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E46 Final stage resistor/hedgehog DIY guide

BMW forum 3 series car: E21, E30, E36, E46, E90, E91, E92, E93, F30, F31, F34, F35

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E46 Final stage resistor/hedgehog DIY guide

Postby stun » Mon, 22 Feb 2010 23:38:04 UTC

I changed the hedgehog in the car today and given the number of posts on the matter recently thought I'd take a few pics along the way and hopefully be of use to someone else.

It took me just over 1 hour to complete and is a nuisance of a job due to tight access and poor visibility. You will need the following -

Torch
Screwdriver (philipshead)
Torx T20 (I used a small ratchet) magnetic head if you can
Small mirror to get my bearings

Image

You will have to remove the panel below the steering column to gain access. 3 screws at the front, 1 behind the clutch, 2 clips just below the steering column and a clip in the corner at the centre console.

Drop the panel down slightly and remove the 2 connections for the footwell light and the OBD2 socket.

Slightly behind and to the left remove the 2 connections from the round green bit (I know I'm very technical :roll: ) and carefully remove the panel

Image


Looking at the back left of the footwell remove the foam padding ( pulls straight out ). You will now be lying in the footwell with the side of your head hitting the brake pedal to get the view in the pic below. Behind the heater duct you can just see the edge of a white plastic disc above it and half a dozen wires directly below it, the hedgehog is behind this. I went and got a cushion at this stage because my side hurt lying on the door sill.

Image

At this stage it is advisable to chase away small children and those of a delicate disposition as even the most mild mannered person will turn the air blue from here on in !

In the pic below I have already removed the bottom screw (torx T20), don't worry about disconecting the 3 wires into this unit as you can work round it. The 5 wire connector is plugged straight into the back of the hedgehog but it's easier to get out once the bit in front has been removed. You can just see at the top of this pic a little clip holding it on and this will slide out once you get the top screw out ( torx T20 ). This top screw is so well hidden I couldn't even get a pic of where it is. Look at the white plastic disc ( you can just see the side of it in the previous pic ) and put a finger to the left of it along the top of the unit, pushing your finger back you can just feel the edge of a curved recess were this top screw is hiding. The unit will slide neatly out once this screw has been removed and you can then remove the connector at the back of the hedgehog.

Image

Remove any screws holding the hedgehog in ( none in my case ) and there is only a clip on the right hand side of the hedgehog holding it in ( see pic below, to the right of the brown wire). I pushed the clip in with a large screwdriver in my left hand and jiggled the hedgehog out pulling on the connection with my other hand. Once you pull it out a bit you will need to push up on the metal rod shown in the pic below to allow you to remove the hedgehog completely.

Image

The hidden screw captured for posterity, well actually to show that you will need a tool no fatter than mine to fit down the top recess to remove it. Admittedly this did take me a while to realise and scavenge a slim enough bit and was the cause of some very colourfull language.

Image

Just to show the difference between old and new

Image

Clip the new unit into place, pushing up on the metal rod again and jiggling furiously while swearing at it. New hedgehog clipped in shown below, reconnect the wires and screw in the unit again. I went for a short drive after this stage to check the heating was working as it should before coming home to put the rest of the dash back together.

Image


I must admit that I failed to replace the hidden screw at the top, I gave up after a couple of attempts as the unit seems to be held in place tightly enough without it.

Hopefully this will be of some use to anyone else attempting the same repair although it should be stressed that I am no expert and there may well be a better method of replacement.

Cheers, Stu
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Postby tenchiten » Tue, 23 Feb 2010 00:07:18 UTC

That was a bloody good "how to" Stu and I reckon it's going to benefit a lot of people.

:thumbup:
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Postby verbarthe » Tue, 23 Feb 2010 01:21:39 UTC

Excellent write up Stu , very informative and i wish it had been around when i changed the Hedgehog on my last car , the air does turn blue when doing this job for sure :lol: :oops: it s a bloody nightmare ............well done you for posting this :thumbup: for others benefit
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Postby dazza1980 » Tue, 23 Feb 2010 02:38:33 UTC

dont see the point in going through all the trouble misen my garage only charged me a tenner and did it in 10 mins
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Postby v00d0019 » Tue, 23 Feb 2010 07:48:31 UTC

dazza1980 wrote:dont see the point in going through all the trouble misen my garage only charged me a tenner and did it in 10 mins


:shock:

What did they do?.. use the force?
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Postby m330d » Tue, 23 Feb 2010 09:52:44 UTC

Nice writeup cheers. :thumbup:
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Postby stun » Wed, 24 Feb 2010 00:08:07 UTC

Thanks for the positive feedback on this lads, with all the great information I've gleaned from this forum it's good to get a chance to contribute something back :D
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Postby amoss90 » Wed, 24 Feb 2010 21:05:42 UTC

great write up. but excuse mt ignorance, but what is the "Hedgehog". by that i mean what does it do?

Thanks

edit . . . sorry, just read up on it :oops:

worth a sticky somewhere?
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Postby E46318iSE » Thu, 25 Feb 2010 20:41:03 UTC

Excellent write up!, and even better because its the exact same interior as my car... :D
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Postby wiredcharlie » Sat, 27 Feb 2010 20:03:42 UTC

Thanks for the write up. I've just finished the job and had real trouble getting the hidden screw out.
http://bmwresistor.blogspot.com/
This page shows how to do the job on a LHD, but there is a picture in the Youtube video that helps with locating the hidden screw.

I was pretty motivated because a local BMW specialist said the last time he did this job he invoiced £102 including parts!
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Postby gurpz » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 16:55:43 UTC

What a knightmare to change :x but atleast its changed now and I even managed to get the second torx screw back in too . I must have had the early symptoms as the only fault with my old one was the fan speed surging. Result though and thanks again for this thread should deffo be made a sticky as its a common problem in the E46 !
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Postby bmwmike » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 17:36:11 UTC

wiredcharlie wrote:Thanks for the write up. I've just finished the job and had real trouble getting the hidden screw out.
http://bmwresistor.blogspot.com/
This page shows how to do the job on a LHD, but there is a picture in the Youtube video that helps with locating the hidden screw.

I was pretty motivated because a local BMW specialist said the last time he did this job he invoiced £102 including parts!


I'd got to a garage if its only 100 squids - and I never go to a garage, but the integrity of my back is more important to me!

Hats off to those who've tried and succeeded!
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Postby nxc34 » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 18:42:20 UTC

top quality write up and excellent pictures, if you do any more diy jobs :wink: feel free to post them !
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Postby poppy sammy » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 19:10:01 UTC

Never seen this post before! A great guide that i'm sure fellow landers will use. Thanks for sharing.
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Postby teddybare » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 19:42:19 UTC

ok amoss did ask......what the hell does it do, and what happens for you to need a new one ......... :hmm:
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Postby irw1 » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 21:14:32 UTC

teddybare wrote:ok amoss did ask......what the hell does it do, and what happens for you to need a new one ......... :hmm:

2nd'd! :lol:
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Postby tenchiten » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 21:22:15 UTC

Controls the cabin fan speed. Symptoms of failure are the fan having a mind of it's own, fluctuating speed, running at full belt regardless of control setting and sometimes flattening the car battery overnight.

At least that's my understanding of it :)
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Postby teddybare » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 22:05:27 UTC

wow.......u know what ive just watched the Toyota program, these bms aint much cop either :wink:
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Postby stun » Fri, 26 Mar 2010 00:26:23 UTC

teddybare wrote:wow.......u know what ive just watched the Toyota program, these bms aint much cop either :wink:


:lol: Now you mention it I never had to do anything like this in any of my previous Fords, mind you they weren't anywhere near as good to drive either :D
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Postby teddybare » Fri, 26 Mar 2010 13:09:48 UTC

your spot on there stu......... 8-)
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