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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-27-2009, 09:08 AM
Charlie1979 Charlie1979 is offline
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Location: Bristol, UK
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 E39 Tourer 520
How to remove the general module?

I need to replace a couple of the relays on the GM-III board (i.e. the general module).

Notably the boot-lid soft-close motor relay, and the rear-doors un-lock relay.

Does anyone have any experience of the easiest way to remove the general module. I understand that it is somewhere behind the glovebox, but can't find any instructions on how to actually get to it.

Anyone got any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2009, 05:20 AM
NorCalE39 NorCalE39 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 E39 530i
Exclamation Re: General Module Location

I need to replace mine as well. My dome light has gone out, the central locking switch stopped working, and my remotes do not work either(just bought a new key @ $220 it better start working!). I spoke to a BMW tech today and he told me the location of the general module is a white box on the inner side of the firewall, just behind the glovebox door. I believe you can access it just under one of the panels that are under and behind the glovebox. Give it a shot and let me know. Man, these control modules can be a pain as they control a lot of different options on the car! I love my E39 but so far, BMW = Break My Wallet! LOL!


2003 E39 530i 97K
Titanium Grey Metallic
Black Leather interor
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  #3  
Old 11-11-2009, 05:38 AM
vavet5308 vavet5308 is online now
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Mein Auto: 2002 525it
NorCal - check the fuse in the trunk for the central locking system. It's probably blown. If it continues to blow, then you probably have a problem with the fuel door latch actuator and it will require replacement.

Charlie - look under the glovebox, remove that horizonal panel with the light. The GM will be just above that.
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  #4  
Old 11-12-2009, 01:02 AM
NorCalE39 NorCalE39 is offline
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Last edited by NorCalE39; 11-12-2009 at 02:10 AM. Reason: update
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  #5  
Old 11-12-2009, 02:07 AM
NorCalE39 NorCalE39 is offline
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Thanks VAVET--but all fuses are ok. Nothing is blown out. #53 in trunk is good. Also the fuel door actuator is working fine which leads me to believe the GM is bad. Also the battery went bad on me and I had to jump it. I think that may have fired the GM too...now that I have thought about it. The door locks and the overhead dome lights stopped working around that time. Now the alarm doesnt beep when I lock the doors manually anymore. This has got to be the General Module no? The GM should be just a plug and play no? I see some guys just plug in a salvaged yard unit and it works! Will this also fix my remote not working problems?--thanks for all your input.

So I took a look at the GM and I removed the panel..that was the easy part. Now, how does it come out? Do I need to remove clips on the shocks on the side of the glove box or does just removing the little nut on the white plastic mounting bracket drop the unit? Also I dont want to pull out or damage any wires. How do the 3 plugs come out? Do I need to use a screwdriver on the tabs or do I just pull them out?
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  #6  
Old 11-12-2009, 06:58 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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GMs need to be coded afaik.
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'99 528i ('98/12 build). 174,000km BY29428/Royalrot
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  #7  
Old 12-01-2009, 05:55 PM
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I think I need to replace mine as well. My remote doesn't work and my interior light doesn't come on. I have found dozens of them on ebay all with different part numbers all calling themselves GM III. My car is a 2003 540i/6. Will any of the E39 General Modules work?
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2009, 07:03 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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I'm not sure about any GM, but nothing immediate comes to mind regarding any difference between old and new GMs (LCM for instance had the one-side parking light feature with the new model only), but there may be something. Shoot for at least '01+
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'99 528i ('98/12 build). 174,000km BY29428/Royalrot
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  #9  
Old 12-13-2009, 12:43 PM
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this link has the info on removing the glovebox.
http://www.stealthone.biz/iguides/E3...tion_Guide.pdf
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:37 AM
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Easy job. Fixed everything. My keys open doors, the interior light is back. All is well! I need to have my keys reprogramed to open and close the windows and open the locks on the first click. I also used a GM III from a 99 E39 and it worked just fine.
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2003 540i-6 M-tech SOLD
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2004 M3 Alpine White SOLD 2/14/09 We were in love
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  #11  
Old 12-14-2009, 01:02 PM
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mmm635 mmm635 is offline
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The glove box does not need to be removed. If you poke your head underneath the passenger's side dashboard, yo will see a plastic panel forward of the glove box, and about a half inch lower. On the right side of the panel, there is a hole in which you can stick a couple of fingers inside and pull back on the panel. It is basically a friction fit into two white plastic pieces located at the rear of the panel and attached to the firewall. You will need to slightly lower the panel as you pull back in order to clear a plastic piece on the left side of the dash underneath. You will understand when you look at everything from underneath.

Once the panel is out, you will then need to remove all three harnesses that are plugged into the module. Once they are out, you will then need to slide the harnesses above the GMIII in order to provide ample clearance to get the module out. The GMIII is held in place by two plastic tabs, one on the bottom left and one on the right side. If you pull those back slightly, the unit will come out. It is easier to pull the GMIII forward (place one of your hands on the rear of the whole assembly and push the module through the bracket) and then angle it down in order to get it out of the tight space.

Honestly, I really do not think you will need to code a GMIII that has been removed from another E39. However, if it was removed from an E38 (E38 & E39 share the same GMIII), then I think it might need to be recoded. Additionally, if you purchase a "new" GMIII from the dealer or vendor, then it will need to be coded since it can apply to the E38 or E39 - they come blank from the as far as I can tell. Not sure if they are different in their coding system so I could be wrong about that. I purchased a used GMIII and popped it in last night and it works like a charm. I had to reset both of my master keys since the car has died and they were inoperable and coded for another GMIII.

NorCale39...My car has never had any electrical trouble since I have owned it (or the records from PO). I left my key in the ignition in the accessory 2 setting for 3 days and my car was completely dead - long story on how that ended up happening. I then proceeded to jump my car as I have done all of my other cars over the years. Well, that is when I fried my GMIII - I was pi$$ed that something like this could happen so easily. I had the symptoms of no lock/alarm on the key fob, but the trunk button worked. Interior lights, center lock button no longer worked as well. All was fixed with a functional GMIII.
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  #12  
Old 12-14-2009, 03:25 PM
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you don't have to remove the glove box, but it's easy and makes the job SO much easier!

MMM, I had the same problems but I lost the ability to put the windows up and down from the key. I guess that does need to be reprogrammed.
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2004 M3 Alpine White SOLD 2/14/09 We were in love

Last edited by 16hr Day; 12-14-2009 at 03:27 PM.
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  #13  
Old 12-15-2009, 03:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16hr Day View Post
you don't have to remove the glove box, but it's easy and makes the job SO much easier!

MMM, I had the same problems but I lost the ability to put the windows up and down from the key. I guess that does need to be reprogrammed.
Yes, I forgot to mention the lack of window operation from the key fob as well.

One thing I did not mention in my post is that the GMIII taken out of my car had a different part number than the replacement. Also, the original GMIII has "low" imprinted on it, whereas the replacement unit had "high" imprinted on it. I figured what the he11, and installed it anyway - worked like a charm.
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  #14  
Old 05-19-2010, 05:26 PM
peaches29229 peaches29229 is offline
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This post was so helpful; my dome light does not work, doors will not lock or unlock(except the driver door), the central lock button does not work, and the windshield wipers are not working. I hope this will solve the problem. However, I am a bit puzzled, the dealer was saying that a new one should be installed and that a used one would not work. I am curious what you have had to reprogram when a used one was installed? I would appreciate any insight. Other than these things I have only had the car for a few weeks, but it is such a headturner, I am going to touch up a few things and make it HOTTTT!!
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  #15  
Old 07-28-2013, 07:50 AM
janitor joe janitor joe is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 535i sport
GM lll 03 530i e39

I have all the symptoms of a bad GM lll
Bought a replacement it has HIGH on it, mine has LOW on it. New one is black, original is white.
So far no difference, in fact trunk will not open from key whereas it did previously(the only key function that worked)
Interior lights come on and stay on.

????
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