Reworking the front Control Column
The control column is supposed to be inspected in regular intervals, but it is hard to get the thing out for an inspection .
Remember to be able to loosen the lower heim-bearings from the column, the column itself needs to be unbolted, so you can move the column around enough to free the bearing bolts.
Then the right angle will find you a way getting the column out without removal of the header tank. This requieres patience.
Won't quite come out!
After you have the column out, take out the shaft that rides in there. Check everything for cracks and worn out surfaces. Univairs Service Bulletin 26 calls for dye checking all welds on that column every 5 years.
Disassembled control column
The Ercoupe lubricating chart does not mention the bushings in the control column.In effect we see the bakelite bushings never oiled and the bakelite bushings wear itself and the steel shaft that rides in them. Do that for a few years and you will have sufficient play on the lower steering linkage.
The fix is to replace worn bushings with oilite bushings that you can get from Skyport.
Oilite Bushing installed
It is a good idea to replace as many parts as possible here. The U-joints are usually worn - at least the one on the pilots side. New U-joints need to be trimmed on one end. The other end goes into the hollow steering shaft. One needs to be careful when drilling the holes - they need to be reamed into size with a tapered reamer. Use new tapered clevis pins for assembly.
New and old U joints