Cars


Mini Rebuild

 

Step 27 - Steering Column Work

 

Monday, February 23, 2009:

 

One minor issue that you'll often hear Mini owners talk about is the bus-like steering wheel position (see pic below).

Mini Line Drawing

Both my friends Steve and Neil seperately suggested I install a pair of universal joints to adjust the steering column closer to horizontal. I initially rejected the idea in the interest of limiting the scope and complexity of the project. However, with the seats finally positioned, I was able to start working out the positioning of the various controls for the car - the steering, clutch, brake, and gas pedals, as well as the instrumentation and various buttons. Not only was the steering wheel in a strange plane, the steering column ended up right between my feet. This would make it difficult to left-foot brake, something I planned on doing given my sequential shifter setup. Further, the incorporation of my steering wheel adapters would place the steering wheel too far rearward. This necessitated shortening the steering column, which was something I would have to do anyways if I added u-joints. My mind was finally made up for me.

 

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

I took all the necessary measurements and calculated that I should remove 6 inches from the stock column.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

I then drilled out a number of holes in a larger section of pipe.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

This was then positioned over the two pieces and plug-welded.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

The next step in the steering column work was to fabricate some adapters. I took some introductory classes for the mill and lathe at Techshop. With my giant slug of aluminum, I was ready to go.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

All I had to do was mill out a section in my first aluminum hub to hold the Pro-Shift paddle shifter mechanism and connect to the NRG thin quick-release mechanism.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

Test fitting the shifter to adapter #1.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

Except for some clean-up, adapter #1 is done. The shifter mechanism fits pretty tightly into the adapter, they are concentric, and all three bolt holes line up.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

Drilling the final holes in adapter #2.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

The finished assembly: steering wheel, Pro-Shift paddle shifters, adapter #1, NRG quick-release, adapter #2, stock steering column adapter, and finally my shortened steering column.

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 27

If it looks needlessly complicated, that's probably because it is. That said, it should do the job just fine. I probably spent 60+ hours working on these two parts but I learned a lot and I really enjoyed my time in the machine shop. I'm sure I'll be back.

 

Continue to Rebuild Step 28

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