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71 Dart Steering Column Removal For Repair


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4 replies to this topic

#1 71_dart

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Posted July 10, 2009 at 11:06 pm

I finally decided to fix some problems with the steering column on my 71 Dart (column shift).
I've gotten the top part disassembled as far as the steering lock plate. Got the keylock cylinder removed, which was one thing needing repair.
But next I want to rebuild the steering coupler down at the bottom. I've got a new parts kit from Year One. But it's not clear the best way to do this.
One way I thought was to remove all the bolts holding the column under the dash and to the firewall and detach the gear shifter, and just pull out the whole column and shaft into the passenger compartment and then take it to my workbench. Will it just pull out like that? I am assuming the bottom of the shaft just plugs into the square part of the coupling at the bottom.
Or do I need to remove the lock plate and ignition switch first? I've found a few bits and pieces articles on the net but they seem to leave out the very details I need. I am hard pressed to figure out how the roll pin for the lock plate comes out. I can't use a pin punch because the shaft is flopping loose.
Miller sells a tool (expensive) called a 6831A Roll Pin Remover/Installer which is a kind of pressing/pulling tool but I don't know if it fits the upper roll pin. Maybe it's for the lower roll pin which is bigger.
Anyway I am stumped, and leery of proceeding for fear of breaking something. I would prefer to get the whole column out, and then I can put the things in a vise if I decide to punch out roll pins.
A little tap in the right direction is what I think I need.

Thanks!

John Cirillo

#2 dana44

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Posted July 11, 2009 at 02:08 pm

The roll pin just taps out, nothing serious there. Once all the bolts at the column and floorboard and disconnected from the steering box itself, yeah, it just pulls out, nothing difficult from there. ONce it is out of the car, then worry about the coupler roll pin which can then be held solid in a vice or something to keep it solid.

#3 71_dart

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Posted July 22, 2009 at 12:27 am

The roll pin just taps out, nothing serious there. Once all the bolts at the column and floorboard and disconnected from the steering box itself, yeah, it just pulls out, nothing difficult from there. Once it is out of the car, then worry about the coupler roll pin which can then be held solid in a vice or something to keep it solid.


Well, I got it out. Getting to the roll pin on the coupler end to steering box was the hardest part, couldn't reach in. So I finally bought a 3-ft long, 1/4 inch diameter piano wire at Ace and used it as a long roll pin punch. Worked perfectly.
Now, there's one more thing that none of the online help seems to cover, because most of them are for floor shift models while mine has column shift.
I want to remove the shift tube from the column so I can rust treat and repaint it. It's not clear how it comes out. Definitely can't pull it out from the top of the column since it has that linkage lever at the bottom. I see a roll pin at the gearshift lever, and maybe another one inside the top. Is there something else? Or is this whole thing held together with roll pins? Seems I have to somehow remove the whole shift lever head and pull the shift tube out the bottom.
I'm almost there though. Just this one last thing to get through and I can clean up these parts.

Thanks,

John

#4 Trailmaster

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Posted July 22, 2009 at 01:14 am

I had to get out the book, I've never had to be that far into a steering column yet. To get the shifter bowl off, you have to remove the roll pin and pull out the shift lever. Then there is a set screw to remove, you access it through the hole that the shift lever came out of. Then there are several bolts at the bottom of the column to remove, and then it should slide apart.

#5 71_dart

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Posted July 24, 2009 at 12:29 am

I had to get out the book, I've never had to be that far into a steering column yet. To get the shifter bowl off, you have to remove the roll pin and pull out the shift lever. Then there is a set screw to remove, you access it through the hole that the shift lever came out of. Then there are several bolts at the bottom of the column to remove, and then it should slide apart.


Sure enough, that's how it came out. Thanks a lot. Now I can start getting rid of the rust and repainting these parts.
There was one unexpected part that I discovered. On the shifter shaft, just above the bottom seal, there is a piece of what looks like cork wrapped around the shaft. It's pretty deteriorated but I am pretty sure it's cork. I wonder if this was part of a kind of fume baffle? I don't see it on any drawings I happen to have. I have a roll of cork. I'm going to make a new one. I don't think this part is critical. But assuming it is a fume baffle, I'll make sure there's enough cork to make a snug fit between the shifter and column.

Thanks,
John


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