E46Fanatics - View Single Post - DIY M3 Steering Wheel Install
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:24 PM   #48
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: East Bay
Posts: 7
My Ride: E46 328I
OK - I was really concerned as the installer made this seem like such a difficult task.
However after reading thru E46fanatics is the best - saved me $270.00, and took only 45mins with 30mins wait time.
My Vehicle: 1999 328i 4dr sedan with Business package: All multi function, phone etc.....
Drove straight into the garage and check all aligned and steering wheel centered.
Removed the ground connection from the battery, and waited 30mins instead of 15mins - capacitive charge in the circuits might hold residual voltage, so you need to let these circuits bleed down the voltage. I just used my voltage meter to verify.
The tool spec was right on - some difficulty in centering the torkx, but persistance paid off - they came off with ease.
The OEM wheel connector verification check before disconnecting the air bag assembly - yes the business unit matched. So disconnected the airbag!
Removed the 16mm long bolt as indicated - but I did not wish to use the wheel lock, so braced with my hands - came off nicely since I used a longer arm socket.
As indicated the wheel just popped right off - no issues.
Double checked the splines and they were exactly the same.
Popped on the wheel - ensuring it was straight and properly aligned - inserted the bolt and no issues, then torque to 46#
Popped in the two connectors - although original was black the M3 was yellow, but the connector type and keying were exactly the same.
Next was the air bag connections - black and green - pulled up the locking tags as indicated. Then inserted the connector, I used a small #1 flathead to squeeze in the locking tabs as I did not wish to force them. Then when fully seated I popped the locking clips down, firm click then check their locking by pulling firmly on the cable/connector assembly - they did not pop out. OK kool
Then aligned and popped the wheel into location.
Waited a bit - 5-10mins, then installed the ground connection at the battery.
Inserted the key - and now airbag warning light good.
Interior lights check - all function keys alluminated
Horn check - good working
Radio control for sound, channel selection - check
Phone call and hang up function check - good
So then I consider this installation very sucessful.
The only additional tool I would add is a headlamp to get a good look at what you are working on, and to check the connector pins for oxidation at the hub. If you use a used airbag also check the pins on the airbag, if not shiny brass color or suspect. Use electrical contact cleaner from Fry's or similar electronic supply house.

Thanks guys!!!!!!


jack ~
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