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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
PROBLEM SOLVED. READ THROUGH THREAD I POSTED MY SOLUTION AND FINDINGS

I have a 2003 330ci that I recently purchased and only the instrument cluster lights are not turning on. The rest of the dash/message center/radio etc. work however.

I thought it was the kbus but if you turn the dimmer on the lcm, the radio and other dash lights dim along with the instrument cluster message center that shows mileage. Also the turn signals and high beam/foglights DO appear on the cluster, and by looking at an IKE pinout diagram, there is only one kbus pin in the IKE, therefore it should be working(?). I also messaged scott at bmwgm5 and he doesnt believe it is the kbus either.

I have tried swapping the lcm with a friends 325ci along with the cluster. The 325ci cluster will not light up in my car with a new lcm and my current lcm. I swapped my 330ci cluster onto his 325ci and it lights up. So I believe it must be a wiring issue somewhere. I tried doing a kbus reset last night and no luck.

I also checked fuses 10, 34 and 43 and they seem to be fine. On my friends working 325ci? i put the cluster lights on and pulled fuse 10, 43 and 34 and the lights did not turn off. therefore im assuming they are irrelevant to the lighting operation.

Any help appreciated.

PROBLEM SOLVED. READ THROUGH THREAD I POSTED MY SOLUTION AND FINDINGS
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Fuses "seem" to be fine? How did you check them, visually? Check the fuses again using an ohm meter.
Sorry, I should've clarified. By "seems to be fine" i meant I replaced them with new fuses lol.

Update: Got desperate/bored so on my friends working 325ci we left the instrument/dash lights on and we pulled every fuse one by one. The dash lights/cluster lights did NOT turn off for any fuse pulled so that leads me to believe that the dash/cluster lights are solely controlled by the lcm or zke (?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Depending on which version of the instrument cluster you have, some have the lights activated by the K-bus, some have them activated by the "locator lighting" signal (gray/red) wire
Does the locator lighting wire go from the lcm straight to the ike, or does it cross or split somewhere beforehand, would you happen to know?

Also, if you replaced the cluster, does it matter which version you have? As in the locator wire version has go be replaced by the location wire version and NOT the kbus versiob?
 

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Does the locator lighting wire go from the lcm straight to the ike, or does it cross or split somewhere beforehand, would you happen to know?

Also, if you replaced the cluster, does it matter which version you have? As in the locator wire version has go be replaced by the location wire version and NOT the kbus versiob?
I think it goes to a splice somewhere and then branches off to whatever devices need that signal.

A brand new cluster will use the K-bus for lighting. It will ignore the locator lighting signal. If installing a used cluster, then generally you want to make sure it is as new or newer than what you had (all LCMs will output the lighting signal on the K-bus regardless of what version you have)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Problem Solved.

Firstly, I would like to give a huge shout out to TerraPhantm, he really saved me from wasting more time and money on this solution.

This forum has helped me out so much with diy stuff so I would like to post my findings in case anyone stumbles upon this thread on google and are having the same problem as I did. So basically, what I've discovered through TerraPhantm's advice is that some cluster's back lighting is indeed powered by a grey wire with a red stripe and some are powered through the k-bus wire (yellow wire with red stripe i think), both of which are located on the on the bigger connector (of the two) that plugs into the back of the cluster.

If you look at the e46 IKE pinout's, pin 7 is the grey/red wire aka signal locator wire.
https://www.bmwgm5.com/bmwgm5/E46_IKE_Connections.htm

I would like to say the year the grey/red wire was eliminated was 2003 but this cannot be verified 100%. However, my 03 330ci doesn't have the grey/red wire and my 02 325ci did. So basically any pre-2003 cluster receives the cluster back lighting power signal via the grey/red wire. Also, I want to say that if your big connector for your cluster is white, it's lighting is powered by the kbus wire, and if it's black, it's powered by the grey/red wire. This is also differences I've noticed between both cars.

So, my 2003 330ci had a 2000 323ci replacement cluster and it wasn't lighting up due to the absence of the grey/red wire. So what I did was I went to the scrap yard and found a e46 and cut the big cluster connector. Cut it further down away from the connector so you get some wire with it. You can slide the connector with the actual wires out by pressing up on a tab and then sliding it out. Take a look at the connector its fairly obvious. Then watch some videos on youtube regarding de-pinning a connector. There's a small metal tab on all the metal pins that's visible after you slide the connector out. Push down on the metal tab with a tiny flat head and yank the wire at the same time, it should come out. Push the connector back through to re-pin it. There's a lot of wires on your scrapyard connector so play around with them until you get good at it. Then de-pin the grey/red wire, or any wire if there's no grey/red wire. Solder the end of wire (obviously not the side that goes into the connector, the opposite end) to a really really really long piece of wire. Read on and I'll explain why.

Take your car's cluster out along with the LCM and remove the under dash panel. Google how to remove those.

Take your car's big cluster connector out of the locking connector, the same way as you did the other one. Then look for pin 7 slot, it should be empty. Re-pin the wire you pulled out into that slot. Practice re-pinning on the scrap yard connector before you attempt this. Now, run your really really long wire underneath the dash and up to where the LCM module connector is (under the drivers dash vent). Pull it through.

On the LCM wiring harness connector, cut a slit through the black protector wrapping (be careful to NOT cut any wires by accident) and look for the grey/red wire. Google an LCM pinout if you aren't sure where it is or can't see it. It will be there.

Next find a spot to tap into that grey/red wire and pull your really long wire through and run it parallel to the grey/red wire. Leave some slack and cut the really long wire to your tapping spot to shorten it. DO NOT cut the gray/red wire thats attached to the LCM on your car.

Buy this wiretap and figure out how it works. It should be self-explanatory or google how to use it. The opening slides into the grey/red wire and the end thats blocked, thats were your soldered wired contraption slides into and stays.



Tap the LCM grey/red wire along with your long wire. The really long wire goes into the blocked portion of the wiretap dont forget. Plug the LCM back in and put the cluster back in and check for lighting. It should be working now. Electrical tape or ziptie your long wire to the oem harness at various points and replace all the pieces you took out and you're done.

I just bought the car so I had no clue what cluster I had in the car and I had to ask the previous owner. Basicaly the previous cluster had an issue and the previous owner changed it. Now some of you may be wondering why he didn't buy an 03 cluster to begin with. Its because the newer clusters are a pain to reprogram, you have to de-solder a chip and/or buy some special chip coder just to code mileage or something like that. Some early year motometer clusters you can reprogram mileage and vin in PAsoft really really easily to match your lcm mileage and your vin so you don't a tamper dot.

Hopefully this helps someone. Cheers
 

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Just a quick question related to this tread.

Do you know the state of the gray/red wire when the headlights are on/off?

For example it could be 4v signal when the headlights are on, and 0v when the headlights are off.

Or it could be more complex due to the dimming aspect. Example: 0v headlights off, 1v - 4v headlights on and dimming (1v lowest setting 4v max setting).

Thanks, Lachlan


Sent from my iPhone using E46Fanatics
 

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The illumination wire is pulse width modulated. 0-12V at 79.2Hz. Narrower pulses to dimly light the LED and 100% duty cycle for full bright. Set it to somewhere less than full bright and munch on some tortilla chips while looking at the interior lights and you'll see it pulse.
 

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The illumination wire is pulse width modulated. 0-12V at 79.2Hz. Narrower pulses to dimly light the LED and 100% duty cycle for full bright. Set it to somewhere less than full bright and munch on some tortilla chips while looking at the interior lights and you'll see it pulse.
I was worried about that.

Thanks for the info
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I wanna update this thread for anyone else that is struggling with cluster issues or is swapping clusters. So I managed to get the 02 cluster working on my 03 but in the end I had to get an 03+ cluster and swap my mileage chip over.

The reason being is that 99 to 02 use the ZCS programming to code the cluster and modules and the 03+ use FA style. I tried so many times but you cannot convert or reprogram the older clusters to the new style of programming. What happens is that if the rest of the car is FA/ new style programming, the older ZCS style cluster will work but it will cause the rest of the modules to malfunction. In my case, I got the older cluster to work but I kept having abs and steering sensor codes that re-occured. Decided to try a new style cluster and code that to my car and recoded all the modules again and I haven't had any abs or steering sensors codes since lol.

So basically this is all a waste of time, make sure you get a 99 to 02 cluster if you own those years or get a 03 to 06 cluster if you own that year. Then swap the mileage chips over via soldering. Then use ncs encoder to recode the new cluster and all the modules following DIYs
 

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Sorry to bring this subject up again I know it***8217;s nearly been three years but I***8217;m hoping you can help! I have a similarish problem with my cluster backlight not working.

So a few weeks ago my whole cluster stopped working on my Dec 2002 330 convertible with only the convertible, abs and seatbelt light illuminating on start up. I tested another used cluster from my local indy which worked fine (so my original cluster was at fault) but as it was daylight I didn***8217;t know if the backlight worked or not, I also had the traction control light illuminate but got the indy to reset the steering angle sensor which solved that. In the end I realised that the cluster was a pre 2000 cluster with the old style traction control system where only 1 light would illuminate when you turn off the traction, so I couldn***8217;t use it.

I then sourced a 2002 IC but it was for an auto and mines manual! Nevertheless it still worked but the backlight on the dash didn***8217;t. I finally sourced a 2002 330ci manual IC however the backlight STILL doesn***8217;t work!! So I***8217;m pretty confident it***8217;s not the IC at fault here.

I***8217;ve changed fuses 10, 34 and 43 and no joy. I***8217;ve unclipped the LCM connector and reconnected and still nothing, however I haven***8217;t tried another LCM in there yet as I don***8217;t have access to one and a used one is £50 (I***8217;m from the UK).

My big connector on the IC is black so based on your previous messages this means my backlight is powered via a grey wire with a red stripe. Now I understand you had a cluster that needed the grey/red wire to connect in to it from the cars cables so you crimped a grey/red wire onto another cable that goes in to the LCM which got things working right? I***8217;m a bit confused on how to fix mine as I have a 2002 car and a 2002 replacement cluster installed. Do you have any ideas on what the issue could be? It is worth mentioning that my passenger xenon light sometimes doesn***8217;t work but if I turn my lights on and off after 30 seconds or so it tends to come back on. I replaced the xenon bulbs less than 500 miles ago so I know the bulbs don***8217;t need changing.

Thanks in advance! Also I***8217;m putting the car up for sale in a week so I really need to get this sorted ASAP, and I***8217;m a beginner that can do the easy stuff but no so good with electronics!
 

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The big connector is always black, he was wrong on that one. Your car is a 2003 model. It probably doesn't have the gray/red wire.

Best solution is to get an 03+ cluster, but if you can probably make things work by adding the wire if you really need to.
 

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The big connector is always black, he was wrong on that one. Your car is a 2003 model. It probably doesn't have the gray/red wire.

Best solution is to get an 03+ cluster, but if you can probably make things work by adding the wire if you really need to.


Thanks mate, I***8217;ve taken the clip off the big connector and indeed pin7 is missing. They must have changed what powers the backlight in very late 2002 as my build date is December 2002 and is a pre facelift model.

Majority of 2003 330ci clocks are from facelift models which came with a 6 speed manual box as opposed to 5 speed. Do you think an 03 facelift cluster would be an issue in my pre facelift 330? The reason I ask is it***8217;s literally impossible to find a cluster with the same part number as mine, i***8217;ve been looking for ages! Probably because BMW only fitted them in pre facelift models for a few months before the facelift was released and I can imagine there are barely any 330ci manual convertibles who are breaking their cars in the UK within that short build date.

TIA!
 

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The big connector is always black, he was wrong on that one. Your car is a 2003 model. It probably doesn't have the gray/red wire.

Best solution is to get an 03+ cluster, but if you can probably make things work by adding the wire if you really need to.
SAME ISSUE here with a 325CiC I am working on. I am certain that I will get the backlighting to work with the additional pin, but the donor cluster came from a manual and the CiC is an auto.

I retrofit the auto selector position display into the manual cluster and it shows the correct information. I also transferred the four LEDs, two resistors and one transistor from another cluster I have. However, the backlighting of the display does not illuminate.

I have gone through the programming of the cluster, updated the VO and checked for power on the PCB traces. On the donor cluster, I get 5.23V on the one transistor leg, on the manual cluster, I get 0V.

Any ideas? Thank you!

Merry Christmas!
 
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