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DIY: E90 Lumbar Support Retrofit
E90 with Power Sport Seats
Published by HomeBrew
02-27-2011
DIY: E90 Lumbar Support Retrofit

This is the installation of the driver side lumbar support in a 2006 BMW 330i with existing side bolster support (sport package).

I ordered the individual connectors, pins, and bushings for the new harnesses (details later). The dealer told me that the lumbar wiring might* be included with an entire new seat harness (p/n: 61 12 6 942 559), but this is unverified as it needed to be ordered from Germany.

There is no programming needed since the lumbar and side bolsters are not involved in the seat memory.

Tools:
Trim Removal Tool / Medium Gauge Wire Cutters
Soldering Iron
Solder
Heat Shrink Tubing
Wire Fish (really helps!)

Parts Needed:
1x Lordosis Pad - 52 10 7 140 555
1x Pump and new valves - 52 10 7 138 786
2x Universal Socket HO - 61 13 6 909 058
14x Bushing Contact - 61 13 0 006 663
4x Pin Contact - 61 13 0 006 664

The pins and bushing contacts come with several inches of wire attached which is enough to build the harnesses; no extra wire is necessary.

Here we go:

Before doing this, make sure to disconnect the battery and wait at least 60 seconds before disconnecting anything.

I removed the entire seat so I could see what wiring was already in place, since the dealer couldn't tell me for sure. There are four torx screws and one large yellow connector (airbags, etc) which need to be removed.

If you decide to remove the seat and disconnect the yellow connector. Make sure you wait at least a minute before turning the car back on after its all put back together (this is per my dealer).

Wiring:

If you decide to order the entire harness, then skip this section. Otherwise, the information needed to create the two harnesses is below:

At a high level, we need to create two harnesses:
1. From the new switch to the existing connector.
2. From the existing connector to the new pump and valves.

It is very important that the connections between the two wires is soldered and is wrapped in heat shrink. Also make sure you label each pin, bushing, and harness so that you remember what they are for.

The existing connector is labeled on all three diagrams but is also noted by X11586 (in green)

I'm writing this DIY several months after the installation, so I don't recall the exact pin relationships.

Wiring Diagrams:

Existing Connector Inputs/Outputs (diagram label: X11586):


Side Bolster Diagram:


Driver Lumbar Support Diagram:



The side bolster diagram is what was in place in my vehicle and was utilizing the connector.

The open pins on the connector are for the missing lumbar support.

I tapped the existing side bolster switch for power and grounded the new lumbar switch under the seat. For power to the new valve, I tapped the power leading to the pump, per the diagram.

Trace the above diagrams from switch to connector and then to the pump and valve

Before you start soldering, make sure of the following:

The bushing/pins correspond to the switch, valve, or pump you are connecting them to.

Pins are inserted into bushings.

If you have any questions on the diagrams, just shoot me a PM.

Finished Harnesses:

--------

Installation

1. Remove the 2 clips on the bottom of the seat back by cutting them with wire cutters or just pulling down. There is a high risk that these clips will be wrecked, but if you're careful they can be reused.

Once the clips are removed, slide the back down a few inches and rotate it to the right. Once it has been rotated, it can be removed. If you try to remove it without rotating, the six clips can snap... so be careful.


2. Once the back of the seat is off, you'll see a white fabric, covering the existing valve for the side bolsters. There are four catches holding it in place. The two along the top need to be removed first; then it will slide down, out of the remaining two along the sides.


3. In various instructions I found, the pump is supposedly held in by two clips. In my case, it was zip tied. The valve was held in by the pressure of the tubing. Simply slide it to the right and it will fall off. Unclip the existing harness from the valve and cut the zip ties holding the pump in place. Remove the pump, tubing, and valve (can be removed as one piece, not whats in the picture).


4. The new pump and valves


5. Insert the new lordosis pad behind the wire mesh. It needs to be inserted sideways, and once it's in place, it can be rotated to fit.


6. Put the bottom foam tabs over the 3rd wire (from the bottom) and the top tabs over the 5th wire (from the bottom). Route the new tubing to the right, and out of the wire mesh.


7. The hole for the switch is already scored. I used a dremel with a small drill bit and punched several holes. I then switched to a sanding bit and slowly sanded down to the outer edge of the ring.

If you sand too quickly, the plastic will melt.


8. The new switch clips in from the back. Once you have it clipped in, make sure the buttons move in all directions without any resistance.


9. Connect the switch side of your new harness, and snake it through the seat following the existing cabling and connect it to the existing harness. From the existing harness, fish it up the right side of the seat (from the back), and make your connections to the pump and valve. Connect the existing harness to the side bolster pump (a wire fish comes in handy for this).

New Pump and Valves Installed:


Valves close up:


I went zip tie crazy, just to insure everything stays in place (notice all the green zip ties).

Test everything multiple times before you put it back together

10. Put the white fabric back in place.

11. Re-attach the seat back. Reverse the procedure above. Start at a 25 degree angle and rotate the seat cover so it's straight. This will engage the two clips on each side of the cover. You'll need to slide the cover upwards to engage the clips at the bottom and top.

This is my first DIY, please give me any suggestions you may have!
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  #1  
By Tomppa_AC on 03-05-2011, 02:50 PM
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Thanks a LOT, for this DIY!

I did the same operation today on my E92 (non-electric sports-seats, with existing side bolster support) and thought of doing a DIY for that project, but it seems I was a bit late

However, I purchased the wiring as well (the wiring from under the seat to both lumbar-pumps) so that every part would be as "from factory".

I was able to install everything as it is supposed to be in the backrest, very much as you had done it, but my project came to a dead stop, since I didn't have the wire from the 4-way switch to where-ever it is supposed to be connected. I'm going to visit my dealer next week to order the correct parts (probably to whole under-seat wiring).

I'll probably make a DIY of my own, based on the install with factory parts.

Anyway, this helped a alot and reassured me that it is possible (although not very cheap) to install lumbar support as a retrofit.

Even now, that I only put in the lordosis pad into the backrest I can feel a clear difference in lumbar-support (it was hopeless before and was killing my back) and I can't wait to be able to adjust it even more!
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  #2  
By Tomppa_AC on 03-07-2011, 11:14 AM
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Hi,

Just to confirm, the 61126942559 part is the correct harness for this job, however it includes only the harness for the backrest (connectors for pump, lordosis valve / lumbar valve / seatbottom connection) and not the harness from the 4-way switch to wherever it is supposed to be connected.

Sent a mail to my dealer today, if they could help me out with the rest.
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  #3  
By flyinglow330 on 04-05-2011, 03:57 AM
Hey Tomppa, where you able to get an answer from your dealer regarding the missing harness?
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  #4  
By HomeBrew on 04-14-2011, 09:36 AM
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Good to know about the harness.

If I wind up doing the passenger side, I would just order the harness this time. But since the harness needed to be ordered from Germany (3 or 4 weeks for delivery, and I already had the seat ripped apart), I just made it myself

Thanks for the confirmation!
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  #5  
By ecomposer on 04-17-2011, 03:20 PM
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How about a manual air bladder?

Great photos.

It looks like a $10 blood pressure cuff or the $50 Corbeau air bladder may be easily introduced in front or in back of the spring-anchored backrest harness (or elsewhere?) to correspond with the absent lumbar support area quite easily. I'll be popping of that backrest cover and take a look first chance I get. I did a search and found a Porsche thread where this manual air bladder/blood pressure cuff solution was done rather simply and that it reportedly preserved the stock look- no pics though.

http://www.986forum.com/forums/printthread.php?t=3763

Sound do-able for E90?
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  #6  
By HomeBrew on 04-17-2011, 11:02 PM
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Certainly doable.

I could see two possible problem spots.

1. It might be tricky to get tubing outside the seat. Unless you bring the tubing from the pad, down to the bottom of the seat, and then out to the side. But could catch on the slides/rails for the seat movement.

2. Securing the pad to the wires might be an issue. Securing it so it doesn't slide up/down in the back of the seat with zip ties could cause it to rip under pressure.

If you try this, let's see some pictures!
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  #7  
By jvxbimmer on 04-20-2011, 12:47 AM
Great post
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  #8  
By rmkearbey on 04-20-2011, 06:23 PM
Nice!
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  #9  
By chesterroh on 04-27-2011, 09:52 PM
Hi SLeagle328,

I'm doing the same thing with my f10 535d. It does have sports seat with heat/cool but without lumbar support ridiculously in my country. I'm retrofitting lumbar support parts into my seat. Having purchased relevant mechanical parts, I'm not find any information of how to wire those parts. How can I get harness map or something ? F10 parts are definitely different from E90 ones. I just want to follow your trail of best practice if possible. Could you please help me a bit to get out of this can't-do-anything situation ? Thanks.
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  #10  
By HomeBrew on 04-29-2011, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chesterroh View Post
Hi SLeagle328,

I'm doing the same thing with my f10 535d. It does have sports seat with heat/cool but without lumbar support ridiculously in my country. I'm retrofitting lumbar support parts into my seat. Having purchased relevant mechanical parts, I'm not find any information of how to wire those parts. How can I get harness map or something ? F10 parts are definitely different from E90 ones. I just want to follow your trail of best practice if possible. Could you please help me a bit to get out of this can't-do-anything situation ? Thanks.
The diagrams are from the BMW WDS.

You could probably find the wiring harnesses in the BMW parts catalog (your dealer can help with this).

If you're not familiar or not confident with wiring diagrams, soldering, and heat shrinking, I'd say just order the entire harness from your dealer (might cost more, but will definitely be easier)
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  #11  
By Tomppa_AC on 06-14-2011, 04:53 PM
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Hi all.

Sorry for not getting back to this before, I only recently got the lumbar support installed with the correct harnesses.

Good news = Both the backrest and the seat bottom harness are available from the dealership at a reasonable price.

The original harness in the seat bottom lacks the connector for the 4-way switch of the lumbar support, but it is always included in the retrofit seat bottom harness you can buy at the dealership.

So this is the correct seat bottom harness for my cars drivers side (Sport seats / non-power, E92 06/2007): 61129131631

Therefore, installation was quite straightforward, simply replace both the seat bottom and backrest harness, install the new dual pressure valve / pump as well as lordosis pad and you're good to go!
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  #12  
By Tomppa_AC on 06-14-2011, 07:47 PM
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Here is a link to my DIY, hopefully it will be of use to someone!

http://aircooled.suomalainenverkkoka...arRetrofit.pdf
Last edited by Tomppa_AC; 08-08-2011 at 06:06 PM.
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  #13  
By woodpecka on 07-13-2011, 09:34 PM
There is a complete kit for sale here, including the wiring harness.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=558486
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  #14  
By HomeBrew on 08-01-2011, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomppa_AC View Post
Here is a link to my DIY, hopefully it will be of use to someone!

http://www.aircooled.fi/public/Tommy...arRetrofit.pdf
Link is 404
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  #15  
By Tomppa_AC on 08-08-2011, 06:06 PM
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Link corrected.
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  #16  
By HomeBrew on 08-08-2011, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomppa_AC View Post
Link corrected.
Nice write-up! Good point on our backrests vs others.
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  #17  
By Rampage9 on 09-07-2011, 06:39 PM
Just did the retrofit to my drivers seat on the weekend, and I can confirm that 61 12 9 131 729 is the correct seat bottom harness for those with power + memory + sport seats. Everything is simple plug and play, but getting the plastic trim off of the side of the seat bottom for the switch is a real b!tch!

Big thanks to SLeagle328 and Tomppa_AC for their DIYs! The addition of the lumbar support is much improved over the stock seat.
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  #18  
By HomeBrew on 09-24-2011, 02:48 PM
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Just a heads up, if you have any questions, my username has been changed from SLeagle328 (which the DIY was originally posted under) to HomeBrew.

Let me know if you have any q's.
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  #19  
By darwin on 08-20-2012, 06:58 AM
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Hi
I am trying to follow your DIY for my sport seats of a E87, but I do not have on my seats the "black box", please can you give me the reference number to fin to locate in the OEM
Regars
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  #20  
By darwin on 08-20-2012, 10:20 AM
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Hi
I ve finded out that the black box is the heating seat box. And I am wonder if I have already heated seats do I need to conect the seat harness to that box. Can anyone please confirm this?
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  #21  
By Tomppa_AC on 08-21-2012, 04:10 AM
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Hi.

My seats are heated, so they might differ a bit. I checked realoem for the E87 and it also has the black box, so if it is missing then you probably don't have heated seats.

If not, I suppose you then have to get a retrofit wiring harness that fits non-heated seats. I can help you dig it up, if you throw me mail that gives a bit more details on your car (month / year / engine / left-right drive).
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