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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 02-10-2013, 09:11 AM
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King 5 King 5 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 528i
Homelink retrofit

My car did not come with the homelink garage door opener but I would like to install one to free up one of our grage door clickers. Besides the Homelink buttons and the headliner cover with the hole for the buttons, what else is needed? It should be prewired I'm assuming, right?

Thanks for the help
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1997 BMW 528ia 2/97

2004 BMW 330ci 4/03

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  #2  
Old 02-10-2013, 10:43 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Yes, the pigtail is laying up there waiting to become power for your Homelink. I did the swap and I had almost forgotten how nice it was to have this feature as I did on my other 540. Just reach through the hole when you remove the cover panel and you will find a 2 wire cable and connector just laying on the head liner nearby.
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2013, 11:01 AM
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Homelink should be compatiable with all garage door openers right?
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  #4  
Old 02-10-2013, 11:09 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King 5 View Post
Homelink should be compatiable with all garage door openers right?
There is a difference with Canadian radio frequencies and there are two types of American door opener radio codes.

See details by typing /homelink F3 into the besltinks. For example:
- Programming the Homelink GDO
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 02-10-2013 at 11:44 AM.
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  #5  
Old 02-10-2013, 11:37 AM
pshovest pshovest is offline
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You want the later Homelink that has the green (not orange) lights. It works with the rotating(?) code openers. You can modify the overhead paned to fit the UGDO. There is a mark on inside showing what has to be cut out. If you're got the self-dimming electrochromic mirror, consider buying a late model mirror that has the UGDO built-in. There are plenty on ebay. This is simpler to install.



Quote:
Originally Posted by King 5 View Post
Homelink should be compatiable with all garage door openers right?
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  #6  
Old 02-10-2013, 11:45 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pshovest View Post
You want the later Homelink that has the green (not orange) lights. It works with the rotating(?) code openers.
Hmmm.... mine (2002 525i) works with both styles of GDOs.
I'll have to check the color of my lights and report back.
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  #7  
Old 02-10-2013, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pshovest View Post
You want the later Homelink that has the green (not orange) lights. It works with the rotating(?) code openers. You can modify the overhead paned to fit the UGDO. There is a mark on inside showing what has to be cut out. If you're got the self-dimming electrochromic mirror, consider buying a late model mirror that has the UGDO built-in. There are plenty on ebay. This is simpler to install.

do you mean rolling codes? and my initial plan was to attempt to cut out my original and if that does not work out I'll buy a trim panel for cheap off ebay
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  #8  
Old 02-10-2013, 12:01 PM
pshovest pshovest is offline
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Yes....rolling is the word I was looking for.


Quote:
Originally Posted by King 5 View Post
do you mean rolling codes? and my initial plan was to attempt to cut out my original and if that does not work out I'll buy a trim panel for cheap off ebay
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  #9  
Old 02-10-2013, 03:34 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Unless you have a garage door opener (GDO) that was installed prior to 1991...don't waste your money buying a HOMELINK that has a red LED (also the buttons are unlit). These units were installed in the early e38/e39 and will not work with GDOs that have rolling code technology...or the ones that require the use of the beam that prevents the door from crushing small animals & children when closing.

The next HOMELINK modules that BMW installed have illuminated 123 buttons and either an amber (yellowish) or green LED that illluminates when the buttons are pressed. Either of these two will work with rolling code and the beam type GDOs that came into use around 1992-up.

And as others already mentioned...installing the UGDO (homelink module) only requires a sharp utility knife (or dremel tool) and a little DIY skill...because the outline of where it goes is molded into the back of the sunroof access panel. You just score the plastic with the knife blade until you break thru. Try not to cut thru the cloth roof lining until you can figure out where the four corners are..when you do...score a big X...then fold the 4 triangular flaps, created by cutting the X into the cloth back thru the opening, then mount the UGDO in the opening (which should also keep the cloth flaps tucked in and secured above the access panel...and it will look just like factory.

UGDO (HOMELINK) w/illuminated 123 buttons


Unless you have a really old GDO (mfg'd before 1991)...stay away from the un-lit units...they look like the one below...all black buttons that are NOT illuminated and has a red LED that does illuminate when the buttons are pressed:

-

Another option is a rear view mirror that has built-in UGDO buttons...there are 3 series mirrors (used in the convertibles) that have a slimmer "clown nose" LED versus the larger one pictured below:

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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)

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Last edited by QSilver7; 02-10-2013 at 03:46 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-10-2013, 03:50 PM
rdl rdl is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
There is a difference with Canadian radio frequencies and there are two types of American door opener radio codes.

See details by typing /homelink F3 into the besltinks. For example:
- Programming the Homelink GDO
I've found that US remotes work on Canadian GDOs & vice versa. I've bought retrofit built-in GDO remotes from the US twice, including one for my E39. Both worked like a charm on my rolling code Canadian GDOs. Years ago before those two, my Canadian remote worked on a US GDO.

But I'm almost certain I've read that Europe uses a different, incompatible frequency range.

As mentioned above, there are two different types of E39 built-in remotes: both carry the Homelink logo. When I did my E39 search it turned out that remotes with lit/illuminated numerals in the buttons were the rolling code variety, i.e. after 1982 GDOs. If you look carefully at the listing pictures the difference is apparent & you can figure out which is which. I used that rule when I bought for a rolling code GDO and it worked for me.

Bluebee's link is the clearest, most comprehensive, programming procedure I've seen. Your GDO manual, if you can still find it, may be useful since it will point you to the pairing/training button on a rolling code GDO - which varies brand to brand.
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