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into things retro
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
remember to check the seat's electrical connectors on your car vs. the connectors on the seats you are thinking of buying.

BMW changed the seat connectors sometime between '98 and '00 (I heard sometime in '99, but do not know exactly when).
We found this out during our seat rail bushing swap out day.

Was helping someone with a seat swap in a '99 Z3 who, before learning this, had already bought and re-skinned the seats. Luckily, the connectors matched up. Her '99 still had the old connectors along with the seats she got from a parts salvage. If the connectors had not matched, it could had gotten ugly :)
 

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Rest in peace, Coach
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Prolly would have to cut wires and re-do the harness...would have required a lot more "hack" skills than I currently have. :(
 

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into things retro
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The HACK said:
Prolly would have to cut wires and re-do the harness...would have required a lot more "hack" skills than I currently have. :(
It kind of depends on which way the mismatch is (and I have faith HACK that between you and Vince, any wiring can be overcome :) )

The old style had multiple connectors for motors, heates, air bag sensor. The new style collected all of those into one big connector.

I think for a while after the change, the seats had an adaptor cable that ran between the old multiple connectors and the new large connector (I'm not sure if it was still that way at the end of the production, but I'll check my seat again next time I have it out).

In that case, if the car had the old connectors, but the seat had the new connector, I think it may be possible to just remove the adaptor harness in the seat.

If it's the other way around, it may be possible to get the adaptor cable for the seat to match up to the new connector in the car. (all of this is pending verification on a wiring diagram).

The ugly one would be where the seat has the new connector, no adaptor harness, but the car has the old connector. Might need Vince :D
 

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That's a little off topic but yeah my new sport seats came heated and I thought that maybe I would be able to do something about it but no such luck. It's not like I really care about this feature here in California. I still have to go to the dealer to get this damn airbag light off. I almost got used to it by now...
 

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into things retro
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
It's being looked into . . .

The person I was helping has heaters in the new seats as well. It appears that all the Z cars had the wiring in the harness, just not in the seats (could it be the same for 3 series?).

She'll be asking around about how to implement it, but it sounds like someone has done it before. I believe there is a relay that has to be installed in the under-hood fuse box, but just how the installation of the switches has to go is unknown to me (are there already connectors in the harness ready to plug and play?).

Anyway, for the Z, we'll be looking into that and see if it can be implemented. :)
 

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Re: It's being looked into . . .

scottn2retro said:
The person I was helping has heaters in the new seats as well. It appears that all the Z cars had the wiring in the harness, just not in the seats (could it be the same for 3 series?).

She'll be asking around about how to implement it, but it sounds like someone has done it before. I believe there is a relay that has to be installed in the under-hood fuse box, but just how the installation of the switches has to go is unknown to me (are there already connectors in the harness ready to plug and play?).

Anyway, for the Z, we'll be looking into that and see if it can be implemented. :)
No connectors in the harness. It appears that there is a whole separate connector needed to plug in the heating function that simply is not there if you do not order heaters. Seems like a weird thing for BMW to do this. Usually cars are pretty much made to one specifications (that is they just put a damn wire anyway since it doesn't cost them anything) and options are kind of "plug and play." Just makes it easier for the production runs. It shows that all German management is comprised of engineers...
Let us know how it goes in the Z.
 
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