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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are you guys doing about the "tearlock" bolts that hold the steering column in place? I need to drop the steering column so I can remove the instrument panel.
 

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cut, drill, weld

A lot of guys cut a slot in them to insert a screwdriver, some just drill them out, but I prefer a little different approach. I get a nut, rather largish to almost fit over the head of the shear bolt, and weld inside the nut to attach it to the head of the bolt. Then I just have a regular bolt to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the tip Stephen, I'll give it a try.

Gregg
 

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Tearlock Bolt?

Whoa There!
I don't know what a Tearlock" bolt is. But several years ago the I had to drop the steering column and the bracket holding it to the dash frame had these bolts that look like a rounded button like a machine bolt without the slot. Then a short thin pintle, then a hex head. When you put a socket on the hex head they just tear right off, leaving you with that disgusted "oh man" look on your face 'cause there's not a chance in hell you're gonna get anything on that rounded smooth head.

I thought the rotten son of a PO had run out of bolts, dug around in miscellanious box, and come with those instead of making the trip to the hardware store.

Are these things OEM?
 

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yup

Anti-theft and pre-loading for the crush column, these things are SUPPOSED to be broken off so you know when you've reached the right torque.

The methods above are to take off the bolt after the rest has broken off and all you're left with is the button.

Crazy, huh?
 

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Opeler
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252 Posts
were all the gts supposed to have these bolts?the reason I ask is mine has regular bolts and I bought the car new in 1971.I wonder if the car had some work done to the steering column before it left the dealers lot?I'm glad I didn't have them to deal with
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, Mine still had one of the tearlock bolts on it so I used a die grinder to cut a slot and then removed it with a screwdriver. I've found (the hard way) that it is much easier to ask one of you guys FIRST when in doubt. Thanks for the help.
 

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first time out?

If this is the first time the column has been dropped, as the sheer bolt usually indicates, I would recommend doing some house keeping back there while it's out. Things like light bulbs always fail on me two weeks after I get everything back together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good idea oldopelguy. I've got plenty to do while I have it opened up. My heater fan is inop, the radio is DOA, the heater control panel is broken, the clock is DOA, and that's just the stuff I know about. I'll check it close while I have it apart. Thanks to your help I got the dash out without causing any more damage than was already there. I'm sure glad I spent the money on a service manual. Odd thing was the manual talked about the tearlock bolts but was unclear on what to replace them with. They almost look like brads or rivets.

Thanks again.
 

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boomerang opeler
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5,636 Posts
Odd thing was the manual talked about the tearlock bolts but was unclear on what to replace them with

the idea is to replace them with new "tearlocks"
then you will have the right torque so the column deforms right in a crash (may the god of your choice forbid it)
 

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73 gt man said:
If we can't get the tearlocks what is acceptable, I am dropping my steering wheel this weekend.
Most, including myself, just use standard M8 hex head bolts. That way, you can change those burnt out dash lights MUCH more quickly next week. And after performing a detailed engineering evaluation of the impact absorption system and the crush-changing characteristics caused by replacing the shear bolts with standard bolts, I think the damn Opel engineers were just messing with future Opel owners minds...
 

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I'll probably be back in Opel hell to mention it but you can replace them. USA Opel has shear bolts for sale.
 

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boomerang opeler
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nobody said:
I'll probably be back in Opel hell to mention it but you can replace them. USA Opel has shear bolts for sale.

thats our dave never scared to step into the breach and have a word :D
you will have an answer or two to that one :D
 

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Heck, Dave went so far as to send me a set. Sort of like the ultimate Opel Chain Letter. But I vanquished the jinx, by sending them on to jpiper (John McInnis in Ottawa). Hmm, wonder who was HIS victim?
 

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Keith I got in a handfull of them and yes I still have your address. Where did I put those padded mailers? Sorry to hear your all out but not to worry, I can hook you up with more of them. :eek:
 

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damn... i didn't know about these and i have to take the steering column off my parts car today to get at the speedo cable... :(
 

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'72 Opel GT (Sara)
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Do you have to remove the tear bolts and drop the steering column to work behind the instrument panel? I'm wondering if anyone has come up with a creative way to work on the instrument panel without having to drop the steering column.
 

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To work on the instrumet panel, or to be exact, to get behind it. you have to drop the steering column. I've had my panel out and back in 3 times in as many days. It's not that bad, if you're careful. First thing to do, if you have the torque shear bolts is to get 4 13mm head bolts with an 8mm X 1.25 thread about 1.5" long, that will simplify things later on. To get the shear bolts out, use a Dremel with a cutoff wheel and cut a slot in each head for a screwdrver blade to get them out. There are two 8mm head bolts that hold the panel in each bottom corner behind the panel, the passenger side is accessible by removing the plug in the dash down low on the passenger side. The flasher can has to be removed also before the panel will come out along with the fuse panel connectors,quick dsconnect for the headlight indicator wire, and speedo cable. Take care pulling the panel out, it will likely hang up on the top corners at the screw mounting plates, and the top center plate will catch on the harness. Also be careful of the heater control panel, it is plastic and can break easily, it can be replaced by an aluminum panel from OGTS. HTH.
 

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Do you have to remove the tear bolts and drop the steering column to work behind the instrument panel? I'm wondering if anyone has come up with a creative way to work on the instrument panel without having to drop the steering column.
Newman;
Unless you want to tear up 30+ year old plastic, the steering column HAS to be dropped.
 
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