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cfield

R32 steering wheel with airbag (options??)

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Hi all, I'm new here.  Prior posts have been very helpful on other topics, but I can't find much about this.  I bought a 1991 (series 2) R32 GT-R with a factory steering wheel with airbag.  I have some concerns since the airbag is 27 years old, and because it's ugly.  

image.png.8be2cb76f9892b5effbe255faae5f8eb.png

Fist of all, does anyone know about the quality / safety of these airbags?  Do these early airbags have a lifespan?  Do you think it's safer to keep it active or unplug it?  Also, does anyone know if the R32 had an airbag indicator or warning light?  All newer cars with airbags do, but I can't seem to find one on the R32.

What I'd really like to do is swap the R32 steering wheel for a newer one with an airbag.  Does anyone know if the R34 factory steering wheel would fit?  I would need it to work with HICAS, the horn, and the airbag.  I would love to put a R34 GT-R or GTT wheel (see below) on if everything would fit and work properly.

image.png.e1f0079db492fd328d00e64b25b8df0c.png     image.png.1084339858081c980c9e751999cc0e30.png

Thanks!

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First up, it is simply not permitted to change anything to do with airbags.  You can't swap to a different airbag wheel, probably even if it was from the same model of car (just a different trim package for example).  You would have to get an engineering certificate from a registered automotive engineer, at minimum, would be my guess, if you were to try it.  Especially if you're talking about swapping to later cars' wheels.  I would expect that you couldn't even consider swapping to later (like R34) wheels because I'm pretty sure that the HICAS steering position sensor drive is not compatible.  Not that that should be an obstacle, because anyone still with an active HICAS system on board should be kicked in the arse and shown how to defeat it, because it is pure shit.

Having said that, it's an R32 GTR.  If it's an import, and if you chose to remove the bag wheel and replace it with a non-bag wheel, then I'm sure that no-one would really be the wiser.  You just say "It was imported from Japan with no airbag, like most of the others".  And shrug, and smile and bat your eyelids and whatever it takes to make yourself look honest and naive.

As to whether the airbag itself is safe.....you'll never know unless you crash it.  It will either go off, or it won't.  If it doesn't then it's safe.  If it does, it will either protect you or it will try to kill you.  There's no telling with these really old bags how healthy they are.  The problem with the Takata bags is pretty specific to those particular bags.  But there are any number of other ways that these things could go bad.

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I would leave it stock. Your car is an older car and that steering wheel came with it. Leave it as is in my opinion and modify everything else to your heart's content as the vintage steering wheel goes well with a vintage car. Just suits really well.

Edited by Robocop2310

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@RickyForte Thanks for the interest.  I'm planning to just keep the stock wheel in place.  People (in the US at least) think the R32 didn't come with an airbag.  Well mine has one, and factory cup holders!  

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