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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 05-06-2012, 04:09 PM
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dwlink dwlink is online now
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Pictorial DIY - E60 Trunk Electronics Relocate

So today I finally decided to relocate the electronics in my trunk in the spare tire wheel well. Given that I have an earlier model E60 with PDC, the only two things I had to move were the micro power module (MPM) and a small, mint green relay.

For those of you who don't know much about the E60, the electronics located in the spare tire wheel well are very prone to water damage. Whether it be a clogged sunroof drain, poor seal around the taillights (especially if you swap in aftermarket taillights), or even internally spilled liquids; dealerships will charge upwards of $1000 to fix the electronics.

I had done a bit of research in the past about people replacing the electronics themselves. It seems that for about $200 for a MPM and $10 for a relay, I could replace all the electronics myself if I had to - however its much cheaper to just buy some adhesive backed velcro and move them yourself.

For this DIY you'll need a small flat head screw driver to pry some plastic covers off. A medium sized phillips screw driver to remove some screws (crazy huh?). Some adhesive backed velco to hold the electronic modules in their new resting places. Optionally, you'll need a couple cables ties and something to cut them with.
IMG_1139

First, you'll need to open up the trunk. As you can see mine is quite cluttered...
IMG_1140

Next, clear everything out in the center and latch the floor using the attached hook as shown.
IMG_1142

Remove the spare tire by loosening the center wing nut and lifting it out. You may need to remove the spare tire jack first if its in the way. After this, you should be able to see the wires running to the electronics in the spare wheel well. Note the direction of the arrow (pointing towards the front of the car) for reassembly.
IMG_1143

Now, there are two insulating pieces remaining in which the electronics are located. Simply pull the top half off and now you should have access to all of the electronics.
In my car, the MPM is located towards the top of the picture and relay is located towards the bottom. If you have PDC or other fancy communications options there may be more modules here.
IMG_1144

Now, we need to loosen up the plastic interior trunk trim. It is not necessary to remove the entire piece of trim itself as we really just need to re-route some wires.
IMG_1146

There are two screws we need to loosen using a medium-sized phillips screwdriver. One in the center which is covered by small piece of plastic.
IMG_1147

I used a small flat head screwdriver to pry the cover off, but you may be able to get it out by hand if you haven't clipped your fingernails in the past week.
IMG_1150

IMG_1152

The other screw is located near driver side cargo hook anchor.
IMG_1148

Using the same small flat head screw driver, pry the plastic cap off to expose the screw itself. Note that this screw and the center one are identical so don't worry about mixing them up. Note that picture shown is for passenger side screw. You do not need to remove the screw. It was just easier for me to get the picture on this side.
IMG_1151

Now with both the screws removed, we need to remove the interior trunk trim covering the tail light on the driver side. This is quite simple. Find the two large plastic screws such as the one shown below.
IMG_1154

Now rotate both of the screws (should be able to do this by hand) so that the slot is aligned vertically. Once the slot is aligned vertically, you should be able to simply pull the plastic screw straight out.
IMG_1156

After removing both plastic screws, place your hand in the small rectangular cutout near the bottom of the piece of trim and simply rotate the back end of the piece of trim towards the center of the trunk. The trim should simply slide free at which point you can lift it out and set it aside.
IMG_1157

Now, there is another piece of insulation just to side of the spare wheel well which we need to remove. Simply lift up towards the interlocked seem and pull up. The piece of insulation should come free and be able to easily be removed.
IMG_1165

Next, remove the electronic modules from their current position and place them somewhere on the driver side of the trunk where the trim was removed. Gently pull forward on the plastic trim and route the bundle of cables over the cargo anchor and up to the other bundle of electronic cables. After this, you can replace the piece of insulation you removed in the step above.
IMG_1159

Now just apply some adhesive backed velcro to the MPM and the relay and place them in the positions as shown. If you place them here you will not have any issues with the electronics contacting the interior trunk trim. Also note that you just need to rotate the MPM behind the small accessory compartment (I keep a tire pressure gauge in mine). You do not need to disconnect the MPM from the wire harness to route the MPM behind the compartment.
IMG_1160

IMG_1162

IMG_1163

At this point you can use a cable tie on the bundle of wires if you want to hold them together a little closer. However, I'd say this is optional as the cables will already be somewhat taught and should not move much.

This might also be a good time to clean out the spare tire wheel well. Also seems like a great new place to put a few bags of ice and a case of beer when tailgating.
IMG_1166

Now just put everything else back together and turn on the car to confirm everything works!
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Last edited by dwlink; 05-06-2012 at 04:40 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-06-2012, 05:01 PM
zolabmw zolabmw is offline
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How different for an E61?

This was really good - the problem is also present for E61 too - any comments on how similar the fix is?
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  #3  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:18 PM
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burnie35 burnie35 is offline
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Well done! Thanks for taking the photos and posting for others to see.
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  #4  
Old 05-07-2012, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zolabmw View Post
This was really good - the problem is also present for E61 too - any comments on how similar the fix is?
Can't really say how similar the fix would be as I'm not familiar with the trunk-area layout of things in the back of the E61. I'd suggest opening things up and having a look yourself. If you take pictures, I can look at them and give you my recommendations.
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  #5  
Old 05-07-2012, 09:16 AM
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txag_530i txag_530i is offline
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Originally Posted by burnie35 View Post
well done! Thanks for taking the photos and posting for others to see.
+1
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  #6  
Old 05-07-2012, 11:00 AM
sonijp sonijp is offline
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thanks!
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  #7  
Old 05-07-2012, 12:17 PM
redhotdave redhotdave is offline
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+1
another +1!!!!!!!!
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  #8  
Old 05-07-2012, 06:11 PM
mgokool mgokool is offline
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thank you for this writeup!
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  #9  
Old 05-07-2012, 08:34 PM
Damon54 Damon54 is offline
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Nicely done & thank you Sir!
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  #10  
Old 05-08-2012, 08:49 PM
karlallen90 karlallen90 is offline
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Just a quick question. What did you move and why? Whats the benefit? I'm new to the BMW world and just kind of curious.
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  #11  
Old 05-08-2012, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlallen90 View Post
Just a quick question. What did you move and why? Whats the benefit? I'm new to the BMW world and just kind of curious.


Did you even read the first 2 paragraphs of my post?
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  #12  
Old 05-08-2012, 11:32 PM
karlallen90 karlallen90 is offline
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I apologize, when my computer loaded the page it took me straight to the pics, I didn't scroll up all the way, just to the first pic.
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  #13  
Old 05-28-2012, 04:18 PM
redhotdave redhotdave is offline
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I did this mod today, and thanks a TON for posting this as it helped ALOT!!!!!!!! Thanks!
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  #14  
Old 10-12-2012, 10:57 AM
lucasszy lucasszy is offline
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Doing this this coming weekend, since it started raining here in NorCal. Could you also post the part numbers for the drivers side trunk trim with the cubby hole and storage bin on the side. Mine has a flat liner, and I'd love to have the cubby and plastic oddments tray.

Great find here!
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  #15  
Old 10-12-2012, 10:59 AM
ronmexico ronmexico is offline
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I paid my shop ~$100 to do this for me....


Wish this thread was around 9months ago.


Great work!
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  #16  
Old 10-12-2012, 02:21 PM
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dwlink dwlink is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucasszy View Post
Doing this this coming weekend, since it started raining here in NorCal. Could you also post the part numbers for the drivers side trunk trim with the cubby hole and storage bin on the side. Mine has a flat liner, and I'd love to have the cubby and plastic oddments tray.

Great find here!
Mine is actually the old-style driver side trunk liner for the E60s. At some point BMW decided it would be better to put some of the electronics on the side of the trunk so they redesigned that side of the trunk liner to be less functional in exchange for the additional space for electronics.

See part 10: http://bmwfans.info /parts/catalog/E60/Sedan/USA/530i-M54/LHD/N/2003/november/browse/vehicle_trim/trunk_trim_panel/
(you'll have to remove the space above between "info" and "/parts" or else the link gets blocked)

I believe any of the trims with the "oddment tray" will do. I have logic 7 so I'm guessing the part number for the trim panel in my car is 51 47 7 122 193.
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2004 BMW 530i -Titanium Silver -Grey Dakota -Dark Poplar -Premium -Sport -Cold Weather -Xenons -Heated Rear Seats -Active Steering -Logic 7 -Sirius
2010 Lexus RX350 AWD (hers) -Smokey Granite Mica -Black -Premium -Comfort -Nav -Tow Prep -Premium Sound -Wood Steering Wheel/Shifter

Last edited by dwlink; 10-12-2012 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:24 PM
Damon54 Damon54 is offline
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I thought the recall was all about moving this device & took care of the issue?

Not at all addressed by recall procedure. My mechanic was quite incorrect here.

Last edited by Damon54; 10-15-2012 at 10:55 PM.
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  #18  
Old 10-15-2012, 11:00 AM
Locomotive Locomotive is offline
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Thanks! I'm amazed that's all that's down there. Great pictorial. I will hop on this one today.
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  #19  
Old 10-15-2012, 02:23 PM
lucasszy lucasszy is offline
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Did mine this weekend. Took about 15 minutes, and 5 of those was looking for a panel clip that flew out and I had to find. Easy peasy!
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  #20  
Old 10-15-2012, 08:08 PM
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Nice job.
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  #21  
Old 10-15-2012, 09:38 PM
ArtchredTTU ArtchredTTU is offline
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  #22  
Old 10-15-2012, 09:39 PM
ArtchredTTU ArtchredTTU is offline
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why didn't bmw do this in the first place...... #mindblown
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  #23  
Old 10-27-2012, 10:38 AM
Dishoom Dishoom is offline
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Great write-up! I found it really useful in moving my modules this weekend. In my case, I had a couple of more things to move. However, after relocating everything, I started to wonder if moving things on the side of the trunk, near the tail lights and just under the trunk surround is actually better than where it was located. It just seems more exposed. Can't water get into the sides of the trunk as well?

Given that the factory location is sandwiched between two layers of insulation, does water really get in there? I'd imagine there would have to be at least 3-4 inches of water before it would seep in between the gap of the two foam panels.

Here's what mine looked like before moving things. Sorry, didn't take pics of my relocated components.

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Last edited by Dishoom; 10-27-2012 at 10:40 AM.
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  #24  
Old 12-21-2012, 02:49 PM
boost7 boost7 is offline
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sweet....more diy things for me to tackle while on winter break. Thanks dwlink
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  #25  
Old 01-10-2013, 11:27 AM
WMitty WMitty is offline
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Wheel well only takes low profiles

To say 'Thank You Dwlink ' sounds inadequate so I'm going to add my story which builds on his work and may help someone else.

My car is;
E60 N52 523
Year 2005
RHD
Petrol

The car has RFTs which I want to replace with ordinary tyres. However this generates the need for a spare. I'm not keen on the spacesaver so I followed Dwlink's excellent tutorial and created some space. I tried to fit an ordinary 17" wheel (225/50 17). Unfortunately as the circumference of the opening at the top of the wheel well is greater than at the bottom, the wheel sits proud of the boot floor, which I don't like/want.

So we tried a low profile tyre which worked. I decided not to go for a full set of low profiles so I'm back to the space saver

Botton line: This will work, and thanks to Dwlink is very easy to do but will only work fully if you are going to use low profile tyres.

I was very surprised by the amount of extra space which can be claimed by following this very simple process. I just have to think up stuff to fill it with
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