Bill, I am considering something like you describe; ie. re-doing everything! The collapsible cage was very screwed up and although it seems to have stretched back into proper form, distances etc, I still have to check that!. I am very familiar with the innards and how they go together. My actual symptoms are a definite “clunk” at 2 places in the steering wheel rotation. In observing everything, it initially appeared that it may be the NEW U joint area on the upper column since it and the 2 securing bolts came very very close to the dash just above it. I mean a matter of thousands of an inch! However, they do not actually touch.
( I disconnected the U joint and confirmed that it is not the shaft or steering rack at issue.)
Then, based on visual appearances, it seemed that the angle of the upper column was quite a bit off from the angle of the shaft going to the rack and that maybe I had installed the column improperly. The lower 2 attaching bolts go thru the column bracket and the bracket attaches directly to the under-dash area with no spacers, etc… However, the upper 2 attaching bolts (when disconnected) had 2 heavy washers (1/8") each and a spacer about 7/16" long that holds the upper portion of the column quite a bit beneath the main bracket that attaches to the dash area to accept the column. (if that’s clear!) When I look in the manuals, I don’t see those heavy spacers, etc. The result is a reasonably larger angle difference between the column and the lower shaft where they meet at the upper U joint. Obviously, the U Joint is designed for this difference, but not sure what the limitations are as to how an increased angle might effect the rotation??
Bottom line, I’m still not sure where the “clunks” are originating from but it’s not a internal column (small bearings etc) issue!
I would be interested in any photos that anyone has re: the column and it’s attachment to the under dash. All I have located are of the series 1 columns that are different from my series II column.
I appreciate the comments!!