Author Topic: Replace your lower column bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!  (Read 38719 times)

Offline 72bluNblu

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Replace your lower column bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!
« on: March 23, 2013 - 03:46:29 am »
Ok, so this is for a floor shift column. It can be a formerly column shifted car, but the outer shifting tube has to be removed for this to work.

Mopar originally equipped these cars with a lame plastic lower "bushing" for the steering shaft. It doesn't really control the shaft all that well, and it costs like $80 to replace. You know, this dumb thing..



Enter the ER16 flange bearing. It has a 1" inner diameter, and an outer diameter of 52mm. Turns out the column jacket has in inner diameter of ~52mm. Just a smidge less actually. So, you can search ER16, SER205-16, etc. I got mine here http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-Insert-Bearing-ER16-ER-16-SER205-16-NEW-/280300800190?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item41433ac8be for $4.50.



Now, a little work. This is for a '74 that started out as a column shift, so it has the little flange that's riveted to the column jacket. I removed it, and cleaned it up with a dremel. If you have the earlier version (pictured above on my '71 GT with factory floor shift), don't fret, its the same inner diameter.





At this point, the bearing should slide in about half way.



Now, for the '74 this was easy, I just put it in a press and pressed the bearing home, all the way up to the removable clip it comes with. Seemed like a good place. For an earlier column without the removable flange, you'll still have to find a way to press the bearing the rest of the way, or tap it in with a hammer etc. Keep in mind it really doesn't have to be a press fit, so you can remove a little more material if need be.



Ta-daaa! :cheers:

I reattached the lower flange with metal screws, and tightened the allen keys. The astute will notice the shaft coming out of the column in the picture is a 1"DD and not a stock 1" round, I did some more modifications. But don't worry, the ER16 will fit the standard steering shaft as well, its also 1". You'll probably have to clean it up with a wire wheel or dremel to get the bearing on, it slid onto some of the steering shafts I have, and required a little more motivation on others.

And finally...



No play, no falling out of the column, and it cost $9 shipped to my door. :D
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013 - 02:44:49 pm by 72bluNblu »




Offline 72bluNblu

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Re: Replace your lower column bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013 - 03:51:29 am »
And some extra for those of you that like the stock appearance. This was added onto my original thread on another site by a member there.

The flange bearing can be slid further up into the column jacket on original floor shifted cars (if you remove the clip from the bearing with my part #) and the allen keys tightened through the retainer clip holes, allowing you to run the original lower piece to hide the new bearing. Like so...

Offline diyhemi.com

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Replace your lower column bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013 - 07:21:05 am »
Putting this on my to do list!
1970 Barracuda Gran Coupe, gen III project (Cone Killing Cuda)

Offline Jesus H Chrysler

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Re: Replace your lower column bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013 - 07:44:09 am »
Thank you for this!  I was wondering how to get the slop out of my steering column.
Yes I own a 1972 Dodge Challenger Convertible T/A S/E with a 440 Six Pak. Can it get any more wrong?

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1972 Dodge Challenger convertible 440 5 speed.
1973 Dodge Challenger 318 "Brown Bomber"
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Offline CUDA JAS

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Re: Replace your lower column bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2013 - 08:49:31 am »
hmm this looks interesting.

I have to rebuild my steering colum this spring, may have to see if I can source one of these bearings locally.

Is there any real benefit to it other then taking the slop out of the lower end of the tube.

I always thought that one you bolted everything together, column the to the floor and shaft to the box, all the slop was pretty much gone.

Jason
74 'cuda 360/727



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Offline Katfish

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Re: Replace your lower column bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2013 - 09:43:00 am »
Interesting  :popcorn:

Offline Topcat

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Re: Replace your lower column bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2013 - 09:49:35 am »
Make this thread a sticky!

Oh...BTW, the link to where to get them isn't working.
Mike, Fremont, CA.


Offline diyhemi.com

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Replace your lower column bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2013 - 10:13:15 am »
Must sticky!
1970 Barracuda Gran Coupe, gen III project (Cone Killing Cuda)

Offline BIGSHCLUNK

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Re: Replace your lower column bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2013 - 10:51:37 am »
 :iagree:  Good info here!
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Offline 71gogreen

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Re: Replace your lower column bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2013 - 11:08:13 am »
hi,just asking if the steering wheel should be marked dead center from the 1" tube to the lower section Also did you drill pilot holes in the allen screws? :smokin: :dogpile:
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Offline tommyg29

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Re: Replace your lower column bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2013 - 11:27:12 am »
Subscribed
I dont think I have much slop, but...when the car is cold I do have a loud rubbing whine from somewhere in the column when I turn sharp the first time.
Only happens once each drive though.
72 Roadrunner 400-4 Auto-3.23 Gear-Black Cruiser
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Offline Super Blue 72

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Re: Replace your lower column bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2013 - 12:34:20 pm »
Awesome job!  You da man!  :thumbsup:
1972 Dodge Challenger Rallye 340, AT, Code TB3=Super Blue, SBD=8/17/1971.  Yes, a Rallye without the fender louvers from the factory because of the body side molding option.

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Offline 72bluNblu

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Re: Replace your lower column bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2013 - 02:54:18 pm »
Ok, so hopefully I fixed the link.

As for the other questions-

Depending on the type of column you have, there may be a couple of advantages. If you're switching from a steering column shift to a floor shift, this solves the lower bearing issue easier than a stock one. No holes to drill or slots to cut to mount the original floor shift bearing. Now, if you have a floor shift car and your bearing/nylon piece is busted, this is like $10 vs the $80 for a stock one.

The stock floor shift cars already had a bearing, and so did the column shift cars actually, so the play really only comes from the stock parts being broken. But especially on the floor shift cars, that nylon piece breaks a lot. On the column shift cars, the bearing is really lame, just an open ball bearing set up. Most of the ones I've seen were dried out and rusty, some with ball bearings missing. This gives you a nice sealed bearing, and it positively attaches to the shaft, the others just kind of slide on.

No need to mark center on the wheel, the bearing turns 360 degrees and doesn't have a stop, so it doesn't matter to the bearing. If you're talking about removing the steering shaft and putting it back in the same place (which you'll have to do in order to do this, or remove the coupler in the car), as long as you use the stock coupler and steering wheel parts they're all located by a master spline. 

I didn't drill any indents for the allen screws. The original had nothing like that, its just to support the steering shaft. The allen screws hold it more than tight enough.

It probably won't make a huge difference in how the steering feels. Once its all bolted up, if the steering shaft moves a little bit when you turn the wheel the coupler just takes it up. But this will provide extra support for the steering shaft, so less work for the coupler. And of course it should last forever, unlike the stock parts it replaces.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013 - 02:57:36 pm by 72bluNblu »

Offline swede-cuda

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Re: Replace your lower column bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2013 - 03:47:05 pm »
 :wave:its fun to fabricate.but how about the steering box,the 3 holes in it are bigger than the mounting bolts.so do you center it somehow to make sure theres no side load on the steering shaft?or welds(other thread)? just thinkin out loud here.overandout

Offline burdar

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Re: Replace your lower column bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2013 - 03:56:58 pm »
That's a pretty cool mod.  If you really plan on driving your car hard it looks like that would be worth the time to do.  The factory setup really isn't a bearing.  It was just a foam seal inside the plastic piece to keep engine comp heat from coming up the column.(into the interior)  It didn't take long for that foam to disappear.  For my car I just reused the plastic piece and cut a scrap piece of dence foam to fit.  When I tightened up the three column to firewall bolts I just made sure the shaft was centered in the tube so I didn't put any pressure on the foam.