Cipher steering wheel for 1999-03
- Product Review (submitted on January 21, 2018):
I picked this up because my OEM wheel was starting to shed leather and was generally depressing, and because this wheel retains the factory airbag - something I wasn't willing to part with for a street car.
It's amazing how much replacing the primary interface with the car rejuvenates the experience of driving it. The wheel is a bit thicker than stock, and the leather is quite nice. There's a decent gap between the wheel and airbag at the interfaces, but the OEM wheel had that same gap.
Installation is easy. Two bolts to remove the airbag, then unclip the harness connector from the airbag, then separate the halves of the connector. The release button for the connector is up against the airbag, so you have to slide the connector off the airbag first to disconnect it. Then just the one nut holding the wheel on and pull the old wheel off. Swap the horn assembly and rear plastic cover over to the new wheel and reinstall.
Only one minor complaint: The OEM wheel allows you to drive comfortably with your hands at 9 and 3 with your thumbs "hooked in". Admittedly, this isn't the best practice, but my guess is most drive that way. This wheel has pads such that it's only really comfortable to drive with your hands more like 9:30 and 2:30 with thumbs on the pads. Down at 9 and 3 the pads dig into your palms. It just takes some getting used to.
Also, the flat bottom really only shaves about 0.25" off the diameter of the OEM wheel. So don't expect a ton of improvement there, but it's a tight cockpit, so maybe every bit helps.