06-10-09, 07:48 AM
Advanced Mastery Level I
Feedback Score: 3 reviews
Car: '10 FX35AWD & E550C
Fav Mod: 5.5L V8
GR Steering wheel removal
GR Steering wheel overview (goes for any removal). DO AT YOUR OWN RISK - have a shop do it if you're AT ALL unsure about this.
* park with your wheels straight ahead and steering wheel centered (duh!)
* disconnect battery negative terminal with 10mm
* wait a few minutes, step on brake pedal to bleed the capacitors in the system.
* Find the two holes on the back of the stock wheel. With a T30, release each fastener. NOTE - these need a 'break' action - not a slow torque. The fasteners do NOT come out so once they're loose, move on to the next step.
* once loosened, with the same T30 or a long allen (better), push the fasteners in - they're on pivoting plastic tabs inside the wheel and this releases the airbag.
* be careful here - this is an airbag we're talking about. There are three connections to loosen - the first is a bare metal spade for ground. DO NOT yank it * there's a tiny release tab for secure engagement - if you yank it, you'll break the spade off the airbag module (ask me how I know how...BTDT on my LGT wagon). There are two secured connectors for the airbag itself - one black, one yellow. THey have small tabs that must be popped open with a small screwdriver.
* Once you've unplugged everything, place the module in a safe spot (you'll be reinstalling it shortly)
* The steering wheel controls need to be removed but they CANNOT be released from the front - don't pop off the covers like I did and curse yourself when the parts fly apart on the floor. Leave them in place for now - you can remove them once the entire wheel is popped off the spindle.
* DO however, remove two phillips screws up high that secure the back plastic cover to the cast aluminum frame of the stock wheel.
* DO also unroute the steering wheel control cables from their clips inside the cover. Unplug the MOLEX connector - yes, there's a release tab
* I left the yellow airbag connector in place - it's short and there was no obvious release tab and better safe than sorry - it's safety equipment after all.
* Now you're ready to unbolt the wheel. It's a 17mm nut - you'll need an extension to get it down in and clear the rim of the wheel. It is also a 'break' type release - a quick jerk and you can spin it off by hand.
* mark the wheel and spindle with a sharpie to reference center (there are no ticks that I could see).
* The FUN part - releasing the wheel from the spindle. If you're lucky (unlike me), it will pop right off with a firm tug. There are two M8 threaded holes in the wheel - one on either side of the spindle. I'll assume there's a specialty tool that installs to force the wheel off the spindle. I didn't have one. I tried to make one from some angle iron and it bent, with the wheel laughing at me for trying. Some PB Blaster and gorilla action got it loose but I saw stars in the process.
* DO NOT REMOVE the clock spring - the plastic base behind the wheel with all the plug sockets - it's not fun to put back together.
* with the wheel off, you'll now find the phillips screws that secure the steering wheel controls....remove them.
* transfer the control modules to the new wheel, secure them with the phillips screws you carefully saved
* Put the wheel back over the spindle - thread the yellow airbag connector through, making sure no cables are pinched anywhere. The wheel has holes that match up to posts on the clock spring cover. Center the wheel, push it down on the spindle. Check your work....secure with 17mm nut you saved from before.
* route the cables from the control modules into their clips in the back cover.
* use the two phillips screws you have left to secure the back cover using the holes in the upper portion of the cast center of the new wheel.
* get the airbag module, carefully push on the ground. Place the black and yellow connectors in their sockets (with tabs open). Push tabs in to secure.
* carefully fit the airbag module into the wheel center. It should 'pop' into place with the T30 tabs moving out of the way and holding it.
* tighten the T30's with the Torx.
* reconnect battery. turn key over, let the gauges sweep, then start the car (the battery resets the ECU and if you have an AP, a quick start can mean 30 secs of cranking unless you wait for the needles to sweep with is the self-test confirmation).