My 2012 Fiesta was a Cat D repaired car, I got it very, very cheaply, soon after purchase I noticed that the steering wheel would not lock in a very high position and also there was movement in the wheel upwards when I lift. I started to research it and thought it may have been damaged in the accident, so kept it to local roads in the meantime. Last week, the steering wheel dropped down and no matter what I tried the tilt lever would not lock it into place.
A new steering column from ford is £670 and is a non serviceable item, labor charges would also be in the range of £300+ to swap out, so I bought a used item from a breaker for £49 and this helped me to understand how the system works.
Back to my car, I rotated the steering wheel to reveal the two screws that hold the trim around the column, there is a third one on the bottom. When I exposed the column I noticed that the hanger that holds the column had fallen away from the top mounting plate, it is held in position by one small screw!!!
So I undid the front two plate bolts - you need a deep socket set to do this and then pulled down the front of the assembly, I was then able to refit the missing screw. There are also two springs either side of the unit, both of which had fallen off as well, once reinstalled my steering is now 100%, it locks in any position and the upwards looseness has gone.
I have attached a photo to help clarify. hope this helps someone else with the same problem.