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DIY Sport Seat swap into E90 without power seats
Published by mike-y
02-09-2009
DIY Sport Seat swap into E90 without power seats

I searched the forums and found very little information on swapping sports seats into a car that didn't have power seats. If your car doesn't have power seats, there is no power wire going to the seat harness to tap into.

I just purchased a set of manual sport seats out of a 07 328i and put them in my 06 325i that does not have power seats. The seats themselves bolt in without issue, and work fine. However, the manual sport seats have power adjustable side bolsters, so if you want them to work correctly, you will need to hook up power to the actuators.

So I just reminisced back on my HS and college days when my friends and I were hooking up cheap car stereo systems in each others cars, and came up with an idea of pulling power from a circuit at the fuse box. I'm using the same circuit that the power windows are on, and it works fine.

What you'll need:
1. Sports Seats (duh)
2. Wire cutters/stripping tool
3. wire-tap splice connectors (other connectors optional)
4. 14g wire (about 20-25 feet)
5. Typical torx bits and drivers
6. Electrical tape
7. Zip ties


1. disconnect the battery. My friend with an E46 said we only needed to make sure the key wasn't in the ignition, but on the E90, you will still get a CEL for the airbags and seatbelt if you disconnect the seat harness while the battery is connected. So just remove the negative battery terminal, and tuck it out of the way.


2. I started with the driver's side, because it was furthest away from the fuse box. Remove all 4 seat bolts if you haven't already, and just tilt it back, so the bottom is exposed. Unplug the wiring harness if you haven't already and unhook it from the seat bracket, so it is easier to work with.


3. cut open the seat's wiring harness, near the plug. You are looking for a red/blue wire (12v power) and a brown wire (ground). they are thicker than most of the other wires going to the seats.


4. Once these wires are located, you want to tap into them, and connect your own wires to run to power and ground to a different location. I used wire-tap splice connectors because I didn't want to cut the factory wire. Start by installing a wire-tap splice on the power wire, along with the end of your own wire.




5. After you have tapped into the power wire on the seat, you need to get that wire over to the fuse box, located behind the glove box. The easiest way to do this, is to rout it under the dash, in front of the center console area.

5a. Remove the lower kick panel on the driver's side. There are 3 torx screws that have to come out, and then you can simply pull the panel out and disconnect the wiring to the convenience light.


5b. Remove the lower kick panel on the passenger side. There are 2 torx screws that need to come out here, located on each side of the glove box hinge.



6. Now you'll need to pull the wire from the driver's side to the passenger side. This is where a shirt hanger comes in handy. The kind you get from the dry cleaners are easier to work with. Grab on, untwist it, and straighten it out. Fold the end over like a hook, and fish it through the space you just exposed in front of the center console. I found it was easier to push it through on the passenger side.

Now hook the end of your wire to the hanger, and pull it back through to the passenger side.


7. Once you have pulled the wire through, you can work on concealing the wire. Make sure to leave enough slack so that the seat can move freely. I just "traced" it over the factory wiring harness and zip tied it in place where the factory harness comes out of the carpet.

You can tuck the wire under the carpet seam that runs under the seats and up to the center tunnel. Then tuck it under the edge of the center console. pull any extra slack out to the passenger side. Then remove the cover on the back of the glove box, exposing the fuse box, and pull the wire up through the space underneath. You can use a few more zip ties to secure the wire under the passenger side dash. Pull it out the front of the glove box, and you can cut it there (make sure to leave enough slack to work with).



8. Now tap into the brown ground wire located next to the red wire you just tapped into with a new piece of wire (you only need a couple of feet for this). run it along the factory harness to where it meets the carpet and zip tie it in place (this will give you adequate slack for seat movement).

We are going to run this ground wire to where the seat rail bolts to the floor. You can tuck it under the carpet like you did with the other wire, then out to the seat rail hole.

At this point, you want to put tape over the wire taps you just made and zip tie all the wires to the seat harness to keep them tidy.



9. Reinstall the seat, but before you put the bolt into the seat rail pull the ground wire up through it, and fold it over. Place a washer over it before you thread the bolt through, so that the wire doesn't spin or get cut as you are tightening the seat down.



10. Repeat this process for the passenger side seat with the wire you have left.


11. Locate the 30 amp window fuses in the fuse box. There are empty locations for where the seat fuses are supposed to be, but mine didn't have any wire terminals connected to them.


Pull out two of the 30 amp fuses, the slot looks like a "+" sign. I inserted the wire into the top part of the slot and then shoved the fuse back into the slot, and it held the wire tight.



When you are complete, it should look something like this.



I've been driving with the seats wired like this for the last few days, and everything works great.
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  #1  
By UdubBadger on 05-27-2009, 04:11 PM
this is awesome... thanks for the info
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  #2  
By Slidewayz on 05-28-2009, 03:44 PM
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Interesting.

I recently swapped out power non-Sport seats for Sport seats, and have everything working but the side bolsters.

I'll have to look to see if I can tap into power right at the yellow plug versus running all the way back to the fuse box.

Thanks for the DIY!
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  #3  
By E46M54325Ci on 06-21-2009, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slidewayz View Post
Interesting.

I recently swapped out power non-Sport seats for Sport seats, and have everything working but the side bolsters.

I'll have to look to see if I can tap into power right at the yellow plug versus running all the way back to the fuse box.

Thanks for the DIY!
were you ever able to tap power from there?
Last edited by E46M54325Ci; 06-21-2009 at 02:18 PM.
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  #4  
By E46M54325Ci on 06-21-2009, 08:31 PM
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I just did this DIY on my retrofit and it works great, thanks a lot for posting this, god I love the sport seats so much more now!
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  #5  
By infinitekid2002 on 07-01-2009, 07:44 PM
I took out my seats for racing and didnt unplug the battery beforehand...now i've the CEL's for airbag and seatbelt..what's the easiest way to clear them?
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  #6  
By E46M54325Ci on 07-01-2009, 08:03 PM
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as long as you had your seats out and then plugged in the battery afterword, you'd still get lights, if you put the stock ones back in then after a while the lights may go out
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  #7  
By infinitekid2002 on 07-01-2009, 08:06 PM
Ok..just to be clear i never unplugged the battery at all..i just pulled the seat harness out, took out the seat, put the seat back in and plugged back in the harness..CELs
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  #8  
By zetti PL on 07-30-2010, 12:32 PM
There is no need to put any new wires.
What you need is 2 short (5cm) wires & four connectors - two for each seat (part no 61138364842 or 61138364844 - depending on the wire thickness).
Pull out yellow socket from under the seat (before disconnect battery), dismantle it (you need 2 screwdrivers), slide out black part with cables out of yellow cover.
If you have heated seats they are powered by pin 4 (+) and 8 (-).
Just take out this two pins and solder to them short cable (you have to peel off from the connector a little bit of the material - if not solder would not "stick" to it.
On the other end of this cable you solder or "squeeze" connector
You put this connectors to the socket on the pins 9 and 13.
To sum up: 4 connected to 9 (both +) and 8 you connect with 13 (both -).
Put everything together, connect the battery. It's about one hour.
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  #9  
By Mallard on 09-18-2010, 02:18 PM
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followed and Success
Wicked diy, thanks for sharing.
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  #10  
By dasammy on 01-24-2011, 03:00 AM
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Unhappy

Hey Guys!

First: I'm new to your great Forum. The DIY-Guides are very helpful. ... this DIY is maybe one of the best around here.

Just a short Question:

I like to switch from manual adjustable Seats to power Seats with Memory (I don't have memory-function yet).

If I understood this DIY right, then ... all I have to do to make the seats work (just the adjustment: forward, back and angle of the back rest) is to supply the red/blue wire with 12V+ and the brown wire to ground?

Or am I totally wrong?

BTW: Is it possible for me to use the Memory Function of the Seats, even if I don't have Memory until now?

It would be awesome if anyone could help me with this!!


With kind regards,

dasammy

P.S: Sorry for my bad English ^^
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  #11  
By woodpecka on 01-24-2011, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasammy View Post
Hey Guys!

First: I'm new to your great Forum. The DIY-Guides are very helpful. ... this DIY is maybe one of the best around here.

Just a short Question:

I like to switch from manual adjustable Seats to power Seats with Memory (I don't have memory-function yet).

If I understood this DIY right, then ... all I have to do to make the seats work (just the adjustment: forward, back and angle of the back rest) is to supply the red/blue wire with 12V+ and the brown wire to ground?

Or am I totally wrong?

BTW: Is it possible for me to use the Memory Function of the Seats, even if I don't have Memory until now?

It would be awesome if anyone could help me with this!!


With kind regards,

dasammy

P.S: Sorry for my bad English ^^

Are you trying to move from non powered to powered with memory?

I am doing this right now and I did a lot of research to understand what is missing.

I will share more info with you this week if you are in the same situation.

BTW: If you already have the heated seats, you need to add the K_CAN connections to the seats.
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  #12  
By dasammy on 01-24-2011, 08:24 AM
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Yes, that is exactly what I am about to do

My Seats now:
- non powered
- heated seats

The Sport Seats I like to install:
- fully powered (realy everything)
- heated seats
- memory

Man, that sounds pretty good.
I know what you mean ... theres not much information to find ...

It would just be great if you keep me up to date.

Maybe you like to tell me your state of knowledge?!
(Can't use my PM function, cause I'm new to the Forum)

As I said before, I have heated seats ... but I don't know what you mean with "add the K_CAN connections to the seats". Does the heat-funcionality have a K_CAN connection that I can tap into, to make the memory-function work?

Greetings
Last edited by dasammy; 01-24-2011 at 08:56 AM.
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  #13  
By woodpecka on 01-24-2011, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasammy View Post
Yes, that is exactly what I am about to do

My Seats now:
- non powered
- heated seats

The Sport Seats I like to install:
- fully powered (realy everything)
- heated seats
- memory

Man, that sounds pretty good.
I know what you mean ... theres not much information to find ...

It would just be great if you keep me up to date.

Maybe you like to tell me your state of knowledge?!
(Can't use my PM function, cause I'm new to the Forum)

As I said before, I have heated seats ... but I don't know what you mean with "add the K_CAN connections to the seats". Does the heat-funcionality have a K_CAN connection that I can tap into, to make the memory-function work?

Greetings
Honestly I don't have the time to document everything but if you help me I will share the information I have and we could build the DIY together.

I have started a new topic and I will push the information I have there: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...04#post8759104
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  #14  
By glennwa on 10-24-2012, 10:05 AM
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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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  #15  
By d10brp on 02-07-2013, 06:06 PM
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Hi, I actually have an F30 and am looking to attempt this. I expect that a similar process will be required.

I have non-powered non-sports non-heated seats that I want to swap for non-powered sports heated seats. Obviously I don't care much for the heating part of the seat, but I was wondering, based on your experience, should I expect any additional trouble moving from non-heated to heated even if I don't connect any power to the heating element?
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  #16  
By carlosalbertogui on 03-15-2013, 10:58 AM
Bmw e91 from 2008

I am moving from manual HEATED non-sport seats to
Manual HEATED sport seats with " bolster width" Backrest width adjustment
how can i connect bolster width to work ??
what pins power bolster ???
best regards
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  #17  
By virtualbong on 03-15-2013, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennwa View Post
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
Were you able to find an answer since this is almost exactly what I am looking to do but I may have an option to get the M3 seats instead.
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  #18  
By Najt on 12-04-2013, 08:50 AM
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I would like to know it as well

I have semi-electric sport textil heated seats without memory

and i bought:

full electric leather heated with memory

is replace just plug and play?
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