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DME is dead. Used replacement

Discussion in 'E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)' started by Crow13, May 1, 2017.

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    Crow13 Colors of Fall

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    Anyone have experience with implanting a used DME with the original is kaput? Dealer says $2600. Some used part suppliers say they have the correct DME. Even if I can get dealer to install a used one and it craps out, I'm out the $400 installation cost. Any wisdom on this subject would be much appreciated.
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    MGarrison

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    Looking it up on realoem.com might give an idea where it is in the car. I don't know how difficult it is to access, but if you can get to it and can get a used one off ebay, that would be a less-costly route. Access, just depends how buried it is. Older BMW's like E30's, it's really easy since it's under the dash and removing the cover in the glovebox is pretty simple. Try some google searches like "how to change e36 z3 ecu", also try "swap" instead of "change" &/or "dme", maybe even "brain", that might get you some youtube vids or forum posts or diy's. If you plan on tackling a variety of diy projects I'd recommend getting a Bentley manual, but considering how long Z3's have been around, replacing/swapping a Z3 ecu diy I'd think would likely be found. I wouldn't know for sure, but I'd think changing out Z3 ecu's is just unplugging it from the wire harness and removing, installing is just the reverse process. Later BMW electronics likely need vin-specific coding and aren't a simple plug-n-play swap.
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    Crow13 Colors of Fall

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    I gather it's pretty accessible, it's the getting it "synched" with the rest of the system that may be tricky. My tech (non-dealer) says the whole computer system is BMW proprietary, and he can't do anything. Has to be a dealer. But from some other posts I've rewad, some people seem to know how to do this... but not me!
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    charlson89

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    The DME on the Z3's is located on the passenger side bulk head/ firewall. Should be a L shaped cover that you need to remove and then you can access the DME. The issue is your vehicle has EWS, drive away protection system. How this works simply is the EWS module and the DME work together to prevent the vehicle from being able to be started by intrusive ways through theft. The DME cuts power to the injectors and ignition system and the EWS will block the starter motor. When you start the vehicle with the key the EWS module checks the key to make sure it is correct for this vehicle electronically (chip in the key). Once the EWS confirms that it will send a rolling code to the DME and they will do this virtual math handshake to keep things simple and the EWS once everything is ok will allow the starter to turn and DME will allow injectors and ignition to happen. So taking a DME from another vehicle and putting it in yours will not work since the EWS and DME will never do there handshake because the EWS will see that DME is for another vehicle and not allow it to start. There are ways around the EWS but I don't advise them since its kind of a hack fix.

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