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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 04-18-2013, 01:41 AM
retiredat44 retiredat44 is offline
retiredat44
Location: Oregon
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Lightbulb investigated what is needed to add Bluetooth

investigated what is needed to add Bluetooth to my 2001 BMW 530i. What a pain in the wallet! It appears the TCU doesn't have the right electronic parts from this year, and to find one cost several hunder dollars. There are kits and instructions al over the Internet, but basically, I need to swap out my old style tcu (in the trunk) add a BlueTooth Antenna, and change the cable to the BT Antenna as the Gender of the plug is different size. The TCU is expensive as hell. But I suppose for soemone that absolutely needs it, they will pay.

I really would like a new in Dash unit with Navigation, BlueTooth, and the sterteo stuff, computer, GPS. etc.., but that too looks to be $1,000. Depends on which brand, etc,,

I spent several hour investigating whjat it takes in the DIY threads throughout the Internet. Since I bought my car used, I wasn't totally sure what was factory installed and what has been added or removed.

It appears, my 2001 BMW 530i has the M steering wheel which means the sport package (I hope i have the right, it's late and I am tired). The Stereo does not have DSP, nor Navigation, Voice, etc.. but has CDRom in the headunit, and a garage door button up top overhead by the place with a microphone, not sure if there is a microphone in there, I have not taken the panel off to look, but the buttons do program and work to open my garage door.

The center armrest does not have the phone sync button, and the wiring inside has the BlueTooth cable ready for a BlueTooth antenna. Though the car supposedly in those years, the antenna was usually mounted on the read deck behind the rear seats.

The only metal box, with cables and computer stuff in the trunk is the TCU, which ismounted in the rear trunk quaterpanel. I am not sure if it ever had the full 6 CDRom changer, but the panel looks like it is original, and doesn't have any cutout or different shape so it probably never had any more modules there. It was prewired for the phone, etc... as the little plastic tabs say in that area of the trunk.

I rea that early units are not worth messing with , and if I ever do add soem of that stuff, I found list of models that have the correct electronis inside, like the BlueTooth circuit board. But, it will cost an arm and a legg.. So I suppose just having any celular phone wil do. Although I did order a cheap android tablet and will install free software, maps, applications, etc... and load the goodies up and take with me if/when I drive around..

Unless someone knows cheaper ways of doing things,,, cheaper is not always better, but I am open to DIY's, as some are excellent. btw, oneof my deegrees is in electronics, and I understand it fairly well, because I did many years work with it. Althought I haven't worked in many, many years,, and no longer have access to lab equipent,, so I could probably not fix many circuit boards. So, I won't bother trying to fix broen stuff, unless it is just bad solder joints, besides, it appears many bad components are still used as traded in (with cash) for new units, and they are being repaired professionally because they are still in demand.

One last word, at this time we don't travel much, but I wouldn't mind a decent trip and having some nice electronics would be nice..

For now I am tempted to get a cheap stick on GPS..... also still using CDRoms kinda sucks I really would like to use Thumbdrives (USB stick with music, or any music device with USB), although our used BMW cam with a Dice unit for iPods, I don't have an iPod and found that even the broken ones aren't cheap. The Grom unit looks tempting. The wife has TracPhone, and I don't see a need to pay the high prices for a cell phone subscription. The Android Tablet I am picking up, maybe tomorrow.. has Wifi, and I can use the communication programs at HotSpots.

Gotta stop sepnding..... enough is enough....




Anyone with any ideas, I am open to listen.
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2013, 08:24 AM
Fir3n5m0ke Fir3n5m0ke is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 540i/6
If you have a tape-deck or any sort of aux cord already, bluetooth is less than $50 away. Attach a 3.5mm-bluetooth dongle and be done with it. I have a tape deck and thusly a tape adapter($20) on my 2000 540i. I've attached a $20 bluetooth dongle to the headphone jack at the end of the tape adapter. That's it. Instant bluetooth streaming. If you buy a bluetooth dongle without a mic you will be required to disconnect from bluetooth to take calls. Find one with a mic and you're set.
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  #3  
Old 04-18-2013, 09:39 AM
retiredat44 retiredat44 is offline
retiredat44
Location: Oregon
 
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fir3n5m0ke View Post
If you have a tape-deck or any sort of aux cord already, bluetooth is less than $50 away. Attach a 3.5mm-bluetooth dongle and be done with it. I have a tape deck and thusly a tape adapter($20) on my 2000 540i. I've attached a $20 bluetooth dongle to the headphone jack at the end of the tape adapter. That's it. Instant bluetooth streaming. If you buy a bluetooth dongle without a mic you will be required to disconnect from bluetooth to take calls. Find one with a mic and you're set.
no auxillery that I am aware of.. only the indash stereo system,, and the stock control unit int he trunk, nothing ele... just pre-wired for the phone back in 2001. oh yeah, and the Dice unit for iPod is on a cable connected to the the sound system through a cable that suspposedly goes to the trunk unit. I have never connected the dice up, and it only has the ipod connector, no auxilery on that, would have to buy the media bridge, and (Walmart has them supposedly for about $105.00, or many other places online, offline). And that would give me auxillery and USB.
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BMW 2001 530i (E39)
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1993 Toyota Camry LE (Daughter uses it for college).

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Last edited by retiredat44; 04-18-2013 at 11:32 AM.
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  #4  
Old 04-18-2013, 12:17 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is online now
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I went this route about 8 years ago: http://www.bimmernav.com/bmw_e39_blu..._retrofit.html I have a 5th Generation ULF and it synchs with every phone I have ever had, including a current Iphone5.
Never got the SMS thing to work...but it is hands free. Not the cheapest solution by any stretch, but oem, nicely integrated and works well.
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Factory M-Sport package with factory installed M-tech bumpers, factory Bluetooth, factory M-Audio 10" dual voice coil subs, Homelink, M5 rear stabilizer bar, Bilstein B14 PSS coil overs, Stop Tech ss brake lines, Akebono Euro Ceramic brake pads, oem Brembo and Zimmerman rotors, Dinan Stage 1 software, Strong Strut front upper stress bar.

Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 04-18-2013 at 12:18 PM.
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  #5  
Old 04-18-2013, 02:16 PM
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Dking078 Dking078 is offline
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Location: Southern California
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
I went this route about 8 years ago: http://www.bimmernav.com/bmw_e39_blu..._retrofit.html I have a 5th Generation ULF and it synchs with every phone I have ever had, including a current Iphone5.
Never got the SMS thing to work...but it is hands free. Not the cheapest solution by any stretch, but oem, nicely integrated and works well.
LUCKY! My friend has a 4th gen that i tried to make work with my iphone 4s and it found the ulf, but refused to pair. (I had everything installed except for the microphone.)

OT: The tcu apparently can be used (from what i've read) but must from a car in our generation (e46,53,etc) but prices are darn stupid.
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2003 BMW 540i [Sterling Gray / Gray]
[Msport] [DSP] [AUX] [ICE V6] [BSWs] [DINAN Trans & Strut Bar] [M Audio Subs] [E38 lighted int. door handles] [E46 Paddleshifters] [Cubic Trim] [EURO Dash] [KONI's] [Two-tone Interior]


For Sale:
1 Set of E39 OEM Technical graphite trim (No TPMS):
1 Set of E39 OEM Matt-Chrome trim (TPMS):

For Sale SOON: [PM for info!]
2 Sets of E39 OEM Maple wood "Muschelahorn" trim (No TPMS)
1 E39 OEM Maple wood " Muschelahorn" Steering wheel (w/o airbag)


Last edited by Dking078; 04-18-2013 at 02:19 PM.
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  #6  
Old 04-18-2013, 04:19 PM
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Hi,

Looks like you've researched quite a lot, but will need to keep on looking into things. I say that as as far as I'm aware, to run oem Bluetooth in an E39 means also having the 16:9 widescreen/GPS setup as a pre-requisite. It's the information that I and a few others have mentioned on the UK side of things and as yet, I've not had anyone say that what I've (and others) have said there be called incorrect. Perhaps US E39's can have one of the more basic oem audio setups for bluetooth? - in the link posted by 540 M Sport, the 'non navigation' BT option is on an E46 head unit

So, you'll 'most likely' need to retrofit the widescreen GPS/Audio setup and then spend more on getting the right Bluetooth module, loom etc and then fit that. Cost's will most likely be north of $2000+. If you *must* keep oem audio modules, I think this is way you'll need to go.

An alternative would be a sun visor type bluetooth option from the likes of Supertooth, Motorola, Parrot, Scosche etc etc - no messing around with wiring and can be used in different cars - just take it with you! high quality branded name units will be perhaps $75 and upwards to perhaps $150 or so? I used this type of setup for quite a few years and just about to get the Parrot Neo sun visor unit

Cheers, Dennis!
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  #7  
Old 04-18-2013, 09:02 PM
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Dking078 Dking078 is offline
Nor genius Nor ignorant
Location: Southern California
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 540i
Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisCooper! View Post
Hi,

Looks like you've researched quite a lot, but will need to keep on looking into things. I say that as as far as I'm aware, to run oem Bluetooth in an E39 means also having the 16:9 widescreen/GPS setup as a pre-requisite. It's the information that I and a few others have mentioned on the UK side of things and as yet, I've not had anyone say that what I've (and others) have said there be called incorrect. Perhaps US E39's can have one of the more basic oem audio setups for bluetooth? - in the link posted by 540 M Sport, the 'non navigation' BT option is on an E46 head unit

So, you'll 'most likely' need to retrofit the widescreen GPS/Audio setup and then spend more on getting the right Bluetooth module, loom etc and then fit that. Cost's will most likely be north of $2000+. If you *must* keep oem audio modules, I think this is way you'll need to go.

An alternative would be a sun visor type bluetooth option from the likes of Supertooth, Motorola, Parrot, Scosche etc etc - no messing around with wiring and can be used in different cars - just take it with you! high quality branded name units will be perhaps $75 and upwards to perhaps $150 or so? I used this type of setup for quite a few years and just about to get the Parrot Neo sun visor unit

Cheers, Dennis!
I can confirm (for the most part) that bluetooth can be added to E39's without nav.
Lucky my 03 was prewired / pre-equipped for most of the compenents.

I got as far as pairing. The MID was able to communicate with the ULF and i could initiate the paring function with the whole phone LED lights lighting up and what not.
The ULF bluetooth setup pdf also explains how to pair using the non-nav MID.
The only reason I couldn't fully pair was due to 1. Being a 4th gen ULF & 2. A very recent phone (Iphone 4s)
__________________
2003 BMW 540i [Sterling Gray / Gray]
[Msport] [DSP] [AUX] [ICE V6] [BSWs] [DINAN Trans & Strut Bar] [M Audio Subs] [E38 lighted int. door handles] [E46 Paddleshifters] [Cubic Trim] [EURO Dash] [KONI's] [Two-tone Interior]


For Sale:
1 Set of E39 OEM Technical graphite trim (No TPMS):
1 Set of E39 OEM Matt-Chrome trim (TPMS):

For Sale SOON: [PM for info!]
2 Sets of E39 OEM Maple wood "Muschelahorn" trim (No TPMS)
1 E39 OEM Maple wood " Muschelahorn" Steering wheel (w/o airbag)


Last edited by Dking078; 04-18-2013 at 09:09 PM.
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  #8  
Old 04-19-2013, 05:35 AM
DennisCooper!'s Avatar
DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is online now
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Location: West London / Heathrow UK
 
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Mein Auto: 03 Ex Cop 530d Touring
Hi,

I don't tend to focus on the oem modules as in every aspect for me, they're inferior in both features and performance to current high quality aftermarket electronics - hence perhaps those who want the oem stuff having to research and research some more, then perhaps try various things and be prepared to research more and then research again if things don't quite work etc with their particular E39 !

I'd also hazard a guess that perhaps in the next few years, the latest Bluetooth specification which would then be used in forthcoming mobile phones will not work with the oem modules for the E39 (E46, E53, and E38 amongst others) era cars. Wouldn't be so 'much' of an issue if the modules were perhaps $30-50 or so. However, as they cost so much, for me the risk is too high to spend it on old, non warranted electronics given that the next ranges of higher end smartphones etc might not work with them!

I understand though, that many owners out there want to keep oem audio/modules in their cars, so it's a case of research, research, hope, try and 'hopefully' things will work !

Cheers, Dennis!
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