Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-29-2015, 05:00 PM
alex.banning alex.banning is offline
Registered User
Location: California
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: !998 528i (E39)
BMW E39 (1998 528i) Head Unit Replacement

First off I would like to apologize if this question has already been answered by someone previously. I did what I thought was a pretty extensive search on the forums and the internet and could not seem to find what I'm looking for, never the less here I go.

I have 1998 5289 with The navigation unit that looks like this.http://imgur.com/UIVt7n8
Through my searching, I understand how to remove the unit and the proper double din fittings to buy, but what I don't understand is the wiring. Inside the car there is two cable connected to the head unit:
My questions are.
1.What is my Headunit called? as I've seen it called many different things in my search.
2. What are the adapters or cables I would need to use with the built-in cables to install a new head unit?
3. What would be the steps for replacing this head unit?
4Would you recomend a head unit designed for a BMW more so than an aftermarket head unit?

Thank you to anyone that helps. I apologize again if this question has already been answered. If I have left anything out that is critical to answering this question, please let me know and I can try to find that information._a__a2_
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2016, 11:50 PM
rbail1 rbail1 is online now
Registered User
Location: Indio, CA
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 60
Mein Auto: 2000 540i
I have a similar question. My car HAD this unit and it was pulled by the PO and replaced with a standard Sony CD. I'm really weird about keeping my stock functions. With this stock nav unit removed it appears as though some of my functions in the OBC are gone i.e. clock, date and possibly some other functions pertaining to trip time and distance. Is there a way to set the clock without the radio? Date? I really would love to be able to access this info with the button on the end of my turn signal switch. It appears as though the audio system is intact along with the nav and cd changer in the trunk. Not sure what the PO hacked into to get the stereo to play through the stock speakers unless he jacked the harness up behind the head unit. Any input would be appreciated. I think I might rather have the old stock nav unit and restored function than the eyesore that is in the dash now.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2016, 12:02 AM
rbail1 rbail1 is online now
Registered User
Location: Indio, CA
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 60
Mein Auto: 2000 540i
Sorry Alex. I forgot to mention that I believe it is referred to as the BMW On Board Navigation System. I still have my owners manual and instruction book for the unit. I would recommend checking Scosche out for a direct wiring adapter if you haven't already, since your post is a few months old. I was also curious about the aftermarket BMW specific nav units. None of the product details mention anything about my issue of the OBC compatibility. Hoping my reply will bump this thread back to the top of the list and catch the eye of someone in the know. Also, if there is an adapter available it would almost certainly be as simple as remove and replace plug and play. And I know I have seen youtube videos of unit removal on the e39 just google it.

Last edited by rbail1; 02-06-2016 at 12:05 AM. Reason: Left out part of reply
Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2016, 04:34 AM
DennisCooper!'s Avatar
DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: West London / Heathrow UK
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,245
Mein Auto: 03 Ex Cop 530d Touring

Not sure if Alex Banning will come back as it's just a single post listed on his details.

Alex - Yes, all the questions you ask have been asked many many times previously over all the many BMW forums. To summarize, you have the older OEM 4:3 monitor and navigation audio setup. The two connectors are part of the cars OEM wiring loom and are specific to the OEM navigation modules/option. You can purchase a wire which is commonly known as the 5 metre FAKRA extension which plugs into the loom at the back of the car and you run it along under the carpet to the dash area. This will provide switched 12V, ground, speaker wires (if needed) antenna extension which you'd need if you install an aftermarket head unit. Steps to install an aftermarket head unit are basically the above, give it 12V, ground, speaker or RCA phono connections, plug in the AM/FM antenna lead (if needed) and use a fitting kit or fascia and you are good to go. Extra specific steps would be there depending on how you want your setup ie you wish to use the old oem mediocre speakers, if you wish to use separate amplifiers and much better speakers, etc. Personally, yes I'd always recommend a quality aftermarket head unit as it'll have all the latest technology built in, have improved sound quality, be well build and will have local specialist installer and dealer shops etc. For those who 'cannot' live without their OBC functions, then the only option is to retain the oem modules or retrofit them.

Rbail1 -Sounds as though you are one who *must* have the OBC functions. You have two ways of progressing. One is to retrofit all the oem modules, looms etc and you'll have the OBC and 100% oem looks in the dash. Everyone who wants do keep 'oem' will want the Mk4 DVD based GPS computer, the 16:9 widescreen monitor - which naturally is the most expensive. If you then want bluetooth and oem TV, then you'll need to spend more and retrofit those in as well, the more capable units are again naturally, more expensive. If you want to 'add on' functionality like iPod control and playback using the oem controls, it's more spend to get one of the much discussed options. At this point, you'll have all the oem modules and a considerably thinner wallet. It doesn't stop there though!, due to the age of the oem modules, many more are failing more often and each module has multiple points of failure. Sods law is you'll repair one of the common aspects in one module and sooner or later, another module will go. Maintaining each of the modules over time becomes expensive. At that point, you'll still have the oem sound quality and it's generally regarded the E39 oem audio systems are mediocre for the most part, so to improve sound quality, yes, it's yet more spend. Secondly, the other option would be to remove all the oem modules and sell them off to recoup some money and then install a Car PC. This is the hands on approach and you can tinker as much as you like. Within this option, you can run software which understands the the information for the OBC and displays it.

Cheers, Dennis!
Reply With Quote

See More Related BMW Stories

audio install, e39 1998 528i, head unit install

Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:46 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2015 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms