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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 10-13-2012, 09:56 PM   #1
kaput
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Got a new winter project! (M3 add-on content)

****NEW UPDATES POSTED IN POST ONE AS UPDATES ARE AVAILABLE****

So, I happened to be at a u-pull it junk yard today, getting a head for a customer. For the past 5 years, I have been searching for a very elusive and very hard to find cheap add on for my M3.

No, it is not some rare factory piece from Germany, or some kind of 1 off aftermarket part...

It is this...



An L3 Night vision camera!!!

I found it inside a Cadillac DTS. The best part? I also got the HUD and the control panel, including wiring!

So, my plan is to install and utilize the entire system in my M3. I gotta find the wiring diagram for the car, and the front lens needs replaced because it is cracked, but lucky me it is a second gen camera, with a servicable lens.

So, I have options but I am looking for opinions for the following things:

1: Camera Mounting point
2: HUD mounting point
3: Switch mounting point
4: Doing this at all

Let me know. I'll post some more pics of the system tomorrow, and update as progress takes shape. I'll also be inthe market for another dash panel, cause I think I'm going to do the "install" before I install it.


---------------------------------------------------------------

Here is a front shot of the camera.



HUD (Heads Up Display)



And the switch panel, which is very GM looking, but I will find a place to put it in the M3, to control brightness and screen position.



I have pig tails of all the components and I found a schematic for the wiring. All we have to do is test the camera, replace the lense and install everything. For the dash, I was thinking about getting another one, and hacking it up, building a seperate base to install the HUD and making a cover to cover the left over stuff. The switch could go under the arm rest, made custom using a potentiometer and a toggle, or could be inserted in the dash somewhere near the headlights. The camera would go in the lower grill on the M3, at the very top of the opening and would have a protective grill over it to minimize damage to the $300 lense or the bigger picture, $1500 camera.

I really want to make it clean and neat, and I want it to work as well as possible. The only other option is to sell this set off, and get the $3000 FLIR Pathfinder that Mercedes and BMW use now. That being said, I can just use this camera and a scren, but I thought a HUD was the best way to integrate the factory system. I have heard that the glass in the DTS with NV was different to allow the HUD to display, but I am not sure there is truth to that. Not only that, this system is useless in daylight, so it would be dark anyway.

I really like the L3 though, so I might just stick with this one for now.

All that being said, if anyone has a black dash they want to donate, I am all ears. Otherwise, I'll have to track one down, along with all the other stuff to make this work in the M.


-----------------------------------------------------


Wiring diagram:






-------------------------------------------------------------





-------------------------------------------------------------


So after doing some testing with the camera, I have been doing some thinking on the screen to use, and after a tip by a member of the M3 board, I found my solution.

I will be using the Z4 Navigation screen and bezel. We believe that the motor can be used very easily with a switch some relays and 12 volts.

We plan on replacing the actual screen, but we will get to that later. Apparently it uses RGsB and will not accept a regular video signal, not to mention it requires iBus info to stay open.

I attached 2 pictures of what the screen looks like. The first is the Z4 screen in a Z4, and the second is one in an E46.





And a video showing the operation we hope to achieve, with a different style use.



I plan on using a simple switch to open and close the screen, that will also power the camera when I want it in use. Flip the switch, screen opens, and camera turns on. I might have a video selecter so I can add a rear camera as well.

Planning is going well, and we are getting close to getting this system prepped and layed out. Once all the parts are here, in working order, and the control and video signal is verified, we will start the install.


---------------------------------------------------------





---------------------------------------------------------


Well, the screen bezel showed up today. Got everything I think I need to start the screen retrofit.







The good news? Looks like the bezel is in perfect shape, and the motor/wiring/boards/buttons are all there...

Bad news? Looks like the screen I have that I wanted to use and was in the test video I posted will not be an easy fit. Anything is possible, so I guess we will see.


-----------------------------------------


So after sourcing the Z4 screen setup, and pulling my old 7" screen out of the spot it's been hiding for 6 years, I decided to attempt to merge the two together, and get the whole thing setup and ready to go, so I could be one step closer to installing this.

Tonight, we got a lot done. We located some problems, worked through them and so far I could not be happier. Here are some shots of what we accomplished tonight, with more video coming soon.


Here I was trimming the internal parts of the Z4 screen bezel. There were mounting points and stand offs, screw holes and other associated parts that would not allow the screen to fit.


More stuff that was removed.


Shot from the back with the screen and electronics inside. It fits now!!!


Front shot. Shows the view...


Guts prepped and seperated from the screen back. We did not attach anything yet, because we wanted to not only test out the screen and stuff, but also want to find a clean servicable way to mount it.


Finally a shot from inside a car at night. Screen is in the bezel, and the camera is on a make shift mount on the roof for testing purposes.

Video coming soon.


--------------------------------------------------







--------------------------------------------------




My euro LCM showed up. I'll be using the faceplate for my new LCM. I was thinking of using the rear foglight switch to power the camera so I would have a visible light showing when it is on, but now Iam not sure.


--------------------------------------------------
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Last edited by kaput; 12-10-2012 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:08 PM   #2
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Sounds lithe a pretty cool project.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:49 PM   #3
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Wish I knew more to give my opinion.... But definitely interested to see how you go about this.
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:49 PM   #4
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Old 10-14-2012, 01:38 AM   #5
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I always thought of the secondary display was more of a distraction than not, but it is neat.

If you don't use your fog lights, I'd look into installing it inside a fog lamp assembly so it's hidden and sleek. Anywhere else will just stand out and look funny.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:51 AM   #6
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I don't have fog lights, I have a CSL bumper.

As for the display, I am trying to use the Caddy heads up display. Unfortunately, I can't get into the project further this weekend, because I have the car to work on, but when I do get into it, I'll be posting updates. I'll try and get pics today.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:03 AM   #7
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looks appealing... keep us posted
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:48 PM   #8
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Going to be testing the system wednesday, as I just found the woring diagram online. Pretty neat little stand alone setup.

Gonna be sweet.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:06 AM   #9
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That would be fvcking sick! Sub'd.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:20 AM   #10
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In..

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Old 10-15-2012, 08:25 AM   #11
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what did that come out of?
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B_Cyrus View Post
what did that come out of?
2001 Cadillac DTS. From what I am reading online, there are sub 10K units out there, and most are destroyed. My camera has a broken quartz lens, but the thermal imaging pickup is still together.

The option cost $6K as an add on. I have only ever seen 1 car with it on, and the driver was 87, and had no idea what it was. You know the kind, "I want everything installed" kind. I showed him what it was, and he thought it was a waste. I told him he paid $6k for it, and he was actually pi$$ed that the dealer didn't inform him that he selected an expensive option.

My setup, I found in a junk yard. I'll take some pics now and post them up so you can see what I am working with.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:41 AM   #13
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Very very cool retro fit! I can't wait to see this one done.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:08 AM   #14
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Here is a front shot of the camera.



HUD (Heads Up Display)



And the switch panel, which is very GM looking, but I will find a place to put it in the M3, to control brightness and screen position.



I have pig tails of all the components and I found a schematic for the wiring. All we have to do is test the camera, replace the lense and install everything. For the dash, I was thinking about getting another one, and hacking it up, building a seperate base to install the HUD and making a cover to cover the left over stuff. The switch could go under the arm rest, made custom using a potentiometer and a toggle, or could be inserted in the dash somewhere near the headlights. The camera would go in the lower grill on the M3, at the very top of the opening and would have a protective grill over it to minimize damage to the $300 lense or the bigger picture, $1500 camera.

I really want to make it clean and neat, and I want it to work as well as possible. The only other option is to sell this set off, and get the $3000 FLIR Pathfinder that Mercedes and BMW use now. That being said, I can just use this camera and a scren, but I thought a HUD was the best way to integrate the factory system. I have heard that the glass in the DTS with NV was different to allow the HUD to display, but I am not sure there is truth to that. Not only that, this system is useless in daylight, so it would be dark anyway.

I really like the L3 though, so I might just stick with this one for now.

All that being said, if anyone has a black dash they want to donate, I am all ears. Otherwise, I'll have to track one down, along with all the other stuff to make this work in the M.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:48 AM   #15
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Wiring diagram:



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Old 10-15-2012, 05:14 PM   #16
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I forgot to add. You will never guess what I picked the whole set up for.














$62 cash from a U-Pull it yard in Hazelton PA. $62 dollars... For a $6000 factory option on 2000. If I put $500 in a dash and the lens into this, I will still be at 1/3 the cost of the camera on ebay.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:33 PM   #17
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Document everything! If successful, I and others will be hounding you for a DIY!
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:14 PM   #18
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I plan on it. I hope to have something to show Wednesday.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:45 PM   #19
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Well, I got something to show tonight. Exporting video and uploading to youtube. I'll post it when it is uploaded.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:20 AM   #20
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