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Thread: E36 S54 swap, E46 M3 cluster

  1. #1
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    E36 S54 swap, E46 M3 cluster

    I've had a S54 in my E36 for a while now and am using the CAN board (that I build/sell) to make A/C and the check engine light functional.


    I'm interested in fitting an E46 M3 cluster and have begun working on it. Why?

    -9k tach with warm up lights
    -oil temp gauge
    -cruise indicator (yes, I have working cruise control)
    -clock (my E36 OBC has been removed)
    -functional fuel consumption/range display
    -low oil level indicator
    -DSC indicators (I retrofitted MK60 DSC)
    -check control icons


    Why is the E46 cluster swap not popular?

    -requires physical modification to fit (not really a big deal, will post photos soon) solved
    -many indicators (high beam, turn signals, fog, check control) are driven via k-bus that doesn't exist in the E36 solved
    -A/C: E46 IHKA & cluster communicate via k-bus solved
    -dimming requires PWM signal from LSZ solved - at least on my 2003+ cluster, dimming set via k-bus
    -speedometer won't work with E36 diff sensor, needs pulsed signal from DSC (*may* work with E36 ASC, will find out) solved, possibly a few options
    -fuel level gauge won't work with E36 level sensors solved
    -mileage correction solved


    I've started working on hardware & software to send k-bus signals to the cluster from the relevant E36 components. I've got all of the messages figured out and have a cluster on my desk for testing. I'll be updating this post as I make progress.

    Update - it works!

    Last edited by gpeterson; 06-04-2018 at 02:31 PM.
    S54 swap DME flashing - $100
    S54 swap CAN interface board (for proper A/C & check engine light) - $275
    e36 SAP sim/secondary air pump simulator:
    $75 - standard or $170 - plug & play
    e36 post-cat O2 sims: $115 shipped, plug & play

  2. #2
    Jkpgt96's Avatar
    Jkpgt96 is offline One of those JZ swappers BMW CCA Member
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    Subbed af. I would love to put one in mine as well because of the looks of them and also for the extra rpm I will need displayed.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    1995 M3 - Forged 9.8:1 2JZ, S366, MS3x, E85, LQ9s, 420g/PMC Motorsport kit, 4 clutch 3.15 LSD Large Case 757whp/710wtq
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jkpgt96 View Post
    Subbed af. I would love to put one in mine as well because of the looks of them and also for the extra rpm I will need displayed.
    Are you running a S54 or the 2JZ in your signature? I'm focused on making things work with a S54 swap & MSS54 DME, anything else would be a lot more work to emulate all of the CAN messages.
    S54 swap DME flashing - $100
    S54 swap CAN interface board (for proper A/C & check engine light) - $275
    e36 SAP sim/secondary air pump simulator:
    $75 - standard or $170 - plug & play
    e36 post-cat O2 sims: $115 shipped, plug & play

  4. #4
    Jkpgt96's Avatar
    Jkpgt96 is offline One of those JZ swappers BMW CCA Member
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    2jz..gotta start somewhere.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    1995 M3 - Forged 9.8:1 2JZ, S366, MS3x, E85, LQ9s, 420g/PMC Motorsport kit, 4 clutch 3.15 LSD Large Case 757whp/710wtq
    2011 X5 Xdrive35d- Blk on Cinnamon, Towing Pkg, Heat Pkg., etc..the tow rig/DD!

  5. #5
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    I'm in for this!
    98 Estoril ///M3 4/5
    S54 swap

  6. #6
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    Great to officially kick this off! LMK if there's anything at all I can help you test etc...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by M52 POWER! View Post
    Great to officially kick this off! LMK if there's anything at all I can help you test etc...
    Would be nice if someone with an E36 and oscilloscope could capture the ASC pulsed speed output, it may work fine with the E46 cluster. I'd try but my ASC has been replaced with E46 MK60 DSC.
    S54 swap DME flashing - $100
    S54 swap CAN interface board (for proper A/C & check engine light) - $275
    e36 SAP sim/secondary air pump simulator:
    $75 - standard or $170 - plug & play
    e36 post-cat O2 sims: $115 shipped, plug & play

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpeterson View Post
    Would be nice if someone with an E36 and oscilloscope could capture the ASC pulsed speed output, it may work fine with the E46 cluster. I'd try but my ASC has been replaced with E46 MK60 DSC.
    I just so happen to have an oscilloscope I use at work and stock ASC. If you can give me pinout locations I can get that for you!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by M52 POWER! View Post
    I just so happen to have an oscilloscope I use at work and stock ASC. If you can give me pinout locations I can get that for you!
    Awesome! Would be nice to get timing and amplitude and two speeds, maybe 20 & 50mph?

    This diagram says ASC connector pin 15 at ASC or the DME is the one - http://wedophones.com/Manuals/BMW/19...g%20Manual.pdf.

    Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 10.23.12 AM.png
    S54 swap DME flashing - $100
    S54 swap CAN interface board (for proper A/C & check engine light) - $275
    e36 SAP sim/secondary air pump simulator:
    $75 - standard or $170 - plug & play
    e36 post-cat O2 sims: $115 shipped, plug & play

  10. #10
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  11. #11
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    Quick test - pulling the speedo input down with a 50% 200hz square wave produces about 20mph:



    1khz was about 100mph.

    I'd consider the speedo issue solved by one of these methods:

    1 - E36 ASC output may be fine, would just require running a single wire, will know once someone hooks a scope to their E36 ASC. Even if the factor is different that may be fixable with a cluster re-code.

    2 - I'll make the hardware capable of converting the diff hall sensor output to the cluster input.
    S54 swap DME flashing - $100
    S54 swap CAN interface board (for proper A/C & check engine light) - $275
    e36 SAP sim/secondary air pump simulator:
    $75 - standard or $170 - plug & play
    e36 post-cat O2 sims: $115 shipped, plug & play

  12. #12
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    I just figured out the cluster dimming as well, it uses the k-bus on 2003 and newer clusters.
    S54 swap DME flashing - $100
    S54 swap CAN interface board (for proper A/C & check engine light) - $275
    e36 SAP sim/secondary air pump simulator:
    $75 - standard or $170 - plug & play
    e36 post-cat O2 sims: $115 shipped, plug & play

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpeterson View Post
    Awesome! Would be nice to get timing and amplitude and two speeds, maybe 20 & 50mph?

    This diagram says ASC connector pin 15 at ASC or the DME is the one - http://wedophones.com/Manuals/BMW/19...g%20Manual.pdf.

    Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 10.23.12 AM.png
    Got it, I should be able to get this done by end of week.

  14. #14
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    I am very interested in seeing this work. I like the Z3M cluster, but would love the warmup lights and the oil temp gauge. Also the M Track mode icon on the DSC lamp since I've coded that in.

    Mileage correction-- PM cyberkaa. He is a wizard at that and can do E46 cluster as well as E36 and Z3M S54. He's also local, which is a plus.

    What may be a big ask is converting (without cut/splice) E36 3 connectors to E46 2 connectors. Plug and play would be great!
    Last edited by Bimmerman535i; 02-23-2017 at 06:28 PM.
    "Fear disturbs your concentration" -Sabine Schmit

    1995 BMW M3/2/5-- S54 + Mk60 DSC, California Smog Legal (Build Thread)
    1998 BMW M3/4/5 Alpine/Modena, Z3 Rack, otherwise stock-- DD without burbles
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bimmerman535i View Post
    What may be a big ask is converting (without cut/splice) E36 3 connectors to E46 2 connectors. Plug and play would be great!
    Plug & play for cluster connectors is part of my plan. There will be other wires to run/connect if you want A/C and check control on the cluster.
    S54 swap DME flashing - $100
    S54 swap CAN interface board (for proper A/C & check engine light) - $275
    e36 SAP sim/secondary air pump simulator:
    $75 - standard or $170 - plug & play
    e36 post-cat O2 sims: $115 shipped, plug & play

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bimmerman535i View Post
    Mileage correction-- PM cyberkaa. He is a wizard at that and can do E46 cluster as well as E36 and Z3M S54.
    Thanks, I should be set, have x-prog on order and M35080 spares on hand just in case.
    S54 swap DME flashing - $100
    S54 swap CAN interface board (for proper A/C & check engine light) - $275
    e36 SAP sim/secondary air pump simulator:
    $75 - standard or $170 - plug & play
    e36 post-cat O2 sims: $115 shipped, plug & play

  17. #17
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    Sooo first inline for this!
    98 Estoril ///M3 4/5
    S54 swap

  18. #18
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    Awesome info. In to see where this goes!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpeterson View Post
    Thanks, I should be set, have x-prog on order and M35080 spares on hand just in case.
    I personally just solder to these points - don't even have to disassemble the cluster fully



    Though if the cluster comes with an M35080 V6, then an X-PROG won't work (R270 does however). My 05 M3 cluster didn't have a V6, but the 04 330i cluster did, so YMMV.

    In my experience the tamper dot doesn't light up as long as there's a VIN stored and an LSZ isn't present (or if an LSZ is present, it matches the stored VIN). Worst case you could probably just send whatever K-bus signal the LSZ sends with the VIN to eliminate the dot.

    You can also adjust the tire scaling factor with NCS Expert if you want to use the E36 ASC output (or even the diff output).
    Last edited by TerraPhantm; 02-27-2017 at 08:14 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
    I personally just solder to these points - don't even have to disassemble the cluster fully

    Though if the cluster comes with an M35080 V6, then an X-PROG won't work (R270 does however). My 05 M3 cluster didn't have a V6, but the 04 330i cluster did, so YMMV.
    Thanks for the info! I was hoping to do things without removing the needles.

    Quote Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
    In my experience the tamper dot doesn't light up as long as there's a VIN stored and an LSZ isn't present (or if an LSZ is present, it matches the stored VIN). Worst case you could probably just send whatever K-bus signal the LSZ sends with the VIN to eliminate the dot.
    Yea, I figured worst case would be query cluster for mileage via diagnostic bus and send the value back when asked for it via k-bus.


    Quote Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
    You can also adjust the tire scaling factor with NCS Expert if you want to use the E36 ASC output (or even the diff output).
    Yes, I was looking at ncsdummy and noticed it can be coded. I haven't hooked a scope to the diff output to see if it could be wired directly but will take a look when I can.

    Getting E36 ASC output would require running another wire as that is something that is not fed to the E36 cluster. No big deal as some A/C and (optional) check control signals will need to be wired up, but my goal is to make the end product plug in as much as possible.


    One other interesting thing - the turn signal messages sent to the E46 cluster are just an off/on and the cluster takes care of the blink rate. It even makes its own clicking noise. I don't have the cluster in my car yet but I imagine it would be annoying to hear both the E36 relay and E46 cluster clicking (and blinking) at different rates. I'm thinking I can somewhat solve via interrupts & software so that each blink of the E36 lights sends the turn signal on at rising edge and turn signal off at falling edge. If there is still an annoying audible difference in the clicks I may just kill the noise in the cluster (brute force or coding? tbd)


    My next step will be the fuel level gauge. The E36 has 2 resistive sensors wired in series and the E46 has 2 resistive sensors with discrete signals to the cluster. Shouldn't be a big deal to hook up some pots to both clusters and figure equivalent voltage levels.
    Last edited by gpeterson; 02-28-2017 at 10:33 AM.
    S54 swap DME flashing - $100
    S54 swap CAN interface board (for proper A/C & check engine light) - $275
    e36 SAP sim/secondary air pump simulator:
    $75 - standard or $170 - plug & play
    e36 post-cat O2 sims: $115 shipped, plug & play

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpeterson View Post
    Yea, I figured worst case would be query cluster for mileage via diagnostic bus and send the value back when asked for it via k-bus.
    Just to be clear, at least on the E46, the tamper dot has nothing to do with mileage despite what everyone says. It's a VIN mismatch that triggers it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
    Just to be clear, at least on the E46, the tamper dot has nothing to do with mileage despite what everyone says. It's a VIN mismatch that triggers it.
    Ok, great. One less thing to deal with.

    Can you tell if a cluster has M35080 V6 without disassembling it?
    S54 swap DME flashing - $100
    S54 swap CAN interface board (for proper A/C & check engine light) - $275
    e36 SAP sim/secondary air pump simulator:
    $75 - standard or $170 - plug & play
    e36 post-cat O2 sims: $115 shipped, plug & play

  23. #23
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    Not definitively, but if you can read the m35080 and not erase it, it's probably a V6.

  24. #24
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    My x-prog still hasn't arrived and I'm impatient, so I backup up the cluster (using pasoft), disassembled it, and replaced the M35080 with a new one. It was easy since the board didn't the coating on it. The most time consuming part was re-aligning the needles during assmembly.

    I was able to restore & write the VIN (using pasoft) and now have a 0 mile cluster with a VIN that matches my DME & MK60 ABS:



    I also re-coded it to remove the seat belt warning beep and go from SMG -> manual. Pasoft won't write the mileage so I'll probably emulate the LSZ message to set it.
    Last edited by gpeterson; 03-01-2017 at 06:38 PM.
    S54 swap DME flashing - $100
    S54 swap CAN interface board (for proper A/C & check engine light) - $275
    e36 SAP sim/secondary air pump simulator:
    $75 - standard or $170 - plug & play
    e36 post-cat O2 sims: $115 shipped, plug & play

  25. #25
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    Setting the mileage (in KM) via LSZ message works.
    S54 swap DME flashing - $100
    S54 swap CAN interface board (for proper A/C & check engine light) - $275
    e36 SAP sim/secondary air pump simulator:
    $75 - standard or $170 - plug & play
    e36 post-cat O2 sims: $115 shipped, plug & play

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