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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Sun, Dec-30-2018, 06:03:47 AM   #101
Contracheatcode
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texaz3 View Post
Personally I'd go for Vaders oe E46 seats. Vaders are plenty comfortable for me, drove 26 hours straight and they were fine. E46 are comfortable, but would probably look a bit out of place?


Well things move fast. I am looking at some e46 m3 seats tomorrow AM. I’ll post pics if I get them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Last edited by Contracheatcode; Sun, Dec-30-2018 at 07:49:45 PM.
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Old Sun, Dec-30-2018, 07:27:01 PM   #102
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Default E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Captain's Log: One quick trip later to check out the e46 M3 seats and I was sold. Bought from a super cool guy. He has an e46 M3 with cloth interior from factory. A while ago he replaced the cloth seats with some racing seats (sold the cloth), and did not like the racing seats. He was then on the hunt for some cloth seats and bought this set in the meantime. This set as full leather, heated and lumbar support.

Picture of the new seats: The only major issue is the drivers side bolsters inflate but the deflate button appears to be broken (if feels a little too wiggle when pressed). Hoping it's just a simple spring or at most a new button off eBay.



Below are picture of my seats removed before and after cleaning: Not too bad for 21 years of age. I will let you know what the coin count is when I gather all the nickles and dimes. (UPDATE: answer $1.80)

Drivers side before:

Drivers side after cleaning:



Passenger side before:

Passenger side after cleaning:


Feel free to send me any link about wiring e46 M3 seats to my e36 M3 4-door. I've done a little but need to dig deeper.

-Mike

Last edited by Contracheatcode; Mon, Dec-31-2018 at 12:01:41 AM.
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Old Mon, Dec-31-2018, 12:57:29 AM   #103
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Default E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Captain's Log: Today start the e46 M3 seats to e36 M3 seat swap DIY. There are not a lot DIY on this process so hopefully this proves useful to anyone looking to make the swap. As usual I will try to document the process the best I can.

Below is picture of drivers side Luxury e36 M3 seat from 4-door sedan (on left) and the e46 M3 seat with power, heated, and lumbar/bolster (on right).



BELOW ARE STATS FOR EACH SEAT:

Weight:
  • Luxury e36 M3 seat: 63.4 lbs
  • e46 M3 seat: 65.6 lbs

Seat Depth (measured from seat back cushion to front edge of seat):
  • Luxury e36 M3 seat: 20.5 inches
  • e46 M3 seat: 20.5 inches

Seat Height (measured from seat cushion to top of head rest):
  • Luxury e36 M3 seat: 30.0 inches
  • e46 M3 seat: 30.5 inches

Seat Width (measured from bottom seat cushion edge to edge of bolster):
  • Luxury e36 M3 seat: 19.5 inches
  • e46 M3 seat: 20.25 inches

Seat Width (measured from bottom seat cushion edge to edge of seat / where your butt sits):
  • Luxury e36 M3 seat: 13.0 inches
  • e46 M3 seat: 13.5 inches

Mounting Rail Width (measured center of mounting hole):
  • Luxury e36 M3 seat: 17.75 inches
  • e46 M3 seat: 17.75 inches

Mounting Rail Length (measured center of mounting hole):
  • Luxury e36 M3 seat: 14 1/8 inches (round shape mounting holes in seat frame)
  • e46 M3 seat: 14 5/16 inches (oval shape mounting holes in seat frame)



TESTING PHASE:

Time to confirm which motors are working. When I purchased I was not able to test the passenger side, and I wanted to investigate why the bolster support on the drivers side was not deflating.

Below is a picture of the 2 e46 M3 seats side by side.


Below is a picture of testing the drivers side using a 12v power supply.


Below is a close picture up of the connection Red = positive; Brown = Ground/Negative.


After removing the button connector (watch the YouTube clip from username "bimmermerchant: for an easy way to remove without braking any tabs), you can see that the button tab is broken. Every time the deflate button was pushed the whole button moved back rather than depressing the button. Will hopefully find just the cover piece on eBay. UPDATE: I could not find a used button on eBay or the scrap yards. These are about $45 new. After seeing the other side, I think I going to try GLUE. Not glue the switch to the plastic covering. Too ghetto for me. I'll take a picture of the final result.


Ran into another issue with the driver's seat TILT motor not responding to the button. So I began to methodically investigate. 1) Test the motor: I removed the motor and connected my external 12 volt power supply. Motor worked.... YaY. These motors are decently expensive. 2) Now it's time to work downstream from the motor. Time to test the wires, maybe the wire got cut somewhere along the way. Not sure how this would be possible. But you never know. Well after spot checking, the wires connecting this motor to the circuit board looked great. I removed the wire harness from the circuit board, used a voltmeter to check for continuity on the wires leading to the circuit board. And Yay. We have continuity. The wires are confirmed to be working. 3) Now it's time to test the circuit board. After removing the small screws holding the backplate to the circuit board, I identified the TILT switch and the associated relay. Now I am no expert at circuit boards. When the button was pressed it made a click at the relay, but no motor action. Since I do not have the knowledge to troubleshoot the circuit board, I went ahead and ordered a new one on eBay for $40. Flash forward a day later, I was retesting the motors and the TILT button moved the motor!!! No idea what happened, maybe it was me hitting the relay really hard like 5x in the old "hit the vending machine" technique. Regardless, the motor now responds to the button press and we have TILT control. Super YaY!!!


Driver Side and Passenger Side Leather SWAP:
After some extensive reading, I learned that you can switch the leather from the driver side the passenger side. That is really good news. The passenger side leather is "like new". When the drivers side is moved to the passenger side, it will preserve the leather from getting more worn. The driver side leather is not in horrible shape, but this swap should allow me to get another 100k+ miles out of the seats.

Since there is already a step by step write up on this swap, I will not duplicate. Below is the link to the write up from Bimmermann091:
https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1109646

After a few hours of methodically going through the process, below is the picture of the seats removed. I would rate this a 5/10 on difficulty for the first seat. After I knew the process, the second seat was a breeze.


Passenger Seat Occupancy Sensor:
With the leather removed, it's time to switch the occupancy sensor between the seats. Since the leather from the passenger side is moving to the driver side, the occupancy sensor must be switched. After some hands on investigation, I see 2 options:
  1. Swap the entire cushions: I started going down this path and realized there are a lot of small gold clips to undo to get the entire cushion off. I removed about 10 of the 30ish clips when I realized a better path, below
  2. Remove the occupancy sensor from one seat to another, leaving the cushions. The occupancy sensor just sits between the leather and the cushion. If you remove 1 clip in the middle of the seat (hidden way down there) you can just pull the occupancy sensor out without removing the cushion. It's a bit tricky as the space is tight, but well worth it.

Picture below of the passenger seat occupancy sensor removed: That is also the orientation when pulled out. Now move this to the other cushion.


Next Step: Put everything back together in the reverse order. After learning how to take the leather off, putting it back on is a breeze.


Last edited by Contracheatcode; Tue, Jan-22-2019 at 04:31:53 PM.
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Old Mon, Dec-31-2018, 01:44:48 AM   #104
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Default E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Captain's Log: e46 M3 seats to e36 M3 seat swap DIY

BELOW IS THE DIY ON WIRING:

Reminder: I am no wiring expert or electrician, though I am not a novice either. I would not advice attempting this without some knowledge or prior experience.

Wiring Harness:
  • The wiring harness from the e36 M3 Sedan is NOT the same as the wiring harness from the e46M. You cannot just plug the e36 wiring harness from the car into the wiring harness of the e46 M3 seat.
  • I think the best solution is to buy a passenger and drivers side e46 M3 wiring harnesses (male end). I found a pair on eBay for $30.
  • Then, cut off the passenger and drivers side e36 M3 Sedan wiring harnesses (female end) from the e36 M3 Sedan seats. You could buy a used pair on eBay and preserve the e36 M3 seats for future sale.
  • Then, solder the above 2 loose wiring harness together at the cut-off ends. My e36 M3 Sedan was only wired for power seats, so I only needed to solder 2 wires per seat (Power and Ground). I used a voltemeter to ensure I was soldering the correct wires together. Picture below: TBD

Driver's Seat: There are 2 main sets of wires coming out of the car that you need to contend with: 1) Power/Ground, and 2) Seat Belt. If you have heat on your e36 from the factory, you will have a 3rd set of wires.
  • Power: They are the red and brown wires that are thick. Red is positive. Brown is ground/ negative. The wiring harness will supply this power from the car. These wires power the motors, including the lumber and side bolsters. In the above "Wiring Harness" section, you should now have power.
  • Heated Seats: The seats will require a switch on the center console. Bad news for me as my car did not come from the factory with heated seats (I guess since it's a California car the original owner did not feel the need.... can't blame). My e36 M3 did not come with heated seats from the factory, so the existing wiring harness does not contain the necessary wires and no user pressed switches are pre-installed. The process to install the wiring and switches looks decently tricky and lengthy. So I will have to live with the e46 seats without heated seats. Bummer for the 2 days a year I would use in NoCal.
  • Memory: The memory function is also apparently tricky. From my research the e46 M3 seats stores the seat memory in the circuit board on the seat. BUT, the car links the memory to a specific key. So you cannot enter in new memory setting. Please let me know if there is a easy workaround. Still, I drive the car 99% of time. So I can live without the memory function and live in the "dark ages" where I have to manually press a button to move my seats. Could be worse.
  • Seat Belt Pretensioner: : "The pretensioner mechanism uses an explosive charge to drive a concealed piston when sensors detect the signature abrupt deceleration of an accident. The piston, in turn, rapidly drives the spool around which the fabric strap of a seatbelt is wrapped. That incredibly fast retraction of the belt fabric removes the slack from the belt instantly. This extra seatbelt "pre-" tension, moments prior to the full force of impact, pulls the bodies of the driver and front-seat passenger firmly into their seats. This positions them so as to receive the maximum protection benefit of the front airbags. It also helps prevent the unfortunate phenomenon car crash-ologists call "submarining." That's when the momentum caused by the crash jerks a victim's body under his or her lap belt and sends it careening forward below the dash." Sounds like this item is important to consider.
  • Seat Belt Pretensioner - Part 2: After some research, I learned e36 M3 with a build date of 3/1997 and before use mechanical pretensioner seat belts, while the e46 m3 used pyrotechnic seat belts. I also learned that you cannot hook up a pyrotechnic seat belt into a car wired for mechanical seat belts and expect the seat belts to tighten during an accident. Bad news!
  • Seat Belt Pretensioner - Part 3: From the Bentley wiring diagrams, it appears the mechanical seat belts are activated when the seat belt pretensioner senses a sudden deceleration. Not a signal from the e36 M3 wiring harness from the floor.
  • Seat Belt Pretensioner - Part 4: After removing swapping the e36 pretensioner seat belts onto the e46, I was not content with the fit. Specifically, the width of the e36 pretensioner was too wide and dug into the floor carpet. Additionally, when the e46 seat was lowered it pressed into the e36 pretensioner. To resolve this, your could move the e36 pretensioner away from the seat, but again the floor carpet does not allow enough room. I would estimate you need about 1/2 inch more room for the e36 pretensioner to fit better. I might be able to get this room by building new seat rails that move the e46 seat over the other direction, but this seems a little much.
  • Seat Belt Pretensioner - Part 5: For now, I am going to settle with using the e46 seat belt pretensioners on the e46 m3 seat in my e36 M3 sedan. This means that the pretensioners will not work in the event of an accident as the e46 seat belt pretentioners need a signal from the SRS control unit. Remember the pre 3/1997 e36 M3 have a build in sensor within the actual part.
  • Seat Belt Pretensioner - Part 6: If anyone knows how to get pyrotechnic seat belts working on a car with mechanical seat belts pretentioners, please let me know??? There must be a way. In the meantime, research shows that I have a 13% higher chance of death in an accident. "Kahane (2013) found that belted front-seat occupants of cars, crossover SUVs, and minivans with pretensioners and load limiters had a 12.8 percent lower fatality risk compared with occupants restrained by belts without either of these technologies."

Passenger's Seat: There are 3 main sets of wires coming out of the car that you need to contend with: 1) Power/Ground, and 2) Seat Belt, and 3) Occupancy Sensor. If you have heat on your e36 from the factory, you will have a 4th set of wires.
  • Occupancy Sensor for Airbag Purpose: To ensure the best compatibility and a working SRS system, I swapped the e36 M3 passenger seat Occupany Sensor circuit board (the black box attached to underside of seat) with that of the e46 M3 seat. Super simple switch and now allows for a plug-and-play into the existing e36 M3 car wiring harness. Nice!

Leather SWAP wiring length ISSUE: After the leather swap, I learned that the wiring harness coming from the seat back is too SHORT.
  • Cause: On the e46 M3 passenger seat the wiring harness for the seat back comes out of the side closest to the power seat controls. When this seat leather is swaped to drivers side, the wiring harness now has run about 18 more inches to reach the power seat controls which are now on the other side of the wiring harness. Bummer. But now worries.
  • Solution: Methodically start cutting wires and adding new wire to extend the length of each wire. It really was not bad and worth the time/effort in order to swap the leather.

e46 M3 Seat Rails too SHORT ISSUE:
  • Issue: The seat bolt positions (front to back) are shorter on the e36 M3 frame than that seat rail holes on the e46 M3. It's about 1/8 of an inch off.
  • Solution: Just drill the back holes in the e46 M3 seat 1/8 inch. My metal bits are crap, so I used a metal file that I had handy. Worked perfect.

e36 M3 Buckle (male end from car pillar) ISSUE FOR SEDANS:
  • Issue: The sedan on the e36 M3 sedan seats have a place to attach the seat belt strap from the car pillar incorporated IN the e36 M3 seats. The couples this is attached to the lower part of the same pillar.
  • Solution: Attach the belt to the outside rear seat bracket bolt. This will raise that corner an 1/8 of an inch due to the thickness of the steel. On the inside rear seat bracket bolt, I used a washer to raise that side to ensure a level seat.



Last edited by Contracheatcode; Tue, Jan-15-2019 at 09:03:33 PM.
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Old Mon, Dec-31-2018, 01:50:48 AM   #105
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Hmmm, that would be neat to see if this is relatively plug and play. Good luck, thanks for the DIY!
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Old Tue, Jan-22-2019, 04:49:48 PM   #106
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Default E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Captains Log: The e46 M3 seats are now installed in my e36 M3 1/997 sedan.

Overall Verdict: Amazing. They look fantastic. The leather on the old e36 M3 sedan seats was very ripped. For $400 the e46 M3 seats look new in comparison. The leather swap from the passenger side to the drivers side was well worth it. I am honestly sitting in "near" new leather on the drivers side. The wear on the passenger side will halt as most of the wear is on the left passenger side bolster. Since the passenger gets out of the car on the right, this side should not get too much more wear. This should preserve the leather from getting worn further down. I'll have to use some Leatherique Leather Rejuvenator/ Prestine Clean in the summer.

Regrets: The only major issue with the swap is the seat belt pretensioner. The mechanical pretensioner from the e36 M3 did not have enough room to fit with the e46 M3 seats. The e46 M3 seats are a bit wider and do now allow enough room for the e36 M3 pretensioner, which is slightly wider and bigger overall.

Regrets: A minor regret is not getting e46 M3 sedan seats. It's my understanding these seats do not have levers for the seats to fold and thus would be more appropriate for my sedan. I have not found sedan seats for sale in my area, so I was not going to wait to find a perfect set. Moreover, it's really not a big deal to have/see the levers.

Picture of seats installed:


Next Project(s):
  • Auto to manual swap
  • Front bumper repair crack and respray


Last edited by Contracheatcode; Tue, Jan-22-2019 at 04:54:11 PM.
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Old Tue, Jan-22-2019, 05:31:45 PM   #107
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Quite a bit of work, but looks great in the end!
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Old Thu, Jan-24-2019, 04:01:24 AM   #108
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

From your regrets #2
E46 M3 sedan seats? Yeah they didn’t make an e46 M3 sedan
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Discussing E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)