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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 03-29-2004, 02:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My car did not have the on-board computer option but only the clock. I see that someone has the "on-board computer" for sale on e-bay and I was wondering if anyone ever installed one on a car that did not have one from the factory. What is for sale looks like the display unit but it could have the computer processor as part of that unit. Is the computer just the display unit or is there more to it than just the display. I do not know if the wiring would be different or if all cars come pre-wired for the option such as for the CD or security system additions. Any information would be great.
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Old 03-29-2004, 07:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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good question, its been asked before, and to be tottally honest i dont remember if the gentleman ever got back to us on if it worked or not.

i guess you should call the dealership and see what they say, if the harness is there than i see no problem. but if its lacking than it looks like no dice.

get back to me on this because im curious.
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Old 03-30-2004, 03:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Indeed, it's an interesting question...... Wanna know if this can be done!
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Old 03-30-2004, 08:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I was wondering the same thing, but about the heater/ac controls I want to change to the digital controls, right now I have the knobs with dual climate control.....I wonder if its prewired, or if the units use the same wiring.......

Thanks!

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Old 03-30-2004, 11:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The climate control element cannot be changed without spending serious dollars. The OBC will work depending on how mnay harnesses it uses. the clock/date only uses one harness. The ones with Check Control use two. Obviously, if the OBC uses two harnesses and only one is in the car, it wont work.
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Old 03-31-2004, 11:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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There are three different kinds of OBCs out there. The 7- 11- and 18-button versions. I remember reading an article about how to convert from the 11- to 18-button. Which means you buy the 18-button unit and rewire everything. They recommended to get the second connector from the junk yard or the dealer. But don't attempt this unless you like to cut, clamp and fiddle around with wires for about three straight hours.



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Old 03-31-2004, 11:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It looks like never ending work
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Old 03-31-2004, 01:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I also talked to the tech at a local dealership and he told me he tried to do it. The cars do not come pre-wired for the hardest configuration. Although both the clock and the OBC have a single connection, the OBC will not work in a car not configured for it without replacing the wiring harness and including a couple of monitoring devices. The OBC also has a code that allows for the security system to shut down systems as well. This seems like way too much work for what I want to accomplish... the time on the clock looks pretty good right now.
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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my 11-button OBC is dead. can in replace it with an 18-button without the conversion and just have it run on limited functionality, like time and temperature? it's more a cosmetic thing but the 18 buttons seem a lot easier and cheaper to get than the 11's.
anyone tried plugging in an 18? will it not work at all?
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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