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Old 09-28-2010, 03:56 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Frinton UK
Posts: 10
My Ride: 2002 325i SE
Final Stage Resistor Replacement DIY- Right-hand drive

Before I start, I'd like to point out that this DIY was carried out on my RHD 2002 325i SE by me in Essex, UK in August 2010. I am NOT a mechanic so my technical terms may be incorrect and my tools are basic.

This is the second time I have replaced the FSR because the first replacement failed after 6 months. First time, it took me 3 hours just to remove the top torx screw on the stepper motor. Second time round I had the entire job done in 45 minutes so I had time to take pictures.

Ok goes.

Tools you will need:

Philips Head screwdriver
Torx T-20 Driver

Notice I have cut the handle down on the torx driver so that it is just under 6 inches long so that it can fit inbetween the steering column and the top torx screw on the stepper motor. (This will become clearer later in the DIY)

First, remove the two philips head screws that secure the coin compartment.

Next, remove the three screws that secure the panel under the dashboard.

Then pull out the pin in the centre of this stud that secures the panel to the gearbox tunnel and then remove the stud completely.

Next, this rubber stop behind the clutch pedal looks like it is screwed in with a philips head screw. It isn't, just grip it in your hand a pull it away.

Once these fixings have all been removed, grip the panel just under the steering column and gently pull it downwards. There are two retaining clips at this point that will release and the panel will come away. Remove the wiring to the reversing sensor bleeper (1), The interior footwell light (2). Slide the light grey cover backwards on the multi-plug (3) and remove the multiplug. The panel is now free and can be removed from the car.

Next take a good look where you are going to be spending the next little while. A good tip is a cushion over the sill, this will help to avoid severe bruising to your back.

The next step is to remove the stepper motor. Laying on your back across the sill and pushing yourself as deep into the footwell as possible, using the torch, look up and to your right and you can see an airvent pointing down toward you, just above that is the stepper motor positioned behind the A/C controller on the dashboard. It is held in with two torx screws. The bottom one is easy to remove. The top one is a different story, the shortened torx driver will fit neatly in-between the screw and the steering column. Seat the driver in the screwhead and patiently remove the screw.
TIP: This took me three hours first time round. When I replaced it, I screwed it back finger tight, just incase.

Once the screws are removed, reward youself, then slide stepper motor away revealing the multi-plug connected to the back of the Final Stage Resistor.

Grip the plug and give it a little wiggle and it will come away. Tuck it up out the way.

Next, you can see the retaining clip thet holds the FSR in the housing, push it aside while gripping the FSR and wiggling. A bit of perseverence, and it will release. Slide it out of the housing and you'll be holding the little b*****d in your hand.

With the old FSR out, time to replace it with a shiny new one.

Old and the New. First time round, I replaced the original with an aftermarket part purchased on ebay. That failed after 6 months, I may have been unlucky, but my tip is to get a genuine one if possible for the sake of another 25.

As you would expect, refitting the new one is a reversal of the removal proceedure taking care to fit the muti-plug on the back of the FSR securely. I would recommend NOT tightening the top torx screw on the stepper motor too tight, just incase you have to replace it again. Turn the ignition on and fire up the A/C BEFORE you refit the dash panel to check everything is connected properly, then prepare to bask in the glory of cool air and a fan that works when it is told to.

Make sure all fixings on the dashboard panel that was removed earlier are refitted, pay careful attention to the two clips that hold the panel around the steering column - Make sure they are seated properly. Refit the three wiring plugs back into the interior light, parking sensor bleeper and multi-plug. When everything is back in place, check knuckles for damage.

I hope this DIY helps all the RHD drivers out there. A big thank you to e46fanatics members whos' previous FSR DIY's gave me the confidence to have a crack at it myself.


Last edited by Docremus; 09-28-2010 at 04:01 PM.
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