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Steering Wheel Swap, Step By Step with Pics

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E-Class (W210) 1995-2002: E 200, E 220D, E 240, E 290TD, E 300TD, E 200, E 240, E 280, E 320, E 420, E 430 (Wagon, Touring, 4Matic)

Steering Wheel Swap, Step By Step with Pics

 
Old 06-06-2005, 03:35 PM
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Post Steering Wheel Swap, Step By Step with Pics

Okay, folks, I finally got around to changing my W210 steering wheel. This basic procedure is the same for pretty much all of the MBZ vehicles with airbags.

First, a few caveats. Remember that this is a basic procedure, but not for the faint of heart. Make a misstep and you could end up with a mess; having an airbag explode in your face is neither fun nor cheap. Second, be prepared; once you have the airbag assembly off is not the time to find out you don't have the tool necessary to pull the retaining bolt.

Third, take your time; no sense in rushing. Last, be sure you have your owner's manual and radio code handy for all the reset procedures.

STEP ONE. Bring the steering wheel to almost center; I left it slightly left (as you can see in the photo) to permit easier access to the left airbag assembly bolt. Extend the steering wheel from the dash as far as it will go.

STEP TWO. Disconnect the negative lead from the battery. You can access the lead from the snap-off cover in front of the right-side rear passenger seat. It's a 7/16" nut. Be sure you have unlocked all doors and that the vehicle key is in your pocket. Close the door to extinguish the dome light, then remove the nut and pull the lug off the terminal end. I stuck the plastic cover halfway back in to ensure the cable lug wouldn't drift back over and make contact.

STEP THREE. Loosen each of the airbag assembly retaining screws. They are T30 Torx, but you can use an allen wrench if you desire. Although I had a torx socket, the hole provided is too small for anything other than a straight-shaft tool, so I ended up using a 5/32 allen wrench and a cheater to get enough torque to loosen these screws. Once each of the screws is loose, go ahead and completely loosen them. They will remain in the steering wheel, so you'll have to periodically pull on the airbag assembly to see if you're finished loosening them.
Attached Thumbnails Steering Wheel Swap, Step By Step with Pics-01before.jpg   Steering Wheel Swap, Step By Step with Pics-02toolnote.jpg   Steering Wheel Swap, Step By Step with Pics-03rightab.jpg  
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Old 06-06-2005, 03:37 PM
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Post Step by step, part 2...

STEP FOUR. Gently pull the airbag assembly away from the steering wheel and rotate it as in the picture. Pull the yellow airbag connector straight off the airbag and then disconnect the other connector. Remove the airbag assembly and set it somewhere safe.

STEP FIVE. Use a 10mm allen-head socket to loosen the steering wheel retaining bolt. This bolt has a tapered seat and will be very tight to break loose. Don't use the steering wheel lock but rather have a helper hold the steering wheel while you loosen it. When the bolt is quite loose tug on the steering wheel; it should slide forward. If not, have the holder pull on it while you use a small piece of wood and a hammer to strike a blow to the retaining bolt. Don't hit your helper!

STEP SIX. With the wheel able to move, remove the tapered retaining bolt and, supporting the wheel with one hand, carefully feed the connector wires and ends through the hole noted in the picture. Remove the wheel.
Attached Thumbnails Steering Wheel Swap, Step By Step with Pics-04abremove.jpg   Steering Wheel Swap, Step By Step with Pics-05assyconn.jpg   Steering Wheel Swap, Step By Step with Pics-06noab.jpg   Steering Wheel Swap, Step By Step with Pics-07nowheel.jpg  
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Old 06-06-2005, 03:39 PM
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Post Step by step, Part 3

STEP SEVEN. Support the new wheel and feed the wires back through the same hole. Line up the wheel and place it in position, securing it with the retaining bolt. 60-70 ft. lbs. should be fine; once the taper seat hits, torque will rise dramatically.

STEP EIGHT. Reinstall the airbag assembly, connect the general connector first, and then the airbag connector. Align the airbag assembly into place and start the two screws, then tighten them.

STEP NINE. Close the doors and reconnect the battery. Replace the plastic cover.

STEP TEN. Go through the manual's procedures to correct the malfunction warnings, reset the power windows and enable your radio.

STEP ELEVEN. Go for a drive, enjoy the new feeling!

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
Attached Thumbnails Steering Wheel Swap, Step By Step with Pics-08after.jpg   Steering Wheel Swap, Step By Step with Pics-09after.jpg  
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Old 06-07-2005, 12:44 PM
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Looks Great Greg.

Thanks for the detailed information. Did you install the eibachs/bilstein's yet. If so how do you like them?
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Old 06-07-2005, 12:48 PM
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Whooo baby those are some nice pictures and really good lookin' wheel!
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Old 06-07-2005, 01:43 PM
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Great write up Greg...as with your brake thing. One thing that's missing (from a quick scan of the text) is to make sure the key is out of the ignition at all times.
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Old 06-07-2005, 01:49 PM
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Very nice write up.

New steeering wheel looks much better.
I am sure it feels better too.
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Old 06-07-2005, 03:27 PM
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Greg....Looks fabulous on your car I'm missing it already

Enjoy it buddy.
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Old 06-07-2005, 11:58 PM
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Looks very good. Thanks for the write up!
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Old 06-08-2005, 01:57 AM
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Thumbs up Good Job!

Greg. Good work buddy.

Can this be done with 97-99 W210 where steering wheels does not have radio and other control on it ??

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Old 06-08-2005, 02:09 AM
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It looks good, great write up. How much did the wheel set you back, i know it had to cost at least a leg and an arm.
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Old 06-09-2005, 05:10 AM
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Greate step by step. Thanks. BTW What's lever from right side of a steering wheel? I seem to do not have such.

And last, does anybody know who's selling bird eye wood-leather steering wheels?
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:33 PM
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Thumbs up I love this forum...you guys are great!

Originally Posted by Dema
Greate step by step. Thanks. BTW What's lever from right side of a steering wheel? I seem to do not have such.

And last, does anybody know who's selling bird eye wood-leather steering wheels?
Thanks for the feedback. The silly stalk on the right is yet another control for the built-in cell phone. Make calls, answer them, parse the directory, blah, blah, blah. Suppose I would actually appreciate it if I wanted to use the one that came with the car.

Check formymercedes.com on the birds-eye. Member SBARSAP got his from the DANA guy that also sells them off e-bay (and directly) but he's in Europe, so there's another $75 or so for shipping. He does do beautiful work...you can see it in SBARSAP's post on his wheel.

Enjoy the ride,
Greg
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Whitey
Great write up Greg...as with your brake thing. One thing that's missing (from a quick scan of the text) is to make sure the key is out of the ignition at all times.
Good clarification, Whitey, but it's nestled in step two. Though worthy of reiteration!

Actually, you want to keep the key in your pocket not always, but AFTER you've extended the steering wheel. I'd have hated life if I'd gotten the battery off and then realized I needed to extend the wheel to get to the AB screws.

Take care, man. How's HK these days?

Last edited by Gregs210; 06-09-2005 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:51 PM
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Hahahhaha, yeah good point........or you could get a shorter torx driver

HK's just fine, a little confused about which country it belongs to but luckily retaining its autonomy....so they say.....gas and cars still expensive as ever.

Enjoy the big boy's wheel....I'm sure it would have been well cared for (and probably hardly used )
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Old 06-09-2005, 04:25 PM
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that sterring wheel looks hot, I want one.
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Old 06-09-2005, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by hadam
Greg. Good work buddy.

Can this be done with 97-99 W210 where steering wheels does not have radio and other control on it ??

Hi, Hadam, and thanks for the feedback.
You still have an airbag, though, right? Does it look like the attached pic? I'm 99% sure the wheel is the same for all airbag-equipped W210s, since your airbag assembly swaps out you just wouldn't have the additional wiring connectors. If you look back up at the pics, the one after I've removed the airbag assembly, that's the wheel itself which is all you really swap out.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
Attached Thumbnails Steering Wheel Swap, Step By Step with Pics-genericnoctrl.jpg  
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:22 PM
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can it be dangerous to remove the airbag yourself??

Mike
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:55 PM
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I ran into this thread a few days ago. I followed the directions and most everything worked out well in my 1999 e320. A few comments:

1. Have a torch ready for the wheels retaining bolt. It has loctite and will require heat before attempting any removal. I used a breaker bar with no extension and without using an impact gun. The bolt came out fairly easily. I removed it without any assistance. I used my "club" security bar attached to one of the wheel spokes and the other end braced against the floor in order to immobilize the wheel.

2. If you are just replacing the wheel, it is a very straight forward operation.

3. If you are replacing the turn signal, it is also straight forward. Just take your time to remove and replace everthing in the same sequence.

4. However, if you are replacing your cruise control switch, you may encounter the same problem I did. It was extremely difficult to reach the harness that is attached to the ignition cluster. I tried everthing and was unable to reach it without performing major disassembly. I instead, opted to splice the wires from the old harness and attached them the new switch (you must splice the wires on the new switch as well). IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANY ELECTRICAL EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE SURE TO LOOK AT SOME EXAMPLES PRIOR TO SPLICING WIRES. The process is very easy, it is just important to do it properly to avoid any shorts or malfunctions. It is no different than splicing and joining any othe type of wires. This proved to be much faster and easier than disassembling the other components.
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:19 PM
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steering wheel

your wheel looks great!!!! Just wandering if I can take out the bolts to the airbag just enough to tighten the wheel without disconnecting any wires or battery cable?
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:48 PM
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Really nice. Thank for the step by step. I replace the door pulls with Burl replacements. They look fantastic, but really need to do the wheel now. Best
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:32 PM
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Thanks.....worked perfect
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Old 11-12-2016, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Check Codes View Post
STEP THREE. Loosen each of the airbag assembly retaining screws. They are T30 Torx, but you can use an allen wrench if you desire. Although I had torx sockets, the hole provided is too small for anything other than a straight-shaft tool, so I ended up using a 5/32 allen wrench and a cheater to get enough torque to loosen these screws.
I just practiced removing a few steering wheels at the JY yesterday, and I can confirm that a long T30 Torx is needed (if you go with using the correct-fitting tool). I happened to have a set of 3" Torx bits, and took them with me due to Greg's warning, and the long T30 bit with a 1/4" deep socket and small 1/4" drive ratchet worked great for removing the airbag screws.



I don't think a full T30 screwdriver could be made to fit in there, it'd probably be a tad too long, and a std-length bit would definitely be too short.

Originally Posted by Check Codes View Post
STEP FIVE. Use a 10mm allen-head socket to loosen the steering wheel retaining bolt. This bolt has a tapered seat and will be very tight to break loose.
I was using a 10mm hex socket driver and a 3/8" 6" extension, with a 3/8" ratchet. I would step up to a 1/2" ratchet next time: I could just barely break two of them loose at the JY with the 3/8" ratchet, but the third one required a pipe cheater (I found a bit of 3/4" EMT laying around, and that worked fine). It's tight.

Originally Posted by acherner View Post
3. If you are replacing the turn signal, it is also straight forward. Just take your time to remove and replace everthing in the same sequence.

4. However, if you are replacing your cruise control switch, you may encounter the same problem I did. It was extremely difficult to reach the harness that is attached to the ignition cluster. I tried everthing and was unable to reach it without performing major disassembly. I instead, opted to splice the wires from the old harness and attached them the new switch (you must splice the wires on the new switch as well).
I hear you. I was working on car with the instrument cluster removed and that CC harness does take a bit of snaking to get disconnected back in the guts a ways. I don't know as I'd cut-n-splice or do the snake bit, it's probably a wash in labor IMO, as doing a good solder job on that many wires is not a matter of five minutes. To each his own.

Last edited by asavage; 11-12-2016 at 06:05 PM.
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