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Replaced Lower Steering Shaft 2004 MC w/Pics

  #1  
Old 12-26-2015, 03:08 PM
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Replaced Lower Steering Shaft 2004 MC w/Pics

Replaced the lower steering shaft on my daughter's 04 MC today. Prod date is 11/2003. Here's some things I learned. Hope this helps someone.

IDed part # from RealOEM. Part #32306763722 was superseded by #32306870777. Pic below.




Ordered replacement shaft from ECSTuning. When I purchased it was $157.77 plus 8.93 shipping. Current site pic below.



Shaft did not come with new lower steering shaft eccentric bolt and pinch nut or upper shaft pinch bolt. Ordered all 3 from Pelican Parts: Self-Locking Nut #32-20-6-782-616-BOE, Eccentric Bolt #32-30-6-781-749-BOE, Torx Bolt for Steering Coupling Column Joint, M8 x 33mm #32-30-6-778-609-BOE. $13.75 plus 4.75 shipping.

Followed Bentley manual instructions, page 320-10, most of the time

Prior to removing the lower steering shaft I removed left front wheel. Then aligned steering wheel so that nut is facing left wheel. This allowed me to access bolt/nut from side without laying under car. (Don't forget to lock ignition.) Used 3/8 racket and extensions & removed nut, bolt slides out easily.
When you align nut facing left side, the open end of the lower shaft knuckle is on the top. When the manual says "pry universal joint off steering rack shaft" I thought it would be easier to first remove the upper bolt. I wasn't thinking there'd be room to pry the lower joint toward the steering wheel. Didn't realize that whole shaft compresses and expands. Also didn't realize the steering rack shaft has a raised dimple on it so you can't pry towards steering wheel. Better way for manual to specify would be to pry lower knuckle down and off.

For Steering Column lower cover removal, here's what inside of cover looks like. It might help you as attempt to "release retaining clips". The clips on mine were just plastic part of the cover. The plastic grips a plate under the shaft. Here's pic:


Steering shaft upper universal bolt came out easy. Pryed upper knuckle toward floorboard and off shaft easy. Then went outside and pryed lower knuckle off steering rack shaft. Whole assembly slid up through hole in floorboard. My lower shaft ujoint was toasted. This was causing binding when turning steering wheel left and right. It was also causing front end drift due to the amount of play in joint. Here's some pics of the old and new:




My steering wheel was the "newer" version not the "DSC and early steering column". So I didn't need the wavy washer or adapter ring that came with the shaft. Here's pic of my steering shaft:

New lower shaft went in easy. I decided to connect lower shaft to steering rack first. Slid knuckle from bottom up around shaft to clear the steering rack raised dimple. When manual says "push steering shaft up as far as it will go" they are talking about ensuring the steering rack shaft is seated in the knuckle and clears the raised dimple. Again, you'll have to flip the knuckle up and around to make this happen. You can't just slip it straight on from the steering wheel towards the ground. New bolt and nut went on easy. Torque to spec.
Aligned pinch bolt hole in upper shaft with dimple in upper steering shaft. I decided to reuse the pinch bolt as the new one was torx and the original was not and looked good still. Here's pic:

Removed old rubber ring which was still on car and worked new rubber ring/plastic down over boot in floorboard. The rubber ring seats around the boot.
Replaced lower steering cover, dash cowl. Replaced wheel. Test drive. All good. Steering feels great now. No binding, no drifting.
 
  #2  
Old 12-26-2015, 03:23 PM
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I'm pretty sure this is the part I had to replace when I thought it was my power steering pump.
What was it doing or not doing prior to install??
 
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ti22fjc View Post
I'm pretty sure this is the part I had to replace when I thought it was my power steering pump.
What was it doing or not doing prior to install??
Two things: 1. When turning right or left and then loosening grip on steering wheel to allow wheel to come back to center after turn, the wheel would bind and not come back to center. 2. When driving straight front wheels would drift right and left. This was due to amount of play in lower shaft ujoint.
 
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Old 12-28-2015, 08:54 AM
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Very good information. I've seen this issue pop up more than a few times without many detailed threads that go into the repair. This will most certainly help out someone in the future. Thanks for sharing. Also, we have the repair kit and steering clumn HERE as well with free shipping for anyone else that encounters this issue.
 
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Last edited by PelicanParts.com; 09-20-2016 at 08:51 AM.
  #5  
Old 12-28-2015, 09:49 AM
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Thanks for the order great write up. Spraying some PB blaster on the U joint will by some time, that's what I did before you have to replace.
 
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ECSTuning View Post
Thanks for the order great write up. Spraying some PB blaster on the U joint will by some time, that's what I did before you have to replace.
Thanks ECS. I had sprayed it up pretty good about 6 months ago when the shaft was'nt available. Big relief to have done as daughter heads back to school soon.
My next project is front suspension. Will start separate thread when I do that.
 
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:55 AM
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Nice , you are welcome.

For the front suspension , here is a thread to get you started.

https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...ll-joints.html


 
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  #8  
Old 12-29-2015, 11:11 AM
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Did you take the car somewhere with a quality scan tool and have the steering angle sensor zero'd after you did the job?

The only reason you had to remove the steering wheel and reinstall is due to the shaft only being produced in right hand drive now. You need to zero the SAS for the ASC/DSC.
 
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by nkfry View Post
Did you take the car somewhere with a quality scan tool and have the steering angle sensor zero'd after you did the job?

The only reason you had to remove the steering wheel and reinstall is due to the shaft only being produced in right hand drive now. You need to zero the SAS for the ASC/DSC.
Apologies if I wasn't clear nkfry. I didn't have to remove the steering wheel to replace the lower shaft. On the inside of car I only had to remove lower steering column cover to gain access to the bolt securing upper end of lower shaft to steering shaft. I locked ignition before any dismantling and did not move steering rack or wheels. New shaft was laid out mimicking old shaft. I didn't zero the SAS.
 
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Old 09-19-2016, 03:54 PM
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Thanks for the great advice. Steering on mine was binding on and off while turning. I was able to fix it thanks to this post.
 
  #11  
Old 09-22-2016, 10:12 AM
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PB blaster buys some time which it did one mine at the joint, but in the end its will bind more the need replaced.
 
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Old 09-22-2016, 01:04 PM
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I did something silly and jacked up the car during this repair. The wheels wound up moving and no longer were aligned with the steering wheel. If this happens to anyone else, check out http://www.georgeco.org/diy/mini-heavy-steering/ on how to fix it. Specifically, this part:

Words of Caution. Don’t worry too much about losing center if you don’t have a steering angle sensor (no DSC). The mini steering rack is only five turns lock to lock. The wheel can go on in only one position. If you get totally lost take the following steps: Fold the lower knuckle back up. Get the front wheels pointed more or less straight forward. Go into the cabin and move the spindle so the lower mark you placed earlier is straight down. Reattach the lower knuckle. Looking at the steering wheel interface you’ll notice a white plastic ring. Grab the pin and spin it slowly to lock right or left. Do not force it, let it stop. Go back the other direction five turns and stop. Now go back the other way 2 1/2 turns. The pin should be located at the bottom and match the hole in your wheel when you put it back on. If you have a steering angle sensor (have DSC) the process is similar but you have to first do it with the spindle and then do it with the white plastic ring. Working with the lower knuckle folded, spin the shaft left or right to lock. Turn five times to the other lock, and then back 2 1/2 turns. It should be centered with the mark at the bottom. When in doubt, refer to your service manual and read this post.
 
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Old 09-22-2016, 05:19 PM
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So after getting the steering shaft in, my steering wheel was driving down the road completely crooked. I wound up taking it out, and comparing it to the old one. Take a look, I think I might have been sent a RHD steering shaft.


Steering shaft old versus new. Take a look at the difference in angle!
 
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:09 PM
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It probably is because there are only RHD shafts available if it's new. MINI has a bulletin on how to install them on a LHD car. I can't find the bulletin, but check out this thread for more info, posts 3 and 8 in particular.

https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...ks-in-usa.html
 

Last edited by RB-MINI; 09-22-2016 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 09-23-2016, 07:00 AM
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Sure enough...wow! Here is the technical service bulletin on it thanks to Way Motor Works Steering Repair.pdf

Originally Posted by RB-MINI View Post
It probably is because there are only RHD shafts available if it's new. MINI has a bulletin on how to install them on a LHD car. I can't find the bulletin, but check out this thread for more info, posts 3 and 8 in particular.

https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...ks-in-usa.html
 

Last edited by elightbo; 09-23-2016 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:13 AM
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Do you need to remove the steering wheel to do this?
 
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:20 AM
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Is the newest part that does not need the steering wheel adjustment. (not the RHD version swap to LHD) If you pop the bottom out first and slide it off and get the cover off under the steering wheel, you just need to undo that top clamping bolt and then slide it out.
 
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:03 PM
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Oh ok I thought I had to take off the steering wheel to replace the steering shaft.
 
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Old 07-29-2017, 03:58 PM
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I just replaced my steering shaft and when I took off the old one there was no wavy washer, so I guess I didn't need it for the new one. Also what is the torque spec for the upper bolt? I could not fit a socket in there and had to resort to using just a wrench and I stopped when it was hand tight.
 
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:07 PM
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Tightening Torque

Mini_Chan, Bentley manual tightening torque for "Lower steering shaft universal joint pinch bolt to upper steering shaft (M8 x 35mm, replace bolt and nut)": 30 Nm (22 ft-lb).
Manual also says wavy washer is not required in vehicles without DSC or with new steering column. Mine did not require the wavy washer either, if I remember correctly.
 
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:37 PM
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is that the same torque for the bolt under the steering wheel?
 
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