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P_Roloff

Another daily driver thread: E34 525i

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5 hours ago, P_Roloff said:

Note to self to buy Bosch or Mann filter from FCP euro next time instead being stuck with the Oreilly’s Wix filter. 

Farm & Fleet May have the Bosch filter locally, no lifetime warranty though.

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11 hours ago, B C said:

I have a couple of the vanos tools that I dont need anymore in case you or anyone needs them, just not the cam timing blocks. It’s a fun little project

I’ll keep that in mind, sourcing the timing blocks is the biggest thing stopping me right now. Would you say it’s doable in a weekend?

I guess there’s no real reason to not use the Wix, but I’d personally prefer to use an OEM supplier like Bosch or Mann given the choice. Just a personal preference thing. 

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6 hours ago, KaiserRolls said:

what issue are you having sourcing the blocks? 

That was poorly worded. I don’t own a set and am balking at paying the $100 for them to use once. I’ll do it if I have to, but I’d rather borrow a set. 
 

 

6 hours ago, m42b32 said:

I have a set of timing tools if you want to borrow them at some point. 

I’ll have to take you up on that, thank you!

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Made good progress yesterday on the headlights. Finally got around to replacing the broken adjuster cup things (the little plastic sockets that the end of the metal adjuster rods sit in) so that the headlight adjustment could be corrected. Previously, the low beams did a great job of lighting the ditch and the first 30-40 feet in front of the car. 
Took a bit longer than expected, mostly because I decided to pull the full headlight units out and lubricate the adjusters on the bench, they were crustier than I expected. I’ve told myself this before, but next time I’ll buy new adjusters and save myself the frustration. 
Bumper is also off the car to get the holes fiberglassed and filled. I’m going to repaint the trim while it’s off, the PO sprayed all the trim gloss black and about half of it has lifted off, it looks pretty crappy. Grilles will either get plastic restorer or just painted with SEM trim paint to get rid of the faded out look they have now, haven’t decided which one I’ll do. Finally, the kidneys and headlight trim rings are gonna be polished before going back on. Should look really nice when it’s done!

I’m pretty excited about the next project on this car, I’ll update here hopefully within a week on it. 

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52 minutes ago, straight6pwr said:

 

🍿

Don’t get too excited haha, it’s not crazy by any means but it’s something that will make longer drives much more enjoyable, and doesn’t seem to have a ton of documentation. I’ll post a lot of pictures when I do it to try to change that. 

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49 minutes ago, P_Roloff said:

Don’t get too excited haha, it’s not crazy by any means but it’s something that will make longer drives much more enjoyable, and doesn’t seem to have a ton of documentation. I’ll post a lot of pictures when I do it to try to change that. 


Carputer install so you can play Google Street View Challenge while on the road

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1 hour ago, P_Roloff said:

Don’t get too excited haha, it’s not crazy by any means but it’s something that will make longer drives much more enjoyable, and doesn’t seem to have a ton of documentation. I’ll post a lot of pictures when I do it to try to change that. 

retrofitting adaptive cruise control to an e30 system? oh wait that would be crazy

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Project 80-90% completed. Was pretty much successful in everything I was worried about, just some tidying up to do. Will update tomorrow with an actual writeup and pictures, I have a 8am virtual lab tomorrow morning so not gonna do it tonight. 

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Alright, so let's begin.

In the pursuit of a solution to playing music from my phone in the e34 without replacing the head unit, I did a fair amount of web trowling last summer. I first identified that the head unit in my car is a Alpine CM5903L, and decided to do the common tape deck modification that directly solders connections from a 3.5mm audio cable to the pins on the tape board. This method requires the insertion of a "blank" tape into the radio to trigger it, and is well covered on other forums so I won't bore you with it more here. For reference, here's what a CM5903L looks like:

cm5903L image.jpg

I experienced a few issues with this solution, from relatively poor audio quality, static, random pops and hisses, to most annoyingly the tape deck cycling back and forth between tapes 1 & 2. Some days it would be fine and never do it, others it would constantly flip every 5 seconds no matter how many times I ejected and replaced the tape, jiggled the tape, changed the phone and radio volume, etc. I dealt with it through the rest of the summer and since the car stays behind when I'm at school, it didn't get used enough in the last few months to get any more attention on this.

But recently seeing that I have a bit more time on my hands and I am now living at home for the foreseeable future, I set out on another research adventure, finally stumbling onto this thread after a lot of research on the viability of using the CD changer inputs to effectively do the same task as the tape deck mod. Link: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?2018366-DIY-for-Aux-Input-(not-using-the-tape-deck)&p=26647541#post26647541

He covered a lot of the basics such as the connector pinout and the general tech stuff in his thread, so I won't go as in depth here. The general idea is that by using a "jumper" wiring harness that goes between the CD changer plug on the back of the radio and the plug coming from the changer itself, it is possible to replace the audio inputs from the CD changer with inputs from a regular old 3.5mm jack. This tricks the radio into thinking the CD changer is playing (something that prevents you from simply wiring the three audio wires up alone with no connection to the changer whatsoever), while the audio signal is replaced with the music of your choice. 

Plug from CD changer that goes into back of radio:

IMG_2988.JPG

Corresponding receptacle in radio:

IMG_2968.JPG

CD changer pin diagram into back of radio: (the Sound-System receptacle was absent on this radio, not sure what it was for or which models got it, if any)

pinout_CD_CM5903L.jpg

Wiring colors used for each pin. Posted mostly for personal reference later.

IMG_3003.JPG

Note that you don't have to connect the audio L & R negative wires to the 3.5mm plug; you can just use the ground. I remember reading somewhere that those two wires and the ground are all common. I did not verify this, so I cannot confirm this. I used the ground pin in the radio for my audio ground with success.

Here's the part that I felt wasn't very well documented: the physical hardware needed to create the jumper harness. In the quoted write-up, the author mentioned that using a 2x5 computer ribbon cable would work but did not specify where to get one or what to do about the male and female connections needed. I was unable to locate any suitable pre-made cables, so I resorted to making one myself. I started by measuring the pin spacing; this measured to 2.5mm from pin to pin, which I took to be the very common 2.54mm pin spacing standard. After yet more research I decided on using "DuPont" style connectors; they're not my first choice but were cheap and effective.

I then purchased a connector set, a ratcheting crimper, and some decent 24GA wire. Links:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0774NMT1S/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07G7R9JQH/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OMM4YUY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Figuring out what I needed took more time than anything else, and hopefully this saves someone else the trouble.

 

Learning how to use the crimper was a bit of a learning curve, but well documented and not too bad to get the hang of. I made a big oopsie and completely forgot to get a picture of the finished harness, but the general idea of the harness and what wires g where is covered in the quoted thread. Here's a pic of the harness in progress:

IMG_3001.JPG

To install, the only other thing that needs to happen is the removal of the CD changer plug from the main connector that goes into the back of the radio for the speaker outputs and such. There's a small blue retainer that slides out like so when pulled on. Remove it, and the CD changer plug comes right out.

IMG_2985.JPG

Double check plug orientation and install the harness. Note that the little metal tab in the plug from the changer goes down and is a good reference for correct orientation.

IMG_3004.JPG

IMG_3006.JPG

I then went out to the garage last night and installed it, and am pleased to report that it worked perfectly!

IMG_3008.JPG

A bit of intermittent static and popping had me worried at first, but after investigating I'm 90% sure it's my phone causing the problem, not the harness (changing source eliminated the issue; I will follow up with this and update to corfirm the root of the issue). Audio quality is on par with what I was getting out of the CD changer with real CD's, so a definite step up from FM radio or the tape deck mod. Still not amazing, but that's a general e34 problem and not something I care to tackle right now. I routed the 3.5mm cable through the empty spot below the ASC button in front of the shifter, and will be finishing the project tonight by drilling and installing a female 3.5mm jack in the blank plate so that the cable to my phone is removable and the harness won't get ripped out if someone yanks on it.

IMG_3010.JPG

Good riddance. Will also promptly update with requisite trashcan toss photo sequence, didn't get to it last night.

IMG_3011.JPG

I do have pictures beyond what I posted here, so if you want anything more or any clarification I'd be happy to provide information. Hopefully this saves someone else the time and frustration of figuring this stuff out! Big shoutout as well to the gentleman that originally posted the writeup (Moron95M3 on bimmerforums), it was a huge help and contained most of the information that I used.

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Rock on! I’m guessing the static issues you had were from your phone as well. I know my 3.5mm is finicky depending on the cable. Also if you wanted to take this further, there are several options for usb powered/3.5mm aux Bluetooth receivers on Amazon from Anker for example. 

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5 hours ago, KaiserRolls said:

Nice write up. Super slick way to keep the stock appearance and have the option to blast insane clown posse on demand. 

Thanks! That’s what I was going for lol

46 minutes ago, YoungCR said:

Rock on! I’m guessing the static issues you had were from your phone as well. I know my 3.5mm is finicky depending on the cable. Also if you wanted to take this further, there are several options for usb powered/3.5mm aux Bluetooth receivers on Amazon from Anker for example. 

Yeah, I was going to experiment with a few different cables to see if it made any difference. My phone is quite old (for a phone) so it could just be that engineered lifespan rearing its head. 
Next on the list is likely Bluetooth integration, I was also considering using a small board and some relays to make a switching input to restore functionality to the CD changer. Having all three, while kinda unnecessary, would be pretty sweet IMO. 

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awesome job! very detective, much sneaky.

i wouldnt recommend putting a 3.5 jack in that plate blank, though. i had one and the side-to-side torque created by the cable causes that blank plate to pop out constantly. i had to super glue mine in place. however, you have to remove that blank to get that plastic console piece out of the car, so it was not a good solution in the end. 

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1 hour ago, straight6pwr said:

awesome job! very detective, much sneaky.

i wouldnt recommend putting a 3.5 jack in that plate blank, though. i had one and the side-to-side torque created by the cable causes that blank plate to pop out constantly. i had to super glue mine in place. however, you have to remove that blank to get that plastic console piece out of the car, so it was not a good solution in the end. 

Too late, just installed it.

completed (2).jpg

I'm not too concerned, I have the exact same setup in the e30 for the auxiliary input and it works fine. In reality the cord doesn't get reoved enough to make it an issue, and I've never had issues with the plate popping out in normal use. I certainly wouldn't be opposed to a different solution, though. Perhaps something with the OEM auxiliary input/usb charger for the newer cars? Not sure if it would fit, but would be cool to make work.

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2 hours ago, P_Roloff said:

Too late, just installed it.

 

I'm not too concerned, I have the exact same setup in the e30 for the auxiliary input and it works fine. In reality the cord doesn't get reoved enough to make it an issue, and I've never had issues with the plate popping out in normal use. I certainly wouldn't be opposed to a different solution, though. Perhaps something with the OEM auxiliary input/usb charger for the newer cars? Not sure if it would fit, but would be cool to make work.

e30 blank does not equal e34 blank. the e30 one has tabs on 4 sides, the e34 has tabs only on top and bottom. I hope it works for you! 

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10 minutes ago, straight6pwr said:

e30 blank does not equal e34 blank. the e30 one has tabs on 4 sides, the e34 has tabs only on top and bottom. I hope it works for you! 

You’re right, now that I think about it. Oh well, if it causes issues I’ll come up with something else I suppose. 

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