ahmed24

Diy - Steering Wheel Control Carbon Fibre Wrapping *56K Warning*

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So I got bored with the switches on the steering wheel. They seemed quite basic to me and seemed to blend in too much with the rest of steering wheel material. So I decided to change it to carbon fibre style.

So I thought I would compile a DIY guide on how to remove the steering wheel switch controls and wrap them in 3M Di-Noc Carbon Fibre Vinyl Wrap.

Firstly, I'd like to say that I was never actually a great fan of these Carbon Fibre Vinyl Wraps. I always thought they looked quite cheap. Until I purchased a small 20x30cm sample and saw the actual 3D texture that they have. It's not a printed carbon pattern. The film actually has an embossed finish resembling true carbon fibre, which reflects light really well and changes the highlights of the pattern depending on the viewing angle.

The only disadvantage to this product is that it is a matte finish. If you are looking for a true carbon fibre glossy finish, then the only option is to skin it with carbon fabric using the following method:

This is something that I might do in the near future. But for now I am very happy with the 3M method. It meets my cheap and cheerful mods criteria :D

So lets begin...

TOTAL COST FOR THIS MOD: £3.99

TOOLS/MATERIALS NEEDED:

* 3M Di-Noc Carbon Fibre Vinyl Wrap (For this mod you will not need anything bigger than 20x30cm's. I purchased a CA-421 - Black 30x20cm sheet from eBay member carbonfibergeneration for £2.99 + £0.99 P&P)

* 200 Grit sandpaper

* Sharp utility knife

* Hairdryer or Heatgun

* 2 small zip/cable ties

* Socket Wrench with T30 Torx Socket

* Socket Wrench with 10mm Socket

Step 1:

DISCONNECT CABLE FROM NEGATIVE Battery TERMINAL (Using a 10mm Socket Wrench)

Step 2:

Press down brakes and wait for 90 seconds after disconnecting cable from negative terminal to prevent airbag deployment.

Step 3:

Using a flat-head screwdriver wrapped in tape, remove the two side steering wheel covers. (Left-side cover is pictured below)

steering_cover_remove.jpg

Step 4:

Using a "torx" socket wrench (T30), loosen the "torx" screws (1 on each side) until the groove along the screw circumference catches on the screw case.

lexus_is250_steering_switch_001.jpg

Step 5:

Pull out the steering pad (airbag unit) from the steering wheel assembly and support the steering pad with one hand (You do not have to remove the airbag. Holding it with 1 hand gives you enough room to remove the switches).

Step 6:

Remove the 2 phillips screws (one one each side) that hold the switch modules onto the steering wheel.

steering_airbag_removed.jpg

Step 7:

Gently pull the switch module out. If the connector is zip tied to the module, cut the zip tie being very careful not to cut the wire. Then remove the connector and your module will be out. - REMEMBER - When you re-install this module, you will need to use a new zip tie to secure the connector cable.

lexus_is250_steering_switch_003.jpg

lexus_is250_steering_switch_004.jpg

Step 8:

Next you need to take out the buttons/switches. To do this, turn the unit upside down and remove the 3 phillips screws:

lexus_is250_steering_switch_005.jpg

Step 9:

Pull out the cover as pictured below:

lexus_is250_steering_switch_006.jpg

Step 10:

Keep the circuit board held down with a finger or 2 and gently turn the unit around. Push the buttons gently so that the buttons starting poping out. The purpose of holding down the circuit board at the same time is so that while you are pushing the switch out and the unit is turned around, the small components inside the buttons dont all get seperated and fall out.

lexus_is250_steering_switch_007.jpg

Step 11:

Put the removed switch buttons aside, making sure that the buttons are not seperated from the circuit board.

lexus_is250_steering_switch_008.jpg

Step 12:

Now you are left with the following bare shell:

lexus_is250_steering_switch_009.jpg

Step 13:

Next you want to cut-out 2 pieces from your 3M Carbon Fibre Vinyl. I wanted to make sure that for the left switch I cut a piece that had the pattern going from bottom right corner to top left corner. And for the right switch I wanted the pattern to go from bottom left corner to top right corner. As pictured below:

lexus_is250_steering_switch_011.jpg

Step 14:

Next, you will need to sand the openings for the switches slightly. If this step is not done, then your buttons will be very sticky and may not work properly.

Gradually go around the openings with 200grit sandpaper. Dont rush, take your time and do it evenly so that you get consistent gap throughout. Once this is done, give it a clean.

Step 15:

Next you will need to have your utility knife and a hairdryer or heatgun ready:

lexus_is250_steering_switch_012.jpg

Step 16:

Gently apply the 3M wrap and use your hairdryer to heatshrink and get a perfect wrap around corners and curves.

Please watch the following youtube video, which shows how to heatshrink and apply the 3M vinyl:

Thats it... you are now done with it and ready to put back the buttons and install everything into the car in reverse order.

REMEMBER:

Take your time on the wrapping procedure and do it properly. DO NOT RUSH. The vinyl is very forgiving. If it looks wrong, lift it and apply it again with some heat.

Once everything is installed back into the car and the airbag unit is put back in, you can re-connect the negative terminal on the Battery.

Below are some photos of my wrapping process and my final installed photos

lexus_is250_steering_switch_013.jpg

lexus_is250_steering_switch_014.jpg

lexus_is250_steering_switch_015.jpg

lexus_is250_steering_switch_016.jpg

lexus_is250_steering_switch_017.jpg

lexus_is250_steering_switch_018.jpg

lexus_is250_steering_switch_019.jpg

lexus_is250_steering_switch_020.jpg

lexus_is250_steering_switch_021.jpg

lexus_is250_steering_switch_022.jpg

lexus_is250_steering_switch_023.jpg

lexus_is250_steering_switch_024.jpg

lexus_is250_steering_switch_025.jpg

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+1 that :)

looks excellent :winky:

Thanks

That is a really neat job! Are you planning to wrap other bits too or stop there?

Thanks. Not sure if i'm going to be wrapping anything else yet. I dont want to get carried away with wrapping :hehe: I am considering getting a high temp version of this vinyl and wrapping the engine cover with it though.

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Thanks. Not sure if i'm going to be wrapping anything else yet. I dont want to get carried away with wrapping hehe.gif I am considering getting a high temp version of this vinyl and wrapping the engine cover with it though.

I used the 3M Di Noc wrap on the grill surround of my IS-F and surprised how easy it was to apply considering the compound curves. I'm also trialing different laquers and two part resins (as shown in your link) to coat the Di Noc with the objective of cutting back and polishing to provide a gloss finish (not sure how the Di Noc profile will look afterwards which is why I'm trying various methods using test pieces).

It's quite easy to get carried away with the wrapping, but I've decided to wrap the fog light surrounds next, if I can work out how to remove them :lol:.

Here's the grill with the natural finish Di Noc wrap. The pic was taken after I was playing with the Fly-eye wrap and shows one headlight wrapped and also the grill badge. It looked terrible close up so removed it. Fortunately it was just as easy taking it off as putting it on.

pic0148.jpg

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I'm also trialing different laquers and two part resins (as shown in your link) to coat the Di Noc with the objective of cutting back and polishing to provide a gloss finish (not sure how the Di Noc profile will look afterwards which is why I'm trying various methods using test pieces).

I was trying to do this. I tried a few methods and all of these methods cause a loss of 3D texture on the Di Noc. I contacted carbonmods.co.uk to find out if they have a way. They've said that they tried many methods to try and get a gloss effect on the Di Noc and all of them cause a loss of 3D effect and most importantly the laquer eventually peels off. Hence my conclusion of carbon skinning for a glossy real carbon look.

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I'm also trialing different laquers and two part resins (as shown in your link) to coat the Di Noc with the objective of cutting back and polishing to provide a gloss finish (not sure how the Di Noc profile will look afterwards which is why I'm trying various methods using test pieces).

I was trying to do this. I tried a few methods and all of these methods cause a loss of 3D texture on the Di Noc. I contacted carbonmods.co.uk to find out if they have a way. They've said that they tried many methods to try and get a gloss effect on the Di Noc and all of them cause a loss of 3D effect and most importantly the laquer eventually peels off. Hence my conclusion of carbon skinning for a glossy real carbon look.

I used the primer for the Di Noc, so there's no real difference in the skinning with carbon mat if the resin coating and polishing is similar. The advantage of the wrap of course, is that you can take it off and revert to standard without harming the part, which isn't an option using the carbon skinning.

I've found the Di Noc to be very good as it hasn't moved or been marked in the few months I've had it on the car. It's also stood up to close encounters with the Karcher power washer.

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I've found the Di Noc to be very good as it hasn't moved or been marked in the few months I've had it on the car. It's also stood up to close encounters with the Karcher power washer.

I agree :) it's an extremely durable product. the video below shows and proves how durable it is:

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For those who might not be aware, the 2011 IS250 and the new IS200d now has these steering wheel control switches in flat silver. a pic is below:

sx2n1w.jpg

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For those who might not be aware, the 2011 IS250 and the new IS200d now has these steering wheel control switches in flat silver. a pic is below:

I think yours is better. Lexus seem to have discovered a retro 1980's Music Centre look with theirs which is going to look grubby with a bit of use.

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I'm really liking this 3M Di Noc even more as days pass. Looks different with different angles and feels awesome.

I think for a £3.99 mod, it's the best value mod :D

Here's another angle pic:

lexus_is250_steering_switch_026.jpg

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I forgot to mention, if anyone decides to do this mod you will face the following issue after re-connecting the Battery:

The power Window Controls on the Driver's Side will not work after unplugging the Battery. Dont panick, this is Normal. To rectify this, you will first need to roll DOWN then UP each window individually with the switch on each Door. Once this has been done, you will gain back the Driver's Door Window Controls. For NAV owners, the system will go through a reboot process that takes about 30 seconds.

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Great write up & walk though Ahmed - I've pinned the thread for you so it stays in view for the future :D

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^^ Thanks Janey :)

I'm debating whether or not I should also use this same 3M Di-Noc to wrap the instrument cluster trim like the following thinkDesign one:

top_image-mini_photo_02_ove.jpg

But not in silver ofcourse :) in the same black colour one that i've wrapped the switches in.

Suggestions and opinions would be great.

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it would look nice in same color than on steering wheel, imho.

Thanks :) will probably give it a try and if it doesnt look nice can always revert back to original :)

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that looks quality (masha allah), i think u should do the wood trim too to match it with the window switch, and dont do the odo cover, it'll go ott.. but its ur view that counts, might give it a try my self.. thanks to the write up

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I decided not to wrap the odo trim cover or any other trims for the moment :) For now the steering wheel switches are enough DiNoc. I dont want to put too much of the DiNoc, then it might just look too cheesy. Wrapping the steering wheel switches is a very subtle change but makes a huge difference.

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there is one part that u said if u disconect the - (negative terminal) from the Battery u need to press the brake,

1. after u take off the - pres the brake and hold for 90s b4 dismantling the steering airbag

or

2. after u take off the - wait 90s and press the brake once b4 dismantling the steering airbag

or

3. after u take off the - press the barake once and wait 90s b4 dismantling the steering airbag

thanks

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wait 90 seconds. after 90 seconds press the brake down for a few seconds

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thanks for that ,but i didnt need to disconnect the air bag,just balanced it on top of the steering, and didnt even diconect the side button as the wire is long enough to turnover and take the3 tiny screws out, after looking at the f sport, i decided to put the silver one on instead..

thanks for the write up tho.. i also did a carbon front grill conversion...post-35896-015236500 1289058316.jpgpost-35896-007187600 1289058385.jpg

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