OutRun Restoration Part 4: Dashboard & Steering

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In the previous part, I restored the pedals. That turned out to be an absolute doddle compared to the dashboard and steering mechanism. Buckle up. This is a long one…

I disconnected the dash from the cabinet and put it on the workbench to take a closer look. As well as it being really dirty and greasy, it had a few problems…

dirty broken steering


The A gear on the right wasn’t too bad, it was just covered in grease. The blue B gear on the other hand had 2 teeth missing and was held together with a cable tie. The steering springs were also held on with cable ties…

broken b gear


The C gear was absolutely caked with grease and had 3 splits across it…

c gear


You can see the 3 splits clearer here. There’s also broken weld in the left corner of the stopper tray, so the tray was loose on that end…

c gear broken


The D gear attached to the pot had a small split just above the grub screw hole…

d gear


With the steering column and gears dismantled, I got a clear photo of all 4 gears. A and D were on their way out… B and C were completely knackered…

all the old broken gears


The steering springs had cable ties on them to help keep them attached at the ends where the metal posts had worn away on the arm plates…

springs with cable ties


I had 1 decent-ish arm plate, and one broken one. You can see that in the photo below – the one on the right is missing the top section….

busted arm plate


The last remaining problem was a missing small metal rod that holds a small roller in the top metal section (I think it’s called the roller bracket). The two rollers seem to assist the smooth running of the metal frame on the wooden control panel unit when the shaker motor activates. I don’t think this will be a problem as the other roller is performing the role of both of them, and didn’t seem worn at all…

missing rod


At this point I had everything taken apart and organised so I could remember what order to put things back. I used the helpful diagram from the Reassembler blog to assist me. The gear shifter and pedal assembly were nothing compared to this…

everything taken apart ready for cleaning


I didn’t have the use of my friend’s ultrasonic cleaner this time, so I used Autoglym Engine Cleaner, rust remover, toothbrushes and a heavy dose of elbow grease to clean all the metalwork…

all metalwork cleaned


Here’s another shot of the roller bracket where the missing rod is. Here’s before it was cleaned…

dashboard frame piece before cleaning


And here’s after the cleaning…

dashboard frame piece after cleaning


And here’s a before and after of the shaker motor. That came up really nice…

I needed to sort the broken arm plate. Luckily a nice ukvaccer from New Zealand offered to send me a bunch of spare parts he had for free (thanks Michael). This was a saviour as it contained 2 non-broken arm-plates. He also helpfully sent me some more green cable-ties. 😉

bag of spare parts


So now I had 2 working arm plates… but there was a problem: The bit where the springs attach was worn away on both of them, so much so, that the springs were not attaching well enough and were loose and prone to falling off (hence the cable ties)…

arm plates worn away


Time to call on my friend Ed with his tig welder! We welded the spring-retaining post on both arm plates so that they wouldn’t fall off…

welding arm plate
welding the other arm plate
welding the arm plates


Here’s how they turned out after using an angle grinder to cut new grooves where the ends of the springs slot into…

finished arm plate


I had everything ready now to rebuild the steering. For the A and B gears, I got a mild steel reproduction gear set from giz10p. These are super quality and will probably outlast the cab! For the C and D gears, I found some replacement 3D printed ABS plastic ones on ebay. They’re not metal, but I’d been told the A and B gears are the usual ones to break…

new giz10p A and B gears


The original springs were ok, but a little bent. I got some reproduction ones from ArcadeFixit. These are the same tension as the originals…

new steering springs


Time to put it all back together. First, the main steering column with the new metal A and B gears and the welded fixed up arm plates…

new A and B gears fitted
new A and B gears fitted alternate view


Then the new C and D gears and the shaker motor back on…

all gears replaced and motor back on


Moving on to the rest of the control panel, the front of the wooden frame was disgusting…

front of wooden 
dash dust and grime


But not for long…

front of dash nice and clean


The back of the plastic dash and the plastic instrument panel were equally as disgusting…

dirty dash plastic
dirty dash plastic snf instrument panel
dirty instrument panel
dirty back of dash plastic


The front of the plastic dash was actually pretty clean, apart from around the steering wheel and shifter plate…

They also cleaned up quite nicely…

And the small cracks and scratches around where the shifter sits are hardly noticable with the new shifter in place. I decided to leave the cracked/missing piece of dash around the right mounting bolt hole. All in all this dash was in great condition, and it was original. It is very thin plastic and I didn’t want to tempt fate by trying to repair it and making it worse. I didn’t want to get a repro dash and when you’re playing the game you hardly notice it anyway (half of the damaged area will be covered up by a black washer anyhow)…


I added grease to the gears, put the dash plastics back on, bolted it all together and went through the testing menu to set the correct steering value for the pot that’s connected to the D gear. Then I went for a test drive, and it was spot on! The steering centered beautifully and everything was really smooth and perfectly calibrated. Very happy!

dashboard and steering restored


Phew… that was a long one, but a lot was accomplished! Shifter, pedals, and now the steering was sorted. Time to move onto the cabinet itself. Feels like I can see light at the end of the tunnel now. See you in the next part.

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