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Premium Member
03 M5 - LeMans. 89 325i - AWII
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm a new E39 M5 owner, having just a couple of weeks ago bought a 1-way ticket from Portland to NJ to purchase, and subsequently drive across the US home to the PacNW in what I affectionately referred to as the Daddonball Run - I even made sure to start it from the official start point!

Wheel Automotive parking light Automotive side marker light Tire Car

The vehicle I purchased had the ACS DFC module installed and as a result (best as I can tell anyhow) a ton of issues with the fit and fitment of the center console after being modified in order to accommodate the control module.

I purchased a second center console with a surprisingly perfect frame and all of the front structure in place that is otherwise compromised by the ACS DFC module with the goal of having it reupholstered, but discovered after examining the unit that I may be able to remove the grey vinyl it came with, and transplant my black Napa leather onto it. A couple of hours later and following an accidental branding or five from the tip of my heat gun sure enough I was able to cleanly remove both of the upholstery skins from the frames.

Wood Machine Wood stain Hardwood Metal
Wood Font Hardwood Metal Lock
Wood Art Font Tints and shades Visual arts

Pictured: The space that the DFC module occupies, and ultimately compromises as a result of being cut out. My stock center console. The true state of my stock center console once the leather was removed - total shambles.

I had assumed that the DFC module was as large as the space it occupied, because early 2000's computing power, but to my surprise when I first removed the center console in the vehicle I discovered that the control unit itself is actually incredibly small -

Passive circuit component Circuit component Input device Computer Peripheral

In my researching of options for the control module and if anyone had taken any steps to minimize it's footprint I stumbled across a photo posted by @DennisCooper showing what apparently is a very rare option (in the UK only?) - the DFC module installed in the ashtray. Having solved some other problems on my other basket case project car (89 325i) this immediately set me thinking of how to work a similar solution. Not wanting to take the dramatic step of hacking apart my DFC module, I set about modeling a housing for the control interface within the ashtray space for use with my 3D Printer.

The inspiration:

Vehicle Car Automotive design Personal luxury car Steering part

The Modeling process:

Gadget Gas Communication Device Rectangle Audio equipment

I'm currently in the process of printing off some prototypes making some slight changes to better accommodate mount points and fit more cleanly into the ashtray housing but once I finish it off if anyone has a DFC module and is interested I will make the STL file available.

Currently printing prototype #4 - but hopeful that I've made the last few adjustments to the model to begin a final higher quality print followed by a touch of sanding and some filler to paint, or perhaps wrap it to finish it off. At present here's what it looks like -

Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Automotive design Bumper

Thanks again to @DennisCooper for posting the photo that inspired me on this one! Very excited to get this project wrapped up and get back to my big project - my E30 that I'm nearing the final stages of completion on it's rebuild - at least until I find another issue that inspires me to replace the other half of the car that didn't get swapped out this time!


Premium Member
03 M5 - LeMans. 89 325i - AWII
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow! Can you 3D print a cupholder for this car? 馃槀
Hah, I mean probably, but the sad thing about the general state of my Fusion360 skills is it would take me just as long as this has! :D
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