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  View original topic: Steering Wheel removal and swap with pictures. Page: 1, 2, 3  Next
Timwhy Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:20 am

Swapped out my steering wheel for a MKII wheel out of an older Jetta, this new wheel is smaller in diameter and is a direct fit on to the steering column.

First of remove the horn cover on the old wheel. Pry it off with your fingers , being careful that you don't break it.
The size socket you'll need is a 24mm. I had to hold the steering wheel while putting pressure on the ratchet to get the nut to break free. This would have been easier if another person is around to help.

After you get the nut off the steering wheel should just lift off and this will be what you see.

A closer look reveals the three 3mm retaining screws that hold the turn/wiper switch too the ignition switch.

Next you'll have to remove the bottom column cover. Unscrew the two screws that hold the two pieces of the column cover together. The screws are on the bottom side and a phillips screwdriver is needed.
You can see a small gap between the column cover and the new wheel (trial run). If you are looking closely in between them you'll see that the horn tab does not touch the horn ring on the wheel. Also the turn cancell does not go into the switch. This will be why you'll need to raise the switch up a bit to make these function.

After you get the wheel, and column cover off. Remove the switch by removing the three 3mm screws and ever so easy move the switch up and out of place. Enough too unplug all the wire harnesses. There are two in the front and one in the back left. Be carefull that you don't break them while removing them. Also the top cover of the column was very hard to get off the ignition switch. You'll need to remove this so be careful that you don't break it. Once removed this is what you'll see.

In the picture above you can see there is a black sleeve around the column, this goes up and into the switch when it is in place. This is where I chose to put my spacers, instead of the retaining screw mounts. You can see the top right screw hole in the picture. I think it will be very difficult to get a spacer in this location while putting it back together, but others have had success. I made the spacers out of a 1" pvc pipe coupler, not the pipe but the coupler. It fit over the column sleeve with just alittle slack.
I cut two of these with a band saw about 2mm each in thickness, you can probably cut them with a hack saw.

I then put the spacers on the column over the sleeve. Next was a trail run of the switch being mounted , then the new wheel too see if everything lined up. Since the gap between the column cover and the new wheel was not going to change, just the switch being closer I did not put the column cover back on for the trail run. After everything lined up I then put the covers top and bottom back on.

Then comes the new wheel, crank the nut down really good and replace the horn cover and you are in business.

The finished product. A new smaller diameter thicker steering wheel, now for a wheel skin or cover?

Santana Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:08 am

I like the new steering wheel, looks good. Can you still see the speedo ok? Just curious because my momo wheel slightly blocks the top part of the instrument panel. The smaller diameter makes it really nice to drive and outweighs the minor inconvenience.

Timwhy Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:13 am

1991VanagonCarat wrote: I like the new steering wheel, looks good. Can you still see the speedo ok? Just curious because my momo wheel slightly blocks the top part of the instrument panel. The smaller diameter makes it really nice to drive and outweighs the minor inconvenience.

The last picture was taken with an 18mm lens, so it's wider angle and not everything would appear the same to your eyes. It's close too but not quite. I am 6'2" and the top left corner of the speedo is alittle hiden but other than that everytings visible. I don't trust my speedo anyway, with my new larger wheels and tires, I use the gps for speed.

Really nice Carat!! Love your interior!!

Santana Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:38 am

Who needs a speedometer anyways, hahaha.

Same to you, I really like your westy! I was just checking out your gallery, you have done alot of cool mods. The reverse lights are fantastic, did you write a post about that? Would love to know more.
Thanks,
Jon

GBA 88West LA Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:45 am

nice easy mod , looks great thanks for posting

jarad Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:46 am

Looks good! You guys must have power steering! I was thinking about using a smaller diameter wheel, but then I realized that's where the power of my steering comes from! :shock:

Perales Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:44 am

Is there a trick to prying off the horn cover with your fingers? I have attempted this but stopped for fear of breaking it. How is the thing clipped on? Mine just seems like it will break if I try any harder.

Saguache Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:41 pm

Timwhy wrote: First of remove the horn cover on the old wheel. Pry it off with your fingers , being careful that you don't break it.


Cool deal, thanks for the photos. I'm about ready to do something similar and repair the horn. Any idea where the plastic catches on the back of the horn cover? Would help me along a bit 8)

Timwhy Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:05 pm

Perales wrote: Is there a trick to prying off the horn cover with your fingers? I have attempted this but stopped for fear of breaking it. How is the thing clipped on? Mine just seems like it will break if I try any harder.

Ok a couple of you need a pic of the tabs inside the horn cover.
First pic shows the horn cover upside down, there are six tabs total. Three on top and three on bottom. Best way to remove is to pull with finger tips from the top, toward you.

Second pic show side view from rear.

Saguache Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:45 pm

Timwhy wrote: Ok a couple of you need a pic of the tabs inside the horn cover.

You sir are a rock star!

SouthOlive Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:57 am

I have a nice MKII wheel just like this. If anyone wants it, just let me know.

SeattleDownhill Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:36 am

Screw you and your power steering....

That looks rad, I don't think I could swing it when it comes to parking... No power steering I thin means I'll keep my 4 foot steering wheel

Franklinstower Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:19 pm

To steal a quote from another thread (how do you like your joints)

That is DOPE man!

Me likey.

stevey88 Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:02 pm

I put in a steering wheel from an early Eurovan. Just remove a nut, take out the old wheel ( with power steering ), put in the new wheel and replace the nut. Same diameter ( 16.5 in. ) and same depth.



syncrodoka Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:26 pm

Now put on a wheelskins leather wrap and you are done. 8)

Timwhy Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:35 pm

Had an issue with my steering collumn yesterday. Took the van out for a quick spin to give the battery a charge and I got as far as the end of the block. When I went left my wheel had alittle play in it. Up/down and left/right, then the horn started going off (great).

Went about 5 or 6 block and returned home. It was getting dark and there was no way to really get a good look at it. Got on the samba and PM'd Loogy. He responded with the perfect diagnosis the plastic sleeve had come up the collumn and the collumn now had some play in it.

This morning I went out before work and sure as Loogy said, that sleeve was up the collumn. Push it down and the collumn was tight. Problem is the new steering wheel doesn't go down far enough to put pressure on that sleeve so it happened again after I put everything back together.

So, remedy! I had to cut a piece if pvc pipe cuppling to bridge the gap between the wheel and the sleeve then put everything back together and see if it worked. It worked, Thanks Loogy! It was like you could see my steering collumn with such an accurate description of the problem.

On a side note while I had the collumn apart I replaced the ignition switch. Really easy 15 minute repair, what a difference that new switch makes. Just the feel of it tells me that the old one was on it's last legs.
Thanks goes out to Ben for the directions on that replacement.

r39o Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:03 pm

stevey88 wrote: I put in a steering wheel from an early Eurovan.
I like it. Now I need to find a leather one. Wonder what a new one costs? I bought a new leather wheel for our A4 when we got it. It was $220 from VW. Emm.......

In the mean time, I am going to use a nice leather A2 wheel I got. I await the little special adapter......($11 shipped.)

RCWesty Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:24 pm

so from your first set of photos, can you show where the additional pvc spacers would be placed. You need three? two below the signal switch and one above?

was at the pick n pull and so happened that this same steering wheel was already removed and sitting on the seat of a jetta. 14 bucks later and now I think I'll attempt this mod.

might have to wait until you worked out the solution.

thanks

Timwhy Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:43 pm

RCWesty wrote: so from your first set of photos, can you show where the additional pvc spacers would be placed. You need three? two below the signal switch and one above?

was at the pick n pull and so happened that this same steering wheel was already removed and sitting on the seat of a jetta. 14 bucks later and now I think I'll attempt this mod.

might have to wait until you worked out the solution.

thanks



In this pic you'll see the steering collumn, the two pvc spacers that I put on to raise the wiper/blinker switches. Went over the black spacer in the pic. I guess you don't need two, maybe one about 2mm in thickness. Trial and error that's why there were two for me.



Then the switches go back on and everything is tightened up. The next spacer for the wheel wobble went over the collumn and rested on top of the black sleeve. This is a smaller diameter pvc than the lower spacers.
I actually used a pvc pipe cuppler used to join two pipes together. It was not a perfect match in diameter as the Black sleeve but close enough. Once that spacer is in place, you may have to line it up to the inside of the cancellation tab on the wheel. Put the nut back on and tighten it up, you should then be good to go.


After the new wheel is on you'll see that there's a gap between the wheel bottom and the steering collumn bezel.
I'm currently thinking of ideas to cover this gap so dust and such does not get in the collumn and switches.
I'm thinking of some black rubber piece, maybe something off a squeegee?
Don't know yet but I'll keep looking. Any suggestions?

Nice find on the wheel! Great price too! I think that you'll really enjoy it!
Good time to change that ignition switch while everythings apart.

Good luck!

Tim

RCWesty Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:56 pm

thanks!



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