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Steering Wheel Removal & Replacement

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by smorgasbord, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    Has anyone successfully tried removing the steering wheel and putting it back?

    I came across these instructions at Sector111, but they only talk about removal to put an aftermarket in. I'm thinking once I remove the airbag, there's no replacing it.

    I'm thinking of painting/plasti-dipping the silver colored spokes and trim on the wheel and removing it would make that a lot easier.
     
  2. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    It goes back together just the opposite it was taken apart-very simple to do. Just be careful not to break the plastic airbag connector.
     
  3. jeremyz

    jeremyz Member

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    Normally, when you take the steering wheel out of a car, you unplug the 12v battery for 5 or 10 minutes. This is both to make sure that the airbag doesn't go off when the steering wheel is removed and also to avoid lighting up the SRS/airbag light. I'm not sure how you would detach the 12v battery in the Roadster 1.5 since there isn't one. I would guess that you could remove a fuse somewhere to achieve the same effect though.
     
  4. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    Thanks. Even in the v2.5 with a 12volt battery, disconnecting it doesn't actually stop 12 volt power! Yes, I know that from experience.

    So, what's the recommendation? Does anyone know if there's a fuse that feeds the airbag? I would think for safety reasons there would NOT be a fuse to the airbag. Can I do this successfully without disconnecting power to the airbag?
     
  5. EVGuy

    EVGuy Member

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    I would turn the APS off from the VDS, then pull the battery disconnect. Also Make sure that your wheels are straight before you pull it off.
     
  6. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    OK, what's the APS and where is the battery disconnect?
    thanks.
     
  7. EVGuy

    EVGuy Member

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    Its in the service menu in the VDS. not sure if you know how to do that. If not PM me I can walk you through it, or I'm also in the bay area could show you how to do it one day. The battery disconnect in on the driver side of the battery ( If I remember correctly) Its an orange looking plug. It has a pull like lock switch, you first pull the latch up 90 degrees. your then able to pull the battery safety disconnect out.
     
  8. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    I actually run in VDS diagnostic mode, but what is "APS"?

    Getting to the 12volt battery isn't easy - is the disconnect really next to the battery? And like I said, even with the battery disconnected, the big battery can power the 12 volt circuitry, so I don't think that's a fail safe, especially since the driver's door will be opening and closing while I'm doing this.
     
  9. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    There would be the service disconnect button which is somewhere near the motor. That should shut off all the electrical systems.
     
  10. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    APS - Auxiliary Power Shutdown
     
  11. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    Power to the SRS (airbag) system runs through the ignition switch, so you can remove it without disconnecting the battery. The SRS module will retain power for a few minutes, but by the time you get the bag out that time should have elapsed. The danger with working with a powered (key on) SRS system comes from the crash sensors, which the Tesla does not have (it is part of the module). Just make sure you do not turn the key on with the bag removed, or you will set a code that only the dealer can clear. If you still want to disable the vehicle power, the main disconnect is accessible under the splash guard for the left rear wheel. It is an orange plastic plug on the side of the battery. You can see it from the top by looking down the left side of the battery, but it is accessed though the wheel well. You could also unplug the emergency disconnect loop (first responders just cut the wire, you will need to pull the wire out to get at the plug). It is in the right side of the trunk on early models, and under the left side of the hood by the windshield for 2.0+ models. Look for a yellow label that says SRS disable.
     
  12. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    Thanks - I'll give this a try on Wed or Thursday. For what I'm doing, just getting the airbag out and then reinstalled should be enough. I'll probably do the belt and suspenders thing and disconnect the SRS even tho I have no plans to have the key in the ignition while I do this.

    If my little project comes out OK, I'll post pix.
     
  13. EVGuy

    EVGuy Member

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    "the main disconnect" is the battery service plug that I was talking about. you dont have to jack up the car and pull the wheel arch liner, you can just reach your arm in and pull it out from the top.
     
  14. spaceballs

    spaceballs Member

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    btw just be careful when pulling it out/in, I've cracked my service plug handle when doing this, a new one cost me ~$150
     
  15. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    So, am I better off just not bothering, as long as I keep the key out of the ignition the whole time?
     
  16. spaceballs

    spaceballs Member

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    I don't know the details for the SRS airbags. All i know if I need to cut all power off to the car, that I have to pull the service disconnect on the ESS & 12v battery.
     
  17. EVGuy

    EVGuy Member

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    You don't have to pull the service disconnect if you are worried about breaking it.

    1.5 roadsters

    Turn off APS power through VDS

    2.0 + 2.5 roadsters

    Turn off APS through VDS, and 12V AUX battery.(just to be safe)

    Also when this is being done don't cycle your charger port door. you might turn your APS back on.

    When you are done either turn APS on through VDS, or cycle charge port door 4-7 times until LED ring turns back on. that is how you know APS is powering back up.
     
  18. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    #18 smorgasbord, Jun 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
    OK, so I didn't blow the airbag. I did turn the APS off via the VDS - interestingly enough, the VDS stayed on and the button changed from "Disable APS" to "Enable APS." I let the car sit with the charge port door closed, key removed, and both doors open for over 15 minutes before starting work. It was as straightforward as the directions in the first post state. When I was all done, I hit the "Enable APS" button and all seems well with the car.

    Here's the final result:
    WrappedSteeringWheel.jpg

    Some of you may recall my cleaning mishap a couple years ago (http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/5918-A-tiny-paint-smear-730-to-fix%21). Turns out that all I really needed to do back then is remove the two 5mm hex head bolts (one on either side of the steering column), and pull the airbag assembly out a tiny bit in order to get masking tape behind it. Then it would have been easy to touchup. At the end of the day, it's really simple to remove the airbag, and I could see how easy it would be to remove the steering wheel as well, but I didn't need to do that to wrap it.

    Anyway, that ring is part of the airbag assembly, not part of the steering wheel. And remember, the ring is not clear coated and a heavy duty cleaner can remove the paint. With the airbag removed from the car, it was a lot easier to get a smooth wrap on it.

    BTW, you can also see the CF wrapped center console button surround. With those and the leather wrapped door handles, I've now gotten rid of all the brushed aluminum except the two rings on the parking brake. The top ring has a 90 degree bend, so I don't think that will wrap well. Right now I'm thinking of black pasti-dipping those rings.
     
  19. jbadger

    jbadger Roadster #506

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    Looks great! I like the job you did on both the steering wheel and the center console.
     
  20. Botbldr45

    Botbldr45 Member

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    Wow that looks really good. How did you get a door sill without the brushed alum. piece???
     

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