Before i started work disassembling the steering in preparation for the EPAS install, I needed to get the new steering column ready. When I ordered my EPAS kit I had three choices for the steering column: chrome, black, or unpainted steel. I chose unpainted steel so that I could paint the column to match my dashboard color. I carefully taped up the column to protect the wiring and motor. Then I cleaned up the column with wax and grease remover. I set the column on an old steering wheel I had to stand it up for painting. I then used several coats of self-etching primer and two coats of interior paint on the column. For a driveway paint job, it came out fairly well.
Now I could start removing the old steering and clutch parts. I unplugged the steering column wiring harness and unbolted the column from the steering box. Next, I unbolted the column seal retainer that bolts to the firewall. I found that some of the bolts were only finger tight. I think that they were most likely over tightened in the past and the holes in the firewall that they screw into are enlarged. I think I will address that by installing nut-serts, but I may just use a hammer and dolly to flatten the metal surrounding the holes back into shape. After removing the upper column retaining bracket the entire column came straight out.
I now turned my attention to the steering box. I removed the pitman arm bolts and used a puller to remove the pitman arm. Then I removed the three bolts attaching the steering box to the frame. With the steering box now unbolted I attempted to remove it from the car. I thought it would drop out the bottom but there was insufficient clearance to remove it. It wouldn’t come out the top without removing at least the master cylinder and brake booster. I think that if I remove the clutch z-bar and linkage I can fit the box out from the bottom. I may need to drop the exhaust h-pipe to gain some additional clearance. I took a break at this point because I have a Quickjack on order that should help me out a whole bunch working under the car. My next post should be all about unboxing and setting up the Quickjack. Then I can get back to work on the EPAS conversion and clutch linkage upgrade.