Steering Wheels and feeling Horn-y

Time to sort out the round grab handle at the front!

I have a BMW E36 air-bag steering column so I was a little worried things weren’t going to be too simple. Turns out I was right. I decided to follow in the footsteps of others and went with the excellent advice from this post on the Cobra club forum.

I must say that this is quite a tricky thing to get right and Europa’s customer service was excellent, so props to them. However, upon ordering the kit below, I was told that the Momo Boss was out of stock, but they could provide an alternative (more expensive) boss for the same price. This was fine. Except when it arrived, it wasn’t collapsible! Dammit. I returned that boss for the Momo version, only when that arrived it had the wrong number of splines and wrong ID. Dammit! Back to Europa again and on the third attempt we got the correct boss.

Item Sku
M Range Boss Kit Bmw E36 1990 To 1998 M210017 M210017
Moto-Lita Boss Adaptor Plate 100mm pcd Moto Lita Wheel To 70mm Boss Kit. MTBA
Moto Lita Billet Horn Control Small With 46mm Badge Recess Order CSL001 or CFCDE Seperate ML002
Cobra Mk2 Shelby Deck Emblem Carroll Shelby Signature 1.75″ CSL001

For the wheel – Carroll Shelby Special Edition Mk3 Moto Lita Steering Wheel 14″ Dished

For the horn pin, I bit the bullet and paid for the OEM version from eBay seller cartune_pl – Genuine Carbon Pin for BMW E32 E34 OEM 32311161050

The pieces themselves go together pretty easily:

  1. Remove the column and put a small wire link between the bolts on either side of the rubber UJ. Re-install the column.
  2. The put the horn pin into the moulded plastic retainer under the spline shaft on the column (push-fit).
  3. Put the collapsible onto the spline shaft, noting where the indicator reset tab aligns with the indicator reset plastic pin on the column controls.
  4. You can install the metal connector ring now, but it’s not really required in this arrangement.
  5. Fit the 100mm adapter plate onto the boss.
  6. Check the wheels are facing dead forward!
  7. Fit the wheel to the adapter plate
  8. Fit and tighten up the large fixing bolt to attached the boss to the spline shaft
  9. Connect the fly lead that is within the boss to the back of the horn via the connector tab
  10. Push the horn into the centre of the adapter plate
  11. In the engine bay, remove the part of the steering column that connects the spline shaft to the power steering mechanism. (this is an AK supplied part)
  12. Put a short length of wire between the connecting bolts on either side of the UJ. I used M8 crimped ring terminals (M10 sown in pics below as this was all I had to test with!). Take care to ensure the length of wire cannot contact anything in the engine bay or it will fail SVA.
  13. Re-install this part and thats that done.

The horn I bought claimed to draw around 30Amps, which worried me a little running that through the small column wiring. So I installed a relay and fuse box in the engine bay and wired the AK wiring loom horn connectors onto the 30 and 87 connectors (low power) and then took a +ve connection from the starter motor terminal (i.e. straight from the battery), up to the fuse box and relay (85 connection) and then from the relay (86 connection) to the horn +ve terminal. The -ve terminal on the horn was then connected to the chassis earth via a ring connector.

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