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

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by M5 Jed View Post
    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?
    The M5 is slightly different. There could still be a " startlock" enabled in the EWS, but the DME has to know if the clutch pedal is pushed in or of the gearbox is in neutral to start.
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    Thanks for the input guys! I'll consult my local coding expert here. If he can just code it out, even better. Prefer not to touch the wiring anymore since the Unicorn is functioning perfectly.

  3. #28
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    If I may ask, where did you get your coding done from in California?? I am from Nor-cal and wanted to swap in a six-speed but didn't want to start until I had a person that could code my car correctly. Any help would be appreciated.

  4. #29
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    first post edited to add tranny heat exchanger delete info including part numbers required.
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    I know this is a little off the topic of this particular write up but do you know how much of this applies to a 97 528? I've already run into pedal issues as the 98 donor pedal set is totally different than 97 is. I am more concerned with coding and wiring issues. It seems the coding should be similar but any advice or source/ guidance you might off would be great.
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  6. #31
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    Yeah coding should just follow the same principles. For the exact same model year as your car but a manual, look up the replacement DME in realoem.com. Find the entry with a note saying something like it is for reprogramming only. Its sometimes on a different page. That part number is the recoding ZUSB, or at least the last 7 digits that is. Should not be a big hurdle.

    Wiring-wise you'll have to start from scratch w WDS-planet but it should be actually easier than the 540 as you wont have autostart i dont think. Same principles will apply - wire up the clutch switches but they should power and ground from existing brake switches so not far to go with those. Wire the "bottom" clutch switch to EWS, top clutch switch to cruise control. On 540 the top switch goes to the DME which runs the cruise, but not sure if you have separate cruise module?
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  7. #32
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    just wonder how much will it cost to swap AT to manual on a 540 sedan?

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by LinGG View Post
    just wonder how much will it cost to swap AT to manual on a 540 sedan?
    As a Flemish friend of mine used to say... "how long is a piece of string?".

    Are you buying new parts or used? Either way add up your costs. All the info for a parts list is here but I don't put all the parts numbers down because different years call for different parts in some cases, plus there's some choices you can make.

    Are you doing the work yourself or paying someone? It's a number of days of solid work by a shop. A shop that has done this or very similar before and know the E39 in and out could maybe bang it out in 3-4? A shop that's not familiar with these might take 4-6 days to sort it all out. If you take on parts of the work then subtract that. They multiply times your labor rate.
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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by geargrinder View Post
    As a Flemish friend of mine used to say... "how long is a piece of string?".

    Are you buying new parts or used? Either way add up your costs. All the info for a parts list is here but I don't put all the parts numbers down because different years call for different parts in some cases, plus there's some choices you can make.

    Are you doing the work yourself or paying someone? It's a number of days of solid work by a shop. A shop that has done this or very similar before and know the E39 in and out could maybe bang it out in 3-4? A shop that's not familiar with these might take 4-6 days to sort it all out. If you take on parts of the work then subtract that. They multiply times your labor rate.
    used parts if they are not critical to be new like clutch and flywheel. I would do it by myself, including coding stuff.. just want to know estimate like 1k-3k, cheapest if I would do it by myself and the price of a shop as highest...

  10. #35
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    well. I've given you the general parameters, to throw a number out unrelated to what your shop may or may not charge etc. is pretty meaningless but if you insist on a meaningless range:

    bare bones $1k if you do it all yourself and all the parts are used. $12k if you buy all new parts and have an expensive shop that doesn't really know E39's very well do absolutely everything.

    if you want something more useful,. maybe you can actually read my last post, review the steps that are in the procedure, and use your brain to think about this a little instead of demanding an answer.
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  11. #36
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    Hey I have a question. I have a 2000 bmw 540it and I have the chance to buy a 1998 540i 6 speed manual. Will the whole 6 speed and all the parts work with my 2000??

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    No, '98 pedal stuff wouldn't match. Tranny and linkage would.
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by geargrinder View Post
    No, '98 pedal stuff wouldn't match. Tranny and linkage would.
    So if I do buy that car I'll only have to get a different set of petals?? Driveshaft, tranny, linkage will all fit no problem??

  14. #39
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    yeah but if I were you i wouldn't buy a parts car that has so few cross-over parts. if you find a facelifted 540 then there's all kinds of other parts you could take and use (even aside from tranny swap). you'll be surprised how many little things are different.

    also: Ped​als. Petals are for flowers.
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    I have to ask a possible dumb question after reading this thread and seeing the last two post. I may have missed it in the instructions. I have a 1999 540iT and was buying a 1999 540i Sport 6MT for parts car/swap. Same stuff or different? Thanks and my apologies if this was covered. I thought I read in the swap chart I was good. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carnutdallas View Post
    I have to ask a possible dumb question after reading this thread and seeing the last two post. I may have missed it in the instructions. I have a 1999 540iT and was buying a 1999 540i Sport 6MT for parts car/swap. Same stuff or different? Thanks and my apologies if this was covered. I thought I read in the swap chart I was good. Thanks.
    99 to 99 swap should be fine.

    -Paul
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    Thanks, was sweating it for a few minutes :-)

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackknight530i View Post
    99 to 99 swap should be fine.
    Probably. The transition/M5 DBW throttle is the question. He needs to look at the born-on date... i get this question all the time, should have just looked up the cutover dates ages ago.... Heres the skinny:

    Pre-09/1998 production = cable throttle type pedal assemblies w early pedal bracket & switches/wiring
    09/1998 - 09/1999 production = the transition/M5 top hung DBW throttle w new pedal bracket
    Post-09/1999 production = floor mounted DBW throttle, same new pedal bracket but wiring changes

    That should help a lot of potential new swappers... If i get time i will add that to the master write-up.

    - - - Updated - - -

    BTW if you ever have 2 cars side by side or even a basic pic of the setups, its wicked easy to look at and determine pedal versions. Its either cable or not, and then its either a potentiometer up above or its a floor mounted module. Easily diagnosed.
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  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by geargrinder View Post
    Probably. The transition/M5 DBW throttle is the question. He needs to look at the born-on date... i get this question all the time, should have just looked up the cutover dates ages ago.... Heres the skinny:

    Pre-09/1998 production = cable throttle type pedal assemblies w early pedal bracket & switches/wiring
    09/1998 - 09/1999 production = the transition/M5 top hung DBW throttle w new pedal bracket
    Post-09/1999 production = floor mounted DBW throttle, same new pedal bracket but wiring changes

    That should help a lot of potential new swappers... If i get time i will add that to the master write-up.

    - - - Updated - - -

    BTW if you ever have 2 cars side by side or even a basic pic of the setups, its wicked easy to look at and determine pedal versions. Its either cable or not, and then its either a potentiometer up above or its a floor mounted module. Easily diagnosed.
    Oh, duh, I forgot about that transitionary period. As long as both are DBW, he should be fine. The two pedal types are interchangeable and make no difference to the computer. He should be able to swap the entire pedal bracket from the manual to auto car if they are both DBW. Actually, wouldn't he be able to transfer whatever type gas pedal he has on the auto car to the manual bracket?

    -Paul
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    E39 540i Touring Manual Conversion Checklist & Wiring / Coding

    My car is DBW plastic version 3. I have no idea on donor. Buying everything I need for conversion, but car is in Hotlanta. My buddy is driving through town and bringing to Dallas for me on the 29th. I figure, worse case, I go to yard and buy later model stuff from pick n pull.

    I am in no hurry. I am going to Turbo my e28 next summer while it is hot and I will not be driving it. The Touring is my daily and traffic here is a miserable b&@$th! My alternate is my K2500 Suburban, which I have been driving after selling my e90. I just want to enjoy the touring as an auto for a bit. I figure my tranny will go out at some point, which may motivate the conversion sooner than later. I may look for another low mileage 4.4 and Supercharge it, then swap in the lower mileage motor and 6 speed at that time. I see that as a 2016/2017 project, unless mechanical breakdown happens sooner than later. Touring has 184k on it. The e28 is getting the next big investment. I have to recover the sport seats by December and then Turbo summer 2015.

    E64 is weekend only, date night or wife drives 1-2 a week to work 10 miles.....anyway, after realizing that working all day and then sitting in traffic with foot on clutch is no fun. Sorry to muddy up thread, but I wanted to clarify my intent that has changed......Hell, I may sell the whole set-up and never install it. I really love my new to me car. Best driving car ever??

    That is my latest plan, but I am very fickle and it could change.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackknight530i View Post
    Oh, duh, I forgot about that transitionary period. As long as both are DBW, he should be fine. The two pedal types are interchangeable and make no difference to the computer. He should be able to swap the entire pedal bracket from the manual to auto car if they are both DBW. Actually, wouldn't he be able to transfer whatever type gas pedal he has on the auto car to the manual bracket?
    Plugs and wiring are totally different. Swapping in between types would mean more hassles - wire under the carpet vs coming from above, changing the plug, easiest to just keep it same-same.

    And no, you dont HAVE to do anything w the accelerator, except the auto has the kick-down click which can be mildly irritating if you are anal. I have a thread about that i think. For the floor one you need to change just the end plug too to do the swap but thats only because its keyed to keep mistakes from happening on the assembly floor i think.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by carnutdallas View Post
    My car is DBW plastic version 3. I have no idea on donor. Buying everything I need for conversion, but car is in Hotlanta. My buddy is driving through town and bringing to Dallas for me on the 29th. I figure, worse case, I go to yard and buy later model stuff from pick n pull.
    Well.. Like i said before its about a half second look at a picture to figure out which DBW (and/or get the VIN from the donor car from the seller and run it on a decoder) and you'll have your answer. But as i said to Paul above - the throttle part isnt so critical, thats mainly a niceity. Its being sure you have the right facelift or pre-face brake lever, and that the clutch switch types match pre/post facelift that are show stoppers.
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    My 6MT is on hold for now. Just too much traffic to drive a manual in everyday. I am just to old. Going to divert funds to my e28 Turbo project in 2015. Thanks for info though. -R

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    So now I'm back to this again. It seems I can't make up my mind or a good decision. Sold S62/trans and am thinking just supercharging the 4.4L and going with 6MT instead. Subscribing so I have a record of it in my subscriptions and saying "hey" to geargrinder (he's been super helpful to me over the past several months and wanted to publicly thank him for that).
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    Need Wiring Clarification

    [QUOTE=geargrinder;27224622]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.
      • Parts needed:
        • Brake lever from any faceliftE39 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 click switch. If you don't like having the 'click' at the bottom of the pedal travel, you need to swap in a manual pedal, AND swap the pins into the 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



      • 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
        • 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



        • 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.



      • 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 bypassed, and it is essential that the power source for the EWS starter signal is moved otherwise the starter will spin all the time when the ignition is energized on position 2. There are some other workaround options way to get this to work, but below is the factory-correct way to do it and is quite easy with the exception of the usual minor PITA of OEM connector-pin-removal.


        • 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.
        • You should now be ready to startas 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. )



      • 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 w/ some kind of plug
      • 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 - install MT, bolt up cross-member (no special cross-member needed)
      • 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.
          • Look up the appropriate ZUSB number from the last 7 digits of the part number from ETK page with DME reprogramming information. I used ZUSB 7533707 as that seems to be the latest version I could find. Other versions may work fine as well, I know some conversions are using different ZUSB numbers.
          • 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.




    Geargrinder,

    I am not even sure if I am posting in the correct spot. I bought someones project and am in the process of trying to finish it up now. I have a late 1999 540i e39 and I am doing the auto to manual conversion. The previous owner did the swap and didn't finish the wiring or programing. I bought a manual wiring harness (not the chassis harness, it is still an auto) and I put it in. The car would start, run and drive before I swapped the harness. Now, the car will not start. I am certain it has to do with the clutch switch, but I have read a few forums and I am a little confused about which wires are for the start and which are for the cruise. Your post says that PIN 23 in the DME is for cruise, where do I find the other wires at? I think it was PIN 8 on the EWS? Where is that located? I tried running 12volts to PIN 23 and the car would still not start. I am concerned that maybe I tripped the EWS into thinking that the car was being stolen? I am not sure. Any advice you have is GREATLY appreciated. I am paying for a bay to work on the car and would like to get it out. Also, I have some of the software that I need to reprogram, but I haven't a clue on what I am doing. If you know anything about that or anyone that does, that info is also appreciated. I am not sure how to get messages on here, but my email is cedv23 at the hotmail. Thanks for your time.

  25. #50
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    geargrinder is offline Having No Trouble Here BMW CCA Member
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    Thanks man! The M5T would be great, but the supercharged 540 is just outstanding too. Probably a little faster, though there is something to having all the M5 amenities.
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