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Ich bin der Modifikator
3,323 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·



Let me start off by saying, I love this steering wheel & while this does seem pretty unsafe & dumb to be "removing" my Airbag from my vehicle..... I feel in my case, my E36 is not a daily driver & this is something I choose to do.......with that, my SRS steering wheel will be stored in a safe place for now!

Disclaimer: I don't recommend anyone just do this, If you decide to do this, It will be your decision. You will be doing this at your own risk!

Ok, now for the Swap......

Tools needed:
3/8 drive ratchet with 3" extension
Torque wrench
T30 Torx socket
16mm socket
Small Flat head screwdriver
Phillips head screwdriver
13mm wrench
Soldering stuff (iron, solder, shrink tubing) OR
Butt connectors
electrical tape
Wire strippers
Wire harness connector from the back of the slip ring
1 1/2 watt 3.3 ohm resistor OR
3 1/2 watt 10 ohm resistors

First and most important remove the negative cable from the battery, move it aside & make sure it does not come in contact with negative terminal. Failure to remove the neg. batt. terminal will result in SRS fault code when you disconnect airbag connector. Wait 10 minutes for charge in SRS brain to dissipate.

Remove phillips screw from bottom column cover & gently wiggle & remove lower cover!

Next.... you will see the orange airbag connector, make sure the battery is disconnected & key is removed from ignition.

Slide the white colored top of the orange connector out towards the drivers door. Now pull down on the orange part of the connector. Now using the small flat headed screwdriver, push in the small black plastic tab and pull gently on the right hand side of the harness. It should disconnect and you'll be staring at a black/blue harness plug.

Next: Make SURE the battery is disconnected!!!! Now put the key in the ignition and unlock the steering wheel. Turn the steering wheel 90 degrees so the two T30 torx screws on the steering wheel are accessible. You want one to be pointing towards the headliner, the other towards the floor mat.

Take your T30 torx socket and remove the torx screws. The back of the steering wheel can obscure them a bit. Get down and look at them. Make sure the torx bit is properly in them, the screws are soft and strip easily.

Once you have both screws out, center the steering wheel and remove the key from the ignition. Lock the steering wheel pointed straight ahead.

The airbag should pretty much fall right out. There's a small orange connector that attaches to the back of the airbag. It pulls straight out.

Now take the 16mm socket and remove the bolt in the center of the steering wheel. It's on pretty tight, so you're going to have to give it a bit of muscle. If you don't have the steering column locked, you're going to have a bear of a time removing the bolt.
Ok, you have the bolt out, now just pull off the stock steering wheel and set it aside.

Time to deal with the airbag harness.

Take your used slip ring and disassemble it....the blue wire has an eye loop & is the horn ground, the brown wire is the horn positive & will be connected to the horn contact pin.The red & white wires are for the airbag & are connected to a small orange 2 prong connector which will be cut off....

Note: the resistance measured at the airbag connection point is about 3.3 ohms, this resistor was very hard to find, but Radio Shack did sell a 5 pack of 1/2 watt 10 ohm resistors, so 3 of the 10 ohm wired in parallel equal about 3.3 ohms.

Now you will need to wire (3)-1/2 watt 10 ohm resistors in parallel

After you cut off the small orange 2 prong airbag connector, strip the ends of the white & red wires & solder the (3) parallel resistors between the red & white airbag wires. Then strip the end of the brown horn wire & crimp a red connector to it: Note: this red butt connector will just plug into the carbon horn contact pin:

Now place the stock carbon pin horn contact: part # 1 32-31-1-158-475

in steering column:

Now remove screw for the blue horn wire ground:

You will need to find a screw with a head to hold the blue ground wire in place, I found this green ceiling fan ground screw & it fit perfectly :conf :D : also you need to plug the brown horn wire (red connector) into the horn contact pin connector, now is a good time to connect the odd looking orange airbag connector from opposite end of the slip ring harness & white horn connector to the column harness & wire tie in under the steering column: shown in pic below:

Once all is connected & the slip ring harness is tied to the steering column under that flat panel. Place the lower column cover back in place with screw, Install the M Technik Steering Wheel, make sure your wheels are centered, you may have to drive the car down street with the bolt loose & then recenter wheel & then torque the 16mm bolt down to 46 ft lbs.

Reconnect your negative battery terminal.

Say a little prayer, insert the key and turn it to the on position before you"start". Watch the airbag lite and make sure it turns on. Then start vehicle & the light will go out, If not, your circuit isn't complete and now you have to somehow reset the airbag light. Either with the new Peake airbag tool, or by taking the car to the dealer.

I had no issues, the (3) 1/2 watt 10 ohm resistors wired in parallel between the white & red wires, worked like a charm, my vehicle still thinks the airbag is there!

note: the resistors must be 1/2 watt 10 ohms, not 10k ohms!

jb :)


Crazy Fabricatin' Admin
9,355 Posts
very good, like it a lot, was wondering when you were going to get around to installing it :argh

Ich bin der Modifikator
3,323 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
very good, like it a lot, was wondering when you were going to get around to installing it :argh
Thanks Kyle, I like it too! you know .... the family stuff comes I have to get back over to my brother's E30 heat problem, I am going to try to get there tomorrow morning, almost positive it's a problem with the blending flap!

johnny :)

2 Posts
Just a resurrection but I'm about to do this. Can the OP (if he's still here) or someone elaborate on a couple of questions?

1. How do you disassemble the slip ring?

2. Did you gut the slip ring and remove the ribbon? From what i understand the ribbon and ring is only there to maintain the contacts for the airbag and horn on rotation of the wheel. So airbag gone and horn switch re- mounted, I'm guessing the slip ring can be gutted?

3. can someone explain 'Once all is connected & the slip ring harness is tied to the steering column under that flat panel'?
(Last paragraph)

Thank you!
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