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1988 Jeep Cherokee:
Steering Column Loose at Tilt Mechanism

Alex Steele
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seen in Truck Trend



I drive a 1988 Jeep Cherokee and the steering column is loose near the tilt mechanism. I tried taking off the steering wheel, turn signals etc. Got to the three Torx screws but this did not get me to the area needed to fix the problem.




Your Jeep's tilt steering column is actually a longtime General Motors design, and the problem you've encountered is fairly common.


You were on the right track by pulling the steering wheel, the "shaft lock plate", and the directional switch. The three Torx screws you ran into hold in place the "lock housing cover" which was the next big part to come off after removing the "ignition lock cylinder".


Then it gets a little tricky. The next structural part of the steering column is the "column housing" which is actually the section that pivots up and down with the help of two pressed-in pivot pins. These pins require a special tool to remove. Once the pins are removed, and the housing moved slightly out of position, you will have access to the four screws that secure the "steering column support".


The support is where the housing is attached and pivots by means of the pivot pins. These screws, which secure the support to the remainder of the column, are simply loose and the heart of your problem.


Remove them one at a time, apply a thread locker, reinstall, and retorque. Note: Don't get too deep into this job without some experience and the appropriate service manual. There are a lot of additional little items that will require some intricacy during reassembly.


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Jeep | Power Steering | Interior
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