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BMW E36 Alarm in E30

I finally decided to pull a trigger on an alarm system for my E30. It was probably easier to install an aftermarket system but I really wanted a Genuine BMW remote on my key chain. I used a control unit out of a 96-99 BMW E36 3-series. You will need to obtain a control unit for the alarm system, wiring harness for the control unit, LED wiring harness, remote for the control unit and a siren. The wiring for the alarm system was spliced into the wiring for the lock control unit. 

One of the main issues with using E36 alarm system in E30 is the lock/unlock signal from the control unit. The way I understand it, E36 uses a ground signal for unlock request and +12V for lock request. E30 uses ground signal for both. To deal with this you will need to install a 4 prong relay. I used an orange Bosch relay used in E30 for a bunch of other things, see below on how to wire it. You basically are using a relay to covert a +12V signal into a ground signal. 

E36 pin numbers in the table below are for the wiring harness connector, not the control unit. 

Please note, wiring colors can vary. This project was done on a 91 318is. Verify wire functions with a multi meter and a wiring diagram for your year/model.

Disclaimer: Information provided in this article may be incorrect and can cause damage to your vehicle. Use at your own risk!

E36 Alarm Harness

E30 Harness

Red Wire Pin 7 (Siren) You'll need to run this wire into the engine compartment and connect it to your siren.
Black/White Wire Pin 4. (Door Switch) This one connects to a Brown/Purple wire that goes to the door switch.  E30 Door switches are all on the same circuit.  Connecting to this wire will set the alarm off when any of the doors are opened.
Yellow Pin 1 (Constant Power) I connected this one to the Red/Black wire that goes to the dome light relay.  Dome light relay is right next to the lock control unit.
White Pin 12 (Unlock Request) Ground Signal Connect this wire to the Green/Blue wire Pin 6 of the lock control unit.
Dark Blue Pin 2 (Hot in Run/Start) Green wire Pin 5 of the lock control unit.
Blue/Green Pin 10 (Lock Request)  +12V signal.  Must use relay to convert it to a ground signal. Use a Bosch 4 prong relay.  Blue/Green wire from the E36 alarm harness connects to terminal 98.  Connect terminals 85 and 30 to ground.  Terminal 87 connects to Lock Request Pin 7 of the lock control unit Yellow/Blue wire.
Brown Pin 3 (Ground) Brown Pin 4 of the lock control unit.

 

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