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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
hi my steering wheel on my c900 convertable seems to move in and out when pulled moves about an inch ,i mean you can pull it towards yourself .any ideas for me? is it loose somewhere or is something worn theres no play in the steering though.. it seems like when you have adjustable steering like on a bmw! in fact the whole shaft moves in and out when pulled out the horn wont work or signal cancel i can see theres no contact
 

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In a fit of rage I pulled my wheel towards me a good few inches. Then pushed it back in and forgot about it. But in your case you're probably best to look into it :D
 

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Mine does the same thing it was pulled out before i safetied it and the signal wouldnt cancel. Thats the only reason it failed...
 

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jay simpson said:
what i should have said was the whole shaft seems to move
Ok well that isn't good. The collapsible steering column should be secured to the firewall at back of the engine bay where it runs through from the cabin, and also to the big formed steel crossmember that supports the entire dash. The shaft running through the steering column has a universal joint part-way along it's length and then passes through a boot/grommet in the firewall before attaching to a splined shaft coming out of the pinion housing on top of the steering rack assembly mounted under the rear of the engine.

The most likely cause of a lot of axial movement in the steering column would be badly worn/decayed steering rack mounting bushes, and/or loose steering rack securing bolts, but it's also possible that the steering column itself may be loose (though far less likely unless the car has been in a crash at some stage and the collapsible steering column assembly was damaged or isn't properly secured), or the coupler joining the steering column shaft to the pinion shaft of the steering rack could be loose.

Check the steering wheel is properly attached to the shaft first though - if you remove the cover over the middle of the steering wheel to reveal the hole down to the nut holding the steering wheel to the shaft, grab a long 22 mm socket, small extension bar, and a ratchet spanner to suit, and make sure that nut is tightened up. There's a wave-shaped 'belleville' washer under the nut and properly tightening the nut pushes the washer down flat to lock the steering wheel over the splined end of the steering column shaft.

Once you're sure the steering wheel is secured to the steering column shaft proeprly, and you're still getting a fair bit of axial movement (I think there probably is a spec for it, but I'd said if you get anything more and 5 mm or so something could be wrong), have a look, with the assistance of a helper, at the way the steering rack assembly is secured when the steering wheel is pulled back/forth to see if the steering rack itself is moving around on it's mounts. I don't know how much the steering column shaft should move on it's own - presumably not at all though I'm sure that over time they do get some movement just from natural wear.

When someone pushes/pulls on the steering wheel, if the rack mountings are loose, you'll see it. Usually if the steering rack mounts are loose (for whatever reason), you'd also get some significant jolting and vibrations to the steering wheel when driving the car. But not always.

While you're checking the steering rack mounts, also make sure the coupling that joins the shaft of the steering column assembly to the shaft coming out of the pinion housing of the steering rack is secured. If it's not you might get up/down movement of the steering column shaft as the coupling slides where it's mated with the shaft from the pinion housing.

The pinion housing shaft is splined (just like the end of the steering colum shaft where the steering wheel attaches) and if the bolts clamping the steering column shaft to the pinion shaft via the coupler are loose or the mounting points are really worn, the coupler might move back/forth.

I don't know of anyone who replaced steering rack bushes themselves (no doubt someone else here will have done it and can chip in with some advice), but it's probably something that should be done by a Saab tech since they can check the other parts of the steering at the same time.

Assuming you don't find any problem with the steering rack mountings, you might just have a really worn steering column assembly from age. A Saab tech can look at this too and figure out the best way to sort it out.

I hope all this helps!

Craig.
 
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