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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone recognize if we have done something stupid here with the assembly of the column switch and turn signal canceling spring? The spring makes a bad grinding noise as it rubs against itself, and it must (surely) be that we have something assembled incorrectly. I bought a new and perfect spring to see if that would help, but unfortunately not!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes there is my friend! It wraps around a metal sleeve and works by the friction created from compressing onto it.
 

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In two out of three steering assemblies that I've taken apart there is a plastic tube (like a bit of large shrinkwrap tubing) on the metal tube and between it and the spring. I thought it was just to increase the friction but it might help with any scraping sounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Interesting. I did wonder if there might have been a sleeve over the spring itself, although it does need to have fairly precise friction around, in order to correctly trip the canceling switch.
 

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I think this is one of the more qwerky things about the car, but the way you have it set up looks right to me. I haven't found a plastic sleeve on those I've seen but that sounds interesting. The spring in use can stretch but also tends to develop a flat spot where it contacts the steering shaft. I wonder if it might quiet over time (and miles) as it wears in. You might try some lubricant and as long as there is still enough friction to return the signal arm that might quiet things. If it doesn't work, then just remove it with solvent.

I have a used return spring if you want to try that to see if it helps with the noise.

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Chuck. I cannot help but think there must be something wrong with the way we have assembled this and that is causing the spring to make a grinding noise. If anyone can see anything from the photos that looks like a mistake, please speak up. Our ego's can take it!
 

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Having never seen the type you've got going on without a liner on other vehicles, I'd say this based on pure mechanics:

There needs to be a slip fit liner between the spring and the column.

1) it'll stop the noise you hear.
2) it'll stop the spring from eventually sawing through the column after a few years of turning corners with the signal on to tighten the spring, and just general driving while its riding there with a small amount of tension.
3) it'll help prevent potential future damage to the switch, as noise is vibration, and vibration will wear at things.

You just simply can't have a hard serrated material (the spring) constantly choking and worrying back and forth at a soft material (the column) without there eventually being damage of some sort. A slip bushing that will roll with the spring and not grip at the column will cure those issues immediately.

It just makes sense to have something there.
 

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Having never seen the type you've got going on without a liner on other vehicles, I'd say this based on pure mechanics:

There needs to be a slip fit liner between the spring and the column.

1) it'll stop the noise you hear.
2) it'll stop the spring from eventually sawing through the column after a few years of turning corners with the signal on to tighten the spring, and just general driving while its riding there with a small amount of tension.
3) it'll help prevent potential future damage to the switch, as noise is vibration, and vibration will wear at things.

You just simply can't have a hard serrated material (the spring) constantly choking and worrying back and forth at a soft material (the column) without there eventually being damage of some sort. A slip bushing that will roll with the spring and not grip at the column will cure those issues immediately.

It just makes sense to have something there.
I think Darren might be right. I was looking at the routing of the spring, but it does make sense that there was a slip fit bushing there.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys, but I think we have the slip liner between the spring and column. It shows on the photos as the polished ring directly behind the woodruff key (we thought that might help reduce the noise). This one is very confusing!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Chuck. It really is a pretty loud noise though. It sounds like the column is rubbing on the wheel hub, but actually is just the spring rubbing against itself. A loud noise from a small component!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We are trying that, but worry about anything internal eventually wearing out and causing a possible jam in turning the wheel.
 

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I lightly sprayed lithium greased on when reassembling before I thought much about how it works--friction activated--greasy stuff--leave friction alone. but it works and I don't hear any noises--but I'm half deaf and concentrate on the engine noises--
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Did similar in the end. Tried lithium grease and it seems to be doing the trick. Who knows whether this was how the factory did things! I still suspect that something is ot quite right, as other owners would certainly hear the type of noise that mine was making.
 

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Did similar in the end. Tried lithium grease and it seems to be doing the trick. Who knows whether this was how the factory did things! I still suspect that something is ot quite right, as other owners would certainly hear the type of noise that mine was making.
lt looks set up alright but i'm not used to a new spring. I figure it will set in wih grease--its not like it normally has frequent maintenance--I greased mine for rust prevention. rust reduction/prevention is a normal state of mind for an alfa owner---not increasing friction.:D
 

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I took one of these apart a few years ago, so I looked through my spares, and this is what I found. Now it's been a while since I looked at these, but I think this is the way they fit. There's a plastic liner over the tube to insulate the spring from the tube. the ID is the OD of the tube of course ,and the wall thickness is approximately 1.25mm. I put the tube together with a light switch assembly, and it fit, but like I said it's been awhile since I took this out of the parts car.
 

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