Autowoods highly recommends installation of your custom steering wheel by a certified G.M. airbag installer available through any dealership or authorized auto body shop. Custom shops are also excellent for installation services. We provide this guide for any who may feel comfortable with a few hand tools and understand the steps involved. We are certified G.M. Airbag System installers and licensed trainers. With over 10 years of experience, you will find detailed installation tips found nowhere else. Please call us directly if you need additional clarification. We are always glad to provide technical support for our customers.
6" Screw Driver with modified 1/4" wide blade tip Torque wrench
#20 and #30 Torx Bits 13/16" or 21 mm deep socket with ratchet
Steering Wheel puller
Pre- Installation steps:
1) Turn ignition key to "Ignition Power" without cranking motor and observe airbag lamp flash in instrument console. If airbag lamp flashes 6 or 7 times then turns off, then your airbag system is fully functional. If the airbag indicator remains on and does not turn off, then do not install your upgrade replacement steering wheel until your airbag system has been inspected and repaired first.
2) After the system test pass, disconnect the negative battery terminal 15 minutes prior to installation. This step allows the SDM (Sensing Diagnostic Module or Airbag computer) to discharge the backup power for airbag. After this step, there is no way for ignition power or SDM power to be available for deployment power.
3) Remove air bag fuse. (see fuse panel cover for appropriate fuse location) This step is in General Motors service manuals in order to prevent setting fault codes into the airbag computer. Step #2 will accomplish the same results. If you remove the fuse immediately, you do not have to wait the 15 minutes before proceeding.
Various models have fuse panels located in different places. For example, the S10 Blazers have fuse panel under dash below steering column and can be accessed by removing a cover panel. Vans and trucks have fuse panels in different locations. Locations can vary between year models and we can not give precise locations for all the models from 1998 - 2002.
A fuse removal puller is usually attached to the back side of fuse panel cover.
If battery is not disconnected and the airbag fuse is not removed, you will set fault codes in you airbag system. These fault codes will cycle out of memory after 50 ignition startups. Airbag deployment codes are recorded into the airbag computer, along with other data, and can not be cleared/erased form airbag computer. A DERM or SDM airbag computer will hold up to 3 deployment recordings then need to be replaced.
This step is included in General Motors service manual for these earlier model trucks.
4) Locate Yellow connector located under dash which feeds wiring up steering column. To disconnect, separate the orange connector position assurance clip (CPA) then disconnect connector.
This step is included in General Motors service manual for these earlier model trucks. It was not suggested in later "new generation" 2003-2005 models.
Removal of Airbag Module:
1) Turn Steering Wheel 90 degrees left or right to position for airbag removal steps. Tilt steering wheel to lowest position.
2) Insert screw driver into rear slot (one slot on each side of airbag rear cover) and then tilt handle of driver up until airbag module un-hooks from that side. You may have to re-insert driver until you can place at correct spot. This is a little tricky because you can not view inside the wheel where the screw driver is aimed. Your patience will be rewarded with success.
As you detach each side of airbag, that side of airbag module will slightly bump forward (slightly). After one side is released, turn steering wheel 180 degrees to position the opposite side of wheel on top. Repeat step 2 to release the other side of airbag.
3). Steering wheel will tilt down and give you access to the back side of airbag module. This will allow you to disconnect the airbag module connector. Once again, a tethered Connector Position Assurance (CPA) pin needs to be detached first before unplugging the connector from the airbag module. Lay the airbag module on the passenger floorboard (face up) or other undisturbed location.
Removal of Steering Wheel:
1) Disconnect the horn contact pin (tethered pin tied to airbag retention clips) by pushing inward and turning 1/4 turn then pull out.
This photo is from 2003-2005 wheel removal, however the step is exactly the same. Notice the red wire lead is attached to the upper side of the airbag retention brackets. When the brackets are re-installed later, install them in this same position.
2) Using 13/16" deep socket with ratchet (21mm) loosen the nut on center spline that secures steering wheel on shaft. A ratchet extension will work best for this step.
Picture of 2003-2005 GM steering wheel, however the step is exactly the same.
3) A standard steering wheel puller is required to remove the steering wheel from the column. Two (2) threaded bolts on either side of the center puller push bolt are screwed into the wheel frame. (CAUTION: Do not over tighten these side puller bolts because you can over drive them through the frame and into the coil which is directly under the wheel) Steering wheel pullers are available from local auto parts stores, ie. Pep Boys, Auto Zone, O'Reileys, Sears, etc. Hand thread the center puller push bolt down onto the nut which we have positioned on the top of the center column spline. (see step 2 picture above)
With a simple wrench or a drive socket, tighten the puller push bolt down until the wheel has been loosen from the column shaft. Carefully (slowly) remove wheel from shaft while feeding yellow wiring harness through wheel frame to pull away.
Great! Your doing fine... your column will look like this after the wheel is removed.
Do not let anyone turn the black coil assembly where yellow connector is attached to at this time.