83 Rabbit Steering Column Repair - 12-28-2005 , 07:14 AM
The steering column on our 83 Diesel Rabbit started making a loud knocking
sound. I noticed that a bearing had slid out of the bottom of the steering
column tube, along with some pieces of plastic that I assume were either
part of the bearing or a bearing retainer. I could push the bearing back
into the tube, but it doesn't look like there is anything to hold it in. It
looks like if I disconnected the universal joint at the bottom of the
steering column I could slide the old bearing off and a new bearing on,
leaving the outer race in the column tube and using it for the new bearing.
Anyone know whether this would work, and if so how the new bearing would be
retained in the column tube? OR - ouch - will I have to remove the whole
steering column/tube assembly to fix this?
Re: 83 Rabbit Steering Column Repair - 12-28-2005 , 10:48 PM
Sounds like you got my old Rabbit. It did the same thing. Unfortunately
I sold it for parts before I could fix it, so I don't have a surefire
solution for you. But the book talks about pressing "the steering
column into the column tube and the bearings" with a force of 100-200
pounds. It has a picture, too, which I would post here but either
TinyPic or my internet connection is having issues, so I emailed it to
I had considered adding some kind of ring to the steering column to
keep the bearing up in there. For example you might cut a groove into
the column and then snap a circlip onto it. Or you could tack weld a
circlip onto the column. Only problem is, if you don't do it right,
your steering could seize up at an inopportune moment causing you to
lose control of the vehicle. So it's safer to take the thing out and
press a new bearing in. Assuming you can get a new bearing, it
shouldn't be expensive to get it pressed in -- I had a motor mount
pressed at a local machine shop for $5USD... took them all of 30
seconds, so it's not a big deal. Looks like getting the column out of
the car could be, though.
Re: 83 Rabbit Steering Column Repair - 12-31-2005 , 01:02 PM
Push that bearing back up there and use a hose clamp under it to keep it up
A temporary fix that might last a very long time! ;-)
Quick and easy to do too! lol
One out of many daves.
"Howard" <campbelh (AT) erols (DOT) com> wrote
Re: 83 Rabbit Steering Column Repair - 12-31-2005 , 06:16 PM
A hose clamp or nylon zip tie worries me because they stick up and out.
Might snag on the tube and lock up the steering or something. That's
why I was talking about circlips -- no protruding pieces to get hung
I might be the pedestrian you take out when you lose control of the
vehicle, so for my sake, be careful.
Re: 83 Rabbit Steering Column Repair - 12-31-2005 , 10:14 PM
Oh I forgot I use two small hose clamps and put them together to keep two
fat portions of the clamps to support the bearing instead of justone.
Does this make sense?
Have a Happy New Year!!!
One out of many daves
"One out of many daves" <vwdoc1NOSPAM (AT) PLEASEhotmail (DOT) com> wrote
Re: 83 Rabbit Steering Column Repair - 01-02-2006 , 10:21 AM
<tylernt (AT) gmail (DOT) com> wrote