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Old 05-27-2015, 01:45 PM   #1
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Steering wheel badge

My 2001's steering wheel badge is silvery, not gold, so I bought a gold one, but I cannot pull off the silver factory-installed one. I searched and found a reference that it might be held on with a rivet. Is this true?

I have removed my steering wheel airbag before (when I needed to change the turn-signal assembly), so I can do that again, but my question is, how do I get the airbag cover off the airbag so I can get at this rivet?

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Old 05-27-2015, 02:06 PM   #2
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Yes, it is riveted on.

You will need to remove the airbag, then remove the charge for safety reasons and set aside in a non-conductive and static free container while the work is done (a cardboard box will work). To remove the charge, cover the electrical connector and remove the retaining nuts.
Then it is a simple matter of releasing the vinyl cover from the airbag frame clips.

This picture is of a 4 spoke, but the process is the same.

Last edited by particlewave; 05-27-2015 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 05-27-2015, 02:20 PM   #3
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Oof! Handling the charge is scary. There's no way to peel off the vinyl cover with the airbag still in place? I would disconnect the battery and let it sit for a half-hour first, of course.
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Old 05-27-2015, 02:24 PM   #4
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So if your airbag deploys what happens to the new badge?
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:21 PM   #5
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You can take the cover off without removing the charge. I wouldn't, but it is not necessary to remove the charge in order to remove the front vinyl cover.

At the minimum, the airbag must be removed to get the cover off.
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Old 05-30-2015, 02:29 PM   #6
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Success!

Well, I screwed-up my courage and changed the badge today. Thank you, particlewave! BTW, I don't think you could actually get a 3-spoke cover off without removing the charge, because the charge sits on top of a bracket that clamps over the cover molding. For future reference, the steps are:

1. Get your radio code.
2. Remove the negative cable from your battery.
3. Wait 30-60 mins.
4. Pull out your steering wheel as far as it will go.
5. Use a Torx T27 bit to loosen the two airbag mounting screws, accessed by holes in the rear of the wheel assembly. The screws do not come out, but remain in the wheel.
6. Pull off airbag assembly, use flat-bladed screwdriver to gently pry off yellow connector.
7. Put electrical tape over the connector hole.
8. Don eye protection.
9. Use 10mm socket to remove the four charge nuts.
10. Gently remove explosive charge and place in a safe, non-sparking environment (I used a cardboard box like particlewave suggested).
11. Remove bracket that charge mounts to.
12. Struggle to remove cover from bag. Press down on bag package to undo multiple hooks. A third hand would be handy, but if you don't have one, you might have to resort to using a flat-blade screwdriver to separate the cover from the bag.
13. Inside the cover you are looking at a rivet inside a round washer. Grind off the head of the rivet, and the badge can then be poked off the cover. There may be a little adhesive on the back of the badge giving you some resistance.
14. If you have a self-adhesive new badge, use an alcohol prep pad to clean the mounting surface.
15. Assembly is the reverse, and much easier, as all those hooks snap into the cover. The four nuts should be torqued to 4 ft lbs.

Interestingly, judging by the backside of my original badge, it once was gold! UV, or cleaning products, must have turned the front of it silver over the years. The process is a little unnerving, but the new badge looks terrific!
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Old 05-30-2015, 02:38 PM   #7
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Ah, yes. I knew there was I reason that I had to take the charge off, but forgot about that bracket piece.

Nice work!
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Old 05-30-2015, 03:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesp View Post
So if your airbag deploys what happens to the new badge?
That's a good question. I think it would be like those faulty Takata air bags shooting shrapnel at the occupants.
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Old 05-30-2015, 04:36 PM   #9
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I looked at the inside of the cover when I had it off. The cover looks like it is designed to split open in 5 or more "petals," like a flower. The badge is located on an oval petal that will flip up, in the direction of the roof. If my self-adhesive badge were to come off, I imagine it would hit the roof (if it was closed), or maybe the inside of the windshield. If it doesn't come off, I think it will just whack the top of the steering wheel. I can't say I am concerned about it.
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Old 05-30-2015, 05:43 PM   #10
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You should disclose the self adhesive badge if you sell the car. No telling what it will hit at ~200 mph if the airbag deploys, it will be similar to the Takata failures. I like the badge, but not enough to have one permanently imbedded in my forehead. This is a little (maybe a lot) preachy but that's a really dangerous setup you have. Great if you are good with it, but the next owner should get to decide if they are good with it.
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Old 05-30-2015, 07:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
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SNIP
I like the badge, but not enough to have one permanently imbedded in my forehead.
You are clearly not a dedicated Porsche owner

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