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The Foot Well Module: functions, problems, solutions?

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The Foot Well Module: functions, problems, solutions?

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Old 02-04-2014, 04:28 PM
Zephyr1
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The Foot Well Module: functions, problems, solutions?

I would like to start a thread on the Foot Well Module (FRM), to compile information on what it does, what problems it might be related to, and solutions (if any).
(Also added footwell module to text for search engine)

Functions:
The FRM controls many lighting functions, but apparently also window winder functions, and maybe others.
From the MINI workshop manual:
'The FRM in the R56 is an electrical intersection. The FRM picks up the
signals from the doors and controls the lighting. Moreover, the FRM is
also the interface to the instrument cluster.
See also the attached image from the MINI workshop manual.

The FRM and the junction box electronics control the power window drives.'
The FRM has to be specifically coded to the vehicle VIN, and AFAIK this can only be done by the dealer.
There are at least 3 different versions of the FRM, and each also comes with multiple part numbers based on whether the car has adaptive headlights or not.

Location:
This is the module that sits on the drivers side foot well, behind the hood release (in US cars).

Connectors:
There are three connectors to it, two on one side (towards front of car), a single on the other (rear of car) side. The single is X14259, the other two are X14260 and X14261

Associated fuses:
I have not been able to verify this, but based on other posts it seems the FRM is associated with multiple fuses, including:
F5, F8, F47, F48 and maybe F14.
This may vary based on what features the car has.

FRM associated problems:
Problems the FRM has been associated with (this also unconfirmed):
Multiple lighting gremlins, including turn signals, xenon headlights, license plate lights, interior lighting. See this thread:
https://www.northamericanmotoring.com/forums/r56-hatch-talk-2007/261152-license-plate-lights-out-2.html

Window winder functions. See this thread:
https://www.northamericanmotoring.com/forums/stock-problems-issues/158722-drivers-door-window-dipper.html


There has been some mention of multiple FRM failures, and of exchanges of the FRM solving problems, or not.


Here are details from my experience to date:
I got into this via installation of the JCW sports gauges in my 2013 R56s (see thread on this):
https://www.northamericanmotoring.com/forums/interior-exterior/249553-who-has-installed-jcw-sport-gauges-themselves-2.html
After completing the installation, I got electrical gremlins that I still have not been able to eliminate:
Either the xenons are always on (as soon as ignition is turned on), and/or one or the other, or both of the turn signals are not working. E-flashers are always working.
With some feedback from others in above post, I have been able to trace this to the FRM and associated cabling / connectors as the most likely culprit. This because meddling with any other aspect of the installation made no difference to the gremlins, whereas meddling with the FRM changes things. Specifically, (based on recommendations from KilmorePT, see above thread), 'playing' with the connectors and cables changes the 'gremlin mode'. This suggests connection problems. However, I am troubled by this because the connections should not be that delicate, and the FRM sits adjacent to the hood release, and in fact the cable to connector X14259 is secured to the release mechanism! To me, this suggests the possibility of a faulty FRM, or faulty connectors.
My next option may be a visit to the dealer to investigate.
I will keep posting here, and encourage others to add any information related to the FRM, if possible.

Thanks!
 
Attached Thumbnails The Foot Well Module: functions, problems, solutions?-mini-frm-functions.jpg  

Last edited by Zephyr1; 02-04-2014 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:40 PM
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foot module

sounds like a good thread to have. I have had a bulb warning light ever since I spliced into the DRL wire when I put after market fog lights on my Mini. I finally ran a wire to the battery to power my lights but really wanted to be able to have it tired to the car system so the light would turn off when the ignition is off. I will be watching this.

Anyone know how much it cost to replace this module.

thks
 
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:16 PM
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Good idea, but the "official" abbreviation of the footwell module is FRM.

And they cost about $325-$350
 
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by cerenkov View Post
Good idea, but the "official" abbreviation of the footwell module is FRM.

And they cost about $325-$350
Thanks edited to read FRM.
Also added that the FRM is coded to the vehicles VIN, and AFAIK this can only be done by the dealer.
On RealOEM I found a price of $395 for the bare module for my car. There are different module versions over the years, they differ by year and features: different ones are used for adaptive headlight cars and those w/o adaptive lights.
As a result of the dealer required programming, I would assume that FRM replacement would probably be around $500, or maybe more.
 
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:56 PM
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The FRM does contain the vehicle order (VO) information, I think your right about needing some coding done, not sure if a good independent BMW/MINI shop such as Way can do the coding but $500-$750 sounds like a good estimate.

As a side note, when I installed my LED fog lights and had to tap into the module, I was surprised at how cheap it felt.
 
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cerenkov View Post
The FRM does contain the vehicle order (VO) information, I think your right about needing some coding done, not sure if a good independent BMW/MINI shop such as Way can do the coding but $500-$750 sounds like a good estimate.

As a side note, when I installed my LED fog lights and had to tap into the module, I was surprised at how cheap it felt.
Yes, it looks and feels cheap. On my next attempt to meddle with it I may open it up so peek inside, will take some photos. It is certainly unprotected - moisture and liquids can get inside through the vents, although the circuitboard looks like it might have conformal coating for protection (peeking through vent slots). Mostly I want to see how well the connector receptacles are protected against stress (fractures) etc..

Also realized that FRM probably stands for Fuss Raum Modul
 
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:47 PM
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I have a spare FRM if anyone is interested. Pulled it from a junk yard 2010 MCS.
 
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:49 PM
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From another post, here's the pin-out of 51-pin connector X14260.
Source post is another one with potential problems associated with FRM, maybe:
https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...ll-module.html
 
Attached Thumbnails The Foot Well Module: functions, problems, solutions?-x14260-pins.png  
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ryanschram View Post
I have a spare FRM if anyone is interested. Pulled it from a junk yard 2010 MCS.
Whoever might want to use it, check realOEM to see which vehicles it might work for.
 
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:06 PM
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More on FRM functions

...from the MINI workshop manual:
(accessed via this link):
http://workshop-manuals.com/mini/coo...otwell_module/


depending on features of vehicle, FRM takes input from:
height level sensor
reversing light switch
brake light switch
hazard warning switch
light switch
switch block, drivers door
door contacts
driver's door lock.

The following functions are controlled by the FRM:
Communication between the LIN bus and body CAN
Storing vehicle order
Exterior rearview mirror
exterior lights
interior lights
central locking
front power windows

Vehicle order:
The vehicle order is saved in the footwell module. The vehicle order enables the vehicle to be identified. Besides the type code number, the VO contains all important equipment features on the vehicle.
 
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:15 PM
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Caution - if replacing FRM

Based on information from various threads, and on this text from a tech site regarding R53 BCM replacement, there are things that have to be done BEFORE replacing a BCM / FRM, or else a lot more mwork has to be done (one thread talks about having to send the ECU in for re-programming):

From the tech site:

Allowing for the fact that a BC1 control unit has been identified as the cause of the problem, there are certain steps which MUST be performed to rectify the fault.
For vehicles prior to July 2004 with a rounded smooth key fob, the key barcode MUST be read out prior to replacement.
A word of warning: failure to do this will leave the vehicle without remote key function after replacement of the BC1. This simple oversight will mean additional work will have to be undertaken to correct the mistake, which is both a nuisance and inconvenience to technician and customer alike.

I know the above refers to R53, but again something similar has to be done in R56, AFAIK!
 
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:16 AM
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:55 PM
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Pics of FRM board

With my gremlins persisting (xenons always on, left turn signal working while car is cold, not after warmup), I took things apart again. This time opened up the FRM. Super easy, 4 small, thin clasps hold the two shells together, they come apart by fingernails.
Inside is a single multilayer circuitboard. The three connector receptacles are directly attached to this board, the two that are on the same side as one unit. They are screwed to the board via torx screws, and of course all the many pins are soldered to the board. While the one smaller single receptacle is secured by 2 screws, the larger twin receptacle set is also only secured by two screws - not that great.
The component side is fully conformal coated. I think the two black boxes on one end are actually old-fashioned relays
On the other side (non-component), only the soldered pads are coated (connectors and of the two relays). The rest is not coated, and looks exposed, but probably there is a very thin layer of the solder mask protecting the vias. Anyway, on the whole this does not look super robust, mechanically, and against moisture/water. I am not surprised by reports in other posts that water intrusion from the A-pillar area has fried the FRM.

So where's my problem?
Having taken it all apart, I felt not within the FRM. Next I re-checked all connectors, and herein I think is the weak link. The pins on the receptacles are very thin. The part in the connectors that slides over the pins is very, very flimsy, essentially a folded strip of thin, tinned metal, crimped around the wire, and then slid into the plastic frame. Nothing spring loaded in there like in quality connectors, the contact force comes from the folded strip of thin, weak metal. These are not good connectors, they are very low quality. The troubling thought is that these are part of the wiring frame. If they fail...

Ok, so I felt herein lies my problem. I took all connectors completely apart, all wires out, inspected each end (the folded metal strip), tweaked those that did not look good with some super fine tweezers, and reassembled every connector, and then the whole thing, without any tape.

Then I reconnected the battery and fired things up.....
and....
the...
result....
was...
....
.....

success!

No more gremlins (so far, knock on wood).

The morale of the story is: the connectors used in the wiring harness are crap
 
Attached Thumbnails The Foot Well Module: functions, problems, solutions?-20140205_164504.jpg   The Foot Well Module: functions, problems, solutions?-20140205_164514.jpg   The Foot Well Module: functions, problems, solutions?-20140205_164746.jpg  
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  #14  
Old 02-05-2014, 06:19 PM
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Congrats on figuring it out! Hopefully, I will not have to go through something like this with my FRM.

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Old 02-05-2014, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by KilmerPT View Post
Congrats on figuring it out! Hopefully, I will not have to go through something like this with my FRM.

Sent from my iPhone using NAMotoring
I figured it out in large part thanks to your input! That allowed me to focus on the FRM and connectors, rather than on the connectors and wiring of the JCW gauges and stuff behind the steering wheel! So, thanks again for your help!
I'd say if yours is ok and you don't have to meddle with it, keep it as is and knock on wood! These connectors are not made to see much use in the way of engaging and disengaging They would never make it onto the space shuttle, or a satellite
 
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:47 PM
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Excellent research and troubleshooting! I'll have a beer in your honor tonight.
 
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Old 06-07-2014, 04:58 AM
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This page has an overview of functions for the wires of the Connectors - http://www.bmwgm5.com/Footwell_Module_Connections.htm. This is for a bmw, but I find most of them has the same functions on the mini. Helpful olving my last two issues With high beam and hazard switch not working.
 
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:27 AM
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FRM Footwell Module Off

Hi family,

I was connecting a H11 HID kit to my Spec-D projector housing last saturday.
Spec-D housing is installed since 3 months and really looks amazing.
Actually I have HID on my fog light (H8).
I have bought a relay harness and a H11 HID Kensun kit. All well connected (positve to main positive on the engine fuse box and negative to one of the ground bolts on the chasis just below the engine fuse box, maybe there is an error and that is not a "negative" bolt, maybe a "ground" bolt connected to the FRM).

The relay was activated by one of the H11 connector. All done with baterry disconected.

All OK, then when starting the lights (ignition on, engine off) the lights just were on a few seconds and then all turned off. Just headlights back on. I disconnected all (harness, HID kit, etc) and reconnect to the halogen bulb without success.
Through ISTA Rheingold I could see that there is not connection with FRM module (it is not responding).

Now I'm with low beam always on and break lights working OK.

No blinkers, no dashboard lights, no interior light, no backup lights, no power to windows. Plus red service warning (it is obvious).

The MINI official service status is: "You have problems with your FRM and we need replace it with a new one".
Total value = $ 1500 (new FRM) + installation hours (about $ 200)

Could be there is a fuse blown for the footwell module?. If yes, what is it location? I could check all engine and interior (passenger side) fuses and all are OK.

I could find some info about the FRM could be in an "inactive state" due to a short circuit detected.
I'm searching for info about re activate it through tool32.
It seems there is a terminal change (15 > 30 > 15) that can order to active again the module (if short circuit is solved), but I'm not clear on this terminal change procedure, I believe this is only applicable for some output turned off and for the entire FRM (my case).

The battery was disconnected 12h+ (positive and negative) and nothing.

The FRM was disconnected and checked (opened) by an electronic devices tech expert and he said that "it seems to be OK", there is no damage signal and it needs to be checked deeper.

I believe the in/out lines related to FRM should be checked (searching for electrical problems, short circuit, bad cables, etc), then the tech would try to check the FRM circuitboard to re install it on the car.

I have NCS Expert, Tool32 and WinKFP basic skills. No access to FRM module since this incident to coding with any of it.

Thank you for your help/comments!
 
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Old 07-19-2014, 10:10 AM
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Honestly, this is not sounding good.

There are four fuses that supply the FRM (see below). There are none in the FRM itself. In the MINI R56, individual devices (brake lights, headlamps, etc.) are not fused individually. Instead the FRM itself provides circuit protection (it automatically detects short-circuits and then disables individual outputs).

I'd check each of these four fuses (if possible, check that there is +12 V at the appropriate terminals on the FRM itself). If they are all good, then it is likely that your FRM is dead (sorry...). If it is powered up, and otherwise looks fine, but won't communicate with INPA or TOOL32 at all then there is not much you can do but replace it.

 
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:13 AM
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Thank you for your quick response Chernobyl!

And yes, all the fuses on A4010 JBE and Engine box, were checked with result OK (all with 12v).

I could assume that the FRM is in the called "emergency state" (I could read that somewhere) and then it is not literally "dead", because if I disconnect the FRM from the car, there is no headlights nor brake lights but with the FRM connected, I have fixed low beams and I have brake lights working "normally" too.

I don't know if there is a way to back to "active mode" (live) from "emergency mode" (dead).

I think you are right and I should use the plan B if I can not repair the circuit-board (after checking all FRM power in lines): replace the FRM.
 
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:38 AM
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I understand what you're referring to, but regardless of the operating mode, in no case should the FRM completely refuse to respond to any command. If it won't respond to the most basic IDENT request from TOOL32 (have you tried this?), that's not called "emergency mode", it's called "brick mode" (sorry...).

It's possible (but very unlikely) that it is in bootloader mode and wants a firmware flash using WINKFP. So you could try using WINKFP to do a firmware upgrade and see if that works.

As a very last resort (this would be difficult to do) I would try powering-up your FRM on the bench using a standalone, regulated 13.8 volt power supply. I'd then connect the OBD cable directly to the K-CAN inputs on it. Then try communicating with it using TOOL32; this is basically what BMW engineers do in the factory. If it still won't talk to you in this configuration, then it is truly dead.

***

P.S. One last thing that occurred to me: have you checked your battery voltage? The MINI electronics are *very* sensitive to low voltage and it can cause all sorts of problems if the battery gets low. Either check your battery or put it on charge for a few hours to see if the situation improves. If your battery is a few years old it is likely tired and even a few minutes of operation with the ignition on (but the engine not running) can drain it enough to cause problems (ask me how I know...).
 
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:54 AM
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Yes, I can connect to the FRM module through Tool32 but some commands are refused with the message "UNIT IS NOT RESPONDING", but I can read information about it (some *_lessen commands).

Rheingold nor NCS are reaching FRM.

Unfortunately (luckily) the battery was changed less than 1 year ago, so the V is not the problem (at least today).

Maybe I could try a WinKFP update and see what happens
Thank you so much (really) for your explanations and tips to try fix it.

PS: and thank you for share your "sign format"
 
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:13 PM
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Oh! You can talk to it - so all is not lost then.

What response do you get when you send it fs_lesen (read error memory) and is_lesen (read information memory) commands?

You could try the clr_emergency_fallback_counter_lear function to see if that resets the operating mode.
 
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:19 PM
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Let me chek it!

I must translate the "clr_emergency_fallback_counter_lear function" command, sice my tool32 is 100% in german.
 
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:12 PM
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Chernobyl, this is the real situation:

No connection nor communication through: Rheingold, NCS, WinKFP, Tool32. (Unit not responding). Checked some minutes ago.

It is officially in the "brick mode".

It will be taken for a tech to test it, while waiting for a compatible used FRM that is on the way.
The situation could be worse, I could not have low beams nor brake lights. The car works and I'll use it just if really needed.

I believe I can tolerate a week of people insults for not using my blinkers

Thank you again for your time and help. I will update this thread with the final resolution for my incident.
 

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