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How-To: Remove Steering Wheel
Steering Wheel (Subaru) Installation
Last Revision: 12 June 2009

Disclaimer: JPM Coachworks, LLC cannot be held liable for improper removal or installation of your steering wheel and airbag system. If you are uncomfortable with this please take your vehicle to an authorized repair center.

EXTERMELY IMPORTANT INFORMATION (From Subaru Shop Manual)
When removing the airbag from the steering wheel, be sure to turn the ignition switch to OFF, disconnect the ground cable from battery, and wait for more than 60 seconds prior to starting work. The airbag system is fitted with a backup power source. If the airbag system is serviced within 60 seconds after the ground cable is disconnected, it may inflate.

When storing a removed airbag module, do not place any objects on it or pile airbag modules on top of each other. If the airbag inflates for some reason when it is placed with its pad side facing downward or under any object, a serious accident may result. Do not drop the airbag modulator parts.

REMOVAL

1) Disconnect the ground cable from battery.
  • Use a 10mm socket to do so
  • Please remember that if you have Cobb AccessPort, your real time map will be need to be reflashed after disconnecting the battery
2) Set the tires to straight-ahead position.
  • Do your best to park as straight as possible. We suggest straightening the wheel and driving forward approximately 15ft. Try having a friend help you with this.
3) Remove the airbag.
  • In order to remove the airbag, you will need a T30 TORX bit.
  • You will find the two bolts on the left and right-hand side of the steering wheel, approximately at 9 and 3 o'clock (refer to figure 1.0 in the “Reference Images” section of this installation guide).
  • These are lightly torque (~5 to 7.2 ft.lbs) and will not come out of the steering wheel.
  • Once these are loosened, you may gently remove the airbag.
  • You will immediately notice the airbag harness. There may be one or two plugs and one ground plug connected to the airbag. The ground is removed with another gentle pull. The main connectors, located on the center of the rear of the airbag, will have either one yellow or one yellow and one pick lock tabs. Use a small flat head to gently pry this upward. Place this yellow lock tab in a safe place (refer to figure 1.2 or 1.3 for applicable model year).
  • Your airbag is now ready to be removed! Please take great care in storing your airbag!
4) Make matching marks on the steering wheel and steering shaft.
  • This allows you to reinstall the wheel "straight" and "centered".
5) Remove the steering wheel nut, and remove the steering wheel.
  • This nut is 17mm and is lightly torque (~33.2 ft-lb), you may need an extension to clear the steering wheel itself. Do not remove this nut completely when loosening the wheel from the steering column as it will prevent you from pulling the wheel off with the roll connector attached OR hitting yourself in the forehead.
  • The actual removal of the wheel is straightforward, however, it can be frustrating because the wheel does not just "pop" right out. You may need to "rock" the wheel left and right in order to free it from the spline and allow you to pull it out.
6A) GD Chassis: Remove the plastic housing on the rear of the steering wheel.
  • This is necessary only if you are replacing your wheel with one which does not have this rear plastic housing (all core swaps more than likely will require this step)
  • There are four (4) brass colored screws that will require a screwdriver to remove. Once you have removed these, you may transfer your plastic housing to the new steering wheel.
6B) GR Chassis: Remove the plastic housing on the rear of the steering wheel.
  • This is necessary only if you are replacing your wheel with one which does not have this rear plastic housing (all core swaps more than likely will require this step)
  • There are four (4) silver colored screws that will require a screwdriver to remove. Once you have removed these, you may remove the plastic housing by simply pushing or pulling on the two small tabs located at the bottom spoke of the steering wheel.
  • In order to remove the radio and cruise control (or blanks if applicable), flip the wheel over and you will see two (2) additional silver colored screws. Remove these.



INSTALLATION
1) Install in the reverse order of removal.


Tightening torque for steering wheel nut:
45 N•m (4.6 kgf-m, 33.2 ft-lb)

Tightening torque for T30 TORX bolts:
10 N•m (1.0 kgf-m, 7.2 ft-lb)

Column cover-to-steering wheel clearance:
2 — 4 mm (0.08 — 0.16 in)
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Re: How-To: Remove Steering Wheel

I will be taking photos in a few hours for everyone :)

cheers,
ak

/edit -- looks like I am unfortunately not going to make it into the shop to take those photos today. Have them tomorrow for sure!
 

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Re: How-To: Remove Steering Wheel

Here's a little tip for Step 5 that'll literally save you some undue pain/hardship.

When you're about to remove the wheel and after you break the 17mm nut loose, don't completely remove it. Leave it still on the spline with only a few revolutions left until it falls off. This will stop you from hitting yourself in the face (or anywhere else) with the wheel if in the event you accidently use too much force to break it loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: How-To: Remove Steering Wheel

Here's a little tip for Step 5 that'll literally save you some undue pain/hardship.

When you're about to remove the wheel and after you break the 17mm nut loose, don't completely remove it. Leave it still on the spline with only a few revolutions left until it falls off. This will stop you from hitting yourself in the face (or anywhere else) with the wheel if in the event you accidently use too much force to break it loose.
Good point, I almost had that happen a few days ago :)

Ive added several photos to the writeup.
 

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Re: How-To: Remove Steering Wheel

Here's a little tip for Step 5 that'll literally save you some undue pain/hardship.

When you're about to remove the wheel and after you break the 17mm nut loose, don't completely remove it. Leave it still on the spline with only a few revolutions left until it falls off. This will stop you from hitting yourself in the face (or anywhere else) with the wheel if in the event you accidently use too much force to break it loose.
very nice tip
 

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Re: How-To: Remove Steering Wheel

alternatively, use a steering wheel puller (similar to a crank pulley puller) to get it out nice and gently :)
 

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Re: Remove Steering Wheel

Any update on this? I'm sure i can figure it out, but pictures are always nice. :D
Thanks
 

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Re: Remove Steering Wheel

Any update on this? I'm sure i can figure it out, but pictures are always nice. :D
Thanks
I could not find my original photos unfortunately...We do not ship out our instructions with the photographs and we have not had a customer report an issue. The procedure is extremely straight forward, just take your time and be patience. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us or your local Subaru dealership for assistance.

Since there are no longer any photos, is this for GD or GR?
This How-To is for the GD. Nevertheless, the installation and removal for the GR is essentially the same but with the additional steps of removing the steering wheel controls.

Next time a GR wheel comes back into the shop as a core return, I will do my best to photograph what I am referring to.

Thanks!
 

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Re: Remove Steering Wheel

This How-To is for the GD. Nevertheless, the installation and removal for the GR is essentially the same but with the additional steps of removing the steering wheel controls.

Next time a GR wheel comes back into the shop as a core return, I will do my best to photograph what I am referring to.

Thanks!
Also, steering wheel nut torque for the GR:
39 N·m (4.0 kgf-m, 28.8 ft-lb)
 

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Question: I have a 2002 V7 STI. It has a momo 4 pointed wheel with an airbag. Am I able to swap it for a 2003 STI steering wheel that is a 3 pointed wheel with no problems?
 

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Question: I have a 2002 V7 STI. It has a momo 4 pointed wheel with an airbag. Am I able to swap it for a 2003 STI steering wheel that is a 3 pointed wheel with no problems?
Are you inquiring whether or not the v7 airbag will fit? If the wheel is four spoke, I doubt it unfortunately.
 

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I want to replace my 4 spoke steering wheel with a 3 spoke wheel. Is this possable? I have a 2002 Sti and was going to repace it with a 2003 Sti wheel.

here are some pictures.

Swap from this:


to this:
 

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Just finished install it look great and works. Had to replace the clock spring though with one that matched the wheel. Only problem i had was the clock spring is held on by 4 screws and their positions are different with the V7 and V8 i got 2 in and drilled a hole to get another in. But the top right one is way off so i am going to have to work something out later.

I think that might be causing the indicator to not click off when turning right. It clicks off when turning left just not right :mad:.

p.s. Getting the wheel off is extremely hard!!!:eek:
 
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