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December 16, 2021 3 min read 7 Comments

It is time to give an update about the BMW e46 Digital Gauge Cluster project. The whole team worked hard, and we made some significant progress. 

ID4Motion E46 Digital Gauge Cluster



To start, the hardware.

With the hardware, everything is finalized, with some minor details to be solved. The final order from the metal housing will arrive this week and is made 5 KM from our shop. The injection mold for the cover is finished, and the first batch will arrive in the paint shop shortly. We have the correct E46 connectors that will plug into the wiring harness. For this project, we will use our in-house PCB designs and the same automotive display we use in the E90, true and tested on 500+ BMWs right now.

K-Line to RXTX, is the only thing we have to decide.
We have to intergrade a K-Line adapter to the Digital Cluster input to convert it to something the gauges can understand. The preferred way is to do this is directly in the wiring harness. (If someone has any good tips?....)

 

ID4Motion E46 Display PCB
ID4Motion BMW E46 Display PCB

BMW E46 3 Series Cluster bracket
BMW E46 3 Series Cluster bracket

BMW E46 pin connectors
BMW E46 pin connectors


The install.

The installation is a thigh fit (watch out not to scratch your dashboard with the corners of the cluster.) But it will fit without cutting any part of your dashboard.

E46 Digital cluster mounting bracketBMW E46 cluster cover

We will use the already exciting mounting points for the installation from the cluster. The two bolts will go true the cover and display bracket, with some extra room for adjustments. The bolts will secure the whole unit, with the lower part of the cluster fitting snug to the bottom of the dashboard.

E46 digital display mounting bracketE46 digital cluster cover


We are working out the signals.

We are making great strides in decoding all the signals necessary.
An overview of what we already got: 

Signal

Type

Implemented

Comments

Vehicle speed

Freq

Yes

 

Engine speed/RPM

CAN

Yes

 

Coolant temp (lin/n-lin)

CAN

Yes

 

Coolant temp high

CAN

Yes

 

Traction control indicator

CAN

Yes

 

Fuel consumption

CAN

Yes

 

Transmission mode

CAN

Yes

 

Gear

CAN

Yes

 

Check engine

CAN

Yes

 

EML

CAN

Yes

 

dde (diesel only)

CAN

Yes

 

Traction control

CAN

Yes

 

Cruise control indicator

CAN/Digi

Yes

 

ABS indicator

Digi

Yes

 

Oil pressure low

Digi

Yes

 

Oil level low

Digi

Yes

 

Battery level low

Digi

Yes

 

Coolant level low

Digi

Yes

 

Washer fluid level low

Digi

Yes

 

Brake fluid level low

Digi

Yes

 

Parking brake

Digi

Yes

 

Airbag warning

Digi

Yes

 

Brake wear

Digi

Yes

 

Catalytic convertor

 

Working on it

WORKING ON IT

Outside temp

Analog

Yes

 

Fuel level

Analog

Yes

 

Oil pressure

 

Working on it

SIGNAL NOT PRESET IN TEST VEHICLE

Oil temp

 

Working on it

SIGNAL NOT PRESET IN TEST VEHICLE

Distance to Empty

f(fuel&fc)

Yes

 

Odometer(current)

f(speed)

Yes

 

Trip distance

f(odo)

Yes

 

Odometer(total)

K-bus

Yes

 

VIN

K-bus

Yes

 

Tyre pressure yellow

K-bus

Yes

 

Tyre pressure red

K-bus

Yes

 

Convertible icon

K-bus

Working on it

SIGNAL NOT PRESET IN TEST VEHICLE

Turn indicators(2)

K-bus

Yes

 

Doors/boot status(5)

K-bus

Yes

 

Fuel cap status

K-bus

Working on it

SIGNAL NOT PRESET IN TEST VEHICLE

Driver seat belt

K-bus

Working on it

WORKING ON IT

Head lights

Digi

Yes

 

High beam

K-bus

Yes

 

Front fog lamp

K-bus

Yes

 

Rear fog lamp

K-bus

Yes

 

Head/tail light warning(4)

K-bus

Yes

 

 

Because they're a lot of different variations of the E46, we can't measure everything on our test vehicle, so we need to borrow some models to complete the list.

If we are missing essential pieces, please let us know.

Features


The E46 will keep every functionality the original gauge cluster has, including all the tell-tales it can show. But also new extra's


BMW E46 Backup camera
You will be able to add a backup camera to the cluster for a complete view of your surroundings.

BMW E46 G-Force sensor
A G-Force sensor is implemented for braking, accelerating, or taking hard corners.


BMW E46 Cluster Night mode
We implemented a Night mode to be more visible to read in the dark. 


BMW E46 Digital Cluster Settings

And many more settings to change, like the appearance.

BMW E46 Design YellowBMW E46 Design aquaBMW E46 Design VioletBMW E46 Design RedBMW E46 Design NeonBMW E46 Design WhiteBMW E46 Design Green

The Timeline


1. Starting January 2022, our test vehicles will drive around with the cluster and give it a shake-down.

2. Early on in February, we will invite 20 test drivers to be the first ones to drive around with it. Testing will be for a reduced price incl. All the features, in trade of feedback.
(Applications will start on the last week of January)

3. If the 20 test drivers are booked, we will take on preorders (Delivery will be after the major bugs are solved)

 

E46 Digital cluster testing
E46 Digital Cluster testing

Subscribe to the E46 Mailinglist


7 Responses

dist01
dist01

December 30, 2021

boost pressure
lambda
ingnition spark
sam tuners gauge

Robert
Robert

December 30, 2021

I`m very interested in being one of the 20 test drivers. I own a convertible, M54B30 with Kompressor stage3 engine (350 HP), manual,
with a MS42.0 programmed dme. (before motorchange it was a M52B28TU).
I also have the Oil-modul inside which shows me the Motoroil-Temps, a Backward camera and much more).

Willis
Willis

December 30, 2021

I’d be very interested in being one of the 20 test drivers. I own a 2001 330CI , I come from Taiwan.

Ricardo Cloete
Ricardo Cloete

December 18, 2021

Great stuff! excellent progress. Heel goed! Can you include the analogue style fuel consumption indicator? It’s always been available in all BMW’s except some ///M models and turbocharged vehicles. Some of us(like me) drive M54B30’s and those things use a lot of petrol!

Rui Ferreira
Rui Ferreira

December 17, 2021

Oil pressure signal in e46 have 2 types first car send negative signal and later cars has can signal. If you need i can access several e46 from different years i can do tests.

zeGerman
zeGerman

December 17, 2021

I’d be very interested in being one of the 20 test drivers. I own a convertible, M54B30 engine, manual, with a MS43 dme.

Panagiotis
Panagiotis

December 17, 2021

Most of these readings can be done with k-bus. Resler’s usb interface with the ibus app on android can do them all via kbus (speed,rpm,coolant temp, fuel liters, doors/windows open and a lot more). I believe it would be wise to at least talk to him and see if it’s a better choice to implement just the kbus to get all data. IF the refresh is good enough for the cluster to work properly.
Oil temp I believe can be read only on M models and station wagons. On sedan I got for eg. nor oil temp not oil level can be shown. Only the low level light is shown if it drops.
If the price is right though, I’d love to be on the testing or even alpha/beta stages since I do over 2000km/month and the car has some extra features that can be tested with the cluster(cruise control, auto headlights, auto wipers). Also I can test it against the reslers interface, or even send you the usb to give it a try. The cost of it if you can implement it on the cluster will be fair compared to the total cost of such a cluster.

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