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Thread: E39 540i Touring Manual Conversion Checklist & Wiring / Coding

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    E39 540i Touring Manual Conversion Checklist & Wiring / Coding

    BMW E39 540iT Manual conversion

    Disclaimer: Most of themechanical stuff is straight forward enough for anybody likely to undertake thejob, so I am not dwelling on that. Iassume most of the mechanical bits of installing transmissions and clutches andshift linkages etc. is standard enough that it doesn't need painful details butis merely in bullet-point form. Thetricky and heretofore 'secret' parts are the coding and wiring so those itemsare spelled out in more painful detail. Also this is more or less the order we tackled things in, obviously somethings can be moved around a bit, and you obviously could test fire thingswithout the driveline in the car, so that could be a last-last step.


    • Pedal assembly:
      • Note: There are 3 versions of pedal cluster setup - 1. pre-facelift cable throttle, 2. early drive-by-wire (DBW) which has a top-hung accelerator pedal that is much like the cable throttle w/ a potentiometer attached, and 3. later facelift accelerator which is a floor-mount black plastic module. Each type uses different plugs and wiring setups, so it's best to avoid any conversion. Type #3 is most common in 540 wagons and is what is described here, however the M5 uses style #2. The details below are for the late #3 version but only a few things would be different for a #2 style DBW. If you have sourced a style #2, it has been proven that it can be 'converted' for use in a style #3 car by brute-force removing the shaft that hangs the accelerator which is no longer necessary.
      • Parts needed:
        • Brake lever from any facelift E39 manual, clutch lever from any E39 manual - i.e. the clutch pedal is universal but the brake pedal is not.
        • Clips, bushings and assorted hardware for clutch lever & master cylinder (brake lever is simple swap)
        • Pedal bracket not necessary - automatic bracket is same, has all parts needed
        • Clutch master cylinder w/ all hard and soft lines to reservoir and slave - M3/M5 MC or 540 but the clutch/master/slave all should 'match' aka all 540 or all M5.
        • Clutch stop - (if you use an aftermarket AND you use the clutch-lockout feature you can't use the 'normal' aftermarket clutch stops, you need a shorter one, however if the clutch interlock is disabled an E46 "mod" type will work perfectly fine)
        • Grommets for firewall knockouts
        • Auto accelerator contains a kick-down haptic "click" at the end of its travel. If you don't like having the 'click' at the bottom of the pedal travel, you either need to mod the pedal to remove the "clicker", or, swap in a manual pedal.
          • Removing the clicker is as simple as unscrewing the side cover from the accelerator assembly and pulling out the noisemaker, as illustrated here: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpost.php?p=14746101&postcount=1
          • To swap a 'true' manual pedal in, you have to swap the pins into a manual electrical connector, as the connector is keyed to prevent incorrect accelerator installation. Part number for the floor-accelerator pedal connector is 61138383300, accelerator itself is shared across a range of contemporary models - E46 etc. and could be an easy junkyard pickup


      • Swap narrow manual brake pedal in place of auto
      • Punch out knockouts for hydraulics: master cylinder / reservoir connection and line to slave
      • Install clutch pedal, master, and switch
      • Run hydraulic lines for clutch to reservoir and slave
      • If desired, swap accelerator connector and accelerator module for manual version



    • Trans Prep:
      • Parts needed:
        • 6 speed manual Getrag 420G from 540 (or M5? Possibly E46M3? Those will be slightly different may not be ideal…)
        • Engine rear main seal if you are doing it - highly advised
        • Manual flywheel, clutch, throwout bearing - new highly advised obv.
        • Clutch parts - strongly suggest new: pilot bearing, throw-out-bearing collar, clutch arm, clutch pivot pin, shift-selector-shaft seal. Input/output seals are 'only if it looks like there is an issue' items as far as I am concerned but your call there
        • Manual transmission cross-member (advised - with new mounts)

      • Drop exhaust and undertrays, driveshaft, etc.
      • Remove auto trans & ATF cooling lines
      • Optional: Remove transmission heat exchanger (this can be left in place but cleans up the engine bay and provides a true drain plug at the radiator if removed)
        • Parts needed:
          • Radiator drain plug PN 17111712339
          • Alternator outlet cap PN 11531436850
          • Expansion tank to water pump straight hose PN 11531711377

        • Drain coolant by disconnecting snap connector from bottom corner of radiator to transmission cooler / exchanger
        • Remove fan shroud with expansion tank attached, spilling more coolant everywhere.
        • Remove radiator->exchanger hose by twisting 90 and pulling down to pop out. Replace with standard drain plug
        • Remove alternator->exchanger hose by releasing snap connector at back of alternator with long screwdriver from below. Cap alternator outlet.
        • Locate small bolt holding WP->exhanger metal hose portion in place below water pump, and remove
        • Disconnect expansion-tank->water-pump hose with "T", from both water-pump and hard line to exchanger, and remove. Replace with T-less expansion-tank->water-pump hose
        • From below, remove 2 bolts holding exchanger to engine, one from side, and one from front. They are hard/impossible to see but can be felt out fairly easily. Thread hardline down as you twist exchanger to get hardline to slide out. The hardline connection can be removed from exchanger but it is just as easy to pull it out still connected.

      • Replace rear main seal if necessary/desired
      • Prep manual
        • Install FW/Clutch etc. as required,
        • Service selector shaft seal, trans input/output seals if they appear to need it
        • Install TO bearing, clutch arm, etc. I replaced the TO bearing collar and clutch arm as well as my used units were rough.
        • Change trans fluid. Might want to coffee-filter the existing fluid and look for signs of abuse / deterioration so you aren't installing problems




    • Wiring
      • Notes:
        • The WDS on BMW Planet is invaluable. You should use that for a lot of things to confirm and illustrate what is listed here. Despite my details below I strongly suggest for each step, printing out:
          • The actual before/after wiring diagrams (you are looking for ME7.2 Left Hand Automatic to see what you have now, vs ME7.2 Left Hand manual to see what it should be). Sometimes there are multiple diagrams you want for each system - aka there are high-level EWS Immobilizer diagrams that are helpful, then there are multiple starter wiring diagrams - one under Immob - Starter Control, and one under Starter Control. Suggest you print anything and everything that applies but it should confirm exactly what I have listed below.
          • "Component & signal information": You can look up any and every connector or component there, and often get a picture of its location as well as a table of pinouts . Printing the pinouts for the critical connectors and the locations for items you can't find is obviously very helpful and again should confirm what is here (obviously it's how we figured it out).

        • I strongly suggest removing the key from the ignition the entire time you are working on the following, and definitely not turning to 'start' position while any modules are disconnected. I think that triggered EWS Immob tampering lock for us at one point. Leave the key out of the ignition completely until all the rewiring is done.

      • Reverse switch & cluster connection
        • In the E39 chassis, the cluster acts as the gateway to signal to the LCM lighting module to turn on the reverse lights. With the automatic transmission, the cluster receives all gear updates from the transmission module, and therefore knows not only when the car is in "R" but when it is in "D" etc.
        • With the manual car this data feed is not available, instead the reverse switch is a manual switch on the transmission, fed to the DME, which then in turn has a dedicated signal line to the cluster.
        • Therefore for reverse lights to work, two things need to be in place - the reverse switch from the tranny needs to be wired to the DME, and then the DME needs a new line to be run to the cluster.
        • Parts needed:
          • Reverse switch plug to match tranny socket
          • Existing EGS harness wires (do not cut these back until you are sure you do not need to reuse any more lines)
          • New pin for DME connector X60002
          • New pin for DME connector X60004 (see below - may be able to re-use pin from EGS connector)
          • New pin for cluster X10114

        • Wire up the reverse switch plug with 2 wires. To make this easy, reuse 2 existing wires from the auto tranny harness that already go to the E-box.
        • In the E-box, provide ground to one terminal of the switch, and wire the other terminal to 2 of the X60002 DME connector in the E-box. This is the black 24-pin connector.
        • Remove cluster, and identify pin 25 on the blue 26-pin connector X10114. This needs to be run to the E-box, and connected to pin 19 of the 40-pin black DME connector X60004.
          • Option 1 - This is a fairly easy single run to thread back to the E-box and wire directly.
          • Option 2 - There is also now an unused wire from pin 6 of the EWS to the old AGS/EGS transmission module in the E-box. This should be a blue with black stripe wire and was the old gear indication signal for the EWS from the transmission module and therefore now unused. You can cut this at the EWS, pull it up to the cluster pin 25, and then find the corresponding end in pin 3 of EGS connector X70003 in the E-box, and shift that over to the DME.





    • Clutch switches
      • Unlike prior cars, the post-facelift E39 clutch switches are inductively triggered by a single module that connects to the clutch master cylinder and provides 2 different output signals. It has 4 wires, 2 are ground and power, one is the "top" clutch signal that goes to the DME for cruise control cut-out purposes, the other is the "bottom" signal that goes to the EWS for starter-clutch-interlock functionality.
      • Parts needed:
        • Inductive clutch switch with wiring 'adapter' harness for 540 manual (should be 4 wires). Note - the M5 part will snap onto the clutch master but WILL NOT WORK as the logic for the inductive switches and pinout is different.
        • New pin for DME connector X60004
        • Appropriate wire as necessary

      • Starter lock-out switch
        • This signal provides ground to the EWS module when clutch is fully depressed (the 'bottom switch') in order to start the car. Note this is not necessary and is a USA-only anti-retard function because Americans are dumber than other people and cannot be trusted to not drive through their garage wall (just like they need to be told that you might want to watch the hell out for those objects that are in your mirror). This can be trivially hardwired out, or, can be coded out easily in the EWS module as a single option change with zero wiring necessary. However if you want the clutch starter-interlock to work you would wire this up as follows.
        • Wire the 'bottom' signal switch to pin 8 on the EWS if you want the functionality. It should provide ground to the EWS pin 8 when the clutch is fully depressed. It is a signal wire and does not have to be heavy gauge.

      • Cruise cut-off switch
        • As above - be sure to have the 540 switch version not the M5 version
        • This switch provides a voltage signal to the DME when the clutch is engaged, and it cuts out when the clutch begins to be depressed (the 'top switch') in order to disengage cruise. The DME will not engage cruise unless it has 12V on this line.
        • Run a wire to the E-box (this is slightly PITA - possibly an EGS wire could be repurposed, but we ran a clean new wire in this case) and wire this switch to pin 23 of the DME X60004 connector - the black 40-pin DME connector. This should provide voltage to the DME when the clutch pedal is at the top of it's travel, but cut the signal as soon as the pedal is touched. It is a signal wire only so does not to be heavy gauge.


    • Auto-start disable
      • This is critical for the engine to start - the Auto-start relay needs to be either bypassed or reworked. There are a couple ways to get this to work. The first method is the factory-correct method, and just requires one new short gauge wire at the ignition, and then the relay to be bypassed. The second method requires a ground change at the EWS, a splice in the Ebox, but leaves the starter relay in place (to be clear - auto-start still is disabled but the starter relay is still required in place for car to start in the second scenario).
      • Factory 540i6MT Method:
        • Parts needed:
          • New pin for ignition switch connector X33 pin 8
          • New pin for EWS connector X1659 pin 2
          • Appropriate heavy gauge wire

        • Automatic trans version of EWS has a 'terminal 30' signal going into pin 2. This will be hot as soon as ig switch goes to position 2 which is not good in the new future. Remove the pin and cut the big red wire going to this pin and cap it safely as it will still be hot in the future. If you are industrious you could follow it back and remove it at the source but capping should be sufficient.
        • Ignition switch will have a thin wire going to the DME from pin 8 of the X33 ignition switch / steering column connector. This will be obsolete, and needs to be replaced with a nice fat wire going to the EWS. Remove the pin from X33 using a pin-removal tool. This is a huge PITA if you do not have the proper tool although you might be able to mangle it out, be careful not to screw up the plastic connector. Cut and cap the existing wire.
        • Wire up the new pins for EWS X1659 pin 2 and ignition switch X33 pin 8 using a heavy-gauge wire (same as old red wire cut from EWS) and install into the connector housings.
        • ONLY after you have done the above, remove the green autostart relay from behind the glove box, remove the relay socket, and then splice the two large wires going to pins 2 and 6 firmly together. This will bypass the autostart relay. If you do this before the previous step above, again, the starter will run as soon as the switch goes to position 2. BAD. So leave this for last. You could use a jumper here but my tech encouraged me to not be a hack and leave an opportunity for potential connection failure so we hard spliced it. The other 2 wires to the socket do not matter and can be left in place. The starter relay now does nothing and can be removed (general purpose green BMW relays - not bad to have a spare for fuel pump etc.)

      • Relay Rewire Method:
        • Parts needed:
          • Ground eyelet
          • Splice materials (butt splice or solder, shrink wrap)

        • In an Automatic car, the ignition switch sends 12V to the DME on pin 8 to tell it to run the starter. The DME then does this by then grounding out pin 4 on the starter relay. The starter relay, at the same time, has gotten power from the EWS at ignition turn-on, so when it is grounded, it can fire the starter. As soon as the DME is happy the engine is running it cuts the ground signal to the relay and the starter stops turning. You could easily wire the 12V from ignition to the relay, then ground the relay, and cap all the other wires (this would be a 3rd method…), but in order to have a tidy and elegant minimal-new-wiring scenario we can reverse the use of the pins on the relay (relay doesn't care about DC polarity) and not have to run wires.
        • Cut (or extract pin) the blue with black stripe wire on pin 8 of the EWS connector. Terminate this wire with an eyelet and connect to ground (brake switch ground is closest).
        • In the E-box, remove pin 6 and pin 40 of connector X60004. Cut pins off and splice wires together.
        • Be sure your starter relay is in place at all times in this case.

      • You should now be ready to start as soon as the re-coding is complete.



    • Linkage & shifter connection:
      • Parts needed:
        • I won't get into the details, basically every single part on parts diagram 25-05 is needed. Used parts for a lot of metal parts is fine, but suggest you replace rubber and plastic bits w new where possible. Obv good time to put in a short-shifter if you like that sort of thing - I used the "OEM E60 short-shift-kit", same as I have on my E46M3. Both of the 2 used rubber sealing boots I had were cracking in the seams so new is not bad idea although it's not like it's a hermetic seal needed there really. The "shifting arm" rear mount bushing is appallingly expensive, but it IS one of those wear items that makes your shifter seem sloppy so I ponied up for it. (In retrospect a homebrew fabrication mod of that with a urethane bushing would have been a nice mod… You can also go w something like the UUC DSSR at this time etc. )
        • Plug for auto shifter cable hole: 07147140849




    • Remove center console, remove OEM auto shifter, disconnect key/shift interlock and either remove or lash out of the way
    • Seal the small auto shifter cable hole to tunnel (we improvised a plug but official PN is above)
    • Install new bushings for shifting-arm, install shift-selector rod and shift-lever with rubber boot etc.
    • After rest of job is done, install an interior boot and shift-knob



    • Trans install:
      • Pretty straightforward manual transmission installation - jack tranny into place, bolt up and connect linkages, and install new manual cross-member with new mounts.
      • Install clutch slave & bleed
      • Secure O2 and other wires (reverse switch) using cable retainers from auto and manual as required (we added / fabbed also to keep tidy)



    • Driveline:
      • Parts needed:
        • Manual drive shaft (I used a used one as a core and got new rebuilt guaranteed etc.)
        • Guibo replacement if/as required
        • Exhaust gaskets if/as required

      • Install manual driveshaft, replacing guibo as required if not new assembly
      • Minor Note: If changing diff obv now is the time as well (hint: LSD time). If using M5 LSD, you either need M5 half-shafts too, or, E31/E32/E38 flanges to use w/ 540 half-shafts. I had a quaife put into my 540 OEM housing w/ 540iT OEM 3.15 final drive so did not need any tricky half-shaft adaptation. Note diff cover gaskets are NLA from BMW, and RTV is the advised replacement solution, however I think sealer + gasket is preferred, so we sourced a NOS gasket. I would also just have cut one from paper gasket material, would have been easy. Also a great time to replace rear subframe bushings with the Meyle HD solid versions.
      • Reinstall exhaust.



    • Coding
      • Notes:
        • I fully assume someone doing the coding has familiarity with NCSExpert and WinKFP. This is not the place to teach about what those are and how to use them. There are numerous sources on the web to figure them out, or, go find somebody who has them / knows them / etc. (Lots of enthusiasts like myself would be happy to help w/ the recoding in return for merely copious amounts of tasty craft beer.) Anyone who is familiar with NCSExpert should find all this easy and straightforward however.
        • This all should be able to be done at almost any time in the job once the car is no longer going to move with the automatic.

      • Overview… Here is what needs to happen:
        • DSC (DSC/ABS…) needs to be recoded for a manual. Whether it 'can tell' if it is a touring vs. limousine is unclear but I suggest ideally coding as a Touring.
        • EWS (Immob) needs to be recoded as a manual.
        • IKE/KOMBI (cluster) needs to be recoded for a manual transmission

      • Options options options… Coming out the far side of this project, there are a number of ways to skin this cat:
        • 1. Use "Code Car" to recode the whole car to a USA Manual Sedan 540 for ZCS GM code - Type DN53 = 5B530000. In this case you will later have to hand recode some modules back to touring settings - aka GM: touring hatch vs trunk lid, possibly some DSC issues, and likely the SLS system is going to have issues. However this definitely works for a basic start. We did this and it worked for sure aside from the trunk refusing to open and a few funny SLS codes. You could then go back and hand code those modules back to the original ZCS. I think a lot of shops have done it this way as anecdotally I hear of swaps that scan as manual sedans.
        • 2. Use "Code Car" to recode the whole car a ROW Manual Touring 540 for ZCS GM code - Type DM51 = 5D510000. In this case you will later have to hand recode even more modules back to USA settings - aka IKE: gallons/miles/Fahrenheit, LCM: USA settings, EWS: turn on the clutch lockout if you want that feature, etc. I did this also and in the end aside from one screw up on my part, it worked fine. In this case I recoded the whole car as a ROW Left Drive Touring, then restored my saved OEM coding for the GM, LCM, IHKA, and IKE but then tweaked the saved IKE for the manual transmission (I started to hand-tweak the IKE settings starting w/ the ROW version, but there are so many units to change it's a huge hassle).
          • Note: The hazard I ran into here is that the ABG airbag aka MRS module is REAL fussy about coding. It does not like being coded as a Euro unit, and in fact, I didn't take this seriously enough (and didn't do my research - seems a known issue if you try to hand-code the SRS system it will often flag an invalid config and then be nearly impossible to recover (I have hopes here for recovering mine, but it counts on getting another E39 MRS module and reading that and writing the hard EEPROM back…) At any rate, I thought this was a good route until I hit this issue. I do believe now I could have made this way work if I was very careful about recoding the MRS module using a ZCS after the original code but still - this one turns out to be a lot of work.

        • 3. Selectively code the most important modules using the ROW Wagon or USA Sedan ZCS, and leave the rest of the cars modules untouched, keeping the OEM coding. This is what I currently think is the best route, and the least bit of work / intrusiveness and leaves as much original as possible although it is not the only way. This is what I will describe below but a NCSExpert Expert should be able to pull this off through any of the methods described… The only downsides to this are:
          • Anybody who recodes or reprograms the car in the future blindly / automatically may overwrite the changes as we are not changing the ZCS stored in the EWS or IKE. Techs and shops need to know not to run any automatic recode / programming update on the whole car.
          • Automated diag software like DIS will still look for a transmission computer and be all crankypants that it can't find it. Not a big deal but not quite as clean as if you are saving the ZCS into the IKE and EWS as a ROW Touring or a USA Manual Sedan.

      • Tools Needed:
        • Laptop with working EDIABAS/INPA installation with appropriate cable - aka VAG-COM or DCAN type
          • (side note: I have burned out 2 eBay DCAN cables now while my VAG-COM homebrew keeps churning away perfectly… use a quality DCAN or something else as being stranded 1/2 way through could be a huge hassle at the least, or brick your DME at the worst. I dodged a bullet with that one.)

        • Zeko ZCS calculator (possibly optionally "BMW Decoder")
        • NCSDummy
        • Optional: working GT1 installation, PASoft installation

      • Step 1 - Preparation:
        • Use Zeko ZCS calculator to calculate a new ROW ZCS code. This can be done before you even start the project.
          • Read your existing ZCS using NCSExpert and carefully save and record it . Use Zeko to decode your ZCS and save a screenshot of it to capture all the details.
          • Using Zeko, calculate the GM part of the code for a ROW Left Drive Touring (Type DN51) or USA Sedan (Type DN53)
          • For the SA portion of the code, start with the decoding of your existing SA code. Remove option 0202 from existing vehicle SA, keep all other existing codes, and recalculate SA (can also use "BMW Decoder" although I had mixed results with it...)
          • For the VN portion of the code I left it unchanged.
          • Record the resulting ZCS code (primarily the GM & SA components) - I took Zeko screenshots to save them.

        • Before making any changes, use NCSExpert to save existing coding for key modules. Again, can be done before starting the project.
          • Read coding for each key module one at a time:
            • GM, IKE/KMBI, DSC, ABG/MRS, heck even LCM & IHKA

          • Save each TRC file in a backup folder with a clear file name (I save as filename moduletype.FSW_PSW.TRC aka GM3.C05.FSW_PSW.TRC)

        • Clear all fault codes in the vehicle. Something like GT1 or PASoft makes this easier than going module by module in INPA.

      • Step 2 - Recoding:
        • Load an Expert profile, and read the current ZCS from EWS or IKE using NCSExpert (this saves you retyping the VIN)
        • "Enter ZCS" and enter the calculated ROW Touring or USA Sedan you came up with above, including the checkdigit (leave "calculate checkdigit" unchecked… if you have a typo this will help catch it)
        • Now recode the EWS and DSC one by one to a ROW Touring (note depending on NCSExpert version the prompt labels can be slightly different…):
          • Process CPU - select ECU
          • Read CPU (this seems minor but is important for good recoding I find - it clears the .TRC files and ensures NCSExpert is aligned to the correct module)
          • Change Job - SG_CODIEREN
          • Execute Job (this will recode the module for the hand-entered ZCS)
          • Note in this case I do NOT save the changed ZCS code to any modules using ZCS_SCHREIBEN. This seems to be fine.

        • Using NCSExpert and NCSDummy, hand change the one setting transmission type to manual in the cluster - GETRIEBE_TYP to handschaltung
        • At this point, no modules should want to look for the EGS. Turn power off, disconnect and remove the EGS (transmission computer) from the E-Box
        • Confirming re-code - If successful, the cluster should now no longer show PRND and there should be no "FAILSAFE" error on the cluster.

      • Step 3 - Reprogramming the DME as Manual:
        • You can now reflash the DME w/ manual variant part number using WinKFP as it's programming has not been changed yet.
          • Determine the "ZB" number you want to flash. This table identifies the 'final' versions of the software that BMW released for each model year (at least for TU engined cars). Other versions may be fine but if you flash these the car will have the last factory update released for its MY.

    Variant
    Evap
    Last ZB #
    MY99-00 540i6
    LDP
    7539302
    MY01 540i6
    DMTL
    7533584
    MY02 540i6
    DMTL-H
    7533592
    MY03 540i6
    DMTL-H
    7533611
    Euro 540i6
    N/A
    7539328


    • Normally you do not want to write UIF and "take up a flash spot", but in this case I strongly suggest you ensure Write UIF option is enabled to avoid accidental reverting to an automatic in future (we had this happen when trying to use my shops ISTA/P to update the car). You can disable the Write UIF option after you have done this once.
    • Once the DME is written you can scan the car again and should have no EGS related errors at all.
      • If all start-up rewiring is in place you should now be able to start the car and test it.
        • If you powered the car up/down with EWS disconnected and/or tried to start the car with something disconnected there is a chance you might have to re-align EWS/DME, however if you were careful this should not be necessary
        • If EWS Immob tampering is triggered sometimes there seems to be a 'timeout' before it wants to let you align it. Leave it shutoff for a while, then clear all fault codes, then try the alignment. Again, hopefully anybody following these instructions finds that is not necessary.

      • Step 3 - Final Tweaking & Housekeeping:
        • If everything looks good - no MIL light, no SRS light, no ABS light, no fault codes on cluster or in scan tools then do a backup
        • Using NCSExpert, go through each of the key modules - GM, IKE/KMBI, ABG, DSC etc… read the module again and save the TRC file in a new folder
        • After this you might want to tweak some other preference settings in the cluster or GM or LCM for personal preferences, but I strongly suggest not making any of those changes until the car is all up and running with no codes, AND after you've saved all the "good conversion" TRC files for backups.



    Copyright 2017 j2c3.com ;^)
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by geargrinder; 05-03-2019 at 08:55 AM. Reason: Fixed missing reverse/cluster wire information
    2003 M3CicM6 TiAg
    2002 540iT Sport Vortech S/C 6MT LSD TiAg
    2014 BMW X1 xDrive28i (hers)
    2008 Audi A3 2.0T DSG (soon to go on the block)
    1999 Cherokee Sport 4L (trailer-hitched in-law-loaner bomber)


    Former:

    1985 Euro 300SL
    1995.5 Audi S6 Avant (utility/winter billetturbobattlewagen)


  2. #2
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    Phenominal post!!!!

  3. #3
    geargrinder's Avatar
    geargrinder is offline Having No Trouble Here BMW CCA Member
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    Apologies for the weird formatting. I kept notes in OneNote the entire project and it just won't paste nicely into Vbulletin without doing a bunch of weird stuff to the linebreaks and I can't spend another hour futzing around deleting extra line spaces. See the attached PDF for a nice clean version.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by RVAE34 View Post
    Phenominal post!!!!
    Thanks! I kept tellin' y'all I had the documentation in hand...

    Hopefully Michael will be psyched since he kept asking for this...

    Dude how did you read it so fast!? I clicked POST and 3 seconds later your reply notification came through.
    2003 M3CicM6 TiAg
    2002 540iT Sport Vortech S/C 6MT LSD TiAg
    2014 BMW X1 xDrive28i (hers)
    2008 Audi A3 2.0T DSG (soon to go on the block)
    1999 Cherokee Sport 4L (trailer-hitched in-law-loaner bomber)


    Former:

    1985 Euro 300SL
    1995.5 Audi S6 Avant (utility/winter billetturbobattlewagen)


  4. #4
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    I didn't need to read the entire post to see how comprehensive it is. I skimmed through and was thoroughly impressed.

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    Nice writeup!.

    A question for you, Josh, and/or anyone else that has done this. What range of fuel economy improvements can be expected? Help me here... I need fodder for convincing why the family hauler should gain a clutch.


    Oh, and the E46 M3 version of the 420G will not fit. The bellhousing is part of the transmission; you need a V8 bell.


    /.randy

  6. #6
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    I think that about covers it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by rf900rkw View Post
    A question for you, Josh, and/or anyone else that has done this. What range of fuel economy improvements can be expected? Help me here... I need fodder for convincing why the family hauler should gain a clutch.
    I never really drove mine with the automatic, but I can tell you that I get about 15 in all-city driving, and as much as 24 on a highway trip.

    But if you want the version for your wife, I'd just say 21/29 :-)
    I like the unicorns.
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    JC - You sire are a Prince! You are hereby conferred the title of Sir Gear Grinder of the Order of Bimmerforum Royalty!



  9. #9
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    On my e38 I only gained about 2 mpg on highway. As someone else said "the computer is smarter than your right foot". Short shift and keep the revs low and you might gain more. But what's the fun in that?
    The direct power of a manual gearbox is kindof addictive.
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  10. #10
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    Short miles so far but I was dead consistent at 18.5mpg w the steptronic. So far looks like 20-21.5 in similar driving, so not a massive upgrade. If you use the manual sedan diff ratio then you do see a big step up AFAIU.
    2003 M3CicM6 TiAg
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshS View Post
    I never really drove mine with the automatic, but I can tell you that I get about 15 in all-city driving, and as much as 24 on a highway trip.

    But if you want the version for your wife, I'd just say 21/29 :-)
    Really eh? My stock auto 540iT got 20.8 MPG 100% city driving; after about every bolt-on mod imaginable I'm down to 19.6 MPG - I drive moderately hard. I used to get 25-26 MPG (stock) on the highway at cruise which includes the occasional WOT burst when the coast is clear.........After the bolt-ons not sure what I'd get on HWY as I haven't done a road trip yet, but it definitely revs higher than with the stock 3.15's.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Awesome writeup BTW OP, with the lack of Touring conversion info out there, your experience will be the benchmark for many future 3-pedalers for sure.
    Keep up the great work!!!

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    Thank you, thank you, thank you.


    This is happening later this year, I'm still hunting for a donor car, but now I have more of incentive to move on this.



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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteghost1 View Post
    Really eh? My stock auto 540iT got 20.8 MPG 100% city driving; after about every bolt-on mod imaginable I'm down to 19.6 MPG - I drive moderately hard. I used to get 25-26 MPG (stock) on the highway at cruise which includes the occasional WOT burst when the coast is clear.........
    Wow, I guess you must be one of those lucky people who get to drive downhill both ways!
    I like the unicorns.
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  14. #14
    geargrinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hon2bmw View Post
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.


    This is happening later this year, I'm still hunting for a donor car, but now I have more of incentive to move on this.
    I should have said in the note above - getting a donor car is clearly THE WAY TO GO if you can swing the space to store it and then do some parting out afterwards. I thought I had that wired up but my guy screwed up and the car he obtained was pre-facelift unbeknownst to me, and in the end it provided about 3 inconsequential parts. Especially now that run down 540i sedans are starting to hit the market pretty cheap. Anybody paying a shop to do this will save a bundle by having the info above - unfortunately since we had to wade through figuring a lot of this out, it in fact did cost me a bundle...

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshS View Post
    Wow, I guess you must be one of those lucky people who get to drive downhill both ways!
    LOL. I thought the same thing. He must have gotten the special one.
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    Mods! Can we please make this a sticky on the Sub-Forum.... Thanks



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by geargrinder View Post
    I should have said in the note above - getting a donor car is clearly THE WAY TO GO if you can swing the space to store it and then do some parting out afterwards. I thought I had that wired up but my guy screwed up and the car he obtained was pre-facelift unbeknownst to me, and in the end it provided about 3 inconsequential parts. Especially now that run down 540i sedans are starting to hit the market pretty cheap. Anybody paying a shop to do this will save a bundle by having the info above - unfortunately since we had to wade through figuring a lot of this out, it in fact did cost me a bundle...
    I have a line on 98' 540i/6 for a decent price, but would you recommend I get something with vanos motor? I've heard the TPS for the electronic throttle makes the pedal assembly slightly different.



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    Quote Originally Posted by geargrinder View Post

    LOL. I thought the same thing. He must have gotten the special one.

    I thought only the 540i/6 sedans got that kind of mileage.


    /.randy

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by hon2bmw View Post
    I have a line on 98' 540i/6 for a decent price, but would you recommend I get something with vanos motor? I've heard the TPS for the electronic throttle makes the pedal assembly slightly different.
    Pre-facelift non-VANOS pedal situation is COMPLETELY different. Clutch master is totally different, all the switches are totally different, and the brake pedal is totally different, and bracket is totally different. Throttle is in a different universe - bracket mounted vs floor mounted and independent from the pedal bracket.

    A non-VANOS car is near useless as a donor to a post-facelift car - I know because I ended up with one (did not realize it was pre-facelift, shop was sourcing it and assured me it was the right one...) Buried somewhere in my notes is the comment that in the end I only pulled 3-4 tiny trivial things (ex: the foam insulator block that goes around the shifter...) from the donor and it was a complete waste of time. I had already sourced my tranny elsewhere from a true VANOS car (unfort that car's shell had been parted out long ago and crushed otherwise I would have taken the whole thing...), I can't tell you what the pre/post VANOS tranny compatibility is, a quick scan of ETK part numbers might tell you something - it's supposed to be the same 6-sp but that doesn't mean BMW didn't have some tiny irritating bellhousing tweak or something.
    2003 M3CicM6 TiAg
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  19. #19
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    Thanks so much for posting this. I'm currently in the middle of my conversion and have a couple of questions.

    1. I never use cruise control and frankly don't care it doesn't work. Do you foresee any issues with not bothering to wire up the clutch switch for the cc.
    2. I similarly don't care about having a lock-out on the starter unless the clutch is in. Am I correct in assuming that I can attach a ground wire to terminal 8 of the EWS instead of wiring up the clutch switch (I'd like to get the car running first since I can't do the coding myself).

    A few tips for anyone trying this:

    - As mentioned above, get a donor car. They are so cheap these days it's not worth trying to gather all the parts.
    - I didn't have a pin removal tool, but was successful removing the pin from the ignition switch plug without it. If you're careful, you can use a thin sewing pin to straighten the barbs on the connector pin. Then insert a poker through the female end of the connector pin to push it out. Worked for me, but it's worth buying a pin removal tool.

  20. #20
    geargrinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmarch View Post
    1. I never use cruise control and frankly don't care it doesn't work. Do you foresee any issues with not bothering to wire up the clutch switch for the cc.
    2. I similarly don't care about having a lock-out on the starter unless the clutch is in. Am I correct in assuming that I can attach a ground wire to terminal 8 of the EWS instead of wiring up the clutch switch (I'd like to get the car running first since I can't do the coding myself).
    Cool!

    1. Zero issues. Do NO clutch wiring at all then. Its a PITA. I really want mine to work and still working on getting the bugs out but if you dont want it, DEF dont bother at all.

    2. Yes, you can hardwire, but, just as easy and better in a way is to code it out in the EWS coding. Then you dont have to mess w a wire or worry about the connection dropping out and having a mystery no start... But either will work and ive run the car both ways (i have no wire and purely coded out now)
    2003 M3CicM6 TiAg
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  21. #21
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    Great to hear. Thanks! I think I'll hardware just to get the car running and will then take your advice and code it out later.
    Last edited by jmarch; 03-22-2014 at 03:07 AM.

  22. #22
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    Great post, geargrinder. Big "Thank you"
    Bookmark for when I need to do the swap.

    2000 Dinan S1 //M5 (my DD) --------------- 06 DINAN E53 4.8iS (wife's) -------------- 90 Straman Z32TT (my pride & joy)

    Gone, but not forgotten: 01 E39 M5, 01 E53 3.0i, 01 525i Sport, 03 DINAN 540i MSport and 91 Z32 TwinTurbo

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmarch View Post
    Great to hear. Thanks! I think I'll hardware just to get the car running and will then take your advice and code it out later. Now all I have to do is time the cams on the donor car engine. You may be seeing separate "help" thread related to that soon........
    Hmmm.... intradesting. Hit me up mang! I am interested in your ignition trick with the poker thing.



  24. #24
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    E39 540i Touring Manual Conversion Checklist & Wiring / Coding

    Awesome write up!!! Kudos to you for taking the time to do this. Since you've served it on a platter, let's if this one guy here will stop dreaming and finally do it.

    I like the clutch-less start up and agree it's a feature for dumbasses. Since I transferred over everything from the M5 to my wagon, including this feature, I'd like to disable it. I was playing with a euro-spec E39 M5 last week and it didn't have this stupid feature, it was sooo nice not having to clutch in.

    I see that it can be coded out. But if I were to disable it manually by wiring, it won't affect any other system?
    Last edited by M5 Jed; 05-04-2014 at 09:29 PM.

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    geargrinder's Avatar
    geargrinder is offline Having No Trouble Here BMW CCA Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by M5 Jed View Post

    I see that it can be coded out. But if I were to disable it manually by wiring, it won't affect any other system?
    Absolutely not. My tech had it wired that way for some time when we first were firing up the car. I just like the coding as its "more correct".

    The start lock-out goes to the EWS so theres no function for it aside from this. Basically as soon as the car starts EWS is done so theres no other interference.

    FWIW, and not talking to you Jed, others with short attention spans and perhaps reading comprehension issues, who have only half read the instructions here, have read that bit to say "OH OK ALL I NEED TO DO IS HOTWIRE THAT ONE THING THEN THE CAR WILL START AND DRIVE AND I DONT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING ELSE OR ANY CODING HOW COME CAR DOESNT START CUZ I DID MY HOTWIRING". This is absolutely not true. The starter rewiring must also happen at the very very least. And if ZERO recoding is done, the car will throw codes left and right, as well as be in a type of "limp mode" since it cant find the tranny EGS.
    2003 M3CicM6 TiAg
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    2014 BMW X1 xDrive28i (hers)
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    1999 Cherokee Sport 4L (trailer-hitched in-law-loaner bomber)


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