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  #1  
Old 03-01-2002, 12:10 AM
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
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Airbag confusion on '86 300E

Greetings All,

I think I need an interpretor for the Mercedes manual concerning the steering wheel airbag removal. I really need to remove the steering wheel so I can replace the cruise lever on my wife's '86 300E but after reading the manual on the airbag removal, I am wondering what will get screwed up in the process. So if you can interpret this one item on the removal list for proper understanding I'd sure appreciate it.

Plug connection from detonator (R12/3) ..... Disconnect at gas generator.
NOTE Disconnecting this automatically activates a short-circuiting link in the plug connection of the gas generator.

So does my airbag become useless after removing it from the steering wheel to do maintenance on the cruise lever, or is this a round about way of telling me it's o.k. to remove the airbag assembly because it can't explode on me?

Any input would be appreciated as I'd like to get the new cruise lever installed tommorrow.

Thanks,

Charles
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  #2  
Old 03-01-2002, 01:33 AM
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I believe there is a plug you disconnect under the drivers carpet.

But disconnect the battery first of course.

And I would wait on a tech to answer this. I removed mine on my car to change the wheel.

Alon
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  #3  
Old 03-01-2002, 02:16 AM
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Can Do,

Disconnect the battery. Pull up the passenger side carpet and false wall, under the false wall you should see a grey cable with a red connector. It'll be the only red connector there, disconnect the red connector - be sure to grasp firmly by the sides and work it off DO NOT try to pull off the connector by the cable as the connector will break.

Using the appropriate sized torx or six point (or a 4mm hex in a pinch) loosen the two bolts that retain the air bag, they are accessed from the back side of the steering wheel. Ease the bag away from the wheel and disconnect the electrical connection on the back. WHen you disconnect the lead from the back of the airbag (should be a yellow or red connector [new part #124 XXX xx xx has yellow, 126 XXX XX XX has a red]), the explosive charge automatically shunts. When you reconnect you MUST HEAR IT CLICK AUDIBLY, that click unshunts the squib. Store the bag with the metal plate down while removing the wheel and cruise lever.

When I turned the key the first time after replacement of bag and sensor I sat in the passenger just in case.

Hope this helps.
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  #4  
Old 03-01-2002, 02:30 AM
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That's what I needed to Know

Greetings Mike,

Thanks for the info. After reading the removal process, I began to wonder if unplugging the airbag disabled it permanently, like a one time good deal. Glad to know it's just a safety device that is reactivated after it's plugged back in. Replacing any component beyond the steering wheel could get quite costly if it killed your airbag each time it was unplugged. Didn't think they would go to such extremes, but who knows what Gov't agency could possibly have regulated it in such a manner. I suppose the center steering wheel bolt will be a pain to remove, won't it?


Charles
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  #5  
Old 03-01-2002, 02:42 AM
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10mm hex socket and a breaker bar. Probably going to need two people, one to run the wrench and one to hold the wheel very tightly. Do not use the column lock to hold the wheel while unbolting it as that could likely cause damage. Expect the bolt to be tight. Once the bolt is out the wheel should lift off the splined shaft easily with a little rocking.

Underneath the wheel you will find a plate with 3 small phillips head screws. Remove the screws and the plate will come away from the column, but you wont be able to remove it as it has a cable running into the dash (plugs in right near the combination switch and cruise). If your column is anything like the 126 column (I think they are shared), you will have to remove the outer covering of the column and the combination switch, just to get the cruise out as the cruise switch has a slip fit connection with the outer edge of the combo switch. The combo switch is held to the column flange with three phillips head machine screws as well. If your column has the electric adjustment, start working on the column with it fully extended, then when the screws are out of the combo switch, retract the column. Makes it very easy to remove.

You will probably also have to remove the under dash and knee bolster to access the connections inside the dash. A tight fit for average sized hands, even with the under side gutted.
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'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel

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  #6  
Old 03-01-2002, 02:47 PM
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Good day Mike !

Thanks for the excellent explanation of the steering wheel removing process... I am not removing mine but you make it clear with some questions around my head.
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