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      09-21-2008, 10:28 PM   #1
Barmats
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M3 steering wheel - cutting to fit step paddles

I bought the M3 wheel on Monday from qalbeli on eBay and received it on Friday. Very fast shipping (from Poland)! I was itching to install it, and spent about 2 hours working on it today. I preferred the tri-color stitched M3 wheel over the perforated leather wheel, but it does require cutting to fit the steptronic paddles. I may switch to the DCT paddles later on, but they're horrendously expensive. However, I do like having the option to upshift or downshift with either hand with the step paddles.

I know this DIY has been covered a few times, but there were some details that I thought I'd share that haven't been covered in previous posts. I took some close-up pics to show exactly what's involved in fitting the steptronic paddles to the M3 wheel. This is the tri-color stitched wheel, not the perforated leather wheel.

Believe it or not, the most difficult part was getting to the battery. It's a lot more complicated on an E93 than it is on an E92. But if you persist, and remove all of the clips and panels, you'll get to it. The second most difficult part was removing the airbag. Unless you can visualize what spring clip you're trying to reach, it's simply trial and error. The flat blade of the screwdriver must be oriented in a horizontal position in order to push the vertical springs that hold the airbag assembly. Once you get one side loose, the other one is easy.

I've skipped some of the basic pics that are shown in other posts and/or in the DIY post (which is quite detailed). Here's the lowdown on what you need to do to fit the steptronic paddles to this wheel.

Pics 1, 2: Side-by-side of the paddle cutouts between the stock wheel (right in Pic 1 and left in Pic 2) and M3 wheel. You can see the difference in cutout size - it's not a big difference, but enough that you'll have to enlarge the opening to allow the paddle mechanism to sit properly.

Pic 3: I held the paddle up to the M3 cutout and removed enough material to allow it to sit flush within the cutout. The cut doesn't have to be perfect as it will be on the backside of the wheel, but use a new, sharp blade to make your cuts. The wheel material is rubbery and soft - quite easy to cut and trim if you have a sharp blade.

Pic 4: The angled cut at the bottom-left of the cutout in Pic 3 is to allow the paddle to pull all the way in without bumping into the back of the wheel. Pic 4 shows paddle travel with the paddle pulled all the way back. If you don't remove enough material, you'll feel it hit the wheel before the end of its travel, and it won't upshift properly.

Pic 5: I used 3 washers to allow for proper paddle travel. Without the washer, I was afraid I'd have to trim way too much material off the back of the wheel. This allows the paddles to sit perfectly and still have the full amount of travel in both directions.

Pic 6: Right paddle mounted.

Pic 7: Both paddles mounted! (Torx #20 for paddle bolts and trim cover piece)

Pics 8 & 9: Reassembly. (Torx #10 for small ground screw shown to left of center hole)

Pic 10: Finished!!!

Tips and Recommendations: Disconnect the battery. Don't take a chance on shorting something or having the airbag deploy. You will have to trim the wheel to allow the step paddles to fit. Take your time and use a new, sharp blade. A small or medium utility knife will work well. The enlarged opening doesn't have to be perfect because the material if rubbery and gives quite a bit. The whole job was much easier than I expected, and took less time than I thought it would. Don't drink too much beer (wait till after you're done). This is an awesome wheel that feels incredible in your hands.
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Last edited by Barmats; 09-22-2008 at 10:08 PM. Reason: Added Torx bit sizes for paddle/cover and ground screws.
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      09-21-2008, 11:25 PM   #2
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NICE! i want to get this done.. how much was it?

btw i have sport package so i already have the sports wheel...
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      09-21-2008, 11:26 PM   #3
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looks good.. thumbs to you bro... beige interior woohoo
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      09-22-2008, 12:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E92_335 View Post
NICE! i want to get this done.. how much was it?

btw i have sport package so i already have the sports wheel...
ALL E92s with sport or non-sport has sport steering wheel
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      09-22-2008, 12:16 AM   #5
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OP, its looks great......congrats!!
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      09-22-2008, 01:17 AM   #6
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Nice!!! Looks Great!
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      09-22-2008, 01:39 AM   #7
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Beautiful, Barmats! Glad u took the plunge and get the M3 Steering wheel!
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      09-22-2008, 11:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azrielsc View Post
Beautiful, Barmats! Glad u took the plunge and get the M3 Steering wheel!
You helped motivate me to do it, so thanks to you for the encouragement and helpful advice/pics. Driving with the new wheel is awesome, and although you know it's exactly the same (other than tactile), it feels like a different car.

For anyone considering this, it's a fairly easy mod to do. Read the DIY and it will cover everything except the paddles. This wheel currently costs $390 + $60 shipping from qalbeli on eBay (before any Microsoft "Live" discounts, which was 8% the last time I looked). I've been watching this wheel for the past several months and it's not getting any cheaper!
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      09-22-2008, 01:29 PM   #9
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i want paddles so bad!!!! my 335 sport step doesnt have them and i want em and this m3 wheel
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      09-22-2008, 01:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTL Bimmer View Post
ALL E92s with sport or non-sport has sport steering wheel
? we do? mine is an 08 and i dont...i have non sport..it doesnt really make a difference to me though, just looks better with the smaller wheel.
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      09-22-2008, 02:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queenskid24 View Post
? we do? mine is an 08 and i dont...i have non sport..it doesnt really make a difference to me though, just looks better with the smaller wheel.
Does your airbag looks like the OP's airbag? If so, you have the sport steering wheel .


Non-sport look like this.....
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      09-22-2008, 04:15 PM   #12
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very nice, your should paint the shifters flat black...
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      09-22-2008, 04:19 PM   #13
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nice stuff

but why not just use the M3 shifters?

just a rewire job, right?
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      09-22-2008, 04:34 PM   #14
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m3 paddles aren't available yet
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      09-22-2008, 06:07 PM   #15
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Thanks for posting pics! Finally someone followed through. Doesn't look so hard. DCT paddles are WAY too expensive... 600 for a pair, more than the wheel!
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      09-22-2008, 10:11 PM   #16
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I added some additional info to the original post (Torx bit sizes for paddles, trim cover and ground screw). All other tools are pretty standard, but you'll need a 16 mm or 5/8" socket plus extension to remove the center wheel bolt.

One additional picture to show the actual amount of material removed from the wheel. Hand shown for scale:
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      09-22-2008, 10:14 PM   #17
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      09-22-2008, 10:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barmats View Post
You helped motivate me to do it, so thanks to you for the encouragement and helpful advice/pics. Driving with the new wheel is awesome, and although you know it's exactly the same (other than tactile), it feels like a different car.

For anyone considering this, it's a fairly easy mod to do. Read the DIY and it will cover everything except the paddles. This wheel currently costs $390 + $60 shipping from qalbeli on eBay (before any Microsoft "Live" discounts, which was 8% the last time I looked). I've been watching this wheel for the past several months and it's not getting any cheaper!
Yup, can't keep my hands off the wheel! Haha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queenskid24 View Post
? we do? mine is an 08 and i dont...i have non sport..it doesnt really make a difference to me though, just looks better with the smaller wheel.
The M3 steering wheel is not smaller than stock. It is just thicker so it gives the illusion that its smaller.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ik999 View Post
nice stuff

but why not just use the M3 shifters?

just a rewire job, right?
U don't have to rewire anything if u already have your stock paddles. The M3 paddles are just plug & play.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blk07335i View Post
m3 paddles aren't available yet
Seems like US don't have them but I managed to get the part numbers for the M3 paddles, if anyone is interested.

61 31 7 840 477 - Left
61 31 7 840 476 - Right

Cheers and congrats to all who got this mod! Its awesome!
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      09-22-2008, 11:55 PM   #19
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i want these on my Mtech wheel like now.
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      09-23-2008, 01:26 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barmats View Post

One additional picture to show the actual amount of material removed from the wheel. Hand shown for scale:
I had mine installed yesterday too.

The fitment is better if you cut the wheel but I had it done without the cutting because i didnt want to mess up the original. It works fine and you cant tell that the fitment issue once the wheel is in place.

btw - the guy that did the install for me also had the dct paddles in stock (which he he was trying to convince me to buy). He said they were expensive because the paddles were titanium - not sure if that true or not...
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      09-23-2008, 01:40 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuvesh View Post

btw - the guy that did the install for me also had the dct paddles in stock (which he he was trying to convince me to buy). He said they were expensive because the paddles were titanium - not sure if that true or not...
how much was he asking for them?
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      09-23-2008, 02:02 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phattbam View Post
how much was he asking for them?
I think S$580... whatever it was, it was more expensive than the value of the wheel.
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