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Steering Wheel and Air Bag Removal
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Steering Wheel and Air Bag Removal

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$0

Talent:

**

Tools:

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

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W124 (1986-95)

Hot Tip:

Have someone hold the wheel when removing the main bolt

Performance Gain:

New wheel

Complementary Modification:

Install a new steering wheel
Removing your steering wheel and air bag is not as difficult as one would think. Follow these directions and you will have both removed before you know it. 

Remember your car may have been serviced before and parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Locate the negative terminal on the battery (yellow arrow) and remove the negative ground cable (red arrow).
Figure 1

Locate the negative terminal on the battery (yellow arrow) and remove the negative ground cable (red arrow). Place the cable in a manner that it cannot come in contact with the battery while working. Allow the car to sit for at least 15 minutes before working further on it to allow any remaining electrical energy in the car to dissipate.

The steering wheel has an air bag that will need to be removed before the wheel can come off (red arrow).
Figure 2

The steering wheel has an air bag that will need to be removed before the wheel can come off (red arrow).

Use a T-27 and loosen both screws that hold the airbag unit on (red arrow).
Figure 3

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.

In this photo you can see the T27 wrench that I removed from the holder to make it easier (red arrow).
Figure 4

In this photo you can see the T27 wrench that I removed from the holder to make it easier (red arrow). With both screws loosened you can pull the airbag forward away from the wheel (yellow arrow). Note: the key is in the ignition so the steering wheel can be turned but the battery has been disconnected for at least 15 minutes before we started working on the airbag (green arrow).

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. The two screws that hold the bag to the wheel will remain in the wheel (yellow arrow, one shown).

Disconnect the two horn wires (red arrows).
Figure 6

Disconnect the two horn wires (red arrows). The wiring connection for the horn and air bag does not disconnect from this point (yellow arrow). You will need to remove the wheel, ring and lower dash.

Use a 10mm Allen socket along with a breaker bar to loosen the single bolt holding the wheel to the shaft (red arrow).
Figure 7

Use a 10mm Allen socket along with a breaker bar to loosen the single bolt holding the wheel to the shaft (red arrow). Do NOT use the steering lock to help break the bolt loose. Make sure to have someone hold the steering wheel stationary while breaking the bolt free.

There are witness marks on both the steering wheel (red arrows) and the shaft (yellow arrows) to make sure everything lines up when reassembling.
Figure 8

There are witness marks on both the steering wheel (red arrows) and the shaft (yellow arrows) to make sure everything lines up when reassembling. If yours are faded, make your own marks with some white out nail polish.

Pull the wheel straight back and off the shaft.
Figure 9

Pull the wheel straight back and off the shaft. The ring plate will remain on the shaft (red arrow).

To remove the ring plate use a Philips head screwdriver and remove the two small screws (red arrows).
Figure 10

To remove the ring plate use a Philips head screwdriver and remove the two small screws (red arrows).

To get the plate completely off the steering shaft you will need to remove the airbag harness.
Figure 11

To get the plate completely off the steering shaft you will need to remove the airbag harness. Remove the lower dash cover, separate the connector, feed the wire up and out through the hole (red arrow). Installation is the reverse of removal.








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Comments and Suggestions:
KenH Comments: Nick and Readers: regrets for the typos above... this fancy Adding-Machine auto 'corrects'.Please revise the above as follows:
Line 3: "The studs run through 3 insulated holes and 2 corner recesses in the actuating plate."
Line 5: "When the insulating washers or bushings crumble..."
Line 7: "...cures one of the "over" engineered aspects of the W124."
November 30, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No problem. We appreciate the comments. They add a lot to the articles.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
KenH Comments: W124 Horn goes off Intermittently on bumps or turn of steering wheel; not alarm or column wiring related. There are 5x T25 studs holding the horn actuating plate under the airbag. These run through insulated bushings in the actuating plate and attach to the ground plate. The studs run through Three sings and the corners of the actuating plate. When the bushings deteriorate the studs ground against the actuating plate causing the horn to sound. The studs also have nylon insulating washers which deteriorate over time. When the insulting washers or bushings crumble there will be occasional grounding which trips the horn.
Replace the washers with neoprene and use 22mm of 6.6mm heat shrink tubing on the studs. Lube lightly with silicone. This is a proper fix and cures one of many under-engineered aspect of the W124.
November 29, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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