E46 Fanatics Forum banner
1 - 20 of 73 Posts

193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. I know this is a common upgrade, but I couldn't find any thread dedicated to it here. I am posting this to add to all of the other DIY's here to that if any does this in the future, they will have it available as a reference.

Now the high today where I live was 25 degrees, so I only did the radio upgrade + aux input today. Tomorrow I will do the XM Install and post pics.

Upgrade my stock HK system w/ cassette headunit to a newer 9/02+ Business CD headunit with Aux input. Also, I want to add XM for some added variety. I do a ton of road trips, so music in my car is very important to me.

Products Used
Used Business CD Headunit. Production Date 8/03. - $190 (e46fanatics classifieds)
Aux Input Cable - $39 (EAS)
Male to Male Aux Cable - $5 (EAS)
Antenna Adapter - $29 (EAS)
Glovebox Auxiliary Power Adaptor - $9 (EAS)
iPod car charger - $7 (eBay seller ryans_electronics)
XM Direct System - $85 (e46fanatics classifieds)

Total - a little under $375 after shipping and all

Why did I get the glovebox 12v auxillary power adapter? I have a Garmin iQue 3600 for navigation and it uses the cigarette lighter 12v, so I need to have another 12v cigarette outlet to plug in the iPod when necessary.

Why didn't I get the DICE integration for my iPod? My personal opinion is that giving up your CD changer just so you can control your iPod from your steering wheel is a bit rediculous. Especially when you look at the installation process and $150 pricetag vs all upfront install and $40. Do you really drag your iPod around with you on every time you get in your car? No. And it always seems like the radio has nothing on you want to hear. So for me, CD Changer HAS to stay.

Installation Process - my interior is dirty as hell I know
1 - Remove Dash Trim

Use a rag-covered flathead screwdriver just so you don't risk any scratches or marks from a screwdriver. I've never done this before, but it was easy and its literally impossible to break anything.

2 - Remove Headunit Screws

Remove the 2 screws that hold the stock headunit into place. Pull the headunit out.

3 - Disconnect Wiring Harness Clip

The headunits wiring harness will not let you pull it too far out of the dash. It's quite annoying, but not insurmountable. Take the hint on the clip. Put a screwdriver under it and pry up. Once you can fit your fingers in, pull up with them. This was personally a ***** to pull off, just so you know, you can't really be too hard with it if you are using your fingers. Once you remove the clip, remove the two other wires going to the back of the stock headunit.

4 - Pull Headunit Out Completely

5 - Pull Auxiliary Plugs Retaining Clip

If you are facing the harness, on its right, you'll see a blue clip, just use a screwdriver and pull it out. This will loosen your stock CD changer clip, but you have to remove it to install the aux plug.

6 - Install Auxiliary Plug

Install the auxiliary plug into the right hand port of the radio (if you were looking from the back). In this pic, the gray is the aux plug, the white is the CD changer plug. Once they are flush with the top pinout, insert the blue retaining clip again.

7 - Install Antenna Adapter

The antenna adapter plugs into the larger of the 2 'other' wires that you disconnect from your stock headunit. The smaller wire does not get reconnected to the newer headunit. The picture should clear up any confusion. Slide the new headunit back into the dash before the mods see who you bought it from. :shhh: :shhh: :shhh:

***TIME OUT***
Test Everything RIGHT NOW - Make sure all of your stuff works and look for loose connections if not.

Back to the Install...
The OEM auxiliary kit recommends that you install the aux port into the glovebox. I'm going to be honest, I tried to remove the full glovebox for about 30 minutes.. I couldn't find all the screws or something. Either way, I had seen the aux port just installed where the DSC/Audio buttons are, so I just decided to go that way. I'm all for the OEM install, but it was getting pretty freakin cold outside and I wasn't wasting any more time. I'm impartial to where the port is as long as it works.

This is how to install the aux port into the car's buttons area.

8 - Remove Shift Boot

To remove the shift boot, just squeeze in on the sides of the boot. It will come out.

9 - Remove Two Gearshift Trim Screws

There are just 2 screws holding down the gearshift trim. Once you remove the shift boot, you'll see them at the bottom of the trim panel.

10 - Remove Storage Compartment and Middle Trim Screws

Once you pull up the gearshift trim, you will see 2 more screws to remove just below the ashtray. To get the top 2 screws off so that you can remove the panel, just pull out the top storage compartment. Just moderate force will do. The picture for this shows me removing one of the top screws.

11 - (Optional) Move Buttons Around

Once you pull the middle trim piece out, you can get your hands up behind the button panel and you can just push outward and they will come out. Just disconnect the wires going to each button and move it to a different spot. I wanted to.. so I did.

12 - Drill Hole For Aux Input

Use a 1/4" drill bit and drill a hole. What you can then do is route the aux cable from your headunit area down behind the climate controls and down to the buttons panel.

13 - Screw On Aux Input Cap & Reinstall All Pieces

This will tighten onto the aux input cable. After you do this, start to reinstall all of your stuff in the reverse order.

14 - Rock the Casbah


193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i also did what you did how do i get the radio to reconize the ipod.i press the mode button and press the ipod nothing please let me know.i also have the oem wires.thanksssssssss

as long as you have the aux input wire attached to the headunit.. cycle thru the Modes until you see Aux

Stay modded my friends!!!
1,087 Posts
Great idea for the location of the AUX Input, I should've done that when I installed mine last week. It was a pain in the azz routing the cable from the headunit to the glove compartment. Ended up cutting my finger multiple times from whatever was above/inside the glovebox:ben:

193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
that's exactly where i want to mount an AUX input.
is it easy to route the wire from the headunit behind the climate controls and down to the buttons panel?
yeah if you have the headunit pulled and the dash stuff pulled (pic10), the climate control unit isnt as deep as the headunit is, so you can just slide the aux cable down behind there and you'll see it go to where the sunglasses holder was removed, just pull it down and mount it up!

You end up w/ a decent amount of extra cable because of the short distance vs the glovebox method. I just pushed it in behind the climate control unit since it has that extra space. Everything mounted back up flush and stock-looking.

193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
XM Time!

I headed indoors for most of this install, so some of the pics may be dark. We have a pretty sweet icey rain today, so I didn't feel like getting pelted with that while I tried to install XM.

1 - Remove Trunk Base

2 - Remove Taillight Backing & Trunk Trim

There are only 2 pressure snaps that hold the drivers side trunk trim on. I just pulled it back to get the work done.

3 - Remove Storage Tray and CD Changer

You have to remove the storage tray first and the changer second. Just remove the 4 8mm screws that hold each on.

4 - Disconnect the 3pin and 6pin Plugs From the CD Changer

I had some trouble with the smaller 3pin one, but I'm sure I was doing something stupid.

5 - Connect the Blitzsafe Adapter to the CD Changer and OEM Audio Harness

Just connect the 3pin & 6pin connectors to the Blitzsafe adapter that comes w/ the XM Direct kit. Then connect the Blitzsafe's connections to the OEM CD Changer

6 - Install the XM Receiver

I found that if you put the receiver up just under the rear speaker deck that it picks up signal just fine. I like it that way because it is a totally stealth install.

7 - Secure the XM Receiver

I put a barrier on the hole to avoid any 'signal leakage' :rolleyes:

8 - Secure the Receiver Wire to the Body

And here begins my campaign for DuctTape your BMW....

9 - Stow Away the Extra Receiver Wiring

Again.. no shortage of ducttape

10 - Secure the XM Unit

I just didn't want the XM unit flopping around in the area below the CD Changer mount, so I zip tied it to the mount and I drilled a hole in the storage tray and rap a zip tie through that as well.

11 - Reassemble

CD Changer - XM - Aux - FM Radio

Overall, I am SO HAPPY with this setup for really all the more $$$ I paid. The extra music flexibility rocks!!!

european auto source
12,194 Posts

353 Posts
Great write up man. Quick question, how do you change stations on XM? I have an XM direct box like yours but I have to use the XM commander to change the channels, can you do it through the business cd player? I would like to get rid of the commander and integrate it into the head unit if I could. I have an old cd player and would buy a new one like you did. Thanks.

european auto source
12,194 Posts
since the newer headunit comes ready for Sirius, the XM is fundamentally the same thing. Once you get the new CD player you just adjust it w/ the < > buttons and you can save presets just like you do radio stations.
Also text display! :)
1 - 20 of 73 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.