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DIY: E36 US 3-Spoke M Technic Steering Wheel Airbag Roundel Replacement

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  • DIY: E36 US 3-Spoke M Technic Steering Wheel Airbag Roundel Replacement

    I have a handful of chalky airbags with dented or ruined roundels on them. Here's a DIY on how to go about refurbishing the plastic and replacing the roundel with an Original BMW part.

    Airbag work is at your own risk. Don't do it if you're stupid.

    The airbag I'm working on here has decent plastics but the roundel coloring was ripped off after tape was put on it and it was dented.

    The cover is held on to the airbag frame with 12 aluminum rivets. Start by removing them with a drill. My recommendation is a small single flute countersink bit. It does the best at removing only the necessary parts of the rivet and also keeping debris out of the airbag. I'm using a 3/8" 82degree one here. Stop when the rivet head is removed. Don't just continue to cut. See second pic.

    The airbag cover pops off once the 12 rivet heads are removed. Underneath you will see that the roundel has metal tabs that are bent over and plastic is melted over them. You will need to carefully cut or melt that coating to expose the tab. Do your best to retain the valley the tab is set in as you will be bending the replacement part into it later.

    When all three tabs are bent straight up, the roundel will simply pop out.

    With the roundel removed, now is the time to clean and restore the plastics with whatever method you have selected. My method involves vaporhoning and then using a low sheen ceramic coating to protect the blasted surface. You could also use a matte clear coat, or choose something entirely different.

    Here is another airbag cover that was blasted and then ceramic coated.

    Installing the replacement roundel is reverse removal. Push it down evenly into the bag ensuring an even recess into the plastic. Bend the tabs over into their original positions and make sure they are flat. I cover the tabs with Ultra Black Silicone that I allow to dry for several hours (don't reinstall the cover until fully cured!).

    You'll need to work on the airbag itself when that silicone is drying. There will be rivet bodies still stuck in the airbag frame. Using the same counter sink bit, cut the rivet body down until it is flush with the airbag frame. You will be able to (carefully) remove the rivet from the inside of the airbag with needle nose pliers if done correctly. Don't drill into the steel frame and keep all shards of metal out of the airbag. If you leave anything in there, it's going to explode in your face in an accident. Don't be dumb.

    After removing all 12 rivet bodies and ensuring the airbag is free of any debris, you can reinstall the airbag cover. Begin the process of riveting the cover back on.

    That's it. All finished

    I'll have the roundel and rivet kit listed on my website for sale. I am not tech support, I will not do it for you. If you can't do this properly yourself, don't do it.

    MSportParts | Braymond141