Steering wheel play

I have a 94 xj6 and ever since I bought it has had a small amount of play that causes car to wander a little bit and is unpleasant. I replaced rack and pinion recently but still there. I checked universal joints they are all fine but there is play in the upper steering column when holding output and turning steering wheel. Will I have to get a new steering column or could it possibly be repaired.

Hi - I think there’s a few posts in the archive about fitting spacers or shims to the rack to take care of this problem, I seem to remember that DonB did it to his car?

This thread might help

These are the spacers

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I used the wire that holds up my chain link fence. took a couple of wraps, it tends to flatten and got rid of the slop. If you flatten a piece with a hammer you’ll see how rigid it becoms.

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I made my steering rack shims out of a small block of nylon.

I first cut out two pieces and planned them down to the desired thickness. I then used a hole saw to cut out the outer diameter. Next I chucked these 2 nylon “wheels” into my drill press and spun them around and used a small file to cut a groove in the edges. Finally I cut out the inner hole and made a diagonal cut in the resulting ring so i could slip it around the rack.

I attached the two rings on the rack and secured them using stainless steel wire fitted into the groove I cut.

The results were excellent. Now the steering is very precise with no play at all, but not totally rigid because of the nylon material.

That is not my issue my rack is very tight and does not move an inch even when forcing it. The steering is tight until it goes into the steering column itself.

This is what has the play.

Check the nut behind steering wheel. LOL

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Does anyone know what lurks inside the outer column; that is to say, I assume for safety reasons the inner shaft is designed so that it can compress longitudinally in a frontal crash. Could this be a factor? Grasping at straws here…

That is the direction I was going because some Toyotas have the same problem where the shaft can compress in crash but develop play over time, so some people will weld together. I do not know if this jaguar has a similar design.

Nick2020 …

I don’t know if your '94 is the same as my '89 and has a telescoping but not tilting steering wheel.

If that’s the case and you’re sure the play isn’t in the power steering rack or mount then it has to be in the universal joint connecting the rack and steering shaft or the telescoping mechanism which I believe is just a sliding spline.

Although I’ve never had my steering shaft apart (one of the very few things on this car that I haven’t had my hands on in close to 30yrs) I can’t envision how the spline could wear out and be the culprit.

I never mess with it on my '94, but IIRC the steering wheel just tilts up and down slightly with no in-and-out privileges. :slightly_smiling_face:

In looking at the online parts catalog, eatly VINs (up to 556851) had a telescoping column while later ones only had tilt. My 92 only has tilt. Also, in looking at the various parts, almost all are NLA, through Jaguar at least.