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W203 steering-wheel swap how-to

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Old 03-06-2006, 07:55 PM   #1
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W203 steering-wheel swap how-to

***************************
Note: I know this is very basic stuff, but I would've found this helpful when I did it. Plus I wanted to see how much work it was to do a write-up and would I have the patience to do a write-up on something like this(?):

Comprehensive GReddy turbo installation

It's just a kitchy little mod like the euro-trunk insert I'm doing next. Please don't call it 'Rice'....

...the term would be 'Kraut'
***************************

This steering-wheel swap was done on a 2002 AMG C32. Probably all Mercedes steering-wheel swaps will be similar, but things like a heated wheel, paddle-shifters etc... will change the procedure slightly.

A fairly detailed W210 swap how-to can be found here.

Obviously any time your doing something to or near an airbag, you should take precautions suggested by your vehicle's manufacturer. Even if the airbag didn't hit you in the face, you still have dangerous gasses and a huge mess and expense if you accidentally trip it's trigger. In the case of the W203, it's sufficient to keep the key out of the ignition during the procedure. Placing the key in the ignition at any time while the airbag is disconnected will throw an SRS fault code and only a dealer can clear it. Disconnecting the airbag and reconnecting it is fine as long as the key is out of the ignition.

As paranoid as I am, I didn't disconnect the negative battery lead as recommended by my shop, but I did establish visual contact with my keys at key moments in the procedure.:icon_redf



I pulled the stock steering-wheel (nearly identical to what's found on my wife's 4-matic wagon...



...which is pretty mundane given the general manner of any AMG)

My replacement is the steering-wheel from an F1 Medical car!!!



(which is a station-wagon itself - the irony is unbearable)

Here's the medical car steering-wheel



I used the following tools for this swap in (this order)

T30 Torx
Small common screw-driver
10mm Allen socket
Torque wrench



The procedure:

1. The wheels should be pointed straight-ahead. Fully telescope the steering-wheel and locate the two small holes with T30 Torx screws about a 1/2 inch in.

Right side of steering-column


Left side of steering-column


2. Remove the T30 Torx screw inside each.



For the Torx, my T30-driver was too long, even with the wheel fully telescoped so I used a T30 bit on a 1/4" socket attached to an extension from my smallest socket wrench. The T30 Torx screw will loosen completely, but it won't fall out as it's part of the assembly.

On the left-hand side I had to flip the turn-signal all the way up to get the tool in there.

3. Gently tilt the airbag down and away from the steering-column and disconnect the upper lead - Yellow Jacketed wires with a black, plastic clip.



4. Locate the two airbag leads. Use a small common screw-driver head to flip up the small tab with a looping piece of plastic. Do this for both leads (Yellow and Green on my car)

Use the screw-driver's head to pry up the tab like this


It comes straight out and will look like this when it's all the way out



Pull the entire plug straight out - it should come out pretty easily. Now do the same thing with the green plug.


5. The airbag assembly should now be completely free. Place it in a safe, clean location with the Mercedes Star facing up (I've heard that they are really safe at this point, but still, I figure if it accidentally went off, it would just blow the bag UP this way, and if it had it bag-down, then I have the metal backing of the airbag assembly going who-knows how fast in my garage).



You should now have a large Allen bolt visible at the center of the steering wheel.



6. Use the 10mm wrench to remove the counter-sunk Allen bolt at the center of the steering-column. This bolt is in there pretty tight. Even so, with my torque-wrench as a cheater bar it came right out. Have a friend hold the wheel in the manner shown. Don't work against the steering-wheel lock, you might break it.



7. Carefully pull the steering-wheel straight away from the steering-column. Guide the wires through the holes in the steering-wheel as you do. This will reveal a finely toothed inner shaft.



8. Align the new wheel with the toothed inner shaft. Carefully feed the 3 free leads through their proper holes. The steering-wheel will have notches at 0 and 180 degress which should line up with yellow or brownish dark lines on the inner shaft.

(sorry about the bad pic, my camera doesn't like close shots - I'll take a new one soon)


9. With a friend holding again, torque the counter-sunk Allen bolt to 80Nm or 60 ft-lbs



10. Plug in the green and yellow airbag leads. Connect the black top-lead. Align the airbag and attach it by tightening the T30 Torx screws from the back of the steering-wheel.

11. AMG F1 Medical Car Steering Wheel

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Old 03-06-2006, 08:18 PM   #2
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Nice writeup!

Out of curiosity, what is the difference between the stock steering wheel and the F1 steering wheel, besides the suede inserts and the handholds at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock?

It would have been nice if you could have added paddle shift from a C32, but it seems that's only possible if you had the system in already, and can't easily retrofit.
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Old 03-06-2006, 08:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedcred
Nice writeup!

Out of curiosity, what is the difference between the stock steering wheel and the F1 steering wheel, besides the suede inserts and the handholds at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock?

It would have been nice if you could have added paddle shift from a C32, but it seems that's only possible if you had the system in already, and can't easily retrofit.
That's pretty much the difference

I've seen someone do paddle-shifters with a BMW SMG M3 steering wheel - not truly SMG at all, but he wired the switches in the shifter lever in the center console to the paddles. I think we could do it if we got a C55 steering wheel to fit, but my understanding is that they do not fit. I would do it if you could.

Any reason we can't do this:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...threadid=63211
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Old 03-06-2006, 08:45 PM   #4
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nice write up. just curious, is the green and yellow tabs for steering wheel controls as well? if not, how do they work with no attachment?
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Old 03-06-2006, 09:02 PM   #5
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Nice write up, how does the new steering wheel feel, I may consider one later on.
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Old 03-06-2006, 09:03 PM   #6
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I'm not sure I follow the question. The airbag is reattached and the green and yellow plugs are just plugged back in. I'm pretty sure the top yellow-jacketed wire with the black connector is for the steering-wheel controls. The big yellow and green connectors in the center are part of the airbag triggers I suppose...

edit: Cappa, the wheel feels nice. It's pretty worn in the alcantara areas, but I love the grip and the extra bumps, very nice around corners. It's like another spoke to hold onto without having a whole spoke getting in the way.

Last edited by Bif powell; 03-07-2006 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 03-06-2006, 09:45 PM   #7
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Thanx Bif. You've just been elected to the sticky on OEM DIY. And NO, you can't sue. LOL
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Old 03-07-2006, 12:39 AM   #8
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thanks Bif. thats what my question was.. what connects the steering wheel controls.
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Old 03-07-2006, 01:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by amdeutsch
Thanx Bif. You've just been elected to the sticky on OEM DIY. And NO, you can't sue. LOL
Well...hopefully your fact-checker is a skilled one

Thanks, glad it's helpful.
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Old 09-25-2006, 02:02 PM   #10
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How come I can't see the pictures???
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Old 09-25-2006, 08:25 PM   #11
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How come I can't see the pictures???

Because this forum was created back in March, and the images are no longer available from the host.
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Old 09-29-2006, 10:47 PM   #13
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O ...please...who is the first poster??
Is the name not displayed for you or are there other issue we should be aware of?
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Old 06-30-2007, 02:56 PM   #14
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Do the steering wheel controls (volume, scrolling, phone function) get their functionality through through the yellow and green leads?

If not what gives them the functionality and how is it transferred to a new steering wheel?
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Old 06-30-2007, 04:05 PM   #15
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nice!
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Old 06-30-2007, 04:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmza2 View Post
Do the steering wheel controls (volume, scrolling, phone function) get their functionality through through the yellow and green leads?

If not what gives them the functionality and how is it transferred to a new steering wheel?
Airbag is the same, which is where the functionality comes from. Steering wheel is just the wheel.
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:38 PM   #17
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Where the heck do you get an F1 safety car wheel? I seem to remember seeing an alcantara or suede AMG sport steering wheel in the W203 accessories catalog but it looked different. I would love to have the leather/suede combo of the F1 wheel over a fully suede wheel. Anyone know if this item is available to order, and if so where from?
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:02 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by RustyR1 View Post
Where the heck do you get an F1 safety car wheel? I seem to remember seeing an alcantara or suede AMG sport steering wheel in the W203 accessories catalog but it looked different. I would love to have the leather/suede combo of the F1 wheel over a fully suede wheel. Anyone know if this item is available to order, and if so where from?
MBenzNL.com
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:06 PM   #19
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MBenzNL.com

Excellent! Thank you!
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyR1 View Post
Where the heck do you get an F1 safety car wheel? I seem to remember seeing an alcantara or suede AMG sport steering wheel in the W203 accessories catalog but it looked different. I would love to have the leather/suede combo of the F1 wheel over a fully suede wheel. Anyone know if this item is available to order, and if so where from?
FrankW was selling his before. Not sure if he still has it or if it's sold already.
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:02 PM   #21
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That is a great DIY. Pictures detail every step. Even just reading through that, I feel that I could just follow those instructions to the letter and have no problems. Great job! 10 outta 10 there!

Out of curiousity (first time i've seen it appart), can the audio buttons / controls be easily removed from the airbag center piece? I'd like to replace my left hand audio controls (buttons) but before this couldnt see 'where' they were attached.

Again. Great write up.
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:05 PM   #22
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followed the instructions in the summer and everything went well when I replaced my stock wheel with a leather one. Great instructions
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:02 AM   #23
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that steering wheel looks nice
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Old 11-07-2007, 02:12 AM   #24
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you know, I never saw this DIY till today. awesome write-up! thanks Bif!
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:04 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bif powell View Post
That's pretty much the difference

I've seen someone do paddle-shifters with a BMW SMG M3 steering wheel - not truly SMG at all, but he wired the switches in the shifter lever in the center console to the paddles. I think we could do it if we got a C55 steering wheel to fit, but my understanding is that they do not fit. I would do it if you could.

Any reason we can't do this:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...threadid=63211
i was sure that brabus offered it as a mod for the w203.. regardless of the model.. aslong as you had tiptronic.
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2005, 203, airbag, brabus, cls, fitting, forum, mercedes, paddle, removal, replace, retrofit, steering, w203, wheel


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