Instead of the long time used steering column found on most older GM vehicles the 1996 Astro and Safari vans are equipped with a new column that uses a multi-function combination switch mounted at the head of the column (below the steering wheel) and an upper/lower shroud assembly. The combination switch performs such functions as the wiper switch and the turn signal switch along with any other duties of the multi-function lever.
When servicing any components on the steering column, should any fasteners require replacement, be sure to use only nuts and bolts of the same size and grade as the original fasteners. Using screws that are too long could prevent the column from collapsing during a collision.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 1 and 2
Removal of the SIR coil is not necessary during this procedure. Avoid removing the coil and make sure the steering column, if disconnected from the gear, is not allowed to rotate excessively. This is to prevent uncentering and damaging the coil. Should the coil become uncentered, it must be removed, centered and repositioned on the steering column.
- Properly disable the SIR (air bag) system, then disconnect the negative battery cable. For details on disabling the air bag system, please refer to Chassis Electrical of this information.
- Matchmark and remove the steering wheel from the column. For details, please refer to the procedure earlier in this section.
- Either lower the steering column from the instrument panel for access or unbolt and remove the column. If the column is removed, prevent it from rotating so the SIR coil does not become uncentered.
- If applicable, remove the tilt lever by pulling outward.
- Remove the 2 Torx screws or pan head tapping screws (as applicable) from the lower column shroud, then tilt the shroud down and slide it back to disengage the locking tabs. Remove the lower shroud.
- Remove the 2 Torx head screws from the upper shroud.
- Lift the upper shroud for access to the lock cylinder hole. Hold the key in the START position and use a 1 / 16 in. Allen wrench to push on the lock cylinder retaining pin.
- Release the key to the RUN position and pull the steering column lock cylinder set from the lock module assembly. Remove the upper shroud.
- If necessary, remove the shift lever clevis, then remove the lever.
- Remove the wiring harness straps (noting the positioning for installation purposes), then disengage the steering column bulkhead connector from the vehicle wiring harness.
- Disengage the grey and black connectors for the multi-function combination switch from the column bulkhead connector.
- Remove the 2 Torx switch retaining screws, then remove the switch from the steering column.
- Position the multi-function switch assembly, then use a suitable small bladed tool to compress the electrical contact while moving the switch into position. Make sure the electrical contact rests on the cancelling cam assembly.
- Install the switch retaining screws and tighten to 53 inch lbs. (6.0 Nm).
- Engage the grey and black multi-function switch connectors to the column bulkhead connector.
- Install the wiring harness straps as noted during removal.
- If removed, install the shift lever and secure the clevis.
- Position the shift lever and multi-function lever seals to ease installation of the upper and lower shrouds.
- Install the upper shroud and lock cylinder. With the key installed to the lock cylinder and turned to the RUN position, make sure the sector in the lock module is also in this position.
- Install the lock cylinder to the upper shroud, then align the locking tab and positioning tab with the slots in the lock module assembly. With the tabs aligned, carefully push the cylinder into position.
- Install the upper shroud Torx head retaining screws and tighten to 12 inch lbs. (1.4 Nm).
- Install the lower shroud, making sure the slots on the shroud engage with the upper shroud tabs. Tilt the lower shroud upward and snap the shrouds together.
- Install the 2 lower shroud pan head or Torx head retaining screws and tighten to 53 inch lbs. (6.0 Nm).
- Move the shift and multi-function lever seals into position.
- If removed, install the tilt lever by aligning and pushing inward.
- Position and secure the steering column.
- Align and install the steering wheel.
- Make sure the ignition is OFF , then connect the negative battery cable.
- Properly enable the SIR system.