Those of you who have been following along know that I’ve recently bought an NC PRHT Miata. It’s in really good shape for the mileage, but the steering wheel was totally trashed. Like, totally, completely trashed. I couldn’t imagine having to put my hands on that steering wheel every time I drove it. Something had to be done.
The install was pretty straight forward. Disconnect the battery, then look at the back of the wheel. There are little rubber plugs on either side spoke. Pop those out and you find a 10mm bolt on each side. Take those out and the airbag will fall into your lap.
Pull the white horn connector out, then you will have two weird round airbag connectors. Using a pick, pop the black part in the middle up and then they will slip out. Set the airbag aside. Next take the steering wheel itself off. Get it pointed as perfectly straight ahead as possible and remove the 21mm nut in the middle, Then use a steering wheel puller to pull the wheel off, or be risky like me and just give it a couple of good bumps from behind.
Two Phillips head screws in the air bag cavity hold the rear cover on, then two on each side on the back hold the steering wheel controls to the wheel. If you’re using a factory replacement style wheel like I am, save all that stuff as it will be reused. The wheel shows up bare, like this:
Like I mentioned before, you bolt all the stuff back on the new wheel.
Then bolt it back on and hope it’s straight. Mine seems to naturally line up as long as you left the clock spring straight up and down. Putting the steering wheel on crooked basically resulted in the clock spring rotating and it was obvious it wasn’t lined up.
Pop the airbag back on and put the bolts and covers back in, then reconnect the battery. If everything has been done right your steering wheel controls will still work and the airbag light will go off after you crank the car.
I am still awaiting title, so i haven’t gotten to drive it other than in the parking lot, but it definitely looks and feels a LOT better than the stock one, even if it wasn’t all jacked up. I went with the Autoexe wheel from Mazmart because I wanted to keep the airbag light off and the steering wheel controls on. I’m happy with that decision. The materials are much nicer than the stock wheel and I love the thumb grooves. Overall, quite an improvement. Now to get that damn title back so I can drive it.
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