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E36 General discussion and technical help for (E36) 1992-1999 3 series cars. 318, 323, 325, 328.

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Old 07-06-2011, 04:18 PM   #1
BostonGreen318

Name: BostonGreen318
Title: United Newb
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Your Ride: 1994 318is & 1999 318ti
Steering Wheel & (ZAE) Airbag Removal

Alright, my future ownership of this vehicle is riding on this project. There's a bit of a crisis here with the current heat in NC and no working A/C. So, the bottomline is that the evaporator and expansion valve need replacement and that means total dashboard dismantling. Since the bolts connecting the valve to the evaporator are rusted through, both parts gotta go. Obviously, the steering wheel is the first step and that means "safely" removing the airbag. I've read that this can be dangerous if the appropriate precautions aren't followed. Has anybody got some advice on how to proceed, besides disconnecting neg. battery terminal and waiting the SRS control module ten minute discharge period? Thx!

Last edited by BostonGreen318; 07-06-2011 at 05:09 PM.. Reason: Clarification
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:24 AM   #2
Manolito

Name: Manolito
Title: Member
Status: Offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Sacramento
Rate My Car: 338 / 340
Your Ride: (2) '97 328s; '04 330; '04 325iT
Nope. You've got it. I have pulled mine several times for different reasons.

If you take it completely apart:
There are a couple of spacer rings in it. Take note of their positions and orientations.
A short piece of 3/4" PVC pipe is the best tool for re-installing the snap ring. Use the steering wheel bolt to press the PVC which presses the snap ring into its groove.
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