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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 04-29-2004, 07:42 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: bay area
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My Ride: 95 M3 RIP, tpz 330ci
DIY writeup: PAC Swix install with pictures

I need a host for the pictures if you want to host let me know and I will send you the pics and then you give me the pic links off the server and I will edit this writeup.

I want to first off give credit for my information on this install to ALL who have commented on this subject on various parts of the install. If you search swix on e46fanatics and bimmerforums any members who helpfully participated in these threads deserve credit for some of the contents of my write-up

After installing my Alpine CDA 7878 deck I decided I want my steering wheel buttons to go along with it.

Things you will need for this install are:

A Philips head screwdriver
T tap connectors for size 8-10 gauge wire (usually yellow in color)
Tapin connectors (quick splice connector) for 22-18 gauge wire (usually red in color)
Small scissors
Electrical tape
Velcro tape
Pliers of your choice (I suggest needle nose for small size)

You are going to need to take off the under panel underneath the dash and steering wheel.

There are 3 screws and two proprietary plastic fasteners

Take out the 3 screws, which are easy to find.

The first OEM fastener comes out by using two flat blade screw drivers on either side of the center piece and “rocking” the screwdrivers back and forth while applying some upward pressure from the fastener. It is a little tricky to get the plastic piece to budge because it is in there so good, but keep at it.

The second fastener comes out by unscrewing it with your fingers.

Now the panel comes down by pulling down on it and simultaneously pulling towards the rear of the car.

Now I suggest you put your seat all the way back and put the back support down to a lay down position. Get in the car, put your feet towards the rear window and lie down on your back and get your head underneath the dash, which will make for an upclose view of the wires you want to look for.

You will see a wire bundle coming from the back of the steering column area. Unwind some of the felt tape holding the wires in the bundle and get ready to fish.

First wire you want to look for is a green wire that is fairly fat compared to the rest of the wires, it is one of about 4 fat wires in the bundle. This wire is your power wire and connects to the red wire in the swix. Use you T tap and crimp it onto the green wire. If can’t find a T-tap that supports a large gauge wire like I couldn’t well then make one! Get a T-tap that if for 18-16 gauge like the one shown and get your dremel out because you are gonna do some modification.

Put a grinding wheel on your dremel and dremel the wire “slot” larger to support the size wire gauge. Just eyeball about how large you think it should be.
If you modified the T-tap crimp it on to the green wire.

Now you need to ground your power connection. You can use any bare metal on the car to ground, but I chose to splice into the foot lamp ground to make a reliable ground using a tapin connector for 22-18 gauge wire. Put the ground into the tapin and the black wire coming from the swix into the tapin connector. Once everything is in the tapin connector get some pliers of your choice and squeeze down on the tapin connector to establish the connection.

Next wire you are looking for a white wire with red stripe and somewhat hard to see yellow dots/specs on the red stripe. It is fairly hard to mix this wire up with any of the other wires in the bundle. This wire is the “data” wire that sends the button signals to the factory deck. This is the best pic I was able to take…

I suggest you use a tapin connector for a 22-18 gauge wire and put the data wire in the taping and you are going to put the insulated yellow wire coming from the swix into the tapin connector. Once everything is in the tapin connector get some pliers of your choice and squeeze down on the tapin connector to establish the connection.

Now that the tap in connection is made cut the wire on the front side of the wire (part of the wire that leads to the factory deck, Not the part coming from the steering wheel area into the tapin. You have the option to not do the tapin at all, but to get a wire cutter/deshealther is a VERY tight and difficult fit. Now put some electrical tape on the “dead” wire. You HAVE to cut the wire in order of the swix to work because some sort of computer/regulator “upstream” towards the factory deck interferes with the swix.

Now everything is connected turn on the ignition and see if your swix LEDS light up. If not check your positive connection using a volt meter/ multi meter and check for a proper ground connection.

Now it is time to program this thing. Most of this is outlined in the instructions that come with the swix, but I will run through it here also. If you have “IR extended mode” refer to the instructions on how to handle that. Now on to programming…

Hold the mode/programming button down and turn on the ignition on and both LEDs should light up.

Let go of the mode/programming button and both LEDs will turn off, (indicating memory is cleared, and then turn on again for only 3 seconds)

Now you have to program the version number for the type of car for BMWs it is version number 5. Press and release the programming button 5 times to set the version ( LEDS will each time the button is pressed) (After 3 seconds LEDs will flash to indicate set version number) Turn the ignition off.
Time to program your steering wheel buttons now. Have your aftermarkets remote handy and plan in your head which buttons you want to program BEFORE starting the programming because ALL have to be programming in one sweep.
(NOTE: The volume buttons on the steering wheel send a continuous signal when depressed. The track up/down buttons send a pulsed paused/delayed signal, keep this in mind when mapping your steering wheel buttons. I chose to put my track/radio seek buttons on the volume up down because it allows a quick change, so I can quickly cycle through my 170 song mp3 CDs. The volume is controlled on my track up/down buttons and my source is programmed on the speak button and finally my radio preset button is programmed on the R/T button.)

Turn the ignition on (LEDS should flash 5 times to show version is 5) Press the mode/programming button and release it. (Left LED should light up) Now hurry you have 7 seconds to push the button you want to program. At each step you ONLY have 7 seconds.

Press the button you wish to program (i.e. the volume up button) (Left LED should turn off), release the volume up button. (Right LED will light up)

Get your headunits remote and push the volume up button on the remote within a few inches of the IR receiver on the side of the swix box.

Now push the next button you wish to program on your steering wheel, then push the button the remote and repeat these steps until all the buttons are programmed or until you are satisfied.
(You will notice that each LED that light has instructions above it directing you to do particular tasks.)

Once you have programmed your swix do nothing and the swix will blink to let you know it has been programmed. Now hold the swix purple IR “eye” near the headunit and test the steering wheel buttons to see if they are controlling the functions that you programmed.

Ok now you need to find a place to the purple IR “eye” You can mount this anywhere you like, but I suggest you put this in the following location…

This IR location is the best place I feel because the sun will rarely interfere with the signal, however if you are not in the car for some reason the buttons don’t work ( if you are reaching inside the window from the outside to change tracks etc.

If you choose this location get your Velcro tape and place it in the following location on the dash panel…

And the following swix area….

Start pulling down the rubber seal going around the driver side door in the location seen below. Keep pulling the rubber seal down while replacing the trailing edge, so as to make it easy to reinstall. Pull the seal off until you reach the floor.

You will notice on the rubber seal that there is a VERY NICE groove that enables you put the purple IR “eye” into.

Start pushing the wire into this groove until you reach the end and route the eye across the A pillar area.

Once you have completed the wire routing replace the rubber seal on the car.

And replace the dash panel; following the instructions on how to take it off in reverse and it should like this….

Admire your hard work and enjoy!!

Tom/// is offline   Reply With Quote
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