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Community Member Credit: EddyMaxx

I was looking to replace the steering wheel on my 1998 4thgen Nissan Maxima. I looked at various options and came across an 8thgen steering wheel that fits perfectly and literally plug-n-play (for the fitment and airbag wiring). It feels and looks much better than the regular 4thgen steering wheel. It’s also a flat-bottom steering wheel.

Overall, I’m very happy with the results. It took me about 45-minutes to get everything set up and installed. The cruise control wiring is optional but does require additional wiring if you want to retain the ones on the 8thgen steering wheel. You also need to ensure you get the steering wheel with regular cruise control, not intelligent cruise control.

Installation Details:

  • This setup uses the existing 4thgen Maxima clock spring. The 8thgen steering fits perfectly with no issues. All you need to do is route the clockspring wires through the center of the wheel.
  • I recommend going with the 2016-2018 Maxima steering wheel and airbag combination. 2016-2018 have one airbag plug and the late 2018-2021 have two plugs. You need a single airbag plug for the  4thgen.
  • You cannot use a 2019-2021 airbag on a 2016-2018 steering wheel or vice versa. They have different mounting points. See reference photo in this post.
  • To retain cruise control, you need to get a steering wheel without intelligent cruise control. If you don’t care about cruise control (or will re-route your existing controls to a different location), then you are good.
  • The airbag wiring is very easy. I used a spare 6thgen Maxima air plug to make mines plug and play. Check my video in this post to see more info on it. The 4thgen airbag connector has two wires, making it super easy to make a plug-and-play harness. I tested this out and can confirm you don’t get any flashing airbag lights.
  • For the horn, you use your existing ground wire from the 4thgen steering wheel.
  • If you want to retain the heated feature, you will need to route the two extra wires. You can wire it up to a separate switch or an OEM timer-based switch.
  • The 4thgen did not come with steering wheel audio controls. You can make it work with an aftermarket device but will make the project more complex.

Working Features

  • 100% Working Airbag (No Blinking Airbag Light)
  • 100% Working Horn
  • 100% Working Heated Wheel Function (If wired)

Total Cost: $280.00

  • Airbag: $180.00
  • Steering Wheel: $100.00

Regular Cruise Control vs Intelligent Cruise Control

2016-2018 vs 2019-2021 Steering Wheel Comparison

Installation Photos

Airbag Information

Horn Information

You need to attached the horn wire into the airbag as noted below.

Airbag Wiring

Disconnect the airbag connector on a 4th-generation Nissan Maxima. To do this, take off the plastic cover and cut the airbag plug as much as possible. Alternatively, you can obtain a replacement connector from a previously deployed airbag if you wish to keep yours intact for resale.

Step 2: Gently separate the white wires. Among them, you will find two distinct colors: one is red, and the other is brown.

Step 3: Connect the red wire to the yellow wire, and similarly, join the blue wire to the brown wire. Secure these connections by soldering them and then insulate with tape.

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Member Credit: Eddy

Step 1: Disconnect the airbag connector on a 4th-generation Nissan Maxima. To do this, take off the plastic cover and cut the airbag plug as much as possible. Alternatively, you can obtain a replacement connector from a previously deployed airbag if you wish to keep yours intact for resale.

Step 2: Gently separate the white wires. Among them, you will find two distinct colors: one is red, and the other is brown.

Step 3: Connect the red wire to the yellow wire, and similarly, join the blue wire to the brown wire. Secure these connections by soldering them and then insulate with tape.

Congratulations! Your airbag and steering wheel have been successfully modernized. Enjoy the upgraded features!

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Credit: Adam Edwards

Notes:

  • Not plug and play. All the switches are all different and the wires will need to be either pinned into a max wheel harness to plug in or the max wires will need to be pinned for g37 connectors to plug into the wheel.
  • The horn is easy, I just butt connected those and my cruise control doesn’t work because 5mt swap or I would’ve joined those also with the correct connectors.
  • The airbag is iffy, the 5th gen has 4 wires going to the bag and g37 has 2 both with 2 connectors. I haven’t experimented with this yet, trying to keep my head but may do so in the future.

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