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Msport Steering Wheel DIY
Published by bavarian19
01-28-2006
Msport Steering Wheel DIY

Well, after taking a break Ive decided to just get this over with... First, my car: 325i Sport/Premium packages and non-iDrive. These instructions should be pretty much the same for all sport E90's, but I cant guarantee that it is. The only new part that I needed was the wheel itself. Everything else was reused.

Tools:

One long thin Flat Head Screwdrivers
Torx Driver Set (there are quite a few different size torx screws)
10mm Nut Driver
Ratchet Wrench
6" Wrench Extension
16mm Socket
Torque Wrench (recommended)


Reccomended Time: 1.5 hours. It took me much longer, but that included a few trips to Home Depot and a lunch break.



Difficulty of installation:
2.5 out of 5. If youve used tools regularly before, then this should be rather easy.


Before we begin the DIY, familiarize yourself with what you are about to do. Dont just jump on in...

Images 1 and 2 are of the old wheel (1) and the new wheel (2) to be installed.

Before you begin, make sure your wheel is level. It will be a much more difficult task if it is not.



1st Step: Disconnect the negative terminal to your battery. Go into your trunk and on the right hand side, you will find a black plastic turnkey to open the compartment. Turn the key and remove the panel. (Image 3 shows the panel to be removed). This will reveal your battery (Image 4). Remove the 10mm bolt that holds the negative terminal connector (circled in yellow). As you can see in Image 5, I also removed the brace just for easier access to this point. This step does not need to be done... Place your cable in a position that it will not come in contact with the negative terminal. DO NOT CLOSE THE TRUNK!!! Speaking from experience, dont close the trunk with the battery disconnected. Obviously you cant open it, and your key alone wont work. If this does happen, just jump your car and power it that way (as I had to do).


2nd Step: Remove the Airbag. Go into your cabin, and try to turn on the dome light. Make sure there is no power running in your car. Then, with a flathead screwdriver, insert your screwdriver into the small slit on the backside of your wheel. You may need to feel around with your hands first to find this slit on each side. There is a spring clip on the inside that you need to press in. No need to push up or down, just push inward and that side of the airbag will pop out. Do the same on the other side. (Image 6 shows where the slits are located) The airbag module should pop out (Image 7)


3rd Step: Remove two connectors on the backside of the airbag module. There are two small clips on the backside of the airbag module. They are fragile, so you need to be careful when removing them. (Images 8 and 9). Both of them need to be removed. You might need to use a small flathead screwdriver on the clip to get it to pop up, but again, be careful.


4th Step: Remove the two connectors on the steering wheel. (images 7 and 10) These two clips must be removed from the steering column before you are able to take the wheel off. The one on the left has a clip that needs to be pushed in, and the one on the right slides right out. I had to use pliers on the one on the right, but did it carefully.


5th Step: (also on image 10) Remove the 16mm Hex bolt in the center of the steering column. The image was taken after the hex bolt was removed, but here is where I used a ratchet, 6in wrench extension, and 16mm socket. Bolt should come right off with a little force. Notice at the bottom of your wheel and steering column that there is a line to be used to line up your wheel and the column. Your car will look funny (image 11). This will be helpful with putting your new wheel on. Take your wheel off after this point and head inside with your old wheel and new wheel.


6th Step: Swithcing the controls and plate (not done on the E46, but needed on the E90) Remove the 4 torx screws on the back plate which should free up the plate and wiring for your wheel (Images 12 and 13). Flip your old wheel over. Remove the 3 torx screws on the backside of the wheel releasing the front plate, controls and wiring (image 14). Work backwards through these steps to add the plate, wiring and controls to your new wheel. Your new wheel should look like image 15.


7th Step:
Work backwards from step 5 all the way back to one connecting and tightening the pieces you previously worked on. Make sure this is done in the exact opposite order it was done...

*** Before reconnecting your battery, put your key in the slot and turn your lights to the on position. This way you dont send all of the new electric current to your computer and fry it. I know that its only a small, small probability, but it is a precaution to almost guarantee it wont happen. New computers for your car can cost up to $2500, so please do this step...


8th Step: Enjoy your new wheel!!! Take it out for a ride... Then kick back and have a beer. Celebrate!!! :rocks:



PLEASE READ THIS DIY CAREFULLY BEFORE PM'ing ME!!!! If its spelled out here, I wont respond... I got 984795 PM's about the chrome trim DIY and it was right in the flippin directions...
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  #1  
By bavarian19 on 01-28-2006, 03:09 PM
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2nd set


pics are now in correct order...
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Last edited by bavarian19; 07-17-2006 at 12:11 PM.
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  #2  
By bavarian19 on 01-28-2006, 03:10 PM
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  #3  
By bavarian19 on 01-28-2006, 03:11 PM
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  #4  
By ksfrogman on 01-28-2006, 03:16 PM
Very excellent DIY pictorial!

I thought the M-sport wheel had a little M emblem at the bottom.
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  #5  
By bavarian19 on 01-28-2006, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksfrogman
Very excellent DIY pictorial!

I thought the M-sport wheel had a little M emblem at the bottom.

Thanks. it actually took me about 3 hours or so... I was quite happy when it was finished. I used the E46 guides, but it is a little different, so I took my time to make sure I was doing the right thing...

If you order just the wheel, then you dont get the plate with the M badge on it. You can order that part as well, but I didnt want it on mine. I like the clean look of it without the M badge anyway.
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  #6  
By georgeyklee on 01-28-2006, 07:31 PM
great DIY!...
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  #7  
By Jason on 01-28-2006, 09:23 PM
Superb DIY and a great upgrade!
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  #8  
By onefish2 on 01-28-2006, 10:59 PM
Awesome DIY!

I think I am going to order the steering wheel from the guy in Sweeden. Did he ship it quickly?

How is the feel compared to the stock steering wheel? Was your stock steering wheel from the sport package?
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  #9  
By Ed_330i on 01-28-2006, 11:07 PM
excellent!!
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  #10  
By LEDZEP on 01-29-2006, 07:50 AM
Bavarian19 - Excellent DIY!

What would be the added process if you don't have the sport wheel already? This is one upgrade I would seriously consider. I love the sport wheel, and the M Sport wheel is even better. Thanks again for a great DIY and accompanying photos!
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  #11  
By bavarian19 on 01-29-2006, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LEDZEP
Bavarian19 - Excellent DIY!

What would be the added process if you don't have the sport wheel already? This is one upgrade I would seriously consider. I love the sport wheel, and the M Sport wheel is even better. Thanks again for a great DIY and accompanying photos!

Well, it should be the exact same process for removing the wheel. The only difference being that you would be putting back together all the parts on the new wheel and not the old. Airbag still pops out the same way, and it should be a rather easy DIY.

I do have my sport steering wheel for sale if you are interested...
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  #12  
By bavarian19 on 01-29-2006, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onefish2
Awesome DIY!

I think I am going to order the steering wheel from the guy in Sweeden. Did he ship it quickly?

How is the feel compared to the stock steering wheel? Was your stock steering wheel from the sport package?

Yes he did ship it quickly. He is great to deal with, and if I had to do it over again, I would without a doubt order it from him again...

Yes I had the stock sports package wheel on before. The M-sport wheel is much thicker and cushier. Thumbrests are amazing. I am a big fan of the perforated leather. The pictures dont do it justice. I will also be adding the perforated leather m-sport shift knob next week, so it will have a match...
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  #13  
By onefish2 on 01-29-2006, 02:41 PM
Sweet. I did buy it now on the auction. So hopefully I will have it at the end of the week.

Now that we have your DIY, how long do you think it will take to swap the old wheel for the new?

One final question. In your DIY you say:

"Notice at the bottom of your wheel and steering column that there is a line to be used to line up your wheel and the column."

Will that make more sense when I actually swap it out. Is it relativley easy to line up?

Thanks again for all your time and effort on this. Its definitely gonna make my life easier when I do this!
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  #14  
By LEDZEP on 01-29-2006, 02:50 PM
Since I have the non-sport, I guess I would just have to buy everything including the center cap. Is the airbag different you think?
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  #15  
By ItalyBMW325 on 01-29-2006, 03:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LEDZEP
Since I have the non-sport, I guess I would just have to buy everything including the center cap. Is the airbag different you think?

The sport airbag looks more compact...
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  #16  
By shuzmaker on 01-29-2006, 03:51 PM
Great write up bavarian19!
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  #17  
By bavarian19 on 01-29-2006, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LEDZEP
Since I have the non-sport, I guess I would just have to buy everything including the center cap. Is the airbag different you think?

The airbag is indeed different. Part listing is at www.realoem.com if you look under the steering submenu for the E90 and go to steering wheel. It will give you all the part numbers and an approximate cost...

I have head people getting parts a little cheaper than those prices, but they are pretty accurate...
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  #18  
By LEDZEP on 01-29-2006, 05:14 PM
Wow. Pricey stuff!! Guess I'll wait awhile. Love that wheel though!
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  #19  
By pbm317 on 02-01-2006, 08:24 PM
Versus the Pre-September Sport Steering wheel, is it thicker all the way around? Or is it simply the addition of the perforated area with thumb grips?

I really like the steering wheel in the new VW GTI/GLI and I think the new Audi RS4 will have it too. Chunky grip with a smooth finish leather, and bolstered grips.
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  #20  
By BimmersMania on 02-05-2006, 08:20 AM
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I had my wheel changed to M Sport Wheel yesterday (done by my dealer). What happened to me was that I now have to hold the wheel a bit way to the left to have my car go straight.

Was it possible that they aligned it wrong? Would you be able to fit the steering wheel back if the line on the wheel and the line on the column were not aligned?

If that's not possible, maybe my car need wheel alignment. But if that could happen, I think I have to follow this guide to see for my eyes if the wheel was installed properly.
Last edited by BimmersMania; 02-05-2006 at 09:39 AM.
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  #21  
By Dr.Sommer on 02-05-2006, 04:53 PM
Hello bavarian19!

Are these the slits, where to insert the screwdriver to unlock the springclip of the airbag?

best regards - Ulrich
Last edited by Dr.Sommer; 06-11-2007 at 04:13 AM.
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