Updated Steering Column Repair Thread?

J

OCCUPY LoD :)
Gooooooooood afternoon, my old friends! Happy Holidays.

I've finally got Pullied back up and running after a long road of engine failures, transmissions failures, and other fun stuff. Spent 3 years trying to find someone to tune it after the base tune got messed up, erasing the trans programming. Now I'm faced with the steering column being stuck in the fully up and retracted position after I got it back from the body shop. I perused the Search section and was able to find a step-by-step repair process, but the content was from the early 2000s I believe so it was hard to see/follow.

Can someone point me to a better thread or maybe help me decide on the best course of action on this puppy? Currently the switch will not make any noise when I try to move the column down or out, but I can hear a clicking when I press the button up or back. This leads me to believe the switch has failed but I just don't have it in me to keep throwing parts at this car. o_O Thanks!
 

tixer

Lincoln Evangelist
Staff member
Paid Member
J!! Welcome back! I looked at the date 3 times to be sure this wasn't an old post. :D

I'm sorry to hear the car's been a challenge, but glad you've stuck with it. It's good to see you here.

I've been fortunate to not ever have much trouble with my own steering columns, but I know we've had quite a few good threads on it over the years. Let me do some digging and see what I can come up with for you.
 

tixer

Lincoln Evangelist
Staff member
Paid Member
Man. I'm coming up empty. This is about the best I've found, but the image links are broken. Only the thumbnails are present.


I did see a reference elsewhere implying that the upper cover can be removed from the column in the car, allowing access to the motors.. might be worth a try.
 

billcu

Head Moderator
Staff member
Hi Jesse! I haven't repaired one yet, but I think Beerdog did? Maybe search using his name as poster. I'm guessing you already tried hitting the wheel with your fist while you try the switch, sometimes that get's it working. My CE currently needs steering column work but I've been busy putting a new fuel tank in it.
 

driller

El Presidente
Staff member

 

Steve_C

Registered
A new video on Mark VIII columns was recently put out by Gayle Grove.
He is excellent in diagnosing & repairing the glitches we experience with our Marks.
He has been at it for many years. Check out his other Mark VIII vids....they are all well done!


Take note of Gayle's caution on keeping the steering wheel locked in place to the column to prevent overturning the wheel & destroying the clockspring!
Those clocksprings are really hard to come by.
I bought 2 spare (used) columns off of eBay. The problem is the vendors strip the columns down to bare minimum in most cases, and sell the miscellaneous motors, sensors & other components separately. To add insult on injury, they get top $$$ for these parts. So if looking for a spare, be patient and look for one that has all the goodies intact. I have never seen one to include a clockspring in any event!
I learned (at least for the 1998 Mark application, not certain about the other years) that these units were also used on certain Jaguars of the Ford period. I found one that was pretty well dressed, and those I saw available for the Jaguar were less expensive then what the vendors of the Mark VIII columns were asking. Pays to shop around & know your options! I bought a Jaguar unit, it is identical to the one I picked up off of a 98' Mark.
I never throw money at a defect by changing parts without doing the best diagnosing I can. In this case, (steering column issues) I went ahead and picked up everything I might need before diagnosing. This will save me time looking for the part(s) I need while the column is on the bench.
Good Luck!
 

J

OCCUPY LoD :)
Thanks for all the responses, everyone! It gives me some direction! I was messing around with the column switch and it seems like "UP" works fine but the others don't do anything so maybe I too have a broken potentiometer tab. :)
 

tixer

Lincoln Evangelist
Staff member
Paid Member
If the potentiometer is just "dirty," you may get by with holding the switch in the direction you want things to go and giving the column a good "whump" while you do so. like a bad spot in a starter motor, sometimes it just needs a nudge..
 
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