Steering Wheel Swap (E39) - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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Old 04-21-2011, 07:35 PM
mmzcee mmzcee is offline
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Location: San Jose CA
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 77
Mein Auto: E39 M5
Steering Wheel Swap (E39)

Hello all,

Just wanted to share some pics I snapped of when we swapped out my old steering wheel with a custom one...and guide y'all thru the swapping process.

BEFORE YOU START : Adjust your steering wheel so it comes out towards you fully. Make sure your car is turned off and you do not turn on the car on once the airbag is out. Otherwise you may trigger the Airbag/SRS light!! You have been warned.

First tool you'll need a T30 Torx screwdriver like this one.

There are two T30 torx screws holding the airbag to the steering wheel. One on each side.

Once you have loosened the screws, the airbag should pop right out...but be careful of the wires coming out of it...

Go ahead and unplug the 2 wires...and remove the airbag.

Next, you'll need a 16mm socket to remove the steering wheel.

The bolt is on quite tight from the factory, put some elbow grease into it.

Good chance to clean up the mess left behind here while the steering wheel is off.

With the steering wheel removed, you'll have to swap over your steering wheel controls...this part is a bit tricky. You'll want to use some plastic prying tools like the ones you see here....just take your time...and be CAREFUL.

Here you can see the backside of one of the steering wheel control units...notice the plastic tabs...this is how they secure onto the steering wheel...if you use too much force, you may snap these brittle plastic tabs.

Once you have gotten the units out, time to swap them into your new steering wheel. Go ahead and plug back in the wires.

This step is real important when you snap back in the right side unit, make sure you have one of the wires route behind the plastic you see here.

Now go ahead and snap your steering wheel back into the column. Make sure you line up the two lines as pictured below...

Screw it back in ....

And voila!

For more info on how to obtain one of these custom steering wheels, feel free to PM or email me.
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:39 AM
abqhudson abqhudson is online now
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Location: Albuquerque, NM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 158
Mein Auto: M roadst Clk550 and c300,
Thanks for a job well done.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:07 PM
Youngproexec Youngproexec is offline
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Wow thanks for spending the time to post this. Ive been thinking of changing my old sport steering wheel soon.
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:31 PM
lonesoui lonesoui is offline
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Location: boston
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 31
Mein Auto: 2000 528i 5speed
what's that thing next to your steering wheel in the last pic? is it a cell phone holder? If so, what phone?
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:34 PM
mmzcee mmzcee is offline
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Location: San Jose CA
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 77
Mein Auto: E39 M5
Originally Posted by lonesoui View Post
what's that thing next to your steering wheel in the last pic? is it a cell phone holder? If so, what phone?
Custom poor mans iphone mount...see below link for more info
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:25 PM
NCFA17 NCFA17 is offline
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Mein Auto: Supercharged 2003 M5
Ill be doing this very soon! great write up. I like the GTR in the background!!
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:05 PM
Malberto Malberto is offline
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Location: USA, MA
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 540i ///MSport
That steering wheel looks great mmzcee! I just got one that was re-wrapped in the same leather. I have a problem though. The steering wheel that I have on my car now is the newer (thinner) Msport steering wheel that has a 2 stage airbag. From what I've heard, the steering wheel wont work on the because the steering wheel I just purchased (like the one you have here) has a single stage airbag. Do you (or anyone) have any any insight on the matter? I have the exact one you have above and I would really hate to have to sell my steering wheel.

Update: I have the wheel with a stage one airbag and my car uses the stage 2, so I cant use the one I have, oh well
Yours looks alot better anyway, How can I get one like yours?

Last edited by Malberto; 01-24-2013 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:42 PM
rm031470 rm031470 is offline
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Location: Hempstead , NY
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Mein Auto: BMW 528i 1997
Where Can I buy the wheel ?

Looks awesome !! looking to purchase .. can you provide URL or phone number ? ....
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Old 11-23-2014, 05:43 PM
2rbolag 2rbolag is offline
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Location: Nyc
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Mein Auto: A handful of cars
Awesome info. Great looking wheel, And nice GTR!!
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Old 07-23-2015, 03:20 PM
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5Dirty5 5Dirty5 is offline
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Posts: 137
Mein Auto: 2008 535I Sport
I didn't find any pictures of a steering wheel. I only saw a GTR!! J/K looks great!!!

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1950 Chevy 3100 Truck S10 Chassis Swap (under construction)
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