How To Replace your Lower Column Bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!

  1. 72bluNblu
    Ok, so this is for a floor shift column. It can be a formerly column shifted car, but the outer shifting tube has to be removed for this to work.

    Mopar originally equipped these cars with a lame plastic lower "bushing" for the steering shaft. It doesn't really control the shaft all that well, and it costs like $80 to replace. You know, this dumb thing..

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    Enter the ER16 flange bearing. It has a 1" inner diameter, and an outer diameter of 52mm. Turns out the column jacket has in inner diameter of ~52mm. Just a smidge less actually. So, you can search ER16, SER205-16, etc. I got mine here for $4.50.

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    Now, a little work. This is for a '74 that started out as a column shift, so it has the little flange that's riveted to the column jacket. I removed it, and cleaned it up with a dremel. If you have the earlier version (pictured above on my '71 GT with factory floor shift), don't fret, its the same inner diameter.

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    At this point, the bearing should slide in about half way.

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    Now, for the '74 this was easy, I just put it in a press and pressed the bearing home, all the way up to the removable clip it comes with. Seemed like a good place. For an earlier column without the removable flange, you'll still have to find a way to press the bearing the rest of the way, or tap it in with a hammer etc. Keep in mind it really doesn't have to be a press fit, so you can remove a little more material if need be.

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    Ta-daaa! :cheers:

    I reattached the lower flange with metal screws, and tightened the allen keys. The astute will notice the shaft coming out of the column in the picture is a 1"DD and not a stock 1" round, I did some more modifications. But don't worry, the ER16 will fit the standard steering shaft as well, its also 1". You'll probably have to clean it up with a wire wheel or dremel to get the bearing on, it slid onto some of the steering shafts I have, and required a little more motivation on others.

    And finally...

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    No play, no falling out of the column, and it cost $9 shipped to my door. :D

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