Aesthetics aside, swapping the steering wheel removes a great deal of mass that tends to numb steering feel. Back in the day, steering wheels tended to be over-sized and housed comically large air bags. Swapping to a smaller and lighter aftermarket wheels allows the driver to easily feel the impact of losing tracking and wheel lock-up.
I do need to add this disclaimer that disabling safety equipment on a street driven vehicle is not recommended and should only be done so for off-road use only.
The mechanical portion of this swap is fairly straight forward. The challenging portion of this swap involves the wiring required to retain the horn and cruise control. This write-up is specific to the ’92-’95 Civic, but is very similar to just about any honda/acura on the road up to the early 2000’s.
Hand drill and drill set
1/4″ wide brass strip (purchased at local hobby shop)
You may want to disconnect the battery and wait about 15-30 minutes before you start this process. You risk having the airbag deploy and cause serious injury if you don’t disconnect the battery.
The 5th gen civic was equipped with a passenger’s side airbag from ’94-’95. If you want to completely remove the airbags, you will need to find a dash board from a ’92-’93 civic. You will not need to do the swap, but it will make for a cleaner final product.
If you plan to swap the dashboard to a ’92-’93 non-airbag dash, scroll down the page to the dashboard swap section.
Steering Wheel Swap
If you aren’t going to swap out the dash, or you have a driver’s side airbag only civic, then you can start here with the steering wheel swap!
Start by removing the caps and torx screws on either side of the steering wheel.
If you didn’t pull the entire yellow airbag harness, you may want to do it now. If you want to retain the horn and the cruise, if so equipped, you’ll need to modify the wiring.
If you want to go all out and get rid of the passenger side airbag, you’ll need to find a ’92-’93 civic dash. Below is the outline for swapping out the dash. (An alternative to the swap is to buy an air-bag cover from Password JDM)
After you remove the metal bolster, you will need to drop the steering column.
With the dash out, you can easily remove the cluster bezel and all other hardware that needs to be transferred to the new dash.
With the wiring removed and the dash out, you will need to transfer all for the wiring and hardware to the new dash. There is a harness for the instrument cluster and buttons in the dash, a harness for the radio and climate control.
There are two more small vents that need to be transferred. These are easy to break and should be removed by squeezing the clips from behind.
At this point, slide the new dash into place and reverse the removal process.