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9/12/11 6:26am - Original Message: '1968 Steering column'
Crimson Ghost
Former Member
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Vette(s):
1968 convertible

Joined: 3/3/2010
Posts: 94

Hello Friends.

 

I finally found time to work on my steering column.  You may recall that I installed a new column as my ’68 ‘vert came with a 69 column.  I had an electrical issue and have been trying my best to diagnose.  The original harness had been cut and spliced to the 1969 column and now I am poking around in there trying to get it back to ’68.  The hazards would flash constantly, brake lights would work if I pulled the flasher relay – no signals….its been a real pita.

 

Anyway, I posted here and the advice was not to open the column as fishing wires is a nightmare.  Yesterday I said the hell with it and I opened up the column, first I need to tell you – it’s a snap.  The column comes apart by one 5/8ths bolt and a column puller (which I suspect I would have avoided with a little muscle, but why bother when I have pullers).  Anyway, once you pull the housing off the wires and contacts are right smack in front of you – easy peasy.  As for fishing wires – this is just a wrong statement. On the base of the column there is a small shield the wires run through, pull it towards you and then it pop’s out (down) and the wires are all free.  

 

I was finally able to see what was going on, basically the ground on the hazards mechanism is broken.  I had another column laying around with plans on having it professionally rebuilt (bearings shot).  So I removed the column harness and switches from it and replaced my columns with it .. bingo, problem solved.  I’ll try and post a picture - It won't upload pictures, says page can not be displayed.  Oh well, nit the best picture anyway.

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9/12/11 7:59am - Reply: 'Re: 1968 Steering column'
Jaws79 Lifetime Member
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Sykesville, MD - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Corvette Coupe Corvette Light Blue Midnight Blue interior Mirrored Glass T-tops

Joined: 4/27/2008
Posts: 4211
I'm just glad you got the problem solved! Anytime you solve some thing like this it gives you the confidence to move on to the next challenge! Before you know it you'll be riding!
 
Barry
 
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9/12/11 5:01pm - Reply: 'Re: 1968 Steering column'
Crimson Ghost
Former Member
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Vette(s):
1968 convertible

Joined: 3/3/2010
Posts: 94
You're right.  I have a long laundry list of "to-do's".  Right now when I drive the car for several miles the clutch bangs (metal to metal clunk really).  You can hear it a little when pushing clutch and then its fairly loud letting the clutch out.  Its something with the clutch fork and throw-out bearing.  I suspect I installed the throw-out bearing incorrectly and when it heats up something expands.  It almost sounds as it the brearing is getting hung up on a finger and plucking it as I release the clutch.  Hard to describe since I don;t know myself.
 
I need to pull the trans and bell housing - any advice on pulling the bell housing?  I only removed and replaced when I had the engine out.  I probably won't fuss with this until the season is over - god only knows whatelse I'll get to doing once I have it all apart :-)
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9/13/11 2:56pm - Reply: 'Re: 1968 Steering column'
yostusota
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York, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1969 daytona conv. all original 350 350 380 4 sp w/air..and hard top

Joined: 5/18/2010
Posts: 1518
I think there are different sizes of throw out bearings..ones longer than the other..glad the column is going good.. Rich

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My first parade at Carlisle 2010
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9/14/11 7:16am - Reply: 'Re: 1968 Steering column'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

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Posts: 19458
One of the most common mistakes made on GM vehicles is the improper installation of the throwout bearing onto the clutch fork. The spring (in black) on the clutch fork (in red) should be placed in the gap between the rear flange on the bearing and the front flange. You should not be able to see the spring(black) on the back of the bearing. Symptoms of an improperly installed bearing are poor release, a mushy feeling pedal, short clutch life, and not being able to adjust for correct free play on mechanical linkage systems. If this is mis-assembled, it can cause weird noises when applying/releasing the clutch, as well as make it hard to adjust the linkage properly.








Glad you got your column wiring taken care of. Thumbs Up


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Joel Adams
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9/14/11 7:33am - Reply: 'Re: 1968 Steering column'
yostusota
Former Member
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York, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1969 daytona conv. all original 350 350 380 4 sp w/air..and hard top

Joined: 5/18/2010
Posts: 1518
Joel I wish I could make cool pics too!!! LOL...I may have to look for an ap for that!! Didn't realize you could install the fork wrong onto the bearing..didn't think of that! Rich

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9/14/11 7:49am - Reply: 'Re: 1968 Steering column'
Jaws79 Lifetime Member
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Sykesville, MD - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Corvette Coupe Corvette Light Blue Midnight Blue interior Mirrored Glass T-tops

Joined: 4/27/2008
Posts: 4211
That's why Joel's the MAN!!!!  Thumbs Up 
 
Barry
 
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9/14/11 12:30pm - Reply: 'Re: 1968 Steering column'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19458
yostusota said: Joel I wish I could make cool pics too!!! LOL.. Rich


Shhhhhhhhhh.....Ermm
You COULD...if you were as good of a thief as I am....I stole it from somewhere a long time ago!LOL

It's just one of the possibilities for the noise he's hearing....I've seen this done so many times it ain't even funny anymore. Folks think the spring/clip is s'posed to go on the the back side of the bearing, with the other part of the fork in the groove, but it ain't. The complete fork goes into the groove of the bearing. Thumbs Up



And now we return you to your regularly scheduled discussion on the steering column wiring....Thumbs Up



|UPDATED|9/14/2011 10:30:55 AM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
My Link


(click for Texas-sized view!)
             NCRS

"Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comforting to cry in a CORVETTE than in a Kia"
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9/15/11 6:27am - Reply: 'Re: 1968 Steering column'
Crimson Ghost
Former Member
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Vette(s):
1968 convertible

Joined: 3/3/2010
Posts: 94

Than you Joel – your post really confirms my suspicion of my incorrect installation.  Going to be a tough lesson to learn as I remove the trans and bell housing !  Of course my 68 has a non-removable cross member, so I need to remove the shifter and linkage before I can drop the transmission -- yes, pity me please.

 

I pulled the engine and reverse engineered everything (being new to it all) and of course reading and posting.  When I removed the throw out bearing from the fork I didn’t take a picture or even pay special attention to it – afterwards I remarked to myself how stupid that was.  I read the directions on the install and thought I understood it correctly enough to reinstall.  Plus when I installed the throw out bearing it just seemed intuitive so I went with it.   Now all this time later, I can’t recall how I installed the spring clip, in our out of the groove.  But either way – I still need to open up the clutch to diagnose the noise when its hot …. I said from the beginning (to myself and my wife) – I bought this car to learn on !   

But I did start this thread so that anyone searching a 1968 steering column in the future would know how very simple it is to rewire one.  Actually I should take the statement a step further – its even more simple to remove and replace the column from the car. But its much easier to re-wire the column when its in the car (by re-wire I mean install new switches and wires – the complete harness is on Ecklers for like $80 – I would not want to rewire old switches, wouldn’t see the point).

 

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