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Discussion Starter #1
Im thinking about replacing my steerting wheel with a 3 spoke m steering wheel. The one im looking to purchase comes with an airbad and steeering wheel controls. When i instal it is it simple plug and play and im ready to go. As soon as im done will my seering controls work or will i need programing. My other concern is do i need to do anything so that my air bag light doesnt come up on my dash. Or is it all simple install the steering and controls should work fine and air bag light should not trigger as if there was a problem.There is a pic of the exact one i will be purchasing.

Interior of BMW Pictures, Images and Photos
 

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thanks wolf can you please explain to me whats the purpose of disconnectiing the battery .It wont forget that will be the first thing i do but please tell me why .And also whats the longest amount of time hte battery is allowed to stay disconnected i heard if its out for a certain time my radio will need coding and a couple of other stuff
 

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thanks wolf can you please explain to me whats the purpose of disconnectiing the battery .It wont forget that will be the first thing i do but please tell me why .And also whats the longest amount of time hte battery is allowed to stay disconnected i heard if its out for a certain time my radio will need coding and a couple of other stuff
If you will NOT disconnect a battery [ atlest remove ground line from battery ] your airbag light will be on and you will need to buy a tools to shut it down or pay to someone to do it!Don`t worry about radio coding because you will have enough time to do it;))
check this DIY ! you will need it:thumbup:
http://www.bmwdiy.info/msport-wheel/index.html
 

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Hi Moe

As you have a 2001 E39, you have the dual stage airbag system setup. Most owners/enthusiasts who consider a steering wheel upgrade will then go for the 'later' M Sport steering wheel as found on the later E39's and E46's including the M3. These steering wheels are a simple swap over procedure and really do uplift the interior looks. For instance, I installed a genuine E46 M3 CSL alcantara paddle shift steering wheel into my car. Obviously up to you, just pointing out that this choice is generally the much favoured route, but if you prefer the older style as you've pictured above that's fine - just ensure it's a dual stage airbag version and NOT a single stage one ! - early E39's up until the manufacturing date of March 1999 had the 'single stage' airbag system, so you can only realistically use the older steering wheels, finding a single stage M Sport steering wheel/airbag is rare and also quite expensive. The 'dual stage' airbag versions of the steering wheel you've shown above are more plentiful and available.

You will need to disconnect your battery, this is to ensure the airbag doesn't activate if you prod around with the connectors etc - always be safe rather than sorry. E39 audio systems didn't need a code entering if the power supply was switched off.

Cheers, Dennis!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Denis, i agree with you i rather get the newer sports steering wheel than that old one in the pic, so thats what ill be looking into thank you even though finding one with an air bag is expensive. where do you suggest i look for one and where did you find yours. Im looking on ebay right now. When i do look for one are you saying i should find a dual stage and from there everything should be good to go
 

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King 5 - to try and make a Dual Stage airbag fit an early 96-99 E39 will require extensive modifications and retrofits, coding and speaking to a dealer who can then inform BMW USA of code/barrel changes on that particular VIN/chassis number of car. Cost would be perhaps $2500-3000 to do. This is if you wish the airbag to function properly with the two dual stages working an dno faults etc detected on your cars ECU etc. If you wish to cheat and install so that just 'one' of the stages is connected to the dual stage airbag, you 'could' indeed do that, but of course you'll most likely have errors showing up on the system and perhaps it may not deploy correct in the event of an impact etc.

moe1992 - Do keep in mind the later M Sport steering wheels do need the 'round' airbag as well ! here's what mine looks like



If you aren't wanting the SMG paddles, then you can get a steering wheel which doesn't have them and luckily, they're much more plentiful. For your car, it'd be a simple straight forward old wheel off, new wheel and airbag in, connect up, re-connect battery and off you go !

I had plenty of steering wheels in stock some months back, but all have now been sold, only had a couple non SMG ones, 6-7 of them were SMG's - keep looking on ebay, breakers yards and of course classifieds.

Cheers, Dennis!
 
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