Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series & 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-15-2007, 08:40 PM
KrisL's Avatar
KrisL KrisL is offline
Ubergeek
Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,644
Send a message via AIM to KrisL Send a message via Yahoo to KrisL
Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
Installed Hella TPMS!

As a car nut, I know how important tire pressure is to traction, tire life, and safety. I think it's fantastic that the feds are requiring new cars produced after 2007 to have active tire pressure monitoring systems.

I needed new tires from TireRack anyway, what better time? I had considered the SmarTire system previously, but it uses band-type tire pressure sensors (less reliable, easy to damage when mounting/dismounting a tire) and the full system with display was nearly $400. TireRack began selling the Hella TC-400 TPMS, and G. P. Burdell's post over on Bimmerforums convinced me that I needed it. I recommend you start by reading that thread:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=745478

I had everything shipped to Custom Alignment in Mountain View, my recommended tire installer (love these guys!). Not only did they put the sensors in for free when mounting the new Michelin Pilot Sport PS2s on my car, it cost me less out the door because I didn't need valve stems (valve stems are part of the sensors).

Like G. P., I got power from the phone wiring harness underneath the cupholders. Now, I was previously tapping into both the switched +12v and ground wires for different things (+12v for my LeatherZ gauges and ground for my Video Source Module). I figured that now would be a good time to take off those wire taps and actually get my hands on the pins that go into the wiring harness, making for a much cleaner and safer setup. I already had the "pin holder" (wiring harness plug) because it came with the pairing button used as part of the BMW bluetooth kit. My Dad is an electrical engineer, so he happened to have some pins laying around that fit in the BMW wiring harness.

I bought this 12-screw wiring block from my local Fry's electronics - The first third of it is for constant +12v, then switched +12v, then ground.



It looks ugly here, but once it was all buttoned up with zip ties and electrical tape and stuffed down out of sight... well, you never have to see it again .

Now, for the location of the display. G. P. chose to put it on top of the steering column. I prefer cleaner installs myself, so I chose to mount the display in the glove compartment. G.P. put the radio receiver/controller box under the driver's kick panel. I put mine behind the glove compartment area. E46s have these white boxes back there that look ready to accept some accessories. After cutting the mounting bracket area off of the controller box with my dremel, it clipped into one of these white boxes perfectly. Looks like it came from the factory. Perfect.

I then got out my cordless drill and drilled a small hole in the back of the glove box (and the plastic cover behind it) to run the wires through.

Here's the result:


The display is securely mounted (via the mount it came with, screwed into the glove box), the glove box closes, and my owners manual (and koni shock adjusting knob) still all fit in there no problem. Score.

How accurate is it? Within about 1/2 psi of my Longacre. Good enough for me!


I should mention that it also shows the temperature of the air in the tire.

I love it - definitely worth the $269 for me. I can now check my tire pressure without getting out of the car. It will beep to warn me if the tires drop below a specified % under what I've set as my standard pressures as well.
__________________

Last edited by KrisL; 08-18-2009 at 12:28 PM.
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 06-15-2007, 11:08 PM
crowz's Avatar
crowz crowz is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Alabama
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,919
Mein Auto: '00 323i/97 528i/05 X5
Sweet setup.
I may just go that route myself. How long are the batterys in the tire monitors good for ?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-16-2007, 04:50 AM
jcatral14's Avatar
jcatral14 jcatral14 is offline
Running around in circles
Location: Northern NJ
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,606
Mein Auto: E46 ZHP
That's a great mod Kris. How much do you charge for install? Too bad I'm on the other side of the country
__________________
2005 Imola Red 330i 6MT, ZHP, ZCW, Xenons
2014 Blue Water X3 xDrive28i ZCW, ZLP, LUCZ



Previous Bimmers
2007 Mystic Blue 530i - ED 12-15-06
2003 Grey Green 330i
2003 Electric Red 325iTa

Angular velocity is where it's at

-Jay
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-16-2007, 06:25 AM
jvr826's Avatar
jvr826 jvr826 is offline
Is it Trackday yet?
Location: In the woods. Santa Cruz County, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 8,975
Mein Auto: 05 330ci 6MT
Which pin is the switched +12v. I know, I know, but I did search and I did try to find it a year or so ago, and I came up empty in my 2005. But, there has got to be one. Maybe you can share the love?
__________________
Jeff R.
Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA - Autocross - Come Join Us!


"You drive like old people $#@%... slow and sloppy!" - George Carlin
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-16-2007, 06:32 AM
G. P. Burdell's Avatar
G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
Rambling Wreck
Location: Southeastern U.S.
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,070
Mein Auto: E46
Nicely done, Kris! I've added a link to this thread in my how-to thread on Bimmerforums. After more than a month of driving with this system, I can say that it's a very worthwhile addition to the car.

In case anyone was wondering, the Hella TPMS display should also fit neatly into the ashtray if you want to be able to conceal it when the car is parked.

jvr826, I think the location of the pin for switched power varies by model year. Just take off the outer cover on the phone connector (as shown in my how-to thread) and use your multimeter to find the correct pin.

Last edited by G. P. Burdell; 06-16-2007 at 06:35 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-16-2007, 06:51 AM
G. P. Burdell's Avatar
G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
Rambling Wreck
Location: Southeastern U.S.
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,070
Mein Auto: E46
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
I had considered the SmarTire system previously, but it uses band-type tire pressure sensors (less reliable, easy to damage when mounting/dismounting a tire) and the full system with display was nearly $400.
I should also point out that it looks like SmarTire is concentrating more on OE and commercial applications than on the automotive aftermarket - their Web site for automotive applications states, "SmarTire is no longer actively soliciting sales and distribution opportunities for its passenger vehicles product."

SmarTire's Generation II system has been available for a few years now, and other competitors, including Hella, have brought better systems to market since then.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-16-2007, 08:25 PM
KrisL's Avatar
KrisL KrisL is offline
Ubergeek
Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,644
Send a message via AIM to KrisL Send a message via Yahoo to KrisL
Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
Which pin is the switched +12v. I know, I know, but I did search and I did try to find it a year or so ago, and I came up empty in my 2005. But, there has got to be one. Maybe you can share the love?

On my car, pin 5 was constant 12v, 6 was switched 12v, and there were several ground... 1, 10, 20.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-16-2007, 08:28 PM
KrisL's Avatar
KrisL KrisL is offline
Ubergeek
Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,644
Send a message via AIM to KrisL Send a message via Yahoo to KrisL
Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
I should mention that it was awesome using the TPMS to monitor my tire pressures and temps at the autocross today. I set it to warn me if my tires drop below 10% - that may be a bit aggressive - it was cold down at our autocross site (50 degrees vs about 90 degrees in my garage last night) and that was enough to drop the pressures 10%. The beep is loud enough to be heard from inside my glove compartment though!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-17-2007, 12:35 PM
Narcisse91 Narcisse91 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Rochester, NY
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 354
Mein Auto: A few choices
What happens when you swap wheels (say, winter wheels vs summer wheels). Can you just buy 4 more lugnuts? Or do you have to buy another complete system?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-17-2007, 01:20 PM
KrisL's Avatar
KrisL KrisL is offline
Ubergeek
Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,644
Send a message via AIM to KrisL Send a message via Yahoo to KrisL
Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Narcisse91 View Post
What happens when you swap wheels (say, winter wheels vs summer wheels). Can you just buy 4 more lugnuts? Or do you have to buy another complete system?
4 more lugnuts? Sensors you mean?

Yes, you can buy 4 more sensors. They're $56 ea: http://www.tirerack.com/accessories/...c400_valve.jsp
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-18-2007, 04:05 AM
Narcisse91 Narcisse91 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Rochester, NY
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 354
Mein Auto: A few choices
Yeah, I think I meant to type valve stems, but I did mean the sensors. I was pretty involved watching Le Mans off of my DVR (8 hours to go... I'm going to try to wrap it up tonight). That's what I get for not proofreading.

At $56 each, it almost seems worth it to spend the extra $45 and get an entirely new set, so you have the spare display should you ever break one...

I also just noticed on tireracks website, it says "up to seven tires can be monitored". I wonder what application they were thinking would benefit from monitoring seven tires.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-18-2007, 06:51 AM
KrisL's Avatar
KrisL KrisL is offline
Ubergeek
Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,644
Send a message via AIM to KrisL Send a message via Yahoo to KrisL
Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Narcisse91 View Post
I also just noticed on tireracks website, it says "up to seven tires can be monitored". I wonder what application they were thinking would benefit from monitoring seven tires.

Dualie trucks with a spare tire.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-18-2007, 11:51 AM
Narcisse91 Narcisse91 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Rochester, NY
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 354
Mein Auto: A few choices
Good call. I work for a government contractor that develops military products, so I was picturing a 6-wheeled military vehicle, and thinking there couldn't be too much of a market for those.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-19-2007, 01:45 PM
KrisL's Avatar
KrisL KrisL is offline
Ubergeek
Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,644
Send a message via AIM to KrisL Send a message via Yahoo to KrisL
Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
FYI, TireRack dropped the price of this last night down to $229!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-19-2007, 02:44 PM
jvr826's Avatar
jvr826 jvr826 is offline
Is it Trackday yet?
Location: In the woods. Santa Cruz County, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 8,975
Mein Auto: 05 330ci 6MT
Can I just yank my valve stem out and push this new one in without unmounting the tire? Is this in the Wiki?

I'm really tired today, I must be delirious...

Sounds like a neat feature to have, i would love it on my motorcycle, but it uses tubes.
__________________
Jeff R.
Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA - Autocross - Come Join Us!


"You drive like old people $#@%... slow and sloppy!" - George Carlin
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 06-19-2007, 02:46 PM
KrisL's Avatar
KrisL KrisL is offline
Ubergeek
Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,644
Send a message via AIM to KrisL Send a message via Yahoo to KrisL
Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
Can I just yank my valve stem out and push this new one in without unmounting the tire? Is this in the Wiki?

I'm really tired today, I must be delirious...

Sounds like a neat feature to have, i would love it on my motorcycle, but it uses tubes.
No... tires have to be re-mounted and balanced. Think about it - you're adding a bit of weight to one side of the wheel...

Nice avatar

Tubes? Psh, when you going to ditch that American POS and get a real bike?
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06-19-2007, 04:10 PM
jvr826's Avatar
jvr826 jvr826 is offline
Is it Trackday yet?
Location: In the woods. Santa Cruz County, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 8,975
Mein Auto: 05 330ci 6MT
I was just being obnoxious. I thought about it and decided the laws of physics and engineering shouldn't apply to me, well, because they shouldn't.

I bet the sensor is too big for a bike tire, at least a front tire.

I resemble that remark about the POS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
No... tires have to be re-mounted and balanced. Think about it - you're adding a bit of weight to one side of the wheel...

Nice avatar

Tubes? Psh, when you going to ditch that American POS and get a real bike?
__________________
Jeff R.
Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA - Autocross - Come Join Us!


"You drive like old people $#@%... slow and sloppy!" - George Carlin
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06-19-2007, 04:50 PM
Edison@JleviSW Edison@JleviSW is offline
1.888.JLEVISW
Location: Santa Clara, CA
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,247
Send a message via AIM to Edison@JleviSW
Mein Auto: BMW Duh
Kris,

That's a pretty cool add on. All your techno gadgets are making me want to do some electronic upgrades. Saw your bit in Roundel about the HD DICE and I'm rethinking my iPod setup now
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-08-2007, 02:30 PM
jvr826's Avatar
jvr826 jvr826 is offline
Is it Trackday yet?
Location: In the woods. Santa Cruz County, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 8,975
Mein Auto: 05 330ci 6MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
On my car, pin 5 was constant 12v, 6 was switched 12v, and there were several ground... 1, 10, 20.
Interesting, pins 6, 7. 8 are missing from my car! I have 1-5 and 9 on one side, 10, 13-16 and 18 on the other side. Only pin 5 has +12v and it is constant.
__________________
Jeff R.
Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA - Autocross - Come Join Us!


"You drive like old people $#@%... slow and sloppy!" - George Carlin
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07-08-2007, 02:37 PM
KrisL's Avatar
KrisL KrisL is offline
Ubergeek
Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,644
Send a message via AIM to KrisL Send a message via Yahoo to KrisL
Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
Interesting, pins 6, 7. 8 are missing from my car! I have 1-5 and 9 on one side, 10, 13-16 and 18 on the other side. Only pin 5 has +12v and it is constant.
The switched +12v should be a purple/white wire. Try to identify which pin that goes into..
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 07-09-2007, 10:22 AM
jvr826's Avatar
jvr826 jvr826 is offline
Is it Trackday yet?
Location: In the woods. Santa Cruz County, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 8,975
Mein Auto: 05 330ci 6MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
The switched +12v should be a purple/white wire. Try to identify which pin that goes into..
I tested each pin individually using my volt meter. Key off and key on. Only pin 5 had +12v. I thought, maybe there's another connector in here, so since I had the console out completely, I dug deep and came up empty.

On the original topic, a friend of mine with monster 19" SSR GT3 wheels on his M3 could not install the Hella TPMS system. The valve stems are right angle stems that are not replaceable by the Hella stems.
__________________
Jeff R.
Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA - Autocross - Come Join Us!


"You drive like old people $#@%... slow and sloppy!" - George Carlin
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 07-17-2007, 04:12 PM
The Barvarian The Barvarian is offline
Registered User
Location: San Jose
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 108
Mein Auto: 2003 325iT
Talking Ashtray mount of tc400

Were you able to mount the unit in your ashtray? How about a pic if you did?



Quote:
Originally Posted by G. P. Burdell View Post
Nicely done, Kris! I've added a link to this thread in my how-to thread on Bimmerforums. After more than a month of driving with this system, I can say that it's a very worthwhile addition to the car.

In case anyone was wondering, the Hella TPMS display should also fit neatly into the ashtray if you want to be able to conceal it when the car is parked.

jvr826, I think the location of the pin for switched power varies by model year. Just take off the outer cover on the phone connector (as shown in my how-to thread) and use your multimeter to find the correct pin.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 07-17-2007, 04:49 PM
KrisL's Avatar
KrisL KrisL is offline
Ubergeek
Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,644
Send a message via AIM to KrisL Send a message via Yahoo to KrisL
Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Barvarian View Post
Were you able to mount the unit in your ashtray? How about a pic if you did?
If you are willing to dremel out the ashtray "box" (I could assist you).. I'm sure we could get it in there. I'd have to have it in front of me to see what exactly would be necessary (I don't have an ashtray, gauges are there... so yeah).
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 07-17-2007, 07:01 PM
The Barvarian The Barvarian is offline
Registered User
Location: San Jose
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 108
Mein Auto: 2003 325iT
Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
If you are willing to dremel out the ashtray "box" (I could assist you).. I'm sure we could get it in there. I'd have to have it in front of me to see what exactly would be necessary (I don't have an ashtray, gauges are there... so yeah).
I am game if you are
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 07-18-2007, 02:52 PM
G. P. Burdell's Avatar
G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
Rambling Wreck
Location: Southeastern U.S.
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,070
Mein Auto: E46
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Barvarian View Post
Were you able to mount the unit in your ashtray? How about a pic if you did?
I mounted my display on the steering column cover.
Reply With Quote
Reply

See More Related BMW Stories


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series & 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2015 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms