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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-11-2014, 07:22 AM
MKJS MKJS is offline
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Location: Texas
 
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Mein Auto: '99 540i
Advice on the mystery of the e39 radio

I have a '99 e39 540i, and would really like to replace the tape deck with a cd player in the center console. However, I see the fade, balance, treble etc is on the tape deck and I don't see one on the business cd player. Does this mean that I have to replace the radio as well as the tape deck to get a cd player in the dash? What about the brackets holding it all together, do I need to change that out also? At this point perhaps an after market gps, cd unit becomes more appealing.

I can't seem to find a manual for the radio, and am a bit confused about some of the buttons. I see one in our saved section but it seems to require a password, anyone know it?

And lastly I have recently discovered the cd player in the trunk. I am not sure this unit has ever been used! Strange place for a cd player it seems to me, but quite functional if one only has 6 cd's.

Thanks in advance,
Jim

Last edited by MKJS; 09-11-2014 at 07:29 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2014, 08:19 AM
Hdghawg Hdghawg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKJS View Post
And lastly I have recently discovered the cd player in the trunk. I am not sure this unit has ever been used! Strange place for a cd player it seems to me, but quite functional if one only has 6 cd's.

Thanks in advance,
Jim
I'm not sure I follow the "if one only has 6 cd's", by that logic an in-dash player you speak of would only be functional if one only had 1 cd. I found the cd changer in the trunk worked fine (we've upgrade to an iphone attachment), by the time you get tired of those 6 you could have driven 4 or 5 hours without having to fool around with discs as you drive.

But to help with your endeavor maybe this will be of benefit, it does specify 97 5 series but just maybe....

http://www.e38.org/e39/BMW_E39_Radio_OBC_MID_Manual.pdf

or go here

http://www.e38.org/

type "control" and "F"

type radio in the search box and have at it, there are several "radio" results, I don't know which ones do or don't apply to your device.
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  #3  
Old 09-11-2014, 08:20 AM
LeighS LeighS is offline
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Location: Beaufort, SC
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Mein Auto: BMW 540i /6 sp Dinan 5
You have the standard radio set-up for '99 e39's + the optional CD player. My '99 540i came with the same radio and I added the CD player. It was a great system in 1999.... There has been some progress in the world of car electronics, however. Two things really bothered me: the absence of Blue Tooth interface for my phone and the inability to connect a UBS device for music. As much as I love driving the old 540i/6 sp, I was thinking about a new car. My solution was to get the Dynavin e39-specific navigation/entertainment device. It replaces the whole radio/ cassette system with a large screen nav screen. I connect my iPhone via the UBS port and it plays music from the iPhone library, handles phone stuff and provides navigation. It is truly a plug & play device. The electronics interface actually worked as advertised immediately with no messing around. I did need to make one call to Jeff at J & T Distributing who handles these things regarding getting the old radio support frame out of the dash. He was knowledgeable and helpful. Also, this thing looks like it came with the car - it fits and matches up with the interior very well.
Now the new car project is on hold for another year.... $600 for the Dynavin is way cheaper than replacing my 540i.
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  #4  
Old 09-11-2014, 08:26 AM
polluted polluted is offline
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Mein Auto: 540i
The bass/treble/etc. controls automagically appear on the MID when you change the tape deck to the cd player!

What you are calling the 'radio' is actually just a display screen (MID unit). The actual 'radio' is part of the tape deck or cd player and it lets the MID know what to display.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MKJS View Post
I have a '99 e39 540i, and would really like to replace the tape deck with a cd player in the center console. However, I see the fade, balance, treble etc is on the tape deck and I don't see one on the business cd player. Does this mean that I have to replace the radio as well as the tape deck to get a cd player in the dash? What about the brackets holding it all together, do I need to change that out also? At this point perhaps an after market gps, cd unit becomes more appealing.

I can't seem to find a manual for the radio, and am a bit confused about some of the buttons. I see one in our saved section but it seems to require a password, anyone know it?

And lastly I have recently discovered the cd player in the trunk. I am not sure this unit has ever been used! Strange place for a cd player it seems to me, but quite functional if one only has 6 cd's.

Thanks in advance,
Jim
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  #5  
Old 09-11-2014, 09:04 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Ditto...the fader/balance/treble/bass controls get moved to the MID's display when you change from the in-dash cass/radio to the in-dash CD/radio:

press the TONE button on the in-dash CD/radio...and it will send data to the MID's display to change/set/reset the features that were separate buttons on the cassette unit:




...and to switch from the in-dash single CD player to the installed 6 disc CD changer...you press the far right button in pic below...if it says CD, it means you're listening to the CD changer...if it says CDC, then you're listening to the in-dash CD player...again, pressing that buttons switches to the other unit...and if you upgrade to the CD53 with aux output...then you will also see MODE in this spot which allows you to switch to your MP3 or iPod etc.


__________________
Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg
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  #6  
Old 09-11-2014, 09:12 AM
MKJS MKJS is offline
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Location: Texas
 
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Mein Auto: '99 540i
Perfect Hdghawg, was wondering how all that stuff worked!!!

That might be the way to go, thanks LeighS.

polluted, QSilver7, perfect!! So all I have to do is buy the cd player and all will be functional. Even the bracket works for the swap??

Thanks so much you guys, perfect info!!

doc

Last edited by MKJS; 09-11-2014 at 09:15 AM.
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  #7  
Old 09-11-2014, 09:31 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
Hope this helps:

CD Player retrofit

I replaced my cassette player with a CD player I bought from German Audio Tech, in Long Beach. They sell on ebaY. It works fine, and plays home-burned CDs. Not sure if the radio reception has improved. I have the DSP audio system, which can be troublesome when trying to change components.

This player has the round pins on the large connector, and one small rectangular connector, as well as two coax connectors. It matches the cables in the car. It’s a German Blaupunkt unit, and the part number is 65 12 6 909 881. Other P/Ns may also work. I'd advise sticking with round-pin units, if your system has them.

I had earlier tried a flat-pin unit, using the expensive EAS adapter cable. Didn’t work.

If you do get a used player, you may have to change the country, so the tuner will work on the American AM band (mine was set to Europe). You can enter the menu by turning on the unit, and immediately press and hold the “m” button until the menu comes up. One of the menu items is “COUNTRY”. Select US.

Here’s a source for the DIN antenna connector:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Car-Radio-Ae...6#ht_578wt_697
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Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.
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  #8  
Old 09-11-2014, 10:35 AM
jygesq jygesq is offline
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see bmw tips.com

there is a early write up for the change http://www.bmwtips.com/ see my business cd install
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  #9  
Old 09-11-2014, 02:20 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
The C43 & CD43 (cass & CD) units are interchangeable. Once you remove the MID...the screws are the same that hold each of these units in the dash. If the DIY is still up at the links the guys provided above...you'll see what I mean. Don't forget there may be a video up on Youtube at this point as well. Also, the instructions for the e39 & e53 will be the same...the e46 will be very similar if not the same.

Remember that there's a CD43 for the e39 that have build dates before the facelift (somewhere around the 9/02 build date?) also has the round pins in the connector as edjack mentioned.

And the face lift models have the CD53 which has the flat pins in the connector...which will require an adapter sold by BMW that bridges the round pin harness to a flat pin CD53.
__________________
Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 09-12-2014 at 06:50 PM.
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  #10  
Old 09-12-2014, 09:48 AM
MKJS MKJS is offline
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Location: Texas
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 50
Mein Auto: '99 540i
Sounds like the first thing I need to do is pull the unit and see if I have flat pins, (most likely) or round pins. I have read that the adapter cable has problems and is expensive, true?

Next, if I go with an aftermarket gps/cd what happens with the flat/round pin issue?

Thanks,
Doc
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