GM Century/Lumina/Grand Prix/Intrigue 1997-2000

Steering Wheel

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CAUTION
All models covered by this guide are equipped with a Supplemental Inflatable Restraint (SIR) System, using multiple air bags. Whenever working near any of the SIR components, such as the steering wheel air bag module, steering column wiring and instrument panel, disable the SIR system, as described in .

Several different types of steering wheels are used on GM W-Body vehicles, depending on model year, trim level and options. Many steering wheels will have remote radio switches (also called redundant radio switches) built into the steering wheels. Cruise control switches as well as horn and air bag functions are all built into the steering wheel.

One important component just under the steering wheel is the SIR coil. Since so many wires run to the face of the steering wheel including the all-important air bag connections, a special wiring device called the SIR coil is used to allow the steering wheel to turn freely yet, still provide reliable wiring connections through a "ribbon cable" arrangement. Care must be used to always center the front wheels and lock the steering column when working on the steering wheel and related components. The SIR coil assembly will become "uncentered" if:



The steering column is separated from the steering gear and allowed to rotate (always lock the column if disconnecting the steering shaft from the rack and pinion stub shaft, for example).
 
If the SIR coil centering spring is pushed down, letting the hub rotate while the coil is removed from the steering column. If this occurs, the SIR coil will need to be recentered.
 



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. The SIR coil is located under the steering wheel and if "uncentered" must be reset



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Fig. Exploded view of the steering wheel, switches and upper steering column arrangement-1998 Intrigue shown, others similar

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



  1. Center the front wheels and lock the steering column. Remove the key from the ignition.
  2.  
  3. Disable the SIR (air bag) system. Please see the procedure in .
  4.  
  5. Remove the air bag module from the steering wheel using the following procedure:
    1. Verify that the SIR system has been disabled.
    2.  

  6.  


NOTE
The air bag can be retained to the steering wheel with several different types of fasteners, depending on Model Year and vehicle equipment. A small mirror may be helpful to examine the back of the steering wheel to determine how the air bag is retained on your vehicle. It could be by Torx®screws which are unscrewed using the proper bit (usually a #30 driver bit). An alternate method of attachment is by small leaf-type springs which are unclipped with a small flat-blade prytool.

  1. On the back side of the steering wheel, locate and remove the air bag fasteners.
  2.  
  3. Gently pull on the air bag module to free it from the steering wheel.
  4.  
  5. Detach the electrical connections from the steering wheel to the air bag module.
  6.  
  7. Place the air bag in a safe place, with the trim pad facing upwards.
  8.  

  1. Scribe an alignment mark on the steering wheel hub in line with the existing mark on the steering shaft.
  2.  
  3. Loosen, but do not remove the steering wheel shaft nut, positioning it flush with the end of the steering column shaft. This is protect the steering column shaft threads from the foot of the steering wheel puller center screw.
  4.  
  5. Assemble a suitable steering wheel puller (GM recommends their J 1859-A puller with J 36541 special legs) to the steering wheel and pull the wheel loose from the shaft.
  6.  
  7. Remove the steering wheel shaft nut and the remove the steering wheel. Detach the electrical connectors.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. If leaf-type springs are used to retain the air bag, release the spring clip retainers and separate the air bag module from the steering wheel



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Carefully pull the air bag module away from the steering wheel, then detach the electrical connector



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Exploded view of the air bag module and electrical connections-Buick shown, others similar



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Typical steering wheel and the recommended puller with special legs to fit steering wheels designed for air bags

To install:

  1. Route the SIR connector through the steering wheel.
  2.  
  3. Align the scribe mark on the steering wheel made at removal with the existing mark on the steering column shaft. Make sure the steering wheel is seated.
  4.  
  5. Install the steering wheel shaft nut and tighten to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the air bag module using the following procedure:
    1. Attach the electrical connections to the air bag module.
    2.  
    3. If equipped with leaf-spring type clips, line up the air bag module retainers with the openings in the steering wheel. Gently press the air bag module into place until it 'snaps' into place.
    4.  
    5. If equipped with screws to retain the air bag, install the screws using care to line up the screw openings.
    6.  

  8.  
  9. Enable the SIR system. Please see the procedure in .
  10.  
  11. Check the operation of the horn and steering wheel. Check the operation of the steering wheel switches, as equipped.
  12.  

 
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