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I've always found most jobs on my defender fairly easy (apart from the wiring) due to pretty well thought out utilitarian design that allows most things to be changed without having to take out a million things first.

Today however I've found a doozy.. :(

Went to swap out my upper steering column. Loosened all the brackets, removed column/ignition switch, went to slide column down through hole in bulkhead only to find it won't go. Why? The teardrop shaped hole in the bulkhead is partially covered by the lower dash. This means that the lug/stay near the top of the column won't fit through without removing dash first.

At this moment in time I'm thinking the old one can just bloody stay there. I'm not taking the lower dash back out AGAIN after just getting my Raptor dash etc in place... Grrrrrr

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You can certainly take the shaft out of the tube as I replaced the bearings in mine, it was off the vehicle though and I cant recall which way the shaft comes out.

I have one in the shed I'll take a look later.

(EDIT) Right, circlip is on bottom and shaft drops out into engine bay, you * might * wiggle it out if you are lucky.

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You can certainly take the shaft out of the tube as I replaced the bearings in mine, it was off the vehicle though and I cant recall which way the shaft comes out.

I have one in the shed I'll take a look later.

(EDIT) Right, circlip is on bottom and shaft drops out into engine bay, you * might * wiggle it out if you are lucky.

Hmmm now that would be VERY handy. Mind you, as you say it might be impossible to do in situ.. :(

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I seem to remember it was a simple roll pin holding the bearing so you may only need to push the shaft down a few inches. As I said it was off the vehicle when I did it ( both times - I did the new shaft then realised it was 48 spline so had to go through the job again on the old 36 spline shaft )

I read somewhere that the bearing was hard to obtain but I just took the old one to BSL trade counter and the girl there matched it from stock.

HTH

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I'm sorry but no idea, it was about three years ago.

I dont recall the bearing being different from the two shafts 'cos I just bought " another one of those bearings" next time I was in.

My 120K mile old 1985 bearing wasnt in bad shape and it would probably have been recoverable with a clean and lube, might be worth a go in situ?

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Just posted at exact same time. Fair enough I will need to try and remove first I think.

Do you know if it's just the shaft that's a different size between 36 and 48 spline, or is the outer tube different too?

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well then, I was just working out if you could do this on the car or not so I went to the shed and found an old column..

It would be a fuss but I think you could do it. - if its going to go wrong its going to be getting the roll pin back in without dropping it.

The shaft is removed by pulling a circlip at the steering box end, you can then drop the shaft about two inches, knock out the roll pin and remove the collar. The bottom bearing then slides off.

Top bearing is a needle roller in a plastic casing, prise it out and clean re grease or replace.

Bottom bearing dimensions - shaft 20mm width 10mm bearing outer diameter 35.8mm

Hope this helps

post-38886-0-78279900-1431972679_thumb.jpg

post-38886-0-07847100-1431972874_thumb.jpg

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No problem, bearing in mind ( I thought that was funny) that the bearing only fits into a mild steel tube you could probably go down to a next convenient size and put a shim round it with some loktite if you couldn't get the exact size.

Regards Paul

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Just to end this thread with an update on what I did.

After seeing that I was unable to remove the upper steering column without either removing lower dash or drilling a huge hole in the bulkhead I had a rethink.

I purchased a Puma steering column for not a lot of money. Knocked out the inner shaft and checked lower bearing. As expected it was perfect. I then carefully prised out the upper needle bearing that is encased in a rubber housing. This was fine but just needed packing with grease.

I then knocked out the inner shaft of my original column. Now at this point I encountered the only stumbling block of the job. Even with all the mounting brackets loosened, there isn't enough movement in the outer tube to be able to completely slide the inner shaft out. It either fouls on the chassis leg, or the shock turret. Luckily my front brake servo/mounting was only temporarily fitted with a couple of bolts. Once I removed this I was able to completely remove inner shaft. I removed old upper needle bearing and cleaned up the outer tube ready for the replacement upper bearing and inner shaft.

I covered the rubber housing of the upper needle bearing in grease and it tapped easily into place. I then slid the replacement shaft into the original outer tube and tapped home using a large rubber mallet. Replaced the circlip at bottom of column and tightened brackets. Job done. It's now smooth as butter with no play.. :)

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  • 2 years later...

Thread necromancy I know, but this thread popped up in my search, and I didn't find the info elsewhere, so might be useful for someone in the future...

On my steering column (Defender, believed late 300tdi), the lower bearing was 22.5mm id, 35.7mm od, 9.5mm wide, and marked INA F-49273.2 (Mine was ok, didn't need replacing)

Upper bearing was 15/16" id, 1-3/16" od, 1/2" wide (Mine was very rough, and I knackered it getting it out. I used B158 from SimplyBearings).

I had some difficulty refitting the rubber upper bearing carrier, until I used the 3d printer to make a funnel tool, sort of like the press for putting corks into bottles (never needed one of those myself :D)

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