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Old 02-19-2006, 10:31 PM
mzilla mzilla is offline
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Location: Northern California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 2005 M3 Convertible
Post M3 - XM, ipod and subwoofer installation

I offer the following for information only, with no guarantees. I highly recommend that folks perform research with equipment vendors, car manufacturers/dealers and car forums before attempting this. It is not something that someone with little or no technical, electrical, audio, etc. knowledge should attempt.

Car info:

2005 BMW M3 Convertible with Harmon Khardon audio system. NO navigation, NO digital sound processing (DSP). If someone wants to try this, they may have to tweak the parts specs a bit to get the interfaces for their specific vehicle (if it has nav, BMW ipod interface or DSP).

XMradio bundle, includes XM Direct receiver and Blitsafe interface. The Blitsafe is designed to plug into the stock BMW CD changer cables in the trunk. It also has a 'pass-thru' connector that's intended to let you plug your CD changer into the Blitsafe. This way (unlike some interfaces) you don't have to sacrifice your CD changer for XM. If (for whatever reason) the BMW radio is configured for european use (you'll see MWA and LWA instead of the familiar AM and FM), you'll have to reconfigure it or it won't recognize the XM Direct receiver through the Blitzsafe. There's info on the forum links at Myradiostore that resolve this.


You can find information on Dension's ice link ipod interface on this site. The ice link is also designed to plug into the stock BMW CD changer cables. If you'll follow the links, they'll show you how to configure the ice link to send text to the BMW radio head. You can plug it directly into the Blitsafe pass-thru connectors. Ice link's connected to the Blitsafe's connected to the CD changer cables....you get the picture. The ipod dock works with both ipod photo and ipod mini. You can play songs by playlist, artist or album. Rather than route this mess into the cabin, you can leave the dock in the trunk. It wedges perfectly into one of the cubby holes on the left side of the trunk. Since all text displays on the radio, you don't need visual access to the ipod while you're driving.


This is Infinity's website. It has information on their Basslink subwoofer. Rather than string amps and cables all over the place, this unit is self contained. It fits on the left side of the trunk, mounted horizontally. Crossover and bass boost are currently set to lowest level. Gain is set to about 30%. Bass is tight, not boomy. No problem hearing full bass line on Edgar Winter's Frankenstein with the top down! ;-)


This is an install kit for the Infinity sub. The information was extremely useful and validated subwoofer wiring and configuration; however, most folks would choose to use Monster Cable 8 gauge power and ground wire. Since the sub has an auto-on/off feature, its wired it directly to the battery with a 30 amp in-line fuse 3 inches from the battery terminal (if the cable should fault or break, the fuse in the subwoofer won't provide any protection, since the power cable runs straight to the battery. This in-line fuse will protect the car's electrical system and battery). The sub is 200 watts, so if you don't have heavy duty power cables and a strong connection to the battery, it'll drop out at higher levels due to low supply current. You can pick the audio input to the subwoofer directly off the stock subwoofer in the ski boot pass-thru. This stock subwoofer actually has two voice coils (one for the left and one for the right). Each voice coil is rated at about 2 ohms. Since some amps are finicky about their output section and might be damaged if they don't see the load they expect, I left the stock subwoofer connected and simply soldered subwoofer input leads in parallel with them. These leads can trail along through the same path as the stock audio leads and end up on the left side of the trunk by the sub's input section. Since the input is coming from the low frequency amp, there is no need to install the remote bass level control. The bass control on the radio head works just fine for controlling the sub's output.


All told, you'll spend about $150 for the XM, $200 for the ipod, $170 for the subwoofer and about $35 for the sub install kit. You'll probably opt to spend another $50 for a 300 watt amp power wiring kit by Monster Cable (included cables, spade connectors, heat shrink, etc.) If you do, you should consider purchasing and substituting a 30 amp fuse for the 60 amp that came with the Monster install kit. It takes 4 hours to install the ipod and XM and another 4 hours to do the subwoofer.

THE RESULT - nothing mounted in the passenger compartment....no jacks, plugs, cords, cables, amps, docks...nothing. Both XM and the ipod are fully controlled via the stock BMW radio head. Text displays are available from both XM and ipod...including XM station number, name, artist and song...including ipod artist, album and song. You toggle between audio sources by pushing the MODE button on the radio....AM, FM, in-dash CD (stock player also plays MP3 disks), ipod and XM. Very sweet..... The bass is tight, not muddy or boomy. Sub has LOTS of power to spare. All equipment is easily removed from the car if you sell, trade, or lease ends.

Hope you find this info helpful.

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