Touring Hydraulic Tailgate

My touring came with the hydraulic opening / closing option. This is a really neat option and when the car first came out this would have been really impressive. Of course, most cars these days come with this option as standard but I still think it is great.

When I first got the car the hydraulic lift was not working as it should and I have been asked a few times on how I got this working again. The system is quite simple and there  are really only a couple of things to look at if the tailgate does operate but not to your satisfaction. If the hydraulic pump has gone and you get nothing then this will be an expensive fix. If it does work but needs some help then it will most likely a combination of the hydraulic fluid needing to be topped up or the struts for the tailgate and window section that need to be replaced.

I started off with the simplest check, the hydraulic fluid. The fluid recommended is AeroShell Fluid 41. You can buy this from many places. I got a 1 ltr can for around £10. You can get it from eBay, Amazon or direct from a number of aircraft parts websites.

Once you have the fluid you need to carefully remove the fluid reservoir from the pump. This is a push on affair with a clip. You need a screwdriver to loosen the clip and then really carefully pull off the reservoir. It is only a small holder so does not take much liquid at all. Fill it up just past the max level and put it back on carefully. You will no doubt spill some.

Once you have the reservoir back on then grab a hold of the tailgate and move it up and down a few times to pump the liquid around the system. Do this before you try it with the buttons.

When I first changed the fluid  it seemed to make little to no difference to the system but should always be tried in the first instance.

Next came the more difficult check which I left to my local garage. What I noticed was that if I opened the window portion of the tailgate and then pressed the button to open the tailgate then it would magically work with no issue. The hydraulics could not lift the weight of the tailgate and window combined. What we did next was to change the struts for the tailgate and the window so that they are all new and at their best. Changing the struts can be a bit fiddly, which is why I left it to my local garage, but can be done.

Check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VaFBlyuk6Y&t=77s

Once I had the struts replaced the tailgate now works as it should. It does have some difficulty if the car is pointing down a hill. I am figuring that this is because the tailgate will need more of a push to get it going and the system is not up to it.

Would be great to hear if this has helped or if you have other suggestions for getting this working or making it better.

 

BMW Show 2018 Santa Pod

So we just got back from this years BMW Show at Santa Pod. This year Rose wanted to camp so we got a weekend ticket. Once again we were on the BMW E39 Club UK stand and we met up with a few members on the Saturday for camping. The highlight of Saturday night has to be the bumper cars 🙂

The camping field was full and there were some great cars, it was like having a show within a show. Really enjoyed having a walk around and seeing them all.

On the Sunday we were up bright and early, pulling down the tents and getting to the stand to set up.

The weather for both days was really great and very hot. Yes, there was some sunburn involved. Amazing how you can miss places putting on the lotion.

The E39 Club UK stand looked to be the largest in the show and as ever there were some great cars on the stand. Looking around I did start to think about getting another car, maybe a Z3 or Z4. Not sure that I could afford the amount of shoes for the wife it would take for her to let me have another car in the collection.

The Sunday went too quickly with there being so much to see, the drift track, the stunt guy, the racing on the track and all the stands. The show does lack stalls and merchandise which I hope the organisers will sort out for next year. For instance, Autoglym is a sponsor of the show and were not even there.

Looking forward to next year already. National Festival at Gaydon is next on the cards, showing the X5 on the BMW Car Club Eastern stand. Come say hello if you see us.

Installing BMW Scanner 1.4.0 on Windows 10

I keep seeing people requesting information on how to install BMW Scanner 1.4.0 on Windows 10. Here are the notes I took whilst I installed the software on Windows 10 Professional. The software installation was done on a fresh install of Windows 10 Professional. I first copied the scanner software from the CD to a folder on my desktop.

These instructions should also work for Windows 7 but I have not tried them on this Operating System.

Disclaimer: This procedure worked for my installation. It is not guaranteed to work for all laptops and all versions of Windows.

1.  Double-click on the set up program in the software folder.

2. When asked if you want to allow this software from an unknown publisher to update the computer. click the Yes button. The installation will start.

3. Take all the default options for the installation. If asked if you want to overwrite and files, click on Overwrite All. When prompted, take the option to install a shortcut on the desktop, and to auto-run the application after installation.

When the application starts you will see that the drivers are not installed.

4. Now we need to install the drivers.
Go to the install folder on the c:\ drive.
Go in to BMWScan140.
Go in to Drivers.
Select the file FTD2XX.inf (the one that says setup information) and right-click the mouse to bring up the context menu.
Press Install.

When asked if you want to allow the program to modify the computer. Press Yes. The drivers will start to install.

During the installation you will be notified that the system cannot verify the publisher.

Press on Install this driver software anyway
5. The drivers are installed and the software now shows the drivers installed when you run it

6. Plug the laptop in to the car and start the software. The software should connect to the car and allow you to scan and update the system.

The items noted below I did not need to do for my installation of Windows 10 Professional but are included to give you some pointers for troubleshooting.

  • On a previous installation of Windows 10 I needed to find a registry hack to allow uncertified drivers to be installed. This was a while ago so I don’t have the link. Try searching for “how to install drivers from an unknown publisher”. (always take care when editing the registry)
  • On 64-bit installations you may find you need to install the 64-bit drivers. The drivers are available in the install folder where you run the initial setup program from.

    Go in to the 64 bit drivers folder, locate the Setup Information files, right-click on these and choose the Install option from the menu.

  • You may also find you need to change the configuration for the COM serial port. You can do this in Device Manager, look for the serial port driver and use the configure options. You can change the assigned COM port and other things like the latency.  NOTE: You won’t see the serial port in Device Manager unless the laptop is plugged in to the car.

I hope that this post helps you to get the software working. Please do let me know if this gets you going. If you have issues, try Googling (that’s what I do) or you can post a comment and I will try and help. I can’t give any guarantees to be able to get things working for you but can sometimes help to communicate

UPDATE 2018-05-06

My laptop updated to the latest feature version of Windows today and after this update BMW Scanner could no longer see the serial port to communicate with the car. It would just say Hardware not ready. A quick look in Device Manager in Windows and it said that the driver for the BMW Scanner was not loaded. I went back to load the drivers as per the above instructions but they would not install. Windows gave an error about there not being a signature on the drivers and so would not install them. A quick Google of the issue and I found the following link.

SOLVED: The Third-Party INF Does Not Contain Digital Signature Information

I used the notes on GUI to Disable Digital Signature Checking. After disabling the check for the digital signature it now allowed the drivers to be installed. I had to reboot the laptop after the install of the drivers before they would work.

 

 

 

Refurbish Wiper Arms

The wiper arms on the E52 were looking a bit worse for wear. The black had gone very pale and in some places had come off altogether and there were rust patches. It was time for a refurb.

I used a 17mm spanner to remove the bolts holding the arms on and a battery terminal puller to extract the arms off the spindles.

Using sandpaper and spray that I already had in the cellar I set to work.

Sanded down the arms with 250 grit followed by 1500 grit to remove the worst of the rust and to smooth where the original paint had peeled. I then used three coats of grey etch primer followed by two coats of matt black.

I waited at least five minutes between each coat of paint and then left the arms for 24-hours to dry before fitting back on the car.

The end result is astounding and makes such a difference.

The Before
The After

 

 

 

Coding Using BMW Scanner 1.4.0

I’ve been thinking for a while about what to write about next and then it hit me, what have I been doing a lot of lately with the E53 X5 and before that the E39 530i, I have been playing with different coding options. I have also done some coding for other people at various meets.

I started off when I got the E39 buying the software and cable from http://www.cable-shack.co.uk/ as I wanted to be able to program the remote central locking to make a sound when locking and unlocking the car.

The cable shack software was OK and I got the INPA software to connect to the car and I took a look at NCS expert but couldn’t get my head around it. Coding with NCS is not for the faint-hearted. All the messages are in German, you have to know what modules you have available and where things are to export the current settings, modify them in a text file and then import them back in to the car again. This was all a little too complicated for me. I do still use INPA for testing PDC.

BMW Scanner is much simpler to use for coding. You simply pick the module you want to look at from the list presented, go in to the coding section, change the options you want and write them away. Job done.

For more details on BMW Scanner, visit http://bmw-scanner.com/

You can purchase BMW Scanner from a popular trading site by simply searching for “BMW Scanner”.  For my E39 and E53 I use BMW Scanner version 1.4.0

One thing that is asked a lot on the many group pages is whether BMW Scanner can run on Windows 10. The simple answer is Yes. I have this running on Windows 10 Professional. There is a registry hack to allow the drivers to be installed but after that it installs and works as well as it does on Windows XP or Windows 7.

As an example of how easy BMW Scanner is to use I will make the most frequently requested coding change, to have the indicators act as sidelights. Most people think that this is the Daytime Running Lights option but it isn’t.

Coding the Turn Signals as Sidelights Using BMW Scanner

When you first start BMW Scanner it will interrogate the car and provide you with a list of details about the car. This can be turned off in the settings if you don’t want this to happen every time you start the application but I like to keep it on so that I know the software is communicating with the car.

You will be presented with a list of all the possible modules. At this point you can perform a scan which will go through all the modules and tell you if they are present or not and will show you if there are any errors reported by the module.

Double-click on the errors column to see what errors are currently known by the car and be able to clear them.

To code a module, double-click on the name of the module.

The screen for the module will be shown. We want to double-click on the Light Check Module.

Click on the Coding Data Button. The screen of coding options for the module will be displayed.

Here you can tick and untick the options that you want to code.

To have the indicators act as sidelight, place a tick in the Front Turn Signals as Side Lights option and click on the Write button. Now when you put on the side lights the indicators will also illuminate.

It’s as simple as that. All point and click.

I have heard that Carly BMW which runs on your mobile phone is also able to perform coding and various other functions. I do keep having a look at this but the price for the software and being required to use their Bluetooth adapter makes this option a little too pricey for me based on the feedback I have seen on the Android Store. I have used the lite version with the cable shack cable and this was able to talk to the car but with the lite version you can’t actually do anything useful.