GM Astro/Safari 1985-1996 Repair Guide

Steering Column

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Care should be used ANYTIME the steering column is serviced. Because of the column's collapsible design, it is quite susceptible to damage once it is removed from the vehicle. Leaning on, dropping or jarring the column could shear or loosen the plastic fasteners that maintain column rigidity.


WARNING
On steering columns equipped with an air bag, extra caution must be used to keep the system from sustaining damage during column service. If the column is removed from the vehicle, but the SIR coil assembly is still installed, DO NOT ROTATE the steering shaft. Excessive rotation could destroy the SIR coil.

Except 1996 Models

See Figures 1 and 2



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of the steering column mounting-except 1996 models



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Intermediate shaft with Cardan joint

  1. If equipped with SIR (air bag) properly disable the system, then disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Matchmark and remove the steering wheel from the steering column. For details, please refer to the procedures found earlier in this section.
  4.  
  5. If equipped with a column shift, disconnect the transmission control linkage from the column shift tube levers.
  6.  
  7. From inside the engine compartment, remove the intermediate shaft-to-steering column shaft pinch bolt.
  8.  

Before separating the intermediate shaft from the steering column shaft, matchmark the relationship of the 2 shafts.

  1. Remove the lower instrument panel-to-steering column cover, the steering column bracket-to-dash nuts/bolts (support the steering column) and the steering column-to-firewall cover (if necessary).
  2.  
  3. From under the dash, disengage the electrical harness connectors from the steering column.
  4.  

Some models are equipped with a back-up light switch and a neutral/start switch. Be sure to disengage the wiring connectors from them.

  1. Remove the steering column from the vehicle.
  2.  

If equipped with a column shifter, rotate the steering column so the shift lever clears the dash opening.

To install:
  1. Carefully position the column in the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Align the matchmarks of the steering column shaft and the intermediate shaft, tighten the fasteners finger-tight.
  4.  

Make sure the Cardan joint (intermediate shaft) operating angle is between 34-39°. For clarification, please refer to the accompanying illustration.

  1. Tighten the intermediate shaft-to-steering column shaft pinch bolt to 30 ft. lbs. (41 Nm), the steering column bracket-to-dash nuts to 25 ft. lbs. (34 Nm) and the steering column-to-firewall screws to 7 ft. lbs. (10 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Engage the electrical harness-to-steering column connectors.
  4.  
  5. Align and install the steering wheel.
  6.  
  7. If equipped, connect the shift linkage.
  8.  
  9. Make sure the ignition is OFF , then connect the negative battery cable.
  10.  
  11. Properly enable the SIR system.
  12.  

1996 Models

See Figures 3 and 4



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Exploded view of the steering column mounting-1996 vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Measuring the intermediate shaft angles

  1. Set the front wheels to the straight-ahead position and lock the steering column using the ignition lock cylinder.
  2.  
  3. If equipped with SIR (air bag) properly disable the system, then disconnect the negative battery cable.
  4.  
  5. Remove the driver's knee bolster from the lower portion of the instrument panel, then remove the knee bolster deflector.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the transmission control linkage from the column shift lever.
  8.  
  9. Disengage the column wiring. To do this you will have to unbolt the 48-way connector at the base of the column.
  10.  
  11. Matchmark and remove the steering wheel from the steering column. For details, please refer to the procedures found earlier in this section.
  12.  
  13. Matchmark the intermediate shaft to the steering column shaft to ensure proper installation, then remove the pinch bolt and separate the 2 shafts.
  14.  
  15. Remove the 2 lower column mounting nuts, then support the column and remove the upper mounting nuts.
  16.  
  17. Remove the column assembly from the vehicle, taking care to avoid any sudden shock which could damage the column.
  18.  

To install:
  1. Carefully position the column assembly through the cowl opening and onto the 2 lower studs.
  2.  
  3. Raise the column into position, then loosely install the 2 upper column mounting nuts.
  4.  
  5. Install the lower column mounting nuts, then tighten the lower and upper mounting nuts to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Align and install the intermediate shaft to the steering shaft, then install the pinch bolt and tighten to 30 ft. lbs. (41 Nm). Measure the intermediate shaft angle (it must be 38-40°).
  8.  
  9. Connect the transmission shift control linkage to the shift lever.
  10.  
  11. Align and install the steering wheel.
  12.  
  13. Engage the steering column wiring to the instrument panel wiring harness. Install the bolt securing the 48-way connector.
  14.  
  15. Make sure the ignition is OFF , then connect the negative battery cable.
  16.  
  17. Properly enable the SIR system.
  18.  
  19. Make sure the ignition is OFF , then install the knee bolster deflector and the knee bolster.
  20.  

 
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