Wes Duenkel
September 6, 2017

Face it: your old Mustang’s steering wheel is kinda gross. Look at it. Its leather is worn smooth, it’s scarred, and possibly torn. It’s dutifully steered your steed for decades, but it’s ready for retirement. Nothing looks and feels better on your feet than a fresh pair of sneakers, and nothing feels better in your hands than a new steering wheel.

Until recently, steering wheel options for airbag-equipped 1994-2004 Mustangs were essentially limited to OEM offerings. Ford sold an FR500 steering wheel for 1994-2004 Mustangs through its performance parts division, but it’s been long discontinued. Fortunately, Late Model Restoration picked up the torch by and offers a steering wheel in a similar style to the FR500 wheel Ford offered.

The SVE FR500-style steering wheel features a performance-oriented design with a thick grip and perforated accents in simulated black leather. It’s a direct fit that retains the factory air bag, horn switches, and cruise control buttons. Unlike Ford’s original FR500 wheel, the LMR steering wheel is available in both black and dark charcoal gray to match the interiors of 1994-1998 and 1999-2004 Mustangs, respectively.

The SVE steering wheel gave our worn-out interior a fresh look that cannot be overstated. Besides updating the look of our SN95’s controls, the thick SVE FR500-Style Steering Wheel felt great in our hands. The material also matched the color of our black interior perfectly, which is harder than you might think. It’s hands down one of the most cost-effective interior upgrades available for battle-worn SN95 Mustangs.

The steering wheel in this much-loved 1995 Mustang GT begged for retirement. Its leather surface was nicked and worn so smooth that it no longer matched the interior.
The SVE FR500-style steering wheel from Late Model Restoration Supply is a direct fit for the OEM steering wheel in 1994-2004 Mustangs. We chose the black finish to match the interior of our 1995 Mustang GT.
The FR500-style steering wheel features a performance-oriented design with a thick grip and perforated accents in simulated black leather.
A few minutes before beginning the installation process, we disconnected the negative battery terminal to deactivate the air bag system.
Because we would be working around an air bag, we wore ear and eye protection. Blowing up the air bag would still ruin our day, but safety glasses and earmuffs would protect our ears and eyes should anything go awry.
We began the process by removing the lower dash trim panel.
Next, we disconnected the clockspring electrical connector.
We then removed the caps over the air bag mounting screws.
Using an 8mm socket, we removed the air bag mounting screws.
Then, we pulled the air bag from the wheel and disconnected its electrical connector.
Next, we removed the screws retaining the horn switches.
With the horn switches loose, we disconnected them from the steering column.
Then, we used a T50 Torx bit to remove the steering wheel mounting screw.
Using a steering wheel puller, we separated the wheel from the steering shaft.
With the steering wheel on a bench, we removed the cruise control buttons.
Next, we removed the screws retaining the trim panel from the steering wheel.
Being careful not to damage any of the wires, we pulled the steering wheel from the trim panel.
With the OEM steering wheel removed, we compared it (left) to the SVE FR500-style steering wheel (right). Note how the OEM wheel is significantly worn and shiny when compared to the SVE wheel.
The SVE wheel (right) is significantly thicker than the OEM wheel (left).
We resumed installation by transferring the trim panel and cruise control buttons to the SVE wheel.
Next, we installed the SVE steering wheel using the OEM screw tightened to 30 ft-lbs.
Then, we installed the horn switches and reconnected them to the steering column harness.
Then, we carefully reconnected the air bag harness.
With everything connected, we reinstalled the air bag and its fasteners.
The SVE FR500-style steering wheel greatly transformed the look and feel of our well-worn 1995 Mustang GT’s interior.