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DIY - retrofit paddle shifters
Published by ska///235i
03-12-2010
DIY - retrofit paddle shifters

non-paddle shift steering wheel retrofit to paddle shift...

ATTN: do at your own risk....

I'm just putting everything together in one DIY thread that other members have already done and adding more info. to make this easier.
This will be step by step instructions and will use other DIY links and their pictures to make this complete.

You'll need a steering wheel for paddle shifters and the paddles itself....and assuming you already have a ZSP steering wheel.
You'll only need some basic wiring skills and maybe some wiring from Radio shack or from an old computer.
You DO NOT need those expensive $250 harness.

Thanks for AlanIOW
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=246114





Step 1:
Follow the below DIY link (by bavarian19) to remove your steering wheel and transfer everthing to your paddle shift steering wheel.
We'll need some wiring done before putting the steering wheel back on.
(Remember to disconnect the battery)
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11825




Step 2:
2a) Prepare some wires and pin connectors....
I'm using wires from an old computer (or you can buy and make your own). Remove the pin connectors from the black plastic case.
3rd pic shows the "pin connector" removed from the case (Note: Lets call these "Pin Connectors")
We'll need around 6 wires.... at least 2 of the wires will need to have the pin connectors on both end of the wires.







2b) Look at your multifunction button connector from the steering wheel trim,
you should see 2 unuse slots in the case. Use the 2 wires with pin connectors on both ends.
One end will be to fill in the unuse slot in the case of the multifunction button connector and the other end to connect to the paddle shifter connector.






2c) Now the paddle shifters....the connectors are also female, how do we connect 2 females?
I used some 20 gauge "hook-up wire" from radioshack. I cut 3/4 of an inch and removed the inside pin...18 gauge might fit better
(here are the specs of these hook-up wires: rated 300 volts - 20 gauge - Solid - 80C - 1/64 " PVC)
~You can always use your own idea on how to connect the wiring~
Now we can use these pins we made to connect both ends.








2d) paddle shifter connector will have #1,2,3 slot...follow AlanIOW's diagram on how to connect the wiring.
To save some time and shift like DCT paddles, skip the wiring to #1 slot on the paddle shifter connector

to modify the shifts please follow this link by Kentgbr
http://www.n54tech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=699




For DCT paddles, #1 slot will be empty, #2 is ground/earth, connect #3

here's a pic of my wheel...it also shows you where to ground/earth your wire from #2 slot

**secure any exposed wiring with electrical tape and place the wires nicely**


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  #1  
By ska///235i on 03-12-2010, 08:12 PM
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Step 3
remove upper/lower steering column trim to access some wiring behind the coil spring cartridge (aka: slip ring)
(DIY/Pics from doba_s DIY)

"Pull the upper part first. Pull it up and do one side at a time.
You can use a medium size flathead screwdriver and push it up from the inside, but be very careful "
"Remove the lower part by pressing on the tabs (one on each side)"









Behind the coil spring cartridge you should see 2 wire connections
Remove the one closest to the center that have the lock (2nd pic below) and remove it from its casing







depending on your car year/model/options...etc; this connector might have 2 empty pin slots (pin #2 & 4) or you might have 2 yellow wires in pin #2&4.

If you have empty pin slots, then insert 2 wires you made with the pin connectors (these 2 wires will need to be approx. 2.5 feet long).
If you have 2 yellow wires in pin #2&4, then remove the pins and follow above. Make sure to tape up the unused pins of the yellow wires and secure them.

Pic 1 has the empty pin slots
Pic 2 has the 2 yellow wires







Now the other end of these 2 wires will run to the center console, this part is very easy.
Follow Mr. 5 DIY link on how to remove the center console trim
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137527

Then, remove the lower part near the gas pedal area (see pic) and run your wires inside there to the center console.








These 2 pics shows where the wires go, you'll see a small gap in between where the arrows point to. Simply slide your wire in between this gap.
Again, the 2 wires from behind the spring cartridge runs to the center console.
You should tape up the wires so that it doesn't hang all over the place, I run the wiring following the oem wires of the steering wheel that are tie to the column and then run it thru where the small gap as describe above.









and now the final part of wiring...
The end of the 2 wires will be connected to the blue connectors under the gear selector, from here we need to tap into the 2 middle wires of the blue connector.
(below pic shows the blue connector)








Now follow AlanIOW's diagram and his direction

"The easy way would be to use scotch clips to the 2 central wire or even just push the wires into the back of either blue connector."
("Ignore the wire colours in my diagrams they are all a bit random")
















This is it.....put everything back together but I'll recommend leaving the center console trim open till you have fully tested the paddle shifting.




some notes:
my car is an early 2006 built and I can only shift while in DS mode, but most ppl can shift even in D mode.
I guess it depends on the programing and/or when your car is built....will update this DIY if anything changes
Last edited by ska///235i; 03-13-2010 at 03:56 PM.
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  #2  
By ska///235i on 03-13-2010, 04:11 PM
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Completed...enjoy





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  #3  
By Kingkow on 03-13-2010, 07:12 PM
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Amazing Post!

Thank you so much. Great compilation of all the info. Already purchased m y wheel on ebay and I look forward to do this mod. Thanks a lot for taking the time to compile the info!


Last edited by Kingkow; 03-13-2010 at 07:14 PM. Reason: Rating Rating Rating! Really clear instructions
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  #4  
By AYF80 on 03-20-2010, 07:17 AM
If I already have the Old Paddles, can I just upgrade to the SMG/ DCT Paddles? If so, what all do I need? Paddles and what?
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  #5  
By ska///235i on 03-20-2010, 11:27 AM
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of course you can...
just take out the steering wheel and the multi-function, old paddles.....then plug the dct paddles and put everything back on.
No modification needed in your case...just plug and play

Quote:
Originally Posted by HPF 335i #1 View Post
If I already have the Old Paddles, can I just upgrade to the SMG/ DCT Paddles? If so, what all do I need? Paddles and what?
Last edited by ska///235i; 03-20-2010 at 12:16 PM.
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  #6  
By AlanIOW on 04-01-2010, 04:41 PM
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Well done for putting together a proper DIY guide, my original post was popular, but a bit disjointed, I will add a link to this DIY in my post.

Sorry about my wiring diagrams, they are a bit basic and look like a 3yr olds art work, but they were knocked up in a few mins. [ No disrespect to any 3yr olds out there!!]

AlanIOW
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  #7  
By ska///235i on 04-01-2010, 08:43 PM
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all props go to you Alan
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  #8  
By ska///235i on 04-13-2010, 09:59 PM
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want to add more info on making your own wires, pins (male & female)

check out this DIY thread, some helpful info

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=326924
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  #9  
By benny90 on 06-06-2010, 12:43 AM
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Exclamation

Ok someone PLEASE help! The OP did a decent job of describing everything that needs to be done.

However, none of the cable directions show WHICH cable goes where?! I need help with this. If you have done this yourself please let me know how to properly do this and where each cable goes.

Thanks
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  #10  
By sim@ecuprogram on 06-06-2010, 02:01 AM
nice work
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  #11  
By ska///235i on 06-06-2010, 10:44 AM
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i got your pm...so 1st set of wires is from the paddle shifters to the multi-function connector remember to ground/earth #2 pin of the paddle shift
(the multi-function connector connects to the steering column/slip ring.)

then 2nd set of wires is from the back of the steering column/slip ring..there's a connector, this then connects/tabs to the auto-shift wires
everything is shown above, read it a few times and you should understand it
Last edited by ska///235i; 06-06-2010 at 10:57 AM.
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  #12  
By benny90 on 06-06-2010, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ska325xi View Post
i got your pm...so 1st set of wires is from the paddle shifters to the multi-function connector remember to ground/earth #2 pin of the paddle shift
(the multi-function connector connects to the steering column/slip ring.)

then 2nd set of wires is from the back of the steering column/slip ring..there's a connector, this then connects/tabs to the auto-shift wires
everything is shown above, read it a few times and you should understand it
I have the locations of everything down fine. What I need is to know which wire goes in which hole in the connector.

Like slot 1 in the paddle shifters, does that go in the slot in the multi switch connector on the bottom or the one near the middle? What about the wire for slot 3?

Also the wires coming from the slip ring connector, which wire should go to which wire (what color) from the blue connectors?

I don't think its listed but if I missed it my bad. Let me know when you get a chance.
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  #13  
By benny90 on 06-06-2010, 01:26 PM
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Anyone?? It's all off my car right now... the wheel and the center console... I'd like to get this fixed up ASAP!
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  #14  
By ska///235i on 06-06-2010, 08:27 PM
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It doesnt matter for now.......what all that means is you,ll have one side shifting up or the other

Ones you finish everything, leave the center consule of the auto shift area open and just re-tab the 2wires if you want to reverse the shifting (+ or -)


If you,re confuse theres a diagram above that shows the 3pins, you can skip

#1 pin so it,ll shift like dct paddles
Last edited by ska///235i; 06-06-2010 at 08:33 PM.
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  #15  
By benny90 on 06-08-2010, 05:56 PM
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Well I'm not sure exactly what part of it went wrong. I installed it exactly to your directions and it's a no-go for functioning paddles . I also tried switching the wires around and nothing, the weird part is that it doesn't do anything at all, down or upshift... any ideas?>
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  #16  
By ska///235i on 06-08-2010, 08:25 PM
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Cant really tell you cuz i dont see your wiring...etc

Make sure the homemade pins are properly connected

Do you have dct paddles or regular?

What year is your car?

Did you shift to DS mode and then shift?
Last edited by ska///235i; 06-08-2010 at 08:33 PM.
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  #17  
By schulrog on 06-10-2010, 12:04 AM
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Hi All,

I created the first E6x retrofit kit and am just about to release one for E8x and E9x models. Nice work so far but please be cautious when tinkering with this... It takes a LOT of time and research to make this bullet proof and if you make one small mistake you will fry just about any module in your vehicle, which is why firms take the time and research to perfect their kits.

This DIY is ok but there are some pretty big flaws with it regarding the wiring itself, which is also why it won't shift in D. Again... Please think about it twice before you start messing with integrated circuits and the wiring especially since a lot of this is very heavily dependant on what options you have for your vehicle.
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  #18  
By hugus311 on 06-10-2010, 03:01 AM
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  #19  
By ska///235i on 06-10-2010, 09:18 AM
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I actually like it not shifting in D since the paddles are located on the steering wheel (prefer paddles on steering column) accidental shifting can occur.
But you're right, it's a simple wiring diy and do at own risk like any other diys

Quote:
Originally Posted by schulrog View Post
Hi All,

I created the first E6x retrofit kit and am just about to release one for E8x and E9x models. Nice work so far but please be cautious when tinkering with this... It takes a LOT of time and research to make this bullet proof and if you make one small mistake you will fry just about any module in your vehicle, which is why firms take the time and research to perfect their kits.

This DIY is ok but there are some pretty big flaws with it regarding the wiring itself, which is also why it won't shift in D. Again... Please think about it twice before you start messing with integrated circuits and the wiring especially since a lot of this is very heavily dependant on what options you have for your vehicle.
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  #20  
By benny90 on 06-10-2010, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ska325xi View Post
Cant really tell you cuz i dont see your wiring...etc

Make sure the homemade pins are properly connected

Do you have dct paddles or regular?

What year is your car?

Did you shift to DS mode and then shift?
I'll take some pics later on if I try and go at the DIY again. Right now I went ahead and took out all the wiring. I now have a nice air bag warning now . Hopefully I can get that worked out.

Does anyone know what all is needed for the burger turning kit? I know they require you to get a harness but I need to know which one to get and the douche there wouldn't tell me without ordering the damn thing first
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  #21  
By schulrog on 06-10-2010, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benny90 View Post
I'll take some pics later on if I try and go at the DIY again. Right now I went ahead and took out all the wiring. I now have a nice air bag warning now . Hopefully I can get that worked out.

Does anyone know what all is needed for the burger turning kit? I know they require you to get a harness but I need to know which one to get and the douche there wouldn't tell me without ordering the damn thing first
haha of course not! they put the time and $ into figuring this out

ok... where are you at with this? did you purchase a new steering wheel? your vehicle does not have the sports package correct? what year is your E9x?

The airbag fault has to be cleared by your BMW dealer.
Last edited by schulrog; 06-10-2010 at 02:35 PM.
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