BMW Coupes and Sedans 1970-1988 Repair Guide

Ignition Switch

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



3 Series Models
EXCEPT 318i and 320i MODELS

CAUTION
With air bag equipped models, all precautions must be adhered to or premature deployment of the air bag may occur causing personal injury. If the air bag system is damaged or rendered inoperative, the additional protection an air bag provides in a frontal collision will not be available and may lead to greater injury in an accident. Refer to Chassis Electrical for SRS precautions and procedures.

  1. Disarm the SRS system, if equipped.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect negative battery terminal.
  4.  
  5. Remove lower steering column casing.
  6.  
  7. Shear off the 4 tamper-proof screws with a chisel or other suitable tool.
  8.  
  9. Unscrew the set screw and remove the switch.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the central fuse/relay plate plug.
  12.  
  13. Installation is the reverse of removal.
  14.  

Turn ignition key all the way back and set the switch at the "0" position before installing. Marks on the switch must be opposite each other.

318i AND 320i MODELS

See Figures 1 and 2

  1. Disconnect the battery ground cable. Remove the steering wheel.
  2.  
  3. Remove the 4 tamper-proof screws, and remove the lower steering column cover.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the turn signal/wiper switch by removing the 4 screws and disconnecting the wires.
  6.  
  7. Remove the collar from the steering column shaft. Then, remove the snapring (1), washer (2), spring (3) and seating ring (4).
  8.  


CAUTION
In the next step, pry carefully. Don't use too much force, because a screwdriver can slip and cause injury!

  1. Pry off the steering spindle bearings with 2 screwdrivers. Pry by the inner race only.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the main electrical plug at the bottom of the steering column.
  4.  
  5. Use a chisel to remove the tamper proof screw. Pull the lock assembly with the upper section of the casting off the outer column.
  6.  
  7. With a suitable tool, press downward on the lock and then slide the switch off, noting the switch position and that of the lock assembly.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: On 318i models, press down with a screwdriver to remove the ignition lock



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Remove snapring (1), washer (2), spring (3) and seating ring (4)

To install:
  1. To install, locate the switch in the correct position and install it, noting these points:
    1. When installing the switch, make sure its position is the same in relationship with the lock, so the actions of the 2 will be synchronized.
    2.  
    3. Use a Torx® screwdriver for the tamper proof screw.
    4.  
    5. Drive the steering spindle bearings back on by the inner races only.
    6.  
    7. When installing the seating ring that goes on the shaft, make sure the spring seat faces outward. Use a piece of pipe slightly larger than the shaft and tap it with a hammer to install the snapring. Then, make sure the collar that goes on next locks the snapring in place.
    8.  

  2.  

1985-86 524td, 528e, 530i, 533i and 633i

CAUTION
With air bag equipped models, all precautions must be adhered to or premature deployment of the air bag may occur causing personal injury. If the air bag system is damaged or rendered inoperative, the additional protection an air bag provides in a frontal collision will not be available and may lead to greater injury in an accident. Refer to Chassis Electrical for SRS precautions and procedures.

  1. Disarm the SRS system, if equipped.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the battery ground cable. Remove the steering wheel as described in this section.
  4.  
  5. Remove the instrument panel lower trim and the steering column lower cover.
  6.  
  7. Unplug the flasher relay and then pull the relay and holder off the front of the column. Then, remove the 4 screws retaining the headlight dimmer and wiper combination switch.
  8.  
  9. Use a hammer and chisel to shear off the 5 screws mounting the switch.
  10.  
  11. Remove the setscrew. Then, press downward on the steering column and pull the steering lock out.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Install the position in the correct position, using new shear-off type screws to mount the switch. Make sure to install the switch so it is properly positioned in relation to the steering lock.
  2.  
  3. Apply paint to the setscrew to lock it in position after it has been installed and tightened.
  4.  
  5. Connect the negative battery cable.
  6.  

1987-88 528e, 535i, M5, 635i and M6

See Figure 2

To perform this operation, use special tools 32 3 052 and 32 3 050 or equivalent. These are a sleeve, tapered at the outer end, which permits mounting a snapring over the threaded end of the steering shaft without damaging those threads. There is also a pipe which fits over the sleeve and permits the snapring to be forced down the sleeve while being kept square.

  1. Remove the steering wheel as described in this section.
  2.  


CAUTION
With air bag equipped models, all precautions must be adhered to or premature deployment of the air bag may occur causing personal injury. If the air bag system is damaged or rendered inoperative, the additional protection an air bag provides in a frontal collision will not be available and may lead to greater injury in an accident. Refer to Chassis Electrical for SRS precautions and procedures.

  1. Disarm the SRS system, if equipped.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  4.  
  5. Remove the steering column lower cover.
  6.  
  7. Unplug the flasher relay and then pull the relay and holder off the front of the column. Pull the plug off the horn contact.
  8.  
  9. Note the location of the 2 ground wires. Then, remove the 4 screws and remove the headlight/wiper switch.
  10.  
  11. Pull the collar off the steering shaft. Then, remove, in order, the snapring, washer, spring, and seating ring.
  12.  
  13. Press downward on the locking hook and pull the ignition switch off the column.
  14.  

To install:
  1. Install the switch in position. Install the seating ring with the flat side outward. Use the special tools to fit the snapring on as described in the note above.
  2.  
  3. Mount the collar with the recess downward. Make sure to reconnect the ground wires to the bottom left screw.
  4.  
  5. Connect the negative battery cable.
  6.  

1983-84 733i
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the outer steering column cover.
  4.  
  5. Lift the flasher relay out of its holding clamp. Unscrew the attaching screw and pull out the switch.
  6.  
  7. Open the wire strap and pull off the plug.
  8.  
  9. Install the switch into position, noting these points:
    1. With the ignition key in the new switch, turn the key slowly back and forth while sliding in the switch until it engages. Apply a new coating of locking sealer.
    2.  
    3. Connect the black wire from the ignition switch to the black wire coming from the power saving relay. Use new straps to tie the wiring harness back in place.
    4.  

  10.  
  11. Install the steering wheel and connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  

1985-86 735i

CAUTION
With air bag equipped models, all precautions must be adhered to or premature deployment of the air bag may occur causing personal injury. If the air bag system is damaged or rendered inoperative, the additional protection an air bag provides in a frontal collision will not be available and may lead to greater injury in an accident. Refer to Chassis Electrical for SRS precautions and procedures.

  1. Disarm the SRS system, if equipped.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the battery ground cable. Remove the steering wheel as described above.
  4.  
  5. Remove the steering column lower cover.
  6.  
  7. Then, remove the 4 screws retaining the headlight dimmer and wiper switches.
  8.  
  9. Use a hammer and chisel to shear off the 4 screws mounting the switch to the switch plate.
  10.  
  11. Remove the setscrew. Then, pull the ignition switch out.
  12.  

To install:
  1. To synchronize the positions of the ignition lock and switch, use the key to turn the ignition lock as far back from the on position as it will go, and set the ignition switch to the O position. Complete the installation in reverse order, using new shear-off type screws to mount the switch. Make sure to install the switch so it is properly positioned in relation to the steering lock.
  2.  
  3. Apply clear lacquer to the setscrew to lock it in position after it has been installed and tightened.
  4.  

1987-88 735i

CAUTION
With air bag equipped models, all precautions must be adhered to or premature deployment of the air bag may occur causing personal injury. If the air bag system is damaged or rendered inoperative, the additional protection an air bag provides in a frontal collision will not be available and may lead to greater injury in an accident. Refer to Chassis Electrical for SRS precautions and procedures.

  1. Disarm the SRS system, if equipped.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the battery ground cable. Remove the steering wheel as described above. Remove the instrument panel trim located just below the steering column.
  4.  
  5. Remove the steering column cover casing by removing the 2 screws from underneath and the 2 from the front of the column.
  6.  
  7. Remove the bolt and nut fastening the lower end of the steering spindle (the bolt passes through a groove in the spindle). Mark alignment of the steering shaft splines with a spot of paint on each side.
  8.  
  9. Remove the bolts and nuts at the forked lower end of the steering column. Replace the nuts, which are self-locking.
  10.  
  11. Remove the 2 bolts fastening the upper column to the dash. Remove the column by pressing it downward.
  12.  
  13. Pull off the ignition switch connector. Then, compress the locking hooks and pull off the combination switch.
  14.  
  15. Turn the ignition switch to R position. Use a center punch to press the retainer into the locking bore in the case and then pull the ignition switch out of the case.
  16.  

To install:
  1. Install the switch into position, noting the following points:
    1. Make sure to remount the spacer sleeve that goes in the column mounting bracket.
    2.  
    3. After realigning the splines of the steering shaft and lower column, tighten the adjusting nut so the sliding force of the column is about 10 lbs.
    4.  
    5. Make sure the bolt which fastens the steering spindle in place passes through the groove in the spindle.
    6.  
    7. Check the position of the concave collar located just under the steering wheel. It must fit over the snapring.
    8.  
    9. Double check to make sure to replace all self-locking nuts.
    10.  

  2.  

 
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