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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:05 pm 
Retired Admin/Techinfo Admin
Retired Admin/Techinfo Admin

Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 2:08 pm
Posts: 26008
Location: Space Coast, or at least it used to be
Year and Trim: 03 SLE, 95 SE, 95 TS SE
Author : Willwren & Company

92-95 Steering wheel controls fix

For those who have 'mushy' controls, non-working controls, or controls that seem to degrade their sensitivity with higher temperatures, this procedure is for you:

To remove the controls:

1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
2. Pull the SIR fuse from the main fuse panel.
3. Remove 4 torx screws from back of steering wheel.
4. Disconnect the horn, stereo control, and SIR connectors.

NOTE: Disconnect the copper spade terminal from the back of the airbag assembly when disconnecting the horn. The other end (down in the column) is very fragile and brittle.

5. Remove the airbag assembly.
6. Remove the backing plate from the airbag assembly (4 screws to the assembly, 2 each to each stereo control pod).

At this point, you can remove the piece of tape on the control harness, and you have both pods and the harness seperated. Remove the 2 nuts on each assembly VERY carefully. DON'T open the pods yet.

At this point, you have a decision to make. Repair the old rubber pins, or replace them with round toothpicks. If you're going back to nature with the wood, cut round toothpicks to the same length as the rubber pins. Cut both tapered ends off in the process. If you're repairing the original rubber pins, follow on:

Get something like a large bowl to open the pods over. Small parts like to drop out. After opening the pods, you'll see 4 small rubber pins in the button half of the assembly. These need to be removed. Gently tap them upside down, if that doesn't work, use a straight pin to gently coax them out, but only from the small center hole, not the outer perimeter.

After all 8 pins have been removed, inspect the small end for 'mushrooming' or fraying. Carefully trim any of this off, leaving a small chamfer around the small end face. Clean all 8 pins with rubbing alcohol, and wash your hands. No oils or grease for awhile.

Mix up a small batch of JB weld or similar epoxy that is known to work on rubber. Gently dip the small end of each rubber pin in the jb weld, and stand them upright to dry. Don't allow any of the epoxy to drip down the sides of the pins, or they won't fit back in the pods later.

Also apply a small amount of jb weld to the microswitches in the pods. All 8 of them.

What you've just done is made up for any shrinkage, and prevented them from 'giving' too much when depressed. Wait a full 6 hours for the jb weld to fully cure. Prior to assembly, lightly coat each pin with a silicone or Teflon lubricant that is known to work on plastic and rubber parts.

Re-assemble in the reverse order.

My controls are very crisp and responsive now, and are no longer affected by cockpit temps. No more 50 ft/lb mashing of the buttons. I can feel a crisp 'click' each time I use them now.

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