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I bought an airbag cover for my FJ cruiser because mine was damaged although the airbag was not deployed, just the cover cosmetically was damaged. I am a pretty competent mechanic. I easily was able to remove the airbag assembly from the steering wheel. My problem is the cover is held in place with 4 specialized rivets. What is the recommended way to remove the rivets and what should I replace them with? Any help would be appreciated.
 

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I wouldn't recommend swapping just the cover. I would swap in a new complete airbag. If you mess up you could easily have pieces of airbag bracket flying at you in an accident.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I wouldn't recommend swapping just the cover. I would swap in a new complete airbag. If you mess up you could easily have pieces of airbag bracket flying at you in an accident.
I am all for being safe however; the damn thing looks so simple. It's just 4 rivets holding a plastic cover in place. I haven't looked into the cost of a complete airbag assembly but I would imagine it's pretty pricey. The cover alone was $80. I'm not going to do anything though until I get more information. I think my step, if the forum folks don't have any ideas, is to talk to some auto body shops and see what they think. Thank you for your reply!
 

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Newbie here. Not sure if I'm doing this correctly and I apologize in advance.

I too have the same question. I'm planning to install a steering wheel audio control. I have read that it's more or less "plug & play" but I'm not crazy about the idea of sawing off part of the airbag cover. Instead, I plan to replace the airbag cover (with short "arms" on either side) and installing a blank cover (part #4511635010 ) on the right side.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Newbie here. Not sure if I'm doing this correctly and I apologize in advance.

I too have the same question. I'm planning to install a steering wheel audio control. I have read that it's more or less "plug & play" but I'm not crazy about the idea of sawing off part of the airbag cover. Instead, I plan to replace the airbag cover (with short "arms" on either side) and installing a blank cover (part #4511635010 ) on the right side.
To my knowledge Toyota only sells the complete air bag assembly. I bought my cover off eBay. It really looks like it should be pretty simple. It's just a plastic cover. My plan is to carefully drill the rivets. Tap the holes and use bolts and washers to secure the new cover. When I get the nerve to do it I will post pictures. I really can't see how this could affect the airbag system but was hoping for an expert to chime in.
 

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To my knowledge Toyota only sells the complete air bag assembly. I bought my cover off eBay. It really looks like it should be pretty simple. It's just a plastic cover. My plan is to carefully drill the rivets. Tap the holes and use bolts and washers to secure the new cover. When I get the nerve to do it I will post pictures. I really can't see how this could affect the airbag system but was hoping for an expert to chime in.
I agree, it appears Toyota only sells the complete assembly which I'm sure will cost a fortune. I was actually about to buy the cover off eBay also for around $85. That is until I read your post about the airbag being held by rivets. And that is probably the reason why I'm also unable to find OEM covers.

It turns out my solution to avoid having to chop off the stock covers might not work after all. :frown
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I agree, it appears Toyota only sells the complete assembly which I'm sure will cost a fortune. I was actually about to buy the cover off eBay also for around $85. That is until I read your post about the airbag being held by rivets. And that is probably the reason why I'm also unable to find OEM covers.

It turns out my solution to avoid having to chop off the stock covers might not work after all. :frown
I know everyone is super cautious when it comes to airbags. I am too. In this case, with deep scrutiny, I truly cannot see these rivets being an issue. The trickiest part, as I see it, is drilling them out. It will need to be done slowly but should not be a deal breaker. I have examined the areas surrounding and behind the rivets where the attach to the metal assembly. Looks clear and free from any of the airbag functional parts. I am planning on doing this one day. I have the cover (also paid $85 on eBay) I just need to get the right drill bits and a tap & die set then go for it. I may also look at using a Dremel to remove the rivets. Might be more precise.
 

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I know everyone is super cautious when it comes to airbags. I am too. In this case, with deep scrutiny, I truly cannot see these rivets being an issue. The trickiest part, as I see it, is drilling them out. It will need to be done slowly but should not be a deal breaker. I have examined the areas surrounding and behind the rivets where the attach to the metal assembly. Looks clear and free from any of the airbag functional parts. I am planning on doing this one day. I have the cover (also paid $85 on eBay) I just need to get the right drill bits and a tap & die set then go for it. I may also look at using a Dremel to remove the rivets. Might be more precise.
Since I'm not sure if it would be a good idea to change just the cover, I started to look into the possibility of replacing the driver air bag assembly instead. It appears it's going to cost me around $600 as opposed to $85.

Radio control pad runs for about $90 and the blank cover for about $20 which means if I go the route of changing the assembly it would cost me over $700 just to have the ability to control my radio. Too much money I think.

If you ever get around to changing the cover let me know.
 

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Since I'm not sure if it would be a good idea to change just the cover, I started to look into the possibility of replacing the driver air bag assembly instead. It appears it's going to cost me around $600 as opposed to $85.

Radio control pad runs for about $90 and the blank cover for about $20 which means if I go the route of changing the assembly it would cost me over $700 just to have the ability to control my radio. Too much money I think.

If you ever get around to changing the cover let me know.
In all honesty I did the same thing and I just am not happy with my cutting job. That's on me. But I'm not sure you calculated correctly. Here is what I paid:

Control Pad $74
Blank Cover $20
Airbag Cover $85

Total $179

For me it was very much worth it because my radio is all touch screen with no volume knob. Just touch buttons for volume. I'll post picks when I do it. I pretty much convinced myself I am going to do it. I hate leaving things half assed!
 

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Anyone ever come up with a replacement rivet? I have a new $80 Short wing aftermarket cover and want to use it to replace my existing long wing cover to work with a new Leather Steering wheel with controls. Hoping fjdarkstar or anyone else on here might have some helpful info!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I never attempted it. Moved on to other projects and have been living with my hack cutting job. :(
 
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