Before you can remove the steering column from the vehicle, you will need to remove the steering wheel: pry off the horn button, loosen the big nut and use a (bearing) puller to remove the steering wheel (not as easy as it might sound!), some tips to remove the steering wheel without damaging it:
- Cut a model out of multiplex or wood that has a hole in the middle with the same diameter as the steering shaft.
- Fit the model underneath the steering wheel; this will prevent the puller from damaging your steering wheel.
- Do not completely remove the big nut, loosen it approximately 2 mm above the thread; this will prevent the puller from damaging the thread.
- Slowly tighten the puller and see the steering wheel come off*
WARNING!!! The steering wheel and steering shaft are a pretty tight fit and the wheel might pop off suddenly: we almost hit the roof!
Now that the steering wheel is off, the steering column can be lowered through the whole in the floor, first drain the oil from the worm gear housing by undoing the plug in the housing. Reinstall the plug once the oil has stopped ripping. Now, loosen the joints of the rod that attaches the steering column to the front axle. You will need a special tool to do this, by no means use a hammer as this will irreversibly damage the joints!
Next, jack up the front of the vehicle and support it underneath the front axle. Loosen the nuts that attach the steering column to the chassis. Carefully lower the steering column, if you still cannot make the angle to completely remove the column; jack up the front a little higher.
Disassemble the steering column and remove the rust using a drill and wire brushes. Use a rust converter to make sure all rust is gone. In my case, there has been a lot of time in between disassembly and rebuild of the steering column. After a few months I was very happy to find all the bits and pieces that belonged to the steering column in marked plastic bags; saved me a lot of time figuring out where everything belonged.
Use a little bit of liquid gasket in between both halves of the steering box, this will keep the paper gasket in place when assembling and will assure leak free operation. Use anti-seize to install the bolts for smooth installation and easy removal in the future.
EDIT: adjust the worm gear in accordance with the specifications in your workshop manual. Reinstall the column in the vehicle and fill the worm gear box with the same oil as used in the transmission.