think I will take the whole thing out if there is room to get the coupling past the fuel tank and wheel well. Thanks for the help.

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