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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 07-01-2005, 09:15 PM   #1
Ivegotissues666
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DIY: Heated steering wheel Retrofit for e46

OK first off let me say Thanks to JAckboot a fellow fanatic here I would have never thought of attempting this:

First off you need these parts:

P/N: 61 31 6 922 855 - Cruise control / heated wheel switch (I bought off ebay for about $40)
P/N: 61 31 8 379 091 - Slip ring (I bought off ebay for about $50)
A 4-spoke Heated steering wheel from an E39 5-series. I paid $200 shipped brand new off ebay (I lucked out on this one let me tell you.

And Lastly in order to give power to the slip ring and wheel for the heated function to work I made a relay similar to ones used for DDE's, angel eyes whatever you want to call them. A 4 or 5 pin relay will work just fine. Here are some pictures of the parts and while I was at it I decided to replace the signal stalk as well seeing as how my car was not equiped with the clock functions. I have quite a few more pictures for please interrupt my post until I am finished Thanks.
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Old 07-01-2005, 09:22 PM   #2
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Now first you want to disconnect the battery so that you wont trip the airbag light. Now you can remove the 2 torx screws behing the steerring wheel to remove the airbag. Then disconnect the airbag plugs one airbag is disconnected you may remove your old steering wheel by removing the 17 mm bolt. Be sure whn putting this bolt back on to line it up with the little notch

After the wheel is removed you need remove the steering wheel covering casing, there is a small plastic scre at the top and at the bottom there are 2 pins that need to be lightly pushed inand then you should be able to remove the covering
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Old 07-01-2005, 09:27 PM   #3
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Once casing is removed there are 4 torx screws to remove the slip ring remove these and make sure to unplug the wiper and signal stalk and slip ring plugs there are 3 of them. One the old slipring is removed you may start to assemble the new one
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Old 07-01-2005, 09:37 PM   #4
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Now that you have assembled the new slip ring you may reconnect it to the steering column and plug the slip ring and wiper/signal connections back. Now in order to feed the new slipring power I had made a relay similar to my Angel Eyes relay. I connected the relay to the + and - posts under the hood exactly like the angel eyes and connected the remote on to accessory wire exactly like the angel eyes. Make sure you fuse the + line ( I used a 5 Amp fuse). Now in order to get the + and - to the 2 pin connector on the back of the new slip ring I shaved down one of these computer hard drive power connectors from a 4 pin to a 2 pin and it worked like a charm. So once you are finished making your relay plug it in to the 2 pin connector on the slipring. + was the pin on the right and - was on the left.
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Old 07-01-2005, 09:42 PM   #5
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Once that is all set replace the button pod on your airbag with the new one there are 2 torx screws. Reassemble the steering column casing, put back on the steering wheel and airbag making sure you tighten back to specs and make sure you plug back all the connections. When everything is put back together reconnect the battery and turn on your car press the heated button on your new button pod and you should feel heat. ok now I am finished If you have any questions comments feel free to post them Thanks
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Old 07-01-2005, 09:43 PM   #6
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Forgot the pictures sorry
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Old 07-02-2005, 02:54 PM   #7
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That's cool, I really want to do that. But I'm wondering if it is possible for the three spoke wheel that comes in the stock 325ci? You've got the old style 4 spoke.
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Old 07-02-2005, 05:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleyg
That's cool, I really want to do that. But I'm wondering if it is possible for the three spoke wheel that comes in the stock 325ci? You've got the old style 4 spoke.
not possible...
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Old 07-02-2005, 06:52 PM   #9
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Nice work

I'm glad that I was able to help you with some info to get this done! Too bad I can't do this on my ///m wheel now...
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Old 07-04-2005, 07:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackboot
Nice work

I'm glad that I was able to help you with some info to get this done! Too bad I can't do this on my ///m wheel now...
Now one question I have is what size fuse did you use on the + line because I have been using a 5 amp and it's blown twice already should I up it to a 10 or 15 amp. I know there isnt a short anywhere within the wiring but what I dont know is how many amps the steering wheel uses?
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Old 07-06-2005, 09:47 AM   #11
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I can't remember what size fuse I used now - but to determine how much current the wheel is drawing, get your multimeter and check. Then use an appropriate sized fuse. That's what I did...sorry I can't remember the fuse size!
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Old 07-06-2005, 11:52 AM   #12
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Heating elements take a lot power, so fuse size might be big.

Is it possible (should be) to integrate an E39 Sport steering wheel into the E46?
In '99 the E39 w/ sport package (and the later M5) received a very nice thick steering wheel, with the heating element.
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Old 07-06-2005, 11:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamil
Heating elements take a lot power, so fuse size might be big.

Is it possible (should be) to integrate an E39 Sport steering wheel into the E46?
In '99 the E39 w/ sport package (and the later M5) received a very nice thick steering wheel, with the heating element.
I wish you were right, but I don't think the E39 ever had a "sport" wheel that was also heated. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the sport package wheel on the E39 the M3/M5 wheel & round airbag?
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Old 07-07-2005, 04:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackboot
I wish you were right, but I don't think the E39 ever had a "sport" wheel that was also heated. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the sport package wheel on the E39 the M3/M5 wheel & round airbag?
Yes, I'm sure the steering wheel on these cars is round.

To answer your question... I have no idea, but I hope so... I mean cold weather and sport packages should have been available together, no?

I'll post a q on a 5-series board.

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Old 07-07-2005, 04:44 PM   #15
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I do recall seeing an M5 3 spoke heated wheel on ebay. But I am not sure how the fitment would workout and whether or not the folks with the round airbags would just be able to swap it right into the new wheel
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Old 05-29-2006, 01:15 PM   #16
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Maybe something like this>>>>
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...30&hg=32&fg=35
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Old 05-29-2006, 01:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obanster
Not sure, but I was actually thinking of taking my 4 spoke heated wheel and having an upholstry shop put the elements into an M3 wheel. Only problem is where will I put the heated button.

Jared
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Old 08-27-2006, 10:06 PM   #18
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Jared, do you know if this modification can be done on the current 4-spoke wheel on the E46. It looks like the wheel is slightly different.
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Old 08-27-2006, 11:54 PM   #19
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i like that wheel...anyone think it'd fit a 3?
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Old 08-28-2006, 02:09 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Jared, do you know if this modification can be done on the current 4-spoke wheel on the E46. It looks like the wheel is slightly different.
Not sure, I haven't tried it yet and seeing as you can get the 4 spoke already with heated elements for fairly cheap it may not be worth it since first you would have to source the heated elements from a heated wheel to begin with, then have the upholstry shop add the elements to the non-heated wheel.

Honestly I'm not even sure it can be done considering I don't know what the wheel is made of underneath the leather skin. Is it 2 halves and can be seperated? Plastic? Metal? I don't know, it was just an idea I was throwing out there.
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