I just found this thread while searching for something completely different. I feel compelled to post something about my horrific experience! Perhaps bumping this back up will save someone the time I wasted by not finding this thread.
I did my bearings a year ago. I had no clue what was wrong (same symptoms as others), but had no choice in finding out after the freaking ignition cylinder would not get in to the "off" position one night! I had to pull a fuse under the hood to get the truck to turn off. Broke the key off in the cylinder trying to get it out. I ended up replacing the ignition cylinder, the bearings, and the upper steering column, due to the races being torn up from loose ball bearings. I found a website that specialized in fixing "punched" ignition switches, but it seems to no longer be online. The way I got the tilt springs back in was to put then in a vise and run some bailing wire through them to hold them in the closed position. I then cut the bailing wire once they were secure in the column.
This was hands down one of the toughest truck jobs I have had. Took me two days. I had several other problems too though. I did have a very small spring left over haha. Still don't know what it went to.
it's a big job unless a shortcut to replace the bearings without removing the shaft. If you have to remove the column from the truck, disassemble the whole thing to replace the bearings 8 hours is a minimum. Turbo speed mechanics may be out there, but there is a lot to it, and the prospect of 2 hrs to do anything is completely far fetched.
1997 F350CC, 4x4, PSD Tipper pro kleenex open filter. Roggen 6" lift kit with 26" ratflex 12" offset tires. Downpipe cut and welded to adapt 3" into a 12" outlet. 12" muffler cut and adapted to 2", then a special turbo manifold from a volkswagon modified to flank out to 3" to the tail pipe. Interior from a Corvair modified by cutting 6" off the padding. Snize and snide 32gallon aux tank mounted in rear seat, rear seat relocated to bed. Bed shortened to 4ft.
it's a big job unless a shortcut to replace the bearings without removing the shaft. If you have to remove the column from the truck, disassemble the whole thing to replace the bearings 8 hours is a minimum.
My ignition housing is hosed along with the bearings so I'm thinking my best bet is to buy a rebuilt steering column for $350.
The guy selling these says it it would take less than 3 hours to remove the old column assembly and install the rebuilt one.
After chasing my front end around and reading this, I may have this same problem. THe only difference is I notice the erratic steering and "tight" spot when I have a load in the bed, but it will "catch" and cause some pucker moments. Is there any way to inspect the bearings other than tearing the colum apart? If so, how and what to look for
1995 F-350 CC 4x4, Auto 159000.00 miles, down pipe, rusting away from the Ohio winters
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