Since it regularly comes up I felt it was time to do a write-up on how to rebuild the steering coupler.
In my opinion the column needs to be removed from the car to properly rebuild the coupler.
For the purpose of this demonstration I'm working with a bare shaft as that is what I had available.
Contents of the rebuild kit, the pin on the steering shaft is good so I'm not replacing that (and this column isn't being used), not sure what the tiny pin is for and the roll pin is the one used in installing the column in the car.
This assembly was still intact and took a little effort to pop the cover off. Once off I slid the shaft out and noted the orientation of the pieces, they were correct. Take a picture to remind you how they go.
The grease in this one was bad and caked in gunk. Both the shaft and the couple were cleaned with brake cleaner.
Now this is where the fun starts, as it comes out of the package the tabs on the cover are bent in the wrong direction.
Using needle nose and lineman pliers all the tabs are bent the other way. About halfway down and to about a 45^ angle.
The seal stretches enough to put it on over the pin on the shaft.
For the purpose of the demonstration I use lithium grease as that is what I could find, typically I would use wheel bearing grease. I start by packing the housing most of the way up.
then the shaft
and the bits as they go on.
slide the housing on fully and wipe off excess grease.
Position the cover and clamp in place (enough to hold at first), you may to open the tabs a little to get the cover on fully.
Once you are happy with the position start clamping them a little tighter, for the most part the cover will stay in place and you can reposition one of the clamps more over on corner and tighten it a lot. Start with the drift and punch the tabs into the housing.
Only do the one corner, just the two tabs.
Then drive the tabs down
Slide the clamp to the other corner and repeat.
Make sure to check the tabs as you go as to not pinch them.
Once you have done one side the clamp isn't needed,
Wipe it off and it is ready to install, no wire bail needed, this isn't coming apart!
The key to this is pre-bending the tabs and clamping the assembly TIGHT.