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-   -   DIY retrofit of multifunction (mfl) steering wheel (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=544160)

StavKon 02-05-2008 03:57 AM

DIY retrofit of multifunction (mfl) steering wheel
As the title suggest this post describes how to retrofit the mfl buttons on a M3 steering wheel (from what I've seen it should be ok for the other types of steering wheels too.) for E46 models from 6/2000 and onwards.

The parts needed are the following:
1)steering wheel cover with the buttons (can be found on ebay for about 50-60 euro)

2)cable set (part no. 611200160120) (about 22 euros from dealer in Greece)

3)The little cable that connects the the buttons to the steering wheel slipring (about 24 euros from dealer in Greece, but I made it myself and the cost was 3 euros :) :) )


There is also an option to buy the whole kit from a dealer (it costs 185 euros in Greece)

We also need the official BMW pdf instruction file which can be found easily if you google it, or I can email it to anyboy who needs it

Sooo lets start....

First of all we have to disconect one of the poles in the battery (be very carefull not ot forget to do it, cause you might end up with an open airbag on your face)


Having done that, we now can remove the airbag unit from the steering wheel. The airbag is kept in its place by 2 springs. On the back side of the wheel there are 2 holes. If we use a flat head screwdriver we can push the springs (one a time) by inserting it in the hole. If we push hard enough and pull the airbag with our other hand, it will come off.





in the following pic which was taken after I removed the airbag, we can see what we have to push (you can see the tip of the screwdriver through the small hole).


Having taken out the airbag we need to unplug very carefully the 2 plugs on the back side. Be very very carefull with the clips because they look very fragile.




Now we need to remove the plastic steering wheel cover. We first remove the 2 inner screws and then another 2 which are on the back side of the steering wheel exactly oposite to the M badge.



StavKon 02-05-2008 03:58 AM

Having done that we just pull the whole assembly out.

It is now time to remove the upper part of the assembly in order to replace it with the new one with the "magic buttons" :) :) :) We just take off the 4 screws, put in place the new part and put again the 4 screws inplace.


We now have to take off the steering wheel itself. We unscrew the main 16mm screw, unplug the plug on the top side of the wheel and pull the steering wheel out.


The next thing we have to do is to remove the plastic cover above the pedals (I didn't actually remove it, I just moved it a little bit to get out of the way). To do so we need to take off 3 screws



Now we need to remove the lower plastic cover of the steering wheel cover. We firstly remove one screw on the top side of the top cover, and then we use a pin nose screwdriver to press inside the centre part of the 2 clips that hold the bottom cover. The 2 covers are now ready to be taken apart from each other. We do that by pulling them genlty apart.

Now its time to remove the head light switch. We carefully pry out the trim above the controls. We then unscrew the 2 little screws inside the small glove compartment beneath the switch (it will make it easier to take the switch off).


We then unscrew the screws that hold the switch to its place and pull it out.


We now unplug the plug and take off the switch.

Having done all the above it is now time to install the cable harness we have purchased.

We do that in the way the pdf file from BMW describes.
We have to unplug the green plug from the bottom side of the steering wheel column and place the 3 pins (the corresponding no's are described in the pdf file) to the empty pinholes of the plug. To do so we must first "open up" the plug.





We now take on our hands the light switch plug, and find the 2 cables that are described in the pdf. (they have the same colour as the cables in our harness). We cut them and attach the connectors to the cables (again this is described in the pdf).




We now go to the engine compartment and locate the black box that contains the DDE control module (on the drivers side top corner). The cover can be removed by taking off the 4 alen screws.


StavKon 02-05-2008 03:58 AM

Having done so we need now to take off the black plug in which we will install the last pin connector of our harness. It is the second one from left ot right, but in order to remove it we need to remove also the first one. If we take a close look at the plug we will see that it ia actually a holder that holds 2 smaller plugs inside it. In order to install the pin connector we need ti take it apart (as shown in pics )






We put the pin connector in pin 27 and put everything back together.

NOTE: in order to run the cable from the light switch to the control unit we pass it through an opening in the firewall located 20-30cm behind the small glove compartment.

THATS IT!!!!!!!!

The rest is just the reverse of the above procedure.

NOTE: when we put the steering wheel back together we should not forget to install the small cable that connects the buttons to the slip ring


here is a photo of the project finished


and here is a photo with cruise control light on :) :) :)


I hope this first post of mine in this forum to be helpfull !!!!!!

goran330cd 02-05-2008 10:21 AM

you dont need to disconect the batery.. Airbag will not explodse in your face if you have ignition off

StavKon 02-05-2008 11:00 AM

double post

StavKon 02-05-2008 11:00 AM

thanx for the info...I just did it to be on the safe side :) :) :)

paraklas 02-05-2008 05:16 PM


you dont need to disconect the batery.. Airbag will not explodse in your face if you have ignition off
So instead of taking 20 seconds to disconnect the battery, is *ok* to work with live components? ffs!


thanx for the info...I just did it to be on the safe side
Excellent post! I'm about to copy your DIY on a friend's 320 :)
Ta leme!

Ivegotissues666 02-05-2008 05:23 PM


Originally Posted by goran330cd (Post 7355726)
you dont need to disconect the batery.. Airbag will not explodse in your face if you have ignition off

But you will trigger the airbag light, unless you disconnect the battery.


StavKon 02-06-2008 12:20 AM

That's true, when I finished installation I connected the battery before installing the airbag, to check that everything works ok. It did trigger the airbag light and I had to go to have that erased.

Paraklas: oti voitheia xreiasteis steile mou msg :) :) :)

StavKon 02-06-2008 12:24 AM

UPDATE!!! I have uploaded the pdf file here

zerogravityE46 02-09-2008 04:11 AM

awesome DIY, though really into how-to from sport wheel to M3 wheel.

ulises 02-21-2008 12:45 PM

My car is a 328i with steering wheel four spokes without multifunction

I buyed and I have steering wheel type M3 ando airbag round

What parts need for instalation and graphics of intalation?


ericsonp325i 02-21-2008 02:33 PM

Outstanding DIY.....

el salvadore 02-21-2008 02:48 PM

Hi man, great DIY!!!

could you check if the cable set serial no. 611200160120 is actually correct? I couldn't find it in anyone of online part catalogs (http://bmwfans.info/original/ ; www.realoem.com), and I'd really appreciate a wiring diagram for that little white cable which you made by yourself (at least connector description),

Thank YOU!

ulises 02-22-2008 07:34 AM


More pics or graphics?

djnekkon 02-23-2008 06:23 PM


Originally Posted by goran330cd (Post 7355726)
you dont need to disconect the batery.. Airbag will not explodse in your face if you have ignition off

dude, You have no clue.....Obviuosly you've never done it before. You have to disconect it.

ulises 02-27-2008 05:26 AM


StavKon 03-02-2008 11:51 AM


unfortunatelly I don't have any more pics for the diy...

The part no. I quoted is correct for the European cars...I don't know if it is different for the US ones...
the part no for the small cable I made is 61318386947 (again european cars).

ulises 03-10-2008 07:33 AM

the cable A6 ? in a motor M52

ulises 03-11-2008 08:24 AM

It already installs everything, but active the light of airbag, erases the memories, but the light activated again That one is due to do?

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