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Old 07-17-2019, 01:54 PM   #1
Livemeyer
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Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

As this truck came to me it had already been modified with car parts, my guess is a '64 Impala. I do not know if the steering column is original '51, or if it is from a car. It had an Impala steering wheel on it.

The problem I have is there is a bearing at the top of the shaft that is bad and needs replacing. However, I am not sure how to obtain this bearing, and whether to look for a '64 Impala bearing, a '51 Chevy truck bearing, or something else. And, I figure to replace the entire steering column at some point, so if the bearing is any more than 20 bucks it's not worth bothering.

Here's a video of me moving my steering wheel/shaft:

https://youtu.be/aiO_s6C0CGY
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Old 07-17-2019, 03:05 PM   #2
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

My 53 column is just a straight 2" tube. I don't know about car columns but on my truck if you remove the wheel you can carefully pry out the bearing and replace it. It's not expensive. Unhook the horn wire and be careful with it. It's not attached very well.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:05 PM   #3
Livemeyer
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

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Originally Posted by mick53 View Post
My 53 column is just a straight 2" tube. I don't know about car columns but on my truck if you remove the wheel you can carefully pry out the bearing and replace it. It's not expensive. Unhook the horn wire and be careful with it. It's not attached very well.
Hey thanks for the response. My hangup isn't removing the bearing; it's finding a replacement one. I stopped in at O'Reilly's Auto Parts today and asked them to look it up. Just as I had been finding online, I cannot reference the bearing in anybody's search engine. They did say I could remove it and they would measure it and try to find one that works. Maybe I should search a newer year truck? I'm hopeful someone here has had to do this and knows what part to use and where they got it.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:45 PM   #4
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

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Hey thanks for the response. My hangup isn't removing the bearing; it's finding a replacement one. I stopped in at O'Reilly's Auto Parts today and asked them to look it up. Just as I had been finding online, I cannot reference the bearing in anybody's search engine. They did say I could remove it and they would measure it and try to find one that works. Maybe I should search a newer year truck? I'm hopeful someone here has had to do this and knows what part to use and where they got it.
You will need to go to a restoration parts website more than likely. I don't know about cars but someone will probably chime in. You might try Chevy Talk forum in one of their car forums.

Last edited by mick53; 07-17-2019 at 08:46 PM. Reason: info
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:17 PM   #5
mongocanfly
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

Id have to agree...you know its bad..just pull it ,,match it ,,,replace it...if the column has been changed theres no telling what's in it...and I'll have to say,,I've never seen one worn that bad...has it always been that way?..makes me wonder if you have some mismatched parts...
With the dimensions, they can usually match about anthing..
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:35 PM   #6
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

I'd say its original to the truck. It goes right into the steering box, or the column and steering box are more or less one unit.If it were from a car, it would have a different box and column. It's easy to put any gm steering wheel on in place of the truck wheel. Bearing will most likely be the up to 54/55.5.
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:42 PM   #7
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

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I'd say its original to the truck. It goes right into the steering box, or the column and steering box are more or less one unit.If it were from a car, it would have a different box and column. It's easy to put any gm steering wheel on in place of the truck wheel. Bearing will most likely be the up to 54/55.5.
Your correct I was looking at the picture wrong. They are not expensive at all. Again be careful with the horn wire when you put it in.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:48 PM   #8
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

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Id have to agree...you know its bad..just pull it ,,match it ,,,replace it...if the column has been changed theres no telling what's in it...and I'll have to say,,I've never seen one worn that bad...has it always been that way?..makes me wonder if you have some mismatched parts...
With the dimensions, they can usually match about anthing..
"Has it always been that way" is an unanswerable question. I bought the truck in 2016 and yes, it was like that when I bought it. I am ready to do exactly what you said, pull it, match it, replace it. I just have a fear that I might not be able to match it and once I pull it out it may be too far gone to put back in. I'm thinking about just buying a new column instead, I was planning to anyway. Problem is, I'm learning all about this stuff as I go along. I want to do IFS eventually but that's a big ticket item and I don't want to start replacing stuff in the steering if I'm going to be doing it again with the installation of an IFS setup. I figure I'm safe with buying a new column though, I don't think that will need to be modified or replaced again if I go to IFS.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:54 PM   #9
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quindel3100 View Post
I'd say its original to the truck. It goes right into the steering box, or the column and steering box are more or less one unit.If it were from a car, it would have a different box and column. It's easy to put any gm steering wheel on in place of the truck wheel. Bearing will most likely be the up to 54/55.5.
Hey, thanks. I think it's original to the truck too. If you or anybody has a lead on the bearing you say is 47 up to 54/55.5 I'd like to know. I have not found anyplace that lists a part replacement for this old truck. The employees at O'Reilly thought the bearing might have a number on it and they might be able to match that up.
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:54 PM   #10
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

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Hey, thanks. I think it's original to the truck too. If you or anybody has a lead on the bearing you say is 47 up to 54/55.5 I'd like to know. I have not found anyplace that lists a part replacement for this old truck. The employees at O'Reilly thought the bearing might have a number on it and they might be able to match that up.
Steering column bearing assembly.
Restoration parts source
EO175-CCCP-0363
California Classic Chevy Parts
$17.56
You can probably find it other places also.
all t.he venders have them
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:35 PM   #11
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

judging by the pics I would say the steering box is going to be crying the blues soon as well. it is very close to the headers and will likely cook unless you put some heat shielding there. it has gear oil in it, usually, so if you start smelling hot gear oil and find a leak it is likely the box telling you it is too hot. check the lube level in the box to see if there is actually lube in the box as well.
i have replaced the upper column bearing before. not that tough but, like said, watch out for the horn wire.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:06 AM   #12
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

Chevs of the 40s kit #270255,$48.00.brg,with horn wire,spring and retaining clip. 47-54.
Just another option for you..
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Old 07-19-2019, 04:15 AM   #13
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

I'd at least pull the steering wheel and see what's going on in there....
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:46 PM   #14
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quindel3100 View Post
Chevs of the 40s kit #270255,$48.00.brg,with horn wire,spring and retaining clip. 47-54.
Just another option for you..
Thanks, that's the kind of lead I was looking for. Still, I'm thinking I'd rather spend the money on a new column if the part is going to cost me 20-50% of a new column. I found a guy selling a black one with tilt on Craigslist for $120.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:47 PM   #15
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

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I'd at least pull the steering wheel and see what's going on in there....
I can say that I did have a look when I put that aftermarket steering wheel on, and it didn't look good.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:50 PM   #16
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

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judging by the pics I would say the steering box is going to be crying the blues soon as well. it is very close to the headers and will likely cook unless you put some heat shielding there. it has gear oil in it, usually, so if you start smelling hot gear oil and find a leak it is likely the box telling you it is too hot. check the lube level in the box to see if there is actually lube in the box as well.
i have replaced the upper column bearing before. not that tough but, like said, watch out for the horn wire.
Not something I had thought much about. Thanks for the heads up on that. That is a new header; the shop said they couldn't use the ram's horn exhaust manifolds that I had on the original heads, they wouldn't fit on the new aluminum heads.

I may swap in a new steering column soon. If I do I will obviously be checking the gear oil. Otherwise, I'll need to be keeping an eye on it like you said.
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:08 PM   #17
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

heat shield will do wonders.
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Old 07-20-2019, 07:50 PM   #18
Livemeyer
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

Pulled my steering wheel today and the bearing is part of an insert, with a brass outer ring surrounded by rubber and a bearing race on the inside which is completely failed:

https://youtu.be/vA9fKzid27s
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Old 07-20-2019, 07:55 PM   #19
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

mmmm...thats bad...looks like the ones linked above are what you need..never tried ,but can the bearing be pressed out?
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Last edited by mongocanfly; 07-20-2019 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 07-20-2019, 08:15 PM   #20
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

just buy the complete unit like posted above and swap it out. easy. we have all spent cash on some pretty silly things. this is steering, don't sweat the 50 bucks. some places will deliver to the door even.
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Old 07-20-2019, 08:37 PM   #21
mick53
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

Quote:
Originally Posted by mick53 View Post
Steering column bearing assembly.
Restoration parts source
EO175-CCCP-0363
California Classic Chevy Parts
$17.56
You can probably find it other places also.
all t.he venders have them
$18 for all the pieces. It will take less than 15 minutes to put in.
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Old 07-20-2019, 09:15 PM   #22
Livemeyer
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

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Originally Posted by mick53 View Post
Steering column bearing assembly.
Restoration parts source
EO175-CCCP-0363
California Classic Chevy Parts
$17.56
You can probably find it other places also.
all t.he venders have them
You gave me something to go on, and I thank you. I think the above part number is in reference to this web page: https://restorationpartssource.com/s...s-details.html

Unfortunately it looks like this fits 1955-1957 Chevrolet 210 model cars, and I'm uncertain if it fits for my truck. I might have to wait until Monday and give them a call.
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Old 07-20-2019, 09:26 PM   #23
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

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Originally Posted by dsraven View Post
judging by the pics I would say the steering box is going to be crying the blues soon as well. it is very close to the headers and will likely cook unless you put some heat shielding there. it has gear oil in it, usually, so if you start smelling hot gear oil and find a leak it is likely the box telling you it is too hot. check the lube level in the box to see if there is actually lube in the box as well.
i have replaced the upper column bearing before. not that tough but, like said, watch out for the horn wire.
Hey I noticed this old one had the horn wire welded or soldered to the lower race of the bearing. You said to watch out for the horn wire, do you think if I get a new bearing I should do the same, solder or weld it to the bearing? Or should it be run up to a part of the wheel somehow? My Grant steering wheel has a horn button with two connectors on it, I assume one is for the horn wire lead and the other is to go to ground.
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:28 PM   #24
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

i noticed the 48$ ones had the wire already on them pn270255
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:37 PM   #25
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Re: Loose/Bad bearings in steering column

yeah, I would clean the housing and solder the wire on. it is so the housing will get a good ground and not rely on the metal to metal contact of the bearing in the column tube. I think if you could find a new complete unit it would be best but if you can find just the bearing for cheap then do whatcha gotta do.
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