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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 08-11-2015, 02:10 AM   #41
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 2
My Ride: 2001 320i
Firstly, Docremus, you are a legend amongst men. Great DIY.

I used an inspection mirror, combined with a head torch, to help me locate the troublesome T20 screw ( easy ), and fashioned up the following gizmo that enabled me to remove it in about 10min. ( most of which was remembering how to rub my belly whilst patting my head - i.e. using the mirror while getting the gizmo into place ).

The hex end allowed me to use a 1/4 inch spanner to get the torque to turn it easily. And the slim diameter made it easier to get into place. Pushing the vent opening downwards helped too.

Once in place, with a 1/4 inch spanner to turn it, and holding it firmly in place, the T20 screw came out no worries. On replacement I lightly taped the screw to the gizmo so it would stay attached while I got it back in the hole.

Hope that helps.


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Last edited by adamofoz; 08-11-2015 at 02:27 AM.
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Old 08-23-2015, 12:02 PM   #42
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: North London
Posts: 2
My Ride: e46 1.8i touring
Well thanks to Docremus I went ahead and did mine early this morning. Bit of a cow for sure but I've done worse jobs. Like most of you I figure, I bought on fleabay, but mine at least has an aluminium body similar to original. Keeping my fingers crossed. I luckily have a angled torx wrench set and that proved to be a good length. Still, I didn't put that pesky screw back. It holds fine with one screw.
Only prob now is the fan only runs up to around half speed although the display goes up to full speed. Its not a bad speed but occasionally you need that full blast.
Sounds like I may need a new motor.
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:30 AM   #43
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 2
My Ride: 2001 E46 318i
FSR replacement

Thank you for a great write up and even better pictures - simply amazing work!
I did mine today and decided at the start to remove the drivers seat to give me enough room ( disconnect battery first ) to lay in the foot space on my side. It took a while - more than 45 mins and less than 3 hours - and fixed the problem.
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Old 10-25-2016, 05:52 AM   #44
ferrells garage
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: ayrshire
Posts: 1
My Ride: 2002 316i
Originally Posted by Docremus View Post
The next step is to remove the stepper motor. Laying on your back across the sill and pushing yourself as deep into the footwell as possible, using the torch, look up and to your right and you can see an airvent pointing down toward you, just above that is the stepper motor positioned behind the A/C controller on the dashboard. It is held in with two torx screws. The bottom one is easy to remove. The top one is a different story, the shortened torx driver will fit neatly in-between the screw and the steering column. Seat the driver in the screwhead and patiently remove the screw.
TIP: This took me three hours first time round. When I replaced it, I screwed it back finger tight, just incase.
this screw is super easy to reach and undo using a small t20 1/4" drive, a short extension and of course a 1/4" drive ratchet.

i did the hole job start to finish in 10 mins.
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diy, final stage resistor, fsr

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