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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 07-01-2013, 08:56 PM
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musa musa is offline
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Updated to 3-spoke M-sport steering wheel- air bag too soft

Hi,

I swapped 4-Spoke to 3-Spoke M Sport steering wheel on my 97 e39 and looks awesome! It has the single stage airbag (found in E38s & E39s built from 9/96 up to 3/99). However, the airbag seems strange compared to the standard wheel- the airbag is very soft whereas the old one is quite firm as in when you press the areas around the horn. It depresses when pressed and it's as if there's a cavity in there. Is this normal?

There's no airbag light in the dash and all INPA/GT1 diagnostics airbag tests pass. I've highlighted in the attached picture the areas which sink in when pressed with the finger. My 2005 X5 sports and a friend's 2000 3 series e46 have firm steering wheel airbag although the wheels are not the same.

Any pointers? Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2013, 09:03 PM
Adamo99 Adamo99 is offline
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Re: Updated to 3-spoke M-sport steering wheel- air bag too soft

Your airbag was probably stripped out and replaced with cottage cheese. Just don't hit anything, and you'll be fine.

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  #3  
Old 07-06-2013, 07:33 PM
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hh3uunp hh3uunp is offline
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Your airbag was probably stripped out and replaced with cottage cheese. Just don't hit anything, and you'll be fine.

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  #4  
Old 07-08-2013, 11:47 PM
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musa musa is offline
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Another 540 M sports steering wheel and the airbag is as soft as mine. It's obviously by design. Thanks for the vid, z168!


Last edited by musa; 07-09-2013 at 12:27 PM.
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2013, 11:10 PM
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mjalloul11 mjalloul11 is offline
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Was it a brand new airbag or a used one?
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2013, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjalloul11 View Post
Was it a brand new airbag or a used one?
It's a used one from ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/261224410214...84.m1423.l2649

I've looked at pictures of similar single-stage steering wheels and they all appear to have airbags with a line below the BMW emblem (not the ones to the left and right of the emblem) where the airbag depresses when pressed at the bottom. It thus appears to be by design but I'd like certain verification.

Last edited by musa; 07-01-2013 at 11:24 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-01-2013, 11:58 PM
blingin96 blingin96 is offline
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Updated to 3-spoke M-sport steering wheel- air bag too soft

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Here is mine. Single stage used air bag. On a 97 540i it does have some soft spots but still feel ok.


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  #8  
Old 07-02-2013, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blingin96 View Post
Attachment 384594
Here is mine. Single stage used air bag. On a 97 540i it does have some soft spots but still feel ok.


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Thanks a lot, Blingin! Could you please see this video link and compare to your airbag behavior when pressed at the part labeled SRS airbag?
https://www.box.com/s/f096my0b33epf73xfwyj

Last edited by musa; 07-02-2013 at 02:10 AM.
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2013, 07:46 PM
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if you have the M-sport steering wheel with single-stage airbag (production years 09/96-03/99), would you please compare and contrast with mine your airbag behavior when pressed at the part labled SRS airbag? Here's what mine does:
https://www.box.com/s/f096my0b33epf73xfwyj

Thanks!
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  #10  
Old 07-03-2013, 12:06 AM
blingin96 blingin96 is offline
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Updated to 3-spoke M-sport steering wheel- air bag too soft

I'll send you a vid. I got your PM.


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  #11  
Old 07-05-2013, 12:52 AM
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Uploaded video to youtube for easier viewing. Local dealer says this is not normal and advised to get a new airbag (a cool over $1k).

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Old 07-05-2013, 10:25 AM
Ed Cheung Ed Cheung is offline
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That isn't right....
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  #13  
Old 07-05-2013, 10:34 AM
Jorge39 Jorge39 is offline
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Mein Auto: Bmw 540i 2002 Msport
Updated to 3-spoke M-sport steering wheel- air bag too soft

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ID:	385173 how do i fix this to look like the other side im new to bmw first car too haha Click image for larger version

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  #14  
Old 07-05-2013, 04:49 PM
z168 z168 is offline
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I have the pre-00, 01 and the zhp wheel - only the 01 wheel was soft. So confirmed thats how it really is
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z168 View Post
I have the pre-00, 01 and the zhp wheel - only the 01 wheel was soft. So confirmed thats how it really is
Awesome, Z168! Would you please capture a vid of it? Thanks!
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  #16  
Old 07-11-2013, 09:58 PM
z168 z168 is offline
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youre welcome

I have 2 of the same airbag from different years and both are soft. Which makes me believe it really is that way
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