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Old 01-31-2009, 06:00 PM   #1
ciz28
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Default How To Guide: Replace airbag steering wheel with non-airbag wheel

I never found a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to replace an airbag steering wheel with a non-airbag steering wheel, so I wrote up the process I went through. Hope this can be helpful for some of you.

Tools Needed:

M-Tech I steering wheel
Steering wheel spacer (Part # 32-31-1-120-260)
22mm or 7/8" socket
Ratchet wrench
Slotted screwdriver
Phillips screwdriver
Torx T30 screwdriver
8mm or 5/16" screwdriver
Pliers

The steering wheel spacer can be found here at Real OEM:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...32&fg=30&hl=12

You should be able to purchase one from your local BMW dealer, or online at Tischer BMW for $5.43:

http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...&siteid=214672



Use a Torx T30 screwdriver to remove the airbag from the steering wheel. There are two screws on the back of the steering wheel at 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock. Disconnect the orange plug from the airbag and set aside.



Make sure the key is removed and engage the steering lock. Use a 22mm socket and ratchet wrench to remove the nut holding the steering wheel onto the spindle. Insert the key to disengage the steering lock. Remove the steering wheel and set aside.



Use pliers to remove the white pin at the 11 o'clock position. This is only needed for an airbag steering wheel and will cause a non-airbag steering wheel to bind up.



Use a small slotted screwdriver to pry the BMW emblem out of the center of the new steering wheel.



Apply some grease to the bottom of the steering wheel as shown in the picture. This should make sure the steering wheel turns freely without squeaking.



Make sure the key is in the ignition and the steering lock is disengaged. Slide new steering wheel onto the spindle. Then place the additional spacer, washer, and nut onto the spindle



Remove the key and engage the steering lock. Tighten the nut on the spindle.



Optional Step: Removing the airbag will cause the indicator light in the check panel to flash. This step will disable the SRS system. Remove the lower knee bolster using an 8mm screwdriver. Make sure the two plugs are removed from the door ringer. Remove the upper knee bolster using a Phillips screwdriver. Unplug the connectors going to the orange SRS control module.



Optional Step: A non-airbag wheel will be much closer to the wiper/signal stalks. One solution is to carefully bend the stalks back into a more comfortable position. Mine broke when trying this, so I replaced them with stalks from a non-airbag car instead. To replace the stalks, remove the lower and upper knee bolster as described above. Remove the lower steering column casing with a Phillips screwdriver. Remove both stalks with a Phillips screwdriver and disconnect the plugs from under the dash. Reinstall new stalks.

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Old 01-31-2009, 06:08 PM   #2
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Very nice!!! Well-written guide!

So the stalks are specific to airbag and non-airbag cars, huh?

Does the MTech1 installed on an airbag car sit the same distance from the dashboard as when it's installed in a non-airbag car?
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Level View Post
Very nice!!! Well-written guide!

So the stalks are specific to airbag and non-airbag cars, huh?

Does the MTech1 installed on an airbag car sit the same distance from the dashboard as when it's installed in a non-airbag car?
Yes, the stalks are different for airbag and non-airbag cars. There is also a different turn signal stalk for full 13-button OBC cars. You can see the different variations at Real OEM. Swapping in the non-airbag stalks will make the gap behind the new non-airbag wheel more appropriate.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...64&hg=61&fg=35

I'm not sure if the distance from the dash is the same on an airbag car versus a non-airbag car. I do know that the distance from the dash is now shorter comparing my new M-Tech I wheel to my old airbag wheel. Maybe someone that has both an airbag car and a non-airbag car can chime in on this one.
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:09 PM   #4
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sticky?
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:21 PM   #5
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i actually like the airbag stalks with the regular wheel, you pretty much don't need to change your grip on the wheel to hit the wipers or sig's, it doesn't take long to get use to the closeness
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:58 PM   #6
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Good write up. This will probably help a lot of people in the future.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:05 PM   #7
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I vote sticky....
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:51 PM   #8
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I vote sticky....
yep ye[\p
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:40 AM   #9
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Does this swap disengage the horn? I didn't read anything about unplugging the horn from the airbag wheel and plugging it back up to the M-Tech 1?

Just wondering... thanks
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:21 PM   #10
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horn works fine with my spacer method
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