A few weeks ago I really thought I’d torn the bag, fitting a Celica steering wheel to my little Sportivo, it looked awesome, it was leather, black not the shitty grey factory issue wheel sporting 300,000km’s and so on. I posted it on my facebook page and out of nowhere, there’s a comment on my post: “You should try and source a ZRE152 wheel with the audio controls” I read it and thought it was a cool idea, and then I get a message with this link to JP’s ZZE Wagon, with this wheel functioning.
After seeing this, I was sold. It really works well with the interior, even though the wheel was made nearly a decade after the car it all just ties in perfectly. I figured this one would be a hard ask, especially down where I live as there really isn’t alot of yards that stock stuff like this and not in the only self service wrecker in town. Two days later, I was making a visit to cut the rails off some seats for a separate project and at the front of the lot, right at the front door is a… yep, you guessed it. A Black 2012 Corolla with leather steering wheel, airbag and clock spring all intact, spread from one end of the car to the other. I glanced over the filthy wheel and made the decision to just grab it and bring it home, with a little peer pressure on the way too!
I got it back home and checked it out, it needed a massive clean, but after a good scrub and a leather feed, it was sensational.. I was keen as mustard to get it into the cabin of the Sportivo.
From here, It was time to work through the functions of the wheel and start looking at what was going to be needed or customized to make this fit the older car. I can’t thank JP enough for providing me with diagrams and all his help to get this sorted at short notice.
The first thing was to get the wheel physically on there and see how it bolted on.
There were no issues here, but this is where I found the biggest problem with making the rest of the wheels functions work, as the clock spring from the ZRE is totally different in the way it mounts to the steering shaft, and won’t work on the ZZE what so ever.
As picture directly above, the closer clock spring is the ZZE unit, and the other the ZRE, the difference doesn’t need explanation. The short of it is that due to running that ZZT231 Celica wheel, I was running the clock spring from that car too as I am fitting cruise control ( I will post this soon ). The ZZE clock spring is identical to the ZZT Celica unit but only contains two connector pins with no facility to even place extra pins in there, the Celica unit has all 6 pins, but only uses 3 or those on a manual model for the horn and cruise. I guess that the other three pins are for the automatic celica models as they have the auto shift up and down buttons on the steering wheel!
The connector inside the celica steering wheel was used in conjunction with the Celica clock spring and then wired up to the ZRE Corolla steering wheel audio and cruise control buttons to allow everything to run as it should. I also had to use the Corolla ZZE airbag connector and simply soldered this connector on after reviewing the bag wiring of all three cars and establishing that they are the same.
Once this was all good to go, I pinned the extra wires on the dash side of the clock spring for the audio controls and cruise control and proceeded to wire it all up.
I run a JVC unit and it has it’s own patch lead for the steering wheel controls, but depending on what radio you run, a factory connector for a factory unit will be required if that’s what you want.
The unit is great as it can be programmed to do different things with the steering wheel buttons. You could program the volume buttons to be phone buttons for example….
I started the car up and was stoked, no error codes or anything like that, a nice neat steering wheel that changes the whole interior of the car, it seriously brings it up a couple of notches and it is seriously nice to hold onto with the neat flat bottom and the nice soft leather. This one is an instant favorite! I will post up an article on the cruise control install in the coming weeks.
Stay tuned for some old school stuff that’s in the pipe line!