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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 04-15-2015, 04:03 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Complete list of stock E39 antennas, where are they located? (cellphone, radio, gps)

The search that I ran for this rather ambiguous question today on antennas made me realize we don't have a comprehensive thread on BMW E39 antenna locations:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Rear glass antenna part number

So, to have a place to reference for all the stock BMW antennas, I open this thread to outline all the OEM antennas in the BMW E39, with pictures and explanations of what they do.

Please pitch in with useful information, diagrams, pictures, etc., answering the general question:

What is the complete list of stock antennas for the BMW E39, where are they located, and what do they do?
  • US AMradio antenna
  • US FM radio antenna
  • US cellphone antenna
  • US GPS antenna
  • US Bluetooth antenna
  • Europe IRIS radio antenna
  • ? any others ?
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Last edited by bluebee; 04-15-2015 at 04:32 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-15-2015, 04:07 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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The bestlinks has this cn90 DIY for the radio antenna:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > 1998 528i AM Radio Reception Fix (also applicable to other BMW models)!
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
1998 528i AM Radio Reception Fix (also applicable to other BMW models)

It is a beautiful day so I decide to tackle my AM Radio issue. I have FM Radio but no AM Radio. Searched the internet, hundreds of threads and thousands of people with this problem and BMW is of no help. Just Google "BMW AM Antenna reception" and you will hundreds, if not thousands threads.
So the matter is in our hands to fix, how about that!

GENERAL NOTES:
1. Get an independent Home Radio and tune to different FM and AM channels and copy on a piece of paper for testing on your BMW Radio.
2. Get an independent "LOOP" AM Antenna for testing, usually sold with home stereo system. If not, get a "LOOP" AM Antenna at your stereo store for a few dollars.
3. Do this outside (not indoor parking garage) for best radio reception.
4. Clean your hand before touching the Interior Trim.
5. Be careful not to damage the Rear Windshield Heating Elements. If any is damaged, auto parts stores sell repair kit ($5-6) to re-establish the continuity of the circuit.
6. Do a search on how:
- FM works (Open loop antenna)
- AM works (Closed loop antenna)
- BMW "Diversity" Antenna concept. Basically switching for best Channels. It was fitted for 1997 to ? 2001 models (can't be sure) then BMW dropped this concept.

PROCEDURES:
1. Get familiar with the Radio and Antenna layout. This was taken from realoem dot com.



2. To remove M.I.D. and CD Player, see my other DIY for DICE and CD Player Install.
Basically Allen or Torx #10 to remove M.I.D., then Torx#10 to remove the CD Player. Straightforward:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=235269

Note that in early CD Player Models, there are 2 Antenna Connections (The Main and Diversity Connections) in the back. Here is a diagram of the CD Player Pinout:



3. To check the FM-AM Antenna Amplifier, there are 2 separate areas: Driver's and Passenger's side C-pillars. The Driver's side (US model) contains the Antenna Amplifier and the Pass Side contains Diversity or AM antenna. Look it up, I can't be sure.

4. No need to remove Rear Headrest, Seats (as seen in some DIYs). Simply pry the TOP of the light cover, it will come out. Then pull the TOP of the trim then wiggle it out:



5. Note the 2 clips and 3 tabs for re-installation. During re-installation, slide the bttom tab first (BE CAREFUL not to damage any Heating Elements!)
Also pay attention to the rear frame rubber seal to see how it fits for re-installation:



6. The FM-AM Antenna Amplifier is held by either Torx #25 or Metric bolts depending on the years and models. Take a minute to look at the setup so you don't get mixed up later:



7. I happened to open the FM-AM Antenna Amplifier to see the inside for any broken connection solder joints but found none so I closed it back up. For those who are curious what the Inside Anatomy of the FM-AM Antenna Amplifier, here it is:



8. Look at REAR windshield glass: the Very TOP 2 "Heating Element" are not Heating Elements but rather part of the Antenna design. I believe:
The Driver's side is OPEN Loop for FM reception.
The Passenger's side is CLOSED Loop for AM reception.



9. Then disconnect all the cables. Note that coaxial cables are designed with inner core and outer shield to be OPEN.
Using an Ohmmeter and Voltmeter to verify that:
- Ground Cable to Chassis is 0 Ohm.
- The "Diversity AM" cable connecting R and L side is not defective by using an Ohmmeter to check corresponding parts of both ends and it should be 0 Ohm.
- Main FM-AM Cable both ends (one end is in the driver's side pillar and the other end behind the CD Player) are OK and not damaged. Resistance should be 0 Ohm. Again, measure resistance with corresponding parts of both ends.
- With Key ON and Radio ON, there should be 12V at the "Power Supply" wire as shown in Steps #6-7 above.

Passenger's C-Pillar area:



10. Now with MID and CD pulled slightly from dash (but still connected electrically); tune on Radio and tune to a known local AM Station. If you have been having problems then you should get no AM reception but here is the good news:
- Check the FM Radio by using a short telephone wire inserted into the Connection Center Hole: you should get FM stations (switch to FM).
- Check the AM Radio (Switch to AM) by using an independent Home Stereo LOOP AM Antenna as shown: one wire inside and one wire outside the Connection: bingo mine works, so I know my MID and CD Player units can get AM stations. So my AM reception problem is outside of these Units! The Problem maybe in the Cable or the Antenna Amplifier in the REAR pillars.



11. After fiddling around for 3-4 hours, I figure out the root cause of this whole AM reception by BMW! The FM-AM Cable "Center Round Pin" is a bit too small for the Connection in the back of the CD player so it is hit or miss issue for different car owners.

12. Take a close look at the FM-AM Cable "Center Round Pin", it has a star shape like Mercedes logo. Here is the trick, use a PICKING Tool and widen the 3 grooves in the FM-AM Cable "Center Round Pin" a bit. Be careful not to damage this cable; it is not expensive (about $40) but replacing this cable is NO FUN, routing through a lot of trim work to get to the Rear C pillars with tons of labor!



13. The bottom line is by widening the 3 grooves in the FM-AM Cable "Center Round Pin" a bit, it makes the connection at the Rear of the CD Player better.

14. Now re-attach FM-AM Cable to the CD Player, you should get AM reception now! The trick is to pull the FM-AM Cable out a tiny bit (maybe 1 mm) so it is tight.

15. Now, with the radio tuned your favorite AM channel, slowly slide the CD Player in, making sure there is nothing behind to distort the FM-AM Cable itself. This FM-AM Cable Connection is a bit finicky, so you will learn how to deal with it during re-install. Leave the AM Radio On during re-install so you can adjust the Cable.

16. The Morale of this lesson: Carry an Allen or Torx #10 key in the car. Should you have problem with AM reception, slide the MID out and reach your hand back there to wiggle the FM-AM Cable Connection Point to get AM connection.

17. Congratulations, you just fixed a famous AM reception problem plaguing hundreds/thousands of BMWs causing bad reputation for BMW.

18. Enjoy your AM Radio ball games and traffic report on AM Radio and have a beer.

19. Last but not least, post your feedback after you have done this. All you need to fix AM Radio Reception problem is an Allen or Torx#10 and a PICKING Tool to spread the Cable Pound Pin, and this may be all you need to do (rather than all the stuff I described from Steps #1-15 above!), so others can learn.

20. And send me a Thank You Note with 6-packs!!! Hehe.....

----
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  #3  
Old 04-15-2015, 04:09 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Here is the initial response from QSilver7 on the cell phone and gps antennae.
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Rear glass antenna part number

Quote:
Originally Posted by z168 View Post
i couldnt find the part number of the rear windshield (GPS?) antenna.
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
If I'm interpreting what you wrote correctly...I think you are actually asking about the cell phone antenna which is attached to the rear windshield...not the gps antenna.

The gps antenna (#3 in diagram below) is located below the rear parcel shelf:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...77&hg=65&fg=50


The phone antenna (#2,3,&4) is attached to the rear windshield unless you have the shark fin (#1) or a Touring (#6 & #7):

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...18&hg=84&fg=50
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  #4  
Old 04-15-2015, 04:15 AM
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As I search for nuggets to include in this thread, I find that antenna things get complicated quickly, as shown in this dialogue ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Location of antenna on 2002 540i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minbari View Post
Hi, I want to install my Skyfi3 XM radio in my car however, it requires that I place a contact on the antenna in order to receive the rebroadcast. I have no idea where the embedded antenna is, I assume it's integrated within the defog lines in the rear window but which one(s)?
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
It is...but perhaps you should do a search for XM radio installs so that you can see what others have done. I'm sure there something in the archives or on the help sites like www.bmwtips.com or www.e38.org/e39 ...give all those a try.

There is an amp located behind the C-pillar panels...one side is FM, the other is the Diversity (AM)....and other components like the keyless entry system uses the same amps and antenna built into the rear window (driver's side cargo area window on the Touring):






#1 and #2 are the amps in the C-Pillars for the audio system which are then connected to the antenna in the rear window:

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  #5  
Old 04-15-2015, 04:19 AM
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The odd thing about antennas, is that most threads start asking about one type, and end up morphing to another type of antenna altogether. And then they just stop.

However, there is still information to be gleaned, for example, apparently, from the information in this thread, the E39 never came with a stock sharkfin antenna:

> E39 (1997 - 2003) > E39 Wagon Navi Antenna
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
Hmmm, once you remove the orig antenna and its base (see #1 in 1st diagram below or #6 and #7 in 2nd diagram)...I'm not sure the shark fin antenna would fit over it unless you do as suggested and pull down the headliner to remove the base from the roof:
Which sharkfin are you referring to...the one used on the e39...#1 in diagram above...or the one used on later built BMWs...like the e60 in diagram below?
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  #6  
Old 04-15-2015, 04:25 AM
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Apparently, the European E39 stock antennas may be different ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > antenna and radio check

Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
Not being able to "see" your radio and how it's hooked up...there's no way to give you a specific answer as to how to remove it.

The antenna should be connected to the back of the radio...and the cable runs to the rear of the car (in the USA) where the radio antenna is incorporated into the design of the rear windshield...but also runs to an amp in the C-pillar.

In Europe, BMW installed the IRIS radios as well as the MID/NAV set-ups that came in the E39s imported here. I've seen external antennas on European Bimmers...do you have one of those?




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  #7  
Old 04-15-2015, 04:33 AM
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I don't know if the bluetooth was stock, but attached is a 20-page E39-specific "BMW Universal Hands-Free (ULF) Kit - P/N 84 11 0 390 318" installation guide.

See also:
- How to add hands-free OEM ULF/TCU bluetooth or Parrot or cellphone pairing to your E39 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) & Hualigan (1)
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Last edited by bluebee; 04-15-2015 at 04:10 PM.
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  #8  
Old 04-15-2015, 01:26 PM
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Just to add on to Bluebee's info in the post above...the Bluetooth module in the e39 Touring is NOT in the roof (I'm sure there's at least one person who is assuming it is from the illustration), but it's below the cargo floor slightly to the right of center & in front of the spare tire (closer to the front of the vehicle).

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  #9  
Old 04-15-2015, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
.the Bluetooth module in the e39 Touring is ...below the cargo floor slightly to the right of center & in front of the spare tire (closer to the front of the vehicle).
Thanks for that clarification.

Since the antennas seem to work, for the most part, I'm clueless where all the parts are.

I just looked up my 2002 525i, for example, and I see "stuff" in the c pillars, unbeknownst to me.

I have a small problem where one speaker cuts out periodically; so, I guess it's time to start learning what the system consists of.

I'm guessing the main components are:
1. A control device (e.g., the MID for the radio, or the Nav screen for the GPS, buttons for bluetooth, etc.)
2. Wiring
3. An amplifier (most seem to be mounted toward the rear)
4. Speakers

I guess, over time, we can include all of those in this (or some other) thread, so that we'd have a one-stop-shop for locating the parts in our bimmers.
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  #10  
Old 04-18-2015, 05:31 PM
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This thread today is yet another reason we need a comprehensive thread on what the radio, antenna, cabling, amplifier, and speaker situation is for the stock E39...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Checked antennae connections

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jicafold View Post
My stereo gets only static on AM and FM. So I followed the DIY regarding how the diversity antennae system works and used my ohm meter to check the connection/continuity as shown here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...=reception+diy

On the drivers side antennae amp:

An ohmmeter connected to the FM antennae reads 7.3.
An ohmmeter to the diversity connection reads 27.2
Voltage reads 11.2 volts.
Ground reads 0.4

On the passenger side diversity thingy:
An ohmmeter conncted here reads. O.4

An ohmmeter connected to the antennae connection at the back of the CD player reads 0.4

There is only one connection on the back of my CD player for antennae as seen in the photo below. Not 2 as in the link above.

I don't have a CD changer.

So is this telling me i have a bad connection at both cables? Where do I go from here?
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  #11  
Old 04-18-2015, 05:40 PM
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Here are two DIYs for adding the DICE Silverline, one from cn90 and one from me, which explain some of the wiring behind the dash ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > DIY DICE Silverline radio mount - business CD, non DSP, non Nav, non changer, no tape
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > In Dash CD Player+ DICE Install Write-up
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  #12  
Old 04-21-2015, 04:17 PM
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This information today may help others troubleshoot non-working speakers...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Speaker won't work

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmdubya1198 View Post
I've had this problem for a while, but at this point, it's really bothering me. None of my speakers will work. The MID will turn on, and all of the buttons work like they're supposed to, but there is no audio at all. I was going to look at some cords in the back of the unit to see if anything is bad, but I haven''t gotten the chance yet. I don't think that the speakers are blown, because none of them work, but there is obviously something wrong. Just before they stopped working, I noticed some crackling a popping after I turned off the stereo. I recently replaced the battery, so that is not the culprit.
I just really need some help, because I'm tired of waiting around and not finding anything.
Quote:
Originally Posted by helmet75 View Post
you may want to get a multimeter/test light and check the power wire going to the amp as well as teh speaker inputs from the stereo.
Here is a diagram for your reference.
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