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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1990 4x4 geo. My dad had this car and had some work done on the power steering. When he got the car back the mechanic said he could not get the steering column covers on. My dad got sick and the car has set for two years. I have put a fuel pump on and fixed some things and am driving it. The mechanic was right the covers won't fit back on and I can't figure out why. Not enough room under the steering wheel. I was thinking about maybe pulling the steering wheel and shimming it up. Any other ideas? Thanks for any help.y
 

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Remove the access panel under the steering wheel, loosen the bolts that hold the steering column to the dash. You should then be able to install the covers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll look at it again after work. The ignition switch housing is to close to the steering wheel and the covers will not go in between it. Thanks
 

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Does it have "tilt" steering... pull a lever and the whole column drops down.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No tilt. The problem is not enough space between steering wheel and the housing that holds the wiper,light, and ignition switch.
 

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Then pull the steering wheel.

If you do not have a puller, Someone has posted that the wheel can be loosened from the shaft by drumming around the rim of the wheel. (Once the big nut holding the wheel to the shaft is loosened,)

After reading about this method, I removed the one from my basket case Kick by drumming on the wheel... but it had been removed earlier and might not have been fully tightened up. (May not be a valid test of the method.) If you do not care about stress on the shaft, you can also rock the wheel up/down and side to side. I have done this in junkyards on non-TracKicks. Whatever method you use (the puller or any of the non-puller methods) Do not fully remove the nut before getting the wheel loose.
 

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Use a puller designed for the task. ;)

A free loaner at most Auto Parts places, then you can't go wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I will pull the steering wheel and it looks like I will have to shim it out some for the covers to fit back on. Thanks for help.
 

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I'd be cautious as to using any shim (jury rig) type of work-around. That's all important STEERING we are talking about here, complete with air bag (I presume) and horn button controls / wiring too. :(

Opt to cut / remove some plastic cover material for the needed clearance maybe. ;)

Add a pic of precisely what you are up against, will help us out too.
 

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No airbag on the 1990, otherwise a whole different ballgame, having to disconnect the airbag in order to do any work on the steering column or dash. They can be lethal if they go off while you are working at the dash.
 

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I think I would ask the mechanic what modifications he made to cause the problem. At least have a good look where the steering column connects under the hood. Metal steering columns don't usually shrink. Trimming the plastic parts is probably your best option, never shim the wheel.
 

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I'd agree with Riley on this - if those covers came off that car without the steering wheel being removed, they should be able to go back on with removing the steering wheel, added to that, the covers are not precision fitted pieces, so as long as they belong to that model, and the wheel & column belong to that cover, they should fit without modification.

The important thing is to find out (or figure out) what was done.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes I will trim the plastic before shimming but will pull the steering wheel. The mechanic is not to be found. It was a while back. Pictures...
 

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Carefully examine the entire mating edges of both halves. There are soft, thin plastic guides to align both halves. They are delicate and the use of force can make these covers unusable. Put the two halves together off the car to be certain they snap together properly, are not damaged and then gently put them on the column.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well they just won't slide on there with the steering wheel attached...that's it. Going to pull the wheel and probably have to trim covers too.
 

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Something that puzzles me - what power steering problem would require removal of those covers? There's nothing underneath them related to the power steering.
 

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I thought that same thing but assumed he must have replaced the steering column for some reason...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well I pulled the steering wheel and put the covers on. The steering wheel will not work with the covers on, it scrubs pretty bad. If I trim the plastic covers, I will lose the two front screws that hold it together. Does the steering shaft float inside the column, is there a way to move it up for more clearance?
 

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Does the steering wheel lock work? Maybe the "tech" removed it and the wheel is sitting to low.
 
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