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Took apart the steering column for painintg, new wiring, etc. A few questions;

- collapsable column. The upper shaft sleeves into the lower, just seems to slide freely. There are a couple plastic bushings recessed into the upper shaft that apper to have possibly been fixed to the lower at one point in time, but no more. Should these two parts fixed at all or free floating? As it sits, it's free floating and it would seem you could just pull on the wheel and the shaft will slide right out...???

- lower part of shaft near steering box. There is a plastic bushing inside the lower end of the column, pretty busted up. Other than that it seem the lower shaft just "floats" and the only support is the upper bushing and the connection to the steering box. Should there be any other bushing/guide at the lower end?

- anyone know a source for the lower plastic bushing, not in any catalog I have or on a few parts sites I checked.
 

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If it pulls out easily, the plastic retainer may be broken. I have a column with broken a broken one. The column is not worthless as it is unlikely to pull out when assembled. And the the inner shafts fit into the inside tube close, so coming apart laterally won't happen. Worse case scenario is that shafts can only push down.....and that would be in case of collision when the lower part collapsed.
 

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I've redone a few columns. The shaft just free floats (teloscopes) until you put it together. A bearing and a snapclip keep the shaft from pulling appart when you yank on the wheel.

The bottom just free floats as you have observed.

As far as I know there is no source for the lower plastic bushing. You will have to get one from a junk column.
 
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