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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 11-13-2004, 04:40 AM   #21
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post some pics aswell please
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Old 11-13-2004, 10:02 AM   #22
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If you do a search on the internet...you will find 2 or 3 others DIY for series 7 and 5. Doesn't look that difficult but I think the key is finding the right parts...I am most interest in part numbers.
check out this links
http://www.bmwtips.com/tipsntricks/S...eringwheel.htm

http://x5world.net/heatedwheel.htm

Last edited by BOSTONVietKid; 11-13-2004 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 11-13-2004, 10:12 AM   #23
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DIY please! NY is crazy cold now a days and i would love this.
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Old 11-13-2004, 10:41 AM   #24
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Oh wow I didn't think there would be so many people interested. I definately think it is pretty pimp though!

I wanted to take pictures as I went along, but I lost the cable to my digital camera, and the replacement I got off Ebay yesterday is the wrong one But pictures aren't terribly useful anyway.

It is actually really really easy! As far as I'm aware nobody had done this on a 3-series yet though?! So this is untested except for my car

OK, so you need 3 parts:

61 31 6 922 855 - Cruise control / heated wheel switch (right-hand side multifunction button pod) ~$60
61 31 8 379 091 - Slip ring ~$60
4-spoke Heated steering wheel from an E39 5-series. I got mine from Ebay. ~$150

Once you have these 3 parts it is pretty straight forward. The button pod is identical to the multi-function one found on our standard 4-spoke wheels except it has a "heat" button on the very bottom. The new slip ring will accomodate the extra wiring for the heated wheel. The actual wheel itself has the same connections on the rear of it for the airbag etc but it also has an extra connection for the heating wiring. It is also a little bit larger diameter wheel than the regular wheel.

1. Take off your old airbag. There are many DIY writeups on how to do this already.

2. Remove the right-hand button pod from your airbag. Replace it with the new one. Very simple:

3. Remove your standard steering wheel. It is held on by a single bolt, although it is on there TIGHT. I believe it is a 17mm socket.

4. Now you need to replace your old slip ring with the new one. If you compare your new and old slip rings, you will see the new one has an additional 2-wire connector on the front and back. To remove your old slip ring, look on the bottom of your steering column. You will see 2 clips that keep it in place. You simply need to push the middle of the connector in and the column will loosen. Now the top and bottom halves of the column come apart when you pull them. The bottom half will come off completely, but the top half will just sit there. There is a single screw on the top half of the column - remove it. Pull out the slip ring and remove the left and right-hand stalks (lights and turn signal).

5. Now you need to run power and ground to the steering column. I have chosen to do this by just tapping into the cigarette lighter since it is nearby. I think this is fine but fill me in if it is not! The only problem I have thought about this causing in the 24 hours that I have had this mod done is that the lighter always has power - maybe I want to wire this up to a switched power source?

6. Once you have power and ground at your steering column, you need to connect them to the new 2-pin connection on the back of the slip ring. I did this by modifying some computer wiring so that I had a nice 2-pin connector that I attached to my power and ground. Picture of the type of cable I used is here:

I used a dremel to cut down the 4-pin connector into a 2-pin connector.

7. Once the power and ground is connected to your new slip ring (make sure you are consistent with your +/- as you go along of course) put the steering column back together. Put your E39 heated wheel on the column. Your E39 wheel has 2 connections that must be made to your slip ring and to the button pod.

8. Attach your airbag connections and screw everything back in place. Connect your battery, and feel the HEAT!

NOTE: Since this DIY deals with heating elements, I am cautioning you all that this is not a tried, tested, true mod. Do at your own risk. If you can think of a way to make this safer, I'm all ears. The slip ring I used to make the connections is the SMG slip ring, but I also think it is the slip ring used by any 5-series (or maybe just those with a heated wheel). I could not find a slip ring specifically for heated wheels in the ETK, so I assume it is the same as the SMG. With that said, I don't forsee my car burning to the ground since this is using OEM parts except for the actual wires. I don't know how much current the wheel draws either - so I used it for a while and felt the wires that I am using and they didn't feel hot or anything so I guess it is OK. Comments and recommendations are WELCOME!
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Old 11-13-2004, 10:45 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOSTONVietKid
If you do a search on the internet...you will find 2 or 3 others DIY for series 7 and 5. Doesn't look that difficult but I think the key is finding the right parts...I am most interest in part numbers.
check out this links
http://www.bmwtips.com/tipsntricks/S...eringwheel.htm

http://x5world.net/heatedwheel.htm
I did see both of those links in my research. The one for the heated wheel retrofit is for a 97 740iL though, and is not the same at all. It uses a completely different slip ring. The one for the 99 5-series is for a sport wheel retrofit, and again is not the same.
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Old 11-14-2004, 01:25 PM   #26
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NOTE:

I have discovered that using power/ground from the lighter location is NOT a good idea. Last night my car burst into flames. Just kidding. Actually I found that power is not cut to the lighter location after the ignition is turned off - so the wheel will continue to be heated even after the car is turned off. Not a good idea if you want your car to start in the morning. Not a problem as long as you remember to turn the heat off before turning off the car.

But I need a new location for power/ground that is switched and won't mind having some current pulled from it (won't blow fuses). Any ideas?
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Old 11-14-2004, 01:32 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackboot
NOTE:

I have discovered that using power/ground from the lighter location is NOT a good idea. Last night my car burst into flames. Just kidding. . . .



Jackboot,

I know that it's a bit of a long haul but isn't the garage door opener power source in the headlining tied to ignition? If you don't have the UGO then you have a plug just waiting to be used. You do have to snake it up but since you did the telephone pre-wire retrofit you've already gone through the process once and would know how to do it quickly.
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Last edited by Santiago; 11-14-2004 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 11-14-2004, 02:44 PM   #28
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Just use a voltage tester on your radio harness with the car on/off and you'll find it easy. There should be 1 source that's always on, one source that dimms with your dimmer, and another that switches with your ignition.

So make sure you have your dimmer turned down a little so you don't mistake it for a switched 12v source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackboot
NOTE:

I have discovered that using power/ground from the lighter location is NOT a good idea. Last night my car burst into flames. Just kidding. Actually I found that power is not cut to the lighter location after the ignition is turned off - so the wheel will continue to be heated even after the car is turned off. Not a good idea if you want your car to start in the morning. Not a problem as long as you remember to turn the heat off before turning off the car.

But I need a new location for power/ground that is switched and won't mind having some current pulled from it (won't blow fuses). Any ideas?
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Old 11-14-2004, 04:04 PM   #29
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i was hoping this would work for my round airbag M3 wheel.. im sad now
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Old 11-14-2004, 07:13 PM   #30
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The x3 steering wheel should work in theory, you can get the x3 with heated steering wheel.
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Old 11-14-2004, 07:21 PM   #31
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Man, I was thinking of doing the exact same thing, heated steering wheel, while driving home at night once with the top off and my hands were cold. Too bad this probably only is compatable with a E46 steering wheel collumn.
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Old 11-14-2004, 08:36 PM   #32
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Santiago and Solid:

The only fear that I have is tapping into a switched 12V source that wouldn't like having a significant amount of current pulled from it...you know what I mean? For example, the radio harness switched 12V is fine to use as a remote turn on for my amplifiers since they don't constantly require current from the switched source, but probably wouldn't be suitable for supplying the current for heating elements.

The lighter is an ideal location since it is meant to supply current to heating elements already! The only problem is that it isn't switched...

The 5-series and X3 must have a separate, fused source for the heated wheel that our 3-series doesn't have.

Any ideas?
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Old 11-14-2004, 08:40 PM   #33
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The other 12v switched source is behind the glove compartment. I'm currently powering 4 gauges off of that line with no problems (egt, oil temp, boost, and wideband (which heats the o2 sensor).



I only suggested the radio one, since it's very easy to find.

Last edited by Solid; 11-14-2004 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 11-14-2004, 10:30 PM   #34
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rig up a relay, have it trigger off a switched 12v source, and fuse the relay, walla, no worry about drain on the switched source


edit: so technically all we need (ontop of the new wheel with heat) is that new button pod with heat button on it? does the heat button work also?
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Last edited by niL; 11-14-2004 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 11-15-2004, 12:38 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid
The other 12v switched source is behind the glove compartment. I'm currently powering 4 gauges off of that line with no problems (egt, oil temp, boost, and wideband (which heats the o2 sensor).



I only suggested the radio one, since it's very easy to find.
Great info Solid - thanks! Is the wire tap in the picture posted the one behind the glovebox? Can you state the colour scheme of that wire? It looks purple w/ white stripe - correct me if I'm wrong. Also, how is this wire bundle accessible?
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Old 11-15-2004, 12:40 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niL
rig up a relay, have it trigger off a switched 12v source, and fuse the relay, walla, no worry about drain on the switched source


edit: so technically all we need (ontop of the new wheel with heat) is that new button pod with heat button on it? does the heat button work also?
I dunno anything about using relays unfortunately...otherwise that would be an ideal solution I suppose.

I'm not sure if I understand your question. Do you mean to ask if the heat button on the new button pod works? If so, yes it does. It has a green indicator light on the button itself to show when the heated wheel is active or off.
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Old 11-15-2004, 01:00 AM   #37
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wow
congrats! sounds tight =) was it hard? post up ur diy! JUST KIDDING.. dind't see the 2nd page
good job
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Old 11-15-2004, 01:38 AM   #38
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Yup, all you need to do is remove about 5 bolts to take the glove compartment out, and you'll see the bundle back there. Yea it's that light purple with white stripe. Just poke a little hole and use a voltage tester to be sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackboot
Great info Solid - thanks! Is the wire tap in the picture posted the one behind the glovebox? Can you state the colour scheme of that wire? It looks purple w/ white stripe - correct me if I'm wrong. Also, how is this wire bundle accessible?
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:57 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Jackboot
I dunno anything about using relays unfortunately...otherwise that would be an ideal solution I suppose.

I'm not sure if I understand your question. Do you mean to ask if the heat button on the new button pod works? If so, yes it does. It has a green indicator light on the button itself to show when the heated wheel is active or off.
Nice job on putting this together! Relays are easy - there's a low-current trigger to switch the relay to supply power on a high-current side. Instructions for hooking them up are usually found right on the relay. More info here:
http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/relay.htm

If it were me I'd run a dedicated wire from the fuse box/main power supply to the heated wheel and put a relay on it to only have it be live on switched power, but I tend towards overkill when it comes to electrical wiring. I hate the smell of burning plastic...

Scott
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:05 AM   #40
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Very cool!! I won't be doing it simply becase I like a smaller diameter wheel like the M3 steering wheel but very good use of an E39 feature in our cars.

Note: ALL California people or people located in warm climates should unsubscribe to this thread NOW. You guys don't need this. You have warm weather. Warm, beautiful weather. In fact, because of this, I have determined that you all suck as I sit here in 44 degree weather. J/K... kinda
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