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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have an RTS, but I really feel that a plastic wheel in a $30k vehicle is ridiculous. The leather wraps (IE: Wheelskins) work great as long as the spokes are skinny - which they're not on the RL. So I ordered up an OEM RTL wheel and installed it. I think it was $120, but looks far better than anything I could have had done. I would rate this install as a 4/10 in difficulty and a 9/10 in payoff. Check the 3rd post for a before / after.

HOW TO:
1. Write down your radio code, and disconnect the battery.
2. Let the car sit for 30 minutes or more to be sure there is no power to the airbag.
3. Removing the 2 Torx screws on each side of the steering wheel

4. Remove the cover under the steering wheel and unplug both connectors

5. Lift the airbag out and set aside

6. Unplug the steering wheel audio controls (if equipped)
7. Lock the steering wheel in place
8. Loosen the center nut
9. Unlock the steering wheel and set it so it is straight
10. Remove the nut and steering wheel (you may have to wiggle the wheel left/right and top/bottom or even hit it a bit)
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
11. Remove all the screws in the center area, starting with the outer 4. This releases the back cover. Note: I remove the screws before the steering wheel - this isn't necessary, just what the pictures show.
12. Turn the steering wheel over and find the 2 screws at each spoke to remove to release the metal look plastic part.




13. Now reassemble in reverse.
14. Don't worry much about getting the steering wheel perfect - there are only maybe 40 splines on the hub, which means each spline is about 9 degrees - you will definitely notice if you have the wrong spline.

Full gallery, larger pictures:
http://BrandonT.smugmug.com/gallery/2198980/1/114380514
 

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Excellent post...I'm sure this will be very useful for someone. Great contribution. :cool:
 

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Nice pictures, brandont! Didn't replace my steering wheel, but I used your post (and the Honda service manual) to give me the courage to remove my driver's side airbag in order to try and fix the infamous steering wheel creak. I placed some sticky foam tape along the inside edge of the chrome trim on the left side of the wheel; seems to have done the trick. I might add to your already great post that instead of waiting 30 minutes, the service manual says to wait "at least 3 minutes" before beginning work after disconnecting the negative battery cable - I waited about 10 minutes; no problems. Also, it takes a size T30 Torx driver for the side screws.
 

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Great post. I'm kind of surprised that you didn't need a puller to get the wheel off. The Service Manual indicates that one is required, but good to know you don't need to invest in one unnecessarily. The Service Manual also makes these special points (page 17-21):

  • Do not tap on the steering wheel or the steering column shaft when removing the steering wheel.
  • If you thread the puller bolts (assuming you use a puller) into the wheel hub more than five threads, the bolts will hit the cable reel and damage it. To prevent this, install a pair of jam nuts five threads up on each puller bolt.
If you look at the 3rd picture in post #2, you can see the two threaded puller holes either side of the main shaft hole.

For anyone else interested in this, the part numbers are:

2006 - Warm Gray - 78501-SJC-A92ZA
2006 - Dark Gray - 78501-SJC-A92ZB
2007 - Warm Gray - 78501-SJC-A93ZA
2007 - Dark Gray - 78501-SJC-A93ZB

I don't know what the difference is between the model years, or whether or not they're interchangeable.

College Hills Honda has them listed at $165.39
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Lingered_I said:
Do not tap on the steering wheel or the steering column shaft when removing the steering wheel.
Why, I wonder? It isn't like nobody ever hits their steering wheel when it is all connected and torqued. I wonder if they mean 'hit' as in, with a hammer - I assume the wheel would deform if you did that. I had no problems with it and hit the wheel with my palm maybe 6 or 8 times left/right and top/bottom to get it free. Not hard enough to damage bearings or anything. Odd.
 

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Great post and how to.
I really think all Ridgelines should have the leather wrapped steering wheel.
 

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Now that you've had it apart, can you see any way that an extension piece could be made? I watched as the dealer took mine apart for the creaky steering wheel TSB and didn't really see any easy way to extend it. I'd really love it about 1-2" further out.
 

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I'll second that concerning the spacer to move the wheel 1" to 2" out. Do you think a splined extension would work? Thanks for your time and effort.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I cannot see a spacer working. There isn't enough thread to just stick something behind the wheel more than 1/8" or 1/4". An adapter would have to be bolted onto the shaft - it has to have a splined / female end, and some way to secure it on the OEM shaft. Then the other end has to be splined / male and threaded to accept the bolt that holds the wheel on.

Actually, a custom shaft might actually be easier. Cut the old one and weld in a piece to make it longer. Or you could look at making new brackets that hold the shaft and tilt mechanism.
 

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It's been a while since this was posted, but can anyone tell me how long this should take replace the steering wheel? I purchased the wheel skins cover and like others, I'm not happy with how it fits around the fat spokes of the wheel. Replacing the wheel looks awesome!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think you could probably do it in about an hour. It's really simple. Just let the car sit for 30min to be sure there is NO power that could deploy the airbag. From there, pull the airbag (2 screws) pull the wheel (1 nut and some wiggling) then swap the trim (like 6 screws) and reverse.

If I were a dealer I'd be offering this upgrade for people.
 

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Bringing old posts back from the dead!
-Brandon, big thanks to you for the walk-through, it took me roughly one hour from start to finish to complete this mod on a 2008 RTX.
One thing that I did notice and I'm not sure if it's for the updated ridgeline models 08+ ?? but I did not have to cut/splice/re-pin any cables mentioned. The harnesses ordered in on the first page had the same identical plugs for the horn. I did not have to cut and splice the male connector mentioned. If you have an upper year model, you may not need to purchase more than one wiring harness to do this install.
Thanks again Brandon!
 

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Thanks,

I will be perfroming this mod on my 07 RTX as well. I've noticed my wheel start to flake. It's because my palms are sweating when i'm passing all those Tacomas on the highway :eek:
 

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This is easier then a majority of the installs I have perfromed. Took 20 mins.;)
 

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does this mod work for say an Element steering wheel being mounted on the ridgeline???

curious to know if it would work or even be possible.
 

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I don't think it's been done yet. Assuming everything was spot on I would be concerend about the airbag from an element being in a ridgeline. I'm just not sure the Ridgeline horn and Airbag assembly would fit with the element wheel. You might want to get some photos of the element steerling wheel and possibly take a detour to the element forums and see if they have done steeringwheel swaps.
 

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Excellent post. I completed this mod in just 1 hour; i took my time.
I have the beige interior but i did not use a beige steering wheel; instead I used a dark grey steering wheel. It looks really cool; it gives a two tone effect. I will post the pics so y'all can see.
 

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Torx screw size on steering column

Just found this thread--oddly a search on the forum didn't help me, but one on google turned it up.

Great info--thanks a LOT!

Does anyone know the size of the torx screws in step number 3? I need to buy the driver.



Thanks!

Tom
 
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