Steering Wheel Swap

General talk about the Subaru Baja.

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N2L
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Steering Wheel Swap

Post by N2L »

I've started a steering wheel swap on my Baja with a 3-spoke Momo wheel from a Legacy GT. I compiled some information on getting the right parts using a thread from LegacyGT.com as a guide.

LibertyFLS swapped his wheel in an 00 LGT: http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.p ... 524p8.html

and I found some info on modding the new cruise stalk to work on NASIOC: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthr ... ?t=1706769


I've hit a snag unfortunately with the plugs on the airbag. Apparently, my 2005 Baja doesn't have the same airbag plug as the 00-04 Outbacks, 04 STI, or 06 Impreza. I got my charge from an 05 Impreza (single stage).
This is the factory airbag connector for the Baja charge.
This is the factory airbag connector for the Baja charge.
Baja Connector.JPG (1.9 MiB) Viewed 4488 times
The plan is to grab a clockspring connector/airbag plug from eBay, and change my plug so that it will attach to the new charge.
Proposed new connector for the Momo/Impreza airbag charge. l'll just be using the black one.
Proposed new connector for the Momo/Impreza airbag charge. l'll just be using the black one.
Clockspring Connector.jpg (19.82 KiB) Viewed 4488 times


I've got a few days of waiting for parts so feel free to shoot some holes in my plan with knowledge. I already know the risks of messing with plugs for airbags, and I'm accepting the risk. That part aside: Sounds like it should work, right?
N2L
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Re: Steering Wheel Swap

Post by N2L »

The new plug arrived today. It fits! Looks like I'll be moving forward with the swap tomorrow.
File_000.jpeg
File_000.jpeg (2.01 MiB) Viewed 4455 times
N2L
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Re: Steering Wheel Swap

Post by N2L »

The wheel is swapped. The airbag is in, and the airbag light turns off as it should. I started it from outside the car the first time since it's friday the 13th and all. Everything in that department went without a hitch. The cruise control module I got with the wheel is no good, so I'm headed to my local dealer to order another. I expect that won't present any further issues, so I'm calling this swap totally doable.

Parts required:

3-Spoke Momo wheel or similar (Mine came from an 05 Legacy GT)
Single stage impreza airbag with one plug in the back (mine came from an 05)
new plug from ebay as pictured above
07 cruise control switch (if you want an all in one cruise control switch OR you have to custom mount the old switch)

Craigslist was the cheapest source for parts in my case. 60 dollars for the wheel and airbag combined.
The plug was 7 dollars on eBay.
The cruise control is going to cost me the most at 70 bucks at the dealer.
Selling my old wheel and airbag should recoup some of this cost.

Tools:

Socket wrench
Torque Wrench
Bit driver
Torx bit to release the 2 screws holding the airbag
17mm socket for the bolt holding the wheel
Steering wheel puller
trim puller or similar tool for separating plastic plugs (yellow airbag plug is a PITA)
Wire cutters
Soldering iron/crimpers and butt connecters or spades (depending on your skill and preference)


Minimum time estimate:

1.5 hours without trial and error for the entire process
40 minutes for the wheel
20 minutes for the cruise control
30 minutes to respline the wheel

Process:
Disconnect the negative battery terminal, or remove the 15A fuse for the airbag from your fuse panel. If you're over-cautious: after disconnecting the battery terminal, turn your key on and hold your brake pedal down for a few seconds to make sure the car is completely discharged.

Loosen the 2 captive torx screws on either side of the steering wheel to remove the airbag and cover from the center of the steering wheel. These screws are at about the 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock position, and will not fully come out of the wheel. Pull the cover and airbag out to remove after loosening the screws. Unplug the yellow connector by first pressing the sliding green tab forward as indicated on the tab, then depress the yellow tab on the male side to release.

After disconnecting and removing the airbag, use a 17mm socket to remove the nut holding the wheel in place. In order to do this you must first lock your steering wheel by rotating it with the key out of the ignition. Pay careful attention to how your wheel was oriented when it was removed to shorten the time required for orienting the new wheel. The MOMO wheel does not have an orienting mark like the 4-spoke wheel does. After removing the nut a steering wheel puller may be required to remove the wheel. It wasn't necessary in my case, but it was close to being necessary. If you don't have a puller: a piece of flat steel with holes drilled into it and 2 M8 bolts will do the trick.

Once the steering wheel is removed you will need to replace the yellow stock airbag plug with the eBay plug. To do this just match up colors. The eBay plug has a blue wire and a black wire. The yellow plug has a yellow/black and a yellow/blue. Blue goes to yellow/blue, and black goes to yellow/black. It's best to solder these connections to reduce the bulkiness of the cord, but crimp connections also work.

Remove the cruise control module from the old wheel and retain the wiring and plug. Using the DIY linked above from NASIOC, connect and wire the 07 Impreza cruise control module to the Baja plug. After this is done, attach the 07 CC module to the MOMO wheel, and connect it.

Install the wheel in the same position as the previous wheel (or as close as possible). Tighten the nut reasonably. With the airbag still disconnected: Reconnect your battery (if you disconnected it in the first step) and test drive the car to assess whether the wheel is correctly resplined. This took me 4 attempts in order to get correct, and it is more noticeable with runs over 100 yards. I found it helpful to lay a long rope down straight in line with the tires while the wheels are pointed forward, and drive along it with the wheel held firmly in a "12 o'clock" position to check for deviation. This is also a good time to test your cruise control. Torque the wheel according to factory specs.

After correctly aligning the new wheel, disconnect the battery once again (if you chose this route over the fuse pulling method), and connect your airbag. Re-tighten the two torx screws to retain the airbag and cover. Start the car (remotely if possible), check to ensure the airbag light remains off, and repeat the test drive.

That's all there is to it!
Newtothebajagame
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Re: Steering Wheel Swap

Post by Newtothebajagame »

Great info! Curios, and I'm assuming it is but want to be sure but is it the same or similar to my 06 baja turbo? Can't imagine changing too much. All and all how much did this mod cost? Also can I swap out other steering wheels besides the one you went with?
Side note or maybe different thread, I'm assuming removing the shift knob is fairly easy as well to swap?ines really beat up. Thank you!
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starr-
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Re: Steering Wheel Swap

Post by starr- »

Excellent job on the write up! I'll be sure to add it to the sticky
I like it here.... [smilie=cheeky-grin.gif]
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