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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 05-02-2005, 10:57 AM   #1
markusmark
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HVAC Fan Speed - Weird

Dang electronix. The HVAC fan seems to vary in speed regardless of the display on the HVAC control panel. This happens when the HVAC is in manual mode or in Auto mode. It will be fine for weeks and then - kabammm - it starts varying up and down from near zip to near max, all within a matter of seconds. I'm sure there's some $300 gizmo that the stealer would just love to sell me Any ideas??!!

Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2005, 11:13 PM   #2
krod328Ci
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Sounds like the infamous final stage resistor. I just replaced mine this weekend. Climate control was "out" of control. Cost me about $60 delivered from Pacific BMW. Works like a champ now! Saved me about $300 from the stealer!
I wouldn't call the install simple, mainly because there is very little space to work with (passenger console side). You will need to remove the glove box and loosen another gizmo to gain access to the resistor. Oh, there is also an air duct in front of everything! Whole thing took me a couple hours because I managed to replace it by working around the air duct (instead of removing). I took some pics if you are interested.
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Old 05-04-2005, 11:53 AM   #3
markusmark
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K, cool! I'd be very inrerested in pix.

Thanks!
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Old 05-10-2005, 01:32 AM   #4
AMG EATER
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markusmark
K, cool! I'd be very inrerested in pix.

Thanks!
I would be very interested in getting these pictures too! please help!
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Old 05-10-2005, 08:37 AM   #5
Steel Blue
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Please post your pics, mine is starting to act up.
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Old 05-11-2005, 09:02 AM   #6
Brucemax
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Pics of final stage resistor fix

Quote:
Originally Posted by krod328Ci
Sounds like the infamous final stage resistor. I just replaced mine this weekend. Climate control was "out" of control. Cost me about $60 delivered from Pacific BMW. Works like a champ now! Saved me about $300 from the stealer!
I wouldn't call the install simple, mainly because there is very little space to work with (passenger console side). You will need to remove the glove box and loosen another gizmo to gain access to the resistor. Oh, there is also an air duct in front of everything! Whole thing took me a couple hours because I managed to replace it by working around the air duct (instead of removing). I took some pics if you are interested.
Hi
I would also like to see these pics, cause mine is also nuts
Bruce
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Old 05-14-2005, 03:39 PM   #7
krod328Ci
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Sorry for the delay...

Here is a quick DIY for replacing the final stage resistor on a 2000 328Ci.

First, I bought the new resistor from Pacific BMW for $62 including delivery (UPS).Loren Wong- Pacific BMW (E46 userID- USCTrojan4JC). You will also need a Torx screwdriver set.

Once you are ready to start, you will need to remove the 6 screws holding the glovebox. The glovebox should just slide down and out easily. Then disconnect all the light harnesses to remove it completely. Next, remove the remaining plate with floorboard light.

Looking into the console, you'll notice the duct in front of everything...
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126345
Don't worry about the duct. It's flexible enough to work around (but TIGHT!).
You will be able to see the final stage resistor behind another component. There are two torx screws (T20 if I remember correctly) holding this component in place, remove the first one as shown (shown removed).
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126348
The second screw is accessible from above the component it is holding. You'll need to get to it from the top of the duct.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126346
Once the second screw is removed, dislodge the component, but don't remove it since there is a metal tube connecting it elsewhere. There should be enough room to unscrew and wiggle the final stage resistor out and disconnect it. Be careful not to break the free hanging component (I wish I knew what it was!). Replace it with the new resistor and test the climate control before re assembly.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126347
Reassembly can be a little tricky since some of the screws are in tight spots. I was lucky enough not to lose any in the console by magnetizing the screwdriver. I was careful, took my time on every step and spent about 2 hours beginning to end. Not bad for the savings!
Hope this helps!
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Old 05-16-2005, 04:27 PM   #8
AMG EATER
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by krod328Ci
Here is a quick DIY for replacing the final stage resistor on a 2000 328Ci.

First, I bought the new resistor from Pacific BMW for $62 including delivery (UPS).Loren Wong- Pacific BMW (E46 userID- USCTrojan4JC). You will also need a Torx screwdriver set.

Once you are ready to start, you will need to remove the 6 screws holding the glovebox. The glovebox should just slide down and out easily. Then disconnect all the light harnesses to remove it completely. Next, remove the remaining plate with floorboard light.

Looking into the console, you'll notice the duct in front of everything...
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126345
Don't worry about the duct. It's flexible enough to work around (but TIGHT!).
You will be able to see the final stage resistor behind another component. There are two torx screws (T20 if I remember correctly) holding this component in place, remove the first one as shown (shown removed).
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126348
The second screw is accessible from above the component it is holding. You'll need to get to it from the top of the duct.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126346
Once the second screw is removed, dislodge the component, but don't remove it since there is a metal tube connecting it elsewhere. There should be enough room to unscrew and wiggle the final stage resistor out and disconnect it. Be careful not to break the free hanging component (I wish I knew what it was!). Replace it with the new resistor and test the climate control before re assembly.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126347
Reassembly can be a little tricky since some of the screws are in tight spots. I was lucky enough not to lose any in the console by magnetizing the screwdriver. I was careful, took my time on every step and spent about 2 hours beginning to end. Not bad for the savings!
Hope this helps!
when did you order that??

i was quoted today that price PLUS $15 UPS shipping -- they said all minimum orders for shipping is now $15 at PACIFIC BMW -- so total cost is $77.47
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Old 05-16-2005, 05:37 PM   #9
krod328Ci
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Lucky?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMG EATER
when did you order that??

i was quoted today that price PLUS $15 UPS shipping -- they said all minimum orders for shipping is now $15 at PACIFIC BMW -- so total cost is $77.47
I bought it in mid April. My total invoice was $61.79. Maybe I just got lucky!
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Old 09-02-2006, 08:54 PM   #10
jgrover2b
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I replaced my final stage resistor today following most of your instructions and my fan seems to be operating perfectly. It appears to me that the orignial resistor heat exchanger fins didn't have enough surface area and it overheats. The replacement resistor should run much cooler.

Here's a couple of notes that might help others:
First - remove the ventilation duct. Just pull on it and it will come free. I know this is a tough sell for most do it yourselfers, but I read another web page that said it would come free and being 60 years old and 20 pounds over weight there's no way I was going to get at those screws before freezing in position. The duct mates up easily when you reinstall and a perfect match isn't necessary since it simply directs air to the floor.

Secondly, the little gizmo that you have to remove is the recirculation damper control. Just be careful to note the position of the control arm before you move it and return it to the same spot.
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Old 04-22-2006, 07:57 PM   #11
tuckster
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This was a great thread. The pictures were absolutely perfect (at least for me). They look exactly like what I saw. I changed my unit out and now the HVAC works fine. Thanks again for saving me a ton of bucks.
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Old 12-08-2006, 10:11 PM   #12
bmwfan328i
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Thumbs Up Thanks! This saved me some dough!

These tips worked perfectly for my 1999 328i. I followed the instructions, was careful and was complete in about 45 minutes. I bought the part from a dealership for about $100. Thanks krod328Ci!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by krod328Ci View Post
Here is a quick DIY for replacing the final stage resistor on a 2000 328Ci.

First, I bought the new resistor from Pacific BMW for $62 including delivery (UPS).Loren Wong- Pacific BMW (E46 userID- USCTrojan4JC). You will also need a Torx screwdriver set.

Once you are ready to start, you will need to remove the 6 screws holding the glovebox. The glovebox should just slide down and out easily. Then disconnect all the light harnesses to remove it completely. Next, remove the remaining plate with floorboard light.

Looking into the console, you'll notice the duct in front of everything...
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126345
Don't worry about the duct. It's flexible enough to work around (but TIGHT!).
You will be able to see the final stage resistor behind another component. There are two torx screws (T20 if I remember correctly) holding this component in place, remove the first one as shown (shown removed).
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126348
The second screw is accessible from above the component it is holding. You'll need to get to it from the top of the duct.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126346
Once the second screw is removed, dislodge the component, but don't remove it since there is a metal tube connecting it elsewhere. There should be enough room to unscrew and wiggle the final stage resistor out and disconnect it. Be careful not to break the free hanging component (I wish I knew what it was!). Replace it with the new resistor and test the climate control before re assembly.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126347
Reassembly can be a little tricky since some of the screws are in tight spots. I was lucky enough not to lose any in the console by magnetizing the screwdriver. I was careful, took my time on every step and spent about 2 hours beginning to end. Not bad for the savings!
Hope this helps!
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:07 PM   #13
triniboy18
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thanks for the great instructions!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by krod328Ci View Post
Here is a quick DIY for replacing the final stage resistor on a 2000 328Ci.

First, I bought the new resistor from Pacific BMW for $62 including delivery (UPS).Loren Wong- Pacific BMW (E46 userID- USCTrojan4JC). You will also need a Torx screwdriver set.

Once you are ready to start, you will need to remove the 6 screws holding the glovebox. The glovebox should just slide down and out easily. Then disconnect all the light harnesses to remove it completely. Next, remove the remaining plate with floorboard light.

Looking into the console, you'll notice the duct in front of everything...
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126345
Don't worry about the duct. It's flexible enough to work around (but TIGHT!).
You will be able to see the final stage resistor behind another component. There are two torx screws (T20 if I remember correctly) holding this component in place, remove the first one as shown (shown removed).
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126348
The second screw is accessible from above the component it is holding. You'll need to get to it from the top of the duct.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126346
Once the second screw is removed, dislodge the component, but don't remove it since there is a metal tube connecting it elsewhere. There should be enough room to unscrew and wiggle the final stage resistor out and disconnect it. Be careful not to break the free hanging component (I wish I knew what it was!). Replace it with the new resistor and test the climate control before re assembly.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126347
Reassembly can be a little tricky since some of the screws are in tight spots. I was lucky enough not to lose any in the console by magnetizing the screwdriver. I was careful, took my time on every step and spent about 2 hours beginning to end. Not bad for the savings!
Hope this helps!
Just replaced my final stage resistor using these great instructions took me about 2 hours and now my A/C and heater works perfect thanks for the great instructions!! and saving my mass dough from the stealers
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:28 PM   #14
monkey330i
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AC won't turn on at all

Has everyone experience the problem where the AC doesn't turn on at all. Restarting the engine seems to be fixing the problem for right now but I'm not sure if this is one the faulty FSR symptoms. Thanks.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:31 PM   #15
M3J0N
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krod328Ci View Post
Here is a quick DIY for replacing the final stage resistor on a 2000 328Ci.

First, I bought the new resistor from Pacific BMW for $62 including delivery (UPS).Loren Wong- Pacific BMW (E46 userID- USCTrojan4JC). You will also need a Torx screwdriver set.

Once you are ready to start, you will need to remove the 6 screws holding the glovebox. The glovebox should just slide down and out easily. Then disconnect all the light harnesses to remove it completely. Next, remove the remaining plate with floorboard light.

Looking into the console, you'll notice the duct in front of everything...
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126345
Don't worry about the duct. It's flexible enough to work around (but TIGHT!).
You will be able to see the final stage resistor behind another component. There are two torx screws (T20 if I remember correctly) holding this component in place, remove the first one as shown (shown removed).
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126348
The second screw is accessible from above the component it is holding. You'll need to get to it from the top of the duct.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126346
Once the second screw is removed, dislodge the component, but don't remove it since there is a metal tube connecting it elsewhere. There should be enough room to unscrew and wiggle the final stage resistor out and disconnect it. Be careful not to break the free hanging component (I wish I knew what it was!). Replace it with the new resistor and test the climate control before re assembly.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...hmentid=126347
Reassembly can be a little tricky since some of the screws are in tight spots. I was lucky enough not to lose any in the console by magnetizing the screwdriver. I was careful, took my time on every step and spent about 2 hours beginning to end. Not bad for the savings!
Hope this helps!
awesome.... just wanted to tahnk you for saving me a ton of money. Even with my wholesale dealer discount, the Final Stage unit was $95 at vista BMW... rip off, but i wanted it TODAY.
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:22 PM   #16
Marknoir
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Fsr

Quote:
Originally Posted by krod328Ci
Sounds like the infamous final stage resistor. I just replaced mine this weekend. Climate control was "out" of control. Cost me about $60 delivered from Pacific BMW. Works like a champ now! Saved me about $300 from the stealer!
I wouldn't call the install simple, mainly because there is very little space to work with (passenger console side). You will need to remove the glove box and loosen another gizmo to gain access to the resistor. Oh, there is also an air duct in front of everything! Whole thing took me a couple hours because I managed to replace it by working around the air duct (instead of removing). I took some pics if you are interested.
Mr Krod, you can not even imagine how helpful your DIY post is. Damned thing just went on my '01 M3, which I just bought 2 days ago. No warranty of course. Thanks again, now I know what to do.
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Old 03-26-2006, 12:52 PM   #17
Marknoir
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Savior!

Quote:
Originally Posted by krod328Ci
Sounds like the infamous final stage resistor. I just replaced mine this weekend. Climate control was "out" of control. Cost me about $60 delivered from Pacific BMW. Works like a champ now! Saved me about $300 from the stealer!
I wouldn't call the install simple, mainly because there is very little space to work with (passenger console side). You will need to remove the glove box and loosen another gizmo to gain access to the resistor. Oh, there is also an air duct in front of everything! Whole thing took me a couple hours because I managed to replace it by working around the air duct (instead of removing). I took some pics if you are interested.
Thanks to Mr. Krod I am reporting another American Success story - fan is fixed as described. $62 for resitor block, 1 hr of time and a sprained neck - and everything works like new.

Thanks again.

Last edited by Marknoir; 03-28-2006 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 06-20-2005, 07:14 AM   #18
Kyle325ci
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This DIY is PERFECT. I'm certainly not the most technically inclined person in the world, but I replaced the FSR in less than an hour!

THANKS A LOT!!!
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Old 06-20-2005, 07:38 AM   #19
markusmark
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That's about what it took me. My problem was that my T20 torx driver was almost too short but I finally got it.

Thanks for all the help!!

Mark
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Old 06-20-2005, 09:24 PM   #20
krod328Ci
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Very Cool

Glad it helped everyone.. My first DIY post.
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