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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Big standard steering wheels suck.
I have an EK4 which has an airbag in the steering wheel. Anyone got experience of swapping out the standard wheel with a non-airbag steering wheel?

I realise i probably need to follow a certain process to disconnect the airbag before removing the wheel. Also i dont want the SRS warning light coming on permanently once the airbag has been disconnected. Ideally i'd still like the passenger airbag to still work (cos they wont have harnesses like me).

I've swapped a non-airbag wheel before on my old EG just never encountered an airbag before.

Any help much appreciated.
CarlosEK4
 

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It's fairly straight forward to change the wheel over. Make sure the battery is disconnected at least 15 ins before you start to dismantle (recommended time, i waited at least half an hour to be sure.) Then, you need to look for a small plastc cover either sied of the steering wheel (visable if you turn the wheel half a turn) Use a flat screwdriver to remover htese, and you'll find a screw beneath these. Undo screws, and the airbag will come out from the steering wheel (might need a bit of jiggling about if it's never been removed before. Once its free, disconnect the plug on it and remove it from the car (see saftey note at bottom of this post) Now you need to take out the wheel...make sure youre wheels are pointing straight ahead at this point, to help align the new steering wheel when fitting it. If the centr nut on the wheel is tight, get someone to hold the wheel steady while you undo the nut (trying to keep the wheels pointing straight). once the nut is off, remove wheel.
You'll see a black plastic circle with srs on it. This is the wiring spool for your srs airbag/horn etc. You need this kept in place. Theres two pins that stick out from it, these are for locating the self cancelling cam into the wheel so youre indicators swithch off when req. Make sure the boss is aligned with these when fitting. Fit the boss, and tighten the centre nut (use a torque wrench and correct settings) Fit new wheel to boss,attaching the horn wires to the horn button on new wheel.Hopefully,if you've kept the front wheels straight, it should sit level. Use the allen bolts to attach it (depending on type/mak of wheel) again tighten as req.
I've put a link in to find out how to reset the airbag, as it'll take another page to explain that!!!! http://www.youforum.co.uk/civic/viewtopic.php?id=17453" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; That should help ;)
Depending on the model, you may have to remove the steering wheel shroud, and if i've missed anything can members add it in please!

Now AIRBAG SAFTEY. Be careful when removing and handling the airbag, as it's an explosive device. Don't drop it (if you do, it may go off, and if it doesnt it's rendered useless by the shock anyway) When carrying it, always face the front of it (the side that faces you when driving) away from you. STORAGE always store it with the front (as described aove) facing upwards.
Please only carry out this if you feel conifdent enought to do it. This especially goes when resetting the srs. Use the plug that comes with the boss kit for bridging the srs plug. Follow the instructions on resetting to the letter. Also, remember, you do this at your own risk!!!!
That said, thousands of enthusiasts carry out this simple car mod every year without misshap
FOOTNOTE: once the wheels fitted, phone you're insurance and tell them!
Hope this helps :cool:
Dave
*EDIT: Make sure the boss kit you get is for an airbag equipped car! Otherwise the boss won't fit
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the detailed reply dave-civic and that reset instructions are invaluable. I think i digested it and sounds as though i have the skills to do it but beginning to get nervous with all the safety warnings :-/ If i go for it i'll report back. Cheers dude!
 

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personaly i kept the standerd steering wheel with airbag than going for an aftermarket.....as i was thinking i would prefer a broken face than to have it ripped off as i go through the windscreen.
 

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You wont go through the windscreen if your wearing a bloody seatbelt ,
Airbags are fired by explosive material, the gas produced during that explosion is not very healthy (although it causes no major damage), expecially older models are not acidfree, what caused manufactures like Audi to develop air pressure inflated airbags at that time. Newer airbags are acid free.

Airbags do not last for ever and are expensive to replace.

The overall costs for repairing cars after an airbag was fired during a crash are higher and caused raising of insurance fees.

The power of an exploding airbag is enormous and might hurt people who do not wear seatbelts, sit too close to the airbag or have a part of their body on the airbag, when it fires (imagine that a passenger airbag might fly up 10 or more meters when you put it upside down on the floor and fire it, and then think about someone having his/her feet on the dashboard when the airbag fires ... your ankles will be behind your ears).

In the backside of each airbag is a hole, where the hot gas streams out. It can burn you if you manage to get your hand there.

Active safety features like airbags, seatbelts and so on give a feeling of safety to drivers that can lead to overestimating their driving skills (BECAUSE THEY FEEL SAFE , THEY MAY RISK MORE).

Airbags can fire out of malfunction, if it happens when someone is driving the car he will most likely cause an accident.

If an airbag bursts the hot gas can burn the skin of the driver / passenger, the fabric itself doesn't heat up enough during the explosion.
 

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I would rather keep the airbag, it can save your life and avoid further injury. I think the main problems with airbags is the expense to repair and service. Its just an extra safety feature, why not?
 

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carlosEK4 said:
Thanks for the detailed reply dave-civic and that reset instructions are invaluable. I think i digested it and sounds as though i have the skills to do it but beginning to get nervous with all the safety warnings :-/ If i go for it i'll report back. Cheers dude!
No probs mate, you're welcome :cool:
 

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when i got my civic, it was the first car i had owned with an airbag... so within the first week i was thinking to myself what it would be like to see and feel the airbag deploy... but, not wanting to crash my car, i didnt want to do it... but after a month, i kinda hit a wall... i can clearly say, airbags hurt.. alot. i was only going like 20mph when i hit the wall, so impact wasnt even THAT bad... but the airbag smashed me in the face, and it wasnt pleasant! still, id rather have one if i was going 70mph headon into a wall...
 
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