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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I didn't find much in one place on the internet about this for an E70 (mines a 2013) but combining info from several different forums and YouTube I was able to figure this out and write out all the steps so they are all in one place.

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures (wasn't thinking about a write up at the time)...

Anyway here it is:

1 - Have patience!

2 - Remove trim plate around shifter and above vents on rear of console - use trim pry tools and go slow.

3 - Remove shifter and iDrive plate - 4 large screws

4 - Remove both pieces of side carpet on passenger side (both sides if you are replacing bucket) This requires removing under dash panels also - 3 screws on under dash panel, 1 screw on carpet panel under the dash, 2 push-in keepers and 2 sliding clips to get the long thin section out. Next the shorter taller carpet slides out (4 sliding clips) but it's tight between the seat and the console.

5 - Remove 2 screws under cradle and cradle can be taken free from the bucket.

6- Fish along the passenger side for wires (clipped on in 2 locations) and disconnect at connectors and remove cradle. Be sure to tuck the loose connectors back under the console in a manner that they won't rattle.

***If not replacing the bucket you can start reassembling.

Note: Disconnecting the cables should not cause any codes as the connections were open in the cradle unless you attached an adapter and a phone.

If you are replacing the bucket you need to do the following.

7 - Repeat step 4 on the driver's side.

8 - Remove panel inside the front of bucket that holds the USB, AUX and 12v socket. My new bucket doesn't have a place for the 12v outlet so I did without instead of trying to adapt it to fit.

9 - There are 3 screws on either side of the console that hold in the panels that the arm rest lid/pads attach to. The bucket also snaps into these panels and once the 6 screws are out the whole bucket and lid assembly will lift right out.

10 - Carefully separate the 2 lid/side panels from the bucket.

11 - Install the USB/AUX piece into the new bucket and fit the 2 lid/side panels and the bucket together.

12 - You will have to work on the wiring to get the AUX and USB to the back of the bucket and the connectors to fit. Cut back some of the tape and pass the 2 wires and plugs under the black plastic piece to accomplish this. I had to trim some of the metal crimp on the USB cable, it exposed some of the braided shielding but now allows the plug to fit between the bucket and the USB housing.

13 - Drop the bucket and lid back in place as a single assembly and just reverse everything to put the console back together around the new bucket.

Notes:

The old bucket should be able to be removed without removing the 6 screws (3 on each side) or taking the carpet panels off but for some reason the lid/side pieces and the bucket act like they are fused together.

As soon as you unplug the wires from the iDrive and the shifter/parking brake you will get a chime and the park light will be flashing on the dash. It will quit but will start over each time you open a door.
 

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Do you have an after picture? Would love to see the end result! Any permanent chimes or errors after doing this?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do you have an after picture? Would love to see the end result! Any permanent chimes or errors after doing this?
Sorry no pictures, I'll try to take one today... No errors or chimes after everything is back together. There are 3 wire connectors that are unplugged to free the cradle and all the leads were open in the cradle unless you plug a phone and adapter into it so it's just like the cradle was there as far as the car is concerned.
 

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Nicely done! What a difference! I think next summer when the plastic is a bit more forgiving, I'll give this a try!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The more I think about it, if you only want to remove the cradle I don't think you have to remove the trim around the shifter or above the rear vents. Skip steps 2 and 3, do steps 4, 5 and 6, reverse the process and call it done. You'll have a hole in the bucket but it looks like they make a trim plate to cover the hole. See #6 below.

 

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This is most helpful, thank-you

Great write up. This waste of space (cradle) in the console has annoyed me for some time. I think I'll do a "Bubba" shortcut by removing the 2 screws that hold the cradle and then cut and terminate the wires. I have zero use for the cradle and can stuff the terminated wires back beneath the console. Then cut and fit a trim piece to cover the hole. Job done without twisting my old bones out of shape removing and replacing trim and carpet. :thumbup::D
 

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..I think I'll do a "Bubba" shortcut by removing the 2 screws that hold the cradle and then cut and terminate the wires. I have zero use for the cradle and can stuff the terminated wires back beneath the console.
I took a similar approach initially, broke apart the cradle and stuffed the wires into the hole. Repairing the cupholders required more extensive disassemble of the console, which gave access to the cradle connectors.

...Then cut and fit a trim piece to cover the hole...
The trim piece is under $10 (I paid $7)
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Great write up. This waste of space (cradle) in the console has annoyed me for some time. I think I'll do a "Bubba" shortcut by removing the 2 screws that hold the cradle and then cut and terminate the wires. I have zero use for the cradle and can stuff the terminated wires back beneath the console. Then cut and fit a trim piece to cover the hole. Job done without twisting my old bones out of shape removing and replacing trim and carpet. :thumbup::D
Thanks, I have to add a word of caution about cutting the wires. Any shorted leads from cutting could create unnecessary issues with your iDrive and the cars communications systems. Unplugging the cables leaves the individual leads open just as if the cradle was connected and not in use. The 2 coax cables have 4 pins each and the other cable has an 18 pin connector on it. If you do cut the wiring take the time to isolate each loose conductor to avoid any shorting and keep your fingers crossed the act of cutting doesn't do any damage...

Another shortcut is you could try sliding the taller carpeted panel off (no screws or push in clips) without removing the long thin one. If you can get it off that saves you 4 screws and 2 panels which really isn't back breaking at all anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #14

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The pictures were very helpful guys. I did a "Bubba" modified removal. I got to feed my inner Bubba by carefully destroying the cradle and freeing the wire harness and circuit board. Rather satisfying taking back my inner console territory with brute force applied with precision....smiling. Nothing I cared about was scratched or marred and the wiring harness with attached circuit board coils up nicely within the perimeter of the existing hole. The advice to not just cut and terminate was timely and important to me. Will order the panel Monday (Thanks again for the part number, much respect for that added tidbit).

Thanks to all who went down this road prior to me,

Chris
 

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I wish I had seen this post 3 weeks ago. I finally got tired of the space hog cradle and removed it one afternoon. My removal process was a lot less complicated, however. I removed the two cradle support screws under the cradle hinge, removed the cradle...then commenced to remove the wiring from the cradle. I didn't want to cut into the wires for fear of codes, lights, and other malfunctions. Removing the cradle was easy, getting the wires out of the cradle was the tough part. But in the end I finally removed the wires and neatly stowed them into the hole in the back of the console box where the cradle had been attached. I found a black piece of plastic that basically matched the inside of the console box, cut it to the size of the cradle hole and screwed it to the back of the console box to cover the stowed wires and the hole. I didn't have to remove any part of the truck except for the cradle. I got no codes or lights and everything seems to functioning normally. I don't know how I lived with that thing for so long.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Where is the cheapest place to get his part online?

51169115083 - Blind Plate

ECS Tuning = $18.09 delivered
Get BMW Parts = $24.25 delivered
How about going to your local dealerships parts department? I know $9 shipping is a lot for a small part but even $18 at ECS is cheap compared to about $50 for a new bucket. Also if you have a $20 order at ECS you get free shipping, do you need anything else?
 

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How about going to your local dealerships parts department? I know $9 shipping is a lot for a small part but even $18 at ECS is cheap compared to about $50 for a new bucket. Also if you have a $20 order at ECS you get free shipping, do you need anything else?
Don't you need to spend $200 to get free shipping at ECS Tuning?
 
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