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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 01-26-2006, 12:18 PM
IndyZ IndyZ is offline
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Steering Wheel Exchange ?

I have a '99 2.8 with the old style 4 spoke steering wheel and plan on ugrading to the newer 3 spoke sport wheel of newer models. I've done this before with past Z3's I've owned but had the dealer make the switch. Is changing steering wheels w/ airbag and ring attached a DIY project?
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2006, 12:45 PM
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Ron Stygar Ron Stygar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyZ
I have a '99 2.8 with the old style 4 spoke steering wheel and plan on ugrading to the newer 3 spoke sport wheel of newer models. I've done this before with past Z3's I've owned but had the dealer make the switch. Is changing steering wheels w/ airbag and ring attached a DIY project?
Sure. I assume your car uses the single stage air bag. Dual stage is from 4/99.
Make sure you buy the correct type air bag for your car. You can get the three spoke wheel with black or tri M color thread.

Following shows the three spoke removal with dual stage air bag.


http://bimmerfest.com/forums/showthr...+wheel+removal
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  #3  
Old 01-26-2006, 12:57 PM
IndyZ IndyZ is offline
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Ron, My Z3 has a manufacturing date of 1/99. Is this going to be much different than the dual stage you mention from 4/99?
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  #4  
Old 01-26-2006, 01:06 PM
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z3power z3power is offline
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You will NOT be able to do this for two reasons.
The old pre-04/1999 models were single stage inflator systems with different software to control the system.
The newer post-04/1999 models started with the dual stage inflator systems.
With out ripping out the old system to replace it with the new system, you are better off not tackling this job. There would be NO guarantee it would work.

How do I know this, I was the Project Engineer for the air bag safety systems at Takata, so please do not attempt to do this.
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  #5  
Old 01-26-2006, 01:07 PM
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Ron Stygar Ron Stygar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyZ
Ron, My Z3 has a manufacturing date of 1/99. Is this going to be much different than the dual stage you mention from 4/99?
Basically the same. Two screws hold the air bag in place. Connectors are different based on it being a single stage air bag.
I installed a three spoke wheel single stage on my '97ti which had a four spoke single stage.
Some older cars also need a bracket but my ti had it.
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  #6  
Old 01-26-2006, 03:04 PM
Perryinva Perryinva is offline
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I did it on my 99 2.3, put in a 3 spoke M wheel from a 99 M coupe, along with the M seats. Any M Roadster or M coupe steering wheel and airbag from, I think about 3/98 build to 4/99 build works. The ETK has the correct build dates and part numbers. I'll look them up tonight and post them here. It is most definitly an easy DIY job, just be sure to remove the positive battery terminal, let it sit 10 mins. Two metric allens behind the wheel, like Ron said. Then a large nut under the airbag for the removal of the wheel from the steering column. You do NOT need a steering wheel puller, it comes right off, unlike US built cars. I've had mine off a few times to get the wheel straight and to attach the horn wire after I realized I forgot to reattach it.....Do yourself a favor and mark the top tooth location on the shaft, and them install the new wheel with the same tooth in the same location. If you are buying all new parts you can reuse the slip ring from the old 4 spoke wheel and all you need are the right airbag and wheel, as Ron mentioned. I guess the dealer must have kept your old 4 spoke wheels from your past Z3's, otherwise you would have been able to put the 4 spoke back on and have the 3 spoke for your new one.
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  #7  
Old 01-26-2006, 05:21 PM
IndyZ IndyZ is offline
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Thanks. You've been a great help!
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2006, 06:23 AM
zimpwh zimpwh is offline
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Would there be any issues just removing a 1/99 manufacture Z3M steering wheel/airbag and replacing it with an aftermarket steering wheel sans airbag...aside from the obvious safety issues?
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  #9  
Old 01-27-2006, 06:55 AM
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rjcoston rjcoston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zimpwh
Would there be any issues just removing a 1/99 manufacture Z3M steering wheel/airbag and replacing it with an aftermarket steering wheel sans airbag...aside from the obvious safety issues?
Your airbag light would be on all the time.
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2006, 07:19 AM
Perryinva Perryinva is offline
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Mein Auto: 99 2.3 Z3, 99 528i
It appears that any 3 spoke wheel from the Z3 series up to 4/99 will work. I do not know what the first manufacture date of the 98 M's was. An M wheel , single color leather, with tri-color M stitching, I believe, is part number 32342425901. Bi-color leather is 32342425904. According to the ETK you must specify leather color(s) and thread color. They list for around $425 for plain black, figure $340 w/BMWCCA. The airbag is part number 32342228975, lists for $690, $552 w/ BMWCCA discount, here. The slip ring, if you choose not to reuse the one you have is part number 32341162111 and lists for $138. These prices are 2 1/2 years old, so use them as a guide. You will also need to buy the tab covers, part numbers 61312490235 & 236, in black, or get leather ones from LeatherZ. Naturally, double check the part numbers. This is, after all, the internet....I was incorrect in my post above, the 2 retaining screws are T-27 Torx, not allens.
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Last edited by Perryinva; 01-27-2006 at 07:24 AM.
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2006, 07:27 AM
zimpwh zimpwh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjcoston
Your airbag light would be on all the time.
Can the light be disabled?
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2006, 07:29 AM
IndyZ IndyZ is offline
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I have a 2000 MZ3 wheel with airbag and ring coming next week. I may email you again once I get into the project. Thanks again.
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2006, 08:43 AM
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Ron Stygar Ron Stygar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyZ
I have a 2000 MZ3 wheel with airbag and ring coming next week. I may email you again once I get into the project. Thanks again.
That won't work on your car. Dual stage air bag and slip ring.
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  #14  
Old 01-27-2006, 09:45 AM
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fpa1974 fpa1974 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zimpwh
Can the light be disabled?
Not really. Even if you pull the bulb it has a backup LED in the cluster.

Do not do what the previous owner of my M3 did. He painted the back of the cluster. At least tape it so if at a later time you change your mind you could easily remove the 'modification'.

Florian
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  #15  
Old 01-27-2006, 05:32 PM
zimpwh zimpwh is offline
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Then how in the heck do you disable the light? Does anyone make a short plug to defeat the Airbag light?..come on guys..half of you are electrical engineers..my 25 yr old son is , but he has his mind on girls in Atlanta. Someone out here has installed a Momo.
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  #16  
Old 01-28-2006, 07:46 AM
Perryinva Perryinva is offline
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Mein Auto: 99 2.3 Z3, 99 528i
Reread my post, Ron is 100% correct. (when is he not?) The parts must have a PRE 4/99 build for your 1/99 build 2.8. Neither the wheel, airbag, or slip ring will work. Ron's write up above is excellent for post 4/99 cars. There are different connectors and they are sort of stuffed in there on the pre 4/99 cars. You don't have to undo the plastic halves in the beginning either. I don't think it's really required, but if you email me with your home/work address, I'll copy the instructions and etk sections I have and mail them out to you. No one, to my knowledge, in the 6 years I've been reading Z3 forums has easily reversibly disabled an airbag light. People have tried variable resisters to no avail. Tape has been the most popular solution. FredR installed a Momo. I'm pretty sure he used black tape. You could ask him on Roadfly.
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Last edited by Perryinva; 01-28-2006 at 07:57 AM.
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  #17  
Old 01-28-2006, 09:13 AM
zimpwh zimpwh is offline
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Guess I'll stick with the stock steering wheel...

Thanks for the heads-up...I'll check that post.
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  #18  
Old 12-05-2006, 07:05 PM
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CarlM CarlM is offline
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I'm trying to remove the 4 spoke steering wheel from my 98 Z3 and replace with 3 spoke M wheel that Ron suggested.
Are the 2 fastners on the rear of the wheel torks or allens? If so what size? I am not able to get them to break free?
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  #19  
Old 12-05-2006, 07:39 PM
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Ron Stygar Ron Stygar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlM View Post
I'm trying to remove the 4 spoke steering wheel from my 98 Z3 and replace with 3 spoke M wheel that Ron suggested.
Are the 2 fastners on the rear of the wheel torks or allens? If so what size? I am not able to get them to break free?
TORX 27 or 30 will work.
Torque is 2 Nm.
Known to having been turned the wrong way.
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  #20  
Old 12-06-2006, 07:45 AM
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CarlM CarlM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Stygar View Post
TORX 27 or 30 will work.
Torque is 2 Nm.
Known to having been turned the wrong way.
Thank's Ron

Lefty Loosey
Righty tighty
Correct??
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Modified Boston Grun 2.8 Z3 Garage Queen
5 vintage 60/70 Volvos & a 1 of a kind '62 morris Minor pickup


Clearwater Beach sand
Daytona Beach sand
SC Homecoming Red Clay
Deals Gap Dust in the Wheel wells
Maggie Valley Fall leaves in the Trunk
Florida Love bugs stuck in the Grill
Islamarada/Pigeon Key crushed coral chips
Mojave Grass seeds in hardtop window
Mane from sorrel 'Leo' quarter horse, a congenital Californian
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  #21  
Old 12-06-2006, 07:50 AM
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JonM JonM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlM View Post
Thank's Ron

Lefty Loosey
Righty tighty
Correct??
Yes, they are standard right hand threads.

They frequently have blue locktite on them which makes the break torque more than 2 Nm.
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  #22  
Old 12-06-2006, 05:22 PM
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CarlM CarlM is offline
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Originally Posted by JonM View Post
Yes, they are standard right hand threads.

They frequently have blue locktite on them which makes the break torque more than 2 Nm.
Must be a 27 as the 30 will not lock in. Got one to break with a no name 27 tool that now is trashed, off to Sears as the other is soooooo tight.
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"One good curve deserves..........another"
Modified Boston Grun 2.8 Z3 Garage Queen
5 vintage 60/70 Volvos & a 1 of a kind '62 morris Minor pickup


Clearwater Beach sand
Daytona Beach sand
SC Homecoming Red Clay
Deals Gap Dust in the Wheel wells
Maggie Valley Fall leaves in the Trunk
Florida Love bugs stuck in the Grill
Islamarada/Pigeon Key crushed coral chips
Mojave Grass seeds in hardtop window
Mane from sorrel 'Leo' quarter horse, a congenital Californian
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  #23  
Old 12-06-2006, 05:33 PM
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Ron Stygar Ron Stygar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlM View Post
Must be a 27 as the 30 will not lock in. Got one to break with a no name 27 tool that now is trashed, off to Sears as the other is soooooo tight.
Both work. 30 is the size but 27 works too. Just tried both on new screws that I stock.
32 34 1 097 110 $0.52r
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  #24  
Old 12-06-2006, 08:13 PM
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CarlM CarlM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Stygar View Post
Both work. 30 is the size but 27 works too. Just tried both on new screws that I stock.
32 34 1 097 110 $0.52r
Yep your right agian. When installing the new 3 spoke I had to use the 27 due to it's slightly short length on inboard fastner. 30 worked fine on outside one and for giving final tork.
Change out was pretty straight forward only difficulty beyond the locktited fastners was wearing progressive glasses in a tight area.

The 3 spoke M wheel looks great.
Thanks agian for the help and advise.
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"One good curve deserves..........another"
Modified Boston Grun 2.8 Z3 Garage Queen
5 vintage 60/70 Volvos & a 1 of a kind '62 morris Minor pickup


Clearwater Beach sand
Daytona Beach sand
SC Homecoming Red Clay
Deals Gap Dust in the Wheel wells
Maggie Valley Fall leaves in the Trunk
Florida Love bugs stuck in the Grill
Islamarada/Pigeon Key crushed coral chips
Mojave Grass seeds in hardtop window
Mane from sorrel 'Leo' quarter horse, a congenital Californian
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  #25  
Old 12-08-2006, 04:05 PM
FredR FredR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryinva View Post
Tape has been the most popular solution. FredR installed a Momo. I'm pretty sure he used black tape. You could ask him on Roadfly.
Actually I pulled the bulb. I get a bit of light bleed and it glows a bit at night but not during the day.
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