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DIY - E36 window switch retrofit

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    Guys, I need help. I am trying to wire a white base switch to my sunroof and am not having much luck.



    this is my switch. White base. the way i read this pin layout is:

    e36 white base switch:
    1 2 3
    4 5 6

    1 = black
    2 = empty
    3 = brown
    4 = green
    5 = red
    6 = empty

    the e30's sunroof wiring has

    Brown
    Brown
    Black
    Green
    Green/Blue stripe

    So far the closest I’ve been to getting this to work:

    e30 to e36

    brown + brown to brown (pin 3)
    black to black (pin 1)
    green to green (pin 4)
    green/blue stripe to red (pin 5)

    With this setup, the fuse didn't blow but I could only move the sunroof forward. I pressed the switch forward and backwards (up and down) but either way I pushed the button the sunroof went forward


    2 other attempts that resulted in a blown #17 fuse

    #1
    e30 to e36

    brown + brown to brown (pin 3)
    black to black (pin 1)
    green to red (pin 5)
    green/blue stripe to green (pin 4)

    #2
    e30 to e36

    brown + brown to brown (pin 3)
    green/blue stripe to black (pin 1)
    black to green (pin 4)
    green to red (pin 5)


    I tried to piece together this whole thread to work for my specific scenario, but there isn't much sunroof info on here. One other bit of info, when the e36 switch arrived, the green pin 4 was split into two wires about 3 inches down the wire away from the switch. Unless green is the ground on this switch (which seems crazy to me) I don't know what the split was for so I cut it off..

    Currently, I've run out of fuses and my sunroof is open... and it may rain tomorrow. So any help would be appreciated.

    PS: I installed 2 blue base switches as window switches following the info on http://www.strictlyeta.net/technical/e36switches.html and had 0 problems. Everything worked first try.
    98 M3/4/5

    Comment


      http://www.e30tech.com/forum/attachm...8&d=1281736771

      I used this. It helped out great.
      1989 325i - 2.7i, Holset H1C, 42lb injectors, 14.7 psi, whodwho MS-PNP.
      2009 X5 - DD Duty
      2018 VW Atlas - Wife/kiddie/grocery hauler

      Comment


        Unfortunately that doesn't help me. The e30 wiring colors don't match my situation
        98 M3/4/5

        Comment


          Oh shit. I just realized it was for a sunroof switch, not window switches. My apologies.
          1989 325i - 2.7i, Holset H1C, 42lb injectors, 14.7 psi, whodwho MS-PNP.
          2009 X5 - DD Duty
          2018 VW Atlas - Wife/kiddie/grocery hauler

          Comment


            Ok I figured it out. In case anyone else runs into this. I was real close last night, but i had 2 wires mixed up.



            this is my switch. White base. the way i read this pin layout is:

            e36 white base switch:
            1 2 3
            4 5 6

            1 = black
            2 = empty
            3 = brown
            4 = green
            5 = red
            6 = empty

            the e30's sunroof wiring has

            Brown
            Brown
            Black
            Green
            Green/Blue stripe


            sunroof
            e30 to e36

            brown + brown to brown (pin 3)
            black to green (pin 4)
            green to black (pin 1)
            green/blue stripe to red (pin 5)
            98 M3/4/5

            Comment


              INSTRUCTIONS ARE FOR THE WHITE BASE SWITCH SHOWN BELOW.
              OTHER WHITE BASE SWITCH WIRING CAN BE DERIVED FROM THE ONE IN THE PICTURE.
              (THERE ARE TOTAL 3 DIFFERENT TYPES OF WHITE BASE SWITCHES, ALL WORK, THEY JUST HAVE DIFFERENT COLOR WIRES)



              Last edited by Blackout; 02-20-2013, 05:58 PM.
              » PARTS FOR SALE
              » TRANSACTION FEEDBACK

              Comment


                28 Pages is too much to read through, so can anyone confirm that blue base switches do not light up? i installed them today and neither of the 2 light up.

                318is, m50tu g240 s3.46

                Comment


                  Originally posted by pmat View Post
                  28 Pages is too much to read through, so can anyone confirm that blue base switches do not light up? i installed them today and neither of the 2 light up.
                  That is because the bulbs are blown. They are supposed to light up.
                  » PARTS FOR SALE
                  » TRANSACTION FEEDBACK

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by Blackout View Post
                    That is because the bulbs are blown. They are supposed to light up.
                    You were right. I tore them apart today and found blown bulbs, and have already soldered in new ones.

                    318is, m50tu g240 s3.46

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by Hugo Stiglitz View Post
                      Retrofitting E36 window switches into your E30 - By Josh Anderson and Andrew Bird.

                      Since this is becoming a very popular mod, I decided I would chonicle the retrofitting of E36 window switches into my E30. This modification requires a decent knowledge of basic wiring, soldering, and using a test light. If you are not comfortable doing these things, find a friend that is and knows wiring, or turn back now. I accept NO RESPONSIBILITY if you do any damage to your car. Wiring is no simple matter, and it's very easy to cause permanent damage to your car. Also, keep in mind during this procedure that I am using a different color base switches than is normally used. If you find a set with a BLUE base, then great! You can follow this write-up word for word. If not, there are only minor differences.

                      Ok, now that all that pseudo-legal crap is out of the way, here's what you'll need

                      Parts and tools needed:

                      - 2 WHITE or BLUE base E36 window switches
                      - 2 flat E36 window switch bezels
                      - Test light (for identifying which wires do what)
                      - Dremel or a few different size files (to slightly enlarge the E30 window switch holes)
                      - Soldering Iron & solder
                      - Third-hand tool or a friend (for holding the wires together while you solder)
                      - Wire cutters and a wire stripper
                      - Heat shrink tubing
                      - Lighter


                      Ideally, you want the E36 switches with the WHITE base. Mine have a BLUE base, but are essentially the same, the only difference being that they came from the backseat of a 4-door E36. Now there are 2 different WHITE base switches. You are going to want the ones that have the LARGE base, not the smaller base (for one-touch switches), shown in this picture. The one-touch switches have completely different wiring, and will not work. Switches with the GREEN base are also for one-touch windows, and I do not know if these will work, so it's best to stick with the WHITE or BLUE.



                      Alright, now that THAT'S out of the way, let's get to the nuts and bolts of this swap.

                      These are the switches I will be using, along with the new flat bezels I ordered:



                      You are going to want to use the flat bezels, meant for use in the E36 for the rear seats and the sunroof switch. The reason for this is because the shift console of the E36 is slightly rounded, as are the bezels for the front window switches. These will not sit flat on the E30 shift console, so if you're OCD about this kind of thing like me, order 2 of the flat bezels.

                      Shown here are the differences of the switch bezels. #5 in the image is the bezel for the E36 shift console, #4 is the flat bezel that you will want.



                      The part number is: 61 - 31 - 1 - 387 - 996

                      They will run about $2.25 each from the dealer, however KenCopperwheat said that he got them from BMA for about $1.80 each.

                      PREPARATION : : . .

                      Start by removing your shift boot, and setting it aside. This will give you lots of room to work with the wiring. If you want, remove the entire shift console, and give yourself plenty of room, and you also won't have to worry about messing up your console. We left it in.

                      Pop the E30 window switches out, and disconnect them from their harnesses. Snip the wires just below the stock E30 harnesses, and throw the harnesses away. Strip the covering off of each of the wires at the end about 1/4 - 1/2 an inch, do the same with the wires of the E36 switches. The E30 switches will still be perfectly useable, save them in case someone wants to buy them.

                      MODIFYING THE CONSOLE : : . .

                      As you've no doubt noticed, the E36 switch bezels are larger than the E30 ones, and don't fit in the holes. There's not really anything more to this step then cutting / filing the holes large enough to get the bezels to fit.

                      I would reccomend using files over a Dremel, since the amount of material that needs to be removed is not an overly large amount, and a Dremel may be too much, but it's up to you.



                      From this point on, it's just a back and forth process of filing material off of the console, and test fitting the bezels. Be careful at this step, because you want to make sure that you don't enlarge the holes too much, you want the switches to fit nice and snug, so they don't come out.

                      Once you've gotten the opening large enough, snap the switches into the bezels, and insert the switches into the holes, feeding the wiring through first, and then snapping the whole assembly into place. You want to make sure that the bezels fit in very snug, so they don't come out.



                      WIRING THE SWITCHES : : . .

                      If you don't know a lot about wiring, I've included 3 short documents on testin the wiring and wiring diagrams, written by NitroRusterDriver (Andrew).

                      Write-up on testing switch wiring: http://www.scchosting.com/eurospeed/...20Switches.doc
                      Wiring diagram of the stock E30 switch wiring: http://www.scchosting.com/eurospeed/...%20Diagram.doc
                      Wiring diagram of the BLUE base switch wiring: http://www.scchosting.com/eurospeed/...%20Diagram.doc

                      After you've determined which wires are for what in the car and on the E36 switches, test them in the car. Twist the exposed ends of the E36 swtich wires and the stock E30 wires together, be sure that none of them are touching other wires, and turn on your key. Test to make sure that the windows go up and down, and that everything functions normally. If all has gone right, and your windows operate, now it's time to solder them.





                      Get your heat shrink tubing, and cut 10 lengths about 1-2 inches long. Slide one peice on each of the stock E30 wires, and leave them for when you are done soldering.

                      Before soldering the wires together, you'll want to tin the end of each wire, which is essentially just getting a small amount of solder on the end of each wire. After you've tinned all the wires, get your third hand tool or friend, and begin matching up which wires go together. It's good at this point to have your notes ready and with you, so you know which wires go together. Use only enough solder to effectively bond the wiring together, you don't want to use too much, since you still have to slide the heat shrink tubing over the exposed ends.



                      Once you've completed one switch, turn the key on again and double check that the windows still go up and down. Solder the other switch wires together, and do the same for the other side. Now, get your lighter, and slide the peices of heat shrink tubing over the soldered connections of the switch wiring. GENTLY heat the tubing so that it shrinks down nice and tight. The wiring is done.



                      Go through your car, and pick up all the little bits of wiring, and vacuum all the dust from modifying your console. Reinstall your shift boot, straighen everything up, and you're done.



                      The images and information contained in this procedure are the property of Josh Anderson and Andrew Bird. Duplication or unauthorized use of the information or images are striclty prohibited.
                      wow if my husband only had this.

                      Comment


                        Put in e36 window switches last month, but the illumination light didn't work (blue bases). I read that a ton of other ppl had a similar issue w the blue bases not working after wiring things up, so instead of paying $120/switch for an OEM one from ECS, I took a stab at the cheap amazon ones for $4.50/each. Out of the box they appear and click like the oem ones, but had a hard time getting them to fit into the base. I snapped off the tabs on the upper corners and it fit right in. They worked! Only one more issue was that one switch illuminated brighter than the other (but both illuminate), so I'm going to see if they can send me a replacement switch. They switches do stay lit even w the headlights though which don't bother me....



                        Last edited by audiquattrot; 11-19-2014, 07:04 PM.
                        www.instagram.com/snwmble
                        #snwmble

                        Current:
                        '05 BMW M3 - Silver Grey/Imola Red
                        '90 BMW 325iX - Sterling Silver/Houndstooth sport(5-speed converted)
                        '15 Mini Countryman - Blazing Red/Carbon Black

                        Past:
                        '01 Audi Allroad - Light Silver/Platinum Saber Black
                        '88 BMW 325iX - Diamond Schwarz/Silver sport *Sold*
                        '01.5 1.8TQ - Brilliant Black/Nogaro Alcantara ...after 8.5yrs, *Sold* =(
                        '90 BMW 325i - Schwarz/Tan sport *Sold*
                        '89 BMW 325ix - Diamond Schwarz/Black sport *Sold*

                        Comment


                          Funny, got both switches wired up and lighted up, but I struggled to separate the switches from their bases. Rather over-engineered.

                          Comment


                            Hey guys, I'd like to do this mod, but can someone tell me where to get the pigtails for the E36 window switches (i.e., the 5-pin connector with wires)?

                            Comment


                              Okay, I'm feeling nice today...

                              JUNK YARD

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by TrentW View Post
                                Okay, I'm feeling nice today...

                                JUNK YARD
                                Not sold new then? I can purchase new pigtails for my similar (and older) vintage Mercedes all day long.

                                Comment

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