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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-09-2006, 03:19 PM
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The Ultimate iPod Info Thread

I wanted to connect an iPod to my car and decided that waiting for the BMW iPod connector might take a while...or never happen, so I got the aux input installed ($64 part + $140 install).

This is what the aux input looks like--it's typically installed in the glove box, next to the flash light:


Here's the aux input install directions:
click here

I decided to have the iPod in the center arm rest (to be out of sight, and also have easy access).

For a power source, I went with the Monster iCarCharger, since it has a direct line out (not through an amplifier like the Belkin adapter, so you have a clean output), which I hardwired to the switched power lines of one of the power outlets in the rear center console (below the A/C vents). You definitely don't want to use the headphone jack, since it is filtered and tailored toward headphone use and the quality & volume level of a headphone simply cannot compete with your car stereo. The headphone jack sound quality and bass levels are greatly reduced. The bottom dock connector (which transfers audio out of the iCarCharger's 3.5mm port) generates pure, unfiltered sound.

Here's a list of parts you'll need--on a difficulty scale of 1 - 5 with 1 being the easiest, I'd say this DIY is a 3--once I had all the parts, it took me half an afternoon to complete:

Monster iCarCharger--$40 from BestBuy:

http://www.monstercable.com/computer/produ...pple%20Products

Monster MP3 MusicConnect shielded cable with mini-stereo connectors (1/8" mini jack on each end)--$20 from BestBuy:


http://www.monstercable.com/productPage.asp?pin=3258

Griffin AirClick remote control for iPod--$40 at Apple Store:
http://www.griffintechnology.com/pro...lick/index.php

Wire connectors--$4 at RadioShack:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...tId=2104016&cp
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...tId=2104018&cp

18 gauge wire--you'll need about a foot--I bought 4 feet to have extra ($0.12 per foot)

In-line fuse holder & fuses--$5

With this set up, when you have the audio input on aux input and the iPod playing & you turn off the car, the iPod pauses and shuts itself off after a few minutes. When you start the car, the iPod turns on and is still paused (at the point in the song when you turned off the car), and I use the Griffin AirClick to resume playing, by pressing the play/pause button (actually, pressing any button will work). I keep the AirClick remote in the drivers door storage area, so it's easy to press the play button. You don't have to open the center arm rest to access the iPod, except when you want to select a new playlist.

I first removed the coin holder in the center arm rest--there are 4 torx screws (red circles)--you can see the coin holder on the seat (yellow circle):


Next remove the panel that holds the 2 power outlets at the back of the rear center console--I used a metal spackle knife to wedged it out from the bottom sides--you need to use a bit of force, and it will eventually snap out on both bottom sides. Here's instructions :
click here

The 2 clips on the bottom sides (red circle) fell into the center console so you need to find them with a flash light and replace them for reassembly. The pic also show the 2 clips from the bottom edge of the A/C vent (yellow circle--see next instruction).



Next you remove the A/C vent--instructions:
click here

There are 2 clips (yellow circles) at the bottom corners, which you use needle nose pliers to pull down and out, then you pull the assembly toward you and down to remove. The red circle shows a blue female connector which I connected to the green wire in place of the stock connector, to fit the harness I made:


To hardwire the Monster iCarCharger, I used the metal spackle knife to wedge open the part of the adapter that would slide into the power outlet, to reveal the spring in the center, and one of the metal pieces on the side. I attached a female connector to each and crimped to secure (red circle). The pic also shows the line out connection (yellow circle):


I assembled a harness to tap into the power and ground wires from one of the rear power outlets. The blue male connectors at the far right connect to the female connectors that originally connected to the power outlet (the red circled connection is unnecessary--you can use a straight wire here). The orange female connectors (yellow circles) connect to the power outlet:


Wrap all exposed connections with electrical tape, and reinstall A/C vents and power outlet panel.

Once you have the aux input installed in the glove box, you need to run the mini-stereo cable from the glove box to the rear center console. First remove the trim at the side of the rear center console, using a metal spackle knife and pushing towards the rear of the car--instructions here:
click here



Remove screw (red circle) from side trim panel and pull panel toward you and down. After plugging cable into aux input and fishing through back of opened glove box door, run cable into top of panel and behind it:


Run cable along side of rear center console, and into rear section:


Run mini-stereo cable and coiled wire from Monster iCarCharger into center console compartment below the coin holder--this pic has a white wire for easy identification showing location. You'll need to enlarge the opening, using a Dremel or similar tool, so the iCarCharger plug will fit through:

Install coin holder.

Here's the iPod in the armrest:


You can remove the iPod from the armrest to change playlists, etc.:


I ripped my CDs using Exact Audio Copy w/ LAME eocoder http://users.pandora.be/satcp/tutorials.htm at 256 kbps VBR, then volume normalized using MP3Gain at 94 dB http://mp3gain.sourceforge.net/ , and the sound quality is excellent. Anybody want to buy a CD changer??!!
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Last edited by Ågent99; 10-31-2006 at 01:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2006, 01:23 PM
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Improving Aux Input Sound Quality & Volume

Some people find that the sound quality (particularly the bass) & volume of the aux input isn't as good as it could be. My experience is if you rip your MP3 files using a high quality encoder at a reasonably high bit rate, and normalize volume (see my post above for details), this isn't a big issue, although the volume is noticeably lower. I recently saw a post on another forum that contained a mod that addresses this issue, and am happy with the results, so I thought I'd provide a DIY.

The aux input wiring harness contains (2) 220nF capacitors and a 300K-ohm resistor, which filter out low frequency and degrade sound output. Apparently, the reasons they are there is to reduce gain coming from headphone jacks (as opposed to the line out), and filter out low frequency. The second reason is the side effect of the first one.

Since I'm using a line out (highly recommended, for reasons in my post above), I decided to remove these components. It took about 45 minutes, and is well worth the effort. The sound quality is improved (not by a huge amount, but every bit helps!) and the volume is higher, which is a benefit when switching from, for example, aux input to CD, where before the volume difference was so great that when switching to CD, the volume was far too loud.

First, you need to remove the glove box door--instructions here:
click here

To access the aux input wiring harness, you need to remove a small (2" x 2") panel, which is located on a horizontal piece of the glove box liner, just below & in back of the aux input (see arrows in pic below--pic is before glove box door is removed):


There is a tab at the front of the panel--insert a screw driver and pry it open, then pull it down and out of the way (there's a cable attached to it--don't know what that's for). Then unscrew the washer that surrounds the aux input jack (needle nose pliers work best) and through the hole that the small panel exposed, pull the aux input through and down.

A few inches away from the aux input jack, you'll see a section of the harness that bulges, which contains the offending items--see pic (the section I removed is 5"):


Cut the wire on either side of the bulge, then remove the friction tape, and splice and solder the 3 wires (color coded--be sure to match). Wrap with electrical tape, test sound with iPod to ensure connections are correct, and reassemble.

Naturally, if you're about to have the aux input installed, it's a lot easier to perform this surgery before the harness is installed!

The sound quality is cleaner, with more bass response, and louder--all of which contribute to cleaner sound.
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2006, 07:27 PM
M6OpusX M6OpusX is offline
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Different Aproach to Ipod Installation

This is a modified version of a post I did in another board:

I have an '05 645ci in which I had the XM Commander installed on the ceiling, just in front of the mirror. It looks like a manufacturer's option, Tweeter did a superb job in moulding a replacenent plastic part to install the XM commander. The XM Commander audio was routed through the Auxiliary Audio Input. Some time later I added an Ipod using an FM transmitter, but I was not too hapy with the quality of the sound. About a month ago I had a Harmnann-Kardon Drive+Play to control the Ipod. The Harman-Kardon also has an auxiliary audio iput. So both the XM Transmitter and the Ipod audio are now routed via the Harman-Kardon to the BMW Auxiliary Audio input. Both the XM satellite radio and the Ipod sound great.

A piece of advice: do not use a "Y" connector to route two diferrent audio components to the BMW Auxiliary Audio Input, it will distort the signal of both components. Even if your car do not have the Satellite Radio Prep and you want both Satellite Radio and an ipod (or other playes)I recommend a set-up similar to mine, using the Harman-Kardon Drive+Play.

I have a different installation in my '06 M5. In this car I have a factory installed Sirius (so I can use the IDrive to control the Sat Radio, and an Ipod using the Drive+Play and the BMW auxiliary audio input for the Ipod. The Harman-Kardon Drive+Play has two components, a screen that displays the same information as the Ipod screen; and a controler that looks like a mini IDrive to change palylists, slect songs, etc. Both these components were mounted on a cellular telephone base that Bavarian Autosports sells for about $90. It matches teh color of my upholstery. A clean, good looking installation. Bavarian Autosports has pictures of this type of installation both in their catalog and web page.

I have no connection whatsoever to Bavarian Autosports or Harman-Kardon, I am just a satisfied customer because these two products resulted in a professional installation in my BMWs and made the Ipod much easier to use while I drive.
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  #4  
Old 03-31-2006, 09:37 AM
eSpec30 eSpec30 is offline
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Hey Stream,

I just got my 06 530, and was going to do the aux installation at my local dealership in SoCal, but i was quoted $70+ for the part and $260 for the install (i guess $130 per hour). The service guy said that for this install it tells him to quote the customer $260 for install, and it can range up to 4 hours to update software and install.

Does this sound right to you? I feel like every dealership is going to quote me at least 2 hours for install, since its what they're "supposed" to do.

Thanks
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  #5  
Old 03-31-2006, 10:20 AM
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stream stream is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eSpec30
Hey Stream,

I just got my 06 530, and was going to do the aux installation at my local dealership in SoCal, but i was quoted $70+ for the part and $260 for the install (i guess $130 per hour). The service guy said that for this install it tells him to quote the customer $260 for install, and it can range up to 4 hours to update software and install.

Does this sound right to you? I feel like every dealership is going to quote me at least 2 hours for install, since its what they're "supposed" to do.

Thanks
The part lists for $71 (at lease back in June) and I got a 10% BMWCCA discount, so I paid $64. The aux input install instructions (see beginning of my first post above) say 1 hour install time, so I have no idea where your dealer is getting that "it tells him to quote the customer $260." My dealer charged me 1 hour labor ($140). Why don't you show the dealer the install instructions, and ask him to show you where "it" says $260?
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  #6  
Old 03-31-2006, 12:03 PM
dpang dpang is offline
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I am also in the San Francisco Bay Area, can you please let me know which dealer you use here in the SF Bay?

Thanks.
- Danny
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  #7  
Old 03-31-2006, 12:45 PM
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stream stream is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpang
I am also in the San Francisco Bay Area, can you please let me know which dealer you use here in the SF Bay?

Thanks.
- Danny
Peter Pan.
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  #8  
Old 03-31-2006, 03:06 PM
dpang dpang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stream
Peter Pan.
I called Peter Pan and they have quoted me over $220.00. Can you please let me know your Service Advisor name?

Thanks.
- Danny
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2006, 10:33 PM
M6OpusX M6OpusX is offline
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Ipod Installation

I paid $225 including parts and labor for installing the Auxiliary Audio input in my 645ci on February 2005. For parts and labor to install the Auxiliary Audio Ipnput in my '06 M5 I paid $182 a year latter on Februaty 2006.

The price you were quoted must be the California labor costs, since I live in Alabama.
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  #10  
Old 04-01-2006, 12:39 PM
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stream stream is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpang
I called Peter Pan and they have quoted me over $220.00. Can you please let me know your Service Advisor name?

Thanks.
- Danny
Nicole Nunes. As I said above, I paid $64 for the part (after 10% BMWCCA discount) and $140 labor (that was their hourly rate), so around $210 with tax. Could be their labor rate or the part price increased. Did the price include the BMWCCA discount (are you a member?)?
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  #11  
Old 04-01-2006, 03:04 PM
eSpec30 eSpec30 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stream
The part lists for $71 (at lease back in June) and I got a 10% BMWCCA discount, so I paid $64. The aux input install instructions (see beginning of my first post above) say 1 hour install time, so I have no idea where your dealer is getting that "it tells him to quote the customer $260." My dealer charged me 1 hour labor ($140). Why don't you show the dealer the install instructions, and ask him to show you where "it" says $260?
He was saying something that since I have navigation, it could take a while, and he's seen an aux install go to 3~4 hours before. I wonder if they take their time on purpose and charge for 2 hours when they can be diligent about it and do it in one. Sucks because it's not like you can stand there and watch them so that they finish it one hour.

This aux input is going to cost me the price of another ipod itself. I found the install instructions from one of your earlier posts by the way. I'll go in and see what they say with install instructions in hand.

Thanks.
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Old 04-01-2006, 03:33 PM
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stream stream is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eSpec30
He was saying something that since I have navigation, it could take a while, and he's seen an aux install go to 3~4 hours before.

Thanks.
FWIW, I have nav.
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  #13  
Old 04-01-2006, 04:16 PM
eSpec30 eSpec30 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stream
FWIW, I have nav.
I know, that's why its so frustrating when these dealerships say it takes at least 2 hours, especially since people (like you) have gotten it done in one.
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  #14  
Old 04-01-2006, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eSpec30
I know, that's why its so frustrating when these dealerships say it takes at least 2 hours, especially since people (like you) have gotten it done in one.
If my dealer jerked me around like that, they'd never see me again. There are too many dealers within a reasonable driving distance to put up with that nonsense.
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  #15  
Old 04-28-2006, 12:38 PM
Rick545i Rick545i is offline
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Spec,
Just saw your post. I am also in socal. I used Sterling in NB after they agreed to match Crevier's quote of part + 1 hour of labor or 210. Sterling's original quote was 400+ but they agreed to match Crevier (Sterling already had my car for an mp3 retofit or I would have gone to Crevier). Good luck.
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  #16  
Old 06-15-2006, 07:19 PM
ProRail ProRail is offline
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You guys are fabulous and I am in awe. I am an audiophile, and I got an iPod about a month ago. (I have DSP with a six-CD changer in the trunk.) You have addressed just about every concern I have had about the iPod (especially that bit about lack of consistency in gain). I don't think I'm going to mess with the electronics of my car, but it is very comforting to know that other people have these concerns and have figured out ways to deal with them. Kudos to you all.
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  #17  
Old 07-07-2006, 02:13 PM
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iPod Connector Update

Got an update from my dealer.

The good news is it will be available the end of July (pricing not available yet).

The bad news (for me, at least) is that the retrofit programming for my car will not be released until September (applies to nav equipped E60 cars produced prior to 9/05).

So close, yet so far.
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Old 07-07-2006, 03:23 PM
chitung chitung is offline
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Thanks, Stream. It's just a 1/4 of a good news. The other 3/4 quarter is bad news. Need to wait again until 9/06. Bump!
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Old 07-07-2006, 07:16 PM
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///M Rakete ///M Rakete is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stream
Got an update from my dealer.

The good news is it will be available the end of July (pricing not available yet).

The bad news (for me, at least) is that the retrofit programming for my car will not be released until September (applies to nav equipped E60 cars produced prior to 9/05).

So close, yet so far.
What's the scoop re the CD changer? Is the CD changer lost in exchange for iPod support?
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  #20  
Old 07-07-2006, 07:57 PM
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chuck92103 chuck92103 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5 Rakete
What's the scoop re the CD changer? Is the CD changer lost in exchange for iPod support?
Yes. BMW does not have spare MOST bus interfaces. So they take the CD changer interface and use the iPOD as a sudo cd changer.
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Old 07-09-2006, 12:37 PM
igord igord is offline
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Talking Who's your dealer?

Hi stream,

You seem to be getting all kinds of neat (and certainly useful to me/us) updates from your dealer.

At the same time my dealer is totally oblivious.

I was wondering if you wouldn't mind telling who your dealer is?

Thanks!

P.S. also thanks for the update

Quote:
Originally Posted by stream
Got an update from my dealer.

.....
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  #22  
Old 07-09-2006, 01:20 PM
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Kzang Kzang is offline
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Most dealers on this forum should be able to give you information as well I would assume.
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  #23  
Old 07-09-2006, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igord
Hi stream,

You seem to be getting all kinds of neat (and certainly useful to me/us) updates from your dealer.

At the same time my dealer is totally oblivious.

I was wondering if you wouldn't mind telling who your dealer is?

Thanks!

P.S. also thanks for the update
Peter Pan in San Mateo, CA.
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Old 07-09-2006, 08:58 PM
igord igord is offline
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ah, thanks!
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  #25  
Old 07-11-2006, 04:42 AM
GolferEngineer GolferEngineer is offline
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Exclamation iPod operating temperature concerns

I'm considering upgrading to the iPod interface in the near future - I'll sacrifice the CD changer for the iPod.

However, I have some concerns about leaving the iPod in the glove compartment during the summer and winter months.

Here is the operating data from the Apple/iPod website:
Environmental requirements
Operating temperature: 32° to 95° F (0° to 35° C)
Non operating temperature: -4° to 113° F (-20° to 45° C)
Relative humidity: 5% to 95% noncondensing
Maximum operating altitude: 10,000 feet (3000 m)


Being an engineer, I'm leery of leaving the iPod in the car since operation and storage cannot be guaranteed.

Do users take the iPod with them whenever they leave the care even, for example, at the shopping mall, to prevent damage?

Am I being overly concerned or does anyone have bad experiences with damaged iPods due to temperature extremes?

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