2003 Dodge Durango V8 Four Wheel Drive Automatic 117000 miles
need a few tips on how to get the tilt lever free.I have a book but it says sterring wheel must come off and to unscrew the lever. It appears that something inside is broke. Will the sterring wheel need to come off or do you know what might be broke inside the column.I would like to try and fix myself, but don't want to get in over my head.
The upper part of the column pivots on two large pins. The pins break from using the steering wheel to pull yourself up into the vehicle. I can't find the repair procedure in the service manual so the following is from memory.
The tilt lever has two small flats on it to accept a small open end wrench, if needed. You can use a pliers but it will scratch the paint. The upper and lower plastic covers will have to come off, but not the steering wheel. Three screws hold the upper and lower cover halves together and one or two other screws hold the lower cover to the column. All of these screw are on the bottom and are torx head screws. They're T15 as I recall, but might be T20.
The pins are about 7/16" in diameter as I recall, and have a small hole in the middle. There is a special tool for removing the pins. A threaded bolt goes through a block of steel that rests against the tilt assembly. The bolt threads into the hole in the pin. By tightening a nut on the bolt, it pulls the pin out. Without seeing one, I think you can make a pulling tool with a bolt and a couple of large nuts. Just remove and replace one pin at a time so the pieces stay in alignment. You will be fighting against a fairly strong spring that lifts the steering wheel up when you pull the release lever.
New pins can be found at the dealership parts department, otherwise you'll have to find some in a junkyard.