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Old 01-01-2024, 05:38 AM   #1
Drives: '07 Yaris Liftback
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 38
2nd Gen Steering Column Adjustment Swap Guide - US to UK / Euro

Certain trim levels of the 2nd gen came with a tilt & telescoping steering column, whereas in North America we only ever got a tilt column. I figured that most of the mechanisms are compatible enough and figured to try and see if I could swap a Euro steering column into my US Yaris. Can report this is possible and had no issues. This gains about 1.5" of fore/aft telescoping.

This mod will swap the steering column adjustment mechanism over from the UK/Euro assembly and onto the US one. Note: since the US adjustment assembly is pressed together, it must be cut open to extract the shaft inside, destroying your original part in the process. The shafts themselves have the same splines for the steering wheel end, but different splines for the end leading to the steering rack.

Parts Needed
-Yaris Steering Column assembly with tilt/telescope function - Cost: $100-150 depending on location of part as of Dec 2023
-Steering Column Lock Bolts - One time use - Toyota 45897-12020 - $15-20 for both

Sockets: 19mm, 12mm, 10mm, 8mm
Philips and Flat screwdrivers
T30 driver - long shaft preferred
Screw extractor - I used grabit #4 for 3/8"/10mm screws
5/16" Drill bit - Cobalt or Titanium recommended
C-clip/ring pliers
Side cutters
Hacksaw -or- Multitool with carbide blade -or- Grinder with cutoff wheel

Donor Part Modification
I picked up a donor column from an eBay seller in the UK. There is no official part number for this assembly, but extrapolating from exploded diagrams and part numbers, I looked for a steering column that had a horizontal slot near the clamp that runs parallel to the steering column. Here's a side by side of the US column off my Yaris on the left vs. the UK one.

In most cases, the steering column/power motor assembly cannot be directly bolted in as the internal splines don't match and/or the assembly is from a right hand drive like in my case. We will need to separate the power unit from the rest of the steering column.

At the base of the column, remove the two T30 screws to separate the motor unit from the column.

You can then slide the column away from the rest of the unit.

Using c-clip pliers, remove the c-clip on the end of the steering column, then slide the shaft out from the column.

Start by parking the car with the wheels straight. Then disconnect the battery to discharge the SRS/Airbags.

Then we'll remove some trim pieces to gain access to the power steering ecu. Start with the radio trim pieces, followed by removing the two screws holding down the dash and two screws holding down the gauge cluster.

Pop out the trim panel to the right of the steering wheel next to the keyhole, then the driver side A pillar trim piece by pulling on the edge closest to the door.

Open the driver side cupholder and remove the one screw here

Pop open the trim piece in the driver knee area under the steering wheel. Remove the black brace by unscrewing the two 10mm bolts.

Loosen the two T30 screws on either side of the steering wheel. These screws are captive

Gently pop out the airbag module, do not pull as there are still wires to disconnect. Pop up the two yellow tabs using a small flat screwdriver then pull each connector away from the module. Disconnect the last connector from the steering wheel side.

Ensure your wheels and the steering wheel are pointing straight ahead before continuing

Remove the 19mm nut then remove the steering wheel by tapping on opposite sides of the steering wheel towards the front of the car.

Remove the three screws securing the trim surrounding the steering wheel column. Two on either side of the column, and one underneath near the lock arm. The trim is split into two halves.

Disconnect all the connectors at the end of the column. Push the lock on end of the yellow connector with a small flat screwdriver to release.

Remove the clockspring by releasing the tabs holding it to the lights and wiper stalks. Do not turn the clockspring. Set it down in a safe place.

Using pliers, relieve the clamp holding the stalk assemblies to the column. At the same time, use a pick or flat screwdriver to lift up the plastic tab underneath the clamp at the 12 o'clock position to slide the stalk assemblies off of the column.

Use pliers and/or a small flat screwdriver to release both cable clips holding the harness to the column

Lift up the dash by pulling up on the area underneath the driver side cupholder. Gently continue lifting to create enough space to reach the Power Steering ECU (at top right of the 2nd pic).

The steering wheel position sensor is the connector on the right (in amber covering). Disconnect the cable, then remove the tape and cable clips holding it in place, all the way back to where it terminates on the column. On mine, there were three bands of electrical tape and one plastic cable clamp close to the PS ECU that I had to cut to remove.

Use a 12mm socket with extension to remove the two nuts holding the column to dash support bar.

Remove the two 12mm bolts holding the column to the power/motor unit. One at 12 o'clock and one at 6 o'clock.

Remove the steering column adjustment mechanism from the car

More modifications...

We need to remove the key lock from the original column. Drill out enough of the "head" of the bolt to allow the screw extractor to grab the screw. I used a drill on the low speed setting to back the bolts out. You can also spray the bolts with penetrating fluid beforehand to loosen.

Since the column is pressed together, we need to cut open the column to extract the shaft. Remove the c-clip on the end of the original column to slide the shaft inside backwards. While the shaft is at the base of the column, cut open the column where the keylock mounts. Note the slightly different internal spline, UK on the left, US on the right.

Install the US shaft into the UK / Euro column and secure with the c-clip. Install your keylock onto the UK / Euro column using new bolts. Tighten with an 8mm wrench until the head shears off.

To make installation easier, you can mount the inner part of the column to the power steering unit first. Secure the inner part with the two 12mm bolts (18 ft lbf). Route the steering wheel position sensor wire back through the dash and reconnect to the power steering ECU.

Slide the outer part of the column over the inner and rotate the shaft until the splines align. This may take several tries. The shaft will most likely lock when rotated, so use your key and turn to ACC to unlock. Raise the column up and mount to the two studs using the two 12mm (18 ft lbf) nuts.

Slide the stalk assemblies back on, followed by the clockspring, again ensuring it was not rotated. Reconnect all the connectors

Reinstall the two trim pieces surrounding the steering column and secure with the three screws.
Reinstall the steering wheel with the 19mm nut (37 ft lbf)
Reconnect the airbag module's three connectors then secure the module with the two T30 screws.
Push the dash back down on to the support bar and secure: one screw in cupholder, two at gauge cluster, two above radio
Return trim pieces: A-pillar, at right of column, gauge cluster, radio
Reinstall black brace with 10mm screws, and close trim panel
Reconnect your battery and you're done!
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