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The First Blackwood Steering Wheel Install

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The First Blackwood Steering Wheel Install

 
  #1  
Old 09-30-2011, 06:23 PM
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The First Blackwood Steering Wheel Install

I finally found one! After swapping the tan and wood Navigator wheel in my '02, I loved the look. I knew that wouldn't look good in my '05 with the black dash and wheel, and especially with the black airbag. I heard about the infamous Blackwood wheel, but never saw one installed, so I set out to look for one and make it happen.

The Lincoln Blackwood is the only model Ford vehicle that has the same style steering wheels in black as our beloved 2005 Excursions, but also have wood inserts and full radio and fan controls. While the more common Lincoln Navigator steering wheel will work for quite a few Excursions with the tan and light gray interiors since they have the same colors, the 2005 Excursions all had black steering wheels from the factory. Only 3,356 Lincoln Blackwoods were ever built, so finding a steering wheel from one is difficult and will only become more difficult.

Below are pictures of the installation. This applies only to swapping to Excursions that have the factory radio and fan controls on the wheel and it's just a plug and play mod. If you are swapping with an '05 XLT, you will need to follow the Navigator steering wheel swap instructions to change the clock spring: https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...xs-how-to.html

I found the wheel through my favorite site, and the listing put me in touch with Reliable Auto Parts in Yuma, AZ who had one. They shipped quickly and gave me a decent deal. After receiving the receipt, I found the VIN for the Blackwood and Googled it. Here's what it looked like prior to disassembly:





Here's the stock 2005 Excursion setup with the Limited interior trim:



Well, when Lincoln marketed the Blackwood as such, they really meant black wood. I thought it would be a dark cherry and would just be a little darker than the stock cherry look in the '03-'05 Excursion, but that's not the case. Here's a comparison picture of the wheel up against the door trim. Honestly, you can only see the woodgrain in the wheel when it's in brighter light, otherwise it looks just like black enamel. Either way, I think it really compliments the interior:



Here's the procedure:

1. Disconnect vehicle battery.

2. Remove Airbags fuse as extra insurance so bags don't go off.





3. Wait for about 10-15 minutes to ensure the system is completely powered down so the airbag doesn't accidentally go off. I don't know how much truth there is in this, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

4. Remove the plastic caps that provide access to the airbag bolts. Be careful with these to not chew them up with the screwdriver. I asked to make sure the caps came with the Blackwood wheel, and it's a good thing. I had no problem getting these caps out, but the color is slightly different. The Excursion caps are more gray where the Blackwood caps are more black. Probably not a big deal, but I'm particular about it. Work the screwdriver around carefully to find a spot between the ears to pry it off:



5. Remove the airbag two airbag bolts and set aside, in cup holder. Hold airbag unit while you take out the last one.

6. Disconnect the two plugs connected to the airbag. One is the airbag itself and one is the horn. The small red one is removed easier with the help of the small flat screwdriver you used to remove the caps:



7. Set airbag to the side, on the dash or passenger seat away from you.

8. Disconnect the white plug in the upper left. This plug controls all of your steering wheel buttons:



9. Get a torx bit to loosen the steering wheel bolt. I use a socket one, and that's basically needed because the bolt is really tight. It is a T-50 torx so you can be prepared.



10. Once loose, back the bolt off slightly, but don't remove it yet:



11. Assemble the steering wheel puller on the wheel and use the bolt to push off of:



12. Turn the wrench and tighten the puller until the wheel pops loose against the bolt.

13. Remove the steering wheel puller and set aside.

14. Remove the steering wheel bolt fully and set aside, in cup holder.

15. Remove steering wheel, while carefully feeding plugs through the wheel:




16. Slip the new wheel on the shaft, while carefully feeding the two plugs back through the wheel like you took them off.



17. Reinstall bolt into wheel and tighten down as much as you can. You have to press it back on again.



18. Re-connect the white plug for the buttons and push it back into the very upper left corner out of the way.

19. Carefully grab the airbag and re-connect the two plugs.

20. Set airbag into place. If it won't sit relatively flush, you may have to re-adjust the white plug to push it farther back as that's probably what's interfering.

21. Once the airbag is sitting correctly, thread the two bolts in to hold the airbag. I put the bolts in the socket only and got it started. Then tighten it evenly on each side.



22. Re-install the caps on the back of the wheel in the airbag bolt holes.

23. Re-insert airbag fuse into fuse panel and put all the trim pieces back.

24. Re-connect the vehicle battery.

25. Return to the driver's seat, turn the key on (and be ready to grab the radio button...), and turn the parking lights on. Check illumination of the switches. Also turn the key on and test radio/fan controls.



26. Road test when convenient to make sure the cruise control switches work.

27. Enjoy the new steering wheel!

For those who are curious, here's the part number for the Blackwood steering wheel.

 
Attached Images                        

Last edited by Sunline Fan; 10-13-2017 at 02:50 PM. Reason: Attached pictures and updated thread due to Photobucket.
  #2  
Old 09-30-2011, 09:36 PM
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Excellent write up man!! Very detailed.
 
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:05 PM
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That is an awesome steering wheel!! I love it!! No more worn leather for
you
 
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:07 PM
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looks fantastic!
 
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:35 PM
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Cool Exactly why I need a new set of friends...

Until today, I did not see a need for a new steering wheel, but after hanging out with you guys for a little while, now me thinks that I do... dang you FTE, I should have never started hanging out with you guys... my Mom warned me about you...
 
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:50 PM
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Thanks for the write up. I had my factory leather wrapped 02 replaced under warranty at 20k miles. I now have 60k and the coloring is worn off at the 9-11 o-clock position. I`de lke to install a Navi or blackwood wheel, although I think the Navi would be easier to find. I`m also thinking of installing a clockpring with audio controls, the HVAC controls would have to stay inop obviously because I have manual A/C. has anyone installed a wheel with the controls for the radio? is the plug at the bottom of the dash to plug into?
 
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:54 PM
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This is awesome!! I mean I have never even thought of the navi or blackwood steering wheels! Having the wood instead of leather is awesome!

How did you not affect the clock spring when you pulled the wheel? The one and only time I removed my wheel in my previous Ex, the spring went everywhere and essentially I ruined my steering wheel... No doubt I did something very wrong, but before I even attempt in my current Ex would love to know!! Thanks!
 
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 1 Excursion camper View Post
Thanks for the write up. I had my factory leather wrapped 02 replaced under warranty at 20k miles. I now have 60k and the coloring is worn off at the 9-11 o-clock position. I`de lke to install a Navi or blackwood wheel, although I think the Navi would be easier to find. I`m also thinking of installing a clockpring with audio controls, the HVAC controls would have to stay inop obviously because I have manual A/C. has anyone installed a wheel with the controls for the radio? is the plug at the bottom of the dash to plug into?
https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...xs-how-to.html

I can't remember if I put about the radio in there or not. I have the wire actually run up there and figured out which wire it is, it just doesn't do anything to the radio. If it isn't in there, just let me know and I'll go figure out which wire it is again.
 
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jcobb124 View Post
This is awesome!! I mean I have never even thought of the navi or blackwood steering wheels! Having the wood instead of leather is awesome!

How did you not affect the clock spring when you pulled the wheel? The one and only time I removed my wheel in my previous Ex, the spring went everywhere and essentially I ruined my steering wheel... No doubt I did something very wrong, but before I even attempt in my current Ex would love to know!! Thanks!
It is awesome! I took it out to fill it up with gas after and it just makes me so happy I've had the Navi wheel on my '02 since February and I knew I needed to find a Blackwood wheel almost immediately!

Clock spring is fine, didn't move or anything. The one I bought for my '02 came apart though, and the cover piece didn't stay on real well at all. So I wouldn't be too surprised that the cover would come off like that, and of course once it comes off, the whole thing will want to uncoil. The clockspring shouldn't come apart though, as far as I know, but this stock clockspring in the '05 is different than the one from the '01 Navi that the column came from, even though it controlled everything the same.
 
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by hardRESET View Post
Until today, I did not see a need for a new steering wheel, but after hanging out with you guys for a little while, now me thinks that I do... dang you FTE, I should have never started hanging out with you guys... my Mom warned me about you...
I know! Lets see, I did the V10 badges before FTE, but that was about it... Wouldn't have lights, 5 star tuning, steering wheels, 9000XL shocks, and probably a whole lot more.

The worst part, I bought the wheel 9/20, and it didn't arrive until this past Tuesday. I was away at school all week, and since this is my mom's Excursion, I had to wait until today to even see it, let alone install it. Let's just say it was fully installed within an hour of getting home!
 
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Old 10-01-2011, 09:18 AM
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Great write-up, very detailed, reps sent. That Blackwood took quite a hit.
 
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Old 10-01-2011, 11:53 AM
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Very cool! Reps sent!
 
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:56 AM
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Very nice. I want one of those so bad it hurts. (The wheel)
 
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:42 AM
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The blackwood steering wheel is something I would have never tried...now I may?!?! Thanks for the awesome pics!
 
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:59 AM
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Less than 3500 were built. The title should be changed to the ONLY Blackwood steering wheel install. Man am I envious!
 

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