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Thread: How to: Fit vectra steering wheel with airbag + steering wheel controls

  1. #1
    Archbishop of Banterbury Coleman's Avatar
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    How to: Fit vectra steering wheel with airbag + steering wheel controls

    This tutorial will guide you through the steps to safely remove your existing steering wheel and fit a Vectra B steering wheel with working steering wheel controls. I performed the following steps on an R reg Corsa with the old style airbag steering wheel, and I replaced it with the 3 spoke vectra B steering wheel from a facelift SRi. I cannot guarantee that the follow steps will work with all models of corsas or steering wheels, although they should, so worth giving it a go.


    What you will need

    Parts:

    • Vectra B steering wheel: 27 from eBay
    • Steering wheel squib for the new steering wheel* + a length wire from the steering wheel squib: included in above purchase
    • Steering wheel squib mount*: included in above purchase
    • Autoleads PC99-X06 multistalk adaptor + patch lead for your model of headunit: 20 from Dynamicsounds.co.uk
    • A new retaining nut lockwasher
    • 2 x lengths of wire about 30'' long (preferably 1 x blue/red and 1 x grey)


    *I highly recommend that you get the squib and mount from the same car that you got the wheel from. If the seller is breaking their car, ask if they'll include those aswell.


    Tools

    • Philips head screw driver
    • No. 10 Spanner
    • Torx No. 30
    • Torx No. 15
    • Torque wrench
    • 22mm? Socket
    • Steering wheel puller
    • Solder (or another method of joining wires)
    • Stereo removal tools



    Steps

    Step 1: Remove the steering column shrouds

    You need to do this first to allow access to the 2 screws that hold the airbag in place, as once the battery has been removed the steering wheel will be difficult to move.
    1. Turn the steering wheel 90 to the left, prise off the trim cap, remove the screw and store in a safe place, noting where they go for refitting. Now turn the steering wheel 180 to the right, and do the same for this side, removing the trim cap and screw.

    2. Remove the rubber seal from the ignition switch/lock, then undo the 3 screws on the underside of the column, also storing these somewhere safe and noting where they go for refitting.

    3. Now the bottom part should come off with easy, put this aside and remove the top part; it is a a bit tricky to get off, and if you want you can leave it until you remove the steering wheel.

    4. Now make sure that your steering wheel is in the straight ahead position! I done this by reversing, and then driving forward in a straight line. You can also activate the steering lock to make sure it won't move by wiggling the wheel with the keys removed (do this after Step 2 (1.))



    Step 2: De-activate the air bag system

    This step is very important!

    (If you don't have an airbag, it is still good practice to do the following)


    1. Switch on the ignition and check the operation of the air bag warning light on the instrument panel. The light should illuminate when switched on, then extinguished.

    2. Switch off all electrical equipment.

    3. Switch off the ignition and remove the key.

    4. Disconnect the battery negative terminal using the No. 10 spanner.

    5. Insulate battery negative terminal and the end of the battery negative lead to prevent any possibility of contact.

    6. Now wait (Haynes manual says at least 2 minutes, various posts on the internet say 10 minutes) But I decided to go in and watch t.v for an hour before returning to it, just to be sure.



    Step 3: Removing the air bag and steering wheel

    Now that you have deactivated the airbag system it is safe to remove the airbag and steering wheel by following these steps

    1. The air bag has 2 torx no. 30 retaining screws that need to be undone, 1 on the left and one on the right. They are a little tricky to remove due to the location and the fact that they are at the bottom of a small hole. I actually used alan key with the T30 torx on the end. Note that the screws won't actually come out, you just need to undo them from the airbag and they will stay attached to the steering wheel.

    2. With the two screws undone, carefully lift the airbag away from the steering wheel, and disconnect the wiring connector from the back of the air bag unit.


      Air bags are explosive and very dangerous! DO NOT knock it, drop it or try to disassemble it! Always transport it with the unit close to your body and the front of the unit facing out the way. Store it the correct way up in a dry place and only dispose of it at authorised locations.


      Airbag removed:


    3. Now, using a screw driver, prise back the tabs on the retaining nut lockwasher.

    4. Unscrew the retaining nut using the 22mm? socket. Put it to the side and dispose of the retaining nut lockwasher as you need a new one when refitting.


      New retaining nut lockwashers can be got from Vauxhall for 3.50 for a pack of ten, obviously you only need 1, so if you drop me a PM I can send you one for 35p + the price of a 1st or 2nd class stamp as I have excess.

    5. Remove the two screws holding the squib onto the steering wheel and disconnect the horn wiring from the steering wheel.


      Retaining nut removed, and location of horn connector + squib screws:


    6. A 2-legged steering wheel puller will now be required (Or brute force; if you are going to do this leave the retaining nut on a few turns to prevent the steering wheel from flying off into your face.) Locate the legs of the puller in the holes either side of the column shaft, and draw the steering wheel off column splines. Lift off the steering wheel and remove the spring column shaft.


      Steering wheel puller being used to remove steering wheel:


    7. Disconnect the squib wiring connectors (a yellow/orange connector located just behind the ignition switch/lock) and slide the contact unit off the steering column.


      Yellow/orange connector just behind ignition switch/lock:


    8. Remove the squib mount by first removing the wiper and indicator stalks by pressing down two tabs, one at the top, one on the bottom, and pulling them away from the column. then remove the two T15 torx screws and sliding it off the steering column. This is no longer needed.


      Squib mount removed:



    Step 4: Connecting Vectra wiring to Corsa wiring

    For this I used a solder, but you can use your preferred method of connecting 2 ends of a wire together. I'd advise against terminal (chocolate) blocks as they may be a bit big.

    1. Cut the connector off of the corsa squib with a good few inches of wire still remaining.

    2. Now match up the Corsa wiring with the corresponding wire on the Vectra squib wiring. Both should be EXACTLY the same (minus the two extra wires on the vectra side, but we'll get to that) And it is very IMPORTANT that you connect these like for like:


      • Yellow to Yellow
      • Yellow/White to Yellow/White
      • Brown to Brown
      • Brown/White to Brown/White



      Corsa connector partly wired up to Vectra wiring:


    3. Now with the 2 remaining wires, one grey (illumination), and one blue/red (controls). Take your two lengths of wires (I used the same colour wires but doesn't matter) extend both to about 30'' should be plenty, but I think mine were longer.


      All wires connected up:


    4. At the end of the blue/red wire you need to connect a crimp similar to that used in an ISO block.


      Now I have no idea what they are called or where to buy them, so I headed down to the scrap yard, cut an ISO block out of a corsa (leave a bit of wire coming out the ISO block) And got the conector out of that. Removing the connector was a pain as they don't pull out, even with the yellow tap removed, so I just got a knife and cut away the plastic to get at it.


      ISO connector crimp thing:


    Last edited by Coleman; 28-10-2014 at 08:58 AM.

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  3. #2
    Archbishop of Banterbury Coleman's Avatar
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    Step 4: Putting the new steering wheel in

    You will need a torque wrench for this part, if you don't have one I imagine that any garage would tighten it to the correct strength for you (probably for a small fee) But it's important that it is set to the correct torque as you don't want your wheel to come off in the middle of a corner! A new retaining nut lockwasher will also be required, DO NOT re-use the old one. I have a few spare for 35p + postage if you need one just PM me.


    1. First off, you need to make sure that the squib is set in the centre position. To do this, hold the outside of the squib, and rotate the centre of the squib anti-clockwise until it gets really tight. From this point, turn the centre back through two and a half turns in a clockwise direction, and align the arrow markings on the centre and outer parts of the squib.

    2. Now fit the Vectra squib mount to the steering column, and refit the two T15 torx screws. You can now also refit the wiper and indicator stalks by simply pushing them into position until they click.


      Vectra squib mount:



      Vectra squib mount fitted:



      Make sure that the indicator stalk is in the central (OFF) position before continuing.

    3. Plug the squib connector into the squib and lock in place by pushing the yellow tab in until it clicks.

    4. Now, push the squib onto the squib mount, making sure that all 4 tabs are secured. And route the wiring down through the steering column making sure it's not in the way of anything and connect it to the orange plug. With the two loose wires feed them through so that they go over the top of the metal bar and drop down into the foot well, we will deal with these later.


      Squib fitted:


    5. Feed the airbag connector and the horn/steering wheel controls connector through the hole just above the centre hole of the steering wheel and fit the steering wheel to the column, making sure that it is on straight!

    6. Fit the new lockwasher, and screw on the retaining nut. Using the torque wrench tighten the retaining nut to 20nm or 15 lbf ft. And then secure it in position by bending the lockwasher tabs up.

    7. Connect the horn/steering wheel controls connector to the one on the steering wheel, and push it into the rubber mouldings in the steering wheel.

    8. With the airbag for the new steering wheel, fit the air bag connector (it only goes in one way, and secure it in place by fastening the yellow tab in place. Now carefully place the air bag into the steering wheel and tighten the 2 T30 torx screws on the back to 10nm or 7lbf ft.

    9. Refit the column shroud, first by fitting the top part into place, then clip the bottom part onto the top part. Refit the 3 screws at the bottom and the remaining 2 that are behind the wheel after you have activated the airbag system.



    Step 5: Activating the airbag system

    1. Ensure there are no occupants in the car, and that there are no loose objects around the vicinity of the steering wheel.

    2. Ensure that the ignition is switched off then reconnect the battery negative terminal.

    3. Standing outside the car NOT sitting in the drivers seat! Switch on the ignition, without reaching in front of the steering wheel. Check that the air bag warning light illuminates briefly then goes out.

    4. Switch off the ignition.


      If the air bag light did not go out, then you have done something wrong and you will need to take it to a Vauxhall dealership to get it fixed. If the air bag went off, then you have really done something wrong, and I think you will need a new air bag ECU



    Step 6: Steering wheel control illumination

    1. You have two choices with this, you can either connect it to (I think) the red/white wire on the ISO block so that the controls are always illuminated. Or - as I did - connect it to the grey/green sidelight wire at the back of the headlight switch so that the controls only light up when the sidelights are on.
    2. Prise down the heater vent and remove it by putting a screwdriver down the side of the vent and pulling it out.

    3. Remove the two screws behind the vent (it's a good idea to close the vent to stop the screws accidentally falling down the pipe when you remove them) Then prise off the fuse box cover and remove a further two screws.

    4. Pull the heater/headlight unit towards you until it comes free of the heater vent pipe.

    5. Take the grey wire from the steering wheel and route it up behind the fuse box until it comes to where all the wire for the headlight switch are.

    6. Locate the grey/green sidelight wire. Using a multimeter test the connection by turning the sidelights on and if the multimeters' reading changes then it is the correct wire, if not, test the other ones until it it does.

    7. Now connect the grey wire to the grey/green wire, I used a piggy back connector for this, but you can do it how you prefer.

    8. To test that the illumination is working, simply turn on the sidelights and check that the steering wheel controls are lit up. They can be hard to see in day light, but if you cover it up you should see them lit.

    9. Now tape up the grey wire to the loom so that it's not dangling about and refit everything in the reverse order that you took it apart.



    Step 7: Connecting the steering wheel controls!

    This step is a little fiddly, and it can be a bit of a pain to fit all the extra wiring in behind the headunit.

    1. First off remove the ashtray, there are four screws holding this on. The back right screw is little tricky to get out as you can't get a normal screw driver right into it. Once you have removed the four screws undo the two connectors behind the cigarette lighter and put it aside. This gives you much more access to the wiring behind the headunit.


      Ashtray removed:


    2. Remove you stereo. You should have specific instructions with your stereo on removal procedures, but generally you need to remove the headunit and the trim surround then insert the two removal tools that came with the stereo at either side of it until they click, then pull them towards you and the stereo should come out.


      Removing stereo using the tools that came with it:


    3. Unplug the the back of it and put it aside. And unplug the loom from the ISO block and put this aside with everything else.

    4. There is very little space to work with in the din slot, so to get easier access to the ISO block I pushed it out the left hand side into the passenger foot well to make life easier.


      ISO block pushed down into the passenger footwell:


    5. Now take the blue/red wire from the steering wheel and thread it behind the dash to the din slot, then out the back into the passenger foot well the same way you did with the ISO block.

    6. Assemble the audioleads multistalk adaptor according to the manual. There really is only one way it can all go together, so you shouldn't have a problem. Don't connect the stereo loom to it yet.


      This is what it should look like connected:


    7. Unclip the lid of the ISO block to get access to all the slots. Now offer up the multistalk adaptor to the ISO block - but don't connect it - and find the white wire, you should see that on the ISO block, there is an empty slot, this is where you will clip in the blue/red wire (you will need to remove the yellow tab on the side of the ISO block); it should be directly above another blue/red wire. (if you never managed to get the ISO connector for the blue/red wire, an alternative would be to simply join the white and blue/red wire together) Now that the blue/red wire is connected to the correct slot on the ISO block you can close the lid of the ISO block, ensuring both sides clip back in.


      This is where the blue/red wire should slot in:


    8. Now connect the multistalk adaptor to the ISO block, and attach the other and to the stereo loom. Connect the patch lead to the respective plug on the back of the stereo and plug the loom into the back of the stereo. Switch on the ignition, and do a quick test by pressing the volume up/down buttons to check that it works. If it does, switch off the ignition and unplug the multistalk adaptor from the car ISO block. If it didn't make sure that all the wiring is correct, and that the white wire on the adaptor is connected to the blue/red wire.


      All the wiring connected up (that's a lot of wiring!):


    9. Now tape up the blue/red wire to the loom and push the ISO block back into it's original position at the back of the DIN slot. Connect the adaptor to the ISO block and ensure all the other wiring is correct and plugged in where it should be. Now push the stereo about half way in, then re-connect the aerial plug. Now with a bit of arranging you should manage to clip the stereo back in place (do not force it in as you could break something) Put the trim surround and headunit back in place and once again test that it works. You can now test every button now;


      Button list (example while on CD mode):


      • > - Skip forward a track
      • < - Skip back a track
      • - Change mode (CD/tuner/aux/bluetooth ect)

      • + - Volume up
      • - - Volume down
      • O - Mute



      Testing the buttons:


    10. Refit the ashtray by plugging in the two connectors and re-fitting the four screws.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Finished product:



    Congratulations! You should now have a fully working Vectra steering wheel! It has been one of my favourite mods so far and being able to change the volume without reaching over to my stereo is so much easier, makes me feel rather special


    If you have any questions, leave a comment or drop me a PM. And if you found this how-to helpful please press the 'Thank You' button, it took me a few hours to write this up!
    Aaron_d95 likes this.

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  5. #3
    'LS' Member
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    Hi,

    My corsa b has a different squib mount than the one shown in the photos, its not replaceable its clipped into the steering coloumn, but a dremel can notch out the top of it to give clearance for the squib connector and the squib will just clip on

  6. #4
    'GLS' Member
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    HI Coleman

    I've got a corsa b that didn't come with airbag - is there anything different i need to do ?

    Al

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    'VXR' Member Vegas's Avatar
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    What are you trying to do?

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    'GLS' Member
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    HI Vegas,

    I'd like the vectra steering wheel to get the stereo controls onto the sterring wheel.

    Can the airbag be taken out completely ?

    Al

  9. #7
    'VXR' Member Vegas's Avatar
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    You need to leave airbag in place on new wheel, or you'll have a massive hole in the middle.

    The airbag doesn't need to be connected though at the back, so can just unplug that. Doesn't need to be wired in as car didn't come with one, and won't have crash sensors installed anyway, or the ecu for it.

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  11. #8
    'GLS' Member
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    cheers

    Al

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    'LS' Member
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    This is probably a bit of a no-brainer but the guide skips the part where is says to replace the spring on the column shaft. Admittedly not many people would forget to do this, and the pictures in the guide do show the spring put back into position, but it does warrant mentioning.


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