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How to Replace Steering Wheel Back Cover 02-08 Dodge Ram

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How to Replace Steering Wheel Back Cover 02-08 Dodge Ram

Created on: 2021-01-16

How to remove, reinstall the rear streering wheel cover in an 08 Dodge Ram 1500

  1. Anytime working on or around the yellow airbag or SRS system's connector or harness, ground yourself to a metal piece of the vehicle to avoid any charge

    step 1 :Disconnect the Battery
    • Remove the 10mm wrench from the negative terminal of the battery
    • Let the battery sit disconnected for 30 minutes
  2. step 2 :Removing the Steering Column Cover
    • Remove the T15 Torx screws on the bottom of the steering wheel column
    • Remove the T15 screw from the steering column tilt lever
    • Remove the letter
    • Remove the top cover of the steering column
    • Remove the bottom cover of the steering column
  3. step 3 :Removing the Air Bag
    • Insert the key to run position
    • Rotate the wheel to the 9:00 position
    • Remove the 10mm bolts from the airbag
    • Carefully remove the airbag out of the wheel
    • Ground your hands on metal components
    • Put gloves on
    • Push in on the two tabs on the yellow connectors
    • Work the connectors out of the air bag
    • Disconnect the horn connector
    • Place the air bag in a safe place away from static
  4. step 4 :Removing the Steering Wheel
    • Remove the 13mm bolt from the wheel
    • Disconnect the two connectors from the clock spring
    • Tap either side of the wheel until it's off the splines
  5. step 5 :Removing the Cover
    • Remove the four Phillips screws from the switches and cover
    • Pull the switches out
    • Disconnect the wiring harness
    • Flip the steering wheel
    • Remove the back cover
  6. step 6 :Reinstalling the Cover
    • Insert the cover to the steering wheel without pinching the harness
    • Tighten the bottom screws to the cover
    • Connect the cruise control switches
    • Press the switches into place
    • Tighten the Phillips screw to the switches
  7. step 7 :Reinstalling the Steering Wheel
    • Send the airbag wires through the wheel
    • Align the wheel into place with the tabs and the larger spline at 12:00
    • Push the wheel in
    • Reconnect the two electrical connectors
    • Tighten the 13mm bolt to the steering wheel
    • Torque the steering wheel bolt to 45 foot-pounds
  8. step 8 :Reinstalling the Airbag
    • Touch metal/ground your hands
    • Put gloves on
    • Match the connector color with the harness slot color on the air bag
    • Connect the horn connector
    • Press the airbag into place
    • Turn the key to the run position
    • Turn the wheel to 9:00
    • Start both 10mm bolts to the airbag
    • Tighten the two 10mm bolts to the airbag
    • Re-center the wheel
    • Remove the key
  9. step 9 :Reinstalling the Steering Column Cover
    • Insert the lower portion of the steering column cover
    • Insert the upper portion of the steering column cover
    • Tighten the three T15 screws to the lower cover
    • Start the screw into the tilt lever
    • Insert the tilt lever into place
    • Tighten the T15 screw to the column lever
  10. step 10 :Reconnecting the Negative Battery Cable
    • Put the key in the forward most position
    • Tighten the negative battery cable with a 10mm wrench
    • If the airbag doesn't deploy, the repair was successful

Tools needed for replacement

  • Ratchets & Related

    Torque Wrench


    1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

    No. 2 Phillips Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

    10mm Socket

  • Star Drivers & Sockets

    T15 Torx Driver

  • Wrenches - Metric

    10mm Wrench

Installation Video
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Hi, I'm Mike from 1A Auto. I hope this how-to video helps you out, and next time you need parts for your vehicle, think of Thanks.

In this video, we're going to show you how to remove the plastic back cover on the steering wheel of this 2008 Dodge Ram 1500.

The items you'll need for this repair include a T15 Torx screwdriver, a 10mm deep socket and small ratchet, a 13 millimeter socket, breaker bar, and torque wrench, as well as a number 2 Phillip head screwdriver.

While your airbags are meant to be a safety device, if you are not careful when working on them, they can be very dangerous. Any time you are working on or around your SRS or airbag system—these can be identified with a yellow wiring harness or a yellow electrical connector to designate that it is an airbag system you're working with—be sure to disconnect your battery for at least 30 minutes to allow any charge left inside the vehicle in its modules to be drained.

Any time you go near one of those connectors or harnesses, ground yourself to a metal part of the vehicle to remove any static charge that may be on your body. Before working on any part of the electrical system, you'll want to use the 10mm wrench to remove the negative terminal of your battery and set it off to the side. After your battery has been disconnected for at least half an hour to make sure that all the charge is removed from your modules, remove these two T15 Torx screws from the bottom of the steering column cover, as well as the one underneath here, and the one on the back of the tilt lever. After removing the screw from the steering column tilt lever, pull the lever out, and pull apart the plastic cover on the column, and remove it.

Install your key, click it to the run position, rotate your wheel to the 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock position. This will allow you to access these two large holes on the back side of the wheel, which will give us room to get to the 10mm bolts that allow us to remove the airbag. Going to use a deep 10mm socket and ratchet, remove those two 10mm bolts on the back of the wheel. Carefully remove the airbag from the column.

Be sure to ground yourself on some metal components inside the vehicle before handling any portion of the connectors on the airbag. Again, these yellow wires, the harness covers, designate that this is an SRS system we're working on. While the rubber gloves are an insulator, you do want to make sure that you always remove static charge from your body before touching the live triple connectors on the airbags. Push in on the two tabs, and work the connectors out of the back of the airbag. Be sure to remember which way they came out.

Looking at it this way, our black one's on the left, brown is on the right. Connector here for the horn. Once the airbag is out, you're going to want to place it in a safe place, away from any type of static or electrical charges, and, if possible, place it under a sturdy bench or somewhere that, in case of a deployment, would contain the airbag.

Remove the key from your ignition cylinder to allow the steering wheel to lock into place. Using the 13mm socket and breaker bar, counter hold your wheel and loosen the center bolt. Move your steering wheel to the 12 o'clock position. Remove the two electrical connectors from the clock spring. These are different sizes, so you don't have to worry about confusing them. Push down on the tab, remove the smaller connector, put a hand on both sides of the back of the steering wheel, and tap out, alternating left and right, until the wheel is off the splines. You can also go from the 12 and 6 o'clock positions until the wheel comes free.

The plastic back cover on the steering wheel is also removable, so if this has become cracked or damaged, you'll remove these four Phillip head screws and drop this plastic cover of the back of the wheel. Remove the cruise control switches by removing the screw. Moving the plastic leg past this tab, which point it slides up and out, flip it over, lift up on this tab here. Remove the switch. This process is the same on the opposite side. The volume control switches and connectors here will stay attached to this piece. Remove the Phillip head screws at the bottom. Flip your steering wheel over, and remove this back cover. This makes it easier to change out this wiring harness on the inside, should it be damaged as well as this plastic cover if it becomes broken or cracked in any way. Be sure that these plastic tabs line up with the slots and the back of the leather on the steering wheel and that you don't pinch your harness anywhere. Line it up, reinstall the two bottom screws first.

Reinstall the cruise control switches, pop the connectors back into place, lock these tabs under the leather on the wheel, push in, allow that leg to go past the tab. Reinstall the Phillip head screw. Repeat these steps on the opposite side.

Now you're ready to reinstall the wheel onto the column. Examining the splines on the inside of your steering wheel, you'll see that there is a thicker spline at the 12 o'clock position. This larger spline will correspond with the larger notch at the 12 o'clock position when the spline is in our steering column, which, in turn, will line up with our airbag clock spring. Send the air bag wires back through your wheel. Keep the clock spring lined up in its proper position. It does have tabs that lock on to the back of the wheel, you can see there, so be sure those are aligned before pushing the wheel in the rest of the way.

Reconnect these two electrical connectors. Reinstall the 13mm bolt. You could use a ratchet here if you wanted to, but where we can get full rotation around the wheel, it's just as easy to use a breaker bar. Torque the steering wheel bolt to 45 foot-pounds. Again, be sure to ground yourself before touching an airbag. On the back of the airbag, you'll see that one connector is brown, and the other is black. This corresponds to the color of the connectors coming out of the harness. Snap those back into place, as well as the green connector for the horn, at the top.

Reinstall the airbag and horn into the center of the steering wheel. Put the key in the run position, and turn the wheel to 3 or 9 o'clock. Reinstall your two 10mm bolts. Be sure to get both bolts started before tightening either one down fully.

Recenter your wheel. Remove the key. Reinstall the upper and lower portions of the steering column cover. Pop the gear selector cover back into place. Reinstall your T-15 screws. The machine screw, being the silver one, is going to go into the center hole underneath, otherwise, the rest of the screws are the same. It helps to get the screw for the tilt lever started a couple of threads before you install it onto the car.

Make sure that these two plastic tabs line up with the two holes on the actual lever, and go ahead and tighten that down. Install the key, put it in the forward-most or run position before reconnecting your battery. This ensures that if you've worked on anything in or around the SRS or airbag system, if the airbag has become shorted in some way, or is going to deploy, it will do so with you outside the vehicle.

With the key on, go ahead and reconnect your negative battery terminal. Vehicle's got power, and the bag didn't deploy, so we know our repair was successful.

Thanks for tuning in. We hope this video helped you out. Next time you need parts for your car, please visit Also check out our other helpful how-to and diagnosis videos.

Tools needed for replacement:

    Ratchets & Related

  • Torque Wrench
  • Ratchet
  • 1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • No. 2 Phillips Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 10mm Socket

  • Star Drivers & Sockets

  • T15 Torx Driver

  • Wrenches - Metric

  • 10mm Wrench

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