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Thread: fitting a non adjustable steering column (how-to)

  1. #1
    Super Moderator davidwort's Avatar
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    fitting a non adjustable steering column (how-to)

    A very worthwhile job, to remove the worn and prone-to-play adjustable steering column and replace with a fixed version.

    more to come, but for starters:

    purchase second hand:
    one complete polo adjustable steering column, '6N' polos, 'mk4' up to chassis no. 6N-V-300 000 (up to around 1995), must be the type with separate UJ bolted up, not integrated UJ (alternatively buy the column, lock housing etc from VW, not hugely expensive (although may be approaching £200 all in now - 2010) but not worth it from the condition of second hand polo ones I've tried, they've got no perceptible wear and the final result on the Corrado is perfect with the second hand bits)

    Alternatively
    A new Corrado/Polo steering column and lock housing (exactly the same parts as the polo, only the outer tube, below, is Corrado specific)
    inner column 535 419 503B
    lock housing 357 905 851D (also fitted to 1989 on golf mk2's, passats, mk3 golfs and 1991-2000 polos)
    bottom bearing 171 419 517B <-- this part has an alternative (535 419 517) and it depends which fixed column you use as to which bearing you need, one is a different diameter to the other. If you have the fixed column part 535 419 503B you need the bearing 171 419 517B and if you have the later part number column 535 419 503H you need the bottom bearing 535 419 517
    bottom spring 191 419 343
    top spring 1H0 419 667
    contact ring 811 419 548 A
    clamping washer N 901 824 01
    spline adapter sleeve (if you can't get old one off adjustable column) 191 419 514
    bolts to replace shear bolts (M8x22mm) N 014 709 1 (you need 2)
    parts diagram attached to second post

    one Corrado fixed column tube, this is corrado specific 535 419 563

    upper and lower trim, early and late types available from VW for small/large hazard light
    535 953 515 upper part (early dash)
    535 953 516 lower (early dash)

    535 953 515 B upper part (late dash)
    535 953 516 B lower (late dash)

    a new ignition switch from VW if you haven't replaced the original Corrado one before
    6N0 905 865

    the polo column and corrado tube:
    [attachment=9:296llxuk]polo-col-and-c-tube.jpg[/attachment:296llxuk]

    the fixed trim looks much the same as the adjustable version but is actually a totally different fitment:
    [attachment=8:296llxuk]fixed-trim.jpg[/attachment:296llxuk]

    remove the polo UJ, you don't need this bit, keep the spring though, it's a different length to the adjustable column one
    [attachment=7:296llxuk]polo-column-uj-bolt.jpg[/attachment:296llxuk]

    remove the polo's immobiliser key sensing ring if your car doesn't need it, late models may use one
    [attachment=6:296llxuk]polo-key-sensor-ring.jpg[/attachment:296llxuk]

    remove the polo column from it's tube, you'll need to drill off the lock housing to tube fixing shear bolt
    [attachment=5:296llxuk]lock-housing-sheer-bolt.jpg[/attachment:296llxuk]

    remove polo ignition switch grub screw, you can just about get a thin phillips screwdriver in here
    [attachment=4:296llxuk]polo-grub-screw.jpg[/attachment:296llxuk]

    now if you want tpo keep your old ignition key and barrell you need to drill a hole to release the barrell, from both the corrado and polo housing:
    [attachment=3:296llxuk]lock-removal.gif[/attachment:296llxuk]

    it's fairly easy to do, just measure from the edge of the black plastic cover around the key opening and not the start of the main width body of the casing, or you'll be 2 or 3mm out, a slightly larger hole isn't a problem, but I wouldn't go bigger than 4mm
    [attachment=2:296llxuk]drill-lock.jpg[/attachment:296llxuk]

    press in the sprung tab through the hole you've drilled and the barrel will slide out
    [attachment=1:296llxuk]remove-lock.jpg[/attachment:296llxuk]

    now we need to get the original adjustable column out
    first remove the fuse box cover pegs then cover
    then remove the 7 or so screws holding the dash under tray in
    put the steering wheel in straight ahead, remove the horn cover and with a 24mm socket, remove the steering wheel by the centre nut, some nuts have a separate washer, the polo one had an integrated one which is easier for refitting
    it's not necessary to do this but it gives a bit more room to work, it may be worth waiting to do this until you've got the UJ to column bottom bolt out, see below

    the stalk connector plugs pull out of the back of the switches as does the ignition switch block, there's both a press in tab on one side and a notch/nobble bit on the other side of each connector block that both need freeing before the block slides out
    the MFA connector wire is un-clipped from a separate connecot this is the Corrado adjustable column one and is too wide for the polo column, you need the outer sleeve from the Corrado bearing, but the inner bearing from the polo to fit snugly on the narrower fixed column.block part way down the column, there's usually 2 or 3 cable ties to cut to free the loom from the column so the column can be removed

    the UJ to column bottom bolt now needs to be removed, a 13mm spanner and socket will be needed here, sometimes you may need to turn the steering to get room to slide the bolt out, once the nut is off a gentle tap should knock it free and it can be removed
    [attachment=0:296llxuk]UJ-bolt.jpg[/attachment:296llxuk]
    Last edited by davidwort; 19th February 2011 at 8:58 PM.
    my 1990 16v thread

  2. #2
    Super Moderator davidwort's Avatar
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    Re: fitting a non adjustable steering column (how-to)

    part 2!

    now you need to drill the shear bolts that hold the column to the dash mounting, the top two need to be drilled, the other two should be hex head bolts, remove these after drilling the shear bolts out!

    [attachment=8:2hh4nxsi]shearbolts-to-drill.jpg[/attachment:2hh4nxsi]
    carefully drill these out, unbolt the hex bolts and the column will drop down

    once your column is off the car it should look much like this next to the fixed column:
    [attachment=7:2hh4nxsi]columns.jpg[/attachment:2hh4nxsi]

    remove the bottom bearing from the adjustable column by gently prising the thin metal lip around the bottom of the tube, go round in small steps and it should pop out, you don't ned this bearing (although it is the same as the polo/fixed column one) but you do need the sleeve under it.

    prising out the sleeve you need for the fixed column tube:
    [attachment=6:2hh4nxsi]prise-c-bearing-sleeve.jpg[/attachment:2hh4nxsi]

    this is important, as the polo tube uses a different sized sleeve, see below:
    [attachment=5:2hh4nxsi]bottom-bearings-and-sleeves.jpg[/attachment:2hh4nxsi]
    black one is the corrado one, you need to gently push this into the bottom of the corrado fixed tube, I found the lower section of the polo tube ideal for this job!

    now, when you refit the corrado fixed column, you need to use the polo spring, which is longer than the adjustable column spring:
    [attachment=4:2hh4nxsi]bottom-springs.jpg[/attachment:2hh4nxsi]

    don't forget to fit the new VW ignition switch into the fixed column before you put it in the new tube, as you can't get at the grub screw otherwise!

    the 3 types of switch are below, original corraod part number, the polo 6N part and the latest supplied from VW (all black)
    [attachment=3:2hh4nxsi]switches-side.jpg[/attachment:2hh4nxsi]
    [attachment=2:2hh4nxsi]switches.jpg[/attachment:2hh4nxsi]

    once the new fixed column is assembled it can now be installed in the car, I found the attaching of the UJ a bit of a struggle as the spring needs to be compressed to allow you to slide the UJ bolt in place, the job could do with 3 hands

    theres a couple of washers that were behind the hex mounting screws for my adjustable column, I found a couple more for fitting all four bolts for the fixed column, it looked happier like that, if you need the column lower then this is the place to pack out the mounting
    [attachment=1:2hh4nxsi]packing-washers.jpg[/attachment:2hh4nxsi]

    Parts diagram (from list of parts at top of thread)
    [attachment=0:2hh4nxsi]c-columns.gif[/attachment:2hh4nxsi]
    my 1990 16v thread

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    Super Moderator Supercharged's Avatar
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    Re: fitting a non adjustable steering column (how-to)

    Great write up and pics David!

    Do you find it drives any better?? made a noticable difference to mine but it had done nearly 200k miles...

    That plastic trim is a lot more solid too, more like the MK3 Golf


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  4. #4
    Super Moderator davidwort's Avatar
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    Re: fitting a non adjustable steering column (how-to)

    astonishingly better,
    OK, I've done front and rear bushes, top mounts, ball joints, track rods etc over the past few years but the car has done 165K and has the original front bearings (one is starting to get noisy) and original rack and rack to column UJ.
    It's so much more solid and has much better feel, I wish I'd got round to doing it a year or two ago it makes the car so much better to drive.
    I thought it would improve things, but I was hoping to just get rid of the play when you swing on the wheel, I didn't expect the feel to be so much better to the road, you just want to continually dart it from side to side
    my 1990 16v thread

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    CF Nutter pete_griff's Avatar
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    Re: fitting a non adjustable steering column (how-to)

    great write up david - thanks very much

    (Pete adds another job to the list!)
    Griff
    '93 R32 converted VR6 - sadly missed

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    Re: fitting a non adjustable steering column (how-to)

    Is the Polo spline the large one, or the small one ?
    i have an aftermarket boss thats a small spline, will i have to get the large spline boss, or do i put my old "bus" wheel back on

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Supercharged's Avatar
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    Re: fitting a non adjustable steering column (how-to)

    Quote Originally Posted by dragon green
    Is the Polo spline the large one, or the small one ?
    i have an aftermarket boss thats a small spline, will i have to get the large spline boss, or do i put my old "bus" wheel back on
    The Corrado uses a splined adapter - if you remove this you then have a small one underneath!


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    ⋆⋆ CF Donator ⋆⋆ dragon green's Avatar
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    Re: fitting a non adjustable steering column (how-to)

    As i am collecting parts to fit the non adj. steering column, what i need to know is what size is the polo column ?
    as i have an aftermarket steering wheel on it,that uses the small spline,does the polo column come with the small spline,or the larger spline ?
    Hope this is understandable ?

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Supercharged's Avatar
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    Re: fitting a non adjustable steering column (how-to)

    The polo is the same part as the Corrado one mate - see the pic above, they both have the small spline


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    ⋆⋆ CF Donator ⋆⋆ dragon green's Avatar
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    Re: fitting a non adjustable steering column (how-to)

    thank you,
    and thanks for making this a sticky

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