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Pelican Technical Article:

Steering Wheel Removal

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$20

Talent:

**

Tools:

T30 Torx long bit, 10mm Allen head socket with ratchet

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R129 (1990-02)

Parts Required:

Steering Wheel

Hot Tip:

Have the wheels pointed straight ahead to align the steering wheel for installation

Performance Gain:

Ability to access to components behind steering wheel

Your steering wheel is the most important part of your car. We often don't think about it but it is one of the parts we come in contact with the most. It's what we use to point the car where we want it to go. On our W129 chassis it also houses the driver side airbag. This is an important safety feature for the driver. In this tech article we are going to show you how to safely remove your steering wheel to either replace it or get access to other steering column parts.

This photo illustrates the battery negative terminal.
Figure 1

This photo illustrates the battery negative terminal. We are going to need to remove the airbag to get access to the steering wheel fastener. It is strongly recommended that you disconnect the battery and let the car sit for 5 minutes to let the airbag control unit fully power down. See our tech article on battery removal and disconnect the battery. You do not have to follow the whole procedure to remove the battery, simply disconnect it.

Turn the steering wheel 90° from straight ahead and feel for the hole in the back of the steering wheel that is now at the 6 O'clock position.
Figure 2

Turn the steering wheel 90° from straight ahead and feel for the hole in the back of the steering wheel that is now at the 6 O'clock position. Working at the bottom of the steering wheel, insert your long T30 bit straight in the hole until you've seated the bit in the fastener inside the steering wheel. Loosen the fastener, you cannot remove it but you can loosen it all the way to release one side of the airbag. The fastener is encapsulated and it stays in the steering wheel. You can use a ratchet with a Torx bitPictured here.

Turn the steering wheel 180° to gain access to the mounting fastener on the other side of the steering wheel.
Figure 3

Turn the steering wheel 180° to gain access to the mounting fastener on the other side of the steering wheel. Insert your long T30 bit straight in the hole until you've seated the bit in the fastener inside the steering wheel. Loosen the fastener, you cannot remove it but you can loosen it all the way to release one side of the airbag. The fastener is encapsulated and it stays in the steering wheel. The airbag will be loose so hold it on to the steering wheel with your other hand. You don't want it to fall out and tug on the airbag wiring connector. You can use a screwdriver type Torx bitPictured here.

Tilt the airbag out of the steering wheel to expose the back of the airbag.
Figure 4

Tilt the airbag out of the steering wheel to expose the back of the airbag.

Squeeze the airbag electrical connector in the middle of the back of the airbag and unplug the connector by pulling it straight out.
Figure 5

Squeeze the airbag electrical connector in the middle of the back of the airbag and unplug the connector by pulling it straight out.

Place the airbag with the cover facing upward for safety and never face it downward.
Figure 6

Place the airbag with the cover facing upward for safety and never face it downward. While the odds of it deploying are minimal you do not want the airbag frame to fly upward while the airbag deploys downward into whatever it is resting on.

Remove the 10mm Allen head fastener (green arrow) that holds the steering wheel onto the steering column.
Figure 7

Remove the 10mm Allen head fastener (green arrow) that holds the steering wheel onto the steering column. This fastener is going to be tight. You may want to have a friend help hold the steering wheel still while you loosen the fastener.

Look at the lines etched in the steering column (green arrows) and line them up with the arrows (yellow arrows) on the steering wheel.
Figure 8

Look at the lines etched in the steering column (green arrows) and line them up with the arrows (yellow arrows) on the steering wheel. This will help you align the steering wheel during installation.

Pull back on the steering wheel to remove it from the shaft.
Figure 9

Pull back on the steering wheel to remove it from the shaft. You may want to grab both sides of the steering wheel and rock it side to side to help remove it. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Put the steering wheel back on the steering column shaft and tighten down the fastener. Plug the airbag connector into the airbag and position the airbag in the steering wheel. Tighten down the encapsulated screws inside the steering wheel that hold on the airbag. Connect the battery and start the engine. Make sure the steering wheel turns all the way lock to lock before driving.

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Comments and Suggestions:
ricksink Comments: As usuall excellent instructions Thanks Wayne
September 24, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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