The Esprit hasn't been blessed with the greatest in Steering Wheels during its life, but as the Esprit has developed, so has the quality of the steering wheels. Changing a wheel can be really easy if you don't need to change the boss. If you do need to change the boss, then as long as you can source one, then it's not a real problem.
I decided to fit a later S4 Steering Wheel to my SE. The S4 wheel has a different boss to the SE as the rack was changed on the introduction of power steering in 1993. Luckily the stud pattern of the wheel (bolts that attach the wheel to the boss) was the same as my SE, so the retro fit couldn't have been easier. Other models may require more work to fit.
Retro Fitting Steering Wheel
This job will take about 20 minutes and isn't particularly difficult.
You will need the following parts:
S4 Steering wheel
You will need the following tools:
spanner or socket
Firstly remove the steering wheel cover, which will easily lever off. You'll then be able to see the bolt holding the boss on. This is 19mm on an SE. I removed this, but later found there was no need.
Once the steering wheel is off I removed the 6 Allen head screws to remove the steering wheel from the boss. I then found the S4 boss wouldn't fit, so I then attached the SE boss to the S4 steering wheel with the 6 Allen head screws. Remember to make sure the top of the boss (marked with 'Top') is at the top of the steering wheel. All I really needed to do was to remove the screws and replace the wheel, without removing the boss.
I then reattached the wheel, making sure the boss was fitted with the 'Top' markings at the top of the wheel. I replaced the washer and bolt to secure the wheel and replacing the cover to finish the job. The S4 has the horn button located in the wheel, whereas the SE has this on the column, so the horn function on the wheel doesn't work.
This has to be one of the easiest modifications I've done to my Esprit. If I'd have done it properly (i.e. not removed the boss) it would have taken minutes. Other wheels will obviously be a little more difficult than this, but if you have the right parts it's not going to be difficult. The only thing that can cause problems is the nut holding the boss on can be very tight.
As for the new wheel, I love it. More modern than the SE wheel and feels lighter. I'm hoping to add to this page as other owners change there wheels, so there'll be a more comprehensive guide, as this is only a simple change. So if you change your wheel for a Lotus one or an aftermarket one. Please take some pictures and send them in.
This mod was performed by kato on his 1992 SE
If you have any comments, feel free to e-mail me with at firstname.lastname@example.org