IE Steering Coupler Install Write Up

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AustinR
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IE Steering Coupler Install Write Up

Postby AustinR » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:15 am

If you just bought an Ireland Engineering Poly Steering Coupler, and want to know how to install it, this is how! :wink:

Disclaimer: This is your steering system! Proceed with caution! If you make a mistake and mess something up on your car, e30performance and I are NOT RESPONSIBLE. Use common sense and always be safe.

Also, this is for a late model car with an airbag. I've seen some different u-joint setups, so I believe this process can vary slightly, but I'm sure it's the same idea.

Step 1:
A little prep.
-Unhook the battery. You'll be working near the starter and don't want to short anything out with a wrench.
-Jack up the front of the car. You'll have to be under the car a decent amount. I don't see a way you could do it all from up top.
-Remove airbox. It's just easier to get at everything you can from above when it's out.

Step 2:
-Loosen the binding bolts that clamp the u-joint to the splined steering shafts. (It's already mostly removed in this pic, so bear with me.)
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For easier view, the bolts on the right and left you are going to want remove completely. The steering shaft has a notch cut in it to make room for the bolt, so it won't slide off later if you don't remove them completely.
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Step 3:
-Get into the driver's side foot well and remove the plastic guard (above where your feet would go) to gain access to the steering column.
-Loosen this nut:
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It tightens over a collet that clamps down on the splined steering shaft. The shaft is going to have to slide upwards later.

In hein-sight, I probably didn't need to run the nut completely off the threads. I would imagine just loosening it would be sufficient.
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Step 4:
-Climb under the car and slide the u-joint off of the upper shaft first (the one that goes through the firewall that you just loosened up on the other side).
I just tapped on the top of the the u-joint with a hammer and it slowly slid down the splines. Then I would grab the steering shaft and push it up into the firewall, where it would slide up past the nut I loosened on the other side, gaining me clearance to remove the u-joints.
Now slide the u-joint assembly off of the steering rack's splined shaft. On my car, this one came off a little tougher. I just strategically placed a screw driver and tapped it out with a hammer.

Step 5:
-It's out! Time to remove the rivets holding the old rubber guibo in there.
If you are unlucky like me, and have no garage, but instead live in an apartment and have to do your work in a parking lot...I feel for ya. I had to cut my rivets with a hack saw. If you have the means, I would imagine a cut-off wheel, grinder, or drill would be better here.
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Also, you can see that I cut one of the other rivets through the rubber thinking it would be easier to pop out of the hole...it wasn't. Save yourself some hack saw strokes and cut through the side pictured here. Try not to get into the aluminum part of the u-joint.

Tap the rivets out of their holes.
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Step 6:
Observe and be proud.
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And then get all giddy.
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Step 7:
Bolt everything back together with the provided hardware. I took some time to clean everything up before doing so, as well as lubricate the u-joint.

When I first started doing this I put the washer configuration this way:
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As you can see the washer doesn't really clear the radius of the aluminum bracket, so I switched it around so the washer was on the IE Coupler side.

Image

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That's nice :mrgreen:

Step 8:
Re-assemble! Make sure you tighten everything down good. I would probably recommend using lock-tite on all the threaded surfaces. Also, I cleaned and applied some anti-sieze to all the splined surfaces. Seemed like a good idea and seemed to make it slide together easier.

Another important note: Since you had the splines separated, when putting the u-joint back on, make sure that your wheels are pointed straight forward, and your steering wheel is at the up-right position. Nothing is more annoying than a steering wheel that is slightly tilted sideways while driving straight.

You'll have to take my word that it's in there. haha. I ran out of day light.
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Also, I noticed the Coupler looks kinda mushed and distorted in this pic. It's just a shadow, I couldn't get light in there very well. Everything bolted up nice and square.

Step 9:
Good job! Go for a drive and enjoy nice crisp steering response!

Step 10 (Imperative):
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Last edited by AustinR on Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IE Steering Coupler Install Write Up

Postby Nsquared97 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:30 am

Very nice! Love step 10 lol. How much better does the steering feel?
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IE Steering Coupler Install Write Up

Postby ten2doyle102 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:36 am

Step ten is the best.

Also, if your steering was off a bit, you can just unbolt the steering wheel and readjust.
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Re: IE Steering Coupler Install Write Up

Postby M20_fever » Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:16 am

stickied. going to this when I can swap to an e36 rack.
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Re: IE Steering Coupler Install Write Up

Postby AustinR » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:45 am

Steering feels quite a bit better than before, however I have tie rods coming in the mail right now since mine are very shot. I'll report back once I get those tightened up too.

WOOHOOO! Sticky!
I think that's my first one! haha.
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Re: IE Steering Coupler Install Write Up

Postby Yoshi » Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:46 pm

I'm interested in what this actually does. I really doubt there's much flex in the steering. Also, nice to see some E30 parts I haven't touched yet lol.
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Re: IE Steering Coupler Install Write Up

Postby AustinR » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:17 pm

Yoshi wrote:I'm interested in what this actually does. I really doubt there's much flex in the steering. Also, nice to see some E30 parts I haven't touched yet lol.

You're probably right for the most part, but after 22 years, mine had some flex.
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By austinjrussell at 2012-08-04

You can see the cords in the rubber popping out. It was definitely worn out and I could feel it clunk on itself when going over some bumps. The steering wheel felt almost rattly because of it.
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By austinjrussell at 2012-08-04

But yeah, if the original rubber one was brand new, I'm sure it was just fine.
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Re: IE Steering Coupler Install Write Up

Postby mattavino » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:54 am

Also, if you delete power steering the rubber coupler is under more load so it will flex a whole lot more.
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Re: IE Steering Coupler Install Write Up

Postby Nsquared97 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:47 am

Heh, I just got one of these in the mail today.
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Re: IE Steering Coupler Install Write Up

Postby Yoshi » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:53 am

I think I'd still rather convert to full solid. How much is that poly disk thingy?
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Re: IE Steering Coupler Install Write Up

Postby ten2doyle102 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:02 pm

$30ish I think.

Should just make them out of Delrin or something.
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Re: IE Steering Coupler Install Write Up

Postby Yoshi » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:18 pm

For my Vhate swap, I have to go with a smaller coupler to clear the headers on that side. Plus heat and all that. Bleh.
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Re: IE Steering Coupler Install Write Up

Postby ten2doyle102 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:29 pm

Heat smeat....
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Re: IE Steering Coupler Install Write Up

Postby Nsquared97 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:17 pm

Yeah it's $29. I would like just a single solid shaft (had had) too, but I haven't seen any cheap ways of doing that. And the people that just put aluminum spacers in there and bolt the two halves together don't understand the concept of U-joints needing to be aligned properly...
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Re: IE Steering Coupler Install Write Up

Postby M20_fever » Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:14 am

putting a solid spacer in there wouldn't change the orientation of the u-joints as long as it was the same thickness as the stock disc.
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