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How to fix a 1995 LeSabre steering column

Old 01-28-2019, 10:45 PM
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Default How to fix a 1995 LeSabre steering column

I am trying to fix the tilt steering column in my 1995 Buick LeSabre Custom. I thought it was the ignition lock switch - it was loose. I replaced that and it still wouldn't turn. The locksmith told me it was either the sector gear or the rack the drives the sector gear. What are the best instruction I can get - written as well as video - to help me take the column apart enough to fix it?

Thanks, wnlewis

P.*. I am under the impression that the column will need to be removed. The shift is on the column. wnl
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Old 01-28-2019, 11:10 PM
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Still not sure what your EXACT problem is....

OK, you start your car.......you can't turn your steering wheel? What happens when you shift it out of Park? Still can't turn the wheel?
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:20 AM
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The ignition switch will not turn - with a new cylinder in place. I do not get the drive selector out of park. The best analysis by the locksmith is a broken sector gear or rack gear - the two small gears inside the column that translate the rotary motion of turning the ignition switch into linear motion to actuate the starter.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:47 PM
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I'd say, short of buying a manual, spend some time with this search:

GM steering columns are fairly similar for a couple of decades including your `95 LeSabre .
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:19 PM
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I will look up the videos.

I do have the GM shop manual for the Buick, both volumes. And I am going through them carefully.

The information from the crankshaft coalition, especially JAZZMAN, is quite good.

I've never pulled or repaired a steering column so I am a bit cautious.

Thanks, wnlewis
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Old 01-29-2019, 03:31 PM
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Well, you are not going to get the car out of park, if you can't rotate the key.....BTSI won't release....

Who installed the lock cylinder? With the lock cylinder out, you should be able to take a pair of long needle nose pliers/wide screw driver and manually move the mechanism.......

What the hell is a sector gear?

Did this happen all at once? Or was someone in there previously?
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Old 01-29-2019, 04:16 PM
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5 tooth sector gear. A small semi-circular gear turned by the act of rotating the cylinder with the key. The sector gear engages the rack gear to move the rack forward or back. The rack gear moves the linkage inside the steering column. Both gears are fairly inexpensively made from either a soft metal alloy or plastic. It is not unusual for a tooth to break off either gear. At that point, the cylinder cannot be turned.

From what I have read, it appears that the steering column has to be removed to provide access to the inside of the column to get to the two small gears.

I installed the lock cylinder.

It is not possible to reach into the hole where the cylinder goes and manually move the mechanism.

The gears have to be removed and replaced.

It happened all at once. No one was working with it previously. It was original.

I am just trying to determine if there is an easier way to get to the two small gears other than having to pull the steering column. And I want to be able to do it without damaging the linkage or any internal wiring.
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Old 01-29-2019, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by wnlewis View Post
5 tooth sector gear. A small semi-circular gear turned by the act of rotating the cylinder with the key. The sector gear engages the rack gear to move the rack forward or back. The rack gear moves the linkage inside the steering column. Both gears are fairly inexpensively made from either a soft metal alloy or plastic. It is not unusual for a tooth to break off either gear. At that point, the cylinder cannot be turned.

From what I have read, it appears that the steering column has to be removed to provide access to the inside of the column to get to the two small gears.

I installed the lock cylinder.

It is not possible to reach into the hole where the cylinder goes and manually move the mechanism.

The gears have to be removed and replaced.

It happened all at once. No one was working with it previously. It was original.

I am just trying to determine if there is an easier way to get to the two small gears other than having to pull the steering column. And I want to be able to do it without damaging the linkage or any internal wiring.
Make sure the steering wheel doesn't turn (much) when it is disconnected from the steering gear.
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:24 PM
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CathedralClub, the video link may need to be updated.

Where should I look?
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Old 01-29-2019, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by wnlewis View Post
CathedralClub, the video link may need to be updated.

Where should I look?
Let'* see if this one makes it.

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