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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E30 (1982 - 1993)

E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 07-26-2009, 08:59 AM
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Removing 91 E30 Airbag Steering wheel with ignition lock on

Sharing a fun experience in removing a E30 steering wheel with an airbag from a local Pick n Pull. I needed a replacement steering wheel w/airbag for my 91 E30 Vert. I came across a donor with a perfect replacement wheel, but there was no ignition key in it to unlock the steering column lock.

I received feeback that I had to disengage (break) the lock to get the steering wheel off.

I did see other E30's with mangled M-tech type steering wheels from folks who wanted the steering wheels who also had trouble with the pins.

What I thought would be a 30 minute removal turned out to be hours in the hot, Sacramento sun...

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Tools I ended up using, plus a 16mm wrench for the steering wheel puller, some WD-40, a rubber mallet, vice grips and 2 quarts of cold water. (it was really hot...)


What a PITA to get the steering lock to disengage. They wern't kidding about pounding the lock. I started with a 2lb hard rubber mallet ended up with a 4lb hammer and two screwdrivers.

I improvised to pull the steering wheel off the spline. The car I was pulling the steering wheel from had no seats. (Read no leverage)



Here's the metal pin that holds the steering wheel from turning or being released. I ended punching the back if the lock cylinder through the back of the lock housing, then got some vice grips on the shaft that turns the electric switch and spun the cylinder enough to disengage the metal pin.


Here's what I did with my hammer and screwdrivers.


$40 bucks for the steering wheel and airbag. Actually in really good shape. It'll be an improvement from my current wheel as the rubber has separated from the underlying metal frame and feels like a sponge. Not sure it was worth the time though in the 104 degree heat for a few hours... Anyway, it got down to not letting the lock beat me...

Lesson learned: ebay next time...
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1999 540it - Jet Black/Sand Beige, style 5 rims, Zionsville Cooling kit
1984 533i - Schwarz/Schwarz, 17" style 65 reps
1997 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 68 rims
1995 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 27 rims
1994 325i Sedan - Bostongrau/Tan
1991 318ic - Schwarz/Anthratz Stoff
1985 635CSI - Schwartz\Sand - Sold
1984 318i - Champagne/Tan, Stock - Sold

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  #2  
Old 08-21-2009, 02:27 AM
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scotte36 scotte36 is offline
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why did you have to havve the steering unlocked to remove the wheel?
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2009, 02:40 AM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotte36 View Post
why did you have to havve the steering unlocked to remove the wheel?
it doesnt come off without the steering lock disengauged. its like that in all cars.
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2009, 11:45 AM
anstead610 anstead610 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotte36 View Post
why did you have to havve the steering unlocked to remove the wheel?
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This e30 is now being parted out. NO body panels are for sale, bumpers/fenders/hood/mirrors/valance or front turn signals. Everything else is up for grabs. Euro grills/cluster are sold, suspension/brakes/LSD/rear tails are already spoken for.
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  #5  
Old 08-21-2009, 09:56 PM
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scotte36 scotte36 is offline
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Last edited by scotte36; 08-21-2009 at 10:04 PM.
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  #6  
Old 08-21-2009, 10:30 PM
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BlackBMWs BlackBMWs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotte36 View Post
why did you have to havve the steering unlocked to remove the wheel?
So, on the E28 and E30 models there is a locking pin when the ignition is in position '0'. The pin retracts when you turn the ignition to position '1' or '2'. In the photo, the pin is 3/4 in the down position.


When this metal pin is up or in the locked position, it prevents the wheel from turning or pulling loose from the hub.

Normally, to remove the steering wheel, you just remove the pad as you describe, remove the center nut and put the ignition key in and turn to Position 1 to retract the pin. At that point, if the wheel is loosened from the shaft spline, you just pull it straight off. With the pin up, it wont move more than 1/4" off the shaft.

So, the steering wheel I was pulling off was in a local salvage yard. In the salvage yard, none of the cars have ignition keys in them so they are typically locked. Defeating the lock retracts the pin.

If you pulled the steering wheel off with the pin up, I (and others) would sure would learn from you as to how you did it.
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1999 540it - Jet Black/Sand Beige, style 5 rims, Zionsville Cooling kit
1984 533i - Schwarz/Schwarz, 17" style 65 reps
1997 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 68 rims
1995 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 27 rims
1994 325i Sedan - Bostongrau/Tan
1991 318ic - Schwarz/Anthratz Stoff
1985 635CSI - Schwartz\Sand - Sold
1984 318i - Champagne/Tan, Stock - Sold

BMWCCA# 160411

Last edited by BlackBMWs; 08-22-2009 at 10:54 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-21-2009, 11:02 PM
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Last edited by scotte36; 08-21-2009 at 11:10 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-21-2009, 11:09 PM
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scotte36 scotte36 is offline
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dunno mabe mine is stuffed to start with lol.

i just undone the two screws on the back of the wheel,lifted it up,unplugged the airbag,undone the bolt on the spline and pulled the wheel off.

however i did break the little white plastic thing on the spring @ 2 o'clock,luckily i dont need it with the new wheel i am putting on .

mine is an E36 325i dunno if that matters or not,according to a previous post they are all the same.
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  #9  
Old 08-21-2009, 11:25 PM
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I've read some cars have plastic pins instead of the metal pins. In those cases, folks have turned the wheels hard left or right to break the pin, then pulled the wheel off.

Unfortunately, all the ones i've come across has had metal pins.
__________________

1999 540it - Jet Black/Sand Beige, style 5 rims, Zionsville Cooling kit
1984 533i - Schwarz/Schwarz, 17" style 65 reps
1997 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 68 rims
1995 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 27 rims
1994 325i Sedan - Bostongrau/Tan
1991 318ic - Schwarz/Anthratz Stoff
1985 635CSI - Schwartz\Sand - Sold
1984 318i - Champagne/Tan, Stock - Sold

BMWCCA# 160411
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  #10  
Old 08-22-2009, 10:01 PM
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scotte36 scotte36 is offline
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someones easily amused....small things amuse small minds
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  #11  
Old 10-09-2009, 09:06 AM
Andries Andries is offline
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E30 ignition lock removal

Hi guys

Just became a member, checking out many useful tips/tricks etc...loving it!
Have a problem with my 318i E30.
Someone tried to steal my car, screwing up my ignition lock, does any one know how to take off the steering column panels without removing the steering wheel itself (or braking the panels)
I have removed all the screws/nuts but some plastic "tabs" extend behind into the steering wheel, do they need some encouragement or has the steering wheel need to come off..

I can apparently get the car started if i remove the ignition lock witch reveals a basic "turning" switch. And get the ignition lock repaired or replaced.

Thanks
Andries
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