Removing steering wheel excess play in earlier Evoras - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-19-2016, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Removing steering wheel excess play in earlier Evoras

Didn't see a how-to on this, but it's a fairly simple fix. For anyone that hasn't done it yet, the improvement is immediately noticeable, and is how the cars should have been from day 1.

Some background on the issue can be found here and here. Basically they either forgot to put a spacer/bushing in (very early builds according to service notes), or they put one in that wasn't tall enough to take up all the slack, resulting in "clicking" or "clunking".

Parts & tools needed:
- T30 torx bit
- 10mm socket (to disconnect battery terminal)
- 24mm socket
- Part # B132U0523F (should be for MY12+)
- Small needle nose pliers
- Small flat blade screwdriver
- Patience

You'll be removing the airbag from the steering wheel, so take appropriate precautions to avoid any accidental/unintended deployments!

The basic steps for that are outlined in this how-to by @Chirrowolf;. The key thing is to remove the negative terminal from the battery, and make sure it can't make contact. I left the vehicle disconnected for ~20 minutes before starting on the next steps.

You'll use the T30 to remove to two screws on either side of the steering wheel shroud to remove the airbag/horn. The small flat blade screwdriver should be used to push the connector tabs downward. Disconnect both the airbag and cruise control connectors.

When you set the airbag module aside, make sure it's facing upward, and there's plenty of room around it in case something sets it off. Electrostatic discharges can set these things off, so be careful.

Center the steering wheel, and then using the 24mm socket, remove the central steering wheel retaining bolt. Be careful not to disturb the rotating connector plate behind it. Also, once the wheel is off, do not push on the steering wheel column area (where the bolt came out of), as that could potentially collapse it.

With the wheel off, you should see the aluminum spacer on the inside of the rotating connector plate. Using the pliers, carefully remove it, and replace with the new, taller spacer.

If you haven't disturbed the rotating connector plate, you should still see a red mark in the window near the lower arrow (refer to picture). Otherwise, you'll have to follow the directions that are printed on the connector plate to "reset" its neutral position.

Reattach the steering wheel, and torque the bolt down. I don't recall finding a torque spec (EDIT: apparently it's 50nm/37lbf), so I snugged it up to what I felt was an acceptable amount.

Reconnect the cruise control and airbag connectors. Gently place the airbag module back in and tighten the 2 x T30 screws.

Reconnect the negative terminal on the battery. Reindex the windows, reset your radio presets, your clock, etc. Take it out on a drive and be amazed at how quiet and smooth the steering wheel feels. No more clicking, clunking, small sideways movements, etc.
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Last edited by agentdr8; 05-19-2016 at 09:32 AM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-14-2016, 06:45 AM
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Thanks for this, My wheel was clunking.

I just took it apart and found the short spacer in there. I will contact the dealer for a taller new one.

I have an early 2010, produced April 30th 2010.

Last edited by DeltaV; 08-14-2016 at 09:57 AM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 06:12 AM
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Here is my DIY steering upgrade post

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f417...pgrade-254217/

Will get you most of the way to the spacer

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 04:04 PM
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Bumping this back up, today I tried to install the thicker spacer (B132U0523F) in my 2011 car. My car had the thinner spacer already installed, easy enough to swap them but the thicker spacer is so thick my wheel was not engaging the flats on the steering column. My setup looks similar to the pictures above, maybe the backside of the steering wheel is different? I'm at a loss, any ideas?

First picture is with the thinner spacer.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm, I can't say I noticed the back of my steering wheel looking different than yours. I did notice after installing the taller spacer that the wheel was a bit further away from where it sat prior. But it still engaged the flats on the shaft. Maybe line it up and use the bolt to pull the shaft towards the wheel?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agentdr8 View Post
But it still engaged the flats on the shaft. Maybe line it up and use the bolt to pull the shaft towards the wheel?
Yep, tried that, bolt torqued down, steering wheel only partially engaged the column and would move a good distance before binding and then trying to turn the rack. Definitely not an area where you'd want incomplete contact. I can't see a way for this to work with my combination of parts.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowphun View Post
Yep, tried that, bolt torqued down, steering wheel only partially engaged the column and would move a good distance before binding and then trying to turn the rack. Definitely not an area where you'd want incomplete contact. I can't see a way for this to work with my combination of parts.
Definitely agree with you there. Since modifying the back of the wheel seems harder, I'd take the taller spacer and slowly shave off like 1mm at a time, and refit until you get a good firm mount, and it takes up the slack that causes the clicking/clunking/sideways movement.

2011 Evora NA - Phantom Black | Paprika | MT | 2+.5
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