The steering column on my Timberline Fourtrak (M reg.) is of the collapsible type, for obvious safety reasons. I mentioned on a recent posting that I'd had to take of the steering wheel to repair a fault in the switch mechanism, to do this I pulled up on the wheel with my kness while tapping the column with a copper mallet. The wheel is aligned on a spline but also pulls down onto a taper on the shaft, so it can be fairly tight to shift. On reassembly I noticed that there was some lateral play on the shaft and decided to strip out the column assembly to ascertain the reason. I had my suspicions that the two piece inner column was damaged and on dismantling it found this to be the case.
The central, moving column is made up of an inner (lower half) and outer part which are intended to concertina into each other on serious vehicle impact. To keep the two parts in correct lateral orientation there are four small holes (about 2.5mm diameter) in the outer section, on the inner section is a groove coresponding to the position of the outer holes. Keeping the whole assembly together are four small plastic pegs formed by injecting plastic into the joints, the resulting strength being very minimal !!!. I'd sheared the plastic pins and the upper, outer shaft was moving up and down on the inner. To get over this I put the two parts in correct position relative to each other and drilled a 2.3mm hole through both. Into this I tapped a tight fitting, soft aluminium rivet. This should shear under minimal force but I hope to never test it !.
So if you intend taking off your steering wheel for any reason do be careful how much force you exert on it.
A wise man learns by his mistakes, a wiser learns by the mistakes of others