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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 11-12-2004, 09:22 PM   #1
Jackboot
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I did it! Heated steering wheel on my 330

I posted quite some time ago last winter about the possibility of a heated steering wheel on the 3-series...seems that nobody has done it?!

Anyway, today I finished my DIY. It works great! I am excited for it to get even colder now so I can enjoy it

Anyone interested in a write up on how to do this?
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Old 11-12-2004, 09:23 PM   #2
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Post it up, JAckgoot. Did you get your wheel off eBay?
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Old 11-12-2004, 09:30 PM   #3
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how hard was it to complete? definitely should do a write up...I love that option
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Old 11-12-2004, 09:39 PM   #4
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nice
post the DIY!
too bad it doesnt really get too cold here...
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Old 11-12-2004, 09:53 PM   #5
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sounds a little risky
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Old 11-12-2004, 09:57 PM   #6
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That's what you call taking the turn a little hot eh?
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Old 11-12-2004, 10:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by europass
sounds a little risky
I think he took the heated wheel off of an E39 and retrofitted the wiring into his E46.
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Old 11-12-2004, 10:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackboot
I posted quite some time ago last winter about the possibility of a heated steering wheel on the 3-series...seems that nobody has done it?!

Anyway, today I finished my DIY. It works great! I am excited for it to get even colder now so I can enjoy it

Anyone interested in a write up on how to do this?
dude...I would be all over it...damn..it is getting cold here in Boston
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Old 03-29-2005, 05:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BOSTONVietKid
dude...I would be all over it...damn..it is getting cold here in Boston
I would give my left nut for Boston weather! I need this for Saskatchewan, Canada - -40 to -50 in the winter!
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Old 03-29-2005, 05:56 PM   #10
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cool I can do this mod just in time for summer! wish we could get chilled seats and steering wheels just wishful thinking
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:45 PM   #11
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if only there was a way to heat the thick, cozy M steering wheel...
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Old 11-16-2004, 08:36 AM   #12
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Great DIY first off mad props to ya, and secondly I have a few questions. Did you just buy the airbag unit and put it on the e46 wheel like this: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/e...ssPageName=WDVW

Or did you buy the steering wheel with airbag? Also is the slip ring necessary?

I did the non-function to multifunction steering retrofit already I would have done this one if i knew it was possible.

Anyways Great Job again
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Old 11-16-2004, 01:20 PM   #13
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Thanks for the props My warm hands the last few mornings have definately made it a worthwhile project...

The ebay link you posted doesn't work though - post it again.

All I bought was the E39 heated wheel, slip ring (which is necessary for wiring the heating elements), and button pod with the heating button on it.

The airbag from the regular 4-spoke E46 steering wheel fits the E39 heated wheel so no airbag buying is necessary if you have the non-sport, 4-spoke wheel & airbag already.
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Old 11-16-2004, 08:16 PM   #14
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Sorry about the link i was bidding on it but now it somehow disappeared off of ebay. This is the airbag I have so all i would need would be the slip ring and the right button pod for the heating button correct? if so i thought the leather wheel had to be perifirated (however you say/spell it) or something like that so i dont see how i could use my existing airbag.
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Old 11-16-2004, 09:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivegotissues666
Sorry about the link i was bidding on it but now it somehow disappeared off of ebay. This is the airbag I have so all i would need would be the slip ring and the right button pod for the heating button correct? if so i thought the leather wheel had to be perifirated (however you say/spell it) or something like that so i dont see how i could use my existing airbag.
That is the correct airbag. It fits the standard 4-spoke, non-sport E46 steering wheel AND the E39 non-sport, 4-spoke, heated wheel.

So you need all 3 parts: E39 non-sport, 4-spoke, heated wheel, slip ring, and button pod. The only thing you *don't* need is a new airbag.
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Old 03-27-2005, 10:14 PM   #16
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Hey guys - original poster here. Just in case anyone cares, I have sold the car that I did this mod on and took the heated steering wheel off. The "retrofit kit" is for sale in the "for sale" forum. Thanks for the space!
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:35 AM   #17
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okay to clarify most of what the OP failed to mention.

I was extremely lucky enough to come across a complete 4 spoke heated wheel from a 2006 X3:

First off understanding the purpose and concept of the Slip Ring takes a bit of time, especially if you NEVER seen or heard of it before. This device is pretty much the gateway of everything that goes from your steering wheel into the car. Its design enables wires to cross into the car without being shredded or twisted every time you turn the steering wheel.

That said, this little bugger seems to be immortal and omnipresent in the BMW Parts Bin from the 1995 E38 7 series all the way to the 2010 X3 E83 series and found with in pretty much ALL BMW's from E36s to E46s X5s, to Z4s and M6s, etc... over all those years.

Now the stumper for me was understanding why the P/N never changed for year/car model AND more importantly function: I currently have two slip rings with the EXACT parts number in front of me as I type this and one is from a 2001 E38 740il with a heated wheel and the other is from my 2001 E46 car that originally came with a non-heated wheel. ( to BMW)

So my advice for Slip Ring seekers is all Parts Numbers reasoning goes out the door and you are pretty much left asking around for a Slip Ring that specifically came from a car with a heated wheel. This can take a while, even with eBay at your fingertips and a large Junk Yard full of BMWs in your city.

If you can cop a Slip Ring at the same time you cop its corresponding heated wheel (IE. a salvage car) then you are lucky.

Here is a proper pictorial break down of the Slip Ring (the picture shows a Slip Ring from a regular E46 with a non-heated wheel but I mark off where the heated wheel is different):






I highly recommend getting a Heated Wheel from either an 2004+ X5 or X3. Older E39 and E38 Steering Wheel button pods use tiny amber orange bulbs for the button's back light instead of the E46's pure amber led back lighting thus a mismatch may possibly occur in your dash if you use an older Wheel w/ button pods. Also older pre-2001 and pre-2000 5 and 7 series may have the single stage airbags that will not work in the E46.

Now this is the wheel below that I have is from a 2006 X3. Your Heated Wheel must look like. Note the heated function button. It is NOT a circle with arrows (those wheels are for the AC Recirculation) but on the heated wheel it is an icon of the steering wheel with wavy lines.







The wiring behind the airbag and pods can be intimidating but it is not so bad once you study them for a minute or two. Everything plugs into where it should via key plugs that are shaped specific to what they plug into so you can't mess that up.









Now this part is completely unlisted at Realoem and doesn't seem to have a specific BMW Parts Number that I could find. I call it Jason Bourne.

Jkidding for purposes of my DIY I call it the Heater Harness.

Which is what it is.

It is INTEGRAL to the heated wheel as it connects all the main parts (power/ground from the Slip Ring to heat button to heater element in wheel) inside the steering wheel belly. You MUST make sure your wheel comes with this attached or on the side. I cannot direct you to any BMW P/N for it.







Once you have the Wheel hooked up to the Heater Harness, which will also be connected to the button pods, you need to attach the two pin connector to the Slip Ring's two pin receptacle that is found ONLY on Slip Rings from car's with heated steering wheels.








After you understand how to secure all the front connections on the front of Slip Ring then we move onto backside of the Slip Ring.

Here we will connect up all three corresponding connectors going into the car.

On the backside of the Slip Ring the two bigger 6pin and 4 pin connectors from the front exit the back of ring in one bigger 10 pin connector going into the car.

The 2 pin connector socket and input holes will be present on the Slip Ring from the heated wheel but for the DIY we will need to add a connector that plugs into it that will bring power and ground to the heated wheel element.

Here we come to the final stage of the DIY. You will have to purchase a pin 2 connector w/ pig tail splices from your dealership (aka BMW Parts # 61 13 8 352 580 for 2-pin plug and 61 13 0 006 6630.75 for mm2 contact). These are about $1 each or less.

Some folks before me, like the OP, used a modified homemade connector to create a 2 pin plug. You can do that if you want to and have the skills to do that but I decided $1 or 2 spent at the dealership to save me a couple of hours spent pulling parts from a smashed up computer wouldn't break the bank.

As of now I'm still working out where a power source will come from and if and how I would add an inline 10 AMP Fuse and/or a Relay to the power wire.



BTW: Delmarco's PICTORIAL DIY for the Heated Wheel Retrofit will be coming soon!
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Last edited by delmarco; 02-12-2010 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:07 AM   #18
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When I DIY retrofitted SMG paddle shifting onto my car, I had to purchase a slip ring that had the additional 2 pin connector on it. The part number for it is 61318379091. As you can see in the picture below, the additional connector is visible.

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