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Thread: Aftermarket steering wheel with buttons?

  1. #1
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    Aftermarket steering wheel with buttons?

    Hello

    Im looking for a 3rd party aftermarket steering wheel but with buttons,,,,

    I see several issues with this that you guys may be able to help me.

    1: If the car has a airbag is it compatible?
    2: Ill use this with a car PC so I imagine that the interface shouldnt matter; If so, there are USB wheels I imagine
    3: Steering interface; Does it matter?

    For the record Im looking for something like this:

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    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quick google brought this thread up as the 3rd result: Here. Hope it might help a little.
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  3. #3
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    with some fab work, you ought to be able to fit any steering wheel from any vehicle in your car..

  4. #4
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    The difficult part is always the spiral cable which connects the wiring from the button controls to the fixed wiring in the car.
    That is usually vehicle specific as it sits around the steering shaft.
    Other than that there is the spline fit of the steering wheel itself onto the steering shaft but this is always solvable by choosing the correct wheel.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by detlion1643 View Post
    Quick google brought this thread up as the 3rd result: Here. Hope it might help a little.
    Yes, I saw this but it seems cheap to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevheadKev View Post
    The difficult part is always the spiral cable which connects the wiring from the button controls to the fixed wiring in the car.
    That is usually vehicle specific as it sits around the steering shaft.
    Other than that there is the spline fit of the steering wheel itself onto the steering shaft but this is always solvable by choosing the correct wheel.
    The buttons controls will not be connected to the car; They will be connected to the PC.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by riahc3 View Post
    The buttons controls will not be connected to the car; They will be connected to the PC.
    I think you are missing the point...the buttons will be on the steering wheel which turns and the PC will be in the car which is fixed...so there will need to be some sort of cable which allows the steering wheel to turn while still connecting the buttons as inputs to the PC...this is called a spiral cable and is what all cars use for the radio and/or cruise controls normally mounted on the steering wheel.

    The only other way would be to use a wireless control module for the buttons, mounted inside the steering wheel to transmit button presses to the receiver connected to the PC by either rf or bluetooth.
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  7. #7
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    If you want to use one of the IR universals, you can get a converter (I had one for my home system) that has an RF transmitter which replaces one of your batteries (AA or AAA, the transmitter holds a rechargeable battery that's half the size, so you put those 2 things which are included together, replace one of your batteries, and the remote is now an IR remote). The receiver looks like a UFO, but it can go back up inside your dash. It has an output to an RF LED that you'd tape to the IR receiver on your PC. That would be fully wireless and work like a champ regardless of where in the car you put your receiver.

  8. #8
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    @riahc3: let's start with your current make and model. Usually, you can buy a used wheel off a higher end car from the same make and it should fit. For example, I have a Honda Accord (Inspire in Japan) and I picked up an Acura RL (Honda Legend in Japan) wheel that I planned to put in. It will fit with no issues but I've yet to verify if the cable reel will support the extra buttons, yet. We will see. I'm also not liking the idea of needing to purchase a new airbag ($$$) so I may just find a way to fab the buttons into the existing wheel.

    Unless you go wireless, you will need a cable reel of some sort (gives the wires slack so you can go lock-to-lock with the wheel without binding any wires up). The only way around the reel is to interface from the steering wheel wirelessly.

    Regarding airbags: I could be wrong, I've never tested it, but I've not seen airbags that don't use a 2-pin connector. This meaning they should all be compatible, provided you are willing to splice on a connector if the new airbag plug doesn't match your existing one. **This is theoretical. I have not tested this** I'd feel horrible if you went through this trouble and I was wrong. Not to mention the safety risks involved. Anyone with airbag experience (working at a shop or something similar) able to confirm or deny this theory?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryven View Post

    Regarding airbags: I could be wrong, I've never tested it, but I've not seen airbags that don't use a 2-pin connector. This meaning they should all be compatible, provided you are willing to splice on a connector if the new airbag plug doesn't match your existing one. **This is theoretical. I have not tested this** I'd feel horrible if you went through this trouble and I was wrong. Not to mention the safety risks involved. Anyone with airbag experience (working at a shop or something similar) able to confirm or deny this theory?

    Some of the newer ones (and by newer I mean from 2003/4 with BMW) have dual stage airbags which have three or four wires.


    *edit, For example, the one in the first post is a dual stage airbag

    Be very careful when modifying anything to do with aurbags.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enforcer View Post
    Some of the newer ones (and by newer I mean from 2003/4 with BMW) have dual stage airbags which have three or four wires.


    *edit, For example, the one in the first post is a dual stage airbag

    Be very careful when modifying anything to do with airbags.
    Ah, that's a good point. Haven't seen a multi-stage bag, myself, so I didn't consider that.

    Related note: Enforcer, do you know if it is legal (doesn't void insurance or warrant a ticket) to modify the airbag cover by using something like foam? To change the shape of the cover. Check out the difference between a 2005 Accord sedan airbag (mine) and a 2005 Acura RL airbag (to fit my new wheel). This could pertain to the OP if he goes the route I went and the airbag isn't a direct fit in the new wheel

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