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Old 11-25-2009, 08:41 PM   #1
VT2CA
 
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CHANGING THE STEERING WHEEL (Not for the faint of heart)

My car is a 1LT (no C&C), I really wanted a leather steering wheel and hoped to get the audio/phone controls to work too (but that's not so simple)
Again forgive my weak iphone pics, but here I present to you:
HOW TO CHANGE STEERING WHEEL
*****DISCLAIMER***** I would suggest you not attempt this if you arent confident in your ability to be strong but delicate and confident in dismantling autos.. ++Dont be cheap, you could break a part that is a) impossible to get, and b) not super cheap. A Dealer shouldnt charge you more than 1 -1/2 hours labor for this++++ I'll share my horror story at the end.

Release the airbag. (this is by far the trickiest part)
on the right and left sides of the steering wheel there are two small holes.

Find a strong tool that will fit through those holes, I recommend an allen wrench, I used a strong vinyl coated wire hanger.


Starting on the right side push the tool through the hole till you fell it catch on a spring that you can move. (There are no pics this all happens in a place where I can't show, sorry) The feeling of pushing this spring with your tool is unique (lol, really where is my mind) You will know when you are pushing it. While pushing the spring pull gently on the airbag......gently.......GENTLY (but strong) releasing the right side plastic clip on the bag.
Switch to the left side and repeat the process
There is a Yellow Y Cable that connects to the back of the bag. This cable is less than a foot long so pulling too hard while releasing the bag could cause you to destroy the clockspring which is the main control center of your steering wheel electronics. Be careful and you'll be OK
release the two clips from the back of the airbag Put the airbag aside in a safe place.
Using a Torx47 ratchet release the center bolt from the wheel. Pull the clip for the steering wheel electronics, and the wheel will pull right off the steering column, no puller neccesary.
carefully feed the airbag wires back out of the wheel as you pull it off.
Here's a great a view of the removed wheel exposing the delicate clockspring

repeat the process in reverse and everything should snap back right into place

Last edited by VT2CA; 11-26-2009 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:43 PM   #2
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So, what did you replace it with?
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:05 PM   #3
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Put on a leather SS Wheel with audio controls here's a fuzzy view:

Plan to have dealer program radio for steering wheel controls to be active
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:14 PM   #4
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MY HORROR STORY (Destroyed Clockspring)

I pulled too hard while releasing my airbag and it ripped the wiring right out of the clockspring. Here is a viewed of my destroyed clockspring

This part is super delicate and controls not only the airbag but all the electronics in the steering wheel.

I am currently on backorder waiting 3+ weeks to get this part from my dealer, 2 dealers in the US had this part in stock and both are for customers awaiting install, they shared with me their experience in also being on backorder waiting 2+ months for the part. I ended up paying 2X Gm list price to get this part from the same dismantler who I got my steering wheel from, he shared with me his experience dismantling 5 cars and having only 1 of these left undamaged in the end. This is a delicate part (Did I say that?) I really hope if you attempt to change your wheel that you value not only how rare this part is but how important it is to the airbag and steering functionality of your vehicle. here is the pic of the coveted clockspring installed.
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VT2CA View Post
Put on a leather SS Wheel with audio controls here's a fuzzy view:

Plan to have dealer program radio for steering wheel controls to be active
have you had a chance to program the controls?
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:07 PM   #6
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CAUTION CAUTION CAUTION, be sure to follow all factory safety precautions. Air bags can deploy in your face and cause injury or worse. Unless you know what you are doing it is not worth it to take chances. Pay the dealer or any competent body shop or Audio/dash shop. Just my professional 2 cents.
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VT2CA View Post
I pulled too hard while releasing my airbag and it ripped the wiring right out of the clockspring. Here is a viewed of my destroyed clockspring

This part is super delicate and controls not only the airbag but all the electronics in the steering wheel.

I am currently on backorder waiting 3+ weeks to get this part from my dealer, 2 dealers in the US had this part in stock and both are for customers awaiting install, they shared with me their experience in also being on backorder waiting 2+ months for the part. I ended up paying 2X Gm list price to get this part from the same dismantler who I got my steering wheel from, he shared with me his experience dismantling 5 cars and having only 1 of these left undamaged in the end. This is a delicate part (Did I say that?) I really hope if you attempt to change your wheel that you value not only how rare this part is but how important it is to the airbag and steering functionality of your vehicle. here is the pic of the coveted clockspring installed.

lol
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rdono View Post
CAUTION CAUTION CAUTION, be sure to follow all factory safety precautions. Air bags can deploy in your face and cause injury or worse. Unless you know what you are doing it is not worth it to take chances. Pay the dealer or any competent body shop or Audio/dash shop. Just my professional 2 cents.
Always disconnect the battery and wait 15 minutes, this will allow time for the power to bleed off and make the airbag system safe to work around...
it still pays to be careful around them. I had the one out of my HHR steering wheel about 5 times already with no problems..
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:32 PM   #9
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I did this mod on my Honda Element. Replaced the standard wheel with the Pilot leather wheel and had no issues. I too disconnected the battery first before attempting this mod. Failure to do can cause the bad to go off in your face. Replacement ain't cheap.
I want to replace my 1LT wheel as well with a leather SS wheel but my question that I haven't been able to have answered is whether or not the wheel is plug and play. By this I mean, are there radio controls already there like for the SS? I can't see doing this if the controls are inop. For the Element, and since I had the EX-P model, it was just a matter of pulling the wheel, unpluggin the old connections and connecting the new ones, tighten up the center locking nut or hub, airbag backin place and then using the special tool to tighen the screws on the underside of the wheel and reconnect the battery. Never an issue but again, I want the leather and function and I'd like to have the SS removed since I don't want to perpetrate.
Any answers on the whether all Camaro's are wired for this wheel would help.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:38 PM   #10
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That's a great mod, but other people considering this should look into products by DSV Customs. They have a great carbon fiber option that I will probably install in my Camaro.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:45 PM   #11
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That's a great mod, but other people considering this should look into products by DSV Customs. They have a great carbon fiber option that I will probably install in my Camaro.
this is actually something i've been thinking about doing once I get my ss, i wanna install a custom steering wheel so I can do something like the steering wheel bumblebee had in transformers, but then i'd lose all the stuff that the stock wheel has, any solutions anybody knows of?
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:16 PM   #12
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This is my next mod. I just bought an SS wheel for $140 delivered. Should have it within the next 7days and I'll be doing this myself. Can't wait as there is nothing like the feel of a leather wheel. Do this on my Honda Element was pretty easy. I'm just wondering about the battery disconnect. Will under the hood suffice or will I also have to disconnect in the trunk as well?
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:01 PM   #13
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Just do the one in the trunk. Disconnect the ground cable directly from the battery, don't worry about anything under the hood. That way you KNOW there can be no power to anything.
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:17 PM   #14
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Taking the airbag off was very easy
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Old 07-31-2010, 09:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chozn4service View Post
This is my next mod. I just bought an SS wheel for $140 delivered. Should have it within the next 7days and I'll be doing this myself. Can't wait as there is nothing like the feel of a leather wheel. Do this on my Honda Element was pretty easy. I'm just wondering about the battery disconnect. Will under the hood suffice or will I also have to disconnect in the trunk as well?
Wow where'd you get that deal?!
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:38 AM   #16
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prob trunk just to be sure .. and to speed it up touch both terminals together off the battery to drain the capacitor faster......
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Old 08-07-2010, 01:34 AM   #17
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I just purchased my steering wheel but I can't figure out what a torx47 ratchet is....anyone have any idea..or even a picture of it?
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:52 AM   #18
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torx is a kind of head for a ratchet ... it looks like a star , same amount of sides as a allen wrench
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:45 AM   #19
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torx is a kind of head for a ratchet ... it looks like a star , same amount of sides as a allen wrench
Ahh I see. I appreciate your help Well I went out to look for a torx 47...I can only find a torx 40..do you think that will suffice?
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Old 08-08-2010, 04:13 PM   #20
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So I finally replaced my steering wheel a leather 2SS wheel. Feels soooo much better on the hands. Everything went as planned and as explained. However, no one mentioned that annoying stip that resembles those kodak picture films. . They were a pain in the A to put back in!

I just guessed, but you just wrapped it around the wheel, correct? Hopefully everything turned out ok. I'm afraid the airbags won't deploy and that the wheel will come loose..I guess we'll see in the years to come lol...
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:49 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by chozn4service View Post
I did this mod on my Honda Element. Replaced the standard wheel with the Pilot leather wheel and had no issues. I too disconnected the battery first before attempting this mod. Failure to do can cause the bad to go off in your face. Replacement ain't cheap.
I want to replace my 1LT wheel as well with a leather SS wheel but my question that I haven't been able to have answered is whether or not the wheel is plug and play. By this I mean, are there radio controls already there like for the SS? I can't see doing this if the controls are inop. For the Element, and since I had the EX-P model, it was just a matter of pulling the wheel, unpluggin the old connections and connecting the new ones, tighten up the center locking nut or hub, airbag backin place and then using the special tool to tighen the screws on the underside of the wheel and reconnect the battery. Never an issue but again, I want the leather and function and I'd like to have the SS removed since I don't want to perpetrate.
Any answers on the whether all Camaro's are wired for this wheel would help.
just get one from the 2LT, same steering wheel without the SS on it
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:27 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VT2CA View Post
Put on a leather SS Wheel with audio controls here's a fuzzy view:

Plan to have dealer program radio for steering wheel controls to be active
Just installed an SS Wheel and added the audio controls that I ordered from gmpartsdirect.com. I read this thread and this other thread http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73511 it helpded out so much, I installed everything in less than 30 minutes, but I had read the threads in detail and went to buy a small flat head screw driver to remove the air bag cover and torx47 bit to remove the steeing wheel.

VT2CA did you get your audio controls programmed already?
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:32 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chozn4service View Post
I did this mod on my Honda Element. Replaced the standard wheel with the Pilot leather wheel and had no issues. I too disconnected the battery first before attempting this mod. Failure to do can cause the bad to go off in your face. Replacement ain't cheap.
I want to replace my 1LT wheel as well with a leather SS wheel but my question that I haven't been able to have answered is whether or not the wheel is plug and play. By this I mean, are there radio controls already there like for the SS? I can't see doing this if the controls are inop. For the Element, and since I had the EX-P model, it was just a matter of pulling the wheel, unpluggin the old connections and connecting the new ones, tighten up the center locking nut or hub, airbag backin place and then using the special tool to tighen the screws on the underside of the wheel and reconnect the battery. Never an issue but again, I want the leather and function and I'd like to have the SS removed since I don't want to perpetrate.
Any answers on the whether all Camaro's are wired for this wheel would help.
The 1SS does not have audio controls only the 2SS, just like only the 2LT has audio controls. I found an automatic 1SS leather steering wheel on ebay for $120 shipped the audio controls and harness cost me around $60 from gmpartsdirect, check out this thread http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73511

I had found a 2LT leather steering wheel with audio controls on ebay but it had green stiching, it was from a synergy green model.
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:30 PM   #24
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Yea, I ended up adding the audio controls on my wheel and had it programmed and all was good! I did this in May but later found a leather wheel on Ebay myself for $120 shipped and it had the radio controls on it so all I did was replace one wheel with the other and all was cool.
So nice to have a leather wheel again. Couldn't believe how easy it was to do this mod. This was performed on my 2010 1LTRS that I've since traded for a 2011 2SSRS. Now for someone else to enjoy.....
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Last edited by chozn4service; 12-18-2013 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:54 PM   #25
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I have a 2013 ZL1 and I don't see the small holes other wheels have. Does anyone know how to remove the steering wheel off my car. I would like to paint the surround and hydro dip the parts.
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