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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
While 09 and up Vs have lighted steering wheel controls, the '07 and '08s do not. I was tired of fumbling for the stereo and cruise control buttons in the dark on my '08 hatchback, so I decided to see if I could swap mine out. The operation was a success, so I thought I would create a guide in case anyone else wanted to try. On a 1-10 scale of difficulty, I would rate this mod about a 4, mainly because of the amount of stuff you have to disassemble to get to the clockspring. The wiring itself is very simple.

Here's a picture of the connectors on the old and new parts side by side. Old one is on the left. Notice the missing wires in sockets 1 and 4. On the new part these wires control the illumination. Fortunately, the clockspring on all first gens has connections for all 8 pins. It's just a matter of swapping the steering wheel switches and running wiring into the connector at the bottom of the clockspring.



Materials

Lighted controls. Part number 25550-ZW80A for cruise and audio or 25550-ZW80B for just cruise. If your V just has cruise, there's an existing how to on connecting the radio controls here. If you're going to all this trouble, I'd suggest doing the radio controls at the same time.

Mini flat-tip screwdriver. The really small type you get in eyeglass and jewelry repair kits.

Standard Phillips screwdriver.

Trim stick or a large flathead wrapped with a shop cloth so it doesn't mark the plastic.

20/22 gauge connector with removable pin sheaths. I pulled some out of a car stereo pigtail I didn't need.

Extra 20/22 gauge wire (if your connector doesn't have enough wire attached to the pin sheaths). You need about two feet for both positive and negative.

Some way to splice the wires. I used solder and heat shrink tubing, but there are other methods that work. Pick whichever you're most comfortable with.

2x T taps. I used Posi Taps. Some people prefer soldering, others prefer wire nuts. Again, do it whichever way you're most comfortable with.

Removing the wheel

There is already a great how-to on removing the steering wheel here, so I'll just mention a few things I ran into on that part.

1.) The hex nut that holds the steering wheel on is a PITA to break loose. It takes a 3/4" socket. A ratchet with a long handle that gives lots of leverage would work best, but all I had was a Husky stubby set so I ended up standing outside the car and leaning on the handle.

2.) There is a line on the threaded shaft and a line on the metal part of the steering wheel. Make sure you note the position of the lines in relation to each other, or the car will pull to one side when you put it back together. You can mark them with a grease pencil or just take a picture like I did:



3.) The air bag connectors have little black caps on them. Pry up the cap with a mini screwdriver and they will slide right out. Here's a close up of the connector in the open position:



4.) The controls are held on by two screws on each side. Just unscrew them, but make sure you run the wires BEHIND the metal skeleton inside the steering wheel. If you run them in front, the air bag will not fit back on when you are done. Here is a pic of how the wiring should look:



5.) I strongly recommend doing the wiring in the steering column while the steering wheel is off as it gives you a lot more room to work. If your V has the Intelligent Key feature, it's practically impossible to get the cover off the steering column while the wheel is in place anyway because the ignition knob sticks out so far.

Clockspring wiring


The clockspring sits directly beneath the steering wheel, and the controllers plug into an 8-pin connector on the face. It's just a long ribbon cable in a housing. The top can rotate to accommodate the turning of the steering wheel. It turns really, really easily. Don't be tempted to twirl it around, because it only turns about 2.5 rotations in either direction, and you can damage it if you turn it too far. The clockspring is very difficult to find secondhand since it is useless once the airbag deploys, so just leave it alone.

Remove the cover from the steering column. There are three Phillips screws that hold it on, one on the right and two on the left. Once the screws are out, the top and bottom half are held on by little plastic tabs on the inside. Just use a trim stick or a large flathead screwdriver wrapped in a cloth to lever them apart. Work on both sides a little at a time so you don't break or bend any of the tabs.

On the opposite side of the clockspring are two connectors. One is yellow and controls the airbag. We don't need to worry about that one. This is the one we're looking for:



Squeeze the tab on the bottom and pull it out. It's in pretty tight, so you may have to wiggle it or lever it out with a screwdriver. As you can see, it has two pins missing in position 5 and 6. The one on the left is the NEGATIVE connection, the one on the right is POSITIVE. It also has a little white cap on the top.



Pry up the cap with your mini screwdriver and insert the two 20/22 gauge pin sheaths into the holes and mash it back down. Insert it back into the socket like so:



Open the access panel below the dimmer switch. You don't have to remove the trim piece under the steering wheel, but I did because I was swapping the stereo at the same time and needed access to one of the grounded screws underneath. You can find a Youtube video showing you how to remove this piece here.

There are three wires attached to the dimmer switch. The PURPLE wire is positive and the CENTER BLACK wire is negative.



Connect your T taps or whatever and splice the BLACK wire to the wire connected to pin socket 5 (outside) on the wiring harness. Splice the PURPLE wire to pin socket 6 (inside).

Yes, I realize the color scheme for the new wires is backwards in the previous photo, but I didn't know which pin was positive and which was negative when I connected them and i didn't feel like prying the wiring harness connector out of its socket and swapping them.

Put the steering wheel and air bag back on, reconnect the battery and test the lights. If they don't come on, you have the positive and negative connections reversed. The lights are LEDs and require the correct polarity to work.

Once you're done, put everything back together and enjoy your lighted controls. They will come on with the headlights and are dimmable.

 

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While 09 and up Vs have lighted steering wheel controls, the '07 and '08s do not. I was tired of fumbling for the stereo and cruise control buttons in the dark on my '08 hatchback, so I decided to see if I could swap mine out. The operation was a success, so I thought I would create a guide in case anyone else wanted to try. On a 1-10 scale of difficulty, I would rate this mod about a 4, mainly because of the amount of stuff you have to disassemble to get to the clockspring. The wiring itself is very simple.

Here's a picture of the connectors on the old and new parts side by side. Old one is on the left. Notice the missing wires in sockets 1 and 4. On the new part these wires control the illumination. Fortunately, the clockspring on all first gens has connections for all 8 pins. It's just a matter of swapping the steering wheel switches and running wiring into the connector at the bottom of the clockspring.



Materials

Lighted controls. Part number 25550-ZW80A for cruise and audio or 25550-ZW80B for just cruise. If your V just has cruise, there's an existing how to on connecting the radio controls here. If you're going to all this trouble, I'd suggest doing the radio controls at the same time.

Mini flat-tip screwdriver. The really small type you get in eyeglass and jewelry repair kits.

Standard Phillips screwdriver.

Trim stick or a large flathead wrapped with a shop cloth so it doesn't mark the plastic.

20/22 gauge connector with removable pin sheaths. I pulled some out of a car stereo pigtail I didn't need.

Extra 20/22 gauge wire (if your connector doesn't have enough wire attached to the pin sheaths). You need about two feet for both positive and negative.

Some way to splice the wires. I used solder and heat shrink tubing, but there are other methods that work. Pick whichever you're most comfortable with.

2x T taps. I used Posi Taps. Some people prefer soldering, others prefer wire nuts. Again, do it whichever way you're most comfortable with.

Removing the wheel

There is already a great how-to on removing the steering wheel here, so I'll just mention a few things I ran into on that part.

1.) The hex nut that holds the steering wheel on is a PITA to break loose. It takes a 3/4" socket. A ratchet with a long handle that gives lots of leverage would work best, but all I had was a Husky stubby set so I ended up standing outside the car and leaning on the handle.

2.) There is a line on the threaded shaft and a line on the metal part of the steering wheel. Make sure you note the position of the lines in relation to each other, or the car will pull to one side when you put it back together. You can mark them with a grease pencil or just take a picture like I did:



3.) The air bag connectors have little black caps on them. Pry up the cap with a mini screwdriver and they will slide right out. Here's a close up of the connector in the open position:



4.) The controls are held on by two screws on each side. Just unscrew them, but make sure you run the wires BEHIND the metal skeleton inside the steering wheel. If you run them in front, the air bag will not fit back on when you are done. Here is a pic of how the wiring should look:



5.) I strongly recommend doing the wiring in the steering column while the steering wheel is off as it gives you a lot more room to work. If your V has the Intelligent Key feature, it's practically impossible to get the cover off the steering column while the wheel is in place anyway because the ignition knob sticks out so far.

Clockspring wiring


The clockspring sits directly beneath the steering wheel, and the controllers plug into an 8-pin connector on the face. It's just a long ribbon cable in a housing. The top can rotate to accommodate the turning of the steering wheel. It turns really, really easily. Don't be tempted to twirl it around, because it only turns about 2.5 rotations in either direction, and you can damage it if you turn it too far. The clockspring is very difficult to find secondhand since it is useless once the airbag deploys, so just leave it alone.

Remove the cover from the steering column. There are three Phillips screws that hold it on, one on the right and two on the left. Once the screws are out, the top and bottom half are held on by little plastic tabs on the inside. Just use a trim stick or a large flathead screwdriver wrapped in a cloth to lever them apart. Work on both sides a little at a time so you don't break or bend any of the tabs.

On the opposite side of the clockspring are two connectors. One is yellow and controls the airbag. We don't need to worry about that one. This is the one we're looking for:



Squeeze the tab on the bottom and pull it out. It's in pretty tight, so you may have to wiggle it or lever it out with a screwdriver. As you can see, it has two pins missing in position 5 and 6. The one on the left is the NEGATIVE connection, the one on the right is POSITIVE. It also has a little white cap on the top.



Pry up the cap with your mini screwdriver and insert the two 20/22 gauge pin sheaths into the holes and mash it back down. Insert it back into the socket like so:



Open the access panel below the dimmer switch. You don't have to remove the trim piece under the steering wheel, but I did because I was swapping the stereo at the same time and needed access to one of the grounded screws underneath. You can find a Youtube video showing you how to remove this piece here.
There are three wires attached to the dimmer switch. The PURPLE wire is positive and the CENTER BLACK wire is negative.



Connect your T taps or whatever and splice the BLACK wire to the wire connected to pin socket 5 (outside) on the wiring harness. Splice the PURPLE wire to pin socket 6 (inside).

Yes, I realize the color scheme for the new wires is backwards in the previous photo, but I didn't know which pin was positive and which was negative when I connected them and i didn't feel like prying the wiring harness connector out of its socket and swapping them.

Put the steering wheel and air bag back on, reconnect the battery and test the lights. If they don't come on, you have the positive and negative connections reversed. The lights are LEDs and require the correct polarity to work.

Once you're done, put everything back together and enjoy your lighted controls. They will come on with the headlights and are dimmable.

I have an 09 versa hatchback with cruise control and not the Bluetooth. My steering wheel controls on the cruise are not illuminated? Could the LEDs be burned out?
 

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I have an 09 versa hatchback with cruise control and not the Bluetooth. My steering wheel controls on the cruise are not illuminated? Could the LEDs be burned out?
The only way to tell is to pull the airbag and look at the connector.
 

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Is the Airbag easy to remove? I want to replace the steering wheel with a SL model one but I don't wanna break the clock springs and not be able to put it back in.
There is a really good how to on this site. SL wheel upgrade is fairly simple and straight forward.
Just make sure your switches are from a 09. 2010 the switch color was changed to orange.
 

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There is a really good how to on this site. SL wheel upgrade is fairly simple and straight forward.
Just make sure your switches are from a 09. 2010 the switch color was changed to orange.
What do you mean the switch colors were changed to orange? I found a 2010 sl steering wheel at a junk yard. Will that one not be plug and play for my 09?
 

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It will still be plug and play and work just fine. The switch colors will be mismatched to the rest of the dash.
 
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