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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
well its a pain in the butt to do, and couldnt get a good explaination from anyone, so I bet someone will find this helpfull. I was also able to do it without moving as much dash as people were telling me. I tried to take as many photos as possible but my garage is really dark.

UNPLUG THE POSITIVE TERMINAL ON THE BATTERY (I saw some post that you want the positive so the power reserve on the airbag can dissipate and not blow up in your face when you reattach the airbag)

Anyways, first remove the upper and lower panels covering the steering column. They are smaller torx screws (2 on top, 3 on bottom). Then you need to remove the panel infront of your knees (2 screws underneith those caps). Then you can pull it out gently (the rest of it is held on by several tabs, be carefull not to break it).

Then you want to remove that little panel next to that panel (forget what that entailed). Then you need to remove the panel above it (thats the panel with the headlights and dimmer). its held on by 2 or 3 screws. Pull the panel out alittle to disconnect the 3 wire adapters that connect into it. The headlight wire is easy, the bulb next to it twists off, and the connector for the dimmer is a little difficult.

Now you have enough room to work on the steering wheel.

The last thing you need to remove is the turn signal arm. its real easy, it just slides up and off.



Now the hard part, getting the air bag off. There are 3 holes on each side of the steering wheel (on the back). The center holes are the ones that you need to remove the screws from (they are torx 30, I think).

The problem is that some bit-adapter screw drivers are too thick to fit in the screw holes. The other problem is that those screws are rediculously hard to remove.

OK, first how to reach the screws, notice where I have the screw driver, You can access the screws in the space where the turn signal arm was. (to get the other screw, turn the wheel and do the same thing)


(you need to turn the screwdriver counter clockwise.. towards the drivers door). Go ahead, try turning it..... Notice that it just wont budge.

So I present to you my gettofabulous solution.
use a screw driver with a hole for hanging on a tool rack. insert a smaller screwdriver (that you dont mind destroying) into that hole


Then I took the stock tire iron for the other end.


getto, yes, but now you'll have enough leverage to turn the screws. The screws do not fall out (they just loosen).

The airbag should now be removed. do NOT remove that grey adaptor that holds the airbag to the steering column, instead remove that brown adaptor on the airbag itself.

The last step is to remove the centerl bolt on the steering wheel. I dont remember what size adaptor I used. I tried using hand tools that I had to remove it, couldnt get it and I didnt want to move my giant air compressor out of my lab to use that. So I borrowed a giant impact wrench and it came off like butter.

Now your dash should look like this



Then do everything in reverse to get the wheel back on.

Heres the before and after. mmmmmm.... leather....mmmmm



initial dyno testing showed the leather wheel added 15fwhp.

~Terry
 

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what if you are removing your airbag and wheel completely and not putting it back in? does the wiring you stated for the airbag remain the same or would we dissconnect the item from the column as you said not to?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ahh good question, my photos were too dark to show this stuff. That grey adaptor that I said not to remove is for 3 components (the horn, the cruise control and the airbag). So if your not planning on replacing the airbag or the cruise control or horn, I assume you can remove it.

and a small note, make sure your wheels are straight before you pull off the wheel (dont want a crooked steering wheel when your driving)

one thing I forgot to mention and maybe someone can help me out with this, I no longer have autoshutoff for my turn signals. Anyone know why? (otherwise, I guess I'm going to pull off the column panels and take a second look).

~Terry

([edit] crispy, if your planning on doing a swap soon, I'd be more than happy to do it for you at a future neco meet)
 
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