Honda Steering Shaft Phase
This bulletin applies to all Honda models equipped with telescoping steering columns. If the steering feels notchy (alternating from smooth to notchy and hard and smooth again when the steering wheel is turned), the steering column U-joints could be out of phase.
This usually happens when the subframe is removed with the steering rack still attached and the pinion shaft is not disconnected from the steering column shaft. When the subframe is being removed, the lower U-joint pulls completely from the shaft.
Since the angles of the steering column shaft and the steering rack are different by design, the relationship of the upper and lower U-joints is critical to ensure smooth steering. If the lower U-joint is not reinstalled correctly, the notchy feeling will result.
To repair the issue, simply line up the white paint marks on the lower U-joint and steering column shaft. If there are no white paint marks, find a good known vehicle and follow these steps:
1. Find and project the center line of the upper and lower U-joints onto the steering column shaft.
2. Measure the offset by counting the number of splines between those two center lines.
3. Line up the lower U-joint to match the offset.