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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 04-26-2010, 09:35 PM   #1
jaymemaurice
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Location: Anchorage Alaska or Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
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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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Old 05-14-2010, 04:37 AM   #2
0-60motorsports
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Thanks for the DIY. I would like this but it seems like too much of a hassle.
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:32 AM   #3
jaymemaurice
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Thanks, yes... I do not recommend anyone do this unless they enjoy doing this kind of thing.
The final pay out is low and the hours spent on it can be pretty high... the wiring has been the easy part...

I also swapped out my interior at the same time, see: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...871&highlight=
Went from the light grey to the charcoal and got rid of the cigarette smell... that was a rewarding mod.

Dropping the car a couple inches or stiffening it up may be even more rewarding... but this was cheap.
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Old 06-19-2010, 03:21 AM   #4
howie1971
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Thanks for taking the time for the right up, an excellent job. I would like to do this but the wiring is just baffling. Good job.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:53 PM   #5
TerraPhantm
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Hey, do you have pics of how the sensor looks on a windshield not meant for the sensor? Interested in doing this retrofit. I can do any programming that might be necessary
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:34 PM   #6
Bandersnatch
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Here's a link to an older thread on another forum where the rain sensor was installed on a non-rain sensor windshield. There are pretty good pictures of the install.

http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/474842

The only difference between the rain sensor windshield and the non-rs windshield is the "frit", the black area that shades part of the windshield within the rain sensor cover. This guy just masked off and painted an area of his windshield with black epoxy paint. I think his car was a 7 series, but the pictures are illustrative.
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ZOMG HALP! *click*

oh hai, i can haz part numbro for florr matz? k thanxz.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:47 PM   #7
BEK
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What happened to the pictures ?

I'm getting a new windshield one of these days, and want to do this as well...
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:04 PM   #8
jaymemaurice
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Oh sorry guys, still in DXB. Forgot the pictures were linked in here. I still have them, but they are all on a hard drive in storage in Canada

I will put them back up when I get back, but I am not sure how long that will be. Maybe when I get back I'll be able to put classic plates on it haha.
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Old 12-22-2010, 06:47 AM   #9
theinfamousdrew
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question about the wiring....

my rain sensor only has 4 wires...i wired an electrochromatic mirror a while back and that only had 2 wires (power,ground)

so what are all these other wires for?

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


Ive learned these are for the rain sensor (plus a ground)

red/white stripe with yellow marks: K-BUS
brown/green: X253(50 pin connecto on GM)#45
violet/white stipe: Fuse 15
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:39 AM   #10
theinfamousdrew
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another question.....

for pin 3 on the rain sensor i see it goes to the k-bus....

do i tap ANY of the rd/wt/yl wires here on the kbus?

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Old 02-01-2011, 06:37 PM   #11
iansanderson
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doing this retrofit soon. any chance the broken picture links could be fixed?
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Cheat Sheet:

GT1/ISIS/MoDiC = Factory authorized diagnostic system used by BMW dealerships across the world.

NCS Expert = BMW Factory R&D programming tool available on the internet (not intended for the public and not available to the dealership network)

OEM = Genuine BMW part only available from a franchised BMW dealership.

DME = Engine Management Computer
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:44 AM   #12
theinfamousdrew
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Posts: 845
My Ride: 911 Turbo / E70
Ian....what did you need help with?


If its just the wiring....thats pretty easy...4 wires: brown=ground, purple=power, white/red=kbus(tap into any of them), green/brown=Pin #45 in the GM5 54 pin plug



here are some helpful links:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=493341

http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/474842

kbus info
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ght=bus&page=2

gm5 info
http://www.bmwgm5.com/GM5_Removal.htm


I just wired mine in over the weekend....if you need any help just ask
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:42 PM   #13
99 black gt
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i never understand why people spend all their time doing writeups and then delete pictures or move the file location a few months later... such a waste
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:27 PM   #14
mikeson
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My Ride: 99 323I
Wow, that is a few year ago my DIY. Ha

Yes, you can retrofit auto light and rain sensor without temper dot light.
I guess mine is only 323 has auto light and rain sensor car.

And from my experience, auto light sensor is so sensitive, so what I did is made a little hole on purple color sensor attach plate(right above light sensor). And it just turned on light automatically when I want it on.


Quote:
Originally Posted by theinfamousdrew View Post
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OEM xenon retrofit, Auto light/rain sensor DIY, OEM fog DIY,..........so many things DIY since 2000 :)
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:04 PM   #15
iansanderson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theinfamousdrew View Post
Ian....what did you need help with?


If its just the wiring....thats pretty easy...4 wires: brown=ground, purple=power, white/red=kbus(tap into any of them), green/brown=Pin #45 in the GM5 54 pin plug



here are some helpful links:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=493341

http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/474842

kbus info
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ght=bus&page=2

gm5 info
http://www.bmwgm5.com/GM5_Removal.htm


I just wired mine in over the weekend....if you need any help just ask
Thanks for the links.

Couple questions:

Was there an opening in the GM plug for the rain sensor terminal or was something already connected to Pin# 45 and you tapped into the wire?

Also, did you have a terminal or slot available in the K-bus distribution block above the fusebox or did you just tap into one?
__________________



Cheat Sheet:

GT1/ISIS/MoDiC = Factory authorized diagnostic system used by BMW dealerships across the world.

NCS Expert = BMW Factory R&D programming tool available on the internet (not intended for the public and not available to the dealership network)

OEM = Genuine BMW part only available from a franchised BMW dealership.

DME = Engine Management Computer
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:33 PM   #16
theinfamousdrew
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for all the wires i just tapped into them

for the gm5 there is something going to pin 45 so i tapped it.

kbus...same thing...just tapped one
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:04 PM   #17
iansanderson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theinfamousdrew View Post
for all the wires i just tapped into them

for the gm5 there is something going to pin 45 so i tapped it.

kbus...same thing...just tapped one
Got it. Checked the WDS and found that is a wire that goes to the wiper motor and the rain sensor taps into it from the factory as well. I ordered these "Posi-taps".. heard they worked really well:

http://www.posi-lock.com/



anyways, I will tap into the K bus too if I don't have a port available. Only thing left is to grab some 18 gauge wire, fabric tape and the fuse terminal to use the Rain Sensor spot on the fuseblock... then, of course tear the pillar covers off, wire it, tuck it away then code it. blah! thanks for the help. I'll report back with the results!
__________________



Cheat Sheet:

GT1/ISIS/MoDiC = Factory authorized diagnostic system used by BMW dealerships across the world.

NCS Expert = BMW Factory R&D programming tool available on the internet (not intended for the public and not available to the dealership network)

OEM = Genuine BMW part only available from a franchised BMW dealership.

DME = Engine Management Computer
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:36 PM   #18
jaymemaurice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99 black gt View Post
i never understand why people spend all their time doing writeups and then delete pictures or move the file location a few months later... such a waste
Yeah pain in the ass eh.

I switched companies and lost my hosting - now on the other side of the world. I guess I learned my lesson to use a free imagehost.

When I get back, I will re-upload them. I thought it would be better to do a write-up then leave all of this undocumented.
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Coupe Headline Replacement: Here
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:39 PM   #19
jaymemaurice
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Location: Anchorage Alaska or Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 757
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Here are the images!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymemaurice View Post
(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
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