So, you have a car and a quick-release steering wheel, but you’re not sure how to put them together.
I’ll show you how to install one of these steering wheels in the usual way, but keep in mind that it’s impossible to cover every type of vehicle and steering mechanism in just one post.
To help you do that, I’ve gone over the steps you need to take to put one of these quick-release mechanisms in place.
I’ll talk about these things:
What you need to know ahead of time
You’ll need these tools and parts:
A step-by-step guide for setting up
Install Some Knowledge First!
Even though it might seem obvious, you’d be surprised at how many people don’t read or even forget to keep the user manual.
If you’re here, you’ve probably done your research and come to us for help. If that’s the case, scroll down for our guide.
In any case, this is a reminder to look at the instructions that came with the steering wheel and any other reading materials you may have about how your car’s steering works, if you have any.
We’ve gone over a general step-by-step process for installing most quick-release steering wheels, but the user manual is still the best way to do it.
I get it. In the engineering world, it’s not unusual to get a new toy and find that the instructions are written in Arabic or Korean.
We’re lucky to live in a time when online translation is possible, though it’s not always the best choice for specific instructions.
In those situations, the best way to get more specific information is to look online for other users who have the same model as you.
Now that we’ve covered that, let’s talk about the general steps you’ll need to take to install a quick-release steering wheel.
Because NRG quick release kits are so popular, our guide is more focused on them, but the method shouldn’t change too much.
Make sure you have the following before you start. There’s no point in starting if you don’t have the tools and parts you’ll need to finish the job.
Assuming you’re using the NRG quick release kit, you’ll want to have that kit and an NRG short hub with you.
As far as tools go, you’ll need the following:
A small screwdriver with a flat head
A 3mm Allen key
A tiny hook pick.
3/8″ ratchet drive
3/8″ drive 6″ extension
3/8″ drive 22mm deep socket
You’ll need these tools, but that may not be everything. For example, if the electrical wires in your steering mechanism haven’t been cut, you might need a wire stripper. Having a lighter handy is also helpful.
In the same way, you may need other parts for your vehicle to get the job done.
I can’t say for sure what you’ll need, but it’s a good idea to set aside some extra electrical wire, heat shrink tubing, and a pair of female wire terminal connectors.
It’s also a good idea to keep some Allen head bolts. The most common ones are the 1/2″-3mm ones.
A Step By Step Guide to Installing a Quick Release Steering Wheel
I’ve put this installation guide into steps to make it easy to follow.
This means you can work with us and stop between each step to make sure you’re doing things right.
Step 1: Prep Your Vehicle
I’m going to start from the very beginning, so get your steering wheel ready to be messed with.
There are a few things you need to do to your car to make sure the installation goes smoothly.
First, park your car in a safe place and put on the brakes. It also needs to have its wheels set straight.
If they aren’t, they might not line up with your steering wheel, which could be dangerous.
Now, you’ll have to take the horn off the steering wheel.
Depending on your car, you can either pull the horn out of its plastic ring by hand or use a small screwdriver.
If you do need to pry, make sure you don’t damage the wheel too much.
You should now be able to see a bunch of wires. Take their picture. Even if you’re proud and think you know where everything goes, it’s best to have a picture to look at when putting things back together.
After that, take the horn out by unplugging the wires.
Step 2: Take Off The Steering Wheel
While the steering wheel is still on the car, you can’t do much to it.
By taking off the wheel, you can get to the mechanism you’ll use to put the quick-release system in place.
Most steering wheels can be taken apart by unscrewing the nut in the middle of the wheel. Obviously, if you don’t know how to remove your assembly, it’s a good idea to look at the manual for your car.
After you take off this nut and the washer and spacer you’ll find underneath, all you have to do is pull the steering wheel toward you, and it will pop off.
Step 3: Fixing The Short Hub
Grab the hook pick that I put on your list of tools. Check the back of your steering wheel assembly, which you just took off, and you should see a gold ring.
Get under it and slowly and carefully pry it off. Many people say that you should move slowly around the ring using diagonal moves. Once the ring is off, a black wire should be hooked up to it.
You will thread this black wire through the NRG short hub you have, and then slide the ring back. Now, connect that black wire to the yellow wire and the other black wire that is already there.
Then, put the spacer, washer, and first nut back on the steering wheel and tighten it with your ratchet. To connect the wires properly, you may need to tuck them into the short hub.
Grab the part of your NRG quick-release kit that goes with the short hub. To connect the quick-release and the short hub, you might need Allen head bolts.
Step 4: Install The Quick Release
Now is the time to put the quick-release mechanism and wheel in place. Put the quick-release button in place. You should feel it snap into place or hear it clunk.
After that, you have to put the steering wheel back in place. Depending on the car you’re driving, this can be the easiest or hardest part of the process.
If you’re lucky, your wheel will need 1/2′′ 3mm Allen head bolts, which will make it easy to install and make sure it’s in the right place.
If you’re not lucky, the hardware that holds your steering wheel in place might not work with your new system.
Most of the time, this is a problem with screws, and to fix it, you’ll need to get longer screws or cut long screws short.
You need to put the horn back in while you’re finishing up the steering wheel. Look at that picture you took or should have taken earlier. This will show you where to connect the wires and where they should be.
If you can do this, congrats! You have just installed the quick-release system and are done.
But there is an extra step for people who are left with male-to-male connections that don’t work.
Step 5: The Extra Step
If you only have male-to-male connectors left, you will need to adapt them to finish this installation. If you have the optional tools we’ve listed above, it’s not too hard.
Cut a piece of wire about two inches long and strip both ends. Thread this wire into a female connection and make sure it’s firmly crimped in place.
After that, for safety, wrap each end in heat shrink. You should only need about half an inch. Then, heat the tubing with a lighter to, well, shrink it.
Make sure the second tube is in place before you crimp the wire. You should now have an adapter that lets you connect male to male.