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Replacing Your Steering Wheel Cruise Control and Blinker Stalks on your Mercedes Benz
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Steering Wheel Cruise Control and Blinker Stalks on your Mercedes Benz

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

T-27 Torx, 10mm Hex with a breaker bar, Phillips screw driver

Applicable Models:

 
Mercedes-Benz W124 (1986-95)
Mercedes-Benz W126 (1981-91)
Mercedes-Benz W201 (1984-93)

Hot Tip:

Have someone hold the wheel when loosing main bolt

Performance Gain:

Working Switches

Complementary Modification:

Install a new steering wheel

Early Mercedes-Benz W201 models were not equipped with airbags, while on the later cars, they where standard equipment. The following article will describe how to remove the steering bag and wheel off of a 190E.

Begin by disconnecting the negative ground on the battery and covering it so it cannot ground the battery at any time. Leave the car alone for a minimum of 15 minutes while the residual electricity drains from the system. While the airbags are completely safe to handle if worked on correctly, you don't ever want to work on one while there is an electrical charge in the system.

Remove the passenger side floor mat and then remove the Phillips-head screw on the foot support.

Under the foot support is a red plug for the airbag, unplug this - it just pulls straight off.

Move to the driver side. On the back side of the steering wheel you will see two access holes in the case. They are on the each side of the wheel at 9 and 3 o'clock.

Using a T-30 driver, undo these screws. You will be working blind and the screws will stay in the wheel cover even when undone, but the airbag will loosen while you are turning the screws. When both are completely undone the airbag can be removed from the wheel. Tilt the airbag towards you and remove the plug connector from the wheel to the airbag unit by pulling it out.

Always store the airbag unit with the padded side face up.

There is a 10mm Hex screw holding the wheel to the shaft. You will need to have someone hold the wheel while you use a breaker bar and unscrew it. Never attempt to remove the screw using the steering lock!

With the screw removed, pull the wheel straight off.

With the wheel off, you will see a metal cover plate with the contacts for both the airbag and horn. There will usually be a fair amount of carbon dust on the plate and contacts, clean this up and inspect the contacts for damage.

You will need to remove this plate to gain access to the stalks. It is held in place by three, small Phillips-head screws that are held in with Loctite. Be careful removing these as they can easily strip.

Remove the lower dash cover on the driver side and locate the blue wire with a red harness plug. Clip the ZipTie holding the harness to the frame and separate red plugs. Pull the plate forward while feeding the blue wiring harness through the steering shaft cover.

Remove the three screws holding the stalks to the shaft. There are three Phillips-head screws, with the top one being and inch longer than the other two, remember this when reassembling.

Follow the wiring harness from the stalks down to where it connects with the main wiring loom on the lower steering shaft. Disconnect the harness and free up as much slack in the cable as possible.

Wiggle and pull the stalks, along with the steering shaft cover from the shaft mounting plate. Separate and replace as needed.

Installation is the reverse of removal.

Note: Pictures show gauge pod removed, but gauge removal is NOT necessary for this project.

Remove the negative ground cable (yellow arrow) from the battery and store in so it can not ground the battery while working.
Figure 1

Remove the negative ground cable (yellow arrow) from the battery and store in so it can not ground the battery while working. Allow the car to sit for at least 15 minutes before working further on it.

Remove the floor matt on the passenger side foot well.
Figure 2

Remove the floor matt on the passenger side foot well. Unscrew the Phillips-head screw (yellow arrow) and remove the plastic foot support.

With the foot support removed you can see one of the control units for the airbag (yellow arrow) along with a red plug.
Figure 3

With the foot support removed you can see one of the control units for the cruise control module (yellow arrow) along with a red plug. Separate these plugs (red arrow).

Use a T-30 and loosen both screws that hold the airbag unit on (red arrow).
Figure 4

Use a T-27 and loosen both screws that hold the airbag unit on (red arrow). The screws are on each side of the back of the wheel at 3 and 9 o'clock. If the handle on your Torx driver is too long, try turning the wheel or even removing the lower dash cover to give you more room.

Pull the airbag unit from the wheel and disconnect the plug (red arrows).
Figure 5

Pull the airbag unit from the wheel and disconnect the plug (red arrows). Always store the airbag unit with the logo or padded side facing up.

Use a 10mm Hex and breaker bar to remove the screw holding the wheel to the shaft (red arrow).
Figure 6

Use a 10mm Hex and breaker bar to remove the screw holding the wheel to the shaft (red arrow).Have someone hold the wheel while you break the screw loose, never use the steering lock to hold the wheel in place. In this photo you can see the airbag plug (green arrow) and horn connections (yellow arrows).

On the back side of the steering wheel you can see the horn and airbag contact rings (red arrow) and the access points for the T-30 screws (yellow arrows).
Figure 7

On the back side of the steering wheel you can see the horn and airbag contact rings (red arrow) and the access points for the T-27 screws (yellow arrows). Clean the contact rings with a micro fiber towel.

With the steering wheel removed, you will see a metal plate that holds the horn contacts (green arrows) and the airbag contacts (red arrow).
Figure 8

With the steering wheel removed, you will see a metal plate that holds the horn contacts (green arrows) and the airbag contacts (red arrow). Give this a good cleaning and inspect the contacts for damage (ie: pitting and excessive wear). Note; In this picture you can see the key in the ignition, this was only so we could turn the wheel to access the T-27 holes, the battery has been disconnected and there is no charge in the system.

To remove the plate you will need to remove the three very small Phillips head screws (yellow arrows).
Figure 9

To remove the plate you will need to remove the three very small Phillips head screws (yellow arrows). Be careful removing these as they are held in place with a Loctite.

To get the plate completely off the steering shaft you will need to remove the airbag harness.
Figure 10

To get the plate completely off the steering shaft you will need to remove the airbag harness. Remove the lower dash cover, clip the ZipTie holding the wiring harness, separate the red connector (yellow arrow) and feed the blue wire up through cover plate and out through the hole (red arrow). The contact plug will only pass out the metal plate one way (green arrow).

Follow the wiring harness from the stalks down to where it connects with the main wiring loom on the lower steering shaft.
Figure 11

Follow the wiring harness from the stalks down to where it connects with the main wiring loom on the lower steering shaft. Disconnect the harness and free up as much slack in the cable as possible. Wiggle and pull the stalks, along with the steering shaft cover from the shaft mounting plate.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Marc fritz Comments: Hazard does not work
August 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check the fuses on your vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ray Comments: I just bought a nice 1987 2.6 190e. Has a few problems. Cruise control doesn't work. AC stills blows out center vents with heat on. Transmission does shift hard 1st to 2nd. These are the only problems I've encountered so far. Are the automatics in these cars strickly 3 speeds or should it shift a 3rd time for overdrive. This one only shifts twice. 3000 RPM is about 64 MPH. Is that normal ? Fails emission stated running rich. Any suggestion for these issue are appreciated.
February 27, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Does you shifter have gears, 1 - 2- 3, then D? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jed Comments: A couple of technical issues with this article.

At least on the w201, the tork bolts on the steering wheel are t27 not t30. T30 may work, until they don't...

In figure 3, that is the cruise control control unit, not for the airbag.
July 28, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Hello Jed
Thank you, the text will be corrected.
Sorry about the torx sizes, it is a bit frustrating for us because MB changes these fasteners across years and models.
The best we can do is note what size tools where used on the DIY vehicle.

- whunter
 

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