Problems with a cushioned wheel

June 1, 2009 | By Richard Prince


I am the original owner of a 1978 Pontiac Firebird Espirit with a “Custom Cushion” steering wheel. I removed the steering wheel to repair the steering column and now cannot put the Custom Cushion pad back onto the wheel. There was a thin plastic strip that went along the outside edge of the steering wheel in between the Custom Cushion pad and the wheel. The strip has raised bumps that fit into holes in both the steering wheel and the pad, and it holds the pad to the steering wheel. The strip also separated and insulated the pad from the steering wheel until you pressed on the pad to blow the horn. As you’ve probably guessed, I need a replacement for this thin plastic strip and have been unable to find one. I contacted several parts suppliers and have tried without success to use Velcro strips and glue dots to hold the pad onto the steering wheel. Any suggestions you have are appreciated.


Pontiac long ago discontinued the part that you seek. You don’t say why you can’t simply reuse your original strip but I suspect that it cracked apart during disassembly, as this is a somewhat common problem.

Unfortunately, I don’t have an easy or inexpensive solution to your problem.

One route is to try to buy a good used example but I suspect you’ll need to buy an entire steering wheel to accomplish that. You are unlikely to find someone willing to render a good wheel useless by selling you the part that holds the horn pad on. There are many sources for used Firebird parts, including Frank’s Pontiac Parts, GM Sports Salvage (, Cambird Industries), and East West Auto Parts