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DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe

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Old 09-24-2008, 11:23 PM
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DIY: 05+ Lit Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe

So, first off this mod is not what I would consider difficult by any means once you know what you are doing. Originally I was going to use wire taps to tap 12V power from the VDC button for the steering wheel lights but the wires are really small and I'm sure the taps would eventually come off so I soldered and shrink wrapped all my connections. Below is a complete set of steps for how this is done. All in all I would give this a 3/10 on the hard-o-meter. The basic steps are

1) Remove lower dash
2) Remove Steering Wheel
3) Remove Steering Wheel controls
4) Replace Steering Wheel controls with new ones
5) Wire in Ground on Steering Wheel
6) Remove a section of Wire from old controls with the block connection attached.
7) Insert this wire into the open slot on the gray connector on the clock spring (thing the steering wheel bolts onto).
8) Solder this wire into the red/blue wire (4th wire) on the VDC button.

IMPORTANT NOTE
-----------------------------


In Step 2 you need to disconnect the battery before taking the Air Bag out. Do not under any circumstances, re-connect the battery and turn on the Accessory Power (i.e. to check if your lights work like I did...because I'm a moron) before having reconnected the airbag. The ECU will detect that the airbag is disconnected throw an SRS code and the Airbag light will keep flash even when everything is put back together properly. I don't think the pedal ECU reset will work and I know that disconnecting the battery doesn't work as I tried it. Luckily I have an Autoenginuity so I cleared the code myself but unless you have this or a Cipher, you will need to go to the dealer to get the code cleared.


WHAT YOU NEED
-----------------------------
1) Soldering gun and solder, small piece of 18 gauge wire, eyelet wire connector
2) 2 new air bag retaining bolts. These are Tamper proof torx bolts and should be replaced each time the air bag is removed according to the FSM.
3) New steering wheel controls. I purchased these from Riverside Infiniti. Part number 25550-AC700.
4) Tamper proof Torx bit set. I purchased mine at a local auto parts store. Auto Zone or something similar will have these in stock.
5) T40 torx bit
6) 10MM socket
7) 19MM socket
8) Ratchet wrench
9) Small blade screwdriver
10 Phillips screwdriver
11) Knife or wire stripping tool
12) Wire cutters
Attached Thumbnails
DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-1.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-2.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-3.jpg

Last edited by elrooko; 09-25-2008 at 09:50 AM.
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Smeghead (01-30-2016)
Old 09-24-2008, 11:26 PM
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Step 1 - Remove lower dash

1) use the 10mm socket to unscrew the bolt below the hood latch
2) unscrew all the screws under the steering column panel
3) carefully seperate the top and bottom part .. it's just a snap on. It should come out as shown in the picture
4) now that the steering column is exposed, pull down the lower panel and it should snap off.. As shown here, it has been slightly pulled and seperated....
Attached Thumbnails
DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-4.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-5.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-6.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-7.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-8.jpg

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Smeghead (01-30-2016)
Old 09-24-2008, 11:44 PM
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Step 2 - Remove Steering Wheel

1) DISCONNECT THE BATTERY and WAIT 5 MINUTES!!!!!. This is extremely important. For gods sake do not continue unless you do this. You will be removing the airbag - the thing that will save your life in an accident. They can accidently discharge if you hit it the right way. Don't be stupid, disconnect your battery.

2) Remove the 2 little cover plates on the side of the steering wheel. These cover plates cover the tamper resistant torx screws which hold the air bag to the steering wheel. Use a T30 tamper resistant bit and remove the bolt on either side of the airbag.

3) The airbag should come forward now and off of the steering wheel. It is held in place by 2 connectors. Get a small blade screwdriver and lift the black part of the connector up. Once it is up the connector will just pull out. HANDLE THIS THING WITH CARE LIKE YOU WOULD A SMALL BABY. AGAIN IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE. DON'T DROP IT, BANG IT OR MISHANDLE IT. Once the Airbag is removed lay it down flat, logo side up and in a safe place till it is ready to be re-connected.

4) Get some masking tape and mark the position of the steering wheel in relation to the clock spring hub. This is so that you can put the wheel on in the exact same location. I just put a piece of tap over the steering wheel and taped it onto the hub then cut the masking tape between them so it will come apart when the steering wheel is removed.

5) Get a 19MM socket and remove the steering wheel. This is a bit tricky as the wheel will want to move when you try to unscrew it. It helps if you have a friend hold the wheel while you unscrew the nut.

6) Unplug the wire harness from the steering wheel controls to the clock spring hub.

7) Once the nut is off, you have to remove the wheel. This can take some force. Try to wiggle it a bit and pull directly towards you and avoid pulling up or down. Also give it a "gentle" taps around the edges to loosen it up. It will come out, just takes some doing.
Attached Thumbnails
DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-3.2.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-3.3.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-3.4.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-3.1.jpg

Last edited by elrooko; 09-25-2008 at 09:54 AM.
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Smeghead (01-30-2016)
Old 09-24-2008, 11:53 PM
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Step 3 - Remove old controls

1) Remove the two T40 Torx bolts as shown in the first picture.
2) Remove the Horn Plate from the steering wheel.
3) Remove the horn plate springs.
4) Remove the 3 screws shown
5) Remove the trim cover from the steering wheel
6) From the back-side of the steering wheel, remove the 4 screws shown
7) Install the new switch(es) on the steering wheel.

Reassemble everything back in the reverse order.
Attached Thumbnails
DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-4.1.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-4.2.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-4.3.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-4.4.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-4.5.jpg

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Old 09-25-2008, 12:01 AM
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Step 4 - Modify new switches

1) Make sure the harness for the switch(es) is routed as shown
2) Cut the pink wire near the connector.
3) Pull the Pink wire out of the black plastic shielding so it is separated from the other wires in the harness.
4) Strip the end of the wire and attach an eye connector to it.
5) Attach the eye connector to the T40 Torx screw. Yes you now have to unscrew the Torx bolt. Didn't think of the logistics when I put this together.
Attached Thumbnails
DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-5.0.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-5.1.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-5.2.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-5.3.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-5.4.jpg


Last edited by elrooko; 09-25-2008 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:12 AM
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Step 5 - Run 12V wire from VDC switch

1) Unclip the VDC button from it's wiring harness. There is a small release clip on the side of the button. Use a small flat head screw driver to release it.
2) Cut back a small bit of the black wiring cover to expose the 4 wires in the harness. We are interested in the 4th wire (the red and blue one)
3) Splice open a section of the wire and attach another wire to it.
4) Solder this new wire onto the red blue wire and finish it with a heatshrink wrap to make a nice connection.
5) We will be attaching this new wire into the wire connection we are going to make in the next step.
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DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-6.1.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-6.2.jpg
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:32 AM
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Step 6 - Run new Connection for Steering wheel lights.

Heres where it gets a little tricky. What you need to do is get a wire from the back of the grey connector on the clock springhub and connect with the wire we soldered onto the VDC wire in the previous step. Luckily as AccordFreak and Daehtihs have pointed out, there is a empty connector on the back of the clock spring hub (actually there are 2 but only 1 has a pin in it). This spare pin runs to the 3rd pin on the front of the clockspring hub where the steering wheel controls plug into. The 3 pin corresponds to the yellow wire on the steering wheel control harness which so happens to be the correct wire we need to bring 12V to in order for the steering wheel controls to light up. The problem is there there is no female connector in the grey wire harness that plugs into the back of the clockspring hub. The easy way to solve this is to use one of the wires from the old switches. The internal wire harness connectors are the same.

1) UnClip the grey connector on the back of the clock spring hub.
2) Get your old switches and remove one of the wires from the harness. I used the red wire as it is the longest. The key here is to preserve the little metal connector within the harness. This metal connectory will be inserted into the back of the grey plug in the wiring harness so we can make our connection. You can either gently break the wire harness apart, or use a small sewing needle and push down the bottom of the metal connector to release it. I ended up cutting the plastic harness apart as it was easier.
3) Once you have the metal connector free of the plastic harness, cut the wire on the other side of the plastic switch and pull it out of the black plastic shielding all together. Give yourself as much slack as possible so try to cut the wire as close to the other plug as possible.
4) insert the metal connector of the wire you just salvaged from the old steering wheel connectors into the back side grey plug in the spot shown in Accordfreak's picture below. This will allow it to connect to the male pin on the clockspring hub harness.
5) Strip the other end of the wire and solder it together with the wire you ran from the VDC button.
Attached Thumbnails
DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-7.0.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-7.1.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-7.2.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-7.3.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-7.4.jpg


Last edited by elrooko; 09-25-2008 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:51 AM
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Step 7 - Reassembly and Testing

Before we put everything back together you should test that you have a good connection between the clock spring hub and the VDC spliced wire. Get a Volt Meter and set it to Ohms. Put one side of the Volt Meter on the 3rd pin on the front of the clock spring. and the other side on the soldered splice connection you made down by the VDC button. The reading should be 0 Ohms. If it is still reading 1 resistance, then you haven't got something hooked up right. Check your connections on the back of the grey wiring harness.

1) You can now start putting things back together. Start with the Steering Wheel. Put the wheel back on using the tape marks as a guide. If you forgot to do this (like me, there are little grooves on the steering wheel and the steering hub to use as guides as well).

2) Re-install the steering wheel nut. Torque it to 30-39 Ft lbs.
3) Re-attach the airbag connections and make sure to secure them by pressing down on the black part of the wire clips. Also make sure that the orange connections goes in the orange slot on the air bag and the yellow connection goes on the yellow slot on the airbag.
4) Secure the airbag with new bolts and Torque them to 7-12 INCH LBS
5) Re attach the lower dash using the bolts removed.
6) Re-attach the battery

YOU ARE DONE!!! Turn your lights on and bask in the glory of lit steering wheel controls.

Test your audio and cruise control switches to make sure that everything works. Hope this helps everyone.
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DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-8.1.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-8.2.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-8.3.jpg DIY: Light Steering wheel controls on an 03-04 Coupe-8.4.jpg
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Smeghead (01-30-2016)
Old 09-25-2008, 06:42 PM
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Great writeup! A couple of things:
1. Can you supply the part number of the torx screws that need to be replaced after they are removed, and
2. how do you remove the front center covering of the steering wheel (directly in front of where the airbag is?)
Old 09-25-2008, 07:27 PM
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Thanks - answers

1) Don't have a part number. I just went into the dealer and told them what I wanted. They gave me 2 of them. You can buy them on-line here

or just call the guys at Riverside Infiniti

2) The cover is part of the airbag, it all comes apart as one unit

HTH
Old 10-04-2008, 10:28 AM
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very sweet! nice mod!
Old 10-13-2008, 07:33 PM
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looks good, but i dont think the lights are bright enough for this amount of work.
Old 10-13-2008, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnE BaD G35
looks good, but i dont think the lights are bright enough for this amount of work.
Huh? The lights are as bright as on any 05+ since they are the same switches...
Old 10-14-2008, 01:37 AM
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yeah i know, im just saying that for the amount of work involved in this project in my opinion its not worth it due to the lights not being bright enough.
Old 10-20-2008, 12:10 PM
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Awesome, thank you so much for a great write up

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0304, 04, 2005, 25550ac700, control, controls, coupe, diy, g35, infiniti, light, putting, removal, rotors, steering, wheel, working
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