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Thread: The great LKM/LCM experiment / how to replace your LCM?

  1. #1
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    The great LKM/LCM experiment / how to replace your LCM?

    Back story - Saturday night I was grabbing a drink from the kitchen when I noticed blinking amber lights from the driveway. I thought my alarm had gone off so I tried to unset it to no avail. I walk out to the car to find all the parking lights on, the taillights on, the hazards blinking away, and the instrument cluster lit up with the message "Lights On." After pressing the hazard button, turning the car on/off, and of course trying to the light switch, I started pulling fuses Unfortunately, that didn't quite do the trick and I had to disconnect the battery. Obviously something is messed up. My first guess? LCM.

    My car is a 6/96 build 540i. That means that it is equipped with an early LCM, the LCM II. I checked with Matt and he assures me that the LCM III and IV will interchange, so this monday I came into possession of an LCM III from an '01 X5. Time to find out what happens tonight!

    Lights on and blinking. Side note, I really need to dehaze my headlights.


    That ain't right!


    New LCM to the rescue


    Stay tuned

    Ok, operation "dispose of the self-aware LKM" is a success.

    Parts/tools needed:
    -New LCM/LKM
    -8mm ratchet
    -(optional) PA Soft 1.4.0 cable & software
    --OBD-2 (16 pin) to 20 pin BMW Diagnostic Port adapter, required for PA Soft on cars that have the 20 pin Diagnostic Port

    Steps:

    -Disconnect battery
    -remove glovebox under panel, pull it straight forward. It takes some force to unclip.
    -look to the right, you can see the LCM. Move sound deadening out of the way.
    -Using 8mm ratchet, remove the single 8mm bolt holding the LCM in place.
    -Slide LCM down and rotate out
    -Unplug electrical connectors

    Assembly is the reverse.

    On a scale of 10, this is a 2/10 job. Super easy once you orient yourself.

    Results - My lights more or less work correctly. As the LCM I bought is from an X5, I didn't expect everything to be fully functional. My interior lights, headlights, and brake lights work as normal. My taillights light up the outside bulb, but not the inside (there are normally two lit), but they work well enough for now. The turn signals do not work at all, but curiously the hazards do. I haven't turned the car on yet, but the high beams don't work. Maybe the car has to be on? If not, then those don't work either. Coding should address these issues. I expect the mileage tamper dot to illuminate as I drive the car, but it's off for now. Matt says the tamper light can be turned off with coding.

    Pictures:

    Old LCM in its home


    New LCM plugged in, but not yet secured




    Old LCM out of car.


    Post mortem:


    Looks like the old unit corroded due to moisture. The wheel well in my car is perfectly dry with no evidence of water (dry dust everywhere too), yet the unit was slightly damp inside when I pulled it out. I suspect this may be damage due to years and years of condensation build up :-/ I guess there's not much that can be done. I tried to clean it up with isopropyl alcohol and a toothbrush, but had no luck reviving it. Some of the traces looked to be in bad shape too.

    read my abbreviated write up here http://www.rjnunnally.com/bmw-e39-lk...r-replacement/
    Last edited by Cyrix2k; 04-20-2013 at 02:23 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    1985 325 - 5 speed - LSD - M50NV - MS2/extra - AEM UEGO - TiAL MV-R - 750cc injectors - HX35 - Blunttech Manifold - 3" exhaust
    1991 318i - 5 speed - M50NV - e36 rack - Smileys

  2. #2
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    let me know when we can get together for coding.


    also, i've seen windshields cause those LCMs to get wet.

  3. #3
    JimLev's Avatar
    JimLev is online now Artifically Aspirated Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattmartindrift View Post
    let me know when we can get together for coding.
    also, i've seen windshields cause those LCMs to get wet.
    Whorse had his sun roof drain line leak onto his LCM which caused it to start burning.

  4. #4
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    For reference, the LCM is from a 2001 X5 with Xenon headlamps, despite the tag that says halogens. Here's what works and doesn't work:

    Works:
    -Low beams
    -Interior lights
    -Brake lights
    -Taillights (half), acts like the bulbs are blown and moves the other half to the brake lights
    -Hazards

    Doesn't work:
    -Taillights (half, no concern from a safety perspective)
    -Turn signals
    -High beams
    -Brake fluid indicator lit when there is no error
    -Brake light out warning
    -Something about "Self Level ????" on the OBC, but my pixels are out so I can't read the message
    Quote Originally Posted by mattmartindrift View Post
    let me know when we can get together for coding.


    also, i've seen windshields cause those LCMs to get wet.
    will do. I might try to code it myself as I ordered the equipment (ebay cable) when the car first acted up, I just don't know how long it will take to get here. Thankfully the car is driveable as is - this is a bad time for it to break because my finals are starting and continue into next week, otherwise I'd be trying to meet with you asap! I'll probably wind up needing your help anyway because I don't know what options to set.

    One of these, who knows if it will even work.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-Scanner-...4325ab&vxp=mtr

    Quote Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
    Whorse had his sun roof drain line leak onto his LCM which caused it to start burning.
    That entire compartment area was bone dry. I looked around with a light and found no water or evidence of leakage - and I pulled the car in from the rain as you can tell from the first picture.

    :edit: Actually it might have been the windshield. It's been replaced several times, and the last time the entire bottom wasn't sealed correctly. It's been a couple years since it's been replaced.
    Last edited by Cyrix2k; 12-11-2012 at 09:50 AM.
    1985 325 - 5 speed - LSD - M50NV - MS2/extra - AEM UEGO - TiAL MV-R - 750cc injectors - HX35 - Blunttech Manifold - 3" exhaust
    1991 318i - 5 speed - M50NV - e36 rack - Smileys

  5. #5
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    bmwscanner v1.4 will be perfect.

    If you kept your old LCM, you can copy the coding parameters, which makes things much easier. If not, it's still doable.

  6. #6
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    Those are some beautiful pictures, what camera are you using?
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattmartindrift View Post
    bmwscanner v1.4 will be perfect.

    If you kept your old LCM, you can copy the coding parameters, which makes things much easier. If not, it's still doable.
    Cool, hopefully it arrives soon and works, otherwise you're getting a PM I still have the old LCM, but who knows if it will connect to pull the old coding parameters. Obviously something is very messed up, I suspect a burnt or bad trace due to copper rot.

    Thanks for the help! My hope is that this will also serve as a resource for other e39 owners as I found it very hard to find definitive information on how to replace the LCM and what LCMs can be used.
    1985 325 - 5 speed - LSD - M50NV - MS2/extra - AEM UEGO - TiAL MV-R - 750cc injectors - HX35 - Blunttech Manifold - 3" exhaust
    1991 318i - 5 speed - M50NV - e36 rack - Smileys

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriniSpeC View Post
    Those are some beautiful pictures, what camera are you using?



    iirc, he has/had a canon 20D, or 40D. Lens looks to be a Nifty Fifty (50mm F/1.8)


    just remember, it's not the equipment that makes a good picture.

  9. #9
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    Camera is 5D and Sigma 50mm f/1.4. Thanks for the compliments!

    Quote Originally Posted by mattmartindrift

    iirc, he has/had a canon 20D, or 40D. Lens looks to be a Nifty Fifty (50mm F/1.8)

    just remember, it's not the equipment that makes a good picture.
    I upgraded since then :p
    Last edited by Cyrix2k; 12-11-2012 at 12:19 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    1985 325 - 5 speed - LSD - M50NV - MS2/extra - AEM UEGO - TiAL MV-R - 750cc injectors - HX35 - Blunttech Manifold - 3" exhaust
    1991 318i - 5 speed - M50NV - e36 rack - Smileys

  10. #10
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    Ok, I received the cable today and was able to reprogram the mileage and VIN, plus some other options in the LCM, with PA Soft. However, because I have the X5 LCM with X5 firmware, it still doesn't work correctly. Would anyone reading this happen to have an e39 LCM III EEPROM dump they could send me? It would be VERY appreciated!

    I'll post more about this later. Also, I needed to modify the cable for it work with my car (only pin 8 was connected, but pins 7 & 8 need to be bridged for the cable to be functional).

    :update:

    Looking into this more, it seems pre 3/99 cars are wired differently. The indicator stalk on early models uses 6 wires while the late models (and e53 x5) use 4 wire stalks. So it looks like I either need a different LCM or to update the stalk and associated wiring :-/ Matt, you have a '98... what LCM are you using?

    Annnnd a further update. It's looks like another tool CAN code an LCM III to work, but PA Soft can't.

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1546939
    Last edited by Cyrix2k; 12-15-2012 at 01:00 AM.
    1985 325 - 5 speed - LSD - M50NV - MS2/extra - AEM UEGO - TiAL MV-R - 750cc injectors - HX35 - Blunttech Manifold - 3" exhaust
    1991 318i - 5 speed - M50NV - e36 rack - Smileys

  11. #11
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    FIXED. Posting from shop laptop.

    1985 325 - 5 speed - LSD - M50NV - MS2/extra - AEM UEGO - TiAL MV-R - 750cc injectors - HX35 - Blunttech Manifold - 3" exhaust
    1991 318i - 5 speed - M50NV - e36 rack - Smileys

  12. #12
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    Was it easy with DIS/SSS Progman? What exactly did you have to do? Thanks!!!
    (oOO\(|||)(|||)/OOo) /00=[][]=00\

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orxan4ik View Post
    Was it easy with DIS/SSS Progman? What exactly did you have to do? Thanks!!!
    Once it was working, it was super easy to code with DIS. With DIS started, I selected "coding/program", then "ZCS/FA coding", "e39 series", "recoding" (I think), and finally "LCM." It then works its magic and the screen I posted above is the result. For used modules, like mine, use PA Soft to set the VIN number to match your chassis & reset the mileage to 0.

    I used the prebuilt VMWare image that's floating around the net, so once you find that *cough* thepiratebay *cough* it's not hard to get working. There's a readme included so use that to install the proper version of INPA & the Diaghead emulator (which I don't think is necessary for coding, just the diagnostics). Everything leading up to this was a complete nightmare - there are many different versions of coding software floating around and many will not run on Windows 7 x64. I ended up using an old laptop with Windows XP which worked fine. I still don't have a reliable, working WinKFP install and I think I somewhat botched my NCS Expert installation which WAS working prior to messing with WinKFP. NCS Expert will NOT work with Windows 7 x64, nor will the older version of INPA that's required for use with DIS. The newer version of INPA, WinKFP, and PA Soft all seem to work fine. It sounds confusing and it is - I think the prebuilt VM is the easiest way to go rather than messing with NCS Expert.

    This is the cable I used for INPA/NCS Expert/DIS/SSS Progman/WinFKP/EDIABAS. It does not do ignition detection required for DIS.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/271097767962...84.m1497.l2649

    And this is the cable I used for PA Soft. It required light modification to work.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/271118420577...84.m1497.l2649

    Additionally, if the e39 is an older e39 with the 20 pin diagnostic connector under the hood, this cable is required

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o01_s00_i00

    All those sources are US based and ship quickly. The ebay cables arrive in about 3 days on the east coast and the amazon cable took two days via prime.
    1985 325 - 5 speed - LSD - M50NV - MS2/extra - AEM UEGO - TiAL MV-R - 750cc injectors - HX35 - Blunttech Manifold - 3" exhaust
    1991 318i - 5 speed - M50NV - e36 rack - Smileys

  14. #14
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    ^^^ You're the man dude, seriously!

    I already have the laptop with the proper cables and software, been playing with NCS Expert alot and it works wonders (paired with NCS Dummy). Was just wondering the things possible with DIS and others. Got PA Soft, too - very user friendly.

    But yeah man, you always go the distance to explain your point (i.e. numerous V8 vs I6 threads) and you never do less to also help someone out! Thats very respectable!
    (oOO\(|||)(|||)/OOo) /00=[][]=00\

  15. #15
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    What is the fix for the turn signal stalk issue? I found an LCM III to replace my LCM II in my 98 528. P.A. Soft can't see the old one any more, so I can't get any codes from it. The old one still allows all the exterior lights to work, I just don't get any indication on the dash.

    I put in the LCM III (from 2000 E39) and now the turn signals and brights don't work at all. I did get a new warning the washer fluid was low (which was correct)

    Can I fix it with P.A. Soft? I reset the odometer on the LCM to what was listed before (in KM). I still have the dot. Not sure where to get the FGSTNR number if that is what I need to reset.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaward View Post
    What is the fix for the turn signal stalk issue? I found an LCM III to replace my LCM II in my 98 528. P.A. Soft can't see the old one any more, so I can't get any codes from it. The old one still allows all the exterior lights to work, I just don't get any indication on the dash.

    I put in the LCM III (from 2000 E39) and now the turn signals and brights don't work at all. I did get a new warning the washer fluid was low (which was correct)

    Can I fix it with P.A. Soft? I reset the odometer on the LCM to what was listed before (in KM). I still have the dot. Not sure where to get the FGSTNR number if that is what I need to reset.
    You need to code the new LCM. P.A. Soft only overwrites the mileage/VIN.

    http://www.rjnunnally.com/bmw-e39-lk...r-replacement/
    1985 325 - 5 speed - LSD - M50NV - MS2/extra - AEM UEGO - TiAL MV-R - 750cc injectors - HX35 - Blunttech Manifold - 3" exhaust
    1991 318i - 5 speed - M50NV - e36 rack - Smileys

  17. #17
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    Hi, I have my 1998 model car 5:20 e39. LCM LCM on the current BMW 2 in the scanners do not have access to light coding. The solution LCM 3 manager?

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