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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 09-15-2012, 12:58 AM   #1
benzovs
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Remote start how to: In depth.

I've been installing car alarms for over a decade now. I have learned a lot and have come a long way. I will be showing you guys how I install a remote start alarm. I have a stick shift, and I will be doing the install in a way that keeps it safe by never allowing it to start when it is in gear. I DO NOT know everything about alarms and car audio! I have made many mistakes and on occassion still need advice from some of my fellow installers. I have a lot of experience, and I have attended a ton of classes from DEI. I have a bachelors in EE and have been doing car audio/video since 1994 and security since 2000. I most likely won't be going over where every single wire gets connected, unless you guys request it. The method I will be showing you guys is pretty common in the high end level of car audio and security. It is not your budget minded install. There will be no crimping and NO T TAPPING! All connections will be soldered and the main goal of the install is to make it as OEM as possible. This is not the only way to do a remote start. IMO it is one of the best ways. I will gladly take constructive criticism. I will be starting with all the accessories and peripherals; LED, glass break sensor, siren, impact sensor, etc.. I do run my own business and have very little free time so it will take a week or so for the complete installation. Tonight I did my LED, so we can start with that how to and I will continue the thread as the project moves along. Any questions feel free to ask.
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:07 AM   #2
benzovs
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Scanning LED custom install

I'm not to sure how to post the pics and vid so please bare with me. Pic#1. Here is the unit out of the box.
Pic#2. This is the led after it has been taking out of the case/housing. Pic#3 This is the drive side trim piece that covers the shaft of the rearview mirror mount. Notice all the small center punch indentations. I made those with a hooked pick tool. Pic#4 This is the outside of the trim piece after I have drilled the pilot holes. Use a very small drill bit so that you can try to stay on center. Pic#5 After going through a series of bits, I ended with a 13/64 bit. Pic#6 The leds are now installed and can be seen through the holes. Pic#7 This is the back side of the trim with the led circuit board installed. Pic#8 I have now mounted the trim piece and led on the shaft. It takes a bit of finessing, since the led circuit board has to sit inside a gap thats in the shaft, while at the same time trying to have the trim piece wrap around the front side of the shaft. Pic#9 Here you can see the led wires running through the rear view mirror boot and into the headliner. Pic#10 The final assembly of the led and rear view mirror mount trim piece.
If you guys can help, I want to be able to put the captions and descriptions right above each pic like I've seen in the other DIY. I searched the site but was not able to find out how to do this. Thanks for your patience.
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Last edited by benzovs; 09-15-2012 at 02:24 AM. Reason: No captions next to pics
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:28 AM   #3
benzovs
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LED in action

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Old 09-15-2012, 04:11 AM   #4
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Interesting
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:14 AM   #5
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Remote start or alarm or both? Aren't they completely separate features?
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:11 AM   #6
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subd
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:09 AM   #7
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Neat. Just ordered the part and will try. Doesn't seem that difficult
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:34 PM   #8
benzovs
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It is a remote start/alarm. I am going to be installing an autopage C3-RS915. It is a fully functioning alarm with a remote start feature. I will be updating the next installment tomorrow or Tuesday.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:26 AM   #9
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More peripherals

Today I installed my siren, valet switch, and tachometer sensing wire.


I use Directwire wiring diagrams to install my alarms. The e46 can be done commando, in the sense that you can test for all the wires that you need to tap into, but a wiring diagram makes it's a lot easier and faster. With newer cars having pretty much all of the functions controlled by canbus, mux, ibus, etc... a wiring diagram and databus module is virtually a must.
[IMG][/IMG]

First I tapped into the tachometer wire at the diagnostic plug. It is the black wire (the only one). This is showing the diagnostic plug in the passenger side engine compartment. For vehicles that do not have this plug (01-05) the black tachometer wire can be found at the OBD data link connector under the driver side dash. According to Directwire it is pin #9
[IMG][/IMG]

For this first connection I will go through it step by step to show how all connections throughout the install should be done.

The siren and tachometer wire are connected/mounted inside the engine compartment, and the alarm sits inside the vehicle. As such, we must find a way to route the wires from the engine compartment to the cabin. Most times you can find a factory spare rubber grommet somewhere along the firewall, or you can run your wires right along with the main factory boot. Other times you have to drill/make your own hole, make sure to install a grommet when you do. Lucky for us, the e46 has a couple of spare nipples in the main boot, and these are the ones we will be using for our install.
[IMG][/IMG]

An interior view of the boot/nipples.
[IMG][/IMG]

You can cut the tip of these nipples to run your wire. I on the other hand have a nifty little tool that allows me to run wire through rubber boots while keeping it intact.
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]

Here is a view of the tool inserted into the boot/nipple from the engine bay compartment side.
[IMG][/IMG]

Now lets make our tachometer connection. First we will strip the wire. Don't cut it, just strip away the insulation. You can do it will a razor blade, or with some side strippers like these.
[IMG][/IMG]

Now stripped
[IMG][/IMG]
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Last edited by benzovs; 09-18-2012 at 01:32 PM. Reason: updating info on tach wire
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:17 AM   #10
benzovs
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After the wire has been stripped, take the wire that you will be attaching to it, and wrap it around the wire in a manner that keeps it flat and straight
[IMG][/IMG]

A trigger style soldering iron works best. It gets hot/cold really fast. Heat up the wire, then feed the solder.
[IMG][/IMG]

All soldered up
[IMG][/IMG]

I like to use 2 types of electrical tape. The yellow one is the expensive, ($4 a roll) nice and pliable tape. We use this to tape up our solder points. The white one is .46 cents a roll and is used to wrap up our wire to match the factory looming.
[IMG][/IMG]

You only need a tiny amount of tape to wrap of the solder points.
[IMG][/IMG]

All wrapped up
[IMG][/IMG]

Now wrap up the rest of the wire with the inexpensive tape to match the factory loom. Some vehicles us actual loom, and some use electrical tape, the e46 uses electrical tape to wrap up their wire harnesses, so we will do the same to match and try to look OEM. Lets run the wire through the boot/nipple.
[IMG][/IMG]

A view from the inside.
[IMG][/IMG]

Now on to the siren. Like I said, I only did a step by step for the first connection, all others will be made in the same fashion.
[IMG][/IMG]

We will be using the other nipple to run our siren twin lead inside the cabin.
[IMG][/IMG]

Next is the impact sensor. It is a plug and play unit, not soldering required. I don't really rely on these to much, but I still like to use them. When mounting them, make sure to mount them to a wiring harness or something that flexes. For some reason these guys don't work that well when they are mounted to a solid surface. I have been told this by many DEI reps/techs, and have confirmed it myself. Here I mounted mine on the main wiring harness right behind the fuse panel.
[IMG][/IMG]

Lastly the valet switch. You can mount this little sucker wherever you can fit it. It used to be that you needed to make it as stealth as possible and hide the sh@t out of it. But nowadays you can program the valet switch to have a pin number. So even if a would be thief had your key (Not remote!) and found your valet switch, without the pin, they cannot put the alarm in valet mode. I put mine next to my lighter.
[IMG][/IMG]

Ideally you don't want to mount the main unit of the remote start/alarm under the steering column, but at times you don't have much choice without a lot of extra effort. Luckily the e46 has some great little compartments right behind the glove, and right next to the general module. This is where I will be mounting my alarm. So I ran all my wires to that area.
[IMG][/IMG]

So this is as far as I got today. I will be at it again tomorrow.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:24 PM   #11
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Why does nobody here ever use shrink wrap on their wiring projects? Not only does it look clean but it even adds extra strength to the solder joint. It also never gets sticky residue all over it. Maybe, since you are an experienced auto electrician, you can explain hte benefits of tape over shrink wrap.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:22 PM   #12
benzovs
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I do use heat shrink tubing on new non factory connections. What I mean by new non factory wire connections is this; When I spliced into the tachometer wire, this was a "factory wire connection" I stripped the insulation, and then wrapped my wire around it to solder it. In order for me to put heat shrink tubing around that, I would first have to cut it, slide the heat shrink on it, and then solder it. My siren however, was a new non factory wire connection. The wires were never intact, so cutting the wire was never an issue. I could slide the heat shrink tubing on before I soldered, and then seal it up. Now, there is nothing wrong with cutting most of the factory wiring so that you could slide heat shrink tubing on it. It takes an extra 2 steps that total an extra 5 minutes tops per connection. There are no real benefits electrically. I do prefer heat shrink tubing for 3 reasons: it is cleaner looking, is a much tighter fit, and it doesn't get sticky after time. I usually use heat shrink tubing when I'm using loom around my wiring. Since this specific installation calls for electrical tape as my loom, i decided to forgo the heat shrink tubing. But in general and IMO, heat shrink tubing is a better route.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:42 PM   #13
benzovs
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So today I got the glass break sensor and remote antenna in. I also installed the led that came with the alarm, but i only did that for programming confirmations and such, not for arm/disarm confirmation. When you program the tachometer sensing wire, the original led lights up solid, letting you know that you succesfully programmed the tach wire. And when you go into valet mode the original led lights up. If it were not for these two functions I would not install the alarms original led. So i try to mount it in an inconspicous location so as not to be seen.

The audio sensor that I use is the DEI 506t
[IMG][/IMG]

When it comes to additional sensors, you have many choices. I prefer DEI and autopage sensors, but you can use most any brand. You can use a motion sensor, a field disturbance sensor, audio sensor, multiple impact sensors, etc... It all comes down to your needs and personal preference. I have used them all many times with different outcomes. I tend to stay away from field distrubance sensors, they are notorious for being very finicky. They will work great when it's warm outside and the pots are set at a certain level, but then the temp drops and they are ridicolously sensitive ( a fart sets them off). But if you have a convertible and like to leave the top down, then it might be your best bet. The motion sensors work well, I have had much success with those. The problem with them is that they work when someone is in the vehicle.... so how did they get in??! (If you like to leave your windows down when your car is parked, then a motion sensor is a good choice) That is why I personally go with impact and audio sensors. All quality Alarms are tied to the door triggers. So If someone smashes your window and opens the door, the alarm is triggered. Well, thieves are hip to this, so what they do is break a window and crawl inside. If they take a bat to the window an impact sensor will trigger the alarm. However, if they use the porcelain from a spark plug, they can break the window with hardly any noise/movement at all. That is where the audio sensor comes in. It detects high freq sounds, so any impact to the windows will make noise and trigger the system. I am going to emphasize this point: This is my opinion and my take on the several sensors that you can incorporate in your security system. You should use whatever you think works best for your set up and personal preference.

You can mount the sensor pretty much any where you like. But a more central location makes its sensitivity to sound more well balanced. So I chose to mount it in the factory motion sensor housing.
[IMG][/IMG]

I like to use a unibit to drill these types of holes. The final size hole is a 1/2 inch. Now that it's inserted into the housing, lets get it back up on the headliner.
[IMG][/IMG]

Here it is back on the headliner. Once I dye my headliner black, you won't really be able to see it.
[IMG][/IMG]

Now the mic portion of the audio sensor comes hardwired with a male rca plug. I cut the rca plug off so that running the cable through the headliner and into the B pillar would be easier. Although, you can probably run the cable intact. I like to use a long and flat zip/wire tie to fish my wires through panels and such. [IMG][/IMG]

Here is the wire fished through with our $5 dollar fishing tool.
[IMG][/IMG]

Now that I have to replace the rca plug on the wire we have some soldering to do. This one is for you WDE46, heat shrink tubing!! Like I said, I do use it for non factory splicing connections.
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]

This is what I like to use to heat up my tubing. Notice the attachment on the tip of the torch. This makes it so only heat, and not a flame, come out of the torch.
[IMG][/IMG]

By this point you should have your B pillar plastic trim removed, as well as the rocker panel cover, and kick panel cover. We want to run our wires along side of the factory wiring. Remember, we are going for a stealth and fully OEM look. Run the wire all the way to the fuse panel/alarm compartment area.

Next is the antenna. It is crucial you mount it somewhere visible.This particular model alarm, and many others, use SST (spread spectrum technology) So they get really good range, typically 2500 + ft. You can mount this guy next to the A pillars (driver or passenger side) I like to put it in the center of the windshield. [IMG][/IMG]

We are going to fish our custom led cable and antenna cable through the headling towards the passenger side A pillar so we can head down towards the fuse panel.
[IMG][/IMG]

Again, we want to run our cables right with the factory wires.
Notice how you can't even see any aftermarket cables/wires.
[IMG][/IMG]

Once you got them down by the dash, you can route them along with this factory harness down to the fuse panel using our handy fishing tool.
[IMG][/IMG]

So thats all for todays show. Tune in tomorrow for more updates.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:55 AM   #14
WDE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benzovs View Post
I do use heat shrink tubing on new non factory connections. What I mean by new non factory wire connections is this; When I spliced into the tachometer wire, this was a "factory wire connection" I stripped the insulation, and then wrapped my wire around it to solder it. In order for me to put heat shrink tubing around that, I would first have to cut it, slide the heat shrink on it, and then solder it. My siren however, was a new non factory wire connection. The wires were never intact, so cutting the wire was never an issue. I could slide the heat shrink tubing on before I soldered, and then seal it up. Now, there is nothing wrong with cutting most of the factory wiring so that you could slide heat shrink tubing on it. It takes an extra 2 steps that total an extra 5 minutes tops per connection. There are no real benefits electrically. I do prefer heat shrink tubing for 3 reasons: it is cleaner looking, is a much tighter fit, and it doesn't get sticky after time. I usually use heat shrink tubing when I'm using loom around my wiring. Since this specific installation calls for electrical tape as my loom, i decided to forgo the heat shrink tubing. But in general and IMO, heat shrink tubing is a better route.
Oh I didn't see that you just simply tapped the wire and didn't cut it. Can't get skrink wrap on unless you cut it.
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:36 AM   #15
benzovs
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Started the main unit wiring

So today I got the brake wire, clutch bypass wire, transponder bypass, trunk pin, and fog lights wired up.

Before you begin, you want to make sure you have one of these tools so that you can test the wires that you will be tapping into.
[IMG][/IMG]

The majority of our wiring will be done by the fuse panel at the general module and main wiring harness. However, some of our wiring has to be done under the steering column. So get all the necessary panels removed so we can access that area and lets get to work.

Here we have the brake pedal switch and clutch neutral safety switch. We need to tap into the 12 v + brake wire. The reason is so that the car will shut down when the brake pedal is depressed and there is no key in the ignition. That way someone cant just get in your vehicle and drive off while it's remote started. It is the brown/white wire in the cener of the brake pedal switch. Test it with your meter or probe just to verify it gives you 12 v + when the brake pedal is pressed. Once you have confirmed that you have the correct wire, solder your connection. Next is the clutch neutral safety switch bypass. (if your car is an automatic, you skip this step...obviously) The vehicle will not crank unless the clutch pedal is depressed. And as such we must simulate the pedal being depressed in order for us to successfully remote start the vehicle. There are 4 ways that a neutral safety switch works, that I know of. 1. It completes the circuit. 2. It breaks the circuit. 3. It provides a positive signal. 4. It provides a negative signal. Our e46 uses method number 3. It provides a positive signal. So again we use our probe/meter and test the wires at the plug to see which one gives us a + signal when the pedal is depressed. And the winner is blue/black. Solder your connection and lets move on.
[IMG][/IMG]

Next is our trunk pin wire. This triggers the alarm if your trunk is opened. This wire is located in the drivers kick panel, it is white/brown. It rests at 12 v+ and goes to ground when the trunk is open. Locate the wire and verify it's operation, then solder your wire.
[IMG][/IMG]

Next we will be installing our transponder bypass. If you have decided to take on this project, you should know by now that the e46 has a rf transponder ring aroung the ignition switch and a pellet in the key programmed with the proper signal. In order to remote start the vehicle, we have to send this signal to the transponder receiver unit. In order to do that we use this guy here.
[IMG][/IMG]

This is the unit that requires a programmed spare key sit inside of it. So it is crucial that you hide the f@ck out of this module. Newer cars use modules that do not require the spare key method. You program your signal to the module and that is that. I searched and searched for a new module or method to bypass the transponder in our vehicle, but I came up empty. It has been about 4 years since I last used one of these, so I was hoping something new had come up, but no luck. So lets get started.

First remove the bottom plastic cover of the steering column.
[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:23 AM   #16
benzovs
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[IMG][/IMG]Typically we would use the ring from the 556u to send our signal to the ignition switch. [IMG][/IMG]

However, the factory transponder ring is made and mounted in such a manner that using the aftermarket transponder ring is not really feasible.
[IMG][/IMG]

In order for the ring from the 556uw to work properly, it MUST be mounted in FRONT of the factory transponder ring. NOT on top or behind. Well, the way this is set up makes that virtually impossible.All that black housing is the factory transponder ring. So as you can see, we have no room or spot to mount the aftermarket ring. [IMG][/IMG]

Lucky for us, the 556uw has more than one wiring method. Read the instructions, and they will walk you through it, but basically you cut the factory wire from the transponder ring and wire up the harness from the aftermarket transponder ring in such a manner as to make a loop from within the module box with the key in it.
[IMG][/IMG]

Here are the finished connections.
[IMG][/IMG]

Now all taped up and hidden.
[IMG][/IMG]

Now that we have made our connections, it is time to run them to the passenger side of the vehicle. Remember, keep them hidden and ran along side factory harnesses.
[IMG][/IMG]

Once you get the wires over by the center console/back of radio area, you will want to run them through the back of the console. There is the factory main wiring harness that runs throught there, just fish your wires through there. It is a little tricky, but there is enough room.
[IMG][/IMG]

typically this is something you would most likely see if you ever inspected an average alarm installation. Thieves go straight for the steering column to disable alarms.
[IMG][/IMG]

This is what we see in our installation.
[IMG][/IMG]
Looks completely OEM, as if it was never tampered with.

For the most part, alarms are tied into the vehicles parking lights. That is done for visual confirmation of arm/disarm. Also, they flash or stay lit when the vehicle is remote started. The parking light circuit in the e46 is run by a multiplex wire (mux) so we can't just tap into it. There is a method for successfully tapping into this circuit, but I still stay away from it. Here is the reason. Whenever you turn on your parking lights, the autolevel feature of the headlights activates. Well, everytime you arm/disarm and remote start the vehicle, the parking lights flash. To me, that seems like a lot of unecessary abuse of the autolevel function. Here is where you would tap into the parking lights.
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]

I prefer to tap into the fog lights. They work better for entry and exit illumination, and they don't activate the autolevel feature when turned on. We can't run it through the lighting module at the headlight switch, since that wire is mux as well. So we find the factory relay that they are powered off of and tap into them there. The relay is above the general module, right by the fuse panel. We drop our general module and alarm compartments down to access the relay.
[IMG][/IMG]

Remove the relay and relay socket and we want to tap the yellow/brown wires in the back (pin #87 from the relay).
[IMG][/IMG]

In order to drop this panel, you must remove this plastic bolt. The hinges are just pressure fit so you can pull the panel down.
[IMG][/IMG]

So that is all for today. Hopefully tomorrow I will finish this bad boy up.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:02 PM   #17
Bimmekid91
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Awesome
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:55 PM   #18
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Yeah BUDDY!
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:31 AM   #19
benzovs
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Main Unit

Ok, so I got some more work done today. I'm am just about done. I've been so busy I haven't been able to dedicate enough time to finish it. But here goes the next segment fellas.

At this point we have pretty much done all of our "outside wiring". Now we just have our starter wire to go, and then all the main unit connections, and lastly the relays. Lets get to it.

The remote start unit sends out a start signal when the remote start function is activated. This start signal has to be connected to.... you guessed it, the starter wire. Well it turns out that our starter cable doesn't run towards the passenger side kick panel like all of our other main wiring cables do, it is underneath the steering column, way up high. So we have to run a cable over to our starter wire. We need to make it nice and big since it is going to be carrying a decent amount of current over a span of about 5 feet.
[IMG][/IMG]
I'm not 100% sure, but I think the white module is the starter immobilizer. Anyone know for sure?

Here is the wire all hooked up. Run it through the same place you ran the other wires from underneath the steering column.
[IMG][/IMG]

Now that we have run all the wires over towards the passenger side footwell, we can begin to make all the connections to the alarm. Cutting this wire tie will drop down the main factory harness and make it easier to make our connections.
[IMG][/IMG]

This is where we will be tapping into our main power wires.
You can see the distribution blocks. I used these since I am going to be using 5 relays. Also the scanning LED, transponder bypass, and audio sensor require constant 12v. Instead of having several splices on the factory 12v source. it looks cleaner having these panels.
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Make sure to use a fuse on the power supply for the distribution block.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:56 AM   #20
benzovs
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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My Ride: 2000 323i
Next we will be hooking up the starter kill/interrupter relay. Basically what this relay does is break the connection between the ignition switch and the starter. Most remote start alarms have a ground when armed, and ground when disarmed wire. The main starter kill relay works with the "ground when armed wire". You can use this to interrupt pretty much anything that will prevent the car from turning on; fuel pump, ignition coils, ECU, etc... I like to use the starter kill using the ground when armed ( which is the default way of using it), and the "ground when disarmed" for my own little secret way of disabling my engine from turning on. I am going to show you guys how to interrupt the starter immobilizer circuit on the e46.
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You can find this wire in the main harness. Cut it and hook up the relay to it. You will be using a SPDT relay, utilizing pins 85,86,87a, and 30. Refer to the bosch guide for specific intructions. EDIT!! After some discussion and debate with one of my fellow installers, we came to the conclusion that it would be best NOT to use this wire as your starter interrupt on a REMOTE START system. It will work fine on a basic security system. The idea is basically this: When you remote start the vehicle, the orange ground when armed wire is still active. So the starter interrupter relay is still active. That means that if you use the starter interlock circuit as your method of starter interrupt, every time you remote start the vehicle you are bypassing the starter interlock circuit, and that could possibly lead to EWS, DME, or transponder troubles. So stick to the standard method of starter interrupt for remote start systems. Tie your starter kill relay on the thick (12awg) black and blue starter wire next to the EWS. Just run the orange ground when armed wire over from the alarms main module to underneath the steering column. You can send swithced 12v + as well, or just get it from the ignition harness. You may even find switched 12v + at the EWS.


I am not going to go over how to hook up a relay, but I will give you guys this bosch relay guide and show how we hook up this particular relay. Read the guide and you will learn almost all you need to know about automotive relays.
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Attached Files
File Type: pdf Bosch relay.pdf (2.76 MB, 111 views)

Last edited by benzovs; 10-08-2012 at 05:39 PM. Reason: Possible problems interrupting immobilizer circuit while remote starting
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