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  #1  
Old 06-20-2005, 11:50 PM
CC 330i CC 330i is offline
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E90 Alarm install

I went forward with my E90 alarm install and took some pics along the way. I would say that it is an easy install, as long as you have some mechanical confidence and experience. The hardest part is removing the left rear wheel to install the siren. Since our cars do not come with a jack, you have to use your own (or buy the BMW jack), and there are special lift points that require a tool to fit without damaging the lift point. If you have any doubts about your ability to safely lift your car with a jack, do not attempt this install.

The kit from BMW lists for $300 but I got mine for about $229 from Circle BMW. They supplied the kit and printed out the offical BMW PDF instructions, which dealers have access to. Typically the kit does not include printed instructions since they prefer the dealer to do the installation! The kit is pretty minimal, and kind of a crime that it costs so much and it not included with every car. It consists of an ultrasonic module for detecting sound and movement in the car, a hood switch, and a siren that goes up under the left rear wheel well.

To get started, first disconnect the negative battery terminal. As you know the battery is in the trunk. The nut on top of the negative (black) terminal is 10mm. I put the terminal on a rag so that it would not drop back on to the battery or touch the positive terminal.

Next, you must pop open the rear dome light fixture. Make sure you do the REAR one (aft of the sunroof). This was not specified in the instructions, and I spent about 1 hour figuring out that this was not the right one! I used a plastic spatula as a pry tool so as not to damage the headliner or plastic. When you do this MAKE SURE your hands are very clean, as you will stain your headliner if they are not. (really, I am serious about this) The spot to pry is immediately behind each reading light, at the back edge of the fixture. There is a release tab immediately behind each circular light, and you have to get the pry tool in just the right place. I did one side, and then held it with my hand and did the other side. You should not have to use tremendous force if you get the tab in the right place. Don't worry if the frosted clear light surround pops off when you do this, it easily snaps back in place later:


Once the tabs are released, I found it easiest to remove the wiring harnesses to completely free the fixture from the car. This is not necessary but it makes it easier. Then you simply put the ultrasonic module in place (it snaps in) and reinstall the fixture into the car, taking care to connect the original wiring harness for the lights, and the previously unused one that snapped in to it awaiting the module:


After reinstalling the dome light fixture, open the hood and locate the hood switch wiring along the drivers side edge of the engine compartment. It is taped to another batch of wires neatly. You will see a plug with 3 blue dots on the end, which is a plug for the harness that will plug into the hood switch.

CAREFULLY cut or unwrap the felt tape that holds the wires to the other harness, and pull them up toward the windwshield. You need to remove the cover for the brake resevoir, and it is also easier if you remove the short weatherstripping piece and plastic bracket that are shown in the pictures below:


These pieces easily pop right off, but use care when doing the brake resevoir cover, it has a clip at the front and back that you should release when removing.

Once these pieces are removed, straighten out the hood switch wiring, and you will notice 2 plastic clips that are used to mount the wiring to 2 plastic tabs in a channel near the hood swich mounting location. Simply push them down onto the tabs to mount them.


It's time to mount the hood switch bracket. There is only one correct orientation. The notch in the bracket goes toward the middle and aft. Secure this with the provided screw:


Now mount the hood switch itself into the bracket and connect the harness to the switch. You must remove the "plug" that is in the connector.

For the last step, you must jack up the vehicle and remove the left rear wheel. This is the "scariest" part of the install. If you have any doubts about doing this safely, do not perform this install. Apparently there is a special tool that fits into the plastic jacking points that look like upside down boxes. I just used a block of wood that I cut for this purpose the protruded down just far enough to prevent damage. I suggest buying the fitting or tool from BMW, though. Before jacking I loosened the lugs slightly (17mm socket) to make it less scary when removing the wheel when lifted. Immediately after jacking the car up, I put 2 jackstands under 2 different parts of the rear suspension that appeared strong enough to support the weight of the car if the jack failed. Always assume your jack will fail! Since I had the lugs loosened slightly, I was able to easily able to remove the wheel once lifted.

You must now remove the wheel arch cover, which is the felt lining inside the wheel well. This is pretty easy. There are about 10 nuts that must be removed, some 10mm and some 8 mm. Make sure you get them all. Then simply pull the felt liner out and set it aside.


Look up to the top of the wheel well. There is a cavity with some unused wiring, which is neatly tied up with felt tape, and 3 threaded studs. Undo or carefully cut the felt tape to release the connector. Place the supplied bracket over the exposed studs and secure it with the hex nuts. (10mm I believe).



Connect the siren to the siren mount with the supplied nut.

Remove the "plug" from the connector in the wheel well, and plug the connector into the siren. There is a plastic grommet that pushes into the bracket to support the weight of the siren when it is not mounted. Make sure you push this into the bracket before letting the siren "hang".


Next, install the siren mount to the bracket with the supplied screws. Make sure that the wires are not pinched between the wheel well and the siren mount. Securely fasten these screws but do not overtighten. (Sorry, no picture here).

Finally, replace the felt wheel arch cover and the rear wheel. Make sure you get the cover tucked in to all the right places and make sure to replace ALL mounting screws. Torque specs for the rear wheel are between 120 and 140 Nm, which translates to about 90 lb/ft. Make sure to use a torque wrench and check the torque again after a short drive. Do not over or under torque!

If your car has had the proper software updates and programming, the alarm may function immediately after installation. Mine didn't, and I have to go to my dealer and have the software updated to activate the alarm. If you have Nav, you can configure several parameters of the alarm. If you don't have Nav, you have to live with all features active. Consult your dealer for different configurations.

Last I heard, my dealer is not able to activate the alarm yet... LAME. If anyone hears differently, please let me know where and when you had it done. Thanks!

Last edited by CC 330i; 06-21-2005 at 12:00 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-21-2005, 02:54 AM
RachelS RachelS is offline
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Not activate it yet?

I am getting it this friday at the dealer...

I have NAV and Idrive...so I should wait for a while before i get the alarm?

thanks
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  #3  
Old 06-21-2005, 07:03 AM
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ic ic is offline
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Wow! It seems that you can do a lot of things on your bimmer!
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  #4  
Old 06-21-2005, 03:11 PM
E90FANS E90FANS is offline
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Great pictures

Thanks for taking the pictures, I will be doing this as soon as my car is here. Just hope your dealer is not charging you a lot $$ for programming, since they figure they didn't make any $ on the install.
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  #5  
Old 06-21-2005, 03:54 PM
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RichReg RichReg is offline
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Damn it BMW....why did you have to make this install such a hassle???

The E46 was a piece of cake;;now I have to remove the tire & the felt liner.

Give me a break......so now, if I want an alarm & I have to pay for install it practically wipes out any E.D. benefits.

Just great.
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  #6  
Old 06-21-2005, 04:38 PM
CC 330i CC 330i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichReg
Damn it BMW....why did you have to make this install such a hassle???

The E46 was a piece of cake;;now I have to remove the tire & the felt liner.

Give me a break......so now, if I want an alarm & I have to pay for install it practically wipes out any E.D. benefits.

Just great.
The alarm is only about $220, and labor is probably going to be about $100-$150 (don't let them charge you any more for it or I will have to come out and do it!).

I can't see how this would wipe out your $2000-$3000 ED benefit. You have to figure you are getting the trip too.

Also, from what I can tell, the E46 was simpler because you didn't have to remove the rear wheel. You could install the alarm/tilt sensor in the trunk area. Basically, I think it was a space issue, so they made room in the wheel well. It's harder for theives to get at there at least.
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  #7  
Old 06-21-2005, 04:40 PM
CC 330i CC 330i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90FANS
Thanks for taking the pictures, I will be doing this as soon as my car is here. Just hope your dealer is not charging you a lot $$ for programming, since they figure they didn't make any $ on the install.
I will make sure they don't charge me anything. That is, if they can ever figure out how to do a software update.

I could probably take it to another nearby dealer and have it done NOW, but I am sure they will try to charge me for it, so I wait.

I am starting to think that 4 years free maintenance is a farce.
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  #8  
Old 06-22-2005, 07:04 AM
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RichReg RichReg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC 330i
The alarm is only about $220, and labor is probably going to be about $100-$150 (don't let them charge you any more for it or I will have to come out and do it!).

I can't see how this would wipe out your $2000-$3000 ED benefit. You have to figure you are getting the trip too.

Also, from what I can tell, the E46 was simpler because you didn't have to remove the rear wheel. You could install the alarm/tilt sensor in the trunk area. Basically, I think it was a space issue, so they made room in the wheel well. It's harder for theives to get at there at least.

Yeah, you're right......but my problem is a couple of things which have changed
from the E46:

1) The wood trim is no extra charge, but if I want it on the gearshift knob its extra.
2) The clear protective covering DOUBLED in price
3) I can't order the remote transmitter for the garage opener (Home-Link) without ordering an entire rear-view mirror with a compass??? What do I need that for?


All of this stuff adds up. And yes, I am just venting a bit.
Your pics are very helpful, and I'll be damned if I don't find some way (by hook or by crook) to get one of those installed on my own. Also, they shouldn't charge you anything
for the alarm activation, but I'm making sure that when my car arrives they program nothing into the keys until I'm ready. This way they'll have no excuse to charge me.

Thanks.

Last edited by RichReg; 06-22-2005 at 07:06 AM.
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  #9  
Old 06-22-2005, 10:17 AM
CC 330i CC 330i is offline
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It's really quite easy to do the install, and since you live in NJ, you should be able to easily get the kit for the alarm from Circle BMW.

Really, the hardest part of the install is jacking up the car, which is simple, but just be sure you do it safely. If you have a buddy that has a floor jack and some basic experience (or have some yourself) I am fully confident you can do the installation yourself. I'm not a professional mechanic or anything, but I have been known to wrench on my cars when I can.
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  #10  
Old 06-22-2005, 10:45 AM
kalemkea kalemkea is offline
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Pictures

Does anyone else have trouble seeing the pictures? I've tried multiple computers with no luck. Pls let me know
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  #11  
Old 06-22-2005, 10:51 AM
CC 330i CC 330i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalemkea
Does anyone else have trouble seeing the pictures? I've tried multiple computers with no luck. Pls let me know
Try this forum. I have the install thread over there too, and it may work better for you. There are more pics in this thread.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1487
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  #12  
Old 06-22-2005, 06:31 PM
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RichReg RichReg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC 330i
It's really quite easy to do the install, and since you live in NJ, you should be able to easily get the kit for the alarm from Circle BMW.

Really, the hardest part of the install is jacking up the car, which is simple, but just be sure you do it safely. If you have a buddy that has a floor jack and some basic experience (or have some yourself) I am fully confident you can do the installation yourself. I'm not a professional mechanic or anything, but I have been known to wrench on my cars when I can.

Dude thanks.

You have inspired some confidence in myself.
I do have a brother-in-law who has a jack, though he doesn't always make himself available, I will definitely try.

As I mentioned, I did install the E46 alarm myself, so I'm determined. As far as where to buy the alarm, I am surprised that Circle only charges $220! Pacific BMW wants $237 plus shipping, and they usually undercut everybody. Something has changed somewhere at one of those parts departments.

I will be getting a bunch of accessories at once also, By the way, nice job on the aluminum pedals!


R.R.
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  #13  
Old 12-03-2005, 01:10 PM
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MUrhino MUrhino is offline
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Will installing the alarm yourself void any warranties on the vehicle? That's all I would be worried about before attempting it myself. Thanks!
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  #14  
Old 01-21-2006, 03:04 PM
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turpiwa turpiwa is offline
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I did the install today - piece of cake - but looks like it needs the software mod by the dealer - the clown nose works though.
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  #15  
Old 07-23-2006, 01:01 PM
tak nakaya tak nakaya is offline
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e90 tire jack

I don't know if tire jacks for e90 has been covered in this forum. You can get a jack from the junk yard. Most new cars have the funny square adapter on the jack, this allows the jack to mount over the pinch seam on the rocker panel. I got a jack from a Ford econ van for $10.
Be sure you get a quote from the junk yard with the crank or they try to charge you for the crank.
The other option is make a 2.25 X 1.25 X 1.125 (in inches) block that will insert in the square jack placement guide, I made mine from a block of nylon. This allows you to use your floor jack.
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  #16  
Old 07-24-2006, 08:25 AM
el_duderino el_duderino is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MUrhino
Will installing the alarm yourself void any warranties on the vehicle? That's all I would be worried about before attempting it myself. Thanks!
The act of doing something that the dealer would do for you (or have done) cannot legally void your warranty. Magnuson Moss act.

If you do something stupid while installing something - something WRONG - then that act can void your warranty.
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RIP avincar - check out musicarnw.com in Portland, OR.

Specializing in European car audio and entertainment upgrades done right.

Also check out OEinterface.com - OEM integration resource
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