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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I asked the question months ago- had anyone ever installed a 3G steering wheel on a 2G? The only reply was a link to an article on using an EVO wheel.

Well, here's how to swap to the 3G Eclipse wheel and retain your airbag (if desired) and more importantly, keep the Cruise Switch in the OEM location, attached to the wheel.


2G Eclipse Steering Wheel as compared to the 3G Eclipse Steering Wheel (w/ Stratus Airbag) and 2G Cruise Wand​

First, you need a 3G wheel. The Eclipse 3G wheel directly interchanges, and possibly the '00-up Dodge Stratus Coupe, Dodge Neon SRT-4, and Chrysler Sebring. All appear to use the same shape 3-spoke wheel and airbag, but the only one I've checked is the Eclipse. Look at them on ebay and decide for yourself.


3G Eclipse Steering Wheel w/o Airbag, front and back​

Now, it takes some work to mount a 2G cruise wand on a 3G wheel (the 3G switch is wired differenly, there is no dash-mounted on-off.) You have to mill-out some aluminum from the center of the wheel to allow the switch body to fit, but the three mounting holes do line-up, you also have to add about 5mm of washers to space the switch out. After you do that, the wand fits and still clears the center shell of the wheel just dandy.


Pocket for Cruise Control Wand opened-up with a Dremel.
Used a carbide burr to remove the aluminum.​

Here's the clockspring exposed on the end of the steering column after removing the 2G wheel. Make sure 1) you've removed the negative cable from your battery before removing the original airbag, 2) your wheels are centered, and 3) check that the arrows on the face of the clockspring are pointing across from each other. There are three harness connections- airbag, cruise control, and the single lead for the horn. There is a 17mm locknut on the shaft, retaining the wheel on the splines- remove nut, then rock the wheel up and down, it'll come off the splines w/o a wheel puller.


Column with 2G wheel removed and clockspring w/ harness exposed - 3G wheel w/ 2G Cruise Wand installed, mounted to Column​

Now- the airbag. All the airbags from the cars mentioned above are the same exact shape and use the same two M6 screws for mounting. The only difference is the style of ID on the face of the bag. The igniter/gas generator inside the bag interfaces perfectly with the 2G clockspring connector. But, if you don't want a effing airbag, just do what I did and remove the module. The horn works fine w/o it. BTW, I used a Stratus airbag, 'cause it was about $50/shipped. 3G Eclipse airbags will generally run hundreds of dollars. I hid the "Ram" in the center with a Mitsubishi stick-on badge.


Back of Airbag w/ igniter and gas generator removed.
Note the single wire w/ a bullet connector- this is your horn lead.


Installation finshed with Mitsubishi badge added to cover "Ram" symbol on airbag.
Even though the parts appear Gray, they are all Black, to match my Black/Tan interior.


Photoshop of 3G Wheel w/ Eclipse airbag (if you so wish)​

Cost of my conversion- under $100 for the wheel and airbag, including shipping. I now have a steering wheel with one BIG center horn button, instead of the two teeny buttons you can never find in a hurry. Plus (IMHO), a much better-looking, 3-spoke wheel.
 

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1g steering wheel FTW! I do feel a little safer with an airbag though... Who am I kidding, the airbag probably doesn't work in my car either...

Pretty good thinking. Creative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The 3G wheel is slightly smaller in diameter (maybe 5-10mm) than the 2G wheel. Note that I also considered installing a 1G steering wheel, but it won't mate-up with the clockspring, thus not compatible with a steering wheel-mounted cruise wand. The 3G wheel also has the advantage of appearing to be a stock fitment when the car is inspected by the dipwads at your local DMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I asked the question months ago- had anyone ever installed a 3G steering wheel on a 2G? The only reply was a link to an article on using an EVO wheel.

Well, here's how to swap to the 3G Eclipse wheel and retain your airbag (if desired) and more importantly, keep the Cruise Switch in the OEM location, attached to the wheel.


2G Eclipse Steering Wheel as compared to the 3G Eclipse Steering Wheel (w/ Stratus Airbag) and 2G Cruise Wand​

First, you need a 3G wheel. The Eclipse 3G wheel directly interchanges, and possibly the '00-up Dodge Stratus Coupe, Dodge Neon SRT-4, and Chrysler Sebring. All appear to use the same shape 3-spoke wheel and airbag, but the only one I've checked is the Eclipse. Look at them on ebay and decide for yourself.


3G Eclipse Steering Wheel w/o Airbag, front and back​

Now, it takes some work to mount a 2G cruise wand on a 3G wheel (the 3G switch is wired differenly, there is no dash-mounted on-off.) You have to mill-out some aluminum from the center of the wheel to allow the switch body to fit, but the three mounting holes do line-up, you also have to add about 5mm of washers to space the switch out. After you do that, the wand fits and still clears the center shell of the wheel just dandy.


Pocket for Cruise Control Wand opened-up with a Dremel.
Used a carbide burr to remove the aluminum.​

Here's the clockspring exposed on the end of the steering column after removing the 2G wheel. Make sure 1) you've removed the negative cable from your battery before removing the original airbag, 2) your wheels are centered, and 3) check that the arrows on the face of the clockspring are pointing across from each other. There are three harness connections- airbag, cruise control, and the single lead for the horn. There is a 17mm locknut on the shaft, retaining the wheel on the splines- remove nut, then rock the wheel up and down, it'll come off the splines w/o a wheel puller.


Column with 2G wheel removed and clockspring w/ harness exposed - 3G wheel w/ 2G Cruise Wand installed, mounted to Column​

Now- the airbag. All the airbags from the cars mentioned above are the same exact shape and use the same two M6 screws for mounting. The only difference is the style of ID on the face of the bag. The igniter/gas generator inside the bag interfaces perfectly with the 2G clockspring connector. But, if you don't want a effing airbag, just do what I did and remove the module. The horn works fine w/o it. BTW, I used a Stratus airbag, 'cause it was about $50/shipped. 3G Eclipse airbags will generally run hundreds of dollars. I hid the "Ram" in the center with a Mitsubishi stick-on badge.


Back of Airbag w/ igniter and gas generator removed.
Note the single wire w/ a bullet connector- this is your horn lead.


Installation finshed with Mitsubishi badge added to cover "Ram" symbol on airbag.
Even though the parts appear Gray, they are all Black, to match my Black/Tan interior.


Photoshop of 3G Wheel w/ Eclipse airbag (if you so wish)​

Cost of my conversion- under $100 for the wheel and airbag, including shipping. I now have a steering wheel with one BIG center horn button, instead of the two teeny buttons you can never find in a hurry. Plus (IMHO), a much better-looking, 3-spoke wheel.
BTW, about 10 years ago, I found a 3rd gen Eclipse driver-side airbag on ebay and replaced the ugly "Ram" bag with the correct center section for the 3rd gen wheel as seen in the photoshop.
 
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