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      06-22-2019, 05:56 PM   #1
Reborn_
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Guide: How to code your "E85" Z4

I know there are a number of these walkthroughs around various bimmer forums, but I still had a hell of a time working this out, so one more will be useful to someone, I'm sure, especially for us Z folks to have one specifically with the Z in mind. This guide should serve all E85/86 Z's, with only some minor modification for other chassis needed.

Note: With coding, all E85/E86 Z4 models are under the “E85” chassis. I will refer to E85 moving forward, but the instructions apply to any E85/E86 variant. For other cars, make sure you select the corresponding chassis code.


Post 1 of 3: Cable/Software Requirements

I will provide information for what I have CONFIRMED and VERIFIED has worked for me to code my 2007 USDM Z4M coupe using a Win7 laptop. This does not mean these choices will be guaranteed to work for you with your PC and/or vehicle.


Cable

- I bought the cable from - Website gets blocked. Google bimmer$0ftw4re but replace the characters with the appropriate letters.
- I bridged pins 7 and 8.
- Windows automatically downloaded drivers when I inserted the cable into the USB port. Your mileage may vary here - you will need your PC to recognize the cable as an OBD interface.
- Set the cable to COM1 with a Latency Timer of 1 in Device Manager.

NOTE: MAKE SURE TO ALWAYS USE THE SAME USB PORT. If not, make sure to set the USB port being used to COM1 and Latency Timer=1 for each new USB port that you plug into.

NOTE: I do not know if you MUST bridge the pins with this cable. I bridged the pins a couple of years ago when I could not connect with my vehicle (root cause: bad software download) and was trying to rule things out. Once I got good software, it worked with the pins bridged. I am not going to spend the time to un-bridge the pins just to see whether they MUST be bridged.

Other seemingly venerated cable sources:
https://www.bimmergeeks.net/store - since these guys provide legit software download, seems like a great option
Cable-shack.co.uk


Software

https://www.bimmergeeks.net/downloads

1.) Download the Standard Tools file.
2.) Unpack the folder using winrar or similar.
3.) Open “Install Instructions.txt” and follow all steps exactly.
4.) Download the NCSDummy Profile for NCSEXPERT. Download the correct profile based on your version of NCSExpert:
https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...-of-NCS-Expert
5.) Unpack the file using winrar or similar.
6.) Place the file into the C:/NCSEXPER/PFL
7.) Either run NCSDummy or Navigate to the C:\NCSEXPER\WORK\folder and (if not existing) create a new empty text file named FSW_PSW.MAN

NOTE: Additional details around steps 4-7 provided in revtor’s guide, page 32.

NOTE: All download sources, including bimmergeeks, provide a separate download for daten. When I installed the Standard Tools from bimmergeeks, daten were already there. I compared these existing daten files with the daten download they have for the E85 chassis, and they looked identical (same # of files, same sizes, same dates, etc.) in the important folders. So I did NOT change the daten files – I left them as they were after installation. This may result in outdated daten with other chassis, or even with the E85 over time, but what I can CONFIRM and VERIFY works with the E85 chassis is to simply use the daten that are available after installation (and not download or use different daten files).

NOTE: NCSDummy will be outdated, but I did not update it because it worked. The updates made between this current version and the latest were inconsequential to me. If you want the latest version, it is available here:
https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...-of-NCS-Expert


Let’s see if we can connect to the car now.
1.) Plug in your cable to your PC.
2.) Plug in your cable to the car’s OBD2 port. Leave the ignition off.
3.) Open INPA on your PC. INPA should show "cable" with a black dot, and should show "ignition" with a white dot.
4.) Turn the key in the car to acc (II) position. INPA should now show "ignition" with a black dot.

If not, you have a communication problem between the car and the PC – time to troubleshoot the software, computer settings, and/or cable.

Last edited by Reborn_; 06-22-2019 at 06:12 PM..
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      06-22-2019, 05:57 PM   #2
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Post 2 of 3: Coding

Post 2 of 3: Coding


I strongly recommend reading revtor’s entire guide 1-2 times so you truly understand what is going on. You may even want to print out pages 33 and 34 to keep in the garage and make sure to go through each step carefully when reading/writing modules because you can really be in a world of hurt if you are not careful.

https://revtor.be/ncsdummy/ncsdummy.pdf

This guide is EXCELLENT and thorough - I am only going to provide a high level summary and framework for anyone who may struggle to understand revtor’s guide or the coding process in general.

INPA – a powerful diagnostic software. Unrelated to coding, except that you MUST open INPA and then close it before using NCSEXPERT.
Why must you open INPA for coding? INPA sets up EDIABAS, which is sort of like a server, to run behind the scenes. NCSEXPERT won’t work without EDIABAS running.
Why must you close INPA for coding? NCSEXPERT won’t be able to communicate with the car if INPA is connected to the car.

NCSEXPERT – the real coding software. NCSEXPERT will read the code from a module of your car’s ECU and store the code in a ‘trace’ file, FSW_PSW.TRC. NCSEXPERT will write code from a ‘manipulation’ file, FSW_PSW.MAN, to a module of your car’s ECU.

NCSDummy – a very necessary tool that:
1.) Reads and makes sense of the code in a ‘trace’ file (i.e. english translations and meaning behind cryptic items like ‘value 1’)
2.) Allows the user to alter the code (this is the “coding” activity where you are making changes)
3.) Create a ‘manipulation’ file

You theoretically don’t need NCSDummy, but you really have no chance without it if you don’t understand German, and even if you do, it would be tough without it.


Reading
Use NCSEXPERT. Follow page 33 of revtor’s guide.

Modifying

Use NCSDummy.
1.) Select the chassis
2.) Select the correct module. The appropriate *.c information was provided by NCSEXPERT after reading the module.
3.) Make edits by selecting different options.
4.) Export FSW_PSW.MAN file


Writing
Use NCSEXPERT. Follow page 34 of revtor’s guide.



Best Practices:
1.) Hook up a battery tender to the car while reading or writing. Make sure your laptop has plenty of battery or keep it plugged in.
2.) Back up every single module before you do anything. Save these files.
3.) Copy the FSW_PSW.TRC file immediately after reading - do nothing else in NCSEXPERT until you have done so.
4.) Empty the FSW_PSW.MAN file (but don't delete it) when you are done writing to the car. NCSDummy can do this for you if you prefer (which I do).


Why?
1.) This type of coding is quick, and not as risky as flashing. But it would still be wise to ensure something doesn't break the connection in the middle of reading, or worse, writing.
2.) If you accidentally write an empty FSW_PSW.MAN file to a module, or the wrong module's FSW_PSW.MAN file to a module, you are in serious trouble. I am not sure if simply writing a backed-up trace file back to that module would correct the issue (I'm not going to do this on purpose), but I feel better knowing I have a copy of every module. Mistakes can happen - it is smart to have a backup of EVERY module just in case something goes wrong.
3.) Some actions in NCSEXPERT will write to the FSW_PSW.TRC file, which you don't want getting mixed into the module's code.
4.) I forget why, but I know it's important. Will update if I remember why.

Last edited by Reborn_; 06-22-2019 at 06:16 PM..
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      06-22-2019, 05:58 PM   #3
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Post 3 of 3: Confirmed Coding Options

Post 3 of 3: Confirmed Coding Options



1.) Disable TPMS System

Why: No more TPMS light on instrument cluster. Very useful for aftermarket wheels (avoid buying 4 TPMS sensors) or for failing oem TPMS sensors.

Module: AKMB

Settings:
- KBUS_RDC - K-BUS TIRE PRESSURE CONTROL (RDC) set to nicht_aktiv
- AKUSTIK_RDC - TIRE PRESSURE CONTROL (RDC) WARNING GONG set to nicht_aktiv


2.) Comfort Closing


Why: USDM z4's have comfort opening. Why not add comfort closing too? Comfort open/close is when you hold unlock(for open) or lock (for close) on the remote, and the windows go down/up remotely. For roadsters, this should include the top opening and closing too.

Module: GM5

Settings:
- KOMFORTSCHLIESSUNG_FB - COMFORT CLOSING WITH REMOTE CONTROL (POWER WINDOWS, SUNROOF OR CONVERTIBLE TOP) - set to aktiv




I would like this post to be continuously updated so please post your options you have successfully coded, and I'll do the same. We can create a comprehensive list of our options that are CONFIRMED to work on the Z4 platform.

Last edited by Reborn_; 07-02-2019 at 10:24 AM..
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      06-23-2019, 07:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reborn_ View Post



Cable

- I bought the cable from - Website gets blocked. Google bimmer$0ftw4re but replace the characters with the appropriate letters.
- I bridged pins 7 and 8.
- Windows automatically downloaded drivers when I inserted the cable into the USB port. Your mileage may vary here - you will need your PC to recognize the cable as an OBD interface.
- Set the cable to COM1 with a Latency Timer of 1 in Device Manager.

NOTE: MAKE SURE TO ALWAYS USE THE SAME USB PORT. If not, make sure to set the USB port being used to COM1 and Latency Timer=1 for each new USB port that you plug into.

NOTE: I do not know if you MUST bridge the pins with this cable. I bridged the pins a couple of years ago when I could not connect with my vehicle (root cause: bad software download) and was trying to rule things out. Once I got good software, it worked with the pins bridged. I am not going to spend the time to un-bridge the pins just to see whether they MUST be bridged.
You can just buy an el cheapo aliexpress/ebay cable for about $12 shipping included and save yourself 25 bucks
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32975072256.html
Buy the one with the switch. Switch to one side for kkl (e85 chassis) and the other side for d-can (e89 etc)

Further more its not important to set the com port to com 1.
Just make sure that you set it to the same com port as in the obd.ini (in the ediabas bin directory). It can be any com number.
set the latency to 1 and the bps to the highest value.
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      06-23-2019, 08:10 PM   #5
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Nice write up - thanks!

Just out of curiosity... Anybody try/get this to work with Windows running on a Mac through, say, Parallels or Fusion? Or Linux?
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      06-24-2019, 01:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuidoK View Post
You can just buy an el cheapo aliexpress/ebay cable for about $12 shipping included and save yourself 25 bucks
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32975072256.html
Buy the one with the switch. Switch to one side for kkl (e85 chassis) and the other side for d-can (e89 etc)

Further more its not important to set the com port to com 1.
Just make sure that you set it to the same com port as in the obd.ini (in the ediabas bin directory). It can be any com number.
set the latency to 1 and the bps to the highest value.
All true.

RE: cheap cables, they appeared to be hit or miss based on my research, so I would tread carefully if going that route.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BoarderPhreak View Post
Nice write up - thanks!

Just out of curiosity... Anybody try/get this to work with Windows running on a Mac through, say, Parallels or Fusion? Or Linux?
I tried to use a Virtual WinXP machine previously with a different software source (on this same win7 laptop) and had no success (trying to work through this was why I bridged the pins on the cable). I am convinced that the virtual machine could not access the USB driver in my effort, but I don't know for sure.
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      06-24-2019, 02:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reborn_ View Post
All true.

RE: cheap cables, they appeared to be hit or miss based on my research, so I would tread carefully if going that route.
I have 4 and 4 out of 4 work, bought in various generations over multipe years, but all cheap.
I've been using INPA/NCS expert/Rheingold and ISTA-p for a decade now (I think I bought my first cable in 2009) and I've never had any issues with cheap cables.

From all the people I know personally that have a cable, I've never seen one not work.
Usually if a system doesn't work, its the software install they messed up.

How many cables do you have?

But yes, if you want someone to check a 10 buck cable for 25 bucks extra, thats also a way of doing things.
Mind you, you're getting the exact same cable, only that some bloke plugged it in and seen that it worked, making 25 bucks in about 30sec work
So thats what....making 3k/hour.
If that was my business, i'd go scaremongering on the web too judging by their website..

'Treading carefully' on a 10 buck purchase is also a bit daft.
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Last edited by GuidoK; 06-24-2019 at 02:42 PM..
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      06-24-2019, 02:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuidoK View Post
I have 4 and 4 out of 4 work, bought in various generations over multipe years, but all cheap.
I've been using INPA/NCS expert/Rheingold and ISTA-p for a decade now (I think I bought my first cable in 2009) and I've never had any issues with cheap cables.

From all the people I know personally that have a cable, I've never seen one not work.
Usually if a system doesn't work, its the software install they messed up.

How many cables do you have?

But yes, if you want someone to check a 10 buck cable for 25 bucks extra, thats also a way of doing things.
Mind you, you're getting the exact same cable, only that some bloke plugged it in and seen that it worked, making 25 bucks in about 30sec work
So thats what....making 3k/hour.
If that was my business, i'd go scaremongering on the web too judging by their website..

'Treading carefully' on a 10 buck purchase is also a bit daft.
You bought 4 cables compared to my 1, so I'm not sure why you are worried about me suggesting a more expensive cable. The 'tread carefully' is a nod toward having to troubleshoot a connection problem - that's where time comes into play, and I was willing to pay more for a cable in which I had confidence - to potentially save time. You have 4 cheap cables that work. Great. But there are also lots of posters across the various forums that bought cheap cables and never got it to work. Sure, most or all could be software-related, but not knowing that for sure, the common thread is that cheap cables may not always work.

What my first post provides is a cable from a source that I can stand behind and say definitively worked for me on the Z platform. Please do the same, and I'll add as many 10$ cables to the first post as you are willing to stand behind.
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      06-24-2019, 06:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reborn_ View Post
so I'm not sure why you are worried about me suggesting a more expensive cable.
Because you're scaremongering.
What you know about non functioning cables is all from heresay. You've never actually seen one or investigated one in person to see what the actual issue was (I dont know how far your knowledge goes in electronics).
On what you spend your personal money I couldnt care less. So its not what you've bought, but what you're saying.

I for one have to see a truly broken inpa cable where software wasn't _verified_ the issue (mostly the reports are like " the guys from ***whatever reseller*** send me a good cable and helped me through the install".....then you immediately know it was the latter....)

The only issue there was, was from ftdi themselves. They released on purpose a hacked driver a while ago that killed counterfit ftdi chips (actually that even wasnt the first time ftdi did stuff like that). And all these cables (yes, also those from bimmer software) contain counterfeit ftdi chips. They all come from the same chinese manufacturers.
If you're into that scene you know that was a pretty big scandal. It was all over EEVblog etc.
So yes, if you installed that particular driver in the past, your cable may not function anymore.
And I guess the only real reason to buy an expensive cable (a brand cable) is if you get one with a certified ftdi chip (I guess you have to inquire for that at ftdi themselves as counterfits are everywher) to make sure you don't get to be a victim of their guerilla driver policy.
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Last edited by GuidoK; 06-24-2019 at 06:56 PM..
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      06-27-2019, 11:30 PM   #10
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OP, have you tried coding your coupe's amp to be a roadster?
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      07-02-2019, 10:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XMetal View Post
OP, have you tried coding your coupe's amp to be a roadster?
No. What exactly do you mean, the stereo amplifier?
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      07-02-2019, 10:22 AM   #12
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I'm trying to code 2 options and not having luck. Can anyone help?

1.) Eliminate warning gong for no driver seat belt connected (but retain the indicator light in the instrument cluster).

in the AKMB module:
- AKUSTIK_GURT_WARN - SEAT BELT WARNING GONG set to nicht_aktiv

This didn't do what I wanted - there must be additional setting(s) needed.


2.) Autolock doors at speed 12 km/h

in the GM5 module:
- VERRIEGELUNGSSCHWELLE - THRESHOLD SPEED FOR SPEED-DEPENDENT LOCKING - set to 12_km/h
- VERRIEGELN_AUT_AB_X_KM/H - AUTOMATICALLY LOCK WHEN EXCEEDING A CERTAIN SPEED (LINKED TO [VERRIEGELUNGSSCHWELLE]) - set to aktiv

This didn't do what I wanted - there must be additional setting(s) needed.
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      07-02-2019, 03:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reborn_ View Post
No. What exactly do you mean, the stereo amplifier?
Yes, the settings for the roadster amplifier supposedly have better drives for the subwoofer.
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      07-04-2019, 09:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XMetal View Post
Yes, the settings for the roadster amplifier supposedly have better drives for the subwoofer.
Interesting. I'll keep my eyes open for settings related to that (as I will want to turn off the adaptive volume control).
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      07-04-2019, 09:56 AM   #15
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https://www.zpost.com/forums/showthr...dster+Settings
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      07-06-2019, 07:24 PM   #16
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Great write up Reborn_

A few things I coding awhile ago:
  • turned off low outside temp gong
  • turned off seat belt gong
  • turned off door open gong
  • set loudness from E86 to E85 (added a little more punch)
  • 3 blink turn signal
  • windows up with remote
  • lock doors on drive away
  • enabled ///M track mode (best mod)
  • ignore Halo LEDs
  • got rid of nav accept
  • flashed nav with night mode
Probably some more stuff I forgot about.


BTW I used a $15 cable I got off ebay 11 years ago.

Last edited by pungo; 07-07-2019 at 09:19 PM..
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      07-07-2019, 03:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pungo View Post
Great write up Reborn_

A few things I coding awhile ago:
  • turned off low outside temp gong
  • turned off seat belt gong
  • turned off door open gong
  • set loudness=on for DSP
  • 3 blink turn signal
  • windows up with remote
  • lock doors on drive away
  • enabled ///M track mode (best mod)
  • ignore Halo LEDs
  • got rid of nav accept
  • flashed nav with night mode
Probably some more stuff I forgot about.


BTW I used a $15 cable I got off ebay 11 years ago.
Could you please share how you set DSP loudness = on?
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      07-07-2019, 09:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XMetal View Post
Could you please share how you set DSP loudness = on?
Sorry, I did this a while ago and was going from memory. I set the loudness from E86 to E85 and it added a little more punch. Edited previous post.



SCHWELLE_LOUDNESS
e83
e85
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      07-08-2019, 07:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reborn_ View Post
Interesting. I'll keep my eyes open for settings related to that (as I will want to turn off the adaptive volume control).

I'm pretty sure you can adjust the adaptive volume control through the head unit, but I can't remember how.
I changed the aggressiveness of mine years ago. It has a few settings, I think including off.
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      07-08-2019, 10:49 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StickMon View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reborn_ View Post
Interesting. I'll keep my eyes open for settings related to that (as I will want to turn off the adaptive volume control).

I'm pretty sure you can adjust the adaptive volume control through the head unit, but I can't remember how.
I changed the aggressiveness of mine years ago. It has a few settings, I think including off.
I don't think there was an off setting. I adjusted mine to 1, which is minimum, but was still noticeable.
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      07-15-2019, 11:19 PM   #21
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If anyone here would be willing to help with remote coding (via teamviewer), I'd be happy to pay for your time/service. I have a laptop, cable and software.
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