Service Slants - Steering Column Noise
I subscribe to a few automotive service trade magazines and they have some good information that you might find valuable. Here's a recent one concerning steering column noise on 2005 Grand Cherokees:
Owners of 2005 Grand Cherokees may complain of an annoying clicking sound from the steering column when the wheel is turned. One likely cause of the noise, reports Jeep, is contact between the turn signal cancel cam and the turn signal lever.
To make a definitive diagnoses, start by centering the steering wheel. Now turn the wheel a half-turn to the right and then back to center. Repeat the exercise, only this time turning the steering wheel left and back to center. If you hear the noise, repeat the drill with your hand on the turn signal stalk. If you feel a vibration through the stalk while turning the steering wheel, the cancel cam is contacting the turn signal lever and should be replaced.
Begin the repair by disconnecting the battery ground cable. Wait at least two minutes to allow the air bag capacitor to discharge. Now center the steering wheel, remove it and install a drift into the hole in the column to prevent the air bag clock spring from rotating. Remove the damaged cancel cam and replace it with a newly designed part (Part # 051143321AA). Next, remove the drift and reinstall the steering wheel suing a new retaining bolt (Part # 06505656AA). Reconnect the battery and turn the steering wheel to the left and right to confirm that the clicking noise has been silenced.