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Thread: Working MPG gauge for 318ti 6 cylinder conversions

  1. #1
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    Working MPG/oil temp gauge for 318ti 6 cylinder conversions

    After buying a M3 gauge cluster for my 330ti, I found that the MPG gauge did not work. (Flame if you want about how useless this gauge is, I'm happy cuz I was able to make it work) It turns out that 318ti, as equipped from the factory, are not wired for MPG guages. For all those who have 6 cylinder conversions and gauge transplants with erratic, non-functioning MPG gauges, read on (318ti's, 318i's etc.)

    Parts needed:
    circular connector 61-13-0-007-570 (fits in X20)
    bushing contact 61-13-0-005-201 (fits in X16)
    approx 3.5 feet of 18 guage wire, solder, shrink tubing, wire ties,...

    Using Bentley, I figured that the white/black wire coming out of the DME is the signal for fuel consuption. It runs accross the back engine bay to the X20 connector which is a big black round connector next to the fuse box. You twist to unlock and open it. You will find that the female side (top part connected to DME) has a connection for pin #24, but the male side has the hole for pin #24 empty. (You can make sure that this is indeed the white/black wire by pulling back the protective rubber boot on the female connector). You need to put the male circular connector in this slot. However, it is not as simple as just sliding it in. If you look carefully, there is a thin locking ring between the inner and outer rows if pins. This needs to be turnes on click counter clockwise. Use flat jewlers screwdrivers to pry the losking tabs away while turning. It turns freely once the tabs are cleared. Now you can push the circular connector all the way in. Be sure to return the locking ring to it's original locked position.

    From the newly placed male pin connector, run a length of 18 gauge wire (about 3.5 feet) onto the fuse box (open it by undoing the 4 torx screws) and through the common fire wall wire opening into the driver footwell. Thread it along with the wire bundles that go the X16 connector on the tach side of the instrument cluster.

    Remove the instrument cluster and remove the x16 connector from the back of the cluster. there is a pivoting lever that swings up to release the connector. Open the X16 connector by prying off the sliding cover. A double row of female pin connectors slides out. Pin #21 is empty and needs the bushing contact to be inserted. Connect the two wire ends together to complete the connection. Tidy up the wiring, put the cluter back and there you have it.

    I also retrofitted tilt steering in to my ti at the same time. Very labor intensive the first time around. I could do it in a few hours after the learning ordeal I went through. Probably the only ti with tilt steering. It definitely gives me a better driving position.

    EDIT: for oil temp gauge wiring, see post #9
    Last edited by clex2; 10-09-2005 at 08:40 PM.

  2. #2
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    I have a working MPG gauge too. The previous owner installed it and I have been waiting to remove my cluster to see how it was wired. Your directions are going to be very helpful for future conversions.

    I only wish I could use a Euro cluster because I believe it gives you oil pressure rather than MPG. But the miles would be in kilometers.

    Tilt steering is nice just making it easier to replace the cluster bulbs.


    ...steven #146825
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    1995 318ti Club Sport - 1996 328ti Sport - 1991 325iC - 2003 Mini Cooper S

  3. #3
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    other issues?


    Nice!! I was just wondering abouth this today. My Friend and I finished the motor/tranny/driveshaft & interior parts conversion yesterday.

    I will try this in my 330ti as well, but I was wondering if you have any other non-working lights in the cluster.

    I had a complete (but rolled) 1995 M3, and swapped the engine, DME, transmission, drive shaft and diff yoke, seats, cluster, midpipe with cats, and now custom modified Triflo exhaust from the M3, into my 1997 318ti. As far as I can tell everything is fine 30 miles on the odometer so far.

    the AC, cruise control, and everything else works fine.

    We got the EWSII keys and transponder to work with the EWSI DME, but there is no indicator on the cluster like the 318ti had, also the check engine light does not work on the cluster. (I checked the bulb, and it looks fine)

    Wondering if there is a wiring change from OBD1 to OBD2 that would cause the check engine light to not work, or if the bulb is bad and just looks fine.

    Also, does anyone know if I will run into any issues swapping the M3 front suspension and steering rack into the ti? The M3 was a 1995 2 door. I know the ti front swaybar didn't clear the oil pan, and the M3 will.
    Phil C
    New England rep for Boston Acoustics, McIntosh, Hertz, Audison, Panasonic Mobile, Autopage, Azentek, Planet Audio, VST, WAAV, and Second Skin
    97'/95' 330ti (97'318ti w/ 95' M3 conversion) Dyno'd 239 rwhp / 230 rwtorque


  4. #4
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    taseal is offline Member Secret Santa Deadbeat
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    bringing an ollld topic back but why do you say the MPG cluster is useless?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by taseal
    bringing an ollld topic back but why do you say the MPG cluster is useless?
    I like that mine is working but MPG serves no function. Oil pressure would be better. I believe Euro clusters have oil pressure, not MPG.


    ...steven #146825
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by carstereopro
    I had a complete (but rolled) 1995 M3, and swapped the engine, DME, transmission, drive shaft and diff yoke, seats, cluster, midpipe with cats, and now custom modified Triflo exhaust from the M3, into my 1997 318ti. As far as I can tell everything is fine 30 miles on the odometer so far
    You don't have emissions laws in your part?


    ...steven #146825
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    1995 318ti Club Sport - 1996 328ti Sport - 1991 325iC - 2003 Mini Cooper S

  7. #7
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    I think it's nice to have the MPG gauge working, better than a randomly moving needle. But after having done it, I realized that I never use the information it gives me. I drive a performance car because it can go fast so I don't care about MPG. Secondly, with my cams, software, and larger fuel injectors, the reading is way off.

    So now I am in the process of replacing the MPG gauge with the Euro oil temp guage. I have the gauge, I think i know the wiring. I'm waiting to swap my VDO vision oil temp gauge with an H20 temp gauge. It would be redundant to have two oil temp gauges. I'll write it up when I get to it.
    '95 330ti Club Sport w/sun roof delete, S50USB30, Schricks, 24# inj, BBTB, Conforti SW, Euro HFM, Samco Silicone Intake Boot, Euro oil cooler, JTD Cold Air Intake Duct, RE DMS exhaust, RE Tranny mounts, CF Valve Cover, LTW flywheel/Kevlar sprung hub clutch, RE SSK, 3.46 Finned LSD (M6) , M3 tranny, Brembos, RE Wheel Studs, SS brake/clutch lines, CF interior, Tilt Steering retrofit, 13.5 lb DynaBatt in rear, LED interior/footwell lights, 4500K ZKW HID, Headlight Aim Control, Rear fog light w/cluster indicator, BMW Traffic Pro/Alpine MP3-CD Changer, Staggered LTW wheels, '95 M3 steering rack, VIS CF Hood, M3 LTW Strut Bar, Aluminum M3 Coilover Front/M Coupe Rear suspension, Red LTW Motorsport Seatbelts, OEM Fire Extinguisher, Z8 Starter button, Auto dim rear view mirror w/Homelink, PDC, Rear Sun Shade, Euro Gauge Cluster w/oil temp/shift light , Headlight Washers, BMW MS Door Handles, CF Grills, French ZKW Fogs, Bimmer Mag 8/2007

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by clex2
    So now I am in the process of replacing the MPG gauge with the Euro oil temp guage. I have the gauge, I think i know the wiring. I'm waiting to swap my VDO vision oil temp gauge with an H20 temp gauge. It would be redundant to have two oil temp gauges. I'll write it up when I get to it.
    Same US cluster, just a different gauge? That would be cool.
    I want to install some gauges over the winter but the only spot they will work is on the A pillar. Mounting them in place of the ashtray is too inconvienent. My shift lever usually blocks my view and on the track I don't like to look down. A pillar mounts are a bit ricey IMHO but may have to do.

    Hey, why am I posting here?


    ...steven #146825
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  9. #9
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    I just removed the MPG gauge and replaced it with a Euro oil temp gauge. You'll need to get your hands on a Euro instrument cluster. There are several versions, KPH, MPH, celcius, Farenheit. I got a used cluster with MPH and oil temp in Farenheit (120-300 degrees). Overall, the install is just like the MPG gauge. The difference being that on the x16 white connector, instead of putting the pin into slot 21, you put the pin into slot 13 and run a wire from there to the sender. My vdo sender is on a JTD oil distribution block rated for 120-300 degrees farenheit. It was sending to a 2 1/16 inch VDO vision oil temp gauge. I just sent the signal to the cluster instead. Works perfectly.

    Edit: It seems to only work on the Euro cluster. Swapping out the oil temp gauge into a US cluster doesn't work.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by clex2; 10-20-2005 at 07:40 AM.
    '95 330ti Club Sport w/sun roof delete, S50USB30, Schricks, 24# inj, BBTB, Conforti SW, Euro HFM, Samco Silicone Intake Boot, Euro oil cooler, JTD Cold Air Intake Duct, RE DMS exhaust, RE Tranny mounts, CF Valve Cover, LTW flywheel/Kevlar sprung hub clutch, RE SSK, 3.46 Finned LSD (M6) , M3 tranny, Brembos, RE Wheel Studs, SS brake/clutch lines, CF interior, Tilt Steering retrofit, 13.5 lb DynaBatt in rear, LED interior/footwell lights, 4500K ZKW HID, Headlight Aim Control, Rear fog light w/cluster indicator, BMW Traffic Pro/Alpine MP3-CD Changer, Staggered LTW wheels, '95 M3 steering rack, VIS CF Hood, M3 LTW Strut Bar, Aluminum M3 Coilover Front/M Coupe Rear suspension, Red LTW Motorsport Seatbelts, OEM Fire Extinguisher, Z8 Starter button, Auto dim rear view mirror w/Homelink, PDC, Rear Sun Shade, Euro Gauge Cluster w/oil temp/shift light , Headlight Washers, BMW MS Door Handles, CF Grills, French ZKW Fogs, Bimmer Mag 8/2007

  10. #10
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    clex2 that's awesome! Why did they give us a crappy MPG gauge that really doesn't work when we could have oil temp!! BAH not fair



  11. #11
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    MPG gauge is cool. But why do you say it doesn't work?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonoz
    MPG gauge is cool. But why do you say it doesn't work?
    It's not that the MPG doesn't work, it's that it doesn't really give any useful information that would affect our driving. I bought a performance car for driving, not saving gas. How many people would look at their MPG gauge and adjust their gas pedal to attemp to get >30 MPG? It's novel, but not particular useful. Now the oil temp, water temp, oil pressure gauges are critical. I would stop the car immediately if any of these gauges indicated something wrong.
    '95 330ti Club Sport w/sun roof delete, S50USB30, Schricks, 24# inj, BBTB, Conforti SW, Euro HFM, Samco Silicone Intake Boot, Euro oil cooler, JTD Cold Air Intake Duct, RE DMS exhaust, RE Tranny mounts, CF Valve Cover, LTW flywheel/Kevlar sprung hub clutch, RE SSK, 3.46 Finned LSD (M6) , M3 tranny, Brembos, RE Wheel Studs, SS brake/clutch lines, CF interior, Tilt Steering retrofit, 13.5 lb DynaBatt in rear, LED interior/footwell lights, 4500K ZKW HID, Headlight Aim Control, Rear fog light w/cluster indicator, BMW Traffic Pro/Alpine MP3-CD Changer, Staggered LTW wheels, '95 M3 steering rack, VIS CF Hood, M3 LTW Strut Bar, Aluminum M3 Coilover Front/M Coupe Rear suspension, Red LTW Motorsport Seatbelts, OEM Fire Extinguisher, Z8 Starter button, Auto dim rear view mirror w/Homelink, PDC, Rear Sun Shade, Euro Gauge Cluster w/oil temp/shift light , Headlight Washers, BMW MS Door Handles, CF Grills, French ZKW Fogs, Bimmer Mag 8/2007

  13. #13
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    true, but i sometimes use MPG gauge if i want to save gas if the gas prices are really high or if i'm really low on gas i use it to get the best mileage so that i can reach the gas station.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonoz
    MPG gauge is cool. But why do you say it doesn't work?
    It's pointless. It's a BMW, not a Prius. What do I care if I am getting 24 mpg or 28 mpg. You want to get better gas mileage, don't accelarate rapidly. Keep your car maintained. I'd rather have oil temp.


    ...steven #146825
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  15. #15
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    I find it useful for driving long distances

    and when you are driving 300 - 400 miles 30mpg really helps.

    besides only the m3 came with the oil temp gauge
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  16. #16
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    Note, if you have the on board computer (OBC) pin 24 of x20 will already have a pin in it, as the obc uses that signal. I would imagine that that wire runs behind the gauge cluster, so you could tap into it there and just add it to x16, but I ended up tapping into it at x20 and running the wire like the guide said. There doesn't seem to be any problems running the gauge and the obc off of the same signal.

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