From RonStygar_at_aol.com Thu Dec 25 21:29:12 1997
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 1997 00:28:09 EST
Subject: <E36><E36/5> Lets add a 2nd sunroof switch to my '96 328is & '97 318tis
I find raising my hand to open and close the sunroof, somewhat awkward. The
following describes how I eliminated this inconvenience on my '96 328is and
'97 318tis. On the 328is, I mounted a second sunroof switch just below the
passenger side window switch. You could also mount it just below the drivers
side window switch. On my 328is that position is already taken by the brake
light kill switch.
To accomplish this you will need a double curved frame and
an additional switch. On the four door cars (I'm guessing) you would use the
triple curved frame. On the ti, I mounted a second sunroof switch on the
sloped area just forward of the coin holder.
To accomplish this you will need
a single flat frame and an additional switch. In both cases you will have to
route a small two conductor cable (current draw on each of the control lines
is only 0.4 ma) from the added switch to the upper sunroof switch via the
drivers side A-pillar. The cable I used has a 1/8 inch O.D.. Although the A pillar
part appeared to be a monumental task, once I figured out how the
mounting clips worked, it was a piece of cake.
Pieces / parts: for the 328
Double curved frame 61 31 1 387 998 $1.60 retail
Switch 61 31 8 365 300 $39.40 retail
12 feet, two conductor cable
Triple curved frame 61 31 1 387 999 $3.18 retail
If you would like to save a few dollars, the switch for the ti would also
work in the 328. I just wanted to keep things the same. After ordering the 328
switch and doing it, I would use the ti switch for both applications. Unlike
the ti switch the 328 switch pins are recessed and are easily bent. I ended up
cutting the plug housing flush with the base to salvage this switch. Live and
learn. If you use the ti switch you will have to equate the pin differences
between the two switches. This is obvious if you look at photo 1.
Parts for the ti
Single flat frame 61 31 1 387 996 $1.45 retail
Switch 61 31 8 368 941 $31.95 retail
12 feet, two conductor cable
In both cases you will also need four female pins that fit the added switch
male pins. I happened to have some gold ones. If you are unable to find some,
keep looking. As a last resort, I will sell some of mine for $1.00 apiece. If
you can acquire the BMW connector and pins, that would be the way to go.
Here we go. The following is just a guide. As always, feel free to do it
Let's do the ti first. Remove the coin/cupholder assembly by undoing the
two Phillips (+) screws. In the forward sloped section of this assembly create
an opening to accommodate the flat frame and switch (See below, on how I did
this on my 328). Take the time to center horizontally and vertically. Mount
the flat frame. The switch mounts with the close button toward the drivers
side (solid white arrow)(see photo 2). Drill a 3/8 inch hole in the area just
below the added switch to provide a wire path. Pull up the shift boot by
pressing in on the sides. Pull up the foam insulation piece. Tap in to any of
the ground (brown) and the lighting (gray/red) wires in the console area.
Remove the sunroof switch pulling out using your fingernail under the frame.
Pull out the panel where this switch/frame was mounted. Note the wire color
sequence of the brown and gray/red wires and with the same orientation
duplicate these positions on the added switch (See photo 1). Solder the gold
pins to the two added wires, shrink tube the pins and route the two wires from
the console area up through the 3/8 inch hole that you drilled, and out the
switch opening you created. Plug the two wires into the added switch taking
care not to bend the male pins. Solder pins to the two conductor cable that
will be going to the upper sunroof switch, shrink tube the pins and plug into
the added switch. Remember which color you use for each pin so that when you
tap into the upper sunroof switch wiring you know which color goes where.
Route the cable through the 3/8 inch hole you drilled. Continue forward
through the console along the left side toward the gas pedal area.
We now have to route this cable to the upper sunroof switch. On both cars,
I routed this cable up to the sunroof switch via the drivers side A-pillar.
The drivers side upper area provides more of an opening compared to the
occupied (wires and sunroof module) passenger side. The panels on the drivers
side (328) are also easier to remove and install. Remove the drivers side
under dash knee panel. Route over the lower under dash panel over to the area
below the A-pillar. Pull back the A-pillar rubber seal and pry out the Apillar
upholstery. At the top, I used a putty knife to get it started. It just
snaps right out. Putting it back (initially) was not that easy. Make sure the
three (two on the 328) metal clips are spread apart enough to lock into the Apillar.
Make sure the inner tabs on the clips are pushed in and touching. Push
the three (two on the 328) clips back into the A-pillar. Remove the drivers
side visor. Remove the visor mirror light from the headliner just like you
removed the sunroof switch. Route the cable up through the side of the dash
coming out at the base of the A-pillar. I ran the cable up the flat side of
the A-pillar which faces the windshield, taping as I went. Pull back the
headliner slightly and feed the cable over to the visor light opening.
Continue over to the sunroof switch/map light opening. Tap into the upper
sunroof switch open and close lines remembering which colors you used on the
added switch. Before you put everything back together, check the sunroof
operation. If it opens and closes properly, good job! Put everything back
together. Adding the second sunroof switch to the ti came out really nice.
That's where it should of been in the first place. Your hand just naturally
For the 328 pull up the shift boot by pressing in on the sides. Pull up the
foam insulation piece. Remove the window switch and single frame from the side
you chose to mount the added switch. Elongate the chosen opening to
accommodate the double curved frame (same width, ~3 1/4 inch length). I did
this by marking the opening and prick punching a bunch of points along the
inboard edge of the marked line using a spring loaded prick (center) punch. I
then, using a small drill, drilled out the marked points. Cut out between the
points with small cutters and a razor knife. File or Dremel tool to the exact
size. Although tedious, on many applications, this method has always worked
for me. From here on its basically the same as the ti. The 328 came out just
as well. See photo 3.
RonStygar_at_aol.com, FLY BMW-CT, FLI BMW-CT, BMWCCA 15924
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