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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 03-09-2017, 07:50 PM   #1
Onizukachan
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 879
My Ride: `04 M56 Touring
Rear fogs / rear camera / City Lights e46 Touring (wiring/install)

This DIY is specific to tourings:

First off, I wish all my helpers weren't busy doing homework, but I did the best I could to take pictures of the most important parts for everyone.

Many of you may only want to do rear fogs and need only to know how to pull a wire thru the hatch, some of you may only want to do a rear camera. In either case the wire pulling route is the same.

Some of you may wish to pull your rca to the front because you have a dynavin etc, or you may need to pull that rear fog wire to the front. I'm not going to cover that part yet, mostly because I haven't done it yet, but also because once you get inside the car as far as the backseat, it is the same as a sedan.

I did both at once (over 2 afternoons), so I would only have to take the hatch apart once.

I don't know if tourings are harder or easier than sedans, I suspect they are possibly a little easier if you know what you are doing.


I'll start this DIY the way I started it, in pieces, doing each bit at a time:
Part 1: Rear Camera Physical Install
(And LED License Light wiring)
In retrospect this would have been a million times easier had I gone ahead and removed the hatch cover (9 or so Phillips head screws under the carpeted removable insert and 2 under the press-in wiper cover plate). I could then have taken the license plate bar to the workbench and had an easier time of it.
But I was trying to not mess with it until wiring time. If you are doing it in one go, not over several days, take the hatch interior cover off first.


Product used:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B0L1JIU
It isn't night vision like the ad says, but it is small enough to allow the license frame to fit back on... barely!
Also pencil soldering iron, heatshrink from harbor freight, 3m electrical tape and 3m fabric tape

The camera itself fits fine... but you have to get rid of most of the original license light bucket from the backside (I only left the metal heatshield in place) and I had to slightly open up the bucket opening along the long side. I wasn't about to mod the camera housing, and it is a permanent change so why not?

I don't own a dremel, and my files went MIA somewhere in the last 2 moves, so I broke out the "plastic carving tool"... aka an old pencil soldering iron that wasn't very good at soldering, but works great for stuff like this. I carved the plastic out until the camera fit.

I also changed the other bulb to LED to match, (38 mm festoon bulb x1/sylvania/pepboys) but it was much brighter, so I turned it about 45 degrees rearwards from straight down and now the brightness matches the rear view camera's license LED.

As always heatshrink and friction tape on the connections for weather and abrasion resistance.

On to the pictures---


License "bar" removed so could get to the top of it,
license light connections grey w/ brown stripe (longest) are positive and must be joined together so hatch still works. Plain Browns are ground and also must be joined together. Soldered together, to appropriate LED lead, and then individually heatshrunk. Then heatshrink atop both sets connections.


Added friction tape for "factory look" and cut resistance.




LED light contrasted with normal incandescent light




Pic of camera installed. Looks factory enough!




It's LED on both. Considering using a piece of electrical tape to make the same sharp cut off the other side with the camera has. (I later did this and it worked).




Testing the camera with my little garage tv in the back of the hatch.





And finally a daytime pic from behind. It is barely visible.

__________________
If I were to give my Touring Build a first name, I'd probably name it "Alan".
Mostly because I like puns.

E46 Touring TV Tuner Install/Mounting DIY
Wiring City Lights, Rear Fogs, and Rear Camera in a Touring

Last edited by Solidjake; Today at 06:34 AM.
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:03 PM   #2
Onizukachan
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Part 2: Rear fog / bulb carrier modification

The second job I tackled was the carrier modification.


So first up was trying DelMarco's mod for modifying the rear bulb carriers to accept rear fogs.

He's right, the top plate is the only difference, but the top plate is also folded down to become the bulb's ground contact and physical retainer (look at your reverse light). It isn't as simple as drilling a hole with a 5/8ths paddle bit. I made it work, but it was figity and finicky work.
It would be much easier to simply pay the $22 per carrier to get EU carriers from ECS, or buy a single one (for one side only) used from a breaker located overseas.
Overall I spent about $15 and a solid hour or so modifying the carriers (bulbs, drill bit, etc.)
And that bit i chose was terrible. The center prong was too deep and too wide amd caused problems. If you can find the cheap paddle type bit, get that instead.





Partially drilled thru



In retrospect this is where a dremel would have come in handy.
I would have partially drilled thru, and then cut out the part that folds over to become the bulb contact/retainer

Tested on my 12v drill battery



Not pictured: I installed those -867 connectors to the existing connector in the open slot.

I hooked it up to reverse just to test it worked in car.



What is left to do is adding one of those -877 pins to the lkm connector position 49 and the wire from lkm back to hatch area and thru hatch area to the rear fog lead.
__________________
If I were to give my Touring Build a first name, I'd probably name it "Alan".
Mostly because I like puns.

E46 Touring TV Tuner Install/Mounting DIY
Wiring City Lights, Rear Fogs, and Rear Camera in a Touring

Last edited by Onizukachan; 03-09-2017 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:25 PM   #3
Onizukachan
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Part 3: Hatch disassembly

This is where having a helper to snap pics would have been great, because I needed both hands for safe disassembly, and sometimes I needed a 3rd, but just had to make do!

Whether you are running a wire for rear fogs, an rca for rear camera, or both, this is how you get access to the wiring harness.

Disassembly not pictured:
(See part 4: Wiring for pictures of the bare hatch, I'm sure you can figure it out at that point)
Remove carpeted insert. There are three prongs along the lower edge that pry up towards top of hatch to release.
Someone had been in here before and broken one, and I broke another. I repaired it with brush on super glue, and then brushed on a couple layers of tissue paper soaked in super glue over the repair to add strength. Seems to have worked.

Under insert there are about 9 Phillips head screws. I used a magnet to catch them as they fell out, then bagged them till reassembly.
There is also the wiper arm cover which pulls straight off and two more under there, and finally the cover over the latch pulls off.
Do not forget to unplug the light!




In my case, I have the factory tv tuner located in the very middle of the electronics bay at the front of the hatch under floor, so all the carpeted panels needed to come out to get there. None of the black plastic floor panels needed to come out, though I did loosen the ones on the right side to run the wiring more easily.


Finally the part you all are dreading... but shouldn't.

On the right side of the hatch's black plastic cover, there are two black rectangles that look like covers. They aren't. They have a tongue sticking out inside that engages the metal hatch towards but not at the bottom very carefully pry them out. I used a couple of flathead jeweler's screwdrivers.

The right side plastic hatch cover doesn't slide out the side, it lifts off the hatch. There are 3 tongues iirc than insert down into the metal hatch and it also engages the middle cover with a tongue n groove system. Work your finger in from the top and pop the first tongue out then try to get the bottom one then the middle one. You can now see the tape wrapped harness, the lower grommet, and the upper one... but you can't access the upper one aka fat python until you pop the upper section off also.
That one is easy, 4 tongues, pulls straight up.

Then remove the metal plate that holds the fat python in place and put the t30 torx back in so you don't lose them.

You probably have 10+ years of dust, dirt, grease, and even mud. Before you go any further, grab your cleaning product of choice (simple green) and an old rag and toothbrush and clean it all up. Now pop the grommets out of place and you are ready to start pulling wires.
__________________
If I were to give my Touring Build a first name, I'd probably name it "Alan".
Mostly because I like puns.

E46 Touring TV Tuner Install/Mounting DIY
Wiring City Lights, Rear Fogs, and Rear Camera in a Touring

Last edited by Onizukachan; 03-10-2017 at 02:53 AM.
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Old 03-09-2017, 09:23 PM   #4
Onizukachan
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Part 4: Wiring


First off, I did mine differently than most!

I have a factory tv tuner, and I don't like the cludge of powering the camera from the reverse lamps. I'd much rather have the camera powered when the car is on and let the video switcher/tv tuner display or not display the camera as is appropriate. Less delay, and just seems like a better solution. Especially since I eventually hope to afford PiBus (a great product by PeteAU to enable a media server onscreen plus rear camera on demand).
I will try to explain why I did what I did so you can chose if it is right for you.


FACTORY NAV & TV TUNER ONLY:

There is a reverse lead on the Nav drive @maroon connector Pin 1, so you do not need to run a wire all the way thru the hatch to grab the reverse taillight lead. It is a positive trigger (goes to 12v when in reverse) and what you need is a negative trigger for the TV module.
Using a normal 4 pin relay, I tapped the appropriate Nav lead, followed the existing cable route and then used it to trip the relay, which now sends ground to the tv tuner lead when car is in reverse.








Wiring the rear camera power:

As I stated I wanted the camera on when the car was on, and I know the current draw is miniscule on those, so I found an ignition controlled 12+ in the hatch instead of tying it to the reverse lights.

The connector I found is a small black connector going into the wiper motor module.

I honestly can't tell if it is purple white or purple yellow, so I took pics of the position on the plug.






The ground I sourced at the big brown wire on the wiper motor connector,located just behind the connector in this picture with a test probe hanging out of it.

Now the camera comes on and off with ignition and is ready when the tuner switches to it.

Add the video lead by plugging in the rca..



Wiring rear fog lights:


Remove the white part /retainer from the connector.
Add the OEM connectors to the open slot. Replace white retainer.

Run a wire from one to the other, and then add a lead you will pull thru to the car.
Heatshrink connections and fabric wrap them.
__________________
If I were to give my Touring Build a first name, I'd probably name it "Alan".
Mostly because I like puns.

E46 Touring TV Tuner Install/Mounting DIY
Wiring City Lights, Rear Fogs, and Rear Camera in a Touring

Last edited by Onizukachan; 03-10-2017 at 03:01 AM.
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Old 03-09-2017, 09:39 PM   #5
Onizukachan
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Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 879
My Ride: `04 M56 Touring
Pulling wires thru the hatch

You won't get an rca jack thru here, so cut your rca about a foot back so you can splice it back together later.

If you look in a later photo you will see that there is a circle, right above that is where the first grommet is to exit the hatch. Pop that Grommet loose and start feeding your wires up and out the hole.


I couldn't gain enough access to the bottom side of this grommet (which has an extended accordion boot) to run the wires completely thru it, so I used a small flathead screwdriver to punch a hole thru as low as I could get on the accordion part, ran the wires thru then taped over it.






Note this bundle of wires is merely taped. Once you have your wires thru, unwrap the tape (it will probably fall right off) and later once you have everything ready and your wires run, you will simply re-tape the bundle.

Here you can see the python boot and metal retainer I referenced earlier.



Remove the retainer so you can work with the python boot, and un pop the grommet end from the roof.

Attach this extremely high tech cable pulling tool (10" ziptie) to your wire or rca cable about 4 inches back using an extremely advanced strip bonding agent (electrical tape) and wrap it securely in place. Apply a bit of petroleum jelly to the outside of it, and bring the cable bundle over as far to the left as you can to make the python boot as straight as you can and start feeding it in. What worked best for me was starting on the far left "inner" edge of the bundle, rather than the outer edge.
Once you have all but an inch of the zip tie inserted you should just see the edge of the ziptie poking out of the grommet. You'll need a pair of needle nose pliers to grab it and pull it thru.
If pulling two wires, go ahead and pull the second one thru now.

"HIGH TECH CABLE PULLER"



Now that your wires are thru the hatch, we need to get them inside the car.
Pull the light off the d-pillar, and now as you push the cable thru the roof opening, you can catch it there, pull it thru, and using a small strip of fabric tape, tape it to the inside of the d-pillar to keep it away from the hot bulb, then feed it the rest of the way down the inside of the d-pillar.
It will exit somewhere near the filler tube for the rear washer bottle.

At this point you merely need to complete the run to either the video module, or for ward to your aftermarket head, or if rear fogs, forward to the LKM.

Tv tuner reference pinout (not my creation, thank you to whomever it was)


Go back inside the hatch and apply fabric tape, and or electrical tape where required to keep the new wire/cable along the existing cable run.
The goal is to keep everything safe from abrasion, pinching, and also making annoying noises when driving! Looking factory as possible is a bonus in my book.




Then retape the harness with your new wires inside where it runs along the outside of the hatch and tuck it back in place, and apply a little petroleum jelly to the grommets so they can be pressed back in place. Don't bother trying to do it dry, it isn't happening. I wasted 5-10 minutes before I remembered I had lube to get it in, and then it went in easily the first try.
Don't forget your metal python retainer, and reassemble the hatch area, center outside cover first, then right side cover, then the inner gate piece and trim panel.





Rear fog wiring run:

As you recall I got my rca as far as the tuner, and the rear fog power wire there also.
I completed the run whilst installing the wires for the city lights so I could pull the right side city light and rear fog lead together.

First I removed the tie down so I could move the bottom of the side panel out and get my wire tucked away well inside it, and follow the factory loom where it comes out under the rear seat side bolster.










Not pictured: going from one side of the trans tunnel to the other.
I have no idea why it is there or what it is for, but there was a section of empty wire conduit against the firewall going from one side of the trans tunnel to the other. I used it to my full advantage, and ran the rear fog and right city light thru it to get into the driver's floorwell/underdash area, and then with the left city light up to the lkm area. I then attached my LKM pins/leads to them. They were all brown and I used paint markers to mark up two of them so I wouldn't confuse them.



The final piece required for rear fogs is either a re-virginized EU lkm, and coding to the car, or making a hybrid LKM with the euro faceplate and the original body.
My body was newer (3.6) than the euro one, so after connecting the original eu lkm to make sure my wiring was good, I swapped face plates and reinstalled my original LKM. No tamper dot.




End result:








This really wasn't a terrible job in and of itself. The wire pulling, once I figured it outwent very smoothly. I hope this helps de-mystify the rear camera / rear fog installation as it applies to tourings, and encourages more people to try one or the other or all 3!
__________________
If I were to give my Touring Build a first name, I'd probably name it "Alan".
Mostly because I like puns.

E46 Touring TV Tuner Install/Mounting DIY
Wiring City Lights, Rear Fogs, and Rear Camera in a Touring

Last edited by Onizukachan; 03-24-2017 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 03-09-2017, 09:39 PM   #6
Onizukachan
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Reserved for part 6




Wiring & Coding City Lights.
under construction

I do not purport this is the only way to do it, or the best way to do it, or the least expensive way to do it, but present this just as a guide to how I did it.




If you read the previous parts, you know I prefer to solder, but for exterior weather exposed connections, nothing beats a good crimp connection, especially when sealed with dielectric grease and heatshrink. You are also aware that I did the rear camera, rear fogs, and city lights all together, so I only had to disassemble and run wires in each part of the car once.

The other thing i started on was the city lights. I love city lights. I had them on my e34 wagon, along with working electronic aiming (a very future project for e46) . I like angel eyes etc on the cars they came stock in, but much prefer CL on e46. Once Angel Eyes started showing up on Neons, Civics, Pickup trucks ad nauseum ad infinitium some 10- 15 years ago, that was the end for me.
You may love AE and hate CL, and that's fine, too!

1: Check that your headlights have the twist off cap where city lights go. Mine did, so no drilling or filing required. The twist off cap is shown here in the middle.



2: Organize all components - 194 bulbs, citylight holders, bare connectors and the wires.




3: Assemble components: wires into connector body, connector body onto citylight holder, bulb into holder.


4: Twist wires , then Heatshrink for anal retentiveness.
I did one tiny black heatshrink on one wire before overall heatshrink.
This way when you look thru the edge of the connector they look different colors, though they are identical



5: Cover with fabric tape for OEM-ness



6: Test!



What remains is to wire one lead of each connector to ground, and to use one of those -877 pins in LKM position 45 for driver's side CL and another one in LKM position 44 for passenger's side CL, as well as to acquire an LKM euro face plate with Autoheadlights, front and rear fog switch and leveling. I'm just not willing to pay $80+ for an entire LKM I do not need.
Many thanks to TerraPhantm for sussing out the pin locations for city lights several years ago.

Starting with the right side city light as it has the longest run and the easiest access.
Twisted my black and reds together using a power drill and made my crimps, the heatshrink over the top of them in sections until it was covered enough to be protected entering the drug bin.




Once the city light wires were into the drug bin... heatshrink the rest, and then thru an unused nipple on the firewall grommet.










I did the same on the driver's side, going into the e-box, but that grommet had a nipple, so I nipped the end of it and pulled the wiring thru.



















Coding is required for city lights. I used NCS Expert and NCS Dummies to modify the parameters of my US LKM.





__________________
If I were to give my Touring Build a first name, I'd probably name it "Alan".
Mostly because I like puns.

E46 Touring TV Tuner Install/Mounting DIY
Wiring City Lights, Rear Fogs, and Rear Camera in a Touring

Last edited by Onizukachan; 03-24-2017 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 03-10-2017, 06:38 AM   #7
Geo31
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Old 03-10-2017, 02:01 PM   #8
Onizukachan
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I hope it helps Geo!
__________________
If I were to give my Touring Build a first name, I'd probably name it "Alan".
Mostly because I like puns.

E46 Touring TV Tuner Install/Mounting DIY
Wiring City Lights, Rear Fogs, and Rear Camera in a Touring
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Old 03-10-2017, 05:10 PM   #9
EthirD
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Great DIY, thanks for sharing!
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:22 AM   #10
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awesome DIY. thanks for sharing it with the community!
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:21 AM   #11
Onizukachan
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Continuing slowly to work on part 6.
__________________
If I were to give my Touring Build a first name, I'd probably name it "Alan".
Mostly because I like puns.

E46 Touring TV Tuner Install/Mounting DIY
Wiring City Lights, Rear Fogs, and Rear Camera in a Touring
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:23 PM   #12
jaga
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Awesome DIY. Hot days have started in the area so days will have more day-light to work on our cars!!!

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Old 03-24-2017, 09:35 PM   #13
Onizukachan
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Finished write up and pictures. I hope it helps and is complete enough to help others.
__________________
If I were to give my Touring Build a first name, I'd probably name it "Alan".
Mostly because I like puns.

E46 Touring TV Tuner Install/Mounting DIY
Wiring City Lights, Rear Fogs, and Rear Camera in a Touring
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