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      09-15-2020, 04:36 PM   #1
BMW-ALPINA
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Successfully retrofitted steering column stalks that returns to 0-position/center

I'm one of those people who hates the mechanical turn signal and wiper levers/handles BMW introduced in connection with the G30 5 series and on later models. So much so that I actually considered not buying a BMW again.

They feel cheap and they make a noisy plastic sound. In addition, it is annoying that the auto on the rain sensor is gone, so you can not take an extra swipe without turning off the rain sensor and have to manually pull the lever/handle up in auto mode again.

It is with great pleasure to say that it is possible to retrofit the old levers that return to the 0-position / center position, illustrated by a G20 3-series.

The lesson for BMW must be: if it is not broken, do not fix it! We hate the mechanical column stalks.

So, here it is!











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Last edited by BMW-ALPINA; 09-15-2020 at 05:03 PM..
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      09-15-2020, 05:24 PM   #2
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Which car did you get the old stalks from? F30?
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      09-15-2020, 05:32 PM   #3
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I completely disagree with you and this is just my opinion. I'm not saying I'm right and you're wrong.

The tactile feedback you get from discrete positioning for the wipers and turn signal are valuable tools. They give you a definite status on the turn signal or wipers. I use my turn signal religiously and I find cancelling it is the biggest pain in the butt with the older centering style stalk. If I accidentally hit the signal stalk meaning to do a full turn signal but accidentally hit the 3 flasher and I try to cancel it when I complete a longer lane change, I will sometimes activate the opposite turn signal. Doesn't happen often, but it's annoying.

I also like being able to shut off the wipers immediately up an down to the speed I want instead of going through them sequentially. Also, American cars get auto wipers and that doesn't really have anything to do with the stalks.

Like you said, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I find the traditional discrete position stalks much more intuitive and error free. No one else really uses the re-centering system that BMW used for so many years and I'm glad BMW finally went back to the correct way to do it. This is definitely not an issue with cost (if anything the centering stalks probably costs less to manufacture) so I know the majority agree with me. In fact now that I think about it, I feel that the centering stalks might have been cost cutting.
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      09-15-2020, 05:36 PM   #4
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I'm with you upsidedownfunnel. Hated it in my F25 and I had the exact same issues as you. I'm so glad they decided to go back to the traditional method with the new G series cars.
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      09-15-2020, 05:48 PM   #5
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They are from pre-03/2017 G11 7-series.

I would say you use them wrong if you accidentally turn the turn signals on in the other direction. If you blinking left, just tap to the left for cancelling - then you don't accidentally blink to the right side.

To me, this handles feels so much modern and logic than the old style. Look at Tesla, they have startet to use this design on their Model 3, nobody complains about them. When they are "automatic" like this one, the stalks can have other functions as well (for example when autonomous driving mode - turn the signals to the left on, and the car will change lane and cancels the turn signal when the operation is done). This cant happen when the stalks are mechanical.

And best off all - they don't sounds like plastic breaks.

The return to the old style are definitely "cost cutting".

I know someone loves them (like me) and someone hates them. So sad BMW didn't want the customer choose. I would easy pay 500-1000$ for this option when ordering a new car.
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      09-15-2020, 05:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW-ALPINA View Post
They are from pre-03/2017 G11 7-series.

I would say you use them wrong if you accidentally turn the turn signals on in the other direction. If you blinking left, just tap to the left for cancelling - then you don't accidentally blink to the right side.

To me, this handles feels so much modern and logic than the old style. Look at Tesla, they have startet to use this design on their Model 3, nobody complains about them. When they are "automatic" like this one, the stalks can have other functions as well (for example when autonomous driving mode - turn the signals to the left on, and the car will change lane and cancels the turn signal when the operation is done). This cant happen when the stalks are mechanical.

And best off all - they don't sounds like plastic breaks.

The return to the old style are definitely "cost cutting".

I know someone loves them (like me) and someone hates them. So sad BMW didn't want the customer choose. I would easy pay 500-1000$ for this option when ordering a new car.
I had no idea about the tapping-to-the-same-side-to-cancel-indicator till someone mentioned it on this forum a few months ago. I lived for 4 years with that car without knowing that (since it was my first BMW). If I had known that, I might have liked, or even loved, it. No one who drove that car could figure out the indicators. It's my fault for not reading the users manual but come on. Who reads a manual to find out how to operate the damn turn signal! It's one of those things that should be intuitive

Again. Not saying I'm right and you're wrong. Just expressing MY opinion is all.

Kudos to you for retrofitting the stalks though. It might help someone else do the same to their G20.
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      09-15-2020, 07:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW-ALPINA View Post
They are from pre-03/2017 G11 7-series.

I would say you use them wrong if you accidentally turn the turn signals on in the other direction. If you blinking left, just tap to the left for cancelling - then you don't accidentally blink to the right side.

To me, this handles feels so much modern and logic than the old style. Look at Tesla, they have startet to use this design on their Model 3, nobody complains about them. When they are "automatic" like this one, the stalks can have other functions as well (for example when autonomous driving mode - turn the signals to the left on, and the car will change lane and cancels the turn signal when the operation is done). This cant happen when the stalks are mechanical.

And best off all - they don't sounds like plastic breaks.

The return to the old style are definitely "cost cutting".

I know someone loves them (like me) and someone hates them. So sad BMW didn't want the customer choose. I would easy pay 500-1000$ for this option when ordering a new car.
A couple things wrong with your argument. First off, both the signal and wipers don't electrically rely on the hardware to actuate. They are completely controlled by the car's ECU. So they can be actuated by self driving just fine. The stalks don't physically have to move to actuate. That should be obvious by the fact that you were able to retrofit the centering stalks in the new car.

Second it is cheaper to produce the centering style of stalks. Electrically they're nothing more than two momentary switches for up and down. For the detent style that you don't like, it requires additional hardware to distinguish all the different positions and the hardware to hold the stalks in place and the hardware required to reset the stalk after a turn is complete. So I can assure you it is cheaper to produce the centering style of stalks.

Everything else is opinion so I'll leave that alone.
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      09-15-2020, 10:12 PM   #8
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Can I do the inverse on an F10? I would love a mechanical turn signal stalk
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      09-16-2020, 05:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upsidedownfunnel View Post
A couple things wrong with your argument. First off, both the signal and wipers don't electrically rely on the hardware to actuate. They are completely controlled by the car's ECU. So they can be actuated by self driving just fine. The stalks don't physically have to move to actuate. That should be obvious by the fact that you were able to retrofit the centering stalks in the new car.

Second it is cheaper to produce the centering style of stalks. Electrically they're nothing more than two momentary switches for up and down. For the detent style that you don't like, it requires additional hardware to distinguish all the different positions and the hardware to hold the stalks in place and the hardware required to reset the stalk after a turn is complete. So I can assure you it is cheaper to produce the centering style of stalks.

Everything else is opinion so I'll leave that alone.
Nah, disagreed. Yes, the column switch (SZL) are controlled by the BDC-module, even for the "electronic"/touch stalks and the mechanical stalks. In the ex. case; if you are in self drive mode and turn on the tun signals with the mechanical stalks, it will always stands one, since its a mechanical pin in the coil spring that pulls the stalks back to center. The BDC can cancel the blinking, but the stalks will stand in wrong position. With "electronic"/touch-stalks, the stalks returns to the center position and the BDC can cancel the blinking. Its much more modern with the returning stalks.

Im also disagree that the touch-stalks are cheaper to produce. I have destroyed many of them, and the complex of the touch stalks are way more heavy than the mechanical stalks.

That's my opinion, I accept yours.
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      09-16-2020, 05:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by super51fan View Post
Can I do the inverse on an F10? I would love a mechanical turn signal stalk
F1x does not have this option available in its coding list.
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      09-26-2020, 07:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VipinLJ View Post
I had no idea about the tapping-to-the-same-side-to-cancel-indicator till someone mentioned it on this forum a few months ago. I lived for 4 years with that car without knowing that (since it was my first BMW). If I had known that, I might have liked, or even loved, it. No one who drove that car could figure out the indicators. It's my fault for not reading the users manual but come on. Who reads a manual to find out how to operate the damn turn signal! It's one of those things that should be intuitive

Again. Not saying I'm right and you're wrong. Just expressing MY opinion is all.

Kudos to you for retrofitting the stalks though. It might help someone else do the same to their G20.
I was just going to say, you should of read the manual but you already mentioned that

BMW 1st introduced the concept in E9X cars and it drove us all crazy. There were pages of discussion. You would see cars driving on the road showing turn signals to the right, left and right again knowing the fact that poor driver is trying to cancel the darn thing.

Of course over the years, I got used to how the system works.

I am 50-50 on this discussion. I definitely like the new turn signal stalk better but would of preferred the old wiper switch. But it doesn't bother me that much to do something about it.

OP, kudos to you for doing this..... It wouldn't of even crossed my mind as something that is possible to retrofit.
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      09-28-2020, 05:54 PM   #12
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The worst thing with the new stalks (except of the plastic sound when you use them) are the lack of the auto button for the rain sensor. Its actually very annoying.

The next project will be retrofitting stalks in G31 5-series.
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      09-29-2020, 12:45 PM   #13
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Everything works in an fully equipped BMW G20 3-series! Smooth and nok plastic sounding stalks.

https://youtu.be/Xc_XBqMH6FQ
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