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

  1. 72bluNblu

    72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    72bluNblu submitted a new Article:

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

    Read more about this article here...
     
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    • 74DartSwinger360

      74DartSwinger360 The Brat Pack

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      Cool thanks for this gonna do this when convert my column now in my 74. Where did you buy it from?
      What other mds have you done to the column?
       
    • 1970Duster

      1970Duster Well-Known Member

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      Hmmm, looks like another "project" for me!
       
    • 70aarcuda

      70aarcuda Master Hoader of SBM FABO Gold Member

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      wow..was looking for new bearing for a 71 duster that converted to floor shifter..thanks
       
    • 72bluNblu

      72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      The red "here" above the bearing contains a link. Here it is in long form...http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-Insert-Bearing-ER16-ER-16-SER205-16-NEW-/280300800190?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item41433ac8be

      I also added a section of telescoping boregeson steering shaft and a borgeson steering u-joint. That thread is here...

      http://www.forabodiesonly.com/mopar/showthread.php?p=1969904417#post1969904417
       
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      • rmchrgr

        rmchrgr Skate And Destroy

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        I've done that on two columns. Most recent one I did for my Duster I tucked the bearing up behind the OE white bearing so you don't even know it's there. You can tighten the set screws through the hole in the column jacket. My bearing was a little more expensive, like $22. Got the idea from right here on FABO, member Goldduster318 did it a few years ago.

        I was planning to post up a column rebuild step-by-step soon.

        Lower Column Bearing 6-1.jpg
        Lower Column Bearing 6-2.jpg
        Lower Column Bearing 6-3.jpg
         
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        • 74DartSwinger360

          74DartSwinger360 The Brat Pack

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          Thanks For the link 72. Very helpful
           
        • 74DartSwinger360

          74DartSwinger360 The Brat Pack

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          Thats cool to. Now to decide which way to do it..Hmmm
           
        • 72bluNblu

          72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          Very nice!

          Did you have to press that one it too? Looks like it might be an easier fit than the one I used. Pretty cool to keep it stock looking, but that doesn't matter on my '74 with the steering u-joint and telescopic shaft showing already.

          Part # or link for that bearing?
           
        • rmchrgr

          rmchrgr Skate And Destroy

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          Insert bearings are pretty common and can be used in a wide variety of applications. It's just a 1" insert bearing with a 52mm outer diameter. They have spherical ones, flat ones and ones with an eccentric locking collar. I got mine at a local supply place called Beardslee Transmission Equipment. I don't remember the part number off the top of my head. Took the counter guy a little while to find it but he came up with it and they had it in stock. I've also ordered one from here before. Shipping was double the cost of the part though so it came out to be almost the same.

          I didn't press it on but I did have to make sure there was absolutely nothing on the steering shaft. I took some emery paper to it and kind of polished it down until it slipped on. Initially it goes down pretty far but gets to a point where it stops. I just tapped it down with a soft mallet to where I wanted it. The set screws hold it in place pretty well, it ain't going anywhere.

          One tip - you have to put it on before you install the upper parts of the column and sort of gauge where it's going to end up before you tighten it down. There is also a stop inside the lower column jacket that won't allow it to go too far up but you can't install the shaft with it in place. It's a little tricky. Not sure if that makes sense.
           
        • moparmat2000

          moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          Now thats slick. Will this work on a 67 column thats been converted to floor shift or is a different bearing needed for that?
           
        • VDART

          VDART Well-Known Member

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          nice !! think I'm going to re-work my column, Lawrence
           
        • rmchrgr

          rmchrgr Skate And Destroy

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          Just wanted to post some notes here and clarify a few things - the column I posted above was in fact a column shift from my '71 Duster. The shift tube was removed but that lower bearing/bushing thing is actually "correct" for a column shift. Other years vary with different lower bearing/retainer set ups but you should be able to make this work in most cases.

          Most of you probably know that floor shift columns have an actual bearing, secured with either two or three screws - that's the $80 repro part that everyone always groans about. The $5 insert bearing essentially takes the place of that in case you were unsure.

          If you don't mind the somewhat "incorrect" column shift bushing remaining in place after you take out the shift tube and don't care about %100 correct column appearance then this is the ticket when converting to a floor shift. Most wouldn't even notice the column shift bushing and retainer anyway since it looks factory.
           
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          • toolmanmike

            toolmanmike FABO Staff Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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            Great info! tmm
             
          • inkjunkie

            inkjunkie Well-Known Member

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            Thanks
             
          • Woods74

            Woods74 Quick Senior

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            Thanks!
             
          • 737jetdr

            737jetdr FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            Thanks for for the links and the info 72. I also read about your telescoping shaft install. Have to put that on my "to do" list as well. I also modified my steering column with a lower bearing on my 66 a couple years ago. I believe the column is 3/4" instead of 1" on the early A's. I have thought several times about cutting the lower column tubing back closer to the firewall to gain some extra clearance before installing the lower bearing. I hate having to pull my column loose to remove the #7 header tube on my TTi's.
             
          • Oldmanmopar

            Oldmanmopar Going left turning right FABO Gold Member

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            The only bearing that should be used with the standard box and coupler is the top bearing. The box acts as the lower bearing. Adding a third bearing in the mix is not a good idea. it will cause bind on the swivel joint/coupler. That plastic piece you are referring to never touches the shaft. Sometimes it doesn't pay to over engineer. Good thought but I wouldn't do it unless you put two joints between the end of the column bearing you install and the box. Steve
             
          • 72bluNblu

            72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            Yeah that's simply not true. Floor shift cars had a lower bearing. This is it right here 1966-74 A B E-Body Lower Steering Column Bearing 1968 1974 Chrysler A. You'll notice the bearing inside the nylon outer.

            Column shift cars have a small ball bearing set up (just like the upper bearing) that rides between the shift tube and the steering shaft. The shift tube is then supported by a nylon bushing.

            Neither of those systems have much play, but the stock floor shift bearing costs $80 (or more). There were a few years that got the open nylon bushing that doesn't really support anything, but plenty of cars came with a completely supported lower steering shaft.

            Lower Column Bearing 19-1.jpg
             
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          • rmchrgr

            rmchrgr Skate And Destroy

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            Hmmm... floor shift columns have a lower bearing, no? The outer part of this bearing attaches to the column jacket with the three screws and the shaft rides on the inside which is basically the same as the insert bearings, right? Maybe I am missing something?

            Lower Column Bearing 20-1.jpg


            Please describe/elaborate what exactly you believe could bind with the insert bearings and why, how much binding you think would occur and in what situation you believe it could happen.

            72 replied right before me, didn't mean to blast but please explain anyway.
             
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          • 72bluNblu

            72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            Exactly. Floor shift columns have those bearings. Not all of them apparently, I think I've heard at one point that only manual steering cars got them. My '71 Dart didn't have one, and its a power steering car, but that's not to say it didn't have one at some point. 42 year old car after all. But you can see the nylon spacer that it had in it when I got it at the beginning of the thread, no bearing there. I've also heard only manual trans cars got them. I dunno, sounds like there was some variation in cars/model years. Bottom line is, some of these cars got that nylon spacer/bearing set up.

            And column shifted cars had a ball bearing set up I described above. Ball bearings inside the shift tube, and the shift tube located with a nylon bushing.

            Like so. One on the left is a manual steering shaft, one on the right is a power steering shaft. Those bearings slid into the shift tube. Not a press fit or anything, but the shift tube doesn't fall off either.

            Lower Column Bearing 21-1.jpg
             
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          • Oldmanmopar

            Oldmanmopar Going left turning right FABO Gold Member

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            I personally never saw a bearing in any of the columns I have or had . They must have all fallen out. But you learn something new everyday. I don't use one and will check all the columns I have and see if I've been missing something for 40 yrs. I know I have seen some dilapidated plastic seals on some but no bearings.
             
          • rmchrgr

            rmchrgr Skate And Destroy

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            Hey, you're avoiding answering the binding question!

            Just bustin' yer stones but I'd like to hear more about what you are saying, just for my own edification.
             
          • Oldmanmopar

            Oldmanmopar Going left turning right FABO Gold Member

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            Does the bearing pictured above on the old columns hold the steering shaft or the selector shaft? looks to be the selector shaft.

            I didn't look at all the columns today worked on the tractor. The ones I did look at had no bearing just a plastic shell that is slid in the shaft not bolted and it is around the shift shaft on column shifts.

            I'll look at a bunch of floor shift columns tommorow for that bearing but I don't think there is one here that holds the steering shaft..

            I wonder why the top bearing in the steering column is mounted in rubber??.
             
          • rmchrgr

            rmchrgr Skate And Destroy

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            Steering shaft. Are you calling the shift tube the selector shaft? Either way, the I.D. of the bearing above would be way too small for the shift tube.

            The column shift bushings without the roller/ball bearings inside just keep the shift tube in place so it's not loose inside the jacket. It also keeps out road dust to an extent. In addition, there's also usually a foam seal that goes around the shift tube but those disintegrate over time.

            That rubber is an isolator for the upper parts of the column where the driver's hands are. It absorbs vibrations transmitted through the steering shaft.