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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, this is an amendment to my write-up on installing plcman's Paddle Shifter Wiring harness - but that thread was just too chock full.

So for this thread, I'm going to explain how to install paddle shifters into your steering wheel, and how to make the necessary electrical connections. We're starting with a steering wheel removed.

Once the wheel is out, take a look at how the wiring is routed, and make a note for when you reassemble it. There are pictures at the end that you can refer to as well.

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To remove the wheel-mounted switches (if you have them), simply pry gently outward on each side, while you lift the switch from below:



Remove the four silver Phillips-head screws that mount the rear shroud to the steering wheel, and set the shroud and wiring harness aside.

Here's how the wheel looks when it's nekkid:


Here you can see where to drill the mounting holes through the steering wheel. Use a 5/32" drillbit, and drill through right at the inside corner. The hole should be approximately perpendicular to the REAR of the wheel.




Take an X-acto knife with a brand-new blade, and carve out a bit from around the hole.


You're going to temporarily mount the paddle, so you can trace around it.


Take a tap (M4 x .7, in this case - but match it to the screws you'll use), and create some threads in the mounting hole.


Mount the paddle temporarily using a longer screw or the tap. It will NOT sit down inside the wheel - it will rest on top of it - you need to trace around the black inner surface to make an outline. Make sure the paddle is aligned the way you want it before you trace the outline.


Remove the paddle after marking the outline, and here's where the cutting starts. You want to cut straight down into the foam, as deep as you can until hitting the aluminum frame. Use a sharp X-Acto knife, and replace it if the cutting gets hard. A new blade should cut through cleanly.

Cut perpendicular to the mounting surface, and follow the inside of the outline you made.


Make some sectional cuts once the outline is done - this makes it easier to remove the foam in pieces. Use needle-nose pliers or similar.


To test-fit the paddles, route the wires through the mounting hole, and stretch the foam with the paddle, as you wiggle it in there.


You can test the operation of the paddles at this point, but they will pop out if you're not careful. If they sound like "Tank! Tank!" versus "Dunk! Dunk!" when you operate them, you can remove a bit of material from the contact point:


If the fit is good, go ahead and drill another hole for the wires to pass through.


Since the wires will pass through the metal frame, you need to protect them with heatshrink or electrical tape.


Here is the wheel with paddles mounted and wiring passed through:


When you go to reinstall the switch holders, they may contact the screwhead.


If so, take a Dremel and carve out a notch as shown:





Next post: All the electrical inside the wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Now take the wiring harness from the steering wheel, and lay it out with room to work. Untape the lower branch, with the white connector on the end. You need to tap into the LIN bus ground (tan with a green stripe), with the supplied black ground lead.



Here's the backside of the connector. Lift the latch, and then poke into the other side of the connector, in the center, to release the center wire. Sorry I didn't take a good picture of that, but you can see the latch that needs to be released in the inside of the cavity where the wire was.


Once that branch is unwrapped and the LIN bus ground is removed from the connector, strip some sheathing off in a spot approximately midway.


Take the black ground lead from the harness kit, strip about an inch of sheathing off the long end, and wrap that around the LIN bus ground. Solder it, and heatshrink it.


Now replace the LIN bus ground into the connector and retape the branch.


Now the harness can go back into the rear shroud as shown.


The foamy wrapped parts get shoved into the little holders.


Now take the steering wheel, and replace it back onto the shroud, and secure it with the four screws.

Now you take the supplied connector with the Yellow and Blue leads, and solder them to the Paddle leads. Take the black leads from the paddles and solder them to the black leads from the LIN bus ground you just did.


Tuck the wiring up cleanly, and cable-tie things together.

Here's the finished product:


Now you reassemble the switch holders, then the switches, and the wheel is ready to go.

Here is where the connector with the blue and yellow wires will plug into the steering wheel:


 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Special Notes:

Very Important: Make sure that you secure the new wiring (blue and yellow) to the existing harness cleanly - a number of times it's come up that those wires have gotten behind the airbag, and when the airbag mounting bolts get tightened, those wires get crimped and they short out. If this happens, neither the paddles nor the autostick will work.

Tape or zip-tie all the wiring as cleanly as you can, and make sure it doesn't hang down anywhere near the ears on the left and right side inside the steering wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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LXForum junkie
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Very nice, clear instructions, thank you.
How are the EVIC buttons removed? I see you pried up on them, do they just snap in/out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Very nice, clear instructions, thank you.
How are the EVIC buttons removed? I see you pried up on them, do they just snap in/out?
Yes - there's a clip on the top and bottom of each switch, as you look at them as if you were driving.

If you pry out at the point indicated, while lifting on the switch, you should feel the clip release.
 

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Converted Chevy Guy
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Great crystal clear write-up Junior. Thanks!
 

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Great write up Mike!

Just a couple of comments...

Instead of notching the steering wheel...



You could notch the metal tabs on the back of the paddles to clear it instead. Given a choice, I'd keep the steering wheels structure intact. While I doubt it's an issue, you have created a weaker spot in the steering wheel with the notch.

Those tabs could be ground down on the back of the paddles. Might be easier to get to.



It also depends on where you mount the paddles if you will even run in to clearance issues. Mine haven't been notched/ground down, but if they were mounted closer to the wheel, they would have needed it.



For the wiring, instead of drilling a second hole...



You can run the wires through this way. Ream out a new hole through the plastic. You don't have to worry about the wires being protected by heat shrink tubing either, as they won't be rubbing on the drilled aluminum.



That reaming tool is my finger. I'm actually a Terminator. Anyone seen John Conner around? :mrgreen:
 
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392 SRT Core
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Bookmarked this thread. Looking forward to doing this mod.
 

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remember the sand ceremony
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I 2want this mod but im scared!!!:tinfoilhat: Does anybody know if there is any shops in socal that will do this for me?
 

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SRT Owner
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wooohoooo!!! Now that all the threads are linked, I can figure this out from Step 1 to Shift It, Baby!!!

Thanks for some super info and a great writeup!
 
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