I was removing a Bugeye Steering wheel today to center the wheel when the entire steering shaft pulled off the steering box. No problem since I was sitting in the shop, but this is an important reminder to check the little bolt I have circled in photo below. It’s on our pre-departure check list for every car we sell, and it should be on your check list if you have never checked yours.
The circled clamp pinches the steering column on the steering box. The bolt squeezing the clamp is supposed to nest in the groove of the splined steering box, shown just above the red circle in the photo.
In this particular case, it “looked” like the pinch bolt was properly installed, but the bolt was too small a diameter and incorrect. Thus it pulled right out of the groove and allowed the shaft come off the box, which would be bad if it happened while you were driving. Hence this reminder to make sure your steering column is secure!
Above, you can see the steering wheel pulled away from the steering wheel hub, since the column has pulled off the steering box.
Below, you can see the incorrect coarse thread machine screw, formerly in this steering shaft. Now, it has been replaced with the correct diameter bolt, and the shaft is secure.
Please take a look at yours next time you open the bonnet!