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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > DIY: Do It Yourself

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 04-26-2010, 09:35 PM   #1
jaymemaurice
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Anchorage Alaska or Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 757
My Ride: 01 330ci, 03 Passat
Post Yet Another Rain Sensor + Electrochromatic Mirror Retrofit (done cleanly as possible)

(Still writing, come back tommorow)

I couldn't find a good E46 specific DIY for the rain light sensor and auto-dim mirror... so after doing this I figured I could document as best I can and start a thread to describe how mine worked out.

Here I will manage and put all the info I can find and try answer all your questions I can...

All the information here is provided AS IS with no guarentee of any validity.
DISCLAIMER (as said by mvrk10256): you fvck up its not on me.
DISCLAIMER #2 (as ammended by me): I fvck up, still not on me.

About me:
I am just a young kid who likes to tinker with stuff... I have no fear of breaking this car because in the back of my mind, I think that one day the bank will repo it. Families cost more then I thought lol. I come to these forums to help me maintain my care and I give back by contributing. If you like the information you see here and have some extra cash, feel free to donate some to me and I'll do more of this kind of thing.

Materials required:
1 1xRLS (the little black box under the mirror)
2 1xRLS wiring harness taken from donor car with electrochromatic mirror/RLS... see below
3 1xElectrochromatic (auto-dim) rear view mirror or compass mirror
4 1xClear sealant silicon
5 Acetone and Rubbing alcohol
6 Tape
7 Original connectors for fuse and junction boxes or Wire tap splicers and Ghettoness
8 LCM with RLS function

Obtaining parts/Why:
1: I obtained my RLS from a wrecked donor car. The windshield was already smashed, so I had my friend heat the windshield with a blow torch while I twisted it back and forth (still completely assembled as a complete box). I got it off, but he got a little too carried away with the heat and made a pretty dramtic mess of the windshield. Don't try this on a good windshield. I removed the sticky pad that held it on and cleaned with acetone/rubbing alcohol.

2: I obtained my RLS harness from the wrecked donor car above. I removed the headliner and dash of the donor car (my headliner replacement DIY here) and took as much of the wiring for the RLS and Mirror and air-bag as I could. I got about 1.5m of it, about a foot and 1/2 after it joins into the main harness. I simply removed the air bag wires from the harness.

3: I found my compass mirror on kijiji for $80CAD, but I have seen them on ebay too. Seems they are samilar between the Landrover and the BMW X3 X5 5 and 7... but I dont know for sure where mine was from.

4: To glue my RLS on I used clear silicon sealant. Applied librally and carefully stuck it on to avoid bubbles.

5: Acetone and rubbing alcohol to clean RLS and glass surface before applying silicon.

6: I used painters tape to hold the RLS on while the silicon dried.

7: Wire taps

Installation:
1 Prep RLS harness
2 Remove parts
3 Fish RLS harness
4 Splice harness into respective places

1 Prep RLS Harness
Before I started the installation, I removed the extra wires for the air-bag. To do this I simply pulled the connector and wires out of the harness. I didn't want to accidentally splice into the air bags.

Then: I went through the schematics and pre-labled each wire on the harness.

Here is what I labled my wires:
Green with white stripe: Fuse 24
Red with black stripe: Fuse 67
2x Brown with black stripe: Ground
Grey with black strip & yellow marks: X254(26 pin, black connector on GM)#23
Blue yellow black: X428
red/white stripe with yellow marks: K-BUS
brown/green: X253(50 pin connecto on GM)#45
violet/white stipe: Fuse 15

Finally I removed any anchoring connectors used to secure the harness in its origional position down the drivers side of the donor car:

When everything was done I was left with this prepped harness:
http://images.jayme.ca/e46ret1.jpg

2 Remove parts
Passenger A piller trim, passenger visor and center mirror, and drop head-liner(both mirror clips, center lights/sunroof switch panel) as well as passenger dash trim, vent and glove box.

Basically the goal here is to drop the headliner side enough to tuck the extra wire in, then run it down the passenger side A piller and make it clear to fish into the GM area.
Remove the screws marked in red (you probably don't need to do the driver's mirror, but its shown anyway):



Carefully pull up the trim covering the screws that hold the A piller. Drivers side shown, but you should be doing the passengers!
Gently pull up and roll from the back to front


Remove the screws marked in red. Drivers side shown, but you should be doing the passengers!


Pull the a-pillar from the top


Remove the screw marked in red.


Pry gently under the trim with a wide screw driver covered in tape. Careful not to mark anything


Remove the vent with by removing the two marked philips screws


Dislocate the glovebox by removing the six screws shown and guntly lifting and pulling. Set it on the floor directly below


Once the glove box is dropped as like noted by the yellow arrows you should be seeing basically what is in the photo below.
Note the location of the General Module (green) this is what has X253 and x254. Expose the fuse panel by turning the white tabs marked by the red in my photos.



3. Fishing the RLS harness
To make this retrofit easy, I wanted to come down the passenger side... it is important when fishing the harness to make sure it runs behind the air bag, or if the air bag deployed it may take the RLS with it or turn the harness into a whip.

In the pictures below I have hi-lighted my fishing job in green.





4. Splicing harness
I started by splicing the connections in the junction box above the fuses. Push it away from you to remove it.


Here you can find 4 or the 9 wire locations to splice into.
2x Brown with black stripe: Ground
Blue yellow black: X428
red/white stripe with yellow marks: K-BUS
Simply match the colors.


Next, I did the fuses... because I do not have the actual fuse contacts, for now I have just run the wire in throgh the back. I actually ran the fuse 67 through 68 which is empty. You can see in the picture I am using the grey wire as a pull string to fish in F68. I will re-visit this later when I have the parts.
So this is:
Green with white stripe: Fuse 24
Red with black stripe: Fuse 67
violet/white stipe: Fuse 15



Currently everything is running off fuse 24 which I have added in and pinched the wires against. This means everything is now switched on the ignition. The important part is that everything is fused, and everything is switched.


Before splicing the remaining wires, I wanted to test my ground and power splices, so I put the key in to check the compass mirror


BEFORE DOING THIS NEXT PART, I RECOMMEND DISCONNECTING THE BATTERY!!!

Disconnect the GM and splice in the last two wires!
Grey with black strip & yellow marks: X254(26 pin, black connector on GM)#23
brown/green: X253(50 pin connecto on GM)#45
X253 is the connector in the middle. I matched pin 45's wire up by colour
X254, the connector on the right of the photo was less dense and I matched pin 23 by colour and on the connector.




Programming:
Not done yet... will update this when complete
__________________


Rain Sensor Retrofit: Here
Coupe Headline Replacement: Here

Last edited by tim330i; 08-23-2011 at 12:44 PM.
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