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Pioneer Full Size Double Din Installation Soon - Some Uncertainties

2349 Views 25 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  E39Scott
I am installing an almost new Pioneer AVS-2330NEX DD DVD unit in my 328Ci with the Hifi system, not HK. It is a DVD unit and hence not shallow. Thus far, I have procured the following items:
  1. The AVS-2330NEX referenced above. Unit is pretty nice with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD radio etc.
  2. A new Pioneer NDBC8 back-up camera. Need to figure out how I will mount this camera. Will at least run the wire from the head unit to the trunk initially. Will also tap the appropriate leads from the radio harness to the parking brake and reverse wires in the shifter (if possible), hand brake area of the console.
  3. This Metra (95-9313B) installation kit.
  4. This Scosche (ICBW1BN) wiring harness and antenna adapter. I will also buy a spare one (BW01B) as I believe the plug is missing the SWC wire. Will transplant a wire into the connector I use.
  5. This steering wheel interface (Crux SWR-A). The Crux site indicates this is compatible with the 328Ci. I could have got this Crux (SWRBM-57K) but saved a good bit on the SWR-A. Hopefully it works.
Main Question at this time; may have more as I start.
  1. A Crutchfield advisor indicated that I would need a line output converter and recommended this unit (Crux CS-LOC1). Do I really need a LOC for my non-HK 328Ci?
TIA for any leads etc.
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Thank you, appreciate it. Will provide an update.
Thanks. To clarify, the link references the Sony, but indicates it is a suggested replacement unit. If you look closely, there is a link for the Pioneer as well. Note, the Pioneer is a recent enough discontinued unit. As discussed in the intro post, the Pioneer is a double din DVD, non-shallow unit. Hence, I bought the comprehensive Metra installation kit, and understand that I will have to cut the top air box shelf using the template that is included in the kit, to make room to fit the Pioneer. Not worried about this. If I do it right, I will not lose any heater functionality through the front floor vents.

Minor Update: I will go without the LOC converter initially as no information I have suggests one is needed for a non HK, HiFi system. I have ordered another Scosche vehicle harness plug to salvage a missing SWC pin on the harness adapter I will use.

There will be a lot of wiring and adapters to contend with as far as stuffing everything behind the dash goes. Planning to tackle this project next week. I’ll update.
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Will do. If I had to get a Pioneer unit today, I would get a shallow depth, non-DVD unit. I had the 2330, almost new laying around, so wanted to exhaust all options prior to giving up and springing for a shallow one. A couple of Pioneer shallow depth units include the DMH-W4660NEX and DMH-W2770NEX (I cannot confirm this one without looking at specs, but I believe it is also shallow), just FYI.
Not initially. I did replace my rear deck and front door lower speakers with the mid-bass units from these JBLs in 2020. The options are there, however. Initial goal is to get a simple install that allows me to have CarPlay and a BU camera.
  1. Cut the airbox, vacuumed the area, and added the replacement passenger vent door, actuator arm and box cover.
  2. Transferred the temperature sensor from the original cover to the replacement box cover. Noted the fitting just a bit loose, so used some plumbers tape wrapped around the fitting a couple of turns and pushed it in. Fit quite snug, no issues. The tape for a snug fit is optional.
  3. Secured the airbox with a clip removed during the removal of the original airbox cover and a screw that is included in the Metra kit.
  4. Tested the HVAC controls out to verify replacement passenger vent door and actuator arm operation. Everything worked smoothly. I also checked for air through the floor vents and noticed typical operation.
  5. With the blower running during testing, I felt for air leakage around the sealing area of the replacement airbox cover and felt a very slight leakage around the interface. As per Metra's recommendations, I added some HVAC tape to eliminate this leakage.
  6. Tested the Pioneer AVH-2330NEX unit outside the dash by connecting it to the harness. It powered up fine, and a DVD with (MP3) music (was in the player since 2018) played well. So, no LOC is required for the HiFi E46 system.
  7. Steering wheel controls (Crux SWR-A Interface): The volume up and down button worked fine. The track up worked on the DVD but track down went back to the beginning of the same song. Need to look into this. However, the radio seek function up/down worked just fine.
  1. I bought two Scosche BW01B connectors and transplanted one wire to position number 7. I tapped the appropriate SWR-A wire to the transplanted wire. I believe this gives me the volume up/down and track up/down functions on the steering wheel control. The original BMW plug includes connections for Telephone Mute (pin # 4) and another function listed as DCTRL (pin # 10); see PDF attachment that I found on the web. Question: Are the R/T and phone buttons just dummy buttons? Based on searches, appears to be non-functional as it was set-up for a BMW phone. Will also chat with Crux CS.
  2. Parking Brake Wire: Is the best location to tap into this wire at the handbrake lever? This is not terribly important at this time as I will run a wire from the stereo connector to the parking brake area in the console. Will be able to then connect it without dismantling the dash.
  3. Reverse Gear Wire (Camera Installation): There is a connector on top of the manual tranny under the car for the reverse gear signal. However, I want to try and get the reverse signal from within the cab, if I can. Or I can also run a wire to the reverse lamp in the trunk. Anyway, this is also not important today. I will have a wire located behind the glovebox or somewhere convenient to tackle later.
Next Steps:
  1. Complete organization of the wires, run wires for parking brake and reverse signal to convenient areas for addressing later.
  2. Run microphone to somewhere convenient.
  3. Clean up some dirt/stains from the original harnesses with grungy cloth wraps resting against dash sections. Vacuum general dash opening area for foam debris etc.
  4. Install radio and button up dash. There appears to be plenty of room for the unit including cables etc.
Some pictures included below:
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Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Bumper Trunk Automotive exterior
Light Motor vehicle Bumper Hood Trunk


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Update: Finished the installation of the unit. Still need to set the time etc., but everything works well. The only real casualty was the rear ashtray roller door. I took the console off to tap into the parking lead and while removing the ashtray, the roller door broke apart into 4 or 5 sections. Will source a new one.

The cable management was tricky and took some time. I also tapped the positive and negative camera leads to the harness and connected the RCA camera input. Will leave the bundle of wires behind the glovebox for now. The microphone was installed on the steering console behind the wiper stalk, above the ignition switch. It appears quite discrete. The USB outlet/cable, I have sticking out of the lower edge of the passenger side of the center console.

With respect to the kit, the HVAC relocation bracket is OK, but will be subject to wear and tear. The rubberish finish cannot be too durable. Down the road, I may spring for a genuine unit.

Now for some cleaning up and getting ready for the camera install next week.
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Yes, much simpler. The Sony units with a single din mount are an option. Or for the easiest solution, go with a shallow mount unit. JVC, KENWOOD, Alpine and Pioneer have decent shallow mount units you could look into. The head aches associated with wire management go away. Plus you will not have to cut the ac airbox. So less chances of messing things up.

Update: I was able to tap into a reverse signal wire. Based on a search here, was able to locate the black box above the main fuse panel accessed through the glovebox. This black box can be easily detached from its mount and is easily reattached after you are done tapping into the reverse signal wire. There are several blue/yellow wires in a 4 pin plug that sits in the black box. You squeeze a couple of tabs to release the plug and can check that there is voltage when reverse gear is selected. However, there is one (or two middle pins) with two wires each. To be sure, I just selected an end pin with single wire and tapped into it. Thereafter, checked the Pioneer camera operation and was satisfied everything worked. The car will be sitting with the glovebox disassembled until next weekend. Will complete the camera mounting and cable routing then. I also need to source a grey rear console ashtray that got messed up.
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The Crutchfield data for E46’s is terribly outdated. They still recommend a Line Output Converter for a non-HK system, for example. They only recommend single Din units and a few floating screen DD units with a single Din mount. I have spoken to a couple of advisors about the E46 and they are not knowledgeable at all (referencing E46’s). They could not give any guidance, other than what is in their database. They did assure me that if things did not work, I could return stuff. Their general CS is top notch however. I finally decided to use the 2330 I had laying around and sourced everything on my own.

In any case depending on your button configuration (single strip opening or 5 individual openings) you will have to select a kit. See the link in my original post for the one with the single strip space that I used. Of course you would not use the replacement air box cover, passenger vent door or the actuator arm. The other parts will be used. You could go with the lesser priced Metra kit, but it has a faceplate that sticks out a couple of inches and you will still have to purchase a suitable faceplate. Then you will have to source a harness. Your best bet is to go with a CRUX SWRBN-57K. It includes the BMW harness plus steering control interface already wired in. You will also need an antenna adapter. I used a Crux SWR-A and purchased an extra Scosche sacrificial harness that I used to pluck a wire and added to the pin 7 location of the harness I used. You may also need a camera. I am using a new Pioneer that I had laying around since 2018.

Another option is to contact the poster ([email protected]) in post number 2 above. They might be able to set you up with a package solution. One comment about receiver brands - I like the non glare screen on the Pioneer 2330 that I have. I recommend you check several units out for features (screen quality, HD radio, single vs. dual camera inputs, single vs. dual USB’s, laggyness to inputs) etc. in general, I don’t think you can go wrong with Sony, Pioneer, Alpine, JVC/KENWOOD brands.
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Camera install is coming along slowly. Waiting on a gasket for the trunk handle now. I secured the camera bracket to the handle with a couple of screws and speed nuts. Suggested installation was with the double stick tape only. Was not comfortable with the instructions. Cut a notch for the camera cable and will wrap it with a bit of butyl tape to set it in the notch. Positive is everything works, and the camera is clear with a reasonably wide-angle display. The head unit has back-up guidance lines that will be calibrated once everything is buttoned up.

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OK, the Enfig kit will work for shallow depth units. However, it does not include the HVAC control relocation bracket. You could go with a BMW one (preferably), but they are pricey. Or the kit I bought at WMT (drop shipped from Metra), was only $69 plus taxes. Other places, it is @$100. The rest of the items appear fine but see below.

For the harness, you will have to transplant a lead to allow connection to the SWC lead on the E46 connector. I just bought two harnesses (the harness only part is this) and was able to move a pin from one to the one I used. With the SWR-A, only the volume up/down and track/channel up/down buttons are functional. One issue I have noticed with the SWR-A during limited testing is that the track down button just starts the same track from the beginning. The radio channels work fine up and down. Once I start driving the car again, I will be able to look more into this.

Separately, I am still waiting on a trunk handle gasket from ECS, so my car has been sitting. Thankfully expected to show up tomorrow, and I will be able to button things up and start enjoying the unit.
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Update: Car is buttoned up and everything works well. In summary (my opinion only), the radio installation is easy compared to installing the camera. I did not tap into the trunk lamps at all. All connections were completed at the receiver end (video, power and ground), at the parking brake, and reverse trigger at the black box above fuse panel. Adjusted the camera angle such that I can see the bumper edge, and then took the car to a local Costco and calibrated the parking guidance lines in the parking lot. Due to the offset camera mounting and wide-angle camera view, the parking lines appear triangular. However, I am able to center in the parking spot easily using the lines. Looks a bit funny on the display though. Here is a shot of the camera mount. I have a new BMW rear emblem on hand; will install after detailing the car soon.

Additional Update: After playing with the steering wheel controls, I have full track and radio channel, up and down functionality. So, the SWR-A SWC interface works fine.

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Here is a shot of the completed installation. Drives are more enjoyable now.
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Look at post number 19 and you will see some installation related pictures. I used a Pioneer camera and like it immensely. Post # 22 is the finished product on the car. I want to replace my back-up lamp assembly as the lens cover has yellowed out a good bit. I may also update my back-up lamps to Philips or Sylvania LEDs for better lighting. The back-up picture quality is excellent; could be better at night, but I believe it is related to intensity of lighting at night.
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