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Old 04-16-2017, 09:47 AM   #1
huntrz3
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Chevy van column question

I just found a 1978 Chevy van tilt column for my 66 suburban project; that is the good news. The bad is the lower bearing. While the column should be serviceable, the lower bearing is shot (sounds of gravel when turned), a lengthy search turned up very little in the way of replacements. There seem to be lots of options for the 1" shaft and none for the 3/4" , unless you are lucky enough to find an NOS part and pay through the nose... any ideas fellow truckers?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-16-2017, 10:18 PM   #2
Captainfab
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Re: Chevy van column question

You will likely have to modify the tube some but you might check into the light duty bearings that are used on gocarts and hand truck wheels. They are available in a 3/4" bore. I have used those when making a steering column for a rock crawler.
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Old 04-16-2017, 11:48 PM   #3
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Re: Chevy van column question

I think it was CPP that I got a bronze bushing from to replace the lower bearing. That was for a 66 and I don't know if it could be adapted to the newer one. Have you checked their catalogue to see if they have the correct one?

If the balls are still intact maybe you could pack some grease in there.
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:49 PM   #4
andyh1956
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Re: Chevy van column question

Go to MMC & buy some machine-able nylon bushing stock & turn it to fit the tube & shaft. Hold it in place with a few screws around the outside of the tube. You can make it a lot longer than the original & it will last forever.
I've repaired all my log trucks & dump trucks this way & works great!
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:32 AM   #5
huntrz3
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Re: Chevy van column question

Thanks everyone, I guess there is no one easy answer here. Since the 1"" shaft parts are available. I assume the outer shaft is the same size, based on the a comparison of cap from each, I think a sleeve can be obtained from the local bearing shop, from 1"-3/4". I will let you know how that works once I get the old bearing out, the end of the shaft was very rusty.
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Old 04-19-2017, 09:32 PM   #6
AustinBelair
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Re: Chevy van column question

I've got a beautiful tight van column but I have no idea how to modify it to install it
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:51 PM   #7
huntrz3
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Re: Chevy van column question

I finally found a good solution! Once I removed the bearing I took it to our local bearing supplier and while the could not find a suitable replacement, they sold me a bronze bushing that fit the spare 1" bearing I happened to have. 1" id reduced to 3/4", this setup replaced the original and should outlast it.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:55 PM   #8
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Re: Chevy van column question

here are a few pics:
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Old 04-21-2017, 04:48 AM   #9
vince1
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Re: Chevy van column question

I am just curious. What holds it all up there? On the original 66 they had a spring and clamp holding it together.
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