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7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

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  #1  
Old 04-02-2012, 07:21 PM
rjgoss rjgoss is offline
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Mein Auto: 99" 740 i
how to replace steering wheel?

I have a 1999 740I and I want to replace my standard steering wheel with a 3 spoke. How difficult is that? Is that something I can do myself? Don't work on cars alot but i'm pretty handy. Any tips on this would be great!
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  #2  
Old 04-04-2012, 12:14 AM
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PETER NEWMAN PETER NEWMAN is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 635 CSi BMW 730i E38
I needed to replace my steering wheel and I had a new wheel but i got my local main BMW dealer to do it as there is a mass of wires beneath the airbag unit, It was done in half an hour.
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  #3  
Old 04-04-2012, 06:53 AM
chrisn7 chrisn7 is offline
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Not an especially good write up, but should give you some help:

http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/476495

The one thing he doesn't mention is to disconnect the battery. If you don't do so, the air bag light will display on the dash, and is a dealer reset.

Last edited by chrisn7; 04-04-2012 at 06:56 AM.
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  #4  
Old 04-09-2012, 07:59 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is online now
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Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjgoss View Post
I have a 1999 740I and I want to replace my standard steering wheel with a 3 spoke. How difficult is that? Is that something I can do myself? Don't work on cars alot but i'm pretty handy. Any tips on this would be great!
Proceed with caution...the 1999 model year is split between the single stage airbag system and dual stage airbag system. You need to determine which type of set-up you have BEFORE you start shopping for a steering wheel.

If your car's build date is 3/99-up...then you have the dual stage airbag system. You have more options for either style of 3-spoke M steering wheels. The e38 & e39 use the same MFL steering wheels...and you can also use the e46 (dual stage wheels)

If your 99 was built between 9/98-2/99....then it has a single stage airbag system...and you need to look for single stage 3 spoke wheels from e39s or e36s built prior to 3/99...or you can shop the Euro market for e36/e38/e39 3 spoke single stage M 3-spoke steering wheels.

Here's my DIY (with battery disconnect warning ) for swapping my single stage 4 spoke wheel with a single stage 3 spoke steering wheel (from an e39). Since both wheels are single stage...it was a simple swap. If possible, try to get a wheel with the slip ring still attached...if the slip ring is unattached you can reuse yours but you want to be careful...you can see what happens if you unravel the innards in the link given above to Cliff's (visionbmw) DIY:

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99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
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  #5  
Old 07-08-2014, 01:11 PM
HneDog HneDog is offline
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my steering wheel is completely stuck on there somehow and im not sure why because i removed the airbag, all the cables, and the center bolt and it wont come off any ideas? am i missing a trick? ive done it with the steering wheel locked and unlocked. any suggestions?

p.s. i pulled it so hard that the steering wheel actually started cracking down the middle and a gear puller or heating up the threads didnt help
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  #6  
Old 07-12-2014, 10:44 PM
BMW750 BMW750 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HneDog View Post
my steering wheel is completely stuck on there somehow and im not sure why because i removed the airbag, all the cables, and the center bolt and it wont come off any ideas? am i missing a trick? ive done it with the steering wheel locked and unlocked. any suggestions?

p.s. i pulled it so hard that the steering wheel actually started cracking down the middle and a gear puller or heating up the threads didnt help
- A puller should do the trick.
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  #7  
Old 08-24-2014, 07:35 AM
leedelta13 leedelta13 is offline
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Hello Everyone can you give me some insight? I want to change my steering wheel to a 3 spoke wheel. I have a 1996 750il . Can someone tell me what type of car year, model is should have the wheel from? single stage/ dual stage? Thank you in advance!!
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  #8  
Old 08-24-2014, 11:38 AM
sealbeach740 sealbeach740 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leedelta13 View Post
Hello Everyone can you give me some insight? I want to change my steering wheel to a 3 spoke wheel. I have a 1996 750il . Can someone tell me what type of car year, model is should have the wheel from? single stage/ dual stage? Thank you in advance!!
You have a single stage airbag, and you should replace it with another single stage airbag.
Everything you need to know is in Q's post above yours.

There are actually 2 types of 3 spoke steering wheels, but I'm guessing you want the 3 spoke with the fat airbag wheel that comes on the 99-01 sport e38s. You'll need to find that type of wheel/airbag from a different model BMW (maybe a 3 series?) that is a single stage airbag & still has the same steering wheel control buttons as your current wheel has. I'm not sure if they made that or not. You'll have to do some searching.....
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  #9  
Old Yesterday, 11:28 AM
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FABOCH FABOCH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HneDog View Post
my steering wheel is completely stuck on there somehow and im not sure why because i removed the airbag, all the cables, and the center bolt and it wont come off any ideas? am i missing a trick? ive done it with the steering wheel locked and unlocked. any suggestions?

p.s. i pulled it so hard that the steering wheel actually started cracking down the middle and a gear puller or heating up the threads didnt help
have u removed the 16mm center bolt off?
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  #10  
Old Yesterday, 01:53 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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I hope that is a center nut you removed, rather than a bolt. Maybe you ae not 'deep' enough into the unit to remove the wheel at the moment. Maybe post a pix.
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  #11  
Old Today, 04:31 AM
rsims5series rsims5series is online now
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Mein Auto: 1998 740IL
I did my steering wheel on a 98 740il the other day and it came off no problem???The hardest part for me was the t30 screws...
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