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View Full Version : bluetooth retrofit success - MY04 PM02/2004 530i


z0lt3c
05-17-2007, 05:00 PM
This question has seemed to come up often, so I'd though I'd share my recent story. I was successfully able to retrofit bluetooth capability into my MY2004 e60 530i with a production month of 02/04. (no nav, no premium sound)

My vehicle was already equipped with the BMW Assist option so all I needed to replace was the existing TCU module w/ a BT-enabled TCU module (part no 84109126660). My local BMW dealer performed the TCU module swap and TCU reprogramming for 1.5 hours of labor which came to about $150 broken down as 1/2 hour to install and 1 hour to recode.

I was able to get my Treo 650p (verizon) smartphone paired to the car via handset mode no problems. Not every feature works, but I can dial, access my phone's quick address book (but not the vzwsync address book), redial and end calls. I am very happy to be able to check voicemail on my way home through the car's audio system!

I'm pretty sure you can retrofit BT into any production month e60 it just depends on how much you can find a new TCU module for !

stream
05-17-2007, 06:23 PM
You can retrofit bluetooth to any older E60 with a new TCU, but they are expensive (over $1,000 as I recall).

z0lt3c
05-17-2007, 06:41 PM
The re-manufactured TCU (part no 84109126660) can be purchased for as little as $500 at a BMW parts counter w/ a BMWCAA membership. This requires a core deposit, some dealers I've seen take the old non-BT TCU as a core, others i've talked to wanted another $200 to cover the lack of like for like core swap. I actually found a TCU online for $325. BMW dealer installed it no problem.

It is true a new-manufactured TCU will be over $1000 but there is no need to use those anymore with the stock of re-manufactured TCU's available. Alot of parts departments don't know about this part number if they tell you otherwise tell them to look it up in their system.

qtrxist
05-22-2007, 09:03 AM
one quick question, when swapping BT-enabled TCU, where does the signal (BT) actually originates from? is it coming from the back of the car (trunk) where the TCU is at? hows the connection, is it like factory? i was planning too to retrofit a BT- enabled TCU on my 04 530i 09/03 prod'n date. zolt3c, you mentioned a tcu available online, if i acquire this, should i check it first if my dealer would install it since it was bought somewhere else? or its better off buying from the dealer.

MRV99
05-22-2007, 09:10 AM
My car is going in tomorrow for the Retrofit except from the SI i read I have BlueTooth (comes w/ BMW Assist(0639) and my car is a 545 03/2004 build date so i should not need the TCU just the Software Upgrade.. I will post and update if the Bluetooth retrofit is successful. I figured that I would piggyback the IPOD adapter while the car was in.

z0lt3c
05-22-2007, 12:58 PM
one quick question, when swapping BT-enabled TCU, where does the signal (BT) actually originates from? is it coming from the back of the car (trunk) where the TCU is at? hows the connection, is it like factory? i was planning too to retrofit a BT- enabled TCU on my 04 530i 09/03 prod'n date. zolt3c, you mentioned a tcu available online, if i acquire this, should i check it first if my dealer would install it since it was bought somewhere else? or its better off buying from the dealer.

The TCU module has a mini-bnc connection on it for an external bluetooth antenna. If you have the BMW assist option already with your vehicle then the antenna should already be installed and connected to the TCU despite the fact that the electronics in the TCU won't support it. If you don't have BMW assist you _may_ need to run the external antenna. I'm not quite sure of the actual location of the BT antenna, the cable just disappears into a loom running towards the front of the car from the trunk. My guess is that it's in that overhead compartment near the microphone (which will also need to be run if you don't have assist).

My guess is that you can run the BT antenna anywhere inside the car and get adequate signal strength, but yes it does initially originate from the TCU in the trunk.

If you acquire a module from someone other then who is installing it, I would absolutely make sure they would be willing to install it. I have run into shops that won't do this type of work. I would start with the dealer, armed w/ the part number and see what they want for the module. If they will sell you a refurb one w/o core deposit w/ BMWCCA discount it should be around $500 and I would for it. My local dealer wasn't willing to do that and wanted $700 because they wouldn't take my core (old TCU). Before I went in with the part number they were trying to sell me a $1500 new TCU. I eventually found one from a e60.net forum member for $325.

qtrxist
05-22-2007, 06:34 PM
thanks zolt3c, my car right now is at the dealer, adaptive headlights arent turning, no eyebrow lights and disc is spinning even on park, no keys inserted. havent heard from the SA yet. next time i get there ill try to ask the parts dept. actually i got mine pre-owned too and there was BMW assist existing, it is just grayed out on the iDrive. accdg to the papers that went with the car the original owner had the assist for a year. so i guess im good with just the tcu swap.

spectrumsp
05-27-2007, 01:01 PM
I have a 08/03 production e60...just had the car updated to the latest progman release and I swapped out the TCU to the latest module...with no joy (actually swapped out the TCU before the coding). Went in to the back shelf to insure the antenna was connected (which it was) then started looking around for other issues. Found that two cables in the left rear trunk area, near where the sat is mounted, needed to be connected...got that done...is there anything else that needs to be checked/connected for the BT to function...I'm taking it back in for the TCU re-coding since the two cables weren't connected in the trunk.

stream
05-27-2007, 04:26 PM
I have a 08/03 production e60...just had the car updated to the latest progman release and I swapped out the TCU to the latest module...with no joy (actually swapped out the TCU before the coding). Went in to the back shelf to insure the antenna was connected (which it was) then started looking around for other issues. Found that two cables in the left rear trunk area, near where the sat is mounted, needed to be connected...got that done...is there anything else that needs to be checked/connected for the BT to function...I'm taking it back in for the TCU re-coding since the two cables weren't connected in the trunk.

The 2 cables in the left side of trunk (assuming they're the ones in the pix below) are coax cables that connect the cell antenna in the sharkfin to the center armrest console phone cradle (if one is installed) so has nothing to do with BT functionality.

I believe the dealer needs to enable BT (in addition to updating progman).

spectrumsp
05-27-2007, 08:17 PM
Yes, that's the connectors I was speaking of. I've now connected the two together, but it was after the enabling/coding of the new TCU.

After the tech loaded the latest progman and enabled/coded the new TCU, was there another step that was needed to be done? He thought all he needed to do was enable/code the new TCU...

The reason I press this point is that I have BMW Assist...after the progman update, I installed the new TCU...I started the car and the BMW Assist was gone...after the enabling/coding, the BMW Assist returned...that tells me the new TCU is functional...just not with BT

I have the BT antenna in the back shelf and it's connected...do I need to also place one on the center console?

Doesn't all fin antenni connect to the TCU, otherwise your BT, phone, etc wouldn't have connectivity to the external antenna, ie fin?

Bottom line, based on everything I've brought up above...what do I need to have done to enable BT...I have the latest TCU, it's coded, and the antenna is connected?

stream
05-27-2007, 10:39 PM
My comments below in bold. I assume you've attempted to activate BT in iDrive and pair your phone, with no success, correct?

Yes, that's the connectors I was speaking of. I've now connected the two together, but it was after the enabling/coding of the new TCU.

After the tech loaded the latest progman and enabled/coded the new TCU, was there another step that was needed to be done? He thought all he needed to do was enable/code the new TCU...

As I said, I believe the dealer needs to enable BT

The reason I press this point is that I have BMW Assist...after the progman update, I installed the new TCU...I started the car and the BMW Assist was gone...after the enabling/coding, the BMW Assist returned...that tells me the new TCU is functional...just not with BT

BMW assist is not related to BT. BMW assist uses a dedicated cell phone to call BMW (so it doesn't matter if you have your cell phone connected--via a cradle or BT--to the car).

I have the BT antenna in the back shelf and it's connected...do I need to also place one on the center console?

Doesn't all fin antenni connect to the TCU, otherwise your BT, phone, etc wouldn't have connectivity to the external antenna, ie fin?

The sharkfin has nothing to do with BT. It contains the GPS, cell phone & BMW assist cell antennas. Unless it's attached to a cradle, when using BT, your phone's antenna is what's used to connect to your carrier--BT just connects the phone to the car.

Bottom line, based on everything I've brought up above...what do I need to have done to enable BT...I have the latest TCU, it's coded, and the antenna is connected?

What do you mean by "the latest" TCU? Has the dealer confirmed it supports BT?

spectrumsp
05-28-2007, 04:09 AM
Thanks for all of your help and input...

Yes, the dealer said this is the latest/greatest TCU and it supports BT...

So, there is a different procedure the tech must preform to enable BT after he enables the TCU to work with the car?

Interesting, I would have thought that just enabling the TCU to work would have "turned on" all the features of the TCU...

To everyone who reads this post...have a great Memoral Day...say a prayer for a safe return home for those you know serving their country...I've been there/done that.

stream
05-28-2007, 08:52 AM
Thanks for all of your help and input...

Yes, the dealer said this is the latest/greatest TCU and it supports BT...

So, there is a different procedure the tech must preform to enable BT after he enables the TCU to work with the car?

Interesting, I would have thought that just enabling the TCU to work would have "turned on" all the features of the TCU...

To everyone who reads this post...have a great Memoral Day...say a prayer for a safe return home for those you know serving their country...I've been there/done that.

To use BT, you first need to activate BT in iDrive, then pair the phone. I assume you've attempted to do both. What happened?

Here's how you activate BT & pair--there's a vid link towards the top of the page:
http://www.bmwusa.com/owners/bluetooth/howto

spectrumsp
05-28-2007, 10:51 AM
I was watching when he coded the TCU for the car...that's all he did...there was no additional, specific task done to activate the BT...the BMW tech appearently thought that BT would become available with the coding of the TCU...

Just to be clear to an old dense mind of mine, I take it you are saying that once the TCU is coded for the car (which has been done), the tech then must go back and perform another coding to actually activitate the BT...is that correct?

Again, I greatly appreciate all the help from everyone regarding this task...after all this time from MY04, I would have thought that all the techs would be up to speed on all that had to be done to activate the BT feature...

stream
05-28-2007, 10:58 AM
I was watching when he coded the TCU for the car...that's all he did...there was no additional, specific task done to activate the BT...the BMW tech appearently thought that BT would become available with the coding of the TCU...

Just to be clear to an old dense mind of mine, I take it you are saying that once the TCU is coded for the car (which has been done), the tech then must go back and perform another coding to actually activitate the BT...is that correct?

Again, I greatly appreciate all the help from everyone regarding this task...after all this time from MY04, I would have thought that all the techs would be up to speed on all that had to be done to activate the BT feature...

You--not the dealer--must perform 2 steps to have a phone work with the car:
--activate BT in iDrive
--pair the phone & car in iDrive

Have you watched the vid in the link in my message above? It shows you how to activate BT, and how to pair a phone. What happened when you tried those 2 steps?

spectrumsp
05-28-2007, 12:28 PM
Yes, I saw the video...

However, when I go to "Phone" in IDrive (Communications), nothing is available...it says I must contact my BMW dealer...BT is NOT shown, therefore I can't activate it nor can I attempt to pair it with my cell...

stream
05-28-2007, 01:10 PM
Yes, I saw the video...

However, when I go to "Phone" in IDrive (Communications), nothing is available...it says I must contact my BMW dealer...BT is NOT shown, therefore I can't activate it nor can I attempt to pair it with my cell...

OK--I assume that when you go in iDrive to: info (at home screen press down) --> settings --> bluetooth (the BT activation step described in the vid, which you need to scroll to the bottom of the settings list to select) that you can't check the activate BT box (or perhaps the selection isn't there)? If so, I believe that a retrofit of "Tel Bluetooth" needs to be performed by the dealer. This will enable BT, which is what I mentioned needed to be done in one of my posts above.

There have been a few TCU versions which support BT, and some require the Tel Bluetooth retrofit be performed after the TCU is installed and progman is updated to the latest version.

spectrumsp
05-28-2007, 01:45 PM
I concur...I going to take it back tomorrow and have them recode the TCU and also, if possible, run any additional/other steps that would be required to activitate the BT...

As an aside, I just go thru reviewing some posts on another site dealing with this topic, and I learned that an eject box must also be installed...my car came "preped" for phone but one was not included...the lack of this eject box may also be contributing to the issue...

I'll advise after the tech recodes the TCU...

stream
05-28-2007, 02:12 PM
I concur...I going to take it back tomorrow and have them recode the TCU and also, if possible, run any additional/other steps that would be required to activitate the BT...

As an aside, I just go thru reviewing some posts on another site dealing with this topic, and I learned that an eject box must also be installed...my car came "preped" for phone but one was not included...the lack of this eject box may also be contributing to the issue...

I'll advise after the tech recodes the TCU...

The eject box is not the issue.

Your car (pre-BT) was prepped for a hard-wired phone, a dealer installed option, which was a Motorola V60i that snapped into a cradle which was connected to the eject box. That phone installed in a cradle/eject box is mutually exclusive with having BT enabled in the car, which is why on earlier MY E60 cars you need to have the dealer enable BT as I described (which then disables the hardwire connection capability).

To make things further confusing, there are a few BT phones (which you don't buy from BMW, but from your carrier--the RAZR is an example) that BMW sells a cradle for, that sits in the eject box, which serves to connect the phone to the sharkfin antenna (through the cable in the trunk I posted pix of) and also charges the phone--but the connection from the phone to iDrive is via BT.

So having the eject box installed or not doesn't affect BT capability. Having the car retrofitted for BT capability is the key.

z0lt3c
06-03-2007, 12:47 PM
Yes, I saw the video...

However, when I go to "Phone" in IDrive (Communications), nothing is available...it says I must contact my BMW dealer...BT is NOT shown, therefore I can't activate it nor can I attempt to pair it with my cell...



This is exactly the screen I had with the non-BT TCU.


After swapping the new TCU in additional coding is needed on both the TCU module (to program it to recognize the CCC) and in the CCC itself to retrofit (enable) the BT functionality within iDrive.


Based on your explanation is sounds like they may have programed the TCU to recognize your car, since it's functional, but they may not have retrofitted BT enablement into the CCC. I would bring it back to the dealer who programmed it.


After the BT retrofit, you will get a screen in the phone menu providing instructions to pair a phone, different from your current screen.