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Steering wheel adj will not stay locked

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#21 88whitestarion



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Posted 16 January 2005 - 09:39 PM

I realize this is an old thread, however I didn't see the method I used to fix mine that worked very well and leaves the steering column adjustable.

Basically the design of the tilt in the star/quest relies on a threaded rod that is rotated when pulled by the rod attached to the T-handle under the steering wheel. Essentially it is a "bolt" and nut, with the nut welded to one side of the clamping mechanism. The problem comes when the "bolt" gets a little stretched and can no longer clamp the slider part of the bracket that allows the column to move up and down.

To fix mine, I made a shim to fit up in the clamping section so the slight rotation of the bolt clamps down firmly on the slider. Those of you who have had the pleasure wink.gif of laying underneath the dash will more easliy understand what I am trying to describe.

I cut a small rectangle of some sheet metal aproximately .020" thick(the thickness of your shim may vary depending how loose the clamping mechanism is) and the approximate rectangular shape the clamping mechanism(about 3/4" by 1.5") and drilled a hole in the center of the rectangle. By the way, if you want to know the exact thickness of the shim needed, use a feeler gauge and stick various thickness gauges in until you find the one clamps down with the T-handle the best. The diameter of the hole in the shim is slightly larger than the "bolt" diameter. However, since you cannot remove the "bolt" you need to notch the drilled hole out to one of the long sides of the rectangle to allow the shim to be slipped into the clamping slider(it will look like a bumper shim when finished except more of rectangular shape). Just make sure you slid the shim in from the top so it doesn't fall out when you loosen the slider to adjust the column.

Sorry my explaination sounds pretty complicated but its really a pretty easy fix.

I used this method several years ago and my steering column works as good as new.

If you want to do it this way and need help, let me know I could quickly explain it with a phone call.

Hope this helps,


#22 Tim_C.


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Posted 31 December 2020 - 01:33 PM

View Postmikec, on 23 March 2002 - 01:25 AM, said:

Another trick is to pull the knob all the way out and then bend the support ear a bit.  Push the bottom towards the front of the car about an 1/8th of an inch.

The real problem is a design change to the column deep under the dash - Mitsu did something for the 88 model year and they goofed.  There is some beefy metal part that keeps the inner mechanism from going back as far as it's supposed to - "over center" to the locked position.  If you really want, you can pull the steering column down a bit and see where things bind and cut/file the offending spot.

mike c.

Just bumping this up.
Kev shows a recent fix of his on his Steering Column Rebuild How To here:

I fixed the main cause of the problem that Mike posted about. I just cut away the metal that was keeping the mechanism from traveling to where it would stay locked.
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