cobalt steering wheel... revisited - Interior Forum

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cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Thursday, January 13, 2011 1:36 AM
so... random idea.

I want a nicer steering wheel in my 2004 daily driver cav, but I don't want to lose my airbag... the skwirl has no SRS system anymore, so I'm trying to keep the DD as street friendly and legal-compliant as possible.

well, after seeing the updated cobalt 3-spoke wheel this idea is permanently etched in my mind...


looks WAY nicer than ANY stock jbody steering wheel.

I did a search, and came up with a few super old threads here that have typical JBO answers... so I decided to take it upon myself to see if i could figure out a way it would work.

I searched for hub adapters for the cavalier and the cobalt. From what I've gathered, both cars use the same hub adapter, which means the steering wheels will both fit on the steering shaft of the other car.

the big thing is: will the airbag work?

a lot will say no.. but the SRS system doesn't really use the airbag as a sensor. The delta cars and the J cars have different electrical systems yes, but this only applies for communication between control modules (BCM, PCM, EBCM, etc)... electricity is still electricity, and the disarming procedure for both airbags (cobalt and cavalier) are the same... + on one pole, - on the other.

the only monkeywrench in the whole thing is the cobalt airbag is a 2 stage setup while the cavalier is a single stage.

I researched further...
Alldatadiy.com wrote:

DUAL STAGE INFLATOR MODULES

Dual stage inflator modules contain a housing, inflatable air bag, 2 initiating devices, canister of gas generating material and, in some cases, stored compressed gas. The 2 initiators are part of the frontal deployment loop. The function of the frontal deployment loops are to supply current through the steering wheel and instrument panel (I/P) inflator modules to deploy the air bags. The inflator modules have 2 stages of deployment, which varies the amount of restraint to the occupant according to the collision severity. For moderate frontal collisions the inflator modules deploy at less than full deployment (low deployment) which consists of stage 1 of the inflator module. For more severe frontal collisions, a full deployment is initiated which consists of stage 1 and stage 2 of the inflator module. The current passing through the initiators ignites the material in the canister producing a rapid generation of gas and is some cases, the release of compressed gas. The gas produced from this reaction rapidly inflates the air bag. Once the air bag is inflated, it quickly deflates through the air bag vent holes and/or the bag fabric.

Each dual stage inflator module is equipped with a shorting bar located in the connectors of the module. The shorting bar shorts the inflator module deployment loop circuitry to prevent unwanted deployment of the air bag when it is disconnected.


I then looked at the wiring diagrams of both systems... I've highlighted the driver side airbag in red on both schematics.

Cavalier:


Cobalt:


Cavalier airbag:


Cobalt airbag:


i'm not worried about the steering wheel fitting at all. and I'm also pretty confident on the wiring of the airbag. The only thing I have to decide is how I should wire it.

Do I split the connection for the jbody and run it parallel to the cobalt airbag, therefore meaning that should I get into an accident, the cobalt airbag will deploy at maximum force (stage 1 and stage 2 are deployed for severe frontal collisions in the cobalt), or do I wire it to stage 1 only where the airbag will fire at roughly 70% maximum power (cobalt airbag deployment may do excessive damage to jbody interior in an otherwise low-impact collision, and I am a smaller person meaning a full-force airbag deployment could actually injure me)

OR.... if the re-wire is unsuccessful I think I can trade the gas-modules from the jbody airbag to the delta airbag... therefore eliminating the need to rewire or worry about functionality. undo the 4 nuts, swap modules, tighten back down. done.. assuming they have the same footprint.

I will keep you all updated... the only real downside is the cost of the 2 stage airbag for the center of the steering wheel.. but its on par with any other aftermarket steering wheel... the only difference is you retain your safety equipment.

no clue on how or if the radio buttons will work either... I want to say no right now but we shall see..






Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Thursday, January 13, 2011 4:31 AM
this is something i've always pondered aswell. Are you thinking the wheel will fit your 04 column, or are you swapping to a 95-02? always wondered if gm kept the 03+ j splines in the delta, but never actually looked.



Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Thursday, January 13, 2011 5:23 AM
hmmmmm I like what you're doing here PJ, I would try swapping the module to keep it as close to J stock as you can.

Any idea if the resistance value is different between the balt and J bags? If it doesn't match you may end up with a disabled airbag system.

Let me know if you want a spare set of eyes for it, I'm sick of fixing the saturn and need something different to throw in the mix lol.



I <3 JGM
I think bigfoot is blurry,
that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry. And that's extra
scary to me. There's a large, out-of-focus monster, roaming the countryside.
"Run! He's fuzzy!" "Get outta here!"

In Loving Memory of Phil Martin December 14 2005

Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Thursday, January 13, 2011 10:01 AM
subscribed and investigating



Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Thursday, January 13, 2011 10:33 AM
bradsk88 wrote:

subscribed and investigating







RIP JESSE GERARD.....Youll always be in my thoughts and prayers...



Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Thursday, January 13, 2011 10:42 AM
Club Teh Jeffie wrote:

hmmmmm I like what you're doing here PJ, I would try swapping the module to keep it as close to J stock as you can.

Any idea if the resistance value is different between the balt and J bags? If it doesn't match you may end up with a disabled airbag system.

Let me know if you want a spare set of eyes for it, I'm sick of fixing the saturn and need something different to throw in the mix lol.


the resistance value thing can be solved by swapping the gas modules (bombs.. whatever you want to call them) from the jbody airbag to the delta airbag.

there's 4 bolts that should let the unit be removed from the bag.

I just looked on my 00-02 airbag, and that is rivetted on so I cannot use that module.
the cavalier airbag pictured above is the 03-05 version, and that looks very similar to the delta airbag and gas module.

The only thing up in the air is supposedly there WAS a change to the splines in mid year 2003, and my dd is a 2004. So, between the skwirl (2002) and the 04 I have both hubs for testing and all I need to do now is pick up a cobalt steering wheel (black leather FTW)

if the cobalt wheel only fits the older style hub, this is ok too because my dd is a 1SV, and it would give me a good reason to swap to a tilt column from an earlier year.





Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Thursday, January 13, 2011 11:22 AM
Damn good idea...




2003 Cavalier
Stock 2.2 Liter, 5 speed
" Leave the rice to Uncle Ben's and the wings to KFC..
Go clean or go home. "


Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Thursday, January 13, 2011 1:04 PM
that would be pretty cool if it fits the newer style hub. I like that steering wheel do they have it with out the radio controls I wonder?



Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Thursday, January 13, 2011 1:32 PM
This is something I would be interested in, in the future... I miss my LSJ's steering wheel.



Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Thursday, January 13, 2011 6:13 PM
subscribed - wanted to do this for a while, just never ambitious enough to fully investigate.


----

Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Friday, January 14, 2011 5:12 AM
now this is pretty cool. good luck pj. i hate electronics with a passion.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sndsgood/ https://www.facebook.com/#!/Square1Photography

Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Friday, January 14, 2011 5:16 AM
We are just waiting for word back now on a few potential Cobalt test subjects from JGM.

Hopefully this weekend one of them will let me borrow their steering wheel for scientific purposes



I <3 JGM
I think bigfoot is blurry,
that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry. And that's extra
scary to me. There's a large, out-of-focus monster, roaming the countryside.
"Run! He's fuzzy!" "Get outta here!"

In Loving Memory of Phil Martin December 14 2005

Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Friday, January 14, 2011 10:41 AM
if our sources take too long I'm just going to buy a wheel and make it work... I'm dead set on getting that steering wheel in my 04.

the leather ones on ebay (minus the airbag) are $100, but you can get a regular 3 spoke in vinyl for like $30.. so I could use that for testing that way if there really is no way I can do it (highly doubt that) I'm only out $30 and not $100






Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Friday, January 14, 2011 10:42 AM
You read your texts yet?



I <3 JGM
I think bigfoot is blurry,
that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry. And that's extra
scary to me. There's a large, out-of-focus monster, roaming the countryside.
"Run! He's fuzzy!" "Get outta here!"

In Loving Memory of Phil Martin December 14 2005

Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Friday, January 14, 2011 11:11 AM
Oh John is coming over today after work with his SS/TC, you working tonight PJ?



I <3 JGM
I think bigfoot is blurry,
that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry. And that's extra
scary to me. There's a large, out-of-focus monster, roaming the countryside.
"Run! He's fuzzy!" "Get outta here!"

In Loving Memory of Phil Martin December 14 2005

Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Friday, January 14, 2011 12:08 PM
Gonna keep my eye on this for sure I really hope it works. PJ you know the diameter of the cobalt wheel jw if it is bigger smaller or the same as our factory one. My wife has an 06 sedan her wheel feels smaller than ours not sure though of course its the older style.



Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Friday, January 14, 2011 12:56 PM
I want to say its the same as the 03-04 wheel but IDK for sure.






Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Friday, January 14, 2011 1:02 PM
keeping a eye out.im liking this.



Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Saturday, January 15, 2011 5:27 AM

patiently waiting for the thread titled "steering wheel swap gone wrong, airbag blew up in my face"

I dunno if its just me, but I'd be very cautious attempting to experiment with the wiring of the airbag. Even if you have the battery disabled, you still gotta hook the battery back up when your finished. One wrong miswire and boom



Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Saturday, January 15, 2011 6:07 AM
subscribed



Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Saturday, January 15, 2011 6:56 AM
dont forget to pull the fuse and and keep disconnected....reconnect THEN do battery..and for god's sake be careful !!!!.....subscribed and hoping it works cause this would be a cool ass mod !!!




2003 Cavalier
Stock 2.2 Liter, 5 speed
" Leave the rice to Uncle Ben's and the wings to KFC..
Go clean or go home. "



Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Saturday, January 15, 2011 8:20 AM
Suscribed!

I've been thinking about this lately too, and have had basically the same questions regarding if the splines from the mid year 03+ J colums are the same as the Delta's, or if a 00-02 swap would be in order. (which like you said, I wouldn't mind doing as mine is 1SV as well and I would love a tilt column.

I think your best bet would be to try and swap the gas module between the bags, that way you can retain the stock functionality. I haven't looked at it too closely myself, but at a quick glance it seems the modules may be the same foot print.

I'm awaiting updates, I'd be excited to see this work. The stock steering wheel is the one part of my interior that I absolutely hate and would love to swap in something like a cobalt wheel!






Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Saturday, January 15, 2011 8:32 AM
PJ i would imagine the high side of the cobalt bag is the same as the cavalier bag. could you not just wire to the high side and leave the low side unused



JBO since July 30, 2001
Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Saturday, January 15, 2011 12:22 PM
meckster wrote:

patiently waiting for the thread titled "steering wheel swap gone wrong, airbag blew up in my face"

I dunno if its just me, but I'd be very cautious attempting to experiment with the wiring of the airbag. Even if you have the battery disabled, you still gotta hook the battery back up when your finished. One wrong miswire and boom


Its two wires for an airbag.. a positive and a negative. The only thing up in the air is if the resistance value of the cobalt airbag is similar to the cavalier airbag, and that is easy enough to check with a multimeter.

It isn't rocket science. People have already done this before on other platforms (using 2 stage airbags in single stage SRS cars)
I posted the wiring diagram for god sakes, if you can't see how easy this will be, thats on you.

The worst thing that will happen is the airbag light on the dash will come on... I drove around with that on when I first installed an aftermarket steering wheel in the skwirl and guess what.. the passenger bag didn't spontaneously explode. I then put in an "airbag simulator" (basically a resistor) that made the airbag light go away. I passed NJ state inspection like this (when they still did safety) which if I can pass here, I can pass anywhere else in the country (except CA).

Not to mention if I do end up swapping the gas modules, technically it is still the jbody "airbag" because the SRS system will still see the same gas module as before.

So while you wait for my failure thread, do me a favor and hold your breath

EVILution (KGM Godfather) wrote:

I think your best bet would be to try and swap the gas module between the bags, that way you can retain the stock functionality. I haven't looked at it too closely myself, but at a quick glance it seems the modules may be the same foot print.


this too is what I think will end up working best.

the only problem I may see with that is I think I've figured out a way to get the stereo controls to work (assuming you have an aftermarket stereo).

I checked the wiring diagrams for the radio controls, and they don't interface with any other control module other than the cobalt factory stereo..

This means all we would need to do is buy a stereo control adapter (sold on crutchfield) for a particular aftermarket radio, wire it up, and boom you have steering wheel controls for your stereo.

the only problem with this is I think the control harness plugs into the cobalt clock spring... which idk if I'd be able to adapt to the Jbody column.

we'll see how that goes.





Re: cobalt steering wheel... revisited
Saturday, January 15, 2011 1:25 PM
cool idea but i feel the j-body wheel's look better. just me though....

ok, i take it back- 03-05 wheels are really gay looking, i hear ya there. go for it man!



If it takes forever.... I will die trying. Underdog Racing
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