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

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by cedv23 View Post
    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.
    bro. I can help you probably but right now im too irritated by your quoting my whole post. WTF was the point of that. Took me like 5mins to delete that crap in the entry box on the ipad to start this reply. Now i am out of time. You had zero reason to change the wiring harness. You probably screwed everything the other guy up in doing that. The difft tranny cars have difft starter wiring stuff. All the info for wiring the starter up for an auto car is here. If you swapped a manual harness in who knows what you have now.

    EVERYTHING FOR CONVERTING AN AUTO CAR TO START IS ABOVE AND NEEDS NO CLARIFICATION. now that youve done some manual harness swap who knows...
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    I'm curious of your opinion: Flat out in terms of performance, is the 6spd V8 touring much faster compared to the automatic from a dead stop?
    I'm going to have to rebuild my valve body in the next few months, and if it is a fair bit quicker I would consider doing a 6spd swap for the additional cost.

  3. #53
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    Yeah I think the 6MT conversion is more a quality of life issue. More fun, more involvement. Better ability to keep in the powerband. Faster? I suppose if you're an ace shifter... But off a stoplight type starts w an auto are often faster if the manual guy doesn't nail every shift every single time? Def man is faster on a roll and on the run because you put it in the gear you want and keep the RPMs where you want it and never get stuck waiting for a slush shift - the slush can be slow when you 'catch it by surprise' at the wrong moment...
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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by geargrinder View Post
    Yeah I think the 6MT conversion is more a quality of life issue. More fun, more involvement. Better ability to keep in the powerband. Faster? I suppose if you're an ace shifter... But off a stoplight type starts w an auto are often faster if the manual guy doesn't nail every shift every single time? Def man is faster on a roll and on the run because you put it in the gear you want and keep the RPMs where you want it and never get stuck waiting for a slush shift - the slush can be slow when you 'catch it by surprise' at the wrong moment...
    And the auto will probably be more enjoyable in cold weather -- where the manual will me notchy until it warms up. The five speed in my 323 is pretty well worn. Rattles like hell with the single-mass flywheel and the shifter is super sloppy (mechanism inside the case is worn) even with new bushings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geargrinder View Post
    Yeah I think the 6MT conversion is more a quality of life issue. More fun, more involvement. Better ability to keep in the powerband. Faster? I suppose if you're an ace shifter... But off a stoplight type starts w an auto are often faster if the manual guy doesn't nail every shift every single time? Def man is faster on a roll and on the run because you put it in the gear you want and keep the RPMs where you want it and never get stuck waiting for a slush shift - the slush can be slow when you 'catch it by surprise' at the wrong moment...
    You basically confirmed what I thought, thank you. Besides the driving "experience", I don't think it's worth the conversion (as I get older) for my needs. Especially since I unfortunately spend a fair bit of time in a traffic dense metropolis. Excellent that you've blazed a trail for all 540iT N/A conversionistas to follow, hats off to you!

    That said, I'll be sending my valve body out to Level 10 for mods to rebuild & strengthen the valve body for crisper shifts. Not tire chirping but firm, should match the Dinan tranny software perfectly. I think it'll be worth it, as it should be a sportier drive + it'll be able to cope with a nitrous dose a lot better.

  6. #56
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    first post updated to correct apparently a major error about being able to fit auto cross-member... apparently a mix-up in what we did or did not install on my car...
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    The mechanics is really the simple part of this conversion for me. The unsettling part is I am not familiar with the coding aspect of the job, which is the thing holding me back.

    If I find someone who is knowledgeable enough to do the coding for me, would they:

    a) need the car in their presence? or
    b) would you be able to do it somehow remotely? or
    c) would I be able to send them my DME?

    Trying to research options as no one I know locally, would be able to do the coding for me first hand.
    Thanks for the great writeup.

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    If you were able to get a cable and can get a decent internet connection by your car, it would be possible for someone to do it remotely. It's always easier to troubleshoot in person, but I've coded enough cars remotely to be comfortable doing it.

    You can send someone your DME to be flashed, but since the DME is not the only module involved, it probably makes the most sense to just do the flash while coding everything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
    You can send someone your DME to be flashed, but since the DME is not the only module involved, it probably makes the most sense to just do the flash while coding everything else.
    I was wondering the exact same thing = there would be more than one module involved in the process.

    Quote Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
    If you were able to get a cable and can get a decent internet connection by your car, it would be possible for someone to do it remotely. It's always easier to troubleshoot in person, but I've coded enough cars remotely to be comfortable doing it.
    If you or anyone reading this would be interested in doing it remotely, I'd be open to working with you to facilitate the job. I'd pay (what I would hope to be a fair dollar) for someone qualified to complete the coding on my car.

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    Sure I'd be willing to help you out. Is the car mechanically ready otherwise? Just send me a PM and we can iron out the details

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
    Sure I'd be willing to help you out. Is the car mechanically ready otherwise?
    And wiring. Now that I've posted up the wiring procedure in detail, it's really pretty easy, but that was a black-magic indy-trade-secret for a while.

    I get PM's all the time from bros ready or in the midst of manual swaps and people think they can always gloss over the starter relay wiring bit ("oh I'm gonna just hotwire the EWS dude so you know then I dont' have to do the starter relay..." uhhhhh no you aren't and yes you do....) What's awesome is, if you half-ass it, the starter runs all the time with the ignition on. Ooops! Not gonna werk.

    But its really pretty easy now that the instructions are laid out. Brians recent job seems to have gone flawlessly - started up first time, woo-hoo.

    Terra - if you help him maybe you can use it as a platform to test out your "faux USA 540 Manual Touring" coding?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
    Sure I'd be willing to help you out. Is the car mechanically ready otherwise? Just send me a PM and we can iron out the details
    I should probably back up a bit and give you my point of view.
    I'm going to be pushing my auto quite a bit past the factory torque rating which is why I'm considering the manual swap. If I can find a viable solution to solve my coding challenge, it could be a game changer in going forward with it.
    So I do not have any of the parts (but I do have the means to install them) only because I have not found anyone to do the coding locally as of yet.
    I'll PM you and we can discuss our options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geargrinder View Post
    Terra - if you help him maybe you can use it as a platform to test out your "faux USA 540 Manual Touring" coding?
    Exactly what I was planning. Based on the nettodaten my ZCS generates, it looks like it should work just fine. If proven successful, I could probably work on making some other entries, like an s62 touring.

    If it doesn't work that way, I do at least know how to do the hybrid coding like you dscribed

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    JC,

    I don't know if Brian told what we ended up doing to make his start up, but we deviated from your method a bit and it doesn't require larger wire or anything. We use existing wire for the most part and it still uses the relay, but takes the DME out of the process (removing the soft-start feature). What we did was take the pin 6 and pin 40 from the DME (pin 6 coming from the ignition switch to the DME and pin 40 going from the DME to the starter relay) and soldered them together. Then we took the blue with black stripe wire at pin 8 of the EWS and cut it near the EWS connector and tapped it to a ground connection. What used to happen in the auto was the DME provided a ground on pin 40 during the soft-start mode and the EWS would provide 12V over pin 8. What we did was basically reverse the trigger on the relay so now the ignition switch itself provides the power and the wire that used to go to the EWS now goes to ground.

    It looks like this:



    This is borrowed from Trevor's (007008) excellent 99+ e38 6-speed guide found here:

    http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...ed-swap-coding

    -Paul
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackknight530i View Post
    I don't know if Brian told what we ended up doing to make his start up, but we deviated from your method a bit and it doesn't require larger wire or anything. We use existing wire for the most part and it still uses the relay, but takes the DME out of the process (removing the soft-start feature). What we did was take the pin 6 and pin 40 from the DME (pin 6 coming from the ignition switch to the DME and pin 40 going from the DME to the starter relay) and soldered them together. Then we took the blue with black stripe wire at pin 8 of the EWS and cut it near the EWS connector and tapped it to a ground connection. What used to happen in the auto was the DME provided a ground on pin 40 during the soft-start mode and the EWS would provide 12V over pin 8. What we did was basically reverse the trigger on the relay so now the ignition switch itself provides the power and the wire that used to go to the EWS now goes to ground.
    '
    Hmmm.. OK... that's some clever whackiness... Different ways to skin a cat I guess. At first I didn't like the sound of it but really looking at it its more of a slightly different tweak. I admire the cleverness for sure. On other hand, personally I didn't like the extra relay being "inserted" in there so probably prefer the setup I have as being more straight-forward. I knew there was another workaround some of the conversion shops had used, I assume it is this then...

    For anybody else doing this, either will work, don't be too put off by Method A - i.e. the factory wiring - which means running a heavier gauge wire - but it just has to go from the ignition to the EWS - which is to say - not far at all. Method B you use lighter wire but you have to get it from the ignition switch all the way to the relay... But nonetheless - I will add the option to the writeup above..! Options for everybody!
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    Quote Originally Posted by geargrinder View Post
    '
    Hmmm.. OK... that's some clever whackiness... Different ways to skin a cat I guess. At first I didn't like the sound of it but really looking at it its more of a slightly different tweak. I admire the cleverness for sure. On other hand, personally I didn't like the extra relay being "inserted" in there so probably prefer the setup I have as being more straight-forward. I knew there was another workaround some of the conversion shops had used, I assume it is this then...

    For anybody else doing this, either will work, don't be too put off by Method A - i.e. the factory wiring - which means running a heavier gauge wire - but it just has to go from the ignition to the EWS - which is to say - not far at all. Method B you use lighter wire but you have to get it from the ignition switch all the way to the relay... But nonetheless - I will add the option to the writeup above..! Options for everybody!
    The wire going from the ignition switch to the dme is already there. We ran no new wires except to splice the ews wire to ground. I like that it keeps the big heavy gauge wires intact.

    -Paul
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    We actually used the brake switch ground that we used for the clutch switch wiring as our ground since it's right there.

    -Paul
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  18. #68
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    Hey Paul - I'm gonna hit you up for details so I can add this to the write up...
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    Quote Originally Posted by geargrinder View Post
    Hey Paul - I'm gonna hit you up for details so I can add this to the write up...
    Cool

    -Paul
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    Yep, Trevor/Paul's way was really rather simple. No new wires run anywhere at all. Just tapping (I did end up extending the ones going to the clutch and brake switches to give me more room to solder in there because it was so tight with the car on the lift) and some splicing was all we needed. It looks very clean.

    I even re-purposed some of the now-unused wire to run my boost gauge signal to under the hood
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  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by geargrinder View Post


        • 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 X6004. Cut pins off and splice wires together.
          • Be sure your starter relay is in place at all times in this case.





    New method added. Now that I understand it (duh was trying to match the Trevor pic w/ the description but they don't match, now I get it... ) I like it and see the elegance. Still maybe prefer to be done w/ the relay myself but the sweet cleanliness of this method is good too. GG approved. ;^)
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    Quote Originally Posted by geargrinder View Post
    [/LIST][/LIST][/LIST]

    New method added. Now that I understand it (duh was trying to match the Trevor pic w/ the description but they don't match, now I get it... ) I like it and see the elegance. Still maybe prefer to be done w/ the relay myself but the sweet cleanliness of this method is good too. GG approved. ;^)
    The only thing I would change is in the first line. The ignition switch sends the 12v to the DME on pin 6, not pin 8. You had it right at the bottom though.

    -Paul
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    So what actually happens if you leave the automatic start relay in? Does the ME7.2 just not send any signal on Pin 40 when coded as manual? I noticed the E39 M5 has the auto start relay (with the main difference being the relay's pin 8 is always hot instead of being tied to the park/neutral switch), and I'm under the impression that the S62 does not have auto start, unless that's a Euro only thing (in which case the park/neutral switch not being used makes sense)


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    Quote Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
    So what actually happens if you leave the automatic start relay in? Does the ME7.2 just not send any signal on Pin 40 when coded as manual? I noticed the E39 M5 has the auto start relay (with the main difference being the relay's pin 8 is always hot instead of being tied to the park/neutral switch), and I'm under the impression that the S62 does not have auto start, unless that's a Euro only thing (in which case the park/neutral switch not being used makes sense)

    I can tell you on Brian's that it didn't even try to turn over.

    -Paul
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    2003 530it6 - M54b30/S6S-420g swap, 3.15 540it diff, e60 SSK, Apex PS-7s, M5 Gauge Cluster, Bi-xenons, NBT, Koni Sport, 540i Brakes
    2002 540itA - For Sale - VMR VB2 19" Wheels
    2002 330Ci5 - Project "Track Car" - ZHP Control Arms, BavSound, Bi-Xenons, LED Tail Lights
    2004 X5 4.8is - Stock for now

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