Upper steering column removal - '68 or SII

I’ve searched the forum and only found one from David on the UK site. However this ws way back when and I think he might have been referring to a S1 which I don’t think had the collapsible column, but I might be wrong there. Anyway if anyone has a quick writeup of the procedure, that would be very useful.

Many thanks in advance!

I haven’t don one in a while, but, it’s pretty simple. IIRC, First remove the steering wheel. Then undo the clamps on the upper u-joint, which is inside the car, roughly behind the brake pedal. Then undo the two bolts on the underside of the dash, unplug the wiring harness, and that should be it.

Label wiring connections. Take pictures. Easy.

The Bentley says pretty much the same thing but that book, although invaluable, sometimes leaves out important item so thought I’d page you chaps to see if there was anything untoward involved.

Same subject , how much free play is typical at the rim of the wheel, I’m referring to the kind of free play one can feel by moving the wheel with one finger, very light.

Can’t feel much in the UJs but I guess there must be some.

On my 68, I didn’t remove it, but I did drop it leaving the universal in place. Very straightforward. The reason I dropped mine was to remove the spacer bar and washers. This allowed the steering wheel to come up about 1/2” and gave a bit more leg room. You might want to consider doing the same when you drop yours.

Thanks for the tip Robert, something to consider tomorrow when i take the thing off.

I’ve rebuilt the one in my '68 twice - the first time I reused the plastic needle roller bearing installed by Jaguar. It was never satisfactory as there was still a lot of free play. By free play, I’m speaking of the steering wheel moving in it’s supporting tube. This play is difficult to remove because you are playing with a tapered bearing. Tiny amounts of clearance leads to big vertical movements in the steering wheel. I resolved it by using a new bearing from SNG. This is not a needle roller bearing - rather it’s a steel and brass affair that permits you to set it up tight with shims. If this is the type of free play you are speaking of let me know. It’s not a difficult job fixing it but does involve some shimming - so you have to have some. Jaguar did not want you to go into the upper column - there are no parts listed for it in my Ser 1.5 parts manual, and as I recall no official manual tells how to fix it.

The likely place for this is the BOTTOM splines. Tighten them up first, before you go to the trouble of taking the top out.

Thanks terry but I’m talking about rotational play see at the edge of the wheel.

The rack is new so no wear there. This free play is felt at the steering wheel rim. Imagine being in the car and gently rotating the wheel back and forth, that’s the free play I’m talking about.

You can still have a bit of slack either in the piece that clamps around the spindle coming out of the rack or the piece that clamps to the end of the steering column.

This is what I am talking about. the arrangement with the Allen headed pinch bolt on the lower end makes it hard to get it firm and this is a common source of that free play you’re experiencing. Not to say that there aren’t other places that it can come from, but just that it might be your problem especially if the rack has been renewed and it might save you more work.

John, you’re referring to the UJ’s right?

It’s difficult to isolate exactly where the free play is coming from. The windshield is out of the car so I can hold the column in the engine area and then try to gently move the steering wheel. As best I can determine, it’s not coming from low down on the car, which is why I’m going to take the upper column out and replace the already replaced (several years ago) upper UJ.

I’m specifically referring to part #44 which attaches to the rack and it’s companion part (not numbered in the picture) which attaches to the low er steering column. Make sure those are really tightly clamped to the shafts they slide over. .


Les, I just tried this sitting in my car and I have to say I have no free play at all. To me, one of the remarkable qualities of the handling of this car is, when at speed, a slight increase in grip pressure in one hand or the other seems to cause the car to drift slightly right/left. I don’t believe that would be the case with free play.

1 Like

Les when you are sitting in the car take a hold of the top of the steering rim and see how much you can move it up and down.If you can, and think it’s too much or objectionable that’s bearing wear in the column. It’s easy to confuse with worn UJ’s.

Ok so I just completed removing and replacing the upper column and replacing the upper UJ. Turns out the one I removed was ok but i fitted the replacement.

While the upper column was disconnected from the lower, and the steering wheel was removed. I grabbed the lower end of the upper assy and applied rotational effort to the upper end. There is distinct play somewhere in that 12 - 18" upper column section. I’m pretty certain that’s where my problem is.

My thinking is that perhaps the area where the sliding section got exercised over the years, has worn. Anyone have any other ideas??

There really isn’t anywhere in the upper column that would show rotational slop unless like you said the inner and/or outer portions of the collapsible/adjustable center section are seriously worn. Mine was/is quite tight.

I seem to recall but can’t find, that there was a replacement upper steering UJ suggested available from your “local parts store”…anyone recall seeing or have used this? If so would appreciate sending me info on part # and where…would like to save time having one shipped from my usual. This is for the '68 1.5 car.

Appreciate the help!