Steering column plastic cover

Discussion in 'Tech Discussion' started by chaosrob, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. chaosrob

    chaosrob Junior Member

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    Going to have to replace my dimmer switch in my 1987 Silverado. Any tips on removing the plastic cover on the column before I start the project? TIA
     
  2. Charlie

    Charlie Full Access Member

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    :welcome:
     
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  3. Crispy

    Crispy Full Access Member

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    Just unscrew it and be easy and you re-install it. They are old pieces and you can crack the panel if you over torque.

    I assume you mean this piece?

    Steering-Column-Lower-Dash-Bezel-Trim-Plastic-Cover.jpg

    That should be the only plastic piece you need to remove to swap the dimmer switch.
     
  4. chaosrob

    chaosrob Junior Member

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    Sorry, I am referring to the plastic pieces between the dash and steering wheel where the turn signal switch is. I have to replace the high beam switch I should have said.

    Thanks
     
  5. Crispy

    Crispy Full Access Member

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    The high beam switch is the dimmer switch. Do you need to replace the turn signal lever?

    [​IMG]

    If thats the case then you can swap that out without touching the plastics using a fishing wire or something similar. Heres a good video on how to:

     
  6. chaosrob

    chaosrob Junior Member

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    Thank you sir, the combination switch works fine but I cannot get the switch to work between the low and high beams. I assume it is a pressure switch in there that is activated by the stalk when pulled forward but no joy.
     
  7. SquareRoot

    SquareRoot Member

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    A metal rod connects the multi-function switch to the high-low beam switch via a metal rod. It's located on the column about 6-8 inches below the bottom of the dash. Not easy to get too without removing the plastic cover and the plastic ac crossover tube.
     
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  8. chaosrob

    chaosrob Junior Member

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    Thank you sir
     
  9. Craig 85

    Craig 85 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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  10. chaosrob

    chaosrob Junior Member

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    After getting into it the rod is out of placement in both the switch in the lower part of the column and the multi switch at the top. Looks like I am going to have to pull the wheel and replace everything or at least try to figure out how the rod attaches at the top (bottom is straight forward). Thanks for the help guys
     
  11. chengny

    chengny Full Access Member

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    I've never been into a non-tilt column so I can't speak with any degree of certainty about them. But, if you have a tilt column - I have done a handful of those - I am almost positive that the top end of the actuating rod doesn't attach to anything. The rod is just "captured" between the switch on the bottom and the pivot actuating pin at the top. The dimmer switch isn't a push/pull type and I don't know the name of the type it is. But it is the kind that - every time it is operated - the internal spring always returns the button back to the top of it's stroke.


    So, since it is that constant spring pressure exerted on the rod by the dimmer switch that keeps it held tightly up against the lower end of the pivot actuating pin...if the spring in your switch is shot, the actuating rod will have excessive play in both the axial and radial directions (i.e. it will wobble around).

    Additionally, the rod is kept in location by a cast hole in the support housing - just below the end of the pin. The actuating pin is kept tightly in place by a removable aluminum boss that is inserted into the backside of the lock housing cover. The top of the actuating pin is acted upon by the pivot arm, which in turn is moved up and down by the MFS stalk.

    The end of the actuating rod is curved to allow the pin and rod to maintain contact throughout the full range of tilt. A couple of images showing the rod and the hole that supports it:

    31bothswitchesinstalled.jpg
    39shaftinsgtalledincolumn.jpg

    Top of the pivot pin where it contacts the pivot arm:

    P1010020.JPG

    Bottom view of actuating pin's removable guide boss - and as it is being removed:

    p1010027.JPG

    P1010037.JPG

    This is just a WAG, but if you have a non-tilt column I would imagine that the dimmer switch operating linkage used is similar. Probably without the curve on the end of the rod and no actuating pin (the rod extends directly up to the pivot arm).
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
  12. chengny

    chengny Full Access Member

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    A decent exploded dwg and parts list (tilt with automatic transmission). Be aware, what the dwg shows isn't really what things look like:

    6 - Front Axle & Steering - Group-6 Illustrations 31.JPG


    6 - Front Axle & Steering - Group-6 Illustrations 32.JPG
    Pages from 6 - Front Axle & Steering - Group-6 Illustrations.JPG
     
  13. chaosrob

    chaosrob Junior Member

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    Thanks guys that is most helpful.
     
  14. chaosrob

    chaosrob Junior Member

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    Looks like I am missing piece 14 and 37, brilliant lol.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  15. chaosrob

    chaosrob Junior Member

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    Going to just replace the entire column if I can find a good one. The bar that runs the length is bent up pretty badly and binding as it tries to actuate the new switch. always something
     

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