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Old 03-20-2017, 09:41 PM   #1
69_hafton
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67-72 Tilt Column Small Top Bearing Replacement

I may have to use the old top bearing in my tilt column if a replacement can't be found. I bought a rebuild kit from a column specialist only to find that they can't source the part.

From what I've been told, the tilt column for the 67-72 (I'm assuming the full range of years, but mine is a 71) has a smaller diameter bearing on the top that is specific to trucks with tilts that have the key in the dash and not on the column. Someone has even suggested going to a big truck dealer.

The last column I rebuilt, I shaved and filled the ignition tumbler assembly and did not run into any replacement parts problems, but that was over 10 years ago and the bearing were the same size.

Before I do anything too much out of the ordinary, I thought I'd try another GM dealer tomorrow, but I'd prefer to be armed with the part number in case they don't have the books like the dealer that I already tried.

Anyone have any current information on the bearing in question?
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:24 AM   #2
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Re: 67-72 Tilt Column Small Top Bearing Replacement

Looks like 1 3/8" OD
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:01 AM   #3
67ChevyRedneck
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Re: 67-72 Tilt Column Small Top Bearing Replacement

I ended up selling mine because of that... my cage was broken.

It's been determined that "rebuilders" just clean up the original bearings, regrease, and reuse them.

I found one guy that claims to have them, but with the cost of all the parts to rebuild, I sold my column and bought an ididit.

This is the ONLY person I've found that has claimed to have the correct bearings.
Quote:
Jesse, Thanks for the questions. I have a newer design upper item number 131792949905 for $89.00, The lower item number 131792949903 for $75.00 and the lower upper bearing not listed at $39.00. All are USA bearings and shipping in the lower 48 is free. As far as the sponge seal goes, it is not available but a section of hot water pipe insulation from Lowes-Home Depot works great. The two plastic spheres are not available new but i have some low miles take outs for $12.00 if you need them. i can be reached at 336-922-1873 M-F, 9-4 except during lunch. regards, CJ
cjrods@windstream.net
Yours look to be OK. I would clean them carefully, regrease and reinstall them.
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Old 03-21-2017, 01:05 PM   #4
69_hafton
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Re: 67-72 Tilt Column Small Top Bearing Replacement

Thanks, I was beginning to wonder about the replacement columns being cheaper when you start adding everything up. I'm going to see what the dealer has to say - they've been willing to dig for parts numbers before, but I hadn't been there in awhile and they're not as convenient to get to.

There is a steering column specialist that has the plastic spheres new, but mine wasn't worn enough to consider replacing it.

I'm into this too deep to give up with the powder coating that I've had done. Since my bearings aren't completely gone, I'm going to have to clean them up and use them as you've suggested.

The sponge seal as you call it, I'm guessing is what appeared to be a thin foam type dust seal that came out when I pulled the central shaft out of the shaft that actuates the shifter. This was on my list of things to find also.
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Last edited by 69_hafton; 03-21-2017 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 03-21-2017, 01:31 PM   #5
67ChevyRedneck
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Re: 67-72 Tilt Column Small Top Bearing Replacement

Glad to help, I was very frustrated as well. Since I wanted a "floor shift" tilt column, they're MUCH cheaper than the column shift tilts, so for +/-$400 I had a brand new ididit column. I sold mine for parts for a decent price, so it worked out for me since my bearing cages were cracked/broken. It just wasn't worth the hassle anymore.
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1967 C10 SWB Stepside: 350/700R4/3.73
1965 Ford Mustang: 289/T5-5spd/3.25 Trac-Loc
1967 Pontiac Firebird: Project Rusty Chicken!
2015 Silverado Double Cab 5.3L Z71
2011 Mustang V6 ~ Wife's ride
American Born, Country by the Grace of God
1967 CST Shop Truck Rebuild!
My 1967 C-10 Build Thread
My Vintage Air A/C Install
Project "On a Dime"
Trying my hand at Home Renovation!
1965 Mustang Modifications!
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:52 PM   #6
69_hafton
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Re: 67-72 Tilt Column Small Top Bearing Replacement

Dealer confirmed NLA on the top bearing, but the bottom can still be bought.

I went through several on my last tilt rebuild for some reason when the steering column would get loose and if you didn't catch it, the bearings would fall out. I think it was because the bearing was installed upside down - just makes me a little concerned having gone through that when I can't replace it this time.

On the other column, the third time was a charm, as it was fine when I finally got the bearing in right.
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Old 03-23-2017, 10:22 PM   #7
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Re: 67-72 Tilt Column Small Top Bearing Replacement

Have you tried a place called crush bearings? I am going to look into this very soon. My column is very loose. Not sure what the issue is. They have lots of bearings and may have one that will work.
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