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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 10-03-2012, 10:43 PM   #1
DougL3NC
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Automatic to manual climate control?

I'm not a fan of the automatic climate control in my coupe. Can I switch to the manual controls and it not be a huge project...as in changing face plates?
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:11 AM   #2
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My thoughts is that is just a manual HVOC unit. You will most likely find them on 1999 and early 2000's. I would think a straight plug a play. Not 100% sure
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:12 AM   #3
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Just press one of the buttons to direct the airflow and you're manual. I turned mine off within a day of getting my car...and haven't used the automatic setting once since.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:36 AM   #4
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Why didn't you buy a cheaper car? Maybe something along the lines of a Hyundai Accent Coupe. You could have saved tons of money, and not had to deal with any automatic features..........
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:13 AM   #5
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Just manually select your temp, fan speed and vents. Why make it a huge project if you don't have to? Surely you can push a few buttons?

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Old 10-04-2012, 08:03 AM   #6
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Why didn't you buy a cheaper car? Maybe something along the lines of a Hyundai Accent Coupe. You could have saved tons of money, and not had to deal with any automatic features..........
I hear the 70s model VW bugs have a great manual system... you roll the windows down manually... VOILA! AIR!
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:19 AM   #7
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My 79 930 has a great manual system too! I for one like the simple knobs over all the buttons.

You all may prefer pink wheels but I don't hassle you about it.

So, my original question still stands...is it as simple as a face plate swap or more detailed?
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:35 AM   #8
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Why didn't you buy a cheaper car? Maybe something along the lines of a Hyundai Accent Coupe. You could have saved tons of money, and not had to deal with any automatic features..........
Maybe because I didn't want to? I've never owned an Asian or American car. Since I started driving its been Mercedes or Porsche and this is my first BMW.

I'm sure there's at least one thing on your car you didn't like and probably changed. Same for me! The cup holders suck, so in went the euro tray. Hell, I never owned a car with cup holders till we got my wife her 05 C230!

If it's easily feasible to change, what's wrong with if its what I prefer?
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:32 AM   #9
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Search. This has been discussed.

http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...=390460&page=3

Post 55.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:48 AM   #10
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I'm missing something. As I said and another did too...if you manually select the vents, you turn off the automatic control, and you never need to use it again.

Manual hvac at the press of a button. If you want to change the controller, I think you'll have issues, since our vent doors are controlled by motors. My e36 hvac was manual and the louvers were controlled by cables I think...but I'm not sure. But retrofitting a different control unit in and getting the system to work will be more than you want to do.

Just press a button. Done.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:51 AM   #11
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I think OP is referring to this
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:05 AM   #12
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I think OP is referring to this
BINGO! We have a winner!
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:52 AM   #13
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BINGO! We have a winner!
If you're lucky...but you're assuming it electronically opens and closes the louvers same as your current unit, which I'm pretty sure it doesn't. I had an e36 and like I said, I believe the louver functions were mechanical.

Also that the wiring is the same. I'd be surprised if you can do this with any ease at all.

But, I'm curious now and will search realoem.com

Why is it you don't want to just use your system 'manually' as you can at the press of a button?

EDIT: I searched realoem for the hvac system for e36 and there is a bowden cable, which 'we' don't have.

That by itself is enough to suggest it probably won't work plug and play...and that it'd probably not end well.

Sorry...don't shoot the messenger. I know you want this bad!
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:02 PM   #14
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BINGO! We have a winner!
Yeah, I'm pretty sure we all know what you meant.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:08 PM   #15
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Buy 320i. Manual air control standard
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:09 PM   #16
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My 79 930 has a great manual system too! I for one like the simple knobs over all the buttons.

You all may prefer pink wheels but I don't hassle you about it.

So, my original question still stands...is it as simple as a face plate swap or more detailed?
Simple answer is NO as it is not just face plate swap.
You need to replace heater core as well which sits behind dash. lol
But with time and money, of course it can be done.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:13 PM   #17
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Why didn't you buy a cheaper car? Maybe something along the lines of a Hyundai Accent Coupe. You could have saved tons of money, and not had to deal with any automatic features..........
323 is cheaper than a new Hyundai
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:41 PM   #18
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Buy 320i. Manual air control standard
If the deal was right, I would but it's not offered here and is more than likely un-importable due to the engine.

I'd like to have the diesel coupe that another forum member has overseas, but IIRC he has hit some snags trying to bring it over.

Gotta love the US Gov't!

PS: I'd love to swap you my cluster for your Km/h cluster. It's worth the trouble for the conversations it starts. My 930 is a Euro car and reads 300Km/h...

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Old 10-07-2012, 04:51 AM   #19
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Maybe because I didn't want to? I've never owned an Asian or American car. Since I started driving its been Mercedes or Porsche and this is my first BMW.

I'm sure there's at least one thing on your car you didn't like and probably changed. Same for me! The cup holders suck, so in went the euro tray. Hell, I never owned a car with cup holders till we got my wife her 05 C230!

If it's easily feasible to change, what's wrong with if its what I prefer?
Actually not. I specified exactly what I wanted when I talked with the Dealership Sales Rep and if I had wanted something different on the car I would have given them different information. Of course that's the difference between buying something used and buying one new.

I really haven't noticed any problems with the cup holders either.

Change what you want and what you can. It's just an old car now.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:54 AM   #20
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323 is cheaper than a new Hyundai
Didn't buy it now. Bought it then. How many 323 Tourings do you see daily? Didn't think so..........
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