Before my 360R was presented for IVA, the then standard specification removable Momo steering wheel was replaced with the non-removable alternative, as this is what they like to see and it minimised the risk of not passing.

The Momo removable steering wheel is now an optional item, an option I have selected, so this post is based on that option. Before presenting for IVA this will be replaced for the standard specification steering wheel.

Pedal box cover to remove

The process starts with a bit of disassembly. The pedal box cover is removed and won’t now be refitted until post IVA. The IVA inspectors like this cover to be removed to make inspection easier. I refitted all the screws, even though in reality only the ones holding the brake pipes P clips are actually needed, but I fitted all of them so I don’t lose them.

I installed the lower steering column first, passing it through the dashboard, out through the lower bush (already fitted by the factory) in the scuttle. It then passes through the large grommet in the “cheese wedge” (yes, that’s its name), into the pedal box, and back out through another large grommet into the engine bay. I made sure the lower steering column does not touch anything when in place, other than the large grommets and the steering UJ of course.

Don’t install the top bush now

Theoretically my next step would be to install the top steering column bush, but I recommend to not install it at this stage, because installing it is easy, removing it is a real pain. The steering wheel I am going to present the car with will require the removal of this bush, therefore it’s pointless installing it now.

Even if you intend to get Caterham to IVA the car for you, you might as well leave the the top bush fitting to them. It they point it out as a problem in PBC, ask them if they are going to IVA the car with the optional removable steering wheel fitted.

That being said I though I would show how I install the top bush and a nugget of information that I discovered during my 360R build.

The steering column bush has a white plastic insert with two locating lugs, one at either end. One of the lugs is near the split, and at the other end it is opposite the split. If your plastic insert has the lug near the split pointing outwards it’s easy for the plastic insert to be pushed into the the steering column tube. If this happens, you will have to remove the bush again to retrieve the plastic insert. So always install the plastic insert so that the lug is opposite the split and pointing out (at both ends).

Installing the bush is easy: I remove the plastic insert, slip the bush onto a 1/2” drive short extension, spray the bush with plenty of rubber lubricant, make sure the alignment lugs align with the holes and push it in with the palm of my hand.

Next I started the install of the upper steering column. It’s tricky to get the upper column through the lower bush plastic insert, especially since I didn’t install the top bush. As you can see my plastic insert was pushed out with my first try.

My solution for this was to find a socket that just fits inside the plastic insert. The perfect socket for me was a 13mm Halford 3/8” drive. I inserted this socket into the lower bush to hold the insert in position, while the upper column was inserted. If it slips into the steering column tube it can be removed with a magnetic pick up tool.

To gain a bit of access, I removed the steering UJ, and slid the lower column a little lower. The rag stopped any damage to the powder coat.

My steering column clamp locking thread wasn’t tapped properly. I would have been a simple fix, but unfortunately I don’t own any imperial taps. Thankfully Derek at Caterham kindly sent me a replacement, and a fitting grub screw just in case.

The two halves of the clamp are torqued first to 14Nm, then the locking grub screw and locking nut at torqued the same. Again, the clamp will be refitted when the standard specification steering wheel is fitted for IVA.

I could now assemble and torque the steering UJ (to 20Nm) and fit the steering wheel to the quick release mount. I used BMW spline grease to make removal easier in the future. I made sure the quick release mount was the right way before bolting it the the Momo wheel.

I could also torque the steering rack down making sure the column doesn’t touch anything before hand. There is a tiny bit of side to side movement which I used to minimise the rubbing of the steering gaiter on the side skin. I was expecting this issue, my 360R had it; unfortunately it was missed by PBC and was one of the reasons for its IVA fail. I will tackle that problem during my IVA prep.

Tools Used

  • 4mm hex to 8mm socket
  • 5mm Allen key
  • 7/32” Allen key
  • 8mm ratchet ring spanner
  • 10mm 1/4” drive socket
  • 1/4” drive extension
  • 1/4” drive ratchet
  • 1/4” drive torque wrench
  • 7/16” 3/8” drive socket
  • 13mm 3/8” drive socket x 2
  • 7/16” ratchet ring spanner
  • 11/16” combination spanner
  • 13mm combination spanner x 2
  • 10mm combination spanner
  • 3/8” drive torque wrench
  • Pozi drive screw driver