Replacing Steering Column Bushes.

All of the below applies to my 1972 SE5a.

When looking for the way to replace the Steering Column Bushes the advise was to undo the universal joint at the base of the steering column and with the Steering Wheel attached "Pull" Hard to knock out the upper bush. Then fit the Steering Column upside down and use it to knock out the lower bush. There is a wide part welded onto the top of the column about two inches long (For Steering Lock) and this is what knocks out the bushes. I did try this but was concerned that the amount of force required was going to do some damage, like loosening/breaking the area at the bottom of the Column Outer Sleeve and as I had repaired this a while ago I thought I would try another way. Take care with the Column where the Steering Wheel attaches, the threads are easily damage. Don't ask me how I know, I just know !!!.

In one of the pictures below it can be seen where I re-glassed the bottom of the Steering Column. It is quite common for the Outer part of the column to become away from the bulkhead. There are a number of modifications but one idea can be found by clicking here.

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Click on Image for a Larger View. Sorry but they are not the greatest pictures.

Due to removal of Indicator/Dip/Beam Stalk that has live 12 volts disconnect the battery .

Ensure that the Steering Wheel is in the correct position, i.e. Wheels pointing straight. This will make sure that when refitting all is in the correct position.

Remove Centre Pad of Steering Wheel. Take care as it could easy be damaged.

Slide Flat Blade Screwdriver under as far as it can go and "Lever" of gently.

Remove Centre Nut then refit until the Nut is level with the top of the Column.

This is required as when the Steering Wheel come off the nut will stop it rearranging your facial features. The way to remove the Steering Wheel is to hold it at the Three o'clock and Nine o'clock positions and "Wiggle". Then hold it at the Twelve o'clock and Six o'clock positions and "Wiggle" again. It should eventually come lose, normal very suddenly hence the reason for refitting the centre nut.

When the Steering Wheel is removed you will now see this.......................................

Remove the Two Screws that hold on the surround. You will now see this...............


Have you disconnected the Battery?. Make sure you have before the next part.

Remove the two screws that hold the Indicator etc Switch.You will now see this

Remove the Plastic Sleeve that Cancels the Indicators. Turn Key to ensure Steering Lock will be off.

You will now need to remove the Steering Column from the the Universal Joint.......

Pictures Taken before bushes replaced.


It is a LOT easier to get at if you remove the Alternator and it's bracket. Take note of how far the Column goes into the Universal Joint and it's position, i.e. mark the Column and the Universal Joint in the same place, this will help later. Remove the Pinch Bolt then refit the Steering Wheel and pull towards you. This will release the Column from the Universal Joint but the Column will (Should) be prevented from coming all the way out by the Upper Bush. Once the Column is out of the Universal Joint remove Steering Wheel and allow the Column to slide down, this will give access to the Upper Bush.

As mentioned above there is advise that using the Column to "Bang" out the bushes is one way to try using the "Thick" part of the Steering Column as in picture. .................................

But the way I tried was not difficult. The Bushes are in three parts, the Outer is Rubber, there is a Steel Insert inside the outer rubber one and there is a Plastic Sleeve inside the Steel one. The Inner Steering Column rotates inside the Plastic Sleeve. Once the Column is out of the way (Dropped down for the upper bush) use a thin/sharp screwdriver under the Plastic Sleeve and Lever/Break it, (Normal Safety practices, goggles should be worn). You will now be able to lever the Steel Sleeve up enough to get some pointed pliers and pull out this Steel Sleeve. Once the Steel sleeve is removed the Outer Rubber one comes away very easy.

This shows the Outer Rubber, the Inner Plastic (Broken) and the Steel Sleeves .

Once the Top Bush removed the Column will now come out and the Bottom Sleeve can be removed the same way as the upper one. It's a bit more fiddley but without the Alternator and it's Bracket and with the practice removing the Top Bush it should not take very long ?.

The New Bushes look like this ...........

As all the books say refitting is the reversal of the above and it is. The Bushes have "Dimples" in them that align/fit into holes in the Outer Column Sleeve. Give the Inner and Outer Columns a good clean and a rub with some emery paper. Try fitting the Bushes onto the Inner Column to ensure they rotate freely. Take care if cleaning the Universal Joints as you could remove the grease/lubricant from within them, best to give a wipe rather than soaking with solvent/cleaner. A smear of grease on the Rubber Bush will help them to slide easy into the Outer Column Sleeve. Fit the Lower one first. Apply lots of Grease inside the Bush and Outer Column then refit/slide the Inner Column from inside the Car through the Lower Bush. Refit into the Universal Joint (A Thump/Tap required). It will be easier if you can get help with this part as the Universal Joint needs to be held in position when the Column is thumped/tapped.

Make sure that the Marks made earlier in the Column and the Universal Joint are going to line up and keep looking how far it is going into the Universal Joint and stop when correct ( This is the reason for measuring earlier).

Notice the "Cut Out". This has to align in the Universal Joint for the pinch bolt

Refit the pinch bolt, may be a good idea to give a spot of "Loctite" to the threads. Fit Upper Bush, Indicator Stalk, Self Canceling Sleeve, Cover and Steering Wheel. It may be a good idea not to fit the Wheel Centre Cover as things may have moved and the Steering Wheel may have to be removed again to be realigned.


Good Luck. Don Kennedy