Momo Steering Wheel Installations

What is it about Momo steering wheels that makes so many enthusiasts want to install them? For one thing, they look great. Beautifully finished in various combinations of brushed aluminum,  leather, suede, and wood, they're a great compliment to the interior of any Miata. But even more compelling is the feel. Most Momo wheels are a bit smaller in diameter than the stock wheel with a thick padded wheel that gives you a firm grip and positive steering feel that you just can't get from the stock wheel. Yes, you give up the airbag - a personal decision that must not be taken lightly. Still, many Miata owners have chosen to go the route of a Momo wheel.

Our installation is for a Momo Champion using a hub adapter from Finish Line Performance. The beauty of this adapter as compared with the others that have been used in the past is that there is no cutting, splicing, or other kluges required. Unlike using the other products, this is a completely reversible job. You can pop your old steering wheel and airbag back into place at any time!

This is the simplest method we know of to install a Momo wheel.

An air bag is an explosive device, and should be given the respect of one. These directions are for information only. Removal of the steering wheel involves working with the airbag. This procedure should only be performed by a qualified mechanic. The author, Miata.net, its sponsors, Mazda, and Eunos Communications LLC are not responsible for any damage or injury caused by use of these procedures.

Other Useful Installation Writeups

Before

Before

After

After

Tools Required

  1. Disconnect the battery. It's in the trunk.
  2. Turn the steering wheel so the wheels are straight and the steering wheel is in the upright position and locked into place.
  3. DSCN0020.JPG (60608 bytes)Using a 10mm socket on a 3" extension, remove the 4 bolts from behind the steering wheel that hold the airbag module to the wheel. Position yourself off to the side while doing this. Safety note: During this entire procedure, ensure that the airbag module is pointing away from you.
  4. Remove the orange and blue clock spring connector.  The orange one must come off first. This is slightly tricky. You need to press on the connector in slightly different directions to remove it. The orange connector release must be pressed toward the blue connector. The blue connector release gets pressed toward the opposite side of the blue connector. (Does that make any sense?)
  5. DSCN0021.JPG (67775 bytes)Slip the nylon cord off the hook in the steering wheel and remove the airbag module. Remember, you now have a bomb in your hands. Treat it with the proper respect. Do not simply toss it in the trash.
  6.  DSCN0022.JPG (66288 bytes)Using a 21 mm socket with a 3" extension, remove the steering wheel nut. It will be fairly tight. Once the nut is removed, you can gradually rock the steering wheel left to right and top to bottom until it works free. Some people recommend using a wheel puller. We didn't feel the necessity as the rocking worked it loose fairly quickly and easily.
  7. DSCN0023.JPG (62949 bytes)The yellow marker should have an arrow at the top pointing straight up. You may want to put a piece of tape on it to secure the yellow disc to the plastic steering column shroud. Be sure this doesn't move during the process.
  8.  DSCN0024.JPG (74661 bytes)If you can read the instructions that come with the hub adaptor, maybe things will be even easier. We just looked at the pretty pictures and the rest was fairly intuitive. DSCN0025.JPG (60594 bytes)
  9. Slip the inner hub adapter over the splines. Be sure the hole marked with the arrow is on the top. Put the 21mm nut back on and hand tighten for now.
  10. DSCN0026.JPG (63438 bytes)Install the blue and orange connectors that came with the hub adapter onto the ones you removed the airbag from. Blue goes first, then orange. Slip the black wire with the connector on the end through the hole in the top of the hub adapter and allow it to protrude out the front. This is your horn connection. You also need to connect a ground wire. There isn't a particularly convenient place for this. We simply put one end of the horn ground wire (supplied with the Momo wheel) behind the steering wheel locknut and tightened it down.
  11. DSCN0027.JPG (63536 bytes)Wrap the wires and the resistor around the inner hub adapter and secure it with electrical tape so it doesn't rattle when you're driving. Install the outer shroud of the hub adapter around the whole mess.
  12. DSCN0029.JPG (68911 bytes)Install the horn button on the steering wheel. Place the button in from the front of the wheel and secure it to the back using the adapter plate that came with the hub adapter. Connect the two wires to the horn button. It doesn't matter which wire goes to which connector.
  13.  DSCN0030.JPG (62375 bytes)Throw out the screws that came with the hub adapter. Use the ones that come with the steering wheel. They're the right length. Carefully screw the wheel onto the adapter, being careful not to scratch the black anodized screws. Use the hex wrench that comes with the hub adapter.
  14. Reconnect the battery. Verify horn operation. Then take the car for a ride and verify that the turn signals shut off properly after making a turn.
  15. beltweb.jpg (31606 bytes)A final step, although one that some consider controversial, is to make a permanent modification to the seat belt. With air bag equipped cars you'll find under the black cover (shown in photo) a double loop of belt. This is for air bag cars only - it allows some forward movement of the driver to the air bag during a crash. With no air bag this would be a problem! You can remove this cover using a razor blade and then cut all the stitching holding the looped belt. The extra belt now returns to the seatbelt reel. (Thanks to David Kirwan for this step.)

That's it - you're done!



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