Tuesday, 1 November 2016

                                     Steering column fitting time   www.aerocyclecars.com

As an introduction though, why not go to the Blog overview first.

The upper steering column bolts to 2 welded angled plates, the upper pair of bolts can be seen to the left and these are M8 30mm/washers/nylock nuts. Shown in the centre is the steering lock which for UK MSVA purposes is the immobiliser. An immobiliser does not have to be a steering column lock, but I choose this to be the case. Note the bolts, these are shear bolts, so do not fully tighten these until you are 100% certain as to the correct position. When fully tightened, the heads shear off, then you can only remove the bolts by drilling out. A plunger engages in a slot within the inner column. A word of warning from practical experience; I attended a UK MSVA 3 hour test one year with a client and his car, and the tester asked for proof of the immobiliser working when he withdrew the ignition key. The lock didn't lock. Fortunately, being there, I knew what to check as the tester at this stage was about to cancel the test. By unbolting the front scuttle panel I discovered the shear bolts hadn't been sheared off and I was able to move the lock slightly down the shaft to ensure that the plunger fully engaged, which it did, and the car passed the test. The moral of course, is fully check this aspect prior to the test of a vehicle. All photos on this blog are on a RHD car, unless otherwise stated.

Another view showing both the upper and lower column support plates. Final position of the column is determined once the pedals are located in the pedal box as the clutch pedal is curved to avoid the column, and it might be necessary at this stage to shim the upper location position with a washer.

The steering column passes through the circle polished dash board, and the shaped slot becomes obvious in the next few photos. At this stage the dash board is solely on its flexible mounts, (these are very simple plates which you might need to bend up a little more to ensure some flexibilty) as the scuttle is removed to enable the wiring procedure, all of which links in with the steering column.

The upper inner column splined end locates into the flexible joint of the lower column. Use copperslip or equivalent on the splines. The bolts are M8 40mm/washers/nylock nuts. Note the lower bolt has been shortened by 5mm for clearance through the hole. Clearance needs checking here under rotation once the clutch pedal has been located in the pedal box.

Likewise down at the lower end of the lower column where it joins the steering rack, again use copper slip or equivalent. Note, for clarity, the louvred steering rack cover has been removed for access.

Back up at the dashboard, the upper splined end is visible, to which the steering wheel boss and steering wheel is attached. This is clearly a RHD car, but I also build LHD and supply LHD and RHD kits and dashboards of course.

Here is the steering column attached multi lighting/horn/dim-dip/indicator switch. Note the top plate, the old ugly plate that comes with this switch has been discarded and I have these nice new stainless steel plates laser cut. Note the plug which is cut off later.

An unusual shot for a reason. Just visible in the large hole is a lug which needs cutting off. I plunge a 30mm hole saw down here, as this needs to slip over the 30mm diameter upper end of the upper steering column. I have also removed the self cancelling inner boss, as this is a smaller diameter, consequently, you are the self canceller! Small point, you won't have to do this, as I do, but best practice is don't hand hold something like this when drilling! I speak from experience...I hand held just this, and plunged a 30mm hole cutter down into my RH forefinger...consequently I have a half diameter scar on my forefinger!

Here is the complete switch in place. Note the clamp screw just visible to the far lower right. I always fit the switch into the centre of the car, so for RHD cars I use a LHD switch and vice versa, and this is important as access to the clamp screw is not possible easily if used otherwise.

Prior to fitting the switch though, you ought to fit some kind of gasket material to the edge of the switch aperture to protect the wiring that passes through.

Back to the switch and you can see why the edge of the dash board aperture ought to have the gasket type of material around it.

Next up is wiring and connecting the switch shown above, the steering column switch connections and wiring in general.

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