60th Birthday - Winter Work - '07 & '08

 

 
 

 

  

Steering Column Bushings

One of the most trying things to do on a Triumph is replace the steering column bushings....................unless you have Art Lipp's Delrin bushings. This $25.00 bushing set can be replaced without removing your steering column AND without removing the old bushings. Sounds too good to be true.....read on!

The first step is to remove your steering wheel which can be different dependent upon your steering wheel. I have an aftermarket wheel with an adapter so my removal method may be different from yours. Once you have your steering wheel off, you need to pop off the Horn Slip Ring. I had a problem because I didn't have enough horn wire to get the ring over the shaft. I ended up cutting the wire under the dash and running new wire. If you're lucky, you'll either have plenty of slack wire or easy access to the bullet connector under the dash.

Carefully bend up the two tabs holding the ring Then you can remove the slip ring
The turn signal canceling clip needs to be pried loose and slipped off

Once you get to this point head to the bottom end of the shaft and disconnect everything there. Art had warned me that the rubber coupling will probably be cracked from age and use......and he was right.

Unbolting a rotating shaft can be fun! The arrows point to the ground strap
As expected.........a cracked rubber coupling Now you need to remove the outer shaft
Loosen these two bolts and one nut Now you can slide the inner shaft right out
You can pop the cover piece off with a screw driver unless it's painted in place like mine was

My understanding is that early TR6's without locking steering columns will let you slide the whole inner column out at this point. On the later models, like mine, the shaft can't be removed but you'll be able to get to a lot of the shaft at both ends to clean it up.

Bottom of shaft ready for cleaning Top end of shaft all clean

Now that the hard part is done, the bushing installation is real easy. You'll just need some Gorilla glue and some anti-seize. Read the Gorilla glue instructions......they want you to wet the surface with water before applying the glue.

Glue on the outside and anti-seize on the inside

So basically spread a little glue on the outside of the bushing and some anti-seize on the inside. Then you just tap them in place. Art supplies a custom wood dowel for driving the bushing home and it works great on the bottom end but I had to improvise on the top.

A tight but perfect fit....just tap it in with Art's wood dowel
Here it is peeking out! Top one ready to go on
Another tight but perfect fit 3/4" PVC pipe is perfect for driving it home

Everything is so much tighter now with absolutely no vertical or horizontal movement. And it only cost $25.00 and a couple of hours of your time. Once the glue has set overnight, I'll put it back together......except I have to order a new rubber coupling!

I had been warned that lining up the bolt holes in the rubber coupling was a challenge that will try your patience. I was also given a couple of tips: one was to use a C-Clamp to compress the rubber and the other was to use a hose clamp to compress the rubber. See the pattern here? You need to compress the rubber to line everything up. It's designed that way on purpose.....something about steering response after the coupling has been compressed on to the column.

Bolt #1 went in easily...duh.... nothing to mess up the alignment yet. But the second bolt hole was about 1/4" out of line, so I used a 4" C-Clamp to compress and line it up. So far it was easy. The 3rd bolt is also easy but the 4th one was a bear to do. The C-Clamp wanted to walk on the rubber as it compressed and then it compressed the rubber on an angle. Fellow TBI powered TR6 owner Aaron Cropley (http://www.triumphowners.com/108) had previously suggested using a hose clamp as the compression device. So a quick trip to Lowes and 95 cents later I had a 2-1/8 to 3" hose clamp that worked perfectly.

The C-Clamp worked great on the 2nd bolt The 4th bolt was way out of line
This hose clamp lined everything up perfectly
Don't forget the ground strap for the horn. Bolts finished with safety wire

This was actually pretty easy to do with Art's Delrin bushings and Aaron's hose clamp suggestion. Once you have all the parts it shouldn't take longer then a few hours............unless of course those Triumph Gods conspire to have pieces frozen in place!