200tq steering column mount broken

E. Roy Wendell IV erwendell at mac.com
Tue Nov 14 11:33:29 EST 2006

Ever since I started driving the 89 200tq I bought this time last  
year the steering column felt loose. When changing direction in   
parking lots or cornering with gusto the entire wheel/switch/ignition  
lock assembly would move about a quarter of an inch with an audible  
clunk. This movement was primarily lateral but there was also some  
vertical play.

For the last few weeks I've been in the process of a minor overhaul  
before winter really sets in. On my list was R&R of the steering rack  
due to a torn boot and much leakage of green gold. The looseness of  
the steering column, while not a dire problem, fell into the category  
of "while I'm already in there" because I had already disconnected it  
from the rack.

Pictures to be found here:


In order to accommodate the action of the procon ten system which is  
present in every way except for the cable, the steering column itself  
attaches to the mount by way of a tapered dovetail slot. This slot  
allows the column to slide into the dashboard during impact but locks  
up solid if the column is pulled outward. What had me mystified was  
how the two pieces were locked together until such time as the  
collapsing action was required. This was evidently the heart of the  
problem as the mount fell off the column as soon as I removed the  
bolts holding it to the aluminum beam that  forms the backbone of the  
dash. After close examination and much head scratching it appears  
that the mount is simply jammed onto the column until it's tight and  
then plastic is injection molded through two holes in the mount and  
into two cavities in the column in order to lock the two together.  
The only problem is that any forward force on the steering wheel that  
exceeds the threshold that Audi determined adequate for anything  
other than an impact will break loose the plastic and you end up with  
a loosely mounted column.

There is no evidence of impact damage to the front of my car. Even  
the common broken or cracked bumper beam that occurs in minor impact  
is non-existent.

The Bentley has been distressingly unhelpful in all of this as it  
doesn't even show the correct parts. While it does show what appears  
to be a procon ten column as evidenced by the cable mount point on  
the side, the actual mounting of the column bears no resemblance to  
reality. The Bentley shows the column as mounting directly to a sheet  
steel structure welded to the firewall rather than my system of  
dovetailed into an aluminum mount that then bolts to the aluminum  
beam that runs from a-pillar to a-pillar and forms the backbone of  
the dash. Nor does it show that the column actually fits through a  
hole in said beam that prevents removal of the column and mount  
through the front of the dash.

All said I'm really really beginning to appreciate the relative  
simplicity of the 5k, safety be damned.

As for a fix, my current thinking to to punch the plastic out of the  
holes in the mount, use a plastic mallet to drive the mount onto the  
column, and then use a syringe filled with epoxy into the holes to  
lock the two together in the factory fashion. The only variable is  
whether or not the epoxy will do too good of a job and defeat the  
collapsable action of the steering column.

Roy Wendell
erwendell at mac.com
Too many type 44 tq
A pair of MR2s

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