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Steering Column

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Has anybody dismantled a steering column? I have my steering column out on the bench (non-airbag model) in an effort to cure some play at the steering wheel. I have managed to establish that the movement is at the steering wheel end of the column where there are some grub screws which do not look very original holding the black outer crumple zone casing onto an alloy flange. With the lower spline clamped I have movement at the steering wheel. The inner column carrying the splines for the universal joint end and the steering wheel end is not a continuous solid shaft and presumably is joined using the outer column sleeve (which has two flat sides) to move the steering. I assume that the shaft from the splined steering wheel end runs in some sort of ball race and then into the outer column sleeve somewhere around the ignition barrel.

The play is not excessive but I would like to eliminate it.  The question is should I crack on and strip it down at the top end,56a3a83c6d51e_IMG_5469(2).JPG.58ea5c3142 or should I leave well alone? Not sure you can buy a new complete column any more if I should damage anything. I have 3 grub screws (all different) and a hole where there is one missing, it doesn't look original but maybe it is ok and was part of the original design.  Not sure I have explained this very well but any guidance would be appreciated. Roy.IMG_5439.JPG.ac5515849544c7dd1d5138e9040IMG_5445.JPG.2770784498142ca3851c613abafIMG_5444.JPG.8750f867a362d90ced9bc25d1f3IMG_5449.JPG.dffeca285ea880aec3b6ee20ba6

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Job done.  I carried on stripping.  There is a bearing at the base (rack end) held in with a circlip. This clip needs to be removed.   I undid the grubb screws at the steering wheel end.  The fitting here (which includes the bearing) is a bayonet type and with this twisted to release it, the whole inner column can be removed.  As you can see from the pics, the column splits into 2 parts. The play I had was here, where the top column slid into the lower tube.  I introduced some shim metal (4thou) which has eliminated all the sideways play but is not tight enough to stop the column collapsing in the event of a crash.  Roy 






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