FR500 steering wheel Install
(94 to 2000 models)

Article sent in by David MacCallum

Photo of FR500 wheel

1. Disconnect the negative wire on the battery and wait 20 minutes.
1a. Remove the two plastic covers (one on each side of the wheel).

2. Remove the 8mm bolts that hold the airbag in place.

3. Airbag will fall out but still be attached by a wire. Reach around back of plastic connector and depress the plastic lever to release the connector. Set airbag aside.

4. Unplug the 2 horn wires. Unplug the cruise control wire.

5. Use phillips head to remove 4 screws that hold cruise control buttons to steering wheel.

6. Remove cruise control buttons and set aside.

7. Need Torx socket to remove large bolt holding steering wheel to steering column. However, I used a combination of a long thin socket and the square butt of a screwdriver insert (the kind you insert into the end of a power drill) to take mine off. Used a $14.99 steering wheel puller from Auto Zone or similar to remove the wheel. Wheel pops off. Never use a hammer to pound on the shaft or wheel center to try to loosen the steering wheel (I learned this lesson with my 86GT when I installed a MOMO steering wheel many years ago...result was slop in the steering from a bent/distorted shaft.)

8. Put new wheel on dining room table (assuming you have a loving wife like mine). Remove horn relays using a hex key tool. Remove phillips screws that are holding the plastic housing on the back of the steering wheel. Transfer all of this stuff onto the new wheel. Add the cruise control buttons last.

9. Pop on new wheel. You'll notice the wheel is not a tight fit on the shaft. This is normal. Apply pressure to the wheel and turn it to the right. Then tighten the bolt. This ensures the wheel stays true. Otherwise it may be a little off center when driving.

10. Reassemble everything else. And you are good to go. About a 45 minute job for a first timer.

The wheel is about 30-50% thicker than the original. The leather feels a little smoother/softer than the stock wheel. The wheel feels easier to turn because you can grab it easier. Weird feeling to describe but very cool. I'm very happy with it. How thick is it? A good example: pretend like you are holding a bat with your right hand. With the stock wheel, my pointer and middle fingers easily touch the base of my thumb. With the FR500, there is a gap of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch.

Above is a comparison of the stock wheel (on the left and the FR500 (on the right). The stock wheel is reversed so I could do a side by side. - Dave M.

Extra Reader Supplied Notes:
Its a Torx T-50 and easy to find at Autozone, etc. You can also leave the cruise switches on the wheel when you take it off. Then just remove them when you got the stock wheel on the table. - Steve99cobra

Great how to for the wheel. Just wanted to add a couple of notes from my FR500 install. The cruise control buttons were held on by allen head bolts not phillips screws on my 98GT. The tabs at the bottom of the wheel need to be broken off if you dont have cruise control or the back cover wont fit right on the lower part of the wheel. They snap right off with pliers. These tabs are what the cruise control knobs mount to I think. I have the boxes inside the hub for cruise control but no buttons. Also the torx bit is a T50, same size as the seatbelt bolts. -Thanks......98GT4me

MW Note: The FR500 Stering wheel is made by Ford Performance Parts and is listed in their FRPP 2000 catalog Part no. M-3601-B. Fits 1994 - 00 Mustang V6, GT and Cobra. It features thicker racing style rim section, covered in perforated and smooth black leather. Uses your existing airbag and cruise control switches.

Special MW coverage of the FR500 Mustang from the SEMA show (for those that missed it last year) is locted here.

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