KTJO 4X4 Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel 3rd Gen Tacoma – Install & Review

KTJO 4X4 Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel Upgrade For 3rd Gen (2016+) 3rd Gen Tacoma - Install & Review

Affordable Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel Upgrade

Now, I’m sure upgrading your steering wheel is not a mod that comes across everyone’s mind when you are thinking of what to do to your Tacoma.

The KTJO 4×4 design not only has a sporty design but also a more comfortable feel when using the wheel.

It comes in two different color options; black carbon fiber and red carbon fiber. Personally, I chose the black, but the red also looks pretty good and it has red trimmed stitching on the seams.

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  • KTJO 4X4 – 3rd Gen Tacoma Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel: Check Price

Why Upgrade?

Carbon Fiber Sport Steering Wheel For Toyota Tacoma - Install, Review & Overview

KTJO 4×4 uses Toyota factory cores to build their design around, so they retain the original Toyota ring for a safe design. Also, because they use a Toyota factory core, it will work with your factory trim pieces, buttons, and most important – the factory airbag.

KTJO 4×4 created this carbon fiber option with the goal of bringing proper ergonomics and a luxury feel that the OEM one doesn’t provide. When they designed it, they altered the shape and gave the wheel a thicker grip for a more comfortable driving experience.

Required Tools

  • 1/4″ or 1/2″ ratchet
  • 10mm socket or 10mm wrench
  • Plastic pry tool
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Philips head screwdriver
  • Torx T30
  • 19mm socket

Step 1. Removing Airbag

Disconnecting Battery Terminals For Steering Wheel Swap

Before getting into taking anything apart or turning any screws, you want to disconnect the battery since we will be removing the airbag. For this first step, you will need either a 10mm socket and a ratchet, or you can use a 10mm wrench. Pictured above, your red and black power wires are fastened to the battery terminals with 10mm nuts. Loosen those nuts and you will be able to slide the power wires off of the battery terminals.

This step is crucial. The last thing you want to do is accidentally trigger the airbag to deploy. Dangerous, and costly.

How To Remove A Steering Wheel - 3rd Gen Tacoma

On both sides near the backside, you can see plastic square-shaped covers. Using either a plastic pry tool or being gentle with a flathead screwdriver you need to pop out these plastic square covers.

Aftermarket Steering Wheel Upgrade For Toyota Tacoma

The cover on the passenger side of the steering wheel has the cruise control lever going through it. When you remove the passenger-side plastic cover, you just need to slide the cover over the cruise control lever to get it off.

This image shows what the Toyota Tacoma center airbag bolt looks like after the steering wheel cover has been replaced.

With these square covers off you will now have access to two T30 Torx bolts that secure the center airbag to the wheel. Using a T30 Torx bit, you need to loosen these bolts, but you don’t have to worry about removing the bolts. Toyota designed them with a plastic lip to catch the bolts so they can’t fall out.

How To Remove Factory Airbag On Toyota Tacoma

With the Torx bolts no longer securing the airbag with the wheel, you can grab onto the center and gently pull it away. When you pull on this center airbag module, pull slowly because the airbag will have wires attached to the back of it.

Disconnecting Airbag On Tacoma

On the back of the airbag, you will have three wires that need to be easily disconnected so you can separate the centerpiece from the steering wheel. You will see a black and orange wire that is plugged directly into the back side of the airbag. In the center of these black and orange plugs, there are yellow squares that need to be popped up before you can disconnect the black and orange plugs.

New Steering Wheel Installation Guide For 3rd Gen Tacoma

The third wire that is connected to the airbag is going to be a small black wire which is just a ground wire to the airbag. This small wire disconnects just by easily pulling up on it until it slides off of the prong that it is attached to.

DIY Steering Wheel Removal For 3rd Gen Tacoma

There will be two wire harness clips that we have to disconnect so it can be pulled out of the vehicle. In the photo above, you will see three separate wire harnesses but we will only be disconnecting two of the three wire harnesses.

The middle one (control wire harness) with the black connecter needs to be disconnected, just press down on the top tab and it will unplug. The right harness plug (cruise control wire harness) with the white connecter is the same process, just press down on the tab and unplug it.

Step 2. Removing Steering Wheel

How To Remove Toyota Tacoma Steering Wheel

Now on to actually removing the steering wheel from the steering column. In the very center, you will find a 19mm nut that needs to be removed. Using a ratchet and a 19mm socket, loosen the nut but DO NOT remove the nut completely.

What I did was leave this 19mm nut on but loose so I could take it off without hitting myself in the face. Once the nut is loose you still have to pull pretty hard on the wheel to get it to come off the bolt that holds the steering wheel on. Leaving the 19mm nut on by a few threads, grab hold and pull back towards yourself to remove. When you get it loose you will feel it pop and move toward you.

Take note of the position it is in before you take it off. You’ll need to match this position for everything to be even.

Now, you can gently remove the steering wheel from the truck. Just be careful and don’t pull on the two airbag wires that we disconnected from the center airbag. Those wires will get fed through the wheel and they still stay attached to the steering column.

Step 3. Disassembling

How To Swap Your Factory Steering Wheel With Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel

All of the controls and components you have to swap from your factory wheel to the new wheel will be easy to transfer.

Removing Steering Wheel Controls On 3rd Gen Tacoma

First, you will need to remove the left and right side controls. These control trim pieces are held in each with two screws. Remove all four screws shown in the photo above and then these trim pieces can easily be pulled out.

This image shows where the two screws are located to remove the cruise control lever from the factory steering wheel.

The next component to remove will be the cruise control lever. This lever is held in with two screws, just remove the two screws shown in the photo above and you can remove the cruise control lever. I found it easy to just pull the lever up through the center to remove it.

Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel Install Guide For Tacoma

The last piece we need to remove from the factory steering wheel is the plastic cover that is on the backside. This cover is held on by four separate plastic clips that are a hook style.

How To Disassemble Factory Steering Wheel For Tacoma

All you have to do is use your finger to slightly bend back the hook and pull back on the cover in that area. Move around the cover unhooking each corner one at a time. Then after all 4 locations have been unhooked you can pull this plastic cover off.

When you remove the plastic backing cover remember this is the piece that holds onto those two Torx bolts which secure the airbag.

KTJO 4X4 Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel Installation Guide

Now we are down to the bare frame of the factory steering wheel. Along with the plastic back cover, cruise control lever, left and right controls, two Torx T30 bolts, and 6 Philips head screws.

Step 4. Assembly

DIY Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel Install

Now we just have to work in the reverse order. Take the plastic back cover and align it, once the cover is aligned you will push it on and make sure all four hook clips snap in.

Replacing Steering Wheel On Toyota Tacoma

Grab those two Torx screws we had from the plastic cover and you will place them back into the slots they go into. Just inside the square cut-outs on the backside of the steering wheel, you will see a cavity where the screw will fit on each side. Place the Torx screws into those round cavities and you can gently press them into the cavity with your finger. Once they pop into those cavities they will be locked into them like they were before on the factory wheel.

How To Install Cruise Control Lever On 3rd Gen Tacoma Steering Wheel

Grab the cruise control lever and insert it into the KTJO wheel. Like I recommended when I removed it from the center of the steering wheel, I recommend inserting it from the center of the wheel and then passing it through the hole where it exits from like in the photo below. Two of those six available screws you have from the factory wheel will be used to secure the lever to the KTJO wheel.

Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel Installation

Grab the set of controls and you can place them in the KTJO wheel. The back of the controls have alignment pins to help seat the controls properly. Press the controls in once they are aligned and seat them in the wheel. Once the controls are seated within the wheel you can use the remaining 4 screws to secure both of these to the KTJO wheel.

Step 5. Install New Steering Wheel

Mounting New Steering Wheel On Toyota Tacoma

It is time to get the steering wheel into the truck. Place your wheel in the same position as before.

You will need to take the black and orange end wires for the airbag and feed them through the top end. Once you feed the wires through you can align to your truck and press it onto the column. Put the 19mm nut back onto the center bolt and tighten the nut down.

How To Install KTJO 4x4 Steering Wheel

Now you can plug back in the two wire harnesses that we removed earlier. Referencing the photo above, Plug the black wire harness back into the center plug at the top of the steering wheel. Plug the white wire harness back into the only port that is left on the right side.

How To Reinstall Airbag On New Steering Wheel

Grab your airbag and take the airbag wires to get them plugged back into the airbag. Before your plug in the black and orange connection wires make sure the yellow square tabs are popped up. The black and orange plugs will just pop in and you will know they are in correctly when they snap in.

Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel Step-By-Step Install

Pay attention to where you are plugging these plugs into. They are color-coordinated for each connection. Once they are plugged into the airbag you can press in the yellow squares to secure the plugs into the airbag.

Don’t forget about that small black ground wire. This wire will just easily slide over the pin and it will be secured to the ground pin.

KTJO 4x4 Steering Wheel For Toyota Tacoma

You can now flip the center airbag up into its position. Once you have this pressed in and seated correctly, you can tighten the Torx bolts to hold the airbag into the wheel.

Steering Wheel Installation For Tacoma

Using your T30 Torx tool, tighten each bolt until it is hand tightened into the airbag. After you tighten the Torx bolts, I gently pulled back on the airbag just to make sure it was tight and secured.

The last step before you can take a step back and admire is to pop back in the plastic square caps. Each of these trim pieces stays in place due to their built-in clips on the edges of the cap. Just align the caps with the back and press them in until they snap into place. Make sure you reconnect your battery.


KTJO 4x4 Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel Upgrade For 3rd Gen Tacoma - Detailed Review

When most people think of replacing their steering wheel they just assume it’s for the looks.

The new wheel was designed with not only looks but comfort and ergonomics in mind. KTJO has different curves and a thicker diameter for the steering wheel to fit more comfortably in your hand. This is important for long road trips but it has benefits for short trips as well. If there is more comfort for your hand grip, it will cause less fatigue when on a long drive.

The second important feature is the style. The wheel is wrapped in perforated leather, with a mixture of carbon fiber accents on the top and bottom of the wheel. Then the curves and style  added to this wheel give it an edgy and sporty look that the factory wheel just doesn’t have.

Perforated Leather On KTJO 4x4 Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel

After getting the it installed, I took my truck for a test drive and I could tell a difference. The combination of the sporty curves wrapped in the perforated leather along the sides makes holding the sides of the wheel easy. The bottom section of carbon fiber is less curved than the factory and has an overall flat design which is easier to hold onto. The top portion of carbon fiber is larger in diameter than the factory design. The backside of the top carbon fiber has ridges that make gripping the wheel while driving or turning easier to manage.

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1 year ago

Seems like this would’ve been a great opportunity for them to incorporate a heated steering option that could’ve tapped into the mirror defrosters circuit.
Wheel looks great but huge miss on this when many other trucks offer heated steering wheels from the factory.

1 year ago
Reply to  Victor

That’s coming! You’ll have to stay tuned to when we release them

1 year ago
Reply to  Katie

Awesome!! If you need someone to test and review lmk! Can’t wait for that release! Thanks, for the update Katie!

Chris Fortunato
Chris Fortunato
1 year ago
Reply to  Victor

Victor, I live in Arizona so personally I wouldn’t benefit from this but I know most people in this market have weather that would make a heated wheel a very nice upgrade. Maybe adding this feature is something that could happen in the future if KTJO 4×4 is able to make that happen

1 year ago

DAMN that looks good!!

Ryan Gibbons
1 year ago

FIRE! I just installed mine on a 5th gen 4Runner and I’m absolutely in love with it. The overall thickness and grips are spot on. Well done KTJO on the product and Chris on the install write-up!

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