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Steering Column Lock Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Steering Column Lock Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

*****

Tools:

16mm socket, chisel, hammer, T25 T30 Torx, snap ring pliers

Applicable Models:

BMW Z4 Convertible (2003-06)
BMW Z4 Coupe (2006)

Parts Required:

Steering column lock, two shear bolts

Hot Tip:

Always disconnect battery before working on your electrical system.

Performance Gain:

Repair steering column lock

Complementary Modification:

Replace lock cylinder

The steering column lock wears out from normal use. The lock may become difficult to unlock, steering wheel difficult to turn or possibly jamming. If this is happening, remove the lock cylinder and manually rotate the lock to see if the problem goes away. If not, you will have to replace the steering column lock.

Both of the ignition switches are covered in a separate tech article, the mechanical lock cylinder and electronic switch. The mechanical lock cylinder is unlocked via the key allowing a cylinder to rotate, in turn rotating an electronic switch on the opposite end. Replacing the steering column lock is not an easy task but can be done if you take your time and use good tools. See our notes on the chisel later in the article.

Remember your car may have been serviced before and parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Remove the steering wheel and steering column switches.
Figure 1

Remove the steering wheel and steering column switches. See the tech articles for each item. Working at the top of the steering column, remove the shear bolts (red arrows). A chisel is recommended by BMW and this is the easiest method, as getting a drill in there is tough. However, if you have to drill, first use a 1/8" drill bit for a pilot hole. Then drill out the bolt heads using a 21/64" drill bit.

Working at the top of the steering column, use a small sharp (new if possible) chisel to tap the shear bolts counterclockwise to remove.
Figure 2

Working at the top of the steering column, use a small sharp (new if possible) chisel to tap the shear bolts counterclockwise to remove. When doing this, begin by using the edge of the chisel to get a bite into the bolt, then use swift sharp hits to shock the shear bolt lose.

Once you break the shear bolts free, remove them by hand.
Figure 3

Once you break the shear bolts free, remove them by hand.

Working at the left side of the steering column lock, pull the wiring harness (red arrow) out of the mount.
Figure 4

Working at the left side of the steering column lock, pull the wiring harness (red arrow) out of the mount.

Working at the junction of the steering column and the steering column lock (red arrow), lever the lock forward using a flathead screwdriver.
Figure 5

Working at the junction of the steering column and the steering column lock (red arrow), lever the lock forward using a flathead screwdriver. Work gently, as the parts are aluminum.

This photo shows the opposite side view of the lever point (blue arrow) and the column lock (red arrow) moving forward.
Figure 6

This photo shows the opposite side view of the lever point (blue arrow) and the column lock (red arrow) moving forward. Lever gently and slide the steering column lock with steering shaft toward rear of vehicle.

Once free, slide the steering column lock and steering stub shaft out of the steering column (red arrow).
Figure 7

Once free, slide the steering column lock and steering stub shaft out of the steering column (red arrow).

Working on a bench, remove the steering shaft snap ring (red arrow).
Figure 8

Working on a bench, remove the steering shaft snap ring (red arrow).

Gently tap the steering column lock (red arrow) down to remove the steering shaft and bearing (blue arrow) from the lock housing.
Figure 9

Gently tap the steering column lock (red arrow) down to remove the steering shaft and bearing (blue arrow) from the lock housing.

Then, pull the shaft out of the lock assembly to remove.
Figure 10

Then, pull the shaft out of the lock assembly to remove.

Now you can install the new steering column lock (red arrow) onto the steering column (blue arrow), without the steering shaft.
Figure 11

Now you can install the new steering column lock (red arrow) onto the steering column (blue arrow), without the steering shaft. Slide it on and align the fastener holes. Install the new shear bolts finger tight, do not snap off yet.

The slot of the steering shaft (blue arrow) should be facing down, double check and align it with the tab on the steering column.
Figure 12

The slot of the steering shaft (blue arrow) should be facing down, double check and align it with the tab on the steering column. Slide the steering shaft into the column (red arrow).

Gently tap the steering shaft in until the bearing is flush and you can see the snap ring groove.
Figure 13

Gently tap the steering shaft in until the bearing is flush and you can see the snap ring groove. Then install the snap ring. At this point, temporarily install the steering wheel and check operation of steering and the column lock. If all is well, remove the steering wheel and tighten the new shear bolts until the heads break off. Check operation of the lock again, using your key. Then reassemble remaining items.

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Page last updated: Fri 3/24/2017 03:00:49 AM