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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 01-19-2010, 02:56 PM   #1
mvrk10256
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Lightbulb MVRK's Cheap Mod DIY - Grilles, Windshield Wiper Tank, Custom USB charger

So lately i have been attacked by the mod bug, but being a poor college student, i dont necessarily have the funds to do everything i want. So i decided it was time for some of those more time than money mods. I have made a diy for them as well.


ALL DIY ARE AT YOUR OWN RISK, I DONT CARRY ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR MISTAKES.

but feel free to pm me if you have any questions.

So first:

Matte Black Grilles.
Stuff you need (25 bucks tops, if you got none of it like me)


1. Pull Grilles from car

2. Seperate the black grill part from the chrome ring
3. Wash in soap and water

4. Using gloves on Sand with 150, then 220 grit paper until it is nice and sanded

5. Wash in soap and water again.
6. primer - several really light coats, i waited about 20 minutes between coats, total of 3 primer coats NOTE: with any painting patience is key, dont screw up your work cause your in a rush.

7. Spray with flat black, again i did 3 light coats, after letting the primer dry for about an hour.

8.3 coats of matte clear, to protect the grilles, again same procedure as before,

9. let grilles dry overnight
10. Put them back in, ENJOY how awesome your car looks.



Windshield wiper tank:
(you can reuse a lot of the stuff from the grilles but i recommend getting high temp grill paint.)

1. Pull it from the car

2. remove all the sensors

3. wash it

4.tape off what you want (i did a strip so i could see the level) NOTE: i made the mistake of trying to sand it down. dont do this it ****s up the plastic and doesnt help adhesion, but even with this fukup it still looks better black then it ever did clear

5. paint it with plastic primer

6. paint it with paint (i am using the flat black can to hold up the tank i painted it with high temp grill paint. )
7. enjoy.



Custom USB Car charger:

big thanks to Dakkon for his help.

NOTE: do this at your own risk, it involves cutting up interior pieces and if thats more then your comfortable with then dont do it. this was dont in a garage, with a dremel tool and a very sharp exacto, again if you dont have these things or are scared of them this DIY is not for you.

NOTE2: sorry for crappy blackberry pics.

NOTE3: this design means that there is a constant power draw for the led, this will not drain your battery, any more then a car alarm, but you are now informed just in case you didnt realize this.


1. buy the USB 12V car charger
2. disassembles it
100_0686
3. solder in a positive wire and a negative wire, based on the board instructions (if you don't know or cant figure out which is which on your own, on the circuit board there is a printed + and - signs.)
100_0689
4. take apart the center console - pop out shift boot, take out two screws, open top drawer container thing, pop it out using the two little plastic push buttons on the top inside the drawer, then take out those two screws behind it, and the two screws at the bottom. pop out the cupholder and the coin/tray behind it.
5. measure and cut a hole
IMG00012
6. glue the usb device into the hole using super glue or epoxy, run wires underneath the center console - there is a little vent for wires so you don't crimp them when you bolt center console back down - take care here.
IMG00014
7. use quick connectors or splices to tap into the +12 and ground cables of the cigarette lighter.
IMG00013
8. re assemble everything
9. enjoy.

IMG00017
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:31 PM   #2
dakkon
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if you want you can snip the led off of the ic board, to get rid of that draw. With the install the way it is, the led serves no real purpose, as it did with the cigarette charger mold.
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:37 PM   #3
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[pretty sure you have to leave the led or jump the connection. it in in line with the USB ports, so if you break the connection by destroying the LED, you risk the charger not working.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:02 PM   #4
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ballin. haha
fun **** man
i guess if u wanted to put a ton of usb items in ur car u could get one of those cheap usb port bay thingys that connect like 6 a piece.
i dont see how u can charge this many things at once tho. but its pretty cool.

Suggestion for next cheap mod (if i may):

Do us all a huge favor by figuring out how to make the stock business cd player accept usb devices - without a Dice module or such, then posting a DIY. It should be simple for ipods and stuff that you select music through the device. But i would love to stick a usb hard drive in the car with all of my music on it, so the head unit would have to control it.

we already talked about and i think u said it borrows the pins for the cd player, which would be worth it because my player is starting to skip and not spit out cds.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rEid46_323 View Post
ballin. haha
fun **** man
i guess if u wanted to put a ton of usb items in ur car u could get one of those cheap usb port bay thingys that connect like 6 a piece.
i dont see how u can charge this many things at once tho. but its pretty cool.

Suggestion for next cheap mod (if i may):

Do us all a huge favor by figuring out how to make the stock business cd player accept usb devices - without a Dice module or such, then posting a DIY. It should be simple for ipods and stuff that you select music through the device. But i would love to stick a usb hard drive in the car with all of my music on it, so the head unit would have to control it.

we already talked about and i think u said it borrows the pins for the cd player, which would be worth it because my player is starting to skip and not spit out cds.
As we have discussed in the past, it this only doable on a 2001 + "mode" button enabled headunit. I plan on buying a used one at some point and then custom route a aux in. but at the present its kinda no dice since we have incompatible headunits.


Also do US all a huge favor and learn to
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Old 02-28-2010, 03:11 PM   #6
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The headlight inserts can also be painted using the method described above. and body matching the inserts tends to look really hot, given that there is still black accents inside the headlight. it looks just right after it gets the matte finish dries on there.

Pics:

TiAg: (paint - duplcolor auto spray silver metallic #DSGM340)



Alpine Whitepaint - duplicolor auto spray Classic white #DSGM153)

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Old 02-28-2010, 03:23 PM   #7
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Nice usb integration..
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:15 PM   #8
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thanks.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:28 AM   #9
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what kind of wire did you use for the usb charger? and do you think it could be mounted in the sunglass holder?
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sometimes i'm into it and my one hand gets tired, i try switching, but then it's like someone with lou gehrig's trying to peel a carrot.
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:46 PM   #10
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can you show us how to paint the interiors of the headlights? I'd like to do that this week It'd look so hot with my orion V2.
how many coats did you do? can you take some shots of the whole car from a distance as well? it'd be nice to see how it looks in terms of the entire car, thanks!
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tate325xi View Post
what kind of wire did you use for the usb charger? and do you think it could be mounted in the sunglass holder?

I used a 14G wire to run both the +12V and ground wires to the USB piece that i pulled out of the charger. If i was super pro I would have put the stock fuse in line but i deemed it not worthwhile. You could mount it anywhere you want. as long as you are willing to cut a hole there. The power wires are pretty much right under the shifter, so just tap into those. if you have any more questions feel free to pm me for a faster response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Limbo View Post
can you show us how to paint the interiors of the headlights? I'd like to do that this week It'd look so hot with my orion V2.
how many coats did you do? can you take some shots of the whole car from a distance as well? it'd be nice to see how it looks in terms of the entire car, thanks!
So you simply take off the lens cover (tons of DIY for this simply search) then you just pop out the black piece. I simply washed it, no sanding. 3 layers of plastic primer, 3 layers of auto paint from autozone (matched as close as possible to body color.) and then 3 coats of matte to prevent reflection. Let them dry overnight and put em back in in the morning.

a tip though. tape off the tops of the trim - that way the black blends with the engine bay, but its up to you.

again pm me for a quick response if you have any more questions.
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:10 PM   #12
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Do you know another place to get power from? My wired FM Modulator is getting power from that 12v and therefore my usb when connected interferes with the music creating a high pitch noise. I need to find a different wire to get power from to get rid of the interference. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-25-2010, 08:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by DSeyf View Post
Do you know another place to get power from? My wired FM Modulator is getting power from that 12v and therefore my usb when connected interferes with the music creating a high pitch noise. I need to find a different wire to get power from to get rid of the interference. Any suggestions?
depending on the model, you car may be prewired for a telephone. these cables are way in the back under the rearmost ashtray, there is a 12V and ground cable back there. otherwise your best bet would be to run it under the dash to the fuse box and tap in there.
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:03 PM   #14
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Thank you, I had finally found the proper words to search and discovered these two. However either my solder sucked or the telephone 12v is jumpy. Most likely it is my connect to the USB hub.
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:05 PM   #15
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ya soldering is an art. work at it, i am sure you will get it to work.
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:07 PM   #16
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Thanks man, you were one of the inspirations for my however another possible problem could be that i used a 4 port USB Hub and powering that and the iPod creates a problem.
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:12 PM   #17
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Thanks man, you were one of the inspirations for my however another possible problem could be that i used a 4 port USB Hub and powering that and the iPod creates a problem.
i dont think so. the power draw to one of these bad boys is about 5V. i would suggest testing the usb charger, make sure it works. also you may want to opt for keeping a fuse in line to protect your electronics. I have had two phones plugged into mine at the same time, the AC and radio on and something plugged into the cigarrette lighter and not had a problem.

this leads me to believe the issue is with your usb device. if you post pics i may be able to gvie you more information.
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:15 PM   #18
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I'll snap some picture tomorrow to show you how I wired it up.
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:19 PM   #19
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that will be great, cause then i can offer some real feedback. focus on the connections, also interesting to see the gauge of wire. I hope you tested the unit before taking it apart to canabalize? also was it an automotive unit?
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:25 PM   #20
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Yes I used a iPhone charger to ensure it could charge my iPhone. Then wire wise, I just used what i found lying around, which could cause a problem. Wired it up to the USB Hub so it has the right about to power a iPhone and it did power it for a while then i think i fried the iPhone charger while being careless in the testing process and mixed up the positive and negative. So i got one of the same again and wired everything up the same. Now it occasionally chargers my iPod but have yet to get it to work with the iPhone. I believe it is a lose connection somewhere in there.

Also I use an FM Modulator so charging a device and playing music through it causes feedback due to the antenna, do you know if there is ANY way around this?
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