Monday, August 3, 2015

JDM '96 Momo Steering Wheel Project January - August 2015

I think the '96 JDM Momo steering wheel is the nicest OEM steering wheel for DC2.
Not only it's lighter than the rest of steering wheels, but it's got also smaller diameter 35 cm (SRS type steering wheels were 37-37.5 cm, inc. stock '98 SRS EUDM steering wheel).
The steering wheel looks much better than the '98 EUDM SRS one, although I have to admit that the grip, the wavy pattern of the back of the steering wheel is not as pronounced as the '98 EUDM in the areas close to spokes, which makes it feel a bit flat, but you can get used to it in no time. So it's not a big deal.
Another issue is that by installing this steering wheel you loose the driver SRS airbag, but I'm fine with that.
I got mine from UK Ebay for about €160, fresh Japan import. The condition was alright, but totally unsuitable for my restored Integra. The full leather restoration was due.

Looks OK, but not quite.
The leather shown lots of worn spots, blemishes, one deep scratch and peeled paint on the horn button as you can see in following pictures.

While dissembling the wheel I found stamped manufacturing date as well. February 26th 1996. Cool!

The leather restoration was done by a very skilled and thorough car upholstery professional. I just gave him a detailed guide what exactly I expect him to do. I wanted him to restore it in a similar fashion as the '98 EUDM steering wheel, the same cut, sewing pattern, color and leather with the closest possible shade and texture. He even told me that he scrapped the whole work on the middle cover and started from the scratch because he didn't like the results. At first he tried to make it from one piece of leather but the best approach was to do it from three pieces as the OEM did. I told him to use a black thread to conceal the sewing, which turned out very impressive.
He sent me these pictures to show the work in progress:

The results were exceptional and I paid just 60 inc. materials.

The horn button restoration was done by myself. Yes you can get the whole horn button assembly for 50 bucks on Ebay, but that's just too much money just to fix peeling paint!

Disassembling of the horn button was easy up to this point.

But then came the hardest part. The front button face is actually a stamped aluminum which is glued to the plastic housing. You have to pry it out very very carefully with a sturdy needle-tool and be gentle because you can fuck up the plastic or the aluminum very easily. Fortunately it was possible to remove.
You can see the adhesive on the back side of the stamped aluminum in this picture.

I removed the adhesive completely, there's no need to use that much. A pea amount of glue from a hot glue gun is just enough to hold it in place. I also drilled a hole into the plastic housing for a case I would want to disassemble it again in the future. In that case I just have to push it from the back, no prying necessary.
Unfortunately I didn't make any pics of the following steps, but anyway the next step was to strip the gray paint with a paint stripper. After that I cleaned it thoroughly and decided to paint it red with a can sprayer with masking off just the horn symbol. Basically then I ended up with a button completely covered in red, but because the H symbol and the horn symbol are indented I simply removed the rest of the paint by wet sanding and gave it a aluminum polished look, which in my opinion looks better than the OEM gray paint finish. 

This was the final result.

The final step was the horn button wiring and steering wheel assembly. I thought the wiring would take quite a lot of work but it turned out to be a quick fix. I used an old relay contact which I fixed with a screw to a nut hole on the cover base. That hole was no longer needed.

There's just one wire that goes to the OEM connector.

Job done.

EUDM '98 vs. JDM '96


  1. Miroshi, nice work there. What about SRS light?

    1. just pulled out the bulb, easiest solution, I don't have passenger airbag and srs system unit neither, as the leighweight 96 spec dc2 r.

  2. Your restoration looks amazing! Would you mind sharing the information for the person that reupholstered it? I'd love to send mine off and have them do mine as well. Thank you!

      No idea if they speak english though.

  3. Thank you so much! I just emailed him using Google Translate. I hope that its readable.