How to retrofit M Steering Wheel with Multi Function Control

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sideshowbob
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How to retrofit M Steering Wheel with Multi Function Control

Post by sideshowbob » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:28 am

Installation of M Sport MFSW and Retrofit cable.


This is just a quick collection of some very bad photos, and a few sentences that will show you how easy it is to fit a Multi Function Steering Wheel to your Z4. I bought an M sport wheel directly from BMW (part no 32307906780 ). It comes with the multi function controls already fitted, and is a massive improvement on the standard wheel. It is also great value when you consider that I paid £220, whilst the multi function controls as a retro fit kit on its own would cost around £140. If you do decide to fit the M sport wheel and your car was manufactured before September 2003, then you will also need to fit a retrofit cable which will enable the functions on the wheel to work.
If you need this retrofit cable it is about £5 and is bmw part no 61120394848

M sport wheel with multi function control part no 32307906780
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1/ First step is to disconnect the battery. You only need to disconnect the negative terminal.
IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU DISCONNECT THE BATTERY WHEN WORKING WITH THE AIRBAG!! Once disconnected wait at least 20 minutes before removing the airbag. I waited 30 minutes because im a wimp.

2/ When the 20 minutes is up you can remove the airbag. This is incredibly simple yet strangely frustrating at the same time. There are two small holes on either side of the rear cover of the steering wheel. If you poke a smallish flathead screwdriver in each of these holes and push quite firmly this will release a clip that holds on that side of the airbag. (see pic 2).

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The reason this can become frustrating is that you really need to feel around inside the hole to find the clip. If you miss it then when you press down on the screwdriver, nothing will happen. I found it a good idea to practice on my new steering wheel. This way you can see what you are doing.

3/When you have released the airbag from the wheel you will find it is held in place by two plugs. Release the locking clip on top of these plugs and they will pull straight out.
Then unplug the cable at the top of the wheel, undo the centre bolt with a 16mm socket and the wheel will lift straight off.

If your car was manufactured after 09/03 then you can continue to step 11

4/ Next you need to remove the trim that covers the underneath of the steering column. This is held in place by one screw situated in the centre of the trim (see pic 3).

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When this is done the trim simply unclips. Pull it straight down to unclip, and place it aside.
You should now have something that looks like this.

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5/ The instrument cluster is the next thing we need to remove. This is very simple being held in place by only 1 screw and 1 plug. The screw is a funny splined type that bmw seem to use a lot. I’m afraid I have no idea what the technical name or size of it is, but luckily I had a pet mechanic on hand to supply the correct tool when needed. This single screw is located here (see pic 5)

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It is now necessary to drop the steering column to its lowest setting so that you can remove the instrument cluster. Unplug the wiring loom at the back and it should pull straight out.
You should now be left with this

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6/ You are now in a position to fit the retrofit cable.
Like a bit of an idiot I forgot to take a photo of the retrofit cable before I fitted it, so a quick description is in order. The cable itself is very simple. It is about 12 inches long with two wires sticking out at either end. On one end the wires have little metal connectors that allow them to be inserted into a plug. At the other end the wires are plain.
One of the wires is Violet/Yellow in colour, whilst the other one is Red/White/Yellow.
Here is a diagram I tried to knock up in paint.

Image

First you need to connect up the steering wheel end of the cable. If you look underneath the steering column, at the back of the steering wheel slip ring you will find a green plug. Unplug this. What you need to do is wire the retrofit cable into this plug. Luckily BMW have made this pretty simple to do. If you look closely at the plug you will notice that each pin has a number (1-10). You will also notice that some of the pin holes do not actually have pins in them. The ones we are interested in are pin numbers 9 and 10.
On the sides of the plugs are 2 clips. These clips help to secure the pins in place. So that we can secure our 2 new pins in place we need to undo the corresponding clip (see pic 8)

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We can now insert our 2 wires from the cable with their pins into the correct places. Insert the Violet/Yellow cable into pin 10, and the Red/White/Yellow cable into pin 9.
Make sure that you push the pins in as far as they can go so that when you plug the plug back into the slip ring you get a good connection. When you have inserted the 2 wires you can close the clip up and the wires should be held firmly in place (see pic 9)

Image

The green plug can now be plugged back into the rear of the slip ring.

7/ You can now route the retrofit cable along the standard wiring harness to the Light Switch Centre. The light switch centre is simply the switch that we use to turn on the headlights. If you look through where the instrument cluster was you can see the rear of the light switch. You will notice that there is a large plug. This is where we will connect the other end of the retrofit cable. I have undone the light switch centre and pulled it out slightly simply to make the plug easier to photograph. You do not need to do this. You can get perfectly good access through where the instrument cluster normally sits.

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8/ Remove the plug from the rear of the light switch centre. You will notice that the plug is actually 2 plugs (one brown, one blue) inside a black plastic case. The plugs need to be removed from the case. This is simply a matter of sliding them out through the side. You can do this by levering them out from the opposite side using a small screwdriver. Hopefully the photos below will explain this better. (see pics 11, 12 and 13)

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Image

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9/ Like the previous plug all the pins are numbered. The ones we are interested in this time are numbers 21 and 27. They should be located on the blue plug.
When you have found these pins you will notice that there are already wires there. We need to connect our 2 wires to the existing wires. To enable this to be done bmw include 2 scotch lock connectors.
The Red/White/Yellow wire from the retrofit cable needs to be connected to the wire of the same colour that comes from pin 21. The Violet/Yellow wire from the retrofit cable needs to be connected to the wire of the same colour that comes from pin 27.
Use the scotch locks to make these connections. Make sure you put the wires in the plastic half of the scotch lock, and fold over the half with the metal connections to seal the box. Hopefully these photos will help

Image

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Once these wires are connected up you have finished fitting the retrofit cable. The blue and the brown plug can be slid back into the case, and the whole lot can be plugged back into the rear of the light switch centre.

10/ Secure the retrofit cable to the existing loom with cable ties or some electrical tape so that it is out of the way and cant become snagged on anything.
Now you can refit the instrument cluster and the lower steering column trim.

11/ You can now fit the new steering wheel. This is easy to fit straight. If you look at the thread at the centre of wheel there is a small gap. Please see this photo I stole from PawnSacrifice.

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There is a corresponding notch on the steering column. Line these up and bobs your uncle.
All that is left to do now is to plug the new steering wheel into the slip ring. The cable that goes to the airbag plugs back into the same place as before. The new cable from the multifunction controls plugs neatly into the slip ring to the right of the airbag plug (see pic 16)

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12/ You can now replace the main bolt that holds on the steering wheel and replace the airbag. Once you have plugged it in it simply clips back into place. Make sure it is secure and then reconnect the battery. Job done.

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I would like to thank PawnSacrifice for giving me the retrofit cable to complete this guide, and for the use of his photography.
Last edited by sideshowbob on Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I REJECT YOUR UNHOLY WORLD AND ITS HUM-DRUM INSISTENCE ON PRACTICALITY. I WILL NOT DRIVE A BORING CAR. I WILL DRIVE THIS DAMNED ROADSTER AND I WILL MAKE DO WITH ITS LIMITATIONS AND I WILL LIKE IT.

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Re: How to retrofit M Steering Wheel with Multi Function Control

Post by PawnSacrifice » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:00 am

Excellent addition to the How To section, good work :thumbsup:

Thanks.
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Re: How to retrofit M Steering Wheel with Multi Function Control

Post by cj10jeeper » Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:21 pm

Good write up and looks like you had fun doing it.

The 'screw' you cannot name is a is a 'Torx'

As a suggestion I would never rely on a plastic bag to isolate the battery lead from the terminal. It's perfectly possible to arc 12v through that. While it's unlikely to trigger the airbag it will certainly trip the arning light and cause a dealer trip to reset. for the sake of a 'How to' where people copy, I would err on the side of caution an advocate something more physical to keep the 2 apart.
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Re: How to retrofit M Steering Wheel with Multi Function Control

Post by Dreamer » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:59 pm

Great How-to Bob, I'll be following this once ive ordered the retro cable. :)
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Re: How to retrofit M Steering Wheel with Multi Function Control

Post by sideshowbob » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:04 am

cj10jeeper wrote:Good write up and looks like you had fun doing it.

The 'screw' you cannot name is a is a 'Torx'

As a suggestion I would never rely on a plastic bag to isolate the battery lead from the terminal. It's perfectly possible to arc 12v through that. While it's unlikely to trigger the airbag it will certainly trip the arning light and cause a dealer trip to reset. for the sake of a 'How to' where people copy, I would err on the side of caution an advocate something more physical to keep the 2 apart.
Thanks cj. You are of course right, and infact it is a pretty silly thing to advise other people to do. I will change this. Maybe i should just leave out this step? or perhaps you may be able to suggest a better alternative?
I dont suppose you happen to know what size the Torx is? just so i can add this too.
To be perfectly honest with you i found the write up hard work. My typing is atrocious, and i'm just not a natural author. BUT its just not fair if its the same people that are always "giving" to the forum. We all benefit so we should all make an effort to participate.
I REJECT YOUR UNHOLY WORLD AND ITS HUM-DRUM INSISTENCE ON PRACTICALITY. I WILL NOT DRIVE A BORING CAR. I WILL DRIVE THIS DAMNED ROADSTER AND I WILL MAKE DO WITH ITS LIMITATIONS AND I WILL LIKE IT.

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Re: How to retrofit M Steering Wheel with Multi Function Control

Post by cj10jeeper » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:39 am

Can't remember the torx size buth they come in small socket like sets or packs like allan keys so most people will find the one on the day.

As an aside it does take a long time to do a write up. My tip is to do it all in something like MS Word and then when done, just paste it into the post and preview. That way you can build the text and drop pictures in as you go along.
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Re: How to retrofit M Steering Wheel with Multi Function Control

Post by Spooky » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:02 am

Superb write up, I was looking to get the multi functions very soon, but now for £80 more will wait and get the whole //M wheel!

More strange BMW value!

At the risk of sounding very silly, does the mobile phone/bluetooth work? if so how?

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Re: How to retrofit M Steering Wheel with Multi Function Control

Post by sideshowbob » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:39 pm

Im afraid i dont know much about bluetooth. I do know that it doesnt work on mine because i dont have a bluetooth module. I believe this can be retrofitted tho.
I REJECT YOUR UNHOLY WORLD AND ITS HUM-DRUM INSISTENCE ON PRACTICALITY. I WILL NOT DRIVE A BORING CAR. I WILL DRIVE THIS DAMNED ROADSTER AND I WILL MAKE DO WITH ITS LIMITATIONS AND I WILL LIKE IT.

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Re: How to retrofit M Steering Wheel with Multi Function Control

Post by cj10jeeper » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:08 pm

LazioMaster wrote:Superb write up, I was looking to get the multi functions very soon, but now for £80 more will wait and get the whole //M wheel!

More strange BMW value!

At the risk of sounding very silly, does the mobile phone/bluetooth work? if so how?
The MFSW will also control the phone through the bluetooth system if you have it fitted. The easiest way to see the module is a 9" by 6" bump in the carpet in the left hand lower corner of the rear firewall seen from the boot.

You can get ULF modules from Ebay and retrofit kits from bimmernav. I did a write up on it some time back. Lot of dismantling but great when all integrated with sat nav, MFSW, cars speakers, etc.
Jaguar F-Type 3.0 Supercharged V6 S, Stratus Grey, LSD, Active Exhaust, CF wheels, Performance brakes, Sports seats and mods ongoing
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Re: How to retrofit M Steering Wheel with Multi Function Control

Post by Spooky » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:09 pm

cj10jeeper wrote:
LazioMaster wrote:Superb write up, I was looking to get the multi functions very soon, but now for £80 more will wait and get the whole //M wheel!

More strange BMW value!

At the risk of sounding very silly, does the mobile phone/bluetooth work? if so how?
The MFSW will also control the phone through the bluetooth system if you have it fitted. The easiest way to see the module is a 9" by 6" bump in the carpet in the left hand lower corner of the rear firewall seen from the boot.

You can get ULF modules from Ebay and retrofit kits from bimmernav. I did a write up on it some time back. Lot of dismantling but great when all integrated with sat nav, MFSW, cars speakers, etc.


Hmm, I see thanks for that CJ, I have no bump so no bluetooth. Ill check out ebay now for the ULF module and il check out your write up. :D

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Re: How to retrofit M Steering Wheel with Multi Function Control

Post by daveg » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:13 pm

Thanks very much for this great write-up - will be very useful at the weekend when I come to fitting my wheel. Plenty of pictures which I like!
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Re: How to retrofit M Steering Wheel with Multi Function Control

Post by daveg » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:03 pm

Thanks so much for pulling this together - wouldn't have been able to fit my wheel without this guide.

I seriously appreciate the effort required in writing it all down for others to follow. :thumbsup:
03 3.0i SE For Sale
Done - P Zero Rosso's | Stubby | 107's | ///M MFSW | ZHP | Cruise | Custom boot/license bulbs | Full circle brake | 330 calipers | EBC Ultimax/Greenstuff | Clear sides rears + 3rd brake | Strut Brace | 4 wheel align

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Re: How to retrofit M Steering Wheel with Multi Function Control

Post by Nosa » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:53 pm

is this a do-able on a 04 2.5i? :?

If so is that correct that i would go from step 3 to step 11 ? i.e no need to remove instrument panel

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Re: How to retrofit M Steering Wheel with Multi Function Control

Post by PawnSacrifice » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:13 am

Nosa wrote:is this a do-able on a 04 2.5i? :?

If so is that correct that i would go from step 3 to step 11 ? i.e no need to remove instrument panel
Did this with mine - very late 2003 model 2.5. No need for the retrofit cable.

Great mod :thumbsup:
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Re: How to retrofit M Steering Wheel with Multi Function Control

Post by Neil_W » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:11 am

Are there any other wheel designs? I have the multi wheel already but find it so thin, can't get on with it. That's why I am attracted to the m wheel. Is the above the only design or is there another maybe with a silver trim?

Ps great write up

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