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Old 03-31-2024, 09:39 AM   #1
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Alternate steering wheels...

So I have the standard, plastic E-350 wheel with the cruise controls in the wheel.
Is there something a bit nicer from a different Ford vehicle that will work in these vans?
Leather would be nice, but maybe something a bit more ergonomic?
I know there a lot of crossbreeding between ford platforms so maybe there's hope...

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Old 03-31-2024, 11:13 AM   #2
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Ford offered a leather wheel. I've looked for one for a long time. They are nice when in good condition. Problem I've found is.. very difficult to locate in good condition, prices are too high.
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Old 03-31-2024, 12:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by PDXDave View Post
So I have the standard, plastic E-350 wheel with the cruise controls in the wheel.
Is there something a bit nicer from a different Ford vehicle that will work in these vans?
Leather would be nice, but maybe something a bit more ergonomic?
I know there a lot of crossbreeding between ford platforms so maybe there's hope...



Great question - I'm also interested in a more ergonomic steering wheel. I have a 2019 Transit and a 2004 Wrangler - both of which have pretty nice ergonomic steering wheels compared to my 2004 Econoline. I don't know if the Transit wheel would fit the Econoline or not but that (really just about anything) would be a nice upgrade.
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Old 03-31-2024, 01:24 PM   #4
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Have you considered a high quality leather steering wheel cover. I've installed leather steering wheel covers from Wheelskins on three different vehicles over the years. I installed a two-tone one of these in Grey and Charcoal five years ago on my E350 and it still looks and feels great. If you follow the instructions and take your time installing you'll end up with a great looking steering wheel.

https://wheelskins.com/eurotone
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Old 03-31-2024, 02:15 PM   #5
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Have you considered a high quality leather steering wheel cover. I've installed leather steering wheel covers from Wheelskins on three different vehicles over the years. I installed a two-tone one of these in Grey and Charcoal five years ago on my E350 and it still looks and feels great. If you follow the instructions and take your time installing you'll end up with a great looking steering wheel.

https://wheelskins.com/eurotone
The guy who bought my factory seats said he got a factory leather wheel from Ford and it wasn't that expensive.

It not the material so much for me as it's the shape.
It's just not a comfortable wheel for long distances.
Can't tell you why, but the wheel in my 80 series Landcruiser is 1000 times better for miles.

Ironically, I threw away the factory worn out leather Landcruiser wheel and replaced it with the identical wheel from a Camry that's not leather...
I considered a cover and looked at a couple of the guys who restore factory wheels, but in the end I went with the Camry wheel knowing cleaning would be easier and it'll probably outlive me.

I think I'm just hoping there's a Ford wheel out there that is a better shape and will crossbreed onto the E series column.
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Old 03-31-2024, 06:49 PM   #6
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From what I have read, the short answer is No. I've seen a few threads on the Ford Truck forums of people starting a similar project only for it to die off without a followup. There are also countless threads of people trying to swap things like a newer F350 wheel onto an older F350 only to find extra wires and extra pins on the connectors.



It really comes down to 3 areas;
1. Airbag wires (not really a great way to test that you have it hooked up right!)
2. Cruise control (seems to be a common issue getting the new wheel to communicate)
3. Radio Functions. (minor compared to the other 2, but often part of the reason for upgrading in the first place.

Ford also seems to make it harder by using different part numbers for seemingly similar parts. If it was something less critical than a steering wheel with airbag then I think there would be more people fiddling around and stumbling upon something that works.

I think the 2021 model year of E350 cutaways had a major interior refresh. There was a new instrument cluster, steering wheel, and changes to the dash. I'm patiently waiting for someone to swap that whole thing into an older van.
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Old 03-31-2024, 09:07 PM   #7
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This question has been on my mind for years. I'm going to ask about with my mechanic doing godzilla as i have an aftermarket cluster now and a totally new ECU. The chassis computer is still 2006 but maybe???? The 2024 updated wheel is big improvement. C'mon Dave and MAKE IT HAPPEN!
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Old 04-01-2024, 08:31 AM   #8
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I went down this rabbit hole a bit and there isnt really a great option if you want airbag and cruise control to work and you want a plug n play style operation. The only wheels I have heard of being a direct swap are the ones from earlier Excursions with the woodgrain top and bottoms.

My understanding is any of the 2 spoke "marshmallow" wheels will swap to an econoline as long as you maintain the clockspring that matches the wheel you are swapping.

An Excursion wheel would get you cruise plus audio plus temp control all on the steering wheel. Audio is easy, there are universal adapters to convert from whatever signal the wheel is sending to whatever brand aftermarket deck you have. If you have a factory deck, heaven help you. If you had front heat only, you could retrofit an Excursion auto temp control unit. If you have front and rear heat, no easy retrofit option but you could potentially remap the unused temperature and fan buttons to more buttons on your stereo.

I have heard but have no firsthand experience that Ford Edge and Excursion wheels will physically swap (I.E. they fit the splines on the column) but they use a different style of signalling for the cruise and radio and you would need to build a go-between to convert from the style of signal the wheel is sending out the the style of signal your factory cruise control expects.

Unfortunately for us, e-series did not get the same electrical updates the F-series did, so round about 04-05 as the F-series went more upmarket there becomes a pretty big divide in the electrical systems.
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Old 04-02-2024, 09:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porschedpm View Post
Have you considered a high quality leather steering wheel cover. I've installed leather steering wheel covers from Wheelskins on three different vehicles over the years. I installed a two-tone one of these in Grey and Charcoal five years ago on my E350 and it still looks and feels great. If you follow the instructions and take your time installing you'll end up with a great looking steering wheel.

https://wheelskins.com/eurotone
X2 on the Wheelskins… took me a couple hours, but love the upgrade every time I drive.
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Old 04-02-2024, 10:44 AM   #10
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If a guy wanted to swap a late model wheel (05+ non-van wheel) into an Econoline, it wouldnt be that hard.

This little dealy here will convert the cruise button signal from the later wheel to the earlier chassis. Note it is not the typical use case but its doing the same thing - late model wheel to early model cruise.
https://www.swaphelper.com/product-p...-cruise-helper

This little dealy here will let you run your aftermarket radio with any steering wheel buttons - it is configurable to run later model buttons on any aftermarket radio. https://axxessinterfaces.com/product/ASWC-1

Airbag? Feeling lucky?
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