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Old 06-01-2011, 10:32 AM
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Default BMW e46 Auto to Manual Transmission Swap

Hello - I first want to say what a great find this site has been. I have worked on BMW's all my adult life - E21, E30, E36. I can do just about any mechanical swap out there. I put a 325i engine into a 325e chassis many years ago - ran a euro fuel injection system. Put an M3 S50 engine into an E36 chassis - simply swap in an aftermarket chip and you are ready to go.

Now with my E46, I find myself hindered by what I can do because I do not understand the how to work with the electronics on these cars.

My first project on the E46 was to add city lights, vertical aim control and a rear fog - a simple enough idea. The European models have these option. so I purchased a similar year lighting switch (now know as an LCM) from a supplier in Europe. But, as you folks now and I didn't, the LCM has to be coded to my car. I found someone on another site E46 fanatics and bimmerforums to re-code the switch.


As the title of this post indicates, I would now like to do a transmission swap - the part of the swap that scares the @#$%^ out of me is the electronics - not the wiring - I can follow a schematic, solder, and make connections. But the coding of the various modules has me scratching my head.

I am trying to understand the following:
1. Which software I should download if I only want to do coding (don't want to do any programming)?
2. Where can I buy the correct interface cables?
3. Now don't laugh with this one. Where do I plug into the car - in the round access port under the hood, in the OBD II port? Or directly into the module. For example - I sent my LCM to someone to code - how did he code it? Did he connect directly to the module? How?
4. How would I know which modules to code for a transmission swap? Which modules share information? For example - I understand from reading lots of threads on other sites that the DSC needs to be recoded - how would I know that?
5. Finally, in general, I want to be come less dependent on others to do basic coding tasks on my car so I can continue with my hobby.

Long post - thanks for reading.

Mike in Cary, NC

Last edited by mikerob97; 06-01-2011 at 10:35 AM.


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Old 07-14-2011, 10:55 PM
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Hi Mike, looks like you are on your own..... wish I could help, but like you I'm mechanically biased, but keen to learn more. keep up the good work
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:09 AM
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Hi mike. I've never attempted anything like this, but if I were to try and tackle the coding part of of it, this is what I'd do.

Firstly you don't want to swap out any modules unless essential, this will make your life easier!

Some basics. Your car will have something called a ZCS (central coding key) which is broken down into 3 parts. The ZCS contains all the information about the car, including model, transmission type, fuel type, option codes etc. So the first thing I'd be looking to do is modify your current ZCS to make the car think it was born a manual. To do this you need a program called NCSexpert. It's available to download if you google, and a compatible OBD II lead. On and E46 you can use a modified VW lead with good results. Loads for sale on eBay and the like.

Once you have your leas and NCS up and running, you'll need to read the current ZCS, which will be stored (in duplicate) in two modules. I'm an e39/e87 man so don't know which modules store it on an E46, I'll find out.

Your ZCS will be a set of 3 hexadecimal numbers with a check digit at the end of each line, so ignore the last digit!

It will take format of

C1
C2
C3

With a selection of numbers and letters after each one.

Once you've read that out, post it here and I'll modify it to suit the manual conversion. It's easier than trying to explain how to modify it yourself!

Then you need to code the modified ZCS to the two modules that hold it, then code the car to update all the other modules.

Next you will need to wire in the clutch switch to the DME (engine ECU) then recode the DME (after disconnecting the tranny ECU) with manual software. To do this, you'll need software called DIS (diagnostic information system).

Once your DME is flashed, I'd suspect you'd need to recode the abs/dsc ECU and instrument cluster also.

That's what I'd be looking to do if it were me mate. I'll do some more digging and post back.
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  #4  
Old 08-08-2011, 01:54 PM
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hello everyone,

well as some of you know i am an autologic owner which it will make a few things difficult to explain/understand.
well with this tool you have a dealer level diagnosis.that means that if i where you i would just blug the tool on the car (if is only obd then its going to be connected to obd if it has round plug with obd i would go to the one which is best for the current need)(no need to plug on ecu any kind of tool or something similar cause first of all that would be illegal and second there is no need to duplicate an ecu and create more troubles)
and just code the gearbox ecu. tadaaa,all done (ofcourse you would need to do a few tests that you are going to be asked to do BY THE TOOL to prevent any kind of trouble and of course the quick test for faults and the quick clear...) if in any case you need help with this tool or any kind of bmw (that include the all new F series and new minis) you have your dealer to help you out or you can call directly to the company in the uk and the fellas in bmw area will be glad to help you out...cool ha?? ill try and find some general info that i have about codings and programmings as well as retrofits and post it for you mike and also ill try to post a smaller post next time...:p:D

good luck,

the metalhead
always trying to improve

Last edited by 4evermetalhead; 08-08-2011 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:52 PM
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Smile Here you are

Here you are some info i prepared for you my friend to educate your self.

wish you the best of luck,

4evermetalhead.
Always trying to improve.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf BMW CODING.pdf (87.6 KB, 190 views)
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:26 PM
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Thanks guys for replying to this post. I have collected all the mechanical parts and plan to start in the spring 2012. The next step of my trans swap is to understand and install a working copy of coding software on my laptop and a cable to communicate with the modules. I want to be sure I understand how to work the software BEFORE I swap the manual trans so my car is down for minimal time. I started reading more on the install of the software - oh my! I will really need to do some reading. Not ever sure where to start to get my arms around which software I need. I do believe I only need to code - not program. So I will target only software that will diagnose and code.

Thanks again for your support and I will get back to you with updates.

Mike
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:04 AM
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Default E46 Auto to Manual & 2.3 to 2.8 swap

Hello,
My swap is just about complete and I am down to the electronics. I have a 6/00 323i that I have changed to a 5 speed MT and I have also swapped the 2.3 out for a 2.8. I have a genuine GT1 with v39 software but I am in the dark on how to utilize it for this purpose. Is there anyone out there that is familiar utilizing the GT1 in this application?
Thanks in advance!!
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