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Old 09-14-2016, 04:12 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 13
My Ride: 2000 323i
DIY OBC Retrofit ::Without:: B/C Stalk

Hey guys,
Today I decided to add an OBC button without buying a new turn signal stalk by splicing a button into the wiring harness. An hour later and it's a complete success - I have a working OBC! I thought you might want a walk through on how to do it. Here's the finished product:

First, you'll need a 9.5mm-high tactile button (RadioShack part # 275-0003 $2 for 4), 2' of thin (I used 26awg) wire, wire cutters, a soldering iron and solder, a drill the diameter of your button, some super glue or epoxy or the like to mount the button. You also need to either have pa soft and bmw scanner 1.4 or pay for the dealer to reprogram the cluster for you.

Start by disconnecting the battery (you don't have to remove the airbag or wheel but safety first). Next remove the top and bottom steering colum cover. The top has a single screw, the bottom snaps out. You don't need to fully remove it, just enough to get to the stalk connector.

Unplug the connector out to the stalk and you'll have this:
The wires you're going to tap into are the black/brown (negitive) and yellow/red (OBC scroll when connected to neg). Strip a bit of insulation on both staggered about an half inch apart so you don't have to worry about shorts. Solder 1 wire about a foot long to each and wrap the connection.

You can put the column back together at this point, but route the wires out the very back by the trim around the headlight unit (on the left for a LHD car). Pry the trim off around the switch and unscrew the headlight switch box.
Pry up and it will pop out. If you press the tabs on the side the front box containing the switches will pop off. Disconnect the ribbon cable, take the back off and remove the pcb. Drill a small hole through the front plate to accommodate the button -- there's a premoulded indent on the back, next to the instrument brightness thumb wheel -- use that for centering. Feed the wires into the face plate, solder the two wires to either set of diagonal pins (top left & bottom right or vice versa) on the button and push the button stem through the hole you drilled. The best way I found to mount it was to superglue a piece of firm plastic over the back of the whole thing but you could epoxy it in, etc.

Now replace the board, snap the back on, connect the ribbon cable, snap it back into the housing and screw it back into the dash. Replace the trim with the wires behind it.

That's it! Now you're ready to reconnect the battery, select the OBC option in the IKE coding menu, and use the OBC.
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:40 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 3,021
My Ride: 05 330i ZHP/MT
Interesting idea, but these days you can get a used stalk with a BC button for less than $20...
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:09 AM   #3
Because Race...Convertible?
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: LA or OC
Posts: 2,428
My Ride: used to be an auto
Pretty cool to know. Add it to the DIY
Modification Thread
Original Car: Silver Grey on Grey, A/T (1 of 186)
As it sits: Silver Grey on Black, M/T (1 of 51)
Instagram: @CarbonZHP
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Old 09-15-2016, 02:06 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 13
My Ride: 2000 323i
True but for $1.90 and an hour, the satisfaction of doing it yourself and not having to wait for shipping etc, you can't really go wrong. Plus, it's well disguised and if you feel like installing the b/c stalk in the future, it's easy to remove and filling a 1/16" hole is no problem.
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Old 11-23-2016, 02:50 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Finland
Posts: 2
My Ride: e46 320d sedan
Hey! I don't have that yellow/red wire in my bimmer. Do you know what i have to do to get bc button?
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diy, obc, on board computer, retrofit

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