Chrysler Front Wheel Drive Cars 4-CYL 1981-1995 Repair Information

Steering Column

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Non-Acustar® Column
EXCEPT PREMIER

See Figures 1, 2 and 3

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Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of steering column with column mounted shifter



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Fig. Fig. 2: Exploded view of steering column with floor shifter



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Fig. Fig. 3: Using pliers and a washer, make sure to install a new grommet to the shifter lever

1981-89 front wheel drive 4-cylinder Chrysler vehicles, as well as 1988-89 Premier models, were equipped with either a non-Acustar® standard or tilt steering column. 1990 models were equipped with either a non-Acustar® standard column or an Acustar® tilt column. 1991-95 vehicles came equipped with the Acustar® (tilt or standard) steering column, which can be identified by the "halo'' light around the ignition key cylinder.


CAUTION
On vehicles equipped with an air bag, the negative battery cable must be disconnected, isolated and a period of at least 2 minutes allowed to pass before working on the system. Failure to do so may result in deployment of the air bag and possible personal injury. Read all air bag precautions in Chassis Electrical before servicing this component.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. On vehicles equipped with a column shifter, disconnect the cable rod by prying the rod out of the grommet in the shift lever. Also, remove the cable clip and remove the cable from the lower bracket.
  4.  
  5. Label and unplug the wiring connectors at the steering column jacket.
  6.  
  7. Remove the instrument panel steering column cover and lower reinforcement. Disconnect the bezel.
  8.  
  9. Remove the indicator set screw and gearshift indicator pointer from the shift housing.
  10.  
  11. Remove the nuts which attach the steering column bracket to the instrument panel support and lower the bracket support. Make sure to retain the washers used on the break away capsules.
  12.  


WARNING
Do not remove the roll pin to remove the steering column assembly.

  1. Firmly grasp the column assembly and pull it to the rear, disconnecting the lower stub shaft from the steering gear coupling. Then, pull the column out through the passenger compartment, avoiding damaging the paint or interior trim.
  2.  
  3. Using pliers and a back-up washer, install a new grommet into the shifter lever (from the rod side of the shifter lever-column shift vehicles) Use Mopar® Multipurpose Grease (part number 4318063 or equivalent) to aid with installation of the grommet.
  4.  

A new grommet should be installed whenever the rod is disconnected from the shifter lever.

To install:
  1. Position the steering column in the car, align the lower stub shaft with the lower coupling in the steering gear and gently thrust it forward to engage the two.
  2.  
  3. Raise the column and position it over the 5 studs. Put the bracket in place below the column. Loosely install the 5 nuts, making sure to install washers on the break away capsules. Pull the column assembly rearward and tighten the 5 nuts to 105 inch lbs. (12 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Connect the gearshift cable rod to the shift lever (column shift-equipped cars). Grease the cable rod and then use a pair of pliers to snap the rod into the grommet.
  6.  
  7. Check the shifter linkage for correct adjustment.
  8.  
  9. Install the steering wheel. For more details, refer to the steering wheel installation procedure located in this section.
  10.  
  11. Attach the wiring connectors at the steering column jacket. Connect the battery ground cable, then test the operation o the lights and horns. Reset the radio and clock, if applicable.
  12.  
  13. On column shift vehicles with automatic transaxles, connect the gearshift indicator pointer in its approximate original position. Slowly move the gearshift lever from L (Low) to P (Park), pausing briefly at each selector position. The indicator pointer must align with each selector position. If necessary, loosen and readjust to align the pointer correctly.
  14.  
  15. Install the lower instrument panel steering column cover.
  16.  

PREMIER

See Figures 4, 5 and 6

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Fig. Fig. 4: Remove the instrument panel support rod before removing the steering column



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Fig. Fig. 5: Before separating the steering and intermediate shafts, matchmark the steering shaft position on the U-joint flange



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Fig. Fig. 6: The removed steering column is not as large as those found in other Chrysler vehicles

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the screws that attach the instrument panel lower trim cover to the instrument panel and remove the cover.
  4.  
  5. Remove the screws that attach the instrument panel support rod to the instrument panel and remove the rod.
  6.  
  7. Unplug the steering column wiring harness connector.
  8.  
  9. Remove the screw that attaches the dash panel wiring harness connector to the dash panel.
  10.  
  11. Remove the 2 screws that attach the right rear pod cover. Depress the tab and remove the park interlock cable from the lock housing, which comes from the floor shift mechanism.
  12.  
  13. Score an alignment mark on the steering column shaft and on the intermediate shaft U-joint coupling for the installation alignment reference.
  14.  
  15. Remove the bolt from the intermediate steering shaft U-joint coupling clamp.
  16.  
  17. Remove the bolts and nuts that attach the steering column to the instrument panel.
  18.  
  19. Carefully lower the steering column to the vehicle floor. Disconnect the steering shaft from the intermediate shaft.
  20.  
  21. Remove the steering column from the vehicle through the passenger compartment. Be careful not to damage the paint or interior trim.
  22.  

To install:
  1. Position the steering column in the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Align the 2 installation reference marks scored during removal and insert the steering shaft into the intermediate shaft U-joint coupling clamp.
  4.  
  5. Install, but do not tighten, the intermediate shaft U-joint coupling clamp bolt.
  6.  
  7. Place the steering column in its normal position and install the retaining nuts and bolts, which attach the steering column to the underside of the dash panel. Tighten the nuts and bolts to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Tighten the intermediate shaft U-joint coupling clamp bolt to 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Position the wiring harness connector on the dash panel and install the attaching screw.
  12.  
  13. Attach the steering column wiring harness connector.
  14.  
  15. Insert the steering column end of the floor shift park interlock cable into the steering column lock housing. Be sure that the ignition key is in the ON position. Install the right rear pod cover. Adjust the park interlock cable; for more details refer to Drive Train .
  16.  
  17. Position the support rod on the instrument panel and install the attaching screws. Tighten the screws securely.
  18.  
  19. Install the instrument panel lower trim cover.
  20.  
  21. Connect the negative battery cable.
  22.  

Acustar® Column

See Figures 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13

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Fig. Fig. 7: Exploded view of the Acustar® steering column



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Fig. Fig. 8: Pry the shift cable out of the shift lever and grommet-a new grommet must be installed before assembly



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Fig. Fig. 9: Exploded view of the steering shaft and coupler joint



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Fig. Fig. 10: On automatic transaxle equipped vehicles, remove the PRNDL actuating cable



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Fig. Fig. 11: Install a new shifter lever grommet with pliers, a washer and lubricant



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Fig. Fig. 12: Position the steering column in the vehicle and connected to the coupling, then install and tighten the column mounting nuts



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Fig. Fig. 13: If the PRNDL pointer is not correctly aligned, adjust the cable with a 9/64 in. Allen head driver

1981-89 front wheel drive 4-cylinder Chrysler vehicles, as well as 1988-89 Premier models, were equipped with either a non-Acustar® standard or tilt steering column. 1990 models were equipped with either a non-Acustar® standard column or an Acustar® tilt column. 1991-95 vehicles came equipped with the Acustar® (tilt or standard) steering column, which can be identified by the "halo'' light around the ignition key cylinder.


CAUTION
On vehicles equipped with an air bag, the negative battery cable must be disconnected, isolated and a period of at least 2 minutes allowed to pass before working on the system. Failure to do so may result in deployment of the air bag and possible personal injury. Read all air bag precautions in Chassis Electrical before servicing this component.

  1. Make sure that the front wheels of the vehicle are pointing straight ahead.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  4.  
  5. If the car has a column shift, disconnect the transaxle shift cable from the steering column by prying it out of the grommet in the shift lever.
  6.  
  7. Remove the steering wheel. For more details, refer to the steering wheel removal procedures found earlier in this section.
  8.  
  9. Remove the lower instrument panel steering column cover and lower reinforcement. Remove the bezel, if equipped.
  10.  
  11. Remove the retaining pin in the upper-to-lower steering coupler retaining bolt.
  12.  
  13. Remove the upper-to-lower steering coupler retaining nut and pinch bolt. Remove the upper steering coupler from the lower steering coupler shaft.
  14.  
  15. Remove the PRNDL indicator actuation cable from the steering column actuating arm.
  16.  
  17. Release the lock bar on the column insert. Squeeze the legs of the column insert together and remove the insert from the steering column assembly.
  18.  
  19. Secure the insert and actuation cable out of the way.
  20.  
  21. Remove the tilt lever (if equipped) from the steering column.
  22.  
  23. Remove the upper and lower lock housing shrouds from the steering column assembly. Remove the lower fixed shroud from the steering column assembly. The shroud fasteners are Torx® head screws.
  24.  
  25. Remove the wiring harness connector-to-turn signal/multi-function switch using a 7mm socket.
  26.  
  27. Remove the electrical connections from the key-in and halo light, main ignition switch, horn connection or clock spring (speed control equipped).
  28.  
  29. Loosen the upper steering column support bracket nuts to allow some slack. This will aid in removal of the upper fixed shroud.
  30.  
  31. Remove the upper fixed shroud from the steering column assembly. Remove the wiring harness from the steering column assembly by prying out the plastic retainer buttons.
  32.  
  33. Remove the lower dash panel and support bracket standoff fasteners.
  34.  
  35. Remove the steering column assembly out through the passenger compartment. Use care to avoid damaging the paint or interior trim.
  36.  

To install:
  1. For the vehicles equipped with column shifters, install a new cable attaching grommet into the steering column shift lever. Install the grommet from the cable side of the lever. Use pliers and a back-up washer to snap the grommet in place. Use Mopar® Multipurpose Lubricant, or equivalent, to aid installation of the grommet. A new grommet should be used whenever the rod is disconnected from the lever.
  2.  
  3. Install the ground clip on the left capsule slot. The plastic capsules should be pre-assembled in the bracket slots. Remove the shipping lockpin located on the lower column jacket when installing a new steering column. Insert the column through the floor pan opening while being careful to avoid damaging the interior paint and trim.
  4.  
  5. Position the steering column assembly in the vehicle. Align the steering column assembly mounting bracket slots on the brake pedal bracket attaching studs. Loosely install the 2 upper column bracket washers and nuts.
  6.  
  7. Make sure that the front wheels are pointing straight ahead. Align and assemble the upper steering coupler to the lower steering coupler. Install the upper-to-lower steering coupler retaining bolt and nut. Tighten the retaining nut to 21 ft. lbs. (28 Nm). Be sure to install the upper-to-lower steering coupler retaining bolt retention pin.
  8.  
  9. Install the buttons which retain the multi-function switch wiring harness to the steering column. Attach the multi-function switch wiring harness connector to the multi-function switch. Tighten the connector retaining bolt until snug with a 7mm socket.
  10.  
  11. Install the upper fixed shroud onto the steering column assembly.
  12.  
  13. Be sure that both break away capsules are fully seated in the slots of the steering column upper support bracket. Tighten the 2 upper steering column assembly-to-support bracket nuts to 105 inch lbs. (12 Nm).
  14.  
  15. Complete the wiring harness connections to the remaining steering column switches. Install the lower fixed shroud onto the steering column.
  16.  
  17. Route the PRNDL actuator assembly under the left steering column wing and along the left side of the steering column. Insert the flange of the PRNDL actuator steering column insert into the steering column jacket. Squeeze the legs of the steering column insert together and install the tabs under the steering column jacket. Engage the lockbar to secure the actuator assembly into the steering column jacket.
  18.  
  19. Hook the PRNDL actuator cable eyelet to the steering column actuator arm. Move the shift lever to Neutral, check the pointer location, which should indicate Neutral. If the pointer does not indicate Neutral, adjust the actuator with a 9 / 64 in. Allen head driver to center the pointer on the N , then check the pointer location in the other gears.
  20.  
  21. Install the lock housing shrouds. The shroud fasteners are Torx® head screws. Install the tilt lever, if equipped.
  22.  
  23. Install the lower dash panel cover.
  24.  
  25. Install the steering wheel onto the steering column. For more details, refer to the steering wheel installation procedure located earlier in this section.
  26.  
  27. For vehicles equipped with a column shifter, pass the transaxle shift cable through its mounting bracket on the steering column assembly. Connect the transaxle shift cable to the shift lever on the steering column assembly. Install the shift cable-to-mounting bracket retaining clip. The grommet must be installed in the shift lever before the cable is inserted into the grommet. Use Mopar® Multipurpose Lubricant, or equivalent, to aid with installation of the shift link rod into the grommet.
  28.  
  29. Re-adjust the transaxle shift linkage. Whenever the steering column is loosened or removed, the shift linkage MUST be adjusted and tested. For more details, refer to Drive Train .
  30.  
  31. Connect the negative battery cable. Test the operation of the lights and horns. If applicable, reset the clock and radio.
  32.  

 
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