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Thread: Steering Wheel Replacement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    E39 M5 / E28 528e

    Steering Wheel Replacement

    Hello all,

    Just wanted to share some pics I snapped of when we swapped out my old steering wheel with a custom one...and guide y'all thru the swapping process.



    BEFORE YOU START : Adjust your steering wheel so it comes out towards you fully. Make sure your car is turned off and you disconnect the battery. Otherwise you may trigger the Airbag/SRS light!! You have been warned.

    First tool you'll need a T30 Torx screwdriver like this one.



    There are two T30 torx screws holding the airbag to the steering wheel. One on each side.





    Once you have loosened the screws, the airbag should pop right out...but be careful of the wires coming out of it...





    Go ahead and unplug the 2 wires...and remove the airbag.





    Next, you'll need a 16mm socket to remove the steering wheel.



    The bolt is on quite tight from the factory, put some elbow grease into it.





    Good chance to clean up the mess left behind here while the steering wheel is off.



    With the steering wheel removed, you'll have to swap over your steering wheel controls...this part is a bit tricky. You'll want to use some plastic prying tools like the ones you see here....just take your time...and be CAREFUL.


    Here you can see the backside of one of the steering wheel control units...notice the plastic tabs...this is how they secure onto the steering wheel...if you use too much force, you may snap these brittle plastic tabs.



    Once you have gotten the units out, time to swap them into your new steering wheel. Go ahead and plug back in the wires.


    This step is real important when you snap back in the right side unit, make sure you have one of the wires route behind the plastic housing...as you see here.


    Now go ahead and snap your steering wheel back into the column. Make sure you line up the two lines as pictured below...



    Screw it back in ....



    And voila!







    For more info on how to obtain one of these custom steering wheels, feel free to PM or email me.
    Last edited by mmzcee; 04-26-2011 at 05:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    E39 hamster/ruberbandPWR
    Very nice job!
    Thank you!
    Love your avatar too...
    I also sent you an email about your ST coil-overs...

    Thanks!
    Jason

  3. #3
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    Salfa Romeaab
    Please can you specify what year the car is? There are two versions of the wheel/airbag.

    I'll add my input: Wheel from 1995 (Early) E38 fits the E39 with single stage airbag. They have different p/n due to different wiring arrangements, but you just need to swap over the slip rings.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by joako View Post
    Please can you specify what year the car is? There are two versions of the wheel/airbag.

    I'll add my input: Wheel from 1995 (Early) E38 fits the E39 with single stage airbag. They have different p/n due to different wiring arrangements, but you just need to swap over the slip rings.
    I have a MY00 E39 M5.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    mmzcee,

    Nice write up. I have been wanting to do this for a while now. I still don't know if I will replace it with a genuine OEM piece or get one of these recovered units...

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by joako View Post
    Please can you specify what year the car is? There are two versions of the wheel/airbag.

    I'll add my input: Wheel from 1995 (Early) E38 fits the E39 with single stage airbag. They have different p/n due to different wiring arrangements, but you just need to swap over the slip rings.
    DITTO...DITTTO...DITTO...I was thinking the same thing.

    It's a great write-up but you failed to establish a base...you don't have a signature that includes your model/model year (nor does the info appear in the upper right)...and you never mentioned what type of airbag system you have (which you can go back and EDIT and include this much important info).
    Quote Originally Posted by mmzcee View Post
    I have a MY00 E39 M5.
    Great...glad you posted this but after being here since 2004...you really should include this info at the top of your great sig pic so that people emulating you (or reading anything that you suggested or written about over the years) will know how things you've done or said may apply to them. As already mentioned...your upgrade was from a dual stage airbag/steering wheel set-up to an upgraded steering wheel which was also a dual stage steering wheel.

    Those with e38s or e39s built prior to 3/99 (SINGLE STAGE airbag & wheel)could run across your thread and get themselves into a bind not knowing that there is a big difference and things won't look the same when they remove their airbag and try to install a dual stage wheel/airbag.

    PLEASE consider updating your sig with model/model year info instead of just the ambiguous "TiAg E39 M Fünf" you have listed in the upper right of you car info.
    (if my grammar, spelling, or sentence structure is screwed up....don't blame me...it's my dang bluetooth keyboard...I try to catch & correct the mistakes...but I may not catch all of them.)

    Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
    1997 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date <<~>> 2006 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date
    (SOLD)
    1999 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 1995 525iT (Alpine White)
    1991 735iL (Schwarz) <<~>> 1985 325e (Bronzit)

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Thanks for contributing and nice job.
    I'll let your thread get some feedback before towing it in tot the DIY section.

    Isn't it a good idea to disconnect the battery before doing any work involving the airbags?
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 04-22-2011 at 11:18 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Canada
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    97 SC 540ia / 09 TL SH
    Nothing is uglier then the OEM 97 wheel

    would love to change the wheel out, but issues with the single / dual stage swap safety concerns make me leave that big old wheel in my car

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexkid View Post
    Nothing is uglier then the OEM 97 wheel

    would love to change the wheel out, but issues with the single / dual stage swap safety concerns make me leave that big old wheel in my car
    The single stage 3 spoke steering wheels are out there...best bet is probably shopping Euro eBay sites since they could order their bimmer options ala carte. Remember too...the e38 & e39 share the same steering wheels and the single/dual stage airbag switchover occurred at the same time (3/99 build date).

    There are single stage airbags here in the States, too...which can be found on the e39s that ordered this optional wheel for their 97 & 98 model years especially if they had the 540i/6 or ordered the 98 sport pkg (the wheel was optional & not included that year).

    I got lucky and found a single stage 3 spoke wheel that was originally on an e39...and installed it (plug-n-play) in my 97 e38 (3/97 build date). Here's pics and DIY for a single stage 4 spoke to single stage 3 spoke steering wheel: http://www.cardomain.com/ride/433594/21

    (single stage 3 spoke steering wheel...wiring is slightly different than dual stage set-up)
    (if my grammar, spelling, or sentence structure is screwed up....don't blame me...it's my dang bluetooth keyboard...I try to catch & correct the mistakes...but I may not catch all of them.)

    Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
    1997 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date <<~>> 2006 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date
    (SOLD)
    1999 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 1995 525iT (Alpine White)
    1991 735iL (Schwarz) <<~>> 1985 325e (Bronzit)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdc4 View Post
    Isn't it a good idea to disconnect the battery before doing any work involving the airbags?
    OP,

    I was correct on this.
    Please edit this step into your post or I can do it for you if you would like.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdc4 View Post
    OP,

    I was correct on this.
    Please edit this step into your post or I can do it for you if you would like.

    Done! Thanks for the clarification.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    sacramento,ca
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    2003 330i

    Steering wheel swap

    I am defineatly interested in the same swap as you did with the upgrade steering wheel on my 200 528i sport. can you direct me where to purchase new wheel and estimated cost. Thank you Awesum 540i

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by awesum540 View Post
    I am defineatly interested in the same swap as you did with the upgrade steering wheel on my 200 528i sport. can you direct me where to purchase new wheel and estimated cost. Thank you Awesum 540i
    Check your PM inbox.

  14. #14
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    2010 535is
    Dumb question maybe, but once the wheel is removed can it only be reinstalled onlt one way thus avoiding any mis-aligned wheel? I remember on another car I had, I swapped the wheel and the new one was off by about 20 degrees...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Finland
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    2002 BMW 530d
    Hi

    I have the "horn on" problem, something loose in the center of the steering wheel. I can hear it rattling when I turn the wheel. Now, I have been reading these instructions on how to change the steering wheel to get the horn problem solved. Basically this should be easy, open the two torx screws behind the wheel to release the airbag from the middle and check what's loose.

    The thing is that I cannot find the damn screws! Is it just me or is the construction of my steering wheel different to those described here? Below here should a picture of my wheel, there are two T-25 screws behind the middle spoke but I can't find anything behind the airbag. There are the slots where you insert the tool but can't find end of the screws.

    Can you give any advise how to open up the center from this kind of steering wheel?

    http://aijaa.com/v.php?i=001238409375.jpg

    Last edited by salama; 08-02-2011 at 08:18 AM.

  16. #16
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    After doing the basics (reading pleanty more threads) I think I found an answer to my question. In thread http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1126525 it is said that the airbag is actually clipped in in this type of steering wheel... So thats it, no screws just springs to push, will try how it woks out.


    Edit: It really was amazingly difficult. Below should be picture how it looks after success. I would say that try to enter on the right side from 14:30, almost the same level with the steering wheel. Go "behind" the first point you feel with screwdriver, there you can find the spring. Best of luck for you who do this for the first time. When you done it ones, it will become"easy".

    Last edited by salama; 08-16-2011 at 05:12 AM.

  17. #17
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    [ame="http://youtu.be/pSYCOo_revw"]Here's a vid that shows the screwdriver unclipping the round air bag[/ame]
    Last edited by Doru; 01-23-2012 at 07:03 PM.
    Looking for a DIY? Parts? Check this out, it might be your ticket

    Stable: e92is, e53 N62, e46M54B25, Tribby & e39 M54B30 R.I.P.

  18. #18
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    2001 BMW 530i; 2007 X5

    I liked the swap

    I would definitely be interested in where I could obtain the same steering wheel. Tried to send a message but the IM was offline. Perhaps you will have better luck sending me a message. Nice steering wheel swap.

  19. #19
    Join Date
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    PM sent on more info on the steering wheel.

    Great write up on the steering wheel replacement. Just did it yesterday and was so easy.
    2003 BMW 540it - Alpine Weiss III
    2008 Lexus IS350 - F-Sport
    1983 Porsche 911sc
    1971 BMW 2800CS - Chamoix, 3.0csi w/4sp.
    1987 Toyota Soarer GZ20
    1956 VW Oval Beetle

  20. #20
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    Hi MMZCEE, I am definitely interested in where I can buy the same steering wheel.
    Please email the details

  21. #21
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevMc View Post
    Hi MMZCEE, I am definitely interested in where I can buy the same steering wheel.
    Please email the details
    Please email sales@dctms.com for info

  22. #22
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    Thanks for the reply.

  23. #23
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    1996 Euro E39 528i
    My favorite mod..Seller was found on ebay...DHL from Germany and airbag Royal Post came from England...took about 5 weeks. PM for more pics...sorry, installed in on the wrong side :> SN3S0532.JPG

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