Toyota Carina AA63 steering wheel switch ends in a highway breakdown

May 14, 2017 in banpei weekly by banpei

Toyota Carina AA63 steering wheel swap

This morning I decided to swap the leather Toyota AE86 steering wheel for the Toyota Carina AA63 item, and then do a short test drive. What was supposed to be a 10 minute ride became a two hour nightmare!
Toyota Carina AA63 highway breakdown
In principle the swap of the steering wheel was straight forward: undo the horn cap of the AE86 steering wheel. Undo nut (socket 19) for 90%. Wiggle the wheel until it feels there is a little bit of play, then try to pull it up gently until it comes loose. Don’t undo the nut fully, or else you may smash yourself in the face with a steering wheel!

Mounting the Toyota Carina AA63 steering wheel was just as easy as removing it. Just put it on, tighten the nut, center the horn cap and gently push it in place. Then I headed off to do a small highway drive…

Breakdown

At first I noticed that the Carina’s breaking was a bit spongy and when pulling away the automatic gearbox was shifting rather late. This still didn’t arouse any suspicion. As soon as I got on the onramp for the highway I was already sorry to have chosen this particular route. A big traffic jam emerged and I basically crawled for the next ten minutes. Then traffic started going again and we were doing 60 to 70 kilometers per hour.

Shortly after that a new traffic jam started, so I started to slow down again. Once I gotten to a full stop I noticed the smell of burnt pads and a small cloud of smoke emerging from the left front fender. So I stopped, pulled over and checked it out… See also my reaction in the video:

One of the brake calipers got stuck and I decided to call and wait for help. But no way I was going to wait for help next to a traffic jam. Since the car was still able to drive, I slowly passed the traffic jam and took the next off-ramp (only a few hundred meters) and found a gas station to stop. Called for help and after an hour of waiting help arrived. They managed to free the pads and I was able to drive (slowly) home again! I think I need to schedule for a caliper rebuild… 🙁