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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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  #51  
Old 09-09-2019, 03:09 PM
DennisCooper!'s Avatar
DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is online now
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Hi Bmwe39528i,

A family friends dad still has is 1996 528i auto he purchased from a dealer as an ex demo when it was a few months old in early 1997 ! it's done about 70K miles, unfortunately, its in so/so condition for it's body but the drivetrain is still very good!

You are right in that the Chinese head units are still low quality and chances are high that something will go wrong/faulty or have issues and niggles. As for perfect fit, that's debateable but they are a bit better than they used to be!

The issue with trying to use a tablet is that you'll need to buy a specific power supply that 'soft' powers up and down the tablet with the ignition, use the headphone socket to output audio and then you'll need something to plug that into - perhaps a headphone to RCA converter socket. Then securely attach it to a fascia and fit it. The one you refer to doesn't look 'very OEM ' as it doesn't have any of the buttons at the side of the screen area. A 9 inch tablet is too big to fit nicely into the dash space of an E39 where the OEM head unit was/is.

The easiest way would be to get a shallow depth/short body double DIN head unit like the Kenwood DMX125BT https://www.sonicelectronix.com/item...-DMX125BT.html for $200 USD and then get either the plain fascia like the picture you referred to, or if you want close to OEM looks, the NXG-39 I've created no need to faff around with getting car tablet soft power up/down power supplies and trying to make a tablet fit and work !

Lastly, I won't be making a fascia to house a 9 inch tablet ! if you want to go a route like that, get a Car PC and a TFT panel that fits into the NXG-39 !

Cheers, Dennis!
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  #52  
Old 09-13-2019, 12:39 PM
Bmwe39528i Bmwe39528i is online now
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I didn't even know CarPC was a thing. Everytime I talk to you I learn something new )
All carpc I seem to find are chinese units and this is what I'm trying to avoid.
The unit you suggested, Kenwood DMX125BT, unfortunately doesn't offer wireless mirroring, only through USB cable. The benefit with the tablet is that I could tether the internet from my phone and my tablet would have internet all the time. I already made a mod to have my phone charge wirelessly when I put it down.
Looks like the biggest screen E39 can accept into the existing double din space is 7 inch. I find that screen a bit too small and would've preferred 8 or 9 inch to be able to better see google maps etc.
The 7 inch tablet doesn't look too good on E39 because there is just so much empty space on the left and on the right.
Although if I fitted that into your bezel, it would be perfect since volume knob and other buttons would fill up that space.
Since I've seen this chinese unit with 9 inch tablet (supports mirrorlink), I really like how they maximized the available space and fitted 9 inch screen into it.
Compared to it, other screens just look too small now.
None of the sellers I messaged would sell the bezel separately. I'm thinking I can buy their unit, and worse case if it doesn't work well, I can use the bezel to install an android 9 inch tablet.
I've seen another nice integration of 10 inch into e39:

Looks pretty cool, I haven't seen anything like this anywhere else. But there is no information whatsoever how the author did it.
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  #53  
Old 09-13-2019, 12:54 PM
Bmwe39528i Bmwe39528i is online now
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And these ones maximize the available space perfectly. The quality is probably garbage though...
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  #54  
Old 09-15-2019, 12:50 PM
Bmwe39528i Bmwe39528i is online now
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So looks like I found exactly what I wanted. 10.25 inch unit that integrates perfectly, doesn't look out of place.
They are made by different companies but look the same...
This one is made by Avin, quite well known company for bmw head units
https://avinusa.com/10-25-multimedia...801025e39.html
The thing I don't like about Avin, I found their reviews on glassdoor and it's so obvious the reviews are all fake.
They don't have a video of their unit or how to install it and their customer service is not very helpful in answering questions. I feel once I buy the unit I will be on my own, they probably won't bother at all.

The second unit I found appears the same but is from Xtrons, model pt1839b
Well at least they bothered to make a mini review video

It came out just last June
There are also two decent review videos from someone who bought the unit



It looks these units are shipped with android 8.0 but apparently there are some with android 9.0

I found this unit by TOPNAVI
TOPNAVI 10.25Inch Android 9.0 Auto Radio for BMW X5 /M5/E39 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 Stereo GPS Navi WiFi 3G RDS Mirror Link https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07GNJYGPF/..._ycPFDbYN3XNSS

It says android 9.0 but the unit appears the same. I'm not sure if all of the 3 units are the same or one is better than the other?

Then there's this TOADYAKO unit
https://www.amazon.com/ROADYAKO-10-2.../dp/B07HK6YRNL

Again not sure if the unit us exactly the same or not

Lastly there's even one on aliecpress by CarExc
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32918460192.html

One of those units with Bavsound speakers should be enought for what I want.
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  #55  
Old 09-15-2019, 03:32 PM
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Hi E39bmw528i,

They all come out of the same few factories in China so none is any better than another. They're the same units as all the other chinese units except with a larger screen attached to the front.

Sounds like you are set to buy one so give it a shot and let us all know how it goes and then update over the next 3/6/12/24+ months. You might get a decent unit ! ... or you might not!

The images of the other options people have tried... dont look good at all and nothing like 'OEM' !

Save yourself a few hundred dollars and give the Bavsounds a miss. They are optimised for using with the OEM audio setups and do play better when used with an external more powerful amp. You'll get similar results if you purchased say some Hertz/DLS/MTX/JL audio/focal/infinity components from these brands entry to mid level ranges.

Good luck !

Cheers, Dennis!
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  #56  
Old 09-16-2019, 06:12 PM
Bmwe39528i Bmwe39528i is online now
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Thanks Dennis.
Yes you're right I think I found what I was looking for.
This Chinese 10.25 inch head unit seems to do everything I wanted. Just a perfect fit lol
I'll be getting it shortly and will absolutely do a review. Just need to decide if I order DSP or regular version.

So you're saying Bavsound won't work well with this head unit?

Since I have DSP, I will have to remove the carpet to run the wire to the trunk for this HU. I'm thinking I might as well take out the DSP system completely and upgrade the amp, crossover, speakers and tweeters. Maybe remove the rear speakers completely.
I have to figure it out before ordering the unit, since there is an option for DSP adapter which is extra $90.
I've been doing some reading on car audio lol. To be able to do it myself.
I found a decent guide here
https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=696070
Honestly with the DSP system, I have no problem with the audio. I can crank it up louder than I'm comfortable and I find it's clear and crisp. I'm not sure why people hate it or maybe their system deteriorated while mine is still in great condition.
That being said, I don't mind dropping a grand or two on a decent audio set up given I want to keep the car for 10+ years.
Just need to decide on the individual components
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  #57  
Old 09-16-2019, 10:41 PM
1BlinkGone 1BlinkGone is offline
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Not to derail the thread but is there ANYONE AFTERMARKET that's not using Android for their OS in the head unit?
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  #58  
Old Today, 12:56 PM
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DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is online now
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Hi,

Bmwe39528i - The BSW's have been designed to work well with the OEM audio, they will still play with an aftermarket head unit of course, but you'll get very similar performance with speakers from the quality car audio speaker brands that'll cost less than half the price of the BSW's. If you decide to keep the OEM DSP amp and speakers, then choose the Avin one as it says it has DSP support or, any of the other ones which say they support it as well. If you choose a unit that doesnt support DSP, then you'll have to look into the other ways owners used to connect them to the DSP amp when these kinds of units didn't have DSP support. The easiest and simplest way forward would be to remove the OEM DSP amp, speakers etc and put in aftermarket items. I just re-read and you say there's a DSP adaptor, post a link to it ? As I've mentioned previously, some owners don't mind the sound from the DSP amp/speakers, which is fine of course. It's when those owners listen to a well installed modest aftermarket setup that you'll see jaws hit the floor at just how much better they sound in comparison to the OEM setup. Seen it so many times I can't even count and many of those owners go back home and then decide to spend money again to 'upgrade' properly ! This aspect of course depends on how 'well' you want your music reproduced in the car! My car I decided was a keeper years ago, even if it wasn't, I'd still have upgraded the audio using high quality products and if I sold the car, I'd have simply refitted the OEM audio and kept the good products for my next one. As you are looking to keep the car long term as well, and wouldn't mind spending that healthy amount, I'd say do it once and right the first time

1blinkgone - Quite a lot of the premium brands have head units that don't have Android or Android Auto and have 'dedicated' or 'embedded' operating systems as it were to make them function. Kenwood do the newly released DMX125BT shallow depth unit for instance - https://www.kenwood.com/usa/car/navi...edia/dmx125bt/. Most Single DIN head units also don't run Android/Android Auto and this applies to all the other quality brands as well.

Cheers, Dennis!
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