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Discussion Starter #1
I just took ownership of a 1991 M5 after selling my 1993. The original steering wheel has been replaced by a E30 M3 Evo suede steering wheel by the previous owner (original included as spare). In trying to slide the steering wheel out as on my '93, after releasing the lock lever, the wheel will not slide. In reading the manual, it says "only on vehicles without airbag". I'm fairly certain the original steering wheel in this car had an airbag but I'm not sure about the replacement from an E30 M3 Evo.

My 1993 definitely had an airbag and the stock steering wheel slid in/out fine with no problems. It seems strange the '93 would slide out but not the '91.

Do I have a problem or not? Thanks!
 

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there's a large gland nut at the lower part of the column (inside the cabin, near firewall), that is probably too tight. Too loose and you get slop in the steering, too tight and you can't telescope the column.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Mike! I take it I must remove the black housing if it's near the firewall, correct? Since no good deed goes unpunished, do you have any idea what would cause the odometer reset button near gas gauge to not function? This new (to me) M5 is in very good shape for 112k miles but I'm finding a few things that need attention

Thank you, Bill
 

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remove the panel above your feet. I don't 'think' you need to take the plastic off the column.

Not sure on the cluster, my alpina did that too, some failure on the cluster board.
 

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Just posted response to 93's question about the cluster - I think the circuit board etchings under the plastic button are eroded. He'll have to get a replacement circuit board to fix it. If this is the cause, the cluster self-test should also not work.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You're correct...check control also does not work. I'm a EE and would guess a dab of contact cleaner on both the contacter and pad on the cluster board would fix the problems. Probably some corrosion has developed on the copper contacts since it has not been used for >3 months.
 

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I'd be interested to hear how you get on with moving the steering column in/out.
The nut on mine is fully removed but the column is still stuck fast onto the splined shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I thought '91s didn't have adjustable column. 1993 did.
I'm not sure now. My original steering wheel does have SRS (Airbag) and the column extension lock lever but the 1991 Owner's Manual (Best. Nr. 0147 9 783 859) is contradictory (my bolds):

Page 8. The cockpit at a glance (34 88 02 02 diagram with bullets marking controls)
#8 Steering column extension lock lever (only on vehicles without Airbag).

Page 18. Adjustable steering column (diagram 34 88 01 13)
The steering column can be extended or retracted after pulling out the clamping lever. Secure the steering column in its new position by pushing the clamping lever into its recess.

Warning: Do not adjust the steering wheel position while the vehicle is in motion. This constitutes an accident risk.

The previous owner did mount an E30 M3 EVO suede steering wheel which has no airbag but I doubt that would have changed anything from the original steering lock condition. So I'm concluding my 1991 with Airbag is not adjustable which is different than my previous 1993 with Airbag which was adjustable.

Does anyone know for sure?
 

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there's a large gland nut at the lower part of the column (inside the cabin, near firewall), that is probably too tight. Too loose and you get slop in the steering, too tight and you can't telescope the column.
On my 97, 850 the grease for the splines gummed up and the electric telescoping would not work even with the gland nut loose!!
I had to remove the telescoping shaft, drive the spline section out with a hammer and wooden dowel, clean out the old gummy grease and re-grease the spline so it could telescope again.
Who would have thought that would happen!!
 

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Thanks, will give this a try tomorrow.
Sounds like mine might be the same but I was reluctant to start smashing it too hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you! I believe you may be correct since the previous owner of this 1991 M5 swears he was able to move the wheel. I can imagine lubrication gumming up after 28 years. I know I set my 1993 M5 once as the original owner and never changed it so I can imagine not getting any use could cause the problem.
 

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Mine was indeed all gummed up.
A quick squirt of WD40 down the outer tube and some taps with a rubber mallet did the trick.
Thanks for the tip.
 

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my 91' has the telescoping wheel. I want to find a way to drop the wheel down about 1/2" or so. I like my steering wheels to be low when i drive.
 

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So I was just looking into this again. M Registry says early '91s (before 9/90) didn't have a tilt wheel. Later ones did. I can confirm that my 7/90 has no tilt or telescope. It doesn't mention anything about telescoping, but I wonder if tilt/telescope came together after 9/90.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
A visit to a local shop fixed my locked column on my 1991 which was gummed up due to dried grease. I do not think any US E34 M5s ever had tilt, only telescoping as my previous 1993 had. I'm very happy to finally have this fixed!
 

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A visit to a local shop fixed my locked column on my 1991 which was gummed up due to dried grease. I do not think any US E34 M5s ever had tilt, only telescoping as my previous 1993 had. I'm very happy to finally have this fixed!
Good to know. I think we can conclude that. the M Registry meant telescoping where they said tilt. Maybe I'll email them for correction because they are the gospel for this kind of stuff and usually get it right.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Since you are going to contact them, could you ask them what the following means:

Code Description

S818A BATTERIEHAUPTSCHALTER Battery master switch

This came from a dealer entering the VIN. I suppose this may be for safety or storage, but where is it? I've never seen this mentioned in the manual.


Good to know. I think we can conclude that. the M Registry meant telescoping where they said tilt. Maybe I'll email them for correction because they are the gospel for this kind of stuff and usually get it right.
 

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Since you are going to contact them, could you ask them what the following means:

Code Description

S818A BATTERIEHAUPTSCHALTER Battery master switch

This came from a dealer entering the VIN. I suppose this may be for safety or storage, but where is it? I've never seen this mentioned in the manual.
That was a battery disconnect for shipping. It was removed at the dealer or port of entry, not sure which.
 

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Good to know. I think we can conclude that. the M Registry meant telescoping where they said tilt. Maybe I'll email them for correction because they are the gospel for this kind of stuff and usually get it right.
Here's an 1990 M5 with Tilt/Telescoping steering column/wheel. You guessed it, I upgraded my M5 using an steering column from an E31. Also upgraded to memory seats and mirrors with all E34 parts.

However, after I installed the Tilt/Telescoping steering column I was informed that the Euro E34's had an option for tilt/telescoping steering wheel.
Note 2 motors and drive cables and the steering column controller unit (item 15) is the same p/n as the E31, in the link below: https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=HD92-EUR---E34-BMW-M5 3.6&diagId=32_0663
I've never seen a Euro E34 with Tilt/Telescoping column, but other have.
I think mine looks OE. The dash trim is 1990 M5 US version modified for the E31 steering column trim.

930686
 
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