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Old 04-23-2021, 05:54 PM #1
rokr1292 rokr1292 is offline
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Telescoping column conversion (DIY)

Just managed to pull off a conversion from Tilt only to Tilt and Telescoping steering column.

I'm not the first, but I had a lot of trouble finding resources to show me what was involved. Unfortunately, since I'm not really accustomed to making this kind of content, I took far too few pictures, and will be composing this more or less from memory. Consider this post a work-in-progress.

So there are 3 parts I could find that are different between TO and TnT columns. Buying them separately was expensive enough that I was more or less giving up on the idea until I saw this: 2005-2009 Toyota 4runner 4.7l Steering Wheel Column ASSY OEM for sale online | eBay
If this link doesnt work, I can upload the photos from the listing.
The pictured assembly is composed of all 3 of the parts that need to be changed!

Unfortunately, when it arrived, one part (the part that holds the key cylinder) was broken. On TO columns, the bracket that holds the key cylinder is bolted to the steering column using a C shaped metal bracket. On TnT columns, this C shaped metal bracket is replaced with the clamping mechanism for the telescoping feature. Unfortunately, they are not direct replacements, so I could not use the ignition cylinder bracket from my TO column on the new TnT column. I had to order a replacement, so this part number was needed 45280-35390. I ordered a used one with both sides from Russia, that took about a month but arrived safely.

The only new parts I used are:
45286-35913-B0 Cover Assembly 1x
45897-12020 Column Assembly Lock Bolt 2x

You do not need to replace or undo the lock bolts unless you have to remove the ingnition cylinder bracket. You CAN install this column assembly without taking it apart.

So having the assembly and some time/tools, you are ready to begin.
REMOVAL:
1: STRAIGHTEN YOUR WHEELS. I forgot to do this so my steering wheel is just eyeballed to the same degree that it was before. I have not test driven yet, so I dont know how far off it is.
2: Disconnect your battery. you will be removing the steering wheel, and driver airbag, so do this for your own safety.
3: your airbag cover can be removed by loosening 2 torx screws, on either side of the wheel. then pull towards you slowly. a pick or small flathead is good for pulling up the clips on the airbag connector. there is also a black plug that connects your steering wheel controls if you have them. undo that before you forget, it connects at 12 o'clock to the clockspring.
4: Loosen the nut that holds the steering wheel onto the column. Dont fully remove it yet! back it off a few turns, then pull on the wheel. alternate pulling from 12/3/6/9 o'clock until the wheel slides off the splines. your wheel will probably be stuck, and keeping the nut on until it breaks free might save you from punching yourself in the face with your steering wheel.
5: Remove the underside of the drivers dash. undo the 2 10mm bolts that hold on the plastic trim. Unclip your hood/fuel door levers, and the wiring for any switches you have here. also unplug the tube and plug from the center console side of this trim piece. Then undo the next 2 10mm bolts that hold the metal plate in place under the steering column.
6: Undo the 3 phillips head screws holding the trim on the steering column. one is underneath, and the other two are facing the drivers seat, normally obscured by the steering wheel.
7: Unplug everything! there are a few plugs for your signal stalk, wiper arm, and the clockspring, that you'll have to undo. there is also a white plastic box you will have to unclip from the steering column. If it passes under the steering column, you'll want to disconnect or move it. I had run a few wires here that I had to relocate to make my life easier.
8: At the very bottom of the column, near the firewall, there is a plastic shroud, held on with 4 plastic nuts. I was able to undo these with my fingertips. the shroud is split on the top side, and is pretty easy to squeeze out from behind the brake pedal.
9: remove the 13mm (will have to doublecheck) bolt from the U-joint attached to the bottom of the column. this bolt goes through a metal bracket with a cone shaped thing around the shaft, then into the upper side of the U-joint. This bolt passes through a notch in the bottom part of the assembly we're removing, to lock the U-joint onto the shaft.
10: undo the 4 nuts that hold the steering column assembly in place in the dash. you will need a deep socket, I believe these were 14mm, but again, that's from memory, and my memory can be wrong.
11: At this point, you should be able to move the column down, off of the 4 threaded posts and then towards the drivers seat to remove it.

MIGRATION:
1: I transplanted everything from my column onto my replacement, just to minimize the chance of incompatibility. The lighted ring for the ignition switch is easy to remove with a small flathead, and sliding off the end of your ignition cylinder.
2: Underneath it is a small white plastic piece, that can also be slid off in the same direction, but you need to press on a lever that sticks into the lock cylinder, or insert your key to make it possible to remove.
3: Your key is also needed to remove the actual lock cylinder! insert your key, and turn it while using a pick or something narrow to press on a metal button in a hole opposite the white plastic part I just mentioned. I dont remember which position, but I believe it was the ACC position that allowed this button to be pressed and the cylinder pulled out with the key.
4: If you need to swap your key interlock solenoid, it's just 2 phillips head screws. these parts were different between my new and old columns.
5: The actual ignition switch can also be swapped by undoing 2 phillips head screws, but you may need to manipulate the cylinder using your key to assemble them properly.
6: at this point, after getting all my stuff transplanted onto the new column, I left the key in the ignition in order to keep the column from locking in a bad orientation.

INSTALLATION:
1: the first thing you should do is get the new steering shaft fully inserted into the U-joint. Be mindful of the orientation of the notch in the shaft, and the angle that the bolt needs to be installed at. Also make sure you have the metal cone piece I mentioned in REMOVAL step 9 installed before inserting.
2: Raise the column assembly into place, over the 4 threaded posts, and use at least one nut to hold it in place for now.
3: insert and tighten the 13mm bolt at the bottom of the shaft to securely fasten it to the U-joint.
4: Install and tighten the remaining nuts to attach the steering column.
5: From this point on, you should only have to reverse the removal process. I would recommend installing column trim, then the steering wheel, then testing the telescoping function. The white box I mentioned in removal step 7 attaches to a small metal bracket, that if bent, will interfere with the column trim. My new column had bent this bracket in shipping, but it was an easy thing to fix once it was identified. As a note, my TnT column wobbles a bit when "unlocked" but is secure when locked, I wouldnt be too alarmed if yours is also this way.
6: make sure everything is connected and plugged in before reconnecting your battery!
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Old 04-23-2021, 05:54 PM #2
rokr1292 rokr1292 is offline
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