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Tired of fumbling for the volume or change track buttons or accidentally turning off your cruise control in the dark? Well, you don't have to put up with that any longer. Here's how I switched my '08 SL hatch.

What you will need:

Lighted controls. Part number 25550-ZW80A for radio and cruise, 25550-ZW80B for just cruise (but seriously, if you're going to all this trouble you probably want both). Cost online is about $85 and $55 respectively. The local dealer price matched for me.

Long Phillips screwdriver

Mini flat head screwdriver

3/4" hex driver + ratchet

22 gauge wiring + pins. I used the wiring from a stereo pigtail I didn't need, but you can also get them off any junked Nissan at the salvage yard.

Some way of tapping and splicing the wires. I used Posi Taps and butt connectors, but you can also use wire nuts, solder or whatever you feel most comfortable with.

Step 1:

Remove the steering wheel. There's already a good how-to on this, so I'm just going to add a couple of things.

Disconnect the battery for at least 10 minutes before starting to make sure the power is completely drained from the system and the ECU is off. Otherwise you will get an air bag error that is annoying to clear.

The air bag connectors are easy to remove, but there's a trick to it. They have little black caps you have to pry up. Just insert your mini flat head into the notch at the back of the connector and twist. They will pop up and the connectors will slide right out. Here's a pic showing the connectors in the open position:



Don't handle the air bag any more than you have to, and DON'T DROP IT. Just set it on the floor in the passenger seat or the back and forget about it until you're done. It costs like $500 new and used ones aren't much cheaper. Plus if you set it off while it's on the car, the clock spring is no good and that's another $100+.

The nut that holds the steering wheel on is a pain in the butt. Use a ratchet with a long handle for good leverage and cover sensitive ears. Here's a close up of the connection point:



Notice the line on the bolt and steering wheel. Make sure you note their positions or make a mark on the bolt where the steering wheel line is. Otherwise your car will want to pull to one side.

This is what you will see when it's off:



Continued next post.
 
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