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duncan-uk

Adding flappy paddles...

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Just wondering what steering wheel or parts you need to add paddle shift to an e39/46 era BMW  and how hard is the wiring?

 

any one got a list of parts and a how too?

 

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Depends how OEM you want it to look.  I went with Merc paddles, because they fit nicely to the back of the Sports steering wheel with only minor drilling to the metal structure, and are unobtrusive but functional.  Either way, you'll need a slip ring from a car with a heating steering wheel, to be able to use the spare 2 contacts, with a single wire to each of the 2 up/down switches under the gearlever.  There's a better writeup elsewhere, but it's simple enough once you start!

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4 minutes ago, AlanC1984 said:

Either way, you'll need a slip ring from a car with a heating steering wheel, to be able to use the spare 2 contacts, with a single wire to each of the 2 up/down switches under the gearlever.

 

This. Regarding post 3/99 versions. If you buy a new original slip ring they now only have a full version with option for wheel heating and those additional wire connections.

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1 minute ago, Clavurion said:

 

This. Regarding post 3/99 versions. If you buy a new original slip ring they now only have a full version with option for wheel heating and those additional wire connections.

Good to know, I've had 2 off eBay so far for under £15 each - pays to zoom in on the photos!

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Hi Duncan,

 

Pretty sure this isn't for your car!

 

However, it's been covered plenty of times before on all BMW forums, but in short, you need an E46 SMG steering wheel, an E46 M3 slip ring and the wiring loom. The old wheel and slip ring comes off, on goes the SMG slip ring, the wiring goes in the steering column cover plastics and connects to the back of the slip ring. The new steering wheel goes on and the other end of the wiring goes down to the auto gear lever area and under the centre console trim, there's a connector to which the loom can plug into. 

 

The above assumes a later than March 1999 build date E39. 

 

There are projects where the Merc paddles are modified in and for pre-facelift cars to have the paddle shifters and a bit of search engines time and various forum links and youtube will show those aspects. I'm not quite sure on what the differences could be for if it's an 'earlier' Alpina steering wheel that's wanted to be swapped in on an early E39. 

 

Cheers, Dennis!

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5 minutes ago, duncan-uk said:

Pretty useless on my car dennis but having idle thoughts. 

 

Idle away!

 

But then focus those thoughts to modifications your car can have !!

 

Cheers, Dennis!

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16 hours ago, duncan-uk said:

Pretty useless on my car dennis but having idle thoughts. 

 

Not much better on an automatic transmission, a toy, nothing more nothing less, my friendly neighbour told me on his execellent flappy paddled E60. My E39 with steptronic is left in Drive, 90% of the time, the only time I manually downchange is before a long decent to give some engine braking.

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Maybe not but might make an auto bearable and have a bit more control. 

 

I realise you can use lever but pushing it over etc means a bit of faff. 

 

As as I say it's a pondering ATM. 

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I’ve a couple of smg sliprings here if you decide to take the plunge! Im doing the mod myself but with ssg paddles, I’ve removed the smd resistors out of em so should work perfect lol

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I suppoae my next question is if when fitted can you just grab a paddle and shift or do you need to knock it into sport first?

 

ie if you use a paddle does in change you into sport manual?

 

One of the reasons I think I'd need paddles is say you're lining up for an overtake. With a manual box I'd change to the appropriate gear and leave it there ready for the move however long that maybe. With autos you'd either have to make the effort to knock over to sport then drop the gear or use kick down which sometimes is a sledgehammer to crack a nut. 

 

I imagine I'm mooching in normal auto decide I want more control so simply flick a paddle for the down shift. It drops a gear on command and holds it until I say. 

 

Or or does it ignore until I shift to sport? One of my gripes was the propensity to lock down or drop a gear if one presses the pedal to hard. 

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6 hours ago, Clavurion said:

You first have to knock it to S/M mode. It would need a third line and switch to make that on the wheel.

Hmm ok but doable?

 

my mums Audi a1 you can grab the paddle and it's straight to 'manual'. Works quite well. 

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