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I like the base interior; I wanted the cloth seats and the dash plate that matches the center console section. But what I didn't care for was the base steering wheel.

At first, I saw posts and pictures of people who replaced the base interior steering wheel with a full leather one from an 07-09 GT500 or an 08 Bullitt. To me this looked like the ticket. It looked nice and matched the base interior pretty well. Oh... well the price is at least $430 to get your hands on one...

Hmmm, well what to do?

Last week a came across a post on here of the BOSS steering wheel install. IN that thread, the poster noted that the BOSS wheel (CR3Z-3600-AA) was only $182 from the dealer (without tax). So, it made me wonder, "What are the newer wheels priced at?".

Searching Ford Parts, I found that there were three low priced steering wheels: CR3Z-3600-AA (BOSS), CR3Z-3600-AB (Leather) and CR3Z-3600-BA (Standard Leather with Nav. Controls). The rest of the wheels were all deviations of the leather wheel, but with colored stitch (Grabber Blue, Red, Some Orange Color....). in which costed somewhere in the $200+. [The base steering wheel was actually one of the most expensive to buy....WTF????...BASE?)

Anyway, I ordered CR3Z-3600-AB thinking I would get the standard leather steering wheel with standard stitching and just paint the dress panels on the spokes to my likeing. The one thing I do NOT like about the premium type steering wheel is how they DO NOT match any other interior (in my opinion:p) except with the light silver (premium) dash panel. I do not think these steering wheels match the GT500 or the BOSS nicely based solely on the color choice from Ford on the dress panels of the spokes.

Well, at the parts counter at the dealership I ordered from, I open the box to see what I actually got... GT500 steering wheel. Hmmm, Ill take it! (weird because the P/N on the steering wheel is BR3Z-3600-AA).

At the parts store I came up with 5 options to choose from to match the base interiors dark grey dash panel and center console. I left with two: Dark Shadow Grey and Charcoal Grey Metallic (both "Ford" DupliColor colors). I also left with Flat Black.

Cap color wise the Charcoal Grey Metallic looked like it would match better, but after spraying it, it was too light. The Dark Shadow Grey matched almost exact; if the paint didn't have a gloss to it, it would be practically SPOT ON.

Ill cut it short now. Here are the pictures: (see next post)
 

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that's exactly what i'm doing except i'm using krylon black camo to paint over those painted sections of the wheel spoke covers. i intend to give the radio bezel a coat as well as i can't stand the grey one looking so grimy all the time.

i hope you are leaving the real aluminum parts of the spokes alone..painting that would be loco IMHO.

glad you chose the gt500 wheel, its the real deal.

**Steering Wheel Trim Repair** - BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum - E90Post.com
 

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Discussion Starter #3
GT500 Steering Wheel Stright from the Box


Part Number


Matching it Up


Note How the Internal Section of the Panel is a Few Shades Darker than the Base Interior panels (Dash and Center Console)



Good 'Ol Base Steering Wheel!



Bare GT500 Wheel On



Dress Panels All Painted


Close Up of a Dress Panel Finished


New Comparison. Note the Bottom of the Steering Wheel Dress Panel and How without the Gloss Effect, it Matches almost Spot On


Over-View of the Up Grade :shiny:


Close Up of the New Wheel



Any feedback is welcomed, whether you like it or not.
 

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oh noooooo you went and painted the REAL aluminum, you're supposed to paint that crappy plastic next to it which doesn't match anything. i think you posted the pics right after my original post.

well to each his own !! still better than the stock wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
that's exactly what i'm doing except i'm using krylon black camo to paint over those painted sections of the wheel spoke covers. i intend to give the radio bezel a coat as well as i can't stand the grey one looking so grimy all the time.

i hope you are leaving the real aluminum parts of the spokes alone..painting that would be loco IMHO.

glad you chose the gt500 wheel, its the real deal.

**Steering Wheel Trim Repair** - BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum - E90Post.com
VERY COOL! Good job there.

What aluminum? The dress panels on the spokes are 100% all plastic. I think you may be under the impression they are aluminum. I can understand because when I first got the wheel, those panels felt cool to the touch, like a metal would. Nope; they are one-piece of plastic each.
 

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Now that looks sweet!:bigthumbsup

How hard is the install? Is a steering wheel puller needed? What about precautions regarding the airbag?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Now that looks sweet!:bigthumbsup

How hard is the install? Is a steering wheel puller needed? What about precautions regarding the airbag?
I was suprised, no steering wheel puller needed!

Removing the steering wheel is a breeze if you are mechanically inclined.

The workshop manual states to remove fuse F31 in the passenger kick panel fuse box and also disconnect the battery negative cable for at least 1 minute. I just removed the negative battery cable and left the fuse alone.

-Disconnect battery; use an 8mm socket to loosen the cable end.
-Remove both side plugs in the steering wheel to access the driver airbag module bolts.
-With an 8mm deep socket, remove the bolts.
-Pull the airbag module forward and carefully disconnect the two wiring connectors. Place the airbag module pointing up in an isolate location, i.e. on something rubber, plastic, cardboard or wood.
-Disconnect the redundant control (steering wheel button) connector at the base of the steering wheel.
-Remove the center steering wheel bolt with a 24mm socket.
-Gently pull the steering wheel away from the steering column. Note the clock spring wiring pig tail and make sure not to tangle it on the steering wheel as you pull it out. Make sure you do not rotate the clock spring (if you do, move it back the way it was!); use a piece of tap to keep it in position temporarly.

Repeat in reverse order. Be sure to apply blue locktite to the steering wheel bolt threads and torque the bolt to 41 lb-ft torque.
 

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My problem with these wheels is that you end up with all of the buttons on the right side that don't do anything.
 

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My problem with these wheels is that you end up with all of the buttons on the right side that don't do anything.
Sadly there aren't many alternatives out there. I felt bad about the faux buttons for the whole of 23 seconds. The pluses really outweigh that small con. My aunt is bringing my gt500 wheel up from the states in a couple weeks and I don't know if I can make it with the plastic base wheel any longer,
 

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VERY COOL! Good job there.

What aluminum? The dress panels on the spokes are 100% all plastic. I think you may be under the impression they are aluminum. I can understand because when I first got the wheel, those panels felt cool to the touch, like a metal would. Nope; they are one-piece of plastic each.
Wow they're not real aluminum covers? There's a legion of owners out there who think they're the real mccoy. They look different than the premium wheel, more real. Maybe its an aluminum veneer???
 

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I like the aluminum on my wheel, but to each his own. Every time I see the base steering wheel I cringe. The worst part about the base package.

How do you like the alcantera in the wheel?
 

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Looks good! Much needed upgrade to the base interior.
 

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Call me crazy... Or lazy... But i replaced nothing and just added a ford racing genuine leather steering wheel cover..

Is that lame? I dunno but it cost 20 bucks or something and i like the way it looks. Easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wow they're not real aluminum covers? There's a legion of owners out there who think they're the real mccoy. They look different than the premium wheel, more real. Maybe its an aluminum veneer???
Strictly the way it is painted, believe it or not.

I like the aluminum on my wheel, but to each his own. Every time I see the base steering wheel I cringe. The worst part about the base package.

How do you like the alcantera in the wheel?
I actually was hoping to get a wheel with full leather. I thought the alcantara was cool, but I wanted the look of all leather.

After I got the wheel on and drove around... I love the feel of that material on my hands. I am very glad I got the GT500 wheel that is leather/alcantara suede.
 

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Nicely done Mountain. Looks great! :bigthumbsup
 

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Looks great and all that maters is do you like it :yup:. I when with the bullitt wheel on my 300A GT to each there own .
 

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Thanks guys. I am loving the feel and look of the steering wheel. Honestly makes the car feel a lot nicer to drive just due to those two factors.
 

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Thanks guys. I am loving the feel and look of the steering wheel. Honestly makes the car feel a lot nicer to drive just due to those two factors.
completely agree. i was severely disappointed with how cheap the base steering wheel made the car feel. the wheel is what your hands are touching the most in the car so it is important to have a good feel in your hands. the suede on this wheel and the thicker grip sections at 10 & 2 just make it feel the way it should have
 

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Nice upgrade!! I also put a GT500 on my base '11 GT.
 
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