This was a lot easier than I thought. I picked up a steering column of a Tahoe from the junk yard. The truck that this was being replaced in is a 2002 GMC Sierra. I had never replaced one of these before, I hadn’t watched any videos on it, and really just dove in and went for it. I did, however, have some reassurance from some gearhead buddies of mine that even a non-automotive mechanic type such as myself can do it and that most idiots can do it. I’m not exactly sure what they were trying to tell me. Don’t be intimidated by this if you’ve never done it before. It’s a piece of cake if you’re willing to put a tiny bit of turning some wrenches and disconnecting and reconnecting a few electrical connections.
The first step was calling the junk yard and telling them what I need. They let me know that it’s the same for a Chevy Silverado, Tahoe, Suburban, or GMC Sierra. I took a leap of faith. After all they were only charging me $100 which was about 10X cheaper than if I took it to the dealer to have this done. I went and picked it up, took it home, and got to work. In a nutshell, it was all just plug and play sort of speak. Secondly, I had to remove all of the surrounding plastics. Then it was just remove all of the electrical connections and unbolt the securing nuts and bolts. I will say, you are going to have to tap into your socket extension supply. I didn’t have a long socket extension so I put about 10 small ones together and it did the trick. I probably had the old one out within a couple hours. If I had to do it again I could probably do it in half the time or better. The airbag will need to be disconnected when you do this. The new steering column did not come with an air bag. Likely because it had deployed on the vehicle it came out of. The air bag needed to be disconnected from the old one and reinstalled on the new one. It was totally easy. I did make a video on how to do just this.
Here’s the link to my video on how to remove the airbag: https://youtu.be/r4J7_njf7uI
All you really need to do is slide a couple long Allen wrenches in the holes visible along the steering column and push them in. This disengages the airbag. All you need to do then is unhook the two electrical connectors and it’s out. Then plug them back into the new steering column.
Now after unbolting everything and unplugging all of the electrical connections, slap the new one in and reverse the process. Snap all the plastics back in place and you are almost good to go.
You will need to override the anti theft function though. I posted a video on how to do this.
Here’s the link for it: https://youtu.be/5Ahsj_Otj7A
All you need to do to get your new steering column functioning properly is to place your ignition in the “On” position for an hour. Be sure to have a fresh battery for this or maybe place a battery charger on the battery while doing this. After an hour it’ll crank over and stay on rather than it killing the motor after a couple seconds.
Hope this helps and visit www.diy-technician.com.