The Alpina transmission flash is a well-known upgrade among BMW enthusiasts. The software for the automatic transmission control unit (EGS) is replaced with Alpina vehicle software.
Although the entire process takes less than 10 minutes, I spent more than 5 hours the first time I tried it. The internet is full of fragmented information for different models.
Ergo this guide.
We’ll start with the F series, and later I’ll cover the E series BMWs (an entirely different process).
Let’s get started.
Software and tools
Basically, you’ll need the same tools as for flashing any module with E-Sys:
- Laptop with E-Sys and Psdz Data (Full version)
- ENET cable
- Power supply
- ISTA (just to clear DTC memory)
E-Sys and Psdz Data
If you are new to flashing/updating modules with E-Sys, check out this guide first →
Here you can download the E-Sys software and Psdz Data →
The power supply charger depends on the model you are flashing. Eg., while the G11 7-Series requires at least a 100A power supply unit, the base model 3-Series will do with a CTEK 25A.
If you want to learn more about the importance of a stable power supply during the flash process, please read this article →
The ENET cable is a simple Ethernet connection between the car and your laptop. So you can buy a high-quality cable for under $30.
The ISTA is here just to clear the fault memory. Depending on the mode, the flash will cause a lot of fault memory entries (DTC). Driving the car with DTCs wouldn’t cause any operational issues.
This also means that you can use the OBD tool or smartphone app which can communicate with all BMW modules.
All adaptations will reset during the flash procedure. So, if the transmission had higher adaptation intervention, you’ll have to drive your Bimmer for a while to adapt again (up to 100 miles).
Here you can learn more about BMW transmission adaptations →
Alpina Transmission Flash Process
The first step is to modify the vehicle order. Vehicle order (FA) will automatically tell the E-Sys application which software to load into the car modules.
The values that we need to modify are Type Code (Typeschlűssel) and Build Date (Zeitkriterium).
Here’s how this works.
In this example, we’ll flash the Alpina transmission software into the 2010 F10 530d.
Modify Vehicle Order
Type Code: XA71. This is the production code for BMW F10 535d on which the Alpina D5 is
Build Date: 1112. In this case, we also need to change the build date, as the D5 was not available in 2010.
Now we need to add Alpina equipment codes in the SALAPA element.
How to Find Alpina Type Codes
The easiest way is when you have the VIN of an Alpina vehicle. For this one, I’ve searched for the B7 via CarGurus. You’ll find the VIN under the vehicle description.
Then paste the VIN into the BMW parts catalog.
Below is a screenshot from a BMW’s ETK parts catalog:
Here you can see the Type Code for this Alpina B7 is KB73 and in the equipment window, we have the codes 920 (Alpina without registration documents) and 9XA (ALPINA Package).
These three codes are all we need to flash the Alpina transmission software into the F01 750i LCI with the N63B44 engine. This is possible because they share the same type of automatic transmission.
You can also use the RealOEM to find the Type Code:
For example, if you have the F30 320i with a Type Code 3B13 and Build Date 1112 and you change these values to YA73 (Type Key) and 0714 (Build Date) – The E-Sys will try to flash the software for BMW 750i into your 320i.
Of course, it won’t work, as they are entirely different cars.
That’s why we have the option to calculate FP (Fahrzeug Profil) – Vehicle Profile.
So, when you modify those two values, you’ll have to click “Calculate FP” to verify that you have a working setup. If the values don’t match, you’ll get an error message.
Alpina is not that much different.
For example, if you have the F30 330d or F10 550i, you are good to go.
Alpina also uses different transmissions.
So, if you want to flash Alpina EGS software into the most popular N55 and B58 BMWs, I’ll have to disappoint you. Where BMW F3x 35i/40i uses ZF8HP45/50, Alpina B3 or B4 uses a stronger version – ZF8HP70.
F11 LCI 5D71
F25 30d WY71
ALPINA D3 F30/F31/F32/F33/F34/F36
ALPINA D5 F10/F11
ALPINA B5 F10/F11/
ALPINA XD3 F25/F25
BMW X3 35d
ALPINA B7 F01/F02/F07
ALPINA B7 F01 KB83 N63 6HP26
B7 2013 YA73 N63N 8HP70
8. Change Typeschlussel as follows to identify the car as an Alpina.
F11 LCI – 5D71
F10 – 5D51
F11, F06 – XB71 1211
F10 – XA71 1211
F31, F36 – 3E51 or 8K72 for cars from 2016
F32 – 3R51 F36 – 3E51
F25 – WY71 0316 (swfl 210C)
My F25 type code is WY71 when looking at the VIN number. I’ve managed to find the VIN of an F25 Alpina XD3 and it reads as follows: WAPDF2500F???????. Should the new type code to enter in Esys not be DF25 instead of WY71, or is there something I’ve misunderstood? And what do you mean by “change the following… F25… (swfl 210C)”. What is (swfl 210C) supposed to mean?
Sorry, never finished the article. Since your F25 is 35d you don’t need to change the Typschlüssel (TYPE). It will work the same with both WY71 and DF25.
The XD3 is based on 35d, so you only need to add the 920 and 9XA option codes. The process is the same as with the F10 535d. The only thing to check is the production date. According to the Alpina archive, the XD3 was launched in March 2013 https://www.alpina-archive.com/?page_id=16741. Zeitkriterium=0316 will work, for earlier I don’t know.
The SWFL_210C_XXX_XXX is the “Alpina” software version you’ll get for EGS after the SVT soll calculation with 920 and 9XA added to VO.
All understood – thanks for an awesome guide and for your thorough response.
Following two of your guides atm.
A bit of a long shot question: the Alpina B3 (F30 gen.) and my m140i (F20) seem to have the same steering rack. Would it theoretically be possible to get the Alpina EPS coding on my m140i?
Well, this sounds interesting. I never tried it though. Anyways, this would require EPS module flash, not coding. The process is the same as EGS: Change VO and flash the EPS module. I would make sure that the B3 steering rack is the same part number in ETK. If I get a chance, I’ll try it and report it here.