Steering colum removal

Old 01-25-2010, 02:01 PM
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Abovetimberline's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Chico,ca
Posts: 2,158
Year: 89
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default Steering colum removal

There has been some that have asked how to remove the steering colum. The colum is easy to remove and only takes about 45 minutes. keep in mind that like most items the steering colum is put together as a unit,it is designed to be installed easly,there is only 2 nuts,3 bolts that hold it in,the rest all just plugs in.
there are many reason to remove the colum,One of the reasons is the colum is loose and instead of tearing it down and tighting the bolts,it can be replaced with another,I am not sure how much a colum is where you are but they are about $45 here.
This is for my 89 xj but is basically the same for all xjs.
Tools needed to replace the colum.
1. 3/8" drive ratchet
2. 3/8" extensions,either one long one or several small ones.
3. 15mm socket
4. 13mm socket
5. 12mm socket
6. 8mm socket
7. Phillips screw driver.

As I go through the procedure I will stop and show how something is removed so you will know how it is done without doing another write-up. I will also point out some items just for information purposes,I will make note of it when I do so there is no confusion. The following is a step by step procedure of how it is removed then I will add the photos later with associated write-up attached to the pics.
1. Remove lower dash
2. Remove 2 15mm nuts that hold colum to body.
3. Disconnect ign switch.
4. Disconnect dimmer switch.
5. Disconnect wiring harness for blinklers,hazards,etc,right side of colum under ignition switch.
6. Disconnect wiper intermitent module.
7. Remove 13mm bolts that hold colum to firewall inside under dash.
8. Remove lower shaft from gearbox,inside engine compartment below airbox,held on by 12 mm bolt.

Note: Things to watch out for,when removing and replacing,make sure where the wires are routed,and be carful not to pinch the wires when replacing,if you do you will find it when you turn on the key and you are scrambling to find where the smoke is coming from,when you are done reconnect battery and hang out for a bit,no beer yet,if you did pinch a wire it may take a bit for it to show up,this comes from experience.
double #1 first thing,disconeect battery.
1. Remove the lower dash,remove screws between the upper and lower dash,there is also 2 screws on each side underneath the dash next to the courtesy lights,there is also one behind the ashtray.
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2. Remove courtesy lights from lower dash,one each side.

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3. Remove light from ashtray,it just slips out of blue holder.

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4. Disconeect tcu (transmission control unit) just disconnect the wires and leave tcu connected,note tcu has to be hooked up or transmission will not work in forward gears,located right side of lower dash.

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5. Remove wiper intermitnet control module,this module controls everything that has to do with your wipers and winshield washer,if your wipers work on high,but not intermitent,this is most likley the issue,it also can be the cause if it is not working at all. It is located on the lower dash and is held on by velcro
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6. Remove and loosen nuts that hold the colum to the body. 15mm nuts. Note: Do not remove the 4 13mm bolts that are connected to the colum,they can stay connected,even if you remove them the 2 15mm nuts have to be removed.

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7. This is the 2 studs that hold the colum to the body.

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8. This is the igntion switch,located right side of colum about halfway down,just unplug the wires from it,there is a tab in front and on the other end that need to be pushed down then wires can be removed.
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9. Remove lockring cable from colum,it is connected here and the upper colum,just push it out of holder and follow the cable up to the upper end of the colum and you will see it connected there also,disconnect it.

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10. This is the dimmer switch for the headlights,when you pull back on the blinkler switch this is what you are actually operating,just disconnect the wires.

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11. This is the actuator rod from the blinkler switch to the dimmer switch,just showing for information purposes,remains on colum.
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12. These are the 2 nuts that hold the igntion switch in place,if all you wanted to do was replace the ignition switch you would remove the nut and remove the ones circled here and replace either the dimmer or igntion switch,which ever one is bad,notice the one the right side that the bracket is grooved,this is done so the igniton switch and dimmer can be adjusted if needed.
Note: Be very very carful removing switch,if the rod that is connected to the tumbler in the colum falls off,stop and take a break,because your easy simple little job just became a nightmare,see next pic,if it falls off you will need to disassemble the colum to get it back on,unless you want to break the colum to access it.

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13. This is the connector in the colum where the rod for the ignition is connected,you cannot access it without taking the colum apart. It is possible I suppose for someone to get it back on without taking the colum apart,but you would have to be very good,you cannot see it and the rod will not go by the connector unless it is turned sideways.
The rod my thumb is on is for the dimmer switch.


13. Disconnect the turn signal,hazard,wiper harness shown here,located right side just under and forward of the ignition switch.

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14. This is what it looks like disconnected.

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15. Remove these 2 13mm bolts from flange that holds colum to the firewall inside under the dash.
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16. Disconect the lower shaft from the steering box,this is located under the airbox,you will have to remove the airbox to get to it,I do not have pics here on how to remove the airbox but all you need to do is remove the top as if you were going to replace the filter and on the bottom are 2 bolts and one nut that are 13mm,remove them,remove the vacuum lines fron the box,and the duct from airbox to throttle body,once airbox is removed you can get to the bolt easy.

Installation is just the reverse.
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Last edited by Abovetimberline; 01-26-2010 at 09:05 PM.
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