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Steering wheel upgrade for second gen Explorers?

4pointslow

Explorer Torture Tester
Elite Explorer
Joined
April 3, 2008
Messages
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City, State
Gloucester City, NJ
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 2Dr,2,000 & 04 4dr xlt
A couple years ago at Atco Dragway I came across a guy with a Kia stinger.
I believe it was running around 11.5 in the 1/4 mile if I remember correctly, it was a cool looking car and unexpectedly fast.
While checking out the vehicle I saw this awesome steering wheel he had, it was custom made and he told me he spent quite a bit on it.
It got me thinking and later that night I was on EBay and found some cool Mustang steering wheels.
I can't help but wonder it one like this would fit perfectly in an Explorer.
Edit: someone asked a question about this topic and that brought it back in my memory and I had a link saved in EBay. LOL.
Of course, I would put the Explorer air bag on it.

Steering wheel.jpg
 



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I’m interested in this too. I would love to find something cool like that to fit our cars. Maybe same era Mustang or high option ranger or something? I can totally see another ford wheel matching the shaft and electrical rings.
 






05-06 ranger steering wheel bolts on, is a really nice upgrade

shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
IMG_0270.jpg
 






Fords used a different spline shape that the steering wheel mounts to, for the cars versus the trucks. So most Ford truck model wheels will bolt on if the clock spring is compatible.

I have no clue if the steering columns might swap, but that could be worth checking if someone has a certain car steering wheel in mind. The pre 90 Fords had very long columns, and in the 1990 or so model range, Ford began using the short columns with an extra intermediate shaft that goes through the firewall.

I bought a 2003/04 Marauder column and wheel for my 92 Lincoln, because it's a floor shift and it has steering wheel controls etc. I will have to rewire the dash wiring to match the clock spring and different ignition switch etc. But the steering wheel bolts on then.
 






It's hard to tell from just pictures on eBay but it looks like the Mustang steering wheels have two flats on the inner circumference and the Explorer has splines. If I could spend some time at the junk yard, I could look to see if the steering column shafts could be swapped.
Probably not but it sure would be fun to try.
 






The Ford Lightning from 1999-2004 looks like it might work.


Ford Lightning Steering wheel.jpg
 






After some more reading I found out the lightning steering wheel would work but you would have to grind a new slot inside the inner circumference of the steering column shaft hole in the wheel.
What I read was the alignment slot is at 12 o'clock on the Lightning. On a Ranger or Explorer, it is at the 3 or 9 o'clock position or something like that. I believe there are places that you could send in your steering wheel and have them changed to have the flat on the bottom and carbon fiber or alcantara installed etc.
 






the one pictured is $1100!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 






Very nice. I love carbon fiber in just the right places, just a little and tastefully.

I have never had an Explorer steering column out except for my 99 when I had the whole dash and all out for the body repair. I have a couple of columns from my first Mark VII, and the Marauder(2003-11 CV, GM, and Town Car). It may be that the lengths and mounting points are the same between most Fords in the late 90's. I'm sure they got more complicated after about 2005 when Canbus and tons of other electronics came along.

1991 column and both steering shafts.JPG
 






the one pictured is $1100!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There are steering wheels that are more expensive, LOL.
It seems as though the price will be high to pay if you want a custom steering wheel.
Of course, everything is expensive these days!
 












Those are interesting, and I have thought of the $750 range as being normal for a custom version. I'm planning to use my old 93 Explorer steering column in my 73 Ranchero, with a NOS wheel from a late 80's Ranger or Bronco. That's the earlier two spoke wheel with CC buttons, I'm not sure that will look just right in an old Ford. But the custom choices may be a path if it comes to that.
 






750 is much more doable than 1100 plus. LOL
 






05-06 ranger wheel is like $20 at the yard, just sayin!! HAHAHAHA
 












yes bolt in deal
 






Does the airbag wiring and cruise wiring all match up,?
That's a great question. You have to choose a wheel that has compatible wiring or at least a compatible clock spring which can be swapped along with the wheel. The clock springs changed rarely but typically they stayed the same for many many years at a time. So if you want something that uses a different clock spring, it may or may not be possible. If the steering column is the same for both clock springs(how they mount), then you can simply change the clock spring with the wheel, and hard wire any differences on the dash wiring side.

My old 92 Lincoln used one of the earliest clock springs, prior to them Ford used individual metal contact buttons, each with a spring behind it. The clock springs have a long ribbon of wires inside them which move around constantly with the wheel, winding tighter of more loose(thus will break over time or if you rotate the wheel when it's not attached to the tires). I had to find a column which could swap into my 1992 car and have the clock spring that would work with the wheel I wanted. That ended up being the one later car column Ford made with a floor shifter. Or else I would have had to mix parts from two columns etc, and the task gets harder etc.
 






the 07+ wheel is not compatible
the 05-06 wheel uses same cruise buttons wiring and mount......bolt in deal, which is why I posted it and why I have done it and why I have also collected two more 05-06 ranger wheels :)

I think I had to change the connector on the airbag plug for the 06 wheel once....but it has been a while since I have done this now, like3 years. The 05 wheel will fit a gen II no real mods at all just remove your wheel install 05 wheel and go
 






the 07+ wheel is not compatible
the 05-06 wheel uses same cruise buttons wiring and mount......bolt in deal, which is why I posted it and why I have done it and why I have also collected two more 05-06 ranger wheels :)

I think I had to change the connector on the airbag plug for the 06 wheel once....but it has been a while since I have done this now, like3 years. The 05 wheel will fit a gen II no real mods at all just remove your wheel install 05 wheel and go
It's strange the 07 wheel looks the same but the circuitry is different?
 



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Lightning wheels are different. I believe there’s a notch in the splines that’s different than the X.
 






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