How to Assemble the Steering Column on a 1987 Dodge Ram

If you want to know how to assemble a 1987 Dodge Ram's steering column, you should have access to the shop or service manual for your particular vehicle. Having a familiarity with the different parts in the steering column may make this repair proceed more smoothly. Once you've resolved the source of those rattles, squeaks and other steering noises from the steering column, you'll need to reassemble it.

Tools Used: Socket wrench set, Screwdriver, Needle-nose pliers, Hammer, Cotton rag

Assemble Steering Column

Locate the shift bowl. This is where the column shifter is located and controls the movement of the lever. Mount the shift bowl and shroud by placing them on top of the steering column then giving the assembly a slight downward push. Next, install the washer and the lock plate by placing them on top of the shift bowl. Use needle-nose pliers to bend the washer ears back into place. Install the thrust washer on top of the lock plate. Install the snap ring in place with the needle-nose pliers.

Place the bearing housing support on top of the steering column assembly and tighten the four screws that hold the housing support in place with a socket wrench or screwdriver. Check the operation of the shift bowl by moving the shift lever over the entire pattern of the shift range.

Insert the steering shaft inside the steering column. Ensure that the shaft is seated properly by moving it slightly -- there should be no unnecessary noise or movement when the steering shaft is inserted into place. Install the bolt and tighten it with a socket wrench.

Install the bearing housing by placing it on top of the steering column. Attach the ignition switch rod onto the bearing housing by hooking the wire of the switch rod to the base of the bearing housing. Pull up the dimmer switch actuation rod and the tilt rod lever and push the tilt housing downward. You will need to use a flat head screwdriver to push and position the bearing housing onto the column. Align the pivot pins to the holes and insert the pins fully by tapping them in with a hammer.

Move up the bearing housing to the full tilt position and insert the tension spring. Lock the spring in place by using a pointed object to push and turn the spring into the proper position. Re-align the dimmer actuation rod by pulling upward and inserting it into the dimmer switch hole located on the base of the tilt housing. Next, install the steering riser by inserting it into the steering shaft followed by the steering seat and the locking plate tension spring.

Remove the turn signal wiring harness, the cruise lever handle and the accompanying wire. Inspect the components for damage before installing them into the new lock housing cover. Remove the wiper harness and the pivot pin and install them onto the new lock cover.

Install the lock housing cover and route the wiring downward and inside the steering column. Secure the lock housing by tightening the screws with a screwdriver. Install the ignition lock and screw and the turn signal switch. Secure the lock housing cover with the three screws that hold it in place. Secure the dimmer switch actuator arm on top of the lock housing cover by tightening the provided screw.

Install the cam assembly and locking plate. The cam assembly is where the steering wheel will be seated. Install the dust cover and install the steering wheel. Do not forget to connect the corresponding wires and sockets onto the steering column. Replace the plastic panels that cover the wires and secure with their screws.

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