From: Don Byrer (dbyrer at

The problem is probably the four screws that hold the tilt assy to the 
rest of the column.  to get at them, you have to use a slide hammer to 
pull the pivot pins.  Then you can remove the bolts & reinstall them with 

Can be fixed, but you need the following "special" tools:
-steering wheel puller ($15-$80 depending on quality)
-lockplate remover/installer($25-ish at NAPA) 
-small slide hammer(mine is a cheapie-about $10)
-"inverse torx" socket..I think a #30(under $10)
-torx drivers Maybe T15 &T30?  (under $10)

Also need alcohol or lacqer thinner & cotton swabs (Q-tips {tm}) to clean 
the bolts & holes.  Need loctite for bolts-use the red permanent kind.

If you have or can borrow the tools, great...If you "aint got them" & can 
get it done for under $100 it may be worth having a shop do it.  I bought 
the tools to do it as I have 3 GM cars with the same column, & probly 
will have more someday.  You can do without the lockplate tool if you 
must, but it's a pain if you dont have it.

I have done this on my '86 MC SS, and just recently on my '89 S-Blazer.  
-Remove the steering wheel
-Remove the black plastic "dust cover" from the lockplate: stick a small 
screwdriver in the slots & gently pry outward.
-Remove lockplate:  if you have another person with strong fingers, one 
can push on the lockplate && the other remove the clip.  This works if 
you dont have the right tool, but it's hard on the fingers.  
-disconnect turn signal lever & remove turn signal switch
-remove key buzzer switch & lock cylinder
-remove emergency flasher knob  (phillips screw)
-Unscrew tilt lever
-Using torx driver, remove screws holding outer housing (my term) to 
rest of column.
-remove outer housing...dont drop the ball bearings...!!!
-using screwdriver or 1/4 drive extension, remove spring.  it's a 
"twist-lock": push in & turn about 1/4 turn ccw to get it out.  Less 
dangerous than it sounds, really.
-the pivot pins have threaded holes, I think 6/32.  You'll need a 
matching machine screw in the slide hammer.  I had to grind the head down 
on the screw to fit in the slide hammer.
-give the slide hammer a few whacks & pull the pins  
-now you can finally get to the darn bolts.  This is where you need the 
"inverse torx" socket.  Do one bolt at a time to avoid further disassembly.
  Since it's such a pain to get to, 
make it worth your while by cleaning the bolts & holes thoroughly before 
reassembly.  I used rubbing alcohol & swabs.  Then use a permanant 
threadlocker like Loctite red on the bolts.  That oughta do it for the 
next twenty years...

Now for the ominous
Yeah, right!  actually it is pretty much.  Be careful the ball bearings 
dont fall out of the housing (now's a good time to replace them or any 
other worn part in the steering column) Two balls fell out of the lower 
bearing on the Blazer & the wheel has a little play to it (but LOTS 
better than before)-I'll have to get new bearings & do it all over AGAIN!
Dont forget to install the dust cover over the lockplate, either, or your 
significant other will ask "why is there an extra part left over?" & 
you'll have to pull the wheel off again.

It CAN be done...I did it myself because I was low on dough & had all the 
tools except the lockplate remover (which I've now used about 6 times 
in two years) and the inverse torx socket.    

If anyone seriously wants to do this, I'll check my toolbox & see what 
size the socket is.  I think you could use a suitable hex or 12-point, but 
I'm not sure if you  could torque it enough.

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