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Old 06-12-2016, 10:47 AM   #1
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Tutorial -- swapping in 2015+ SE Sport Package paddle shift steering wheel

fBeen prepping this job for a while, and it basically went off without a hitch.

Step 1) Acquire 2015+ Ford Focus, mine's a 2016 Titanium DCT

Step 2) Acquire 2015+ SE Sport Package Steering wheel

Other things you'll need:

T20 and T25 Torx bits for the steering column shroud bolts
Auto trim tools for the steering column shroud clips
5-6mm wide flathead screwdriver for the airbag clips
24mm socket with extension
Torque wrench, to get that big bolt back to spec
Three strands of 20-22 gauge wire (22 preferably)
3 terminals, I used Molex 347361002
3 taps, I used Posi-tap EX130-RR
Pick-up tool, I grabbed a Tekton one off Amazon
Tesa 51608 wire loom harness tape (perfect match for OEM)
Multimeter w/ continuity test
Suggested: headlamp

I decided I had to have paddle shifters on my Titanium trim. Using the thumb gear switch just wasn't doing it for me. I also knew that I was never going to take a dremel to my stock steering wheel and attempt the wiring that people are doing with the AMG paddles (kudos to them, I just don't have sort of faith in myself and I didn't want to lose my stock wheel).

So, I had to find a take-off steering wheel that was from an 2015+ SE Sport Package, with the leather heated Cold Weather Package option like my Ti. I tried to contact all the big Ford parts retailers, like White Bear Lake and Village Ford, but no one could tell me whether you can order a steering wheel fully loaded with all the button modules pre-installed, ready to install. No one keeps the wheels in stock, and at around $380, that wasn't a risk I was willing to take.

To Ebay I went, and I didn't give myself great odds. Amazingly, there happened to be one on Ebay's USA site, but located in Russia, so it's from a 2015 Euro/Russia spec car. It took over 2 months to arrive, but it was flawless and the smooth leather feels much nicer in the hand than the USA spec grained leather. It cost me $230, which is a great deal in my book. The rest of the necessary parts are small and cheap and I get to keep a perfectly intact steering wheel for when it's time to revert back to bone stock.

I can confirm 100% that the 2015+ non-SE Sport Package cars have clocksprings that are wired for paddle shifters as far as the steering column wiring harness. I can also confirm 100% that that's where it ends -- there is no unused stock wiring leading to the TCM, so you have to route your own wires to the center column and tap into the three wires from the thumb switch system. So it's not entirely plug and play, but it's surprisingly close.

The result is a factory wheel that works 100%, down to the paddle shifters lighting up with the rest of the wheel at night (and because of FoCCCus, the Euro cruise control buttons working too -- see below). The shifts are instant (in the sense that the car registers them, not that the DCT is a Porsche PDK or anything -- I'll do a tune from Tom at some point soon to tighten that up), and so far, reliable. The only weak point I can see is that the taps dragging on the cables might eventually wear out the soldered connection at the thumbswitch side of things (at the top, not at the harness that ultimately connects to the TCM). If so, fine, I'll probably just buy another gear selector assembly for ~$80 or so and keep the paddle shifters going. I really like them and don't understand why they're not featured on the Ti to begin with (that and lack of HIDs are my two biggest gripes)

The only thing I'm going to gloss over was the airbag removal, which was a bitch and a half. I don't have any pics and I don't have much advice. 1) remove negative terminal from battery, let car sit 10mins. 2) turn wheel to side, and pick a perfectly sized screwdriver. Not too long, or thick, of a head or shaft (I know, I know), but not too small either. You're trying to wedge and then leverage the clip from the outside to the inside, towards the steering column. Be careful, you can damage the clip, and if you push deep enough with the flathead, you can acutally hit the fabric protection layer of the airbag. You'll want to wiggle the airbag out with one hand as you work, and once it fully releases, carefully pop the tops off the two wiring harnesses, then remove them. Pop off the horn clips too, they're sort of delicate looking.

******Cruise control*********

You'll notice that the wheel is a Euro spec wheel with a single cruise control logo button instead of separate on and off buttons, and LIM where the off button is for the North American cars.

If you do this mod with a North American wheel on a North American car, you can reasonably expect all steering wheel buttons to work, including cruise control. Carry on.

If you do this mod with a Euro wheel on a North American car (or the other way around, I imagine), you'll notice the cruise controls do not work. The good news is that all you need to do is use an OBDII reader supported by FoCCCus to change the Adjustable Speed Limiter setting. In my case, changing the setting to "With ASL" made all the cruise control buttons work (except for ASL, which it is assumed the North American cars aren't wired for).

****************************

Here's the pics of my job with some notes.

Euro wheel! The upper harness is the one that does all the controls, and the lower one is for the heater element. There's also two small horn clips.






Getting into the steering column shroud. Definitely need both upper and lower sections off to do this job.


This gray harness is the business end of things on the steering column. On the non-SE cars, it has three empty cavities which correlate to the three emtpy cavities on the steering wheel harness. In the Sport Package cars, the steering wheel harness uses those cavities, and their steering column harness is wired directly to the TCM. In this hacked version, we tap into the center gear selector's wiring to the TCM.




The Molex connectors are a perfect fit.You'll want to use 22ga wiring on these. They're small.


I did not take any pictures of my crimp job because it was ugly as hell, but the good news is that these wires don't have to do anything but sit there. They won't incur any stress over time.


I used 18ga wire because that's what I had, and since it wasn't a dealbreaker I rolled with it. I would totally go with 22ga next time though, it just fits better. With the stock size wiring and the Tesa tape, I bet there isn't a factory mechanic in the world who would notice the job (until they saw the Posi-taps, ha!)


The harness tape makes it look OEM.


Steering column clockspring. Taped down so that I didn't bump it out of whack.


Cavities 13 and 14 aren't used in any car, so don't even have pins.


Heating element wiring


Jumping ahead a little here, at this point I have the new wheel on, I have the new wiring installed on the harness and zip tied to the exisiting wiring before routing it into the center column, and I've grabbed the wiring with the pick up tool. Now I'm doing a continuity test on my paddle shifters and the thumb switch to figure out up-shift, down-shift, and ground on everything.


Posi-taps installed. Staggered them a little so that they weren't all bunched up.


There isn't a ton of space. I would go with the smaller ZRTL-641-6 if I was doing this again. The important thing is to make sure your wires aren't going to get snagged on anything as you pull back the gear selector each time you drive.


Done!




Last edited by notman; 02-21-2017 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:10 AM   #2
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Just asking... the steering wheel harness couldn't be changed for the one having the connection for the paddle shifter?

I'm pretty sure we could just enable the paddle in foCCCus afterward instead of tapping the wire at the shifter.


Even the cruise control everything was there we just had to change the steering harness to plug in the clockspring there ------->http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/m...ol-update.html


Most controls on the steering are on the CANbus, normally you just enable the new controls in the BCM along with new wire harness.


Added reputation for that nice tutorial ... keep them coming!
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELCouz View Post
Just asking... the steering wheel harness couldn't be changed for the one having the connection for the paddle shifter?

I'm pretty sure we could just enable the paddle in foCCCus afterward instead of tapping the wire at the shifter.


Even the cruise control everything was there we just had to change the steering harness to plug in the clockspring there ------->http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/m...ol-update.html
Unlike the cruise control situation where the car is wired for cruise and you used FoCCCus to enable the system, there simply isn't any wiring going from that steering column harness to the transmission on the non-Sport Package cars. There's no setting to unlock/enable. You would literally have to patch into the TCM's wiring harness cavities, which to me seemed 1000x times harder (and easier to screw up) than just tapping into the thumb switch's wiring and not having to touch the TCM/Central ECU.
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Last edited by notman; 06-13-2016 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:36 AM   #4
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What are the chances that this could work on an older model? Like a 2012 titanium. Cause that'd be sweet
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfowler621 View Post
What are the chances that this could work on an older model? Like a 2012 titanium. Cause that'd be sweet
By using a 2015+ wheel? Nil, by my understanding. Even if it physically fit onto your steering column and wiring harness, you're better off trying to physically add paddles. There's too much wiring that just wouldn't match up and it'd be a nightmare to remap all the connectors. The beauty of this swap is that it doesn't require anything but the wire patch to the thumb switch. Everything else lines up perfectly.
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:12 PM   #6
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Curious if the "Adjustable Speed Limiter" functionality works?
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:15 PM   #7
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Curious if the "Adjustable Speed Limiter" functionality works?
Nope, just a button. It doesn't add that feature to the car.
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Old 06-12-2016, 05:22 PM   #8
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Quick update (and will add this to tutorial post): As it happens, I hadn't taken a long drive with the new wheel, and hadn't bothered testing the cruise control. Long story short, it doesn't work. None of the cruise control buttons turn it on. This must be because of the Euro spec wheel.

Since all the other wheel buttons work, including the heating element, and I never use cruise control (don't like it at all, actually) I still consider this a success for my purposes and am going to leave it alone, rather than find another wheel or try to get my original cruise control button cluster installed on my Euro steering wheel.

If cruise control is important to someone, they'll want a North American steering wheel for this swap. No reason to think that wouldn't work perfectly.

[UPDATE: FoCCCus fixed the cruise control. Wheel is now fully functional.]
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Last edited by notman; 06-14-2016 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 06-12-2016, 06:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notman View Post
Quick update (and will add this to tutorial post): As it happens, I hadn't taken a long drive with the new wheel, and hadn't bothered testing the cruise control. Long story short, it doesn't work. None of the cruise control buttons turn it on. This must be because of the Euro spec wheel.

Since all the other wheel buttons work, including the heating element, and I never use cruise control (don't like it at all, actually) I still consider this a success for my purposes and am going to leave it alone, rather than find another wheel or try to get my original cruise control button cluster installed on my Euro steering wheel.

If cruise control is important to someone, they'll want a North American steering wheel for this swap. No reason to think that wouldn't work perfectly.
You could sniff the bus and check what message the euro buttons sends to the BCM.

But anyway, like you said no big deal
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Old 06-12-2016, 06:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELCouz View Post
You could sniff the bus and check what message the euro buttons sends to the BCM.

But anyway, like you said no big deal
Are you talking about FoCCCus here? Is it possible to assign the buttons different tasks? I still haven't got my head around what FoCCCus does.
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