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Pelican Technical Article:

Steering Column Stalks Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$80 to $250

Talent:

***

Tools:

T9, T25 Torx driver, small thin Allen key, 1mm feeler gauge

Applicable Models:

VW GTI (2006-09)

Parts Required:

New control stalks

Hot Tip:

Be sure to disconnect the battery and wait 15 minutes

Performance Gain:

Working controls

Complementary Modification:

New shift knob

The steering column stalks can get damaged or lose their functionality over time. Replacement of the stalks is not that difficult but it can be tedious work and you are working with small plastic clips. Make sure to take your time and use care not to damage any of the plastic pieces. You are going to have to remove a fair amount of other components to get to the stalks including the airbag. Make sure you disconnect the battery and wait 15 minutes before working on the airbag.

You will need to remove the steering wheel (red arrow) to get access to the trim panels around the steering column.
Figure 1

You will need to remove the steering wheel (red arrow) to get access to the trim panels around the steering column. Please see our article on steering wheel removal for further assistance. Make sure you disconnect the battery and wait 15 minutes before working on the airbag.

Pull the center trim piece in front of the gauge cluster straight back from the cluster.
Figure 2

Pull the center trim piece in front of the gauge cluster straight back from the cluster. There are two small clips (red arrows) that sit in mounting holes on the cluster (yellow arrows) along with a small centering notch (green arrow).

This photo illustrates the small clips that hold the trim piece in place (red arrow).
Figure 3

This photo illustrates the small clips that hold the trim piece in place (red arrow). Do not force these clips as they can break and it will leave you with a loose trim piece. The trim piece is part of the upper steering column cover and cannot be completely removed without removing the entire piece. Just rest it on the column while you remove the rest of the trim piece.

Use your trim removal tool and gently pry up the top trim piece from the lower trim piece (red arrows).
Figure 4

Use your trim removal tool and gently pry up the top trim piece from the lower trim piece (red arrows).

There are two clips mounted on the steering column (red arrows) that you need to separate the upper cover from.
Figure 5

There are two clips mounted on the steering column (red arrows) that you need to separate the upper cover from. These need a little persuasion to release their grip but make sure not to damage the trim piece. Once separated, the trim piece hinges back towards the dash and then separates from the section closest to the gauge cluster.

Remove the two T25 Torx screws on the front of the lower trim piece (red arrows).
Figure 6

Remove the two T25 Torx screws on the front of the lower trim piece (red arrows).

Lower the adjustment handle and remove the single T25 Torx Screw on the lower section of the trim piece (red arrow).
Figure 7

Lower the adjustment handle and remove the single T25 Torx Screw on the lower section of the trim piece (red arrow).

You can lower and remove the lower trim piece (red arrow).
Figure 8

You can lower and remove the lower trim piece (red arrow).

Disconnect the wiring for the airbag.
Figure 9

Disconnect the wiring for the airbag. You will need to slide the clip towards the front of the car (red arrow) and then pull the wiring connection from the module.

Working blind, you will need to reach up behind the module and push in the release clip (red arrow).
Figure 10

Working blind, you will need to reach up behind the module and push in the release clip (red arrow). You can see the clip you are going to release inPicture 14. With the clip pushed in lower the rear of the module just enough to keep the clip released.

Remove the tiny T9 Torx screw in the front center of the module (red arrow).
Figure 11

Remove the tiny T9 Torx screw in the front center of the module (red arrow).

There is a small access hole just below the T9 Torx screw on the front of the module (red arrow).
Figure 12

There is a small access hole just below the T9 Torx screw on the front of the module (red arrow). You need to slip a long thin screwdriver or Allen key into this hole approximately two inches and slide the end of the handle to the right. There is a clip you are going to release then lower the module. There is aPicture of the clip with the module off inPicture 13.

With the module off you can see how the Allen key goes through the access hole and engages the retaining clip (red arrow).
Figure 13

With the module off you can see how the Allen key goes through the access hole and engages the retaining clip (red arrow). Moving the end of the Allen key to the right causes the clip to be depressed and releases the module from its mount.

Remove the final wiring harness from the module by sliding the tab away from the module (yellow arrow) and then squeezing the release tab and pulling the wiring connection from the module.
Figure 14

Remove the final wiring harness from the module by sliding the tab away from the module (yellow arrow) and then squeezing the release tab and pulling the wiring connection from the module. The green arrow indicates the clip on the rear that you have to release blind inPicture 10.

There are two clips on the upper section of the slip ring holding it to the column (red arrows).
Figure 15

There are two clips on the upper section of the slip ring holding it to the column (red arrows). You can unclip these with finger pressure.

With the clips released you can remove the slip ring from the column (red arrow).
Figure 16

With the clips released you can remove the slip ring from the column (red arrow).

The steering angle sensor is located behind the slip ring (red arrow).
Figure 17

The steering angle sensor is located behind the slip ring (red arrow). With the slip ring removed you can simply pull the steering angle sensor off the column. The slip ring is the only thing holding the sensor in place.

There are two clips on each stalk, one inner and one outer.
Figure 18

There are two clips on each stalk, one inner and one outer. Begin by releasing the clip on the outside rear of the stalk (red arrow).

Next you will need to insert a thin file, 1mm feeler gauge or something similar between the stalk and the plastic piece around the steering column.
Figure 19

Next you will need to insert a thin file, 1mm feeler gauge or something similar between the stalk and the plastic piece around the steering column. There is a small tab that you are trying to release by pushing it in towards the stalk.

With the stalk off you can see the two clips you need to release, the one on the rear outside (red arrow) and the one between the stalk and column (yellow arrow).
Figure 20

With the stalk off you can see the two clips you need to release, the one on the rear outside (red arrow) and the one between the stalk and column (yellow arrow).

This photo illustrates the stalk off the column.
Figure 21

This photo illustrates the stalk off the column. Here you can see the tab between the stalk and column (red arrow). You can also see the scratch marks on and around the tab as we tried to press it in and remove it. The tab needs to be pressed in the direction of the red arrow. The yellow arrow indicates the external clip.

This photo illustrates the two tabs on the right side of the steering column.
Figure 22

This photo illustrates the two tabs on the right side of the steering column. The internal tab (red arrow) and the external clip (yellow arrow) are similar to the opposite side. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:37:10 AM