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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > DIY Powered seat retrofit (WIP)



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woodpecka's Avatar
woodpecka
01-24-2011
This topic was a WIP research about how to do the electric seats retrofit. We discovered there are so many car configurations that it's impossible to do 1 guide for all. So, we prefer to share our notes and you must do your own research to validate your car and seats FROM -> TO configs.
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  #110  
By phozenstone on 08-01-2012, 11:57 AM
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both sides done!



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  #111  
By glennwa on 08-10-2012, 10:31 PM
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Phozenstone's seats..

Phozenstone... which seats are those? They look awesome. Not the standard sport seats, are they?
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  #112  
By ins1dez on 08-23-2012, 06:53 AM
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Hello

i already have MANUAL heated seats , and i want to install electric seats with loumbar support , do i need any other wires, i mean if the wires from my heated seats will work for electric seats and for loumbar support?
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  #113  
By phozenstone on 08-23-2012, 02:45 PM
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they are separate wires, you will need to splice it and add a second connector into the harness
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  #114  
By ins1dez on 08-24-2012, 04:20 AM
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But will the electric seats work ? Because i need to move them front and back to install them, otherwise i can't install them.
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  #115  
By JimVR4 on 08-24-2012, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phozenstone View Post
they are separate wires, you will need to splice it and add a second connector into the harness
I do not think any connectors need to be added into the harness, nor do I think any splices are needed. The existing seat connectors at x275 and x279 will be re-used however wires need to be added into the harness between the seat connectors and the fuse box / junction box.

Ins1dez: The actual wiring hookups that you need depend on the model year of your car. The fuse box / junction box has different fuse numbers and pinouts for different years. You will have to consult WDS (Wiring Diagram System) and download the fuse box diagram and compare it to the white sheet in your glove box rear panel.

Once you have identified the correct fuses, you will need to connect heavy guage (probably 12 guage) wiring from the fuse box to the X275 and X279 connectors. Each seat connector will need two wires, one for +12V and one for ground.

Then you need to make sure the CAN bus wiring is present at the seat connectors. You may have to add wiring between the junction box and the seat connectors for this.

Finally you have to code the car for electric seats with memory. I'm not sure the seats will operate at all unless the coding is performed first. Read the thread from post #1 and good luck.
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  #116  
By ins1dez on 08-24-2012, 11:02 AM
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I think you don't understand my question. Right now i have manual seats heated, that means i already have a + , and electricity on the seats. I know that for memory seats i need another + and i need to code them, but my problem right now is if i put the seats on the car, will they work front and back ?

I need to know this because i need to move them front and back so i can put the screws back together. If i can't move them i can't install them.

So just for moving front and back, do i need any other wires, or the connector from the heated seats will provide electricity for moving the seats ?
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  #117  
By JimVR4 on 08-24-2012, 01:16 PM
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I understood your question. The motors and seat heating use different wires for powering so i doubt the electric seats will receive power if you do not do the wiring first.

You can easily check by unscrewing your seats, unplugging the seat connector and examining the harness to the seat connector to see if the power wires are present. If memory serves they are pins 4,8,9, and 13. All should be present for both electric and seat heating.
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  #118  
By ins1dez on 08-25-2012, 06:08 AM
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You need to open the yellow connector otherwise you won't see nothing. The wires which come into the connector are wrapped with a foil or something
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  #119  
By JimVR4 on 08-28-2012, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ins1dez
You need to open the yellow connector otherwise you won't see nothing. The wires which come into the connector are wrapped with a foil or something
Are you answering your own question lol? Yes you have to take apart the yellow connectors (x275 and x279) to see what wires are present.
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  #120  
By ins1dez on 08-29-2012, 06:49 AM
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How do you take them off ?
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  #121  
By JimVR4 on 08-29-2012, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ins1dez View Post
How do you take them off ?
Start by opening or cutting the zip tie. The yellow housing slides off after you release the tiny clips. I believe there is also a black or grey part that comes off as well.
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  #122  
By bolind on 09-12-2012, 08:58 AM
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If one is a lazy bastard and just wishes to buy the factory BMW harnesses, what are the part numbers, and how is it done?

I currently have unheated, manual seats, and a very meager harness. I'm switching in leather power sports seats with heat and adjustable lumbar support.
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  #123  
By JimVR4 on 09-13-2012, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bolind View Post
If one is a lazy bastard and just wishes to buy the factory BMW harnesses, what are the part numbers, and how is it done?

I currently have unheated, manual seats, and a very meager harness. I'm switching in leather power sports seats with heat and adjustable lumbar support.
It will be a TON more work and cost to install complete factory harnesses. If you want to be lazy go and find a dealer that will work with you to install and code the upgrade.

If you want to keep the costs to a reasonable level be prepared to DIY and
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  #124  
By phozenstone on 09-18-2012, 03:48 PM
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retrofitting the harness wasn't that hard at all as long as you have the correct pin connectors. What i did was route one power and one ground into each of the harnesses; split each wire into two so that you have a total of 2 power and 2 ground going into each of the driver and passenger harness. I had 2 power and 2 ground as the motors for front/rear and motors for the lumbar/bolsters were powered by 2 separate pins. Essentially i did not have to mess with the seat itself, i just retrofitted power wires into my existing wiring inside the car. By doing it this way, i am able to swap other power seats into my car in the future without having to redo the wiring.


Here are some updated pics:


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  #125  
By eml58 on 09-26-2012, 10:17 AM
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Bench test power seats

I am replacing my 2007 3028xi manual heated seats with power / heated seats and want to bench test the mechanical operation not heat of them, I tried to hook up an old battery to the power spades but couldn't get them to operate any suggestions???? Thanks
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  #126  
By phozenstone on 10-02-2012, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eml58 View Post
I am replacing my 2007 3028xi manual heated seats with power / heated seats and want to bench test the mechanical operation not heat of them, I tried to hook up an old battery to the power spades but couldn't get them to operate any suggestions???? Thanks
They Have to be connected to the canbus wiring and not only the battery
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  #127  
By bolind on 10-16-2012, 09:59 AM
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First of all, MAN those M3 seats look rad!

Second eml58, some people report success by bench testing their seats with a dumb power supply, others seem to require a CAN signal to make them work...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bolind View Post
If one is a lazy bastard and just wishes to buy the factory BMW harnesses, what are the part numbers, and how is it done?

I currently have unheated, manual seats, and a very meager harness. I'm switching in leather power sports seats with heat and adjustable lumbar support.
So I've investigated further, and the harnesses I found on bmwfans.org turned out to be the actual harness in the seat itself, which I, obviously, have. The car's harness can't just be purchased, as it's pretty integral to the car.

So I'm trying to put together a list of what one would need to expand the existing harness. Keep in mind my car currently have next to nothing. I've checked, and all that runs to the seats are airbag, seat belt tensioner and, for the passenger side, occupancy sensor.

Wiring will be sponsored by my workplace, so no need to worry about that. It's just stranded wire in the right thickness.

The connector housing(s) on the car harness side are the same, just not populated, so first we need some extra female connectors, numbers: 61131383776 and 61138364844.

Then we need something at the other end? The CAN connectors; they're just the small ones too? How about the PWM signal from the junction box? Do I need a socket housing?

How about the fuse panel? Do we tap into an existing 30A fuse, or what will be needed to establish an additional fuse?
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  #128  
By phozenstone on 10-16-2012, 01:01 PM
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To answer some of your questions;

The female connectors - make sure you buy 2-3 extra of each one because they are so small and delicate that i broke a few in the process. BMW also doesn't stock them so it was a pain to have to wait for them to come in (usually 2-3 days).

For EACH seat harness (your car's harness, not the seat) you will need to do the following:
1) Add a power wire by connecting one end to the female connector that goes into the harness and the other end should be tapped into the fuse box behind the glove compartment (30A fuse).
2) Add a ground wire by connecting one end to a female connector that goes into the harness and add a ring terminal to the other end which will be used to mount into the same hole as the seat.
3) If you have power bolsters like mine, you will need to add a splitter into each of the above wires and also route them into the car's harness (e.g. you will have 2 power female connectors and 2 ground female connectors now in your harness instead of just one of each)
4) Now you need to add kcanbus wiring to your car's harness. I found that the easiest way to do this was using 14 guage speaker wire as it already has positive/negative on it. Follow the wiring diagram and wire one wire into each terminal using the BMW female connectors; the other end will have to connect to anywhere that you can easily locate with kcan wiring (i believe it was green and green/orange). I found it right near the same fuse box i used for the power wire. Simply tap into that wiring and you're good to go!
5) Have a beer and celebrate cuz you now have powered seats! You'll also realize how happy you are with using oem bmw harnesses instead of some other members who hardwired it because now you can swap other seats if you get bored with the existing seats and you don't have to redo all the wiring.
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  #129  
By bolind on 10-16-2012, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phozenstone View Post
The female connectors - make sure you buy 2-3 extra of each one because they are so small and delicate that i broke a few in the process. BMW also doesn't stock them so it was a pain to have to wait for them to come in (usually 2-3 days).
Gotcha. I might as well order them online then. They cost peanuts, so I'll just grab a handful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phozenstone View Post
1) Add a power wire by connecting one end to the female connector that goes into the harness and the other end should be tapped into the fuse box behind the glove compartment (30A fuse).
OK, do I need to establish a new seperate fuse? Bear in mind, I don't have heated seats or anything right now. Or do I just grab whatever 30A fuse there is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phozenstone View Post
2) Add a ground wire by connecting one end to a female connector that goes into the harness and add a ring terminal to the other end which will be used to mount into the same hole as the seat.
Is this the official way for the ground? Wouldn't it be more proper to route it back to the fusebox as well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phozenstone View Post
3) If you have power bolsters like mine, you will need to add a splitter into each of the above wires and also route them into the car's harness (e.g. you will have 2 power female connectors and 2 ground female connectors now in your harness instead of just one of each)
I have power bolsters. So it's cool to run bolsters and servos off the same 30A fuse/power cable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phozenstone View Post
4) Now you need to add kcanbus wiring to your car's harness. I found that the easiest way to do this was using 14 guage speaker wire as it already has positive/negative on it. Follow the wiring diagram and wire one wire into each terminal using the BMW female connectors; the other end will have to connect to anywhere that you can easily locate with kcan wiring (i believe it was green and green/orange). I found it right near the same fuse box i used for the power wire. Simply tap into that wiring and you're good to go!
I'm with you on the CAN wiring, but my passenger seat needs a PWM'ed power feed for the heat. How does this connect at the other end (some junction box?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by phozenstone View Post
5) Have a beer and celebrate cuz you now have powered seats! You'll also realize how happy you are with using oem bmw harnesses instead of some other members who hardwired it because now you can swap other seats if you get bored with the existing seats and you don't have to redo all the wiring.
Agreed, although these seats are probably going to stay in this car, I want to do this right the first time around.

Thanks for your answers! I would really like to tear into this as prepared as possible, as the car can't be off the road for too many days in a row.
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  #130  
By woodpecka on 10-16-2012, 05:49 PM
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Guy, there are a few hints:

You need to add the kcan on the driver seat only. The passenger doesn't has memory.
During my research, I did found that it's recommended to use a twisted double cable to avoid issue on the kcan interference.

If you have already some power for the heating or side or lumbar, you can reuse these cable for the other functions. You just have to jump the positive and negative at the connector level.

Cheers
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  #131  
By glennwa on 10-24-2012, 12:45 PM
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(sorry about the double post, the other thread looks sort of.... dead)

Hi folks. I am moving from manual HEATED non-sport seats, to sport, heated, power/memory seats. I tried swapping and just plugging in connectors as is... and got nothing working. I thought I'd at least be able to get forward/backward/tilt/recline functionality.... but it didn't work.

If I'm not concerned about the memory function working (would be nice but not that big a deal) how might I wire this to get it working?

Thanks
-Glenn
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