changing a steering wheel - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 02-29-2016
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changing a steering wheel

How hard is it to change a steering wheel in a 2000 ranger. The truck i bought has cruise control but someone broke the switch off the steering wheel.
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Old 02-29-2016
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To swap cruise pods you don't have to remove the steering wheel at all.

Start by disconnecting your battery then turning your headlight switch all the way on. Leave it for half an hour to an hour to drain out any voltage that may still be present.

After this time has passed, get a flathead screw driver and pop off the two small covers on the steering wheel, One on each side. Underneath you'll find either 7 or 8mm bolts. Remove these.

Now the airbag will come free and you can then disconnect the plug at the airbag itself.

To replace a pod, use a phillips screwdriver to remove the two screws holding a single pod in place. Next remove the connector. These can be tricky so be patient.

Reinstall your new cruise pod in the reverse order.

Once you're done in there, reconnect the airbag and bolt it back in. Reconnect the battery, being aware that the horn may sound. If it does sound, remove the two airbag bolts and loosen the tension on the bag. Retry and refit as needed until the horn no longer sounds until you manually press the horn button.

If you still want to remove the steering wheel, use a Torx socket on either a 3/8ths or half inch drive breaker bar and take it all the way out. Then rethread the screw a couple of turns. You'll understand why in the minute.

Now some people have luck doing it without a puller. Some don't. I've encountered both. Without a puller, brace your feet to the floor and pull like mad, yanking in all directions. We're keeping the bolt on so when it does come free, the steering wheel won't rearrange your face . If it doesn't come free, a puller will be required.

When reinstalling the wheel, note it will only fit in one direction so you can't really put it on wrong. That being said, it's a good idea to make sure the wheels are straight before removing.
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Old 03-01-2016
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thanks very much. that is much easier than I thought it would be. I'm off to the j-yard this week to get some used pods. the guy I bought the truck from has them broke off the steering wheel
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Old 03-01-2016
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Don't get junkyard pods. You're effectively wasting your time.

Over time with the sun and heat, the cruise pods turn to a hard candle-wax like substance which makes you press so hard to get the button to actually do what you want it to do, and this ends up cracking the cover and breaking away eventually.

Buy a new pair of rockauto, or do the 04+ steering wheel swap.
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Old 03-01-2016
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Great answers ArcticWolf1911.

All Airbags have a capacitor that stores voltage, so it can deploy in an accident that has cut power.
So very important to unhook battery and then WAIT at least 30 minutes before disassembling and removing the air bag, capacitors are not batteries, they discharge when power is cut, but they need time.

Airbags are expensive to replace and will shove any tools in your hand into your face or chest if they deploy, bad day all around.
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Old 03-01-2016
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great info
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Old 03-01-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
Great answers ArcticWolf1911.

All Airbags have a capacitor that stores voltage, so it can deploy in an accident that has cut power.
So very important to unhook battery and then WAIT at least 30 minutes before disassembling and removing the air bag, capacitors are not batteries, they discharge when power is cut, but they need time.

Airbags are expensive to replace and will shove any tools in your hand into your face or chest if they deploy, bad day all around.
Thank you. Always like hearing that I've learned the proper way, not the 'hack' or 'shade tree' way. Nothing against those methods but, you know what I mean.
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Old 03-02-2016
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ya I never really gave it much thought cuz ive never had to work on a steering column with an air bag. that's great to know. that would more than suck getting popped in the face by an air bag and tools. and ill look at rock auto. I forgot how some stuff decays in the j yard
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