Ok, here is another how-to thread. This one is a simple rebuild but the results are pretty impressive. I tell you what, rebuilding this column resulted in a noticable improvement in the drivability of the vehicle. The wheel turns so smoothly...it is like driving a brand new car!
Have to add my disclamer:
Please note: I am not a mechanic who works on cars day in and day out! I don't have an unlimited supply of specially tooling! I am an auto enthusiest/backyard mechanic like the majority of us on this site. I've done my best to document how I performed this particular rebuild using standard hand tools and the factory service manuals as my guideline. If you see something in error, please respond via PM. If you see something that may be performed in a simpler fashion, again please respond.
First and foremost: YOU NEED THE FACTORY MANUALS FOR ALL REBUILDS! Enough said.
Parts required: None for this rebuild...unless of course you find a worn out part. Number one worn out item in the column assembly: Steering Coupler. Number two: Steering Coupler boot. Both are NLA by Mitsubishi and there are no aftermarket replacements. I have heard a member say that he was able to use an off the shelf bellows boot from another vehicle to replace the steering coupler boot, but he didn't provide the part number. So you may be hitting up some junkyards and/or searching on here for a good used coupler/boot, as req'd for your rebuild.
Tooling Req'd: This rebuild was performed with just basic hand tools with exception of the following:
- Steering Wheel Puller; don't dare try removing the steering wheel without the proper puller....these pullers cost $10.
- External Snap Ring Pliers: I consider this a basic hand tool but will include it here
- Magnet: One of those retractable magnets used to pick up dropped bolts in your engine compartment works great for this rebuild
- Dremel tool with small grinding stone: this is a contingency only...but I had to use it, see details in the thread.
- Green Grease: Doesn't have to be green, I just like it...but you want to use a grease suitable for bearings/axles for the internal components of the steering shaft
- Lithium Grease: I use lithium grease for all of the joints that aren't continually used on the column as well as the joints that are open to the cabin of the vehicle....for the simple reason that lithium grease doesn't have much of an odor.
- Permatex: Or any type of glue to adhere a rubber plug to the aluminum outer sleeve of the column
Edit 11/5/2014: Lately I have been receiving many requests from club members asking if I would consider rebuilding their parts per the steps shown in these ‘how-to’ threads. Although I am humbled at your trust in my abilities to rebuild such critical parts of your vehicle, I respectively have to decline any such requests. With a family of four, a demanding career, and just the normal responsibilities in everyday life, I have difficulty in finding time to work on my own project vehicles much less take on additional work. However, I encourage you to review the thread in detail, try to gather the required parts and tools, and attempt to rebuild the items on your own. My goal in developing these threads was to give members the encouragement to perform these component rebuilds at home while gaining valuable experience, saving some $, and simply having fun with the hobby. I hope by sharing this information and by including my own trials and mistakes along the way, help to achieve these goals.