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Old 09-27-2006, 07:59 PM   #1
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How to install steering wheel and quick-release hub (56k warned)

Disclaimer
Technical information is for reference only. Please consult qualified technician. Author and Zilvia.net not responsible for content or misuse.
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Background
I've been looking around for a while for a good quick-release. I haven't been able to find something that I liked, until I found Tekniq through one of the local guys here.

Their site is very very comprehensive: http://www.tekniqauto.com

I was impressed by their site. There is a lot of information on there, including detailed pictures, descriptions, and even videos of the unit being used.

I actually got a Sparco quick-release, but it required aligning to the steering shaft, tack-welding the quick-release hub to the shaft, and then welding the quick-release hub to the shaft. It's very likely that the hub will sit crooked.

I also looked at the RPI. Their hub sits on top of the shaft and doesn't need tack-welding, but final welding still need to be done. Plus they only have 3-bolt steering wheel pattern. It was nearly impossible to get a Sparco/Momo adapter.

Also, both of these units will make you ditch your horn. I wanted something that could be reversible and would allow me to keep the horn without undue experimentation.

Tekniq was the perfect choice for me. They provided me with fast response to my emails, and were very courteous on the phone. They also resolved my problems with no issues. I would buy from them again.
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Product description
I will be installing a Sparco 215 2-spoke suede wheel.


I ordered a Tekniq hub for an S13 with no cruise control and no SRS (airbags). I also ordered a Snap-Off quick-release with a Momo/Sparco bolt pattern for my Sparco wheel.


In the picture above, from left to right and top to bottom:

* hub adapter with horn wire
* dust cover
* metal contact ring
* Snap-Off base plate
* Snap-Off lock ring
* horn contacts
* assortment of various size bolts
* 2 keys
* instructions and brochures
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Tools
* 19mm socket, preferably 6-point and deep-well
* 3" or 6" extension
* ratchet and torque wrench
* 4mm hex key, and I believe a 2mm but I'm not sure (it's very small)
* breaker bar, if necessary
* screwdriver, if necessary
* steering wheel puller, if necessary
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Installation
Installation is very simple. It's no different than any other hub unit. My instructions were meant to supplement Tekniq's instructions. Go to their Web site for details.

Please note that my car does not have any accessories other than the horn. If yours have some other accessories, you'll have to figure out how to wire them up.

Before installation, I recommend unplugging both horns so you don't sound the horn by accident. You can still hear the horn relay so you can still test the horn button without upsetting the neighbors.


1. We will start by prying off the horn pad. Just pull it off with your fingers. If you have difficulty, look behind the wheel and you will see 2 small port holes. Stick a Philip screwdriver in there and remove the 2 screws. It will help you remove the horn pad.

If you still need additional reference, look at #1 in my sig. ST section.


2. On the back of the horn pad, disconnect the horn wire.


3. This is the horn pad removed. Note how rusty the spokes are from age and exposure.


4. It is best to lock your steering column by removing the key and wiggling the wheel until it locks. Slide your socket over and remove the steering wheel nut. If you have difficulty, have an assistant hold the wheel straight while you use a breaker bar to slowly break the bolt loose.


5. DO NOT LOSE THE NUT!!! You will be reusing it. Store it in a safe place.


6. This is the wheel with the nut off.


7. I recommend unlocking the steering column by sticking the key in the ignition and pointing the wheel straight ahead before removing. It will help you align the hub.

This is the tricky part. If in doubt, get a steering wheel puller. I have a trick I use. It may not work for you. Slap the steering wheel along the axis of the face of the wheel with your hand. After doing this several times, the wheel just slides right off.


8. Slide the hub adapter on. Try to align the UP mark as vertical as possible to make sure the wheel is not crooked.


9. Slide the dust boot on. Reinstall the steering wheel nut and torque to about 30 ft-lb. Check the FSM for exact torque value.


10. This step only applies if you're installing the wheel straight onto the hub with no quick-release and only if you're using a smaller horn button than what fits your wheel. The metal contact ring allows you to fit a horn button that is smaller than the wheel.

Slide the metal contact ring on. Point the raised edge upward towards the wheel. Slide the wheel on top and bolt the wheel on. Then hook up your horn button and pop the horn button onto the wheel.

With the Sparco-style horn button, there is a metal tab terminal on the side that contacts the hub to ground the horn as well as 2 male spade terminals. When you press the horn button, power flows between all three terminals. Connect the positive horn relay wire to one of the spade terminals. Then either make sure that the side terminal contacts the hub securely, or hook the other spade terminal to the negative horn relay wire.

With the Tekniq system, both positive and negative wires are integrally designed into the quick release. This makes it very easy to install the horn. Just hook up both wires to the spade terminals and you're good to go. You don't need the side terminal to ground out.

It's also a good idea to apply electrical tape around both terminals to insulate them. This is in case the two terminals accidentally come into contact with each other. If they do, your horn will be stuck.


11. Slide the supplied insulating tubing. Hook up the horn wire. Nissan only uses 1 wire for the horn. The other wire makes contact directly with the hub, as seen below.


12. Install the base plate with the supplied bolts. Note that there are 2 sizes of bolts included with the kit. Make sure you use the correct size.


13. I wanted to check steering wheel alignment so I only installed 2. I don't recommend driving until you have installed all 6 bolts.


14. Slide the horn contact onto the lock ring like so. It has a notch on top and only goes in one way. The back of the horn contact touches the 2 contacts on the base plate.


15. Bolt the lock ring onto the steering wheel using the correct size bolts. Note that this lock ring has been drilled for the Sparco bolt pattern. Be sure to orient the lock ring so that the lock cylinder faces up. It's easier to unlock this way, but point it down if you want. Hook up the horn wires.


16. Snap the horn into the wheel.


17. Slide the wheel and lock ring onto the base plate. This is what the final product looks like.


Check that your horn works without getting stuck. Check that the steering wheel is firm and moves freely without binding or becoming loose.

I recommend applying Loctite blue to the threads of the bolts. You will be able to semi-permanently attach the bolts without overtightening.

There is also some special bolts you can insert into the bolts and break them off. This will make it impossible to remove the base plate without drilling. I opted not to do this.
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Thoughts
Overall, I was very impressed by the unit, and I'm glad I went with them. Tekniq makes a variety of wheels to suit your taste as well.

I think the cheapest way to upgrade your wheel is to order one of their leatherette wheel and hub. They're also running specials on hub, wheel, and Snap-Off quick-release as well. Check the site for more information.

I was also impressed that the design is protected by United States Patent Number 5,180,029.

The thing that impressed me the most was the positive feeling of the release action. You have to insert the key and pull both paddles. This will ensure that I will never install the wheel crooked, as is possible with other quick-releases.
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The procedures also applies to other kits as well, Momo, Sparco, HKB, etc. They're all the same. Once you get the hub on, you either bolt on the quick release if you have one, or bolt the wheel directly to the hub. Horn installation will be the same as well.

I didn't like my Sparco horn. It's hard to get the spring to sit just right. Otherwise the horn gets stuck or won't work at all. I'm in the process of looking for another horn button.
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Old 09-27-2006, 08:07 PM   #2
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