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-   -   Idiots guide to Double Din Install. (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=390158)

vic32amg 08-07-2006 02:19 AM

Idiots guide to Double Din Install.
ok guys - so I finally did it, I put a double din in the E46. I know many have done it before but I wold like to think this is a complete novices guide to installing a double din.

Ok first the parts list.

1. Eclipse AVN5500 - $1308.00 shipped from EBAY ( reputable seller )
2. SIR ECL1 - (sirius adapter) $99.99 - Circuit City
3. wiring harness - Metra- #70 - 8590 -$20.00 - Best Buy - not pictured ( do not purchase the 70-9003 even tho the website say it is the right one - Its NOT )
4. Bezel+Dynomat -$259.00 shipped Mybimmer.net
5. PAC SWI X - $50.00 I did not install this yet because I ordered a PAC SWI ECL - which is made for the eclipse head unit
6. BMW climate control relocation -$50.00 Palm Springs BMW - Part# 51-16-7-001-408 - PS BMW = Worse sales team ever. Nice service people tho


PLEASE READ! I will say that this is not for everyone. Also I am not saying that I know what I'm doing or suggest this is the right way of going about it. Iam doing this because I am a complete

novice at car electronics. I think this will help those who want to do it but are to scared, also this will hopefully simplify things for alot of people. Consider this" The idiots guide to installing

Double Din in a M3".

Well first thing I did was buy the Metra Harness 1st I bought the 70-9003 Harness -TOTALLY WRONG - Metra says that my car requires the 70-9003 harness but that is incorrect and this was

the biggest downfall of my install. I spent the night before the install sodering the harness to the Eclipse harness. I figured this would help. ( boy was I wrong ).

The next day I stated by first seting out my tools and what I thought I might need.

First I disconnected my battery -

pretty simple located on the rear passenger side. lift up panel and disconnect the cables.

next I remove the trim using a trim removal tool I bought at AutoZone for 5 bucks.

Starting from right to left I slowly lift from underneath until the trim is slightly popped out, when I reach the opposite end I pull slowly, then it just pulls off. pretty easy.


I do the same with the trim piece over the Business CD. - these trim pieces will not break as easily as it feels.

next i unscrewed the Stereo - and upper AC vents - then removed them both also remove the climate control underneath the business CD. remove the elctrical accordingly

http://i5.tinypic.com/23uu5u1.jpg http://i5.tinypic.com/23uu693.jpg

http://i3.tinypic.com/23uu8g8.jpg http://i2.tinypic.com/23uu8zr.jpg

should look something like this

Next I remove the sunglass holder and center console / SMG Dome etc

To remove this area first you need to pull straight up on the SMG shift nob, be snug with it, it will pop off. then pry the dome off from the backside it has a little space to pop the tool in.

then remove the electrical accordingly. and unscrew the 2 screws on the SMG base. and pop that off. going to speed up because this is all fairly simple - just remove all the screws and replace

the options buttons in to the new part - BMW Part# 51-16-7-001-408 - also place the climate control as well.

http://i3.tinypic.com/23uv8sl.jpg http://i6.tinypic.com/23uvb5s.jpg

This is all very straight forward -

One thing to note: the original ash tray set up has a light in it and a plug for it. the new center unit will not have a light or plug. I just tucked it behind the panel.

with light
without light (new unit)

I did not reasemble this area into the care unitl I was done. - It's easier to do this with the SMG area taken apart.


For cutting you can see here basically the same thing I did


Except I made mine of Sheet metal and dynomatted it to death - to seal air in - also the arm that controls the vents to the drivers feet ( basically opens and closes a little flap) can be removed or modified - this is a choice YOU have to make - yes i still want those controls and will spend time modifying the arm to do so or you can leave it open or close -

thats it - no magic - it's not too confusing and it's not difficult. - just make up your mind and do it. also I used a dremel to cut the vents and I removed the front panel so I could make a cleaner cut like this -


this pic was before i cleaned it up and added the sheet metal - i forgot to take pics of it with the sheet metal in there but basically it looks like everyone else with dynomat everywhere.


the wire harness was basic if you do it in advance - the problem I ran into was having to do the wiring twice because METRA doesn't have thier info right. Make sure you get the correct one -


this will make this so easy for you and complete plug and play - only hardwiring will be.... well none I can think of.

This is also a good way to mount the radio - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=359575
I did mine with a complete 4 " wide sheet metal band and around the unit and some plastic modifications. No pics sorry. I was in the moment -

The most dificult part about it was making room for all the harness wires everywhere - there are a lot!! - I found it easiest to run them along the top of the unit

by pulling the wires up from behind while i push the head unit in. kinda a pain but eventually you'll figure it out.

as for mounting the gps and siruis antennas I used this as my guide -


- for the most part it's pretty easy even for a guy with no car stereo electronic experience.


not that difficult at all. As for the unit - the AVN5500 is awsome -

Pros -

Plays DVD's ( yes while driving also )
Nav ( Yes While driving also )
Sirius ( awesome - nice not having wires all over the place and the info on the screen - )
Radio - sounds great but who cares.
Play MP3s
CD audio is great -

Cons - NONE i can think of.

worth it - BEST MOD EVER!!! THE NAV at night lights up in black!! SUPER DOPE!!!

would I do it all over again? YES

the reason I was able to do this is because of all the support from others before me - here are great links for those who don't have time to search -


these were the most useful for me.

THanks to Rich with Mybimmer.net - amazing craftsmanship and shipped it quickly for no extra cost, new how bad I needed the bezel. Also
thanks to S4play - his shop knows all.




3onDubs 08-07-2006 08:41 AM

Congrats vic.....nice writeup....beautiful setup...:bow:

auburnu008 08-07-2006 12:13 PM

thanks alot!

guest131 08-07-2006 12:36 PM

Sticky Imho

vic32amg 08-07-2006 01:47 PM

the final pic does not do it justice - It looks so clean its seriously 100 times better than the OEM - performance wise. also the siruis and DVD movie playback is super easy to use and perfect - I am blown away with the quality of this unit. Also I did not connect he VSS ( vehicle speed sensor) because the unit has a automatic one built in that is more than good enuff. I heard if you connect the VSS it voids the factory warranty for ECU related issues in the BMW. Not needed the built in one is good enuff. pretty accurate so far.

supark 08-07-2006 02:00 PM

awesome!!! thanks a lot for posting this up - you freakin rock!

Does it have any kind of directly compatibility to Ipods?

vic32amg 08-07-2006 02:15 PM

well TOM @ EAS has a video source module that allows you to use your Ipod Video as a DVD/Movie storage - for example the Ipod Video 60Gb holds about 40 movies/ and yes you could use the same function for Ipod play, If you just want to use ipod stricly fro music you can buy the Ipod adapter and the interface is Ipod friendly. Eclipse Makes the adapter for Music only. The Video source module you have to get from Tom. Ii think I am going to do the Video Source Module because I don't want to have a carrying case full of DvD's in my car. ( No scratching and damage ) - Also this unit plays Mp3 of a disc. so you can burn all your songs on to a disc in Mp3 format instead of have in 20 songs on a standard audio CD. I don't know how many MP3 fit on a single Cd but I know it's quite a bit.

hoppa79 08-07-2006 02:26 PM

how long did it take you to install?

vic32amg 08-07-2006 02:28 PM

also forgot to mention that sound coming from factory HK speakers is SOOO much better than before. Really - i thought about upgrading but now it is soo much better. I mean it's not set up for " BASS WARS " or anything but for just clean good sound. It's great and much louder.

vic32amg 08-07-2006 02:31 PM

install took eight hours or so if you count it in hours. 4 hour over 2 days. However ,it could be done much quicker if I had the correct harness from Metra. That was really a big hold up because I had the car taken apart and then I had to put the SMG area back together and wait till the next day for BestBuy to open and get the correct harness. if I had the correct harness things would of been cake. I would think 6 hours would cover it. This applies to business Cd - now if you already have nav then i'm sure the process is totally different as far as wiring is concerned. Also helps when you have a friend there with the little things. handing you tools or exra hands to hold wiring.

tom @ eas 08-07-2006 07:02 PM

Looks like we're seeing someone's weekend project. Good work! :thumbsup:

dave12345 08-07-2006 11:21 PM


vic32amg 08-08-2006 12:54 PM

I thnk it deserves the stickyness, all the link on this one thread could save alot of time for many. But dunno, I guess its not up to me. j/k

T-SPOON 08-08-2006 01:34 PM

This thread definitly deserves Stickiness...Amazing I just got off the phone with a friend that is going to do my install and we were talking about this very setup.....My only question was this the Harmon Kardon system if so did you tie into the existing speakers or replace them..or have to rewire..??or is it just plug and play with aftermarket harness to new radio..

vic32amg 08-08-2006 02:25 PM

With the correct harness strickly plug and play - Unless you hook up the the VSS ( Vehicle speed sensor) but the Nav is pretty accurate without it. I would I would also ground the ebrake into the harness, that is what I did and no interference. I also tied the siruis into the harness so that it is all intergrated. Everything is easy if you do it this way.

Also the HK system sound about 100 times bettter just from the head unit upgrade alone. I changed NONE of the speakers. I wanted to prior to the install but now I doubt I will.

vic32amg 08-08-2006 02:25 PM

With the correct harness strickly plug and play - Unless you hook up the the VSS ( Vehicle speed sensor) but the Nav is pretty accurate without it. I would I would also ground the ebrake into the harness, that is what I did and no interference. I also tied the siruis into the harness so that it is all intergrated. Everything is easy if you do it this way.

Also the HK system sound about 100 times bettter just from the head unit upgrade alone. I changed NONE of the speakers. I wanted to prior to the install but now I doubt I will.

T-SPOON 08-08-2006 04:50 PM

SWEET....Thanks alot..thats exactly what I needed to know..

redbmwm3 08-10-2006 11:29 AM

I just purchase the Z1, and your info has help me alot. I have one question. The E46 Double-DIN Bezel u got from Mybimmer.net is it a kit or just a face plate cover?

bigjae1976 08-11-2006 12:02 AM

This really isn't that hard.

I have a 5435 and the SWI-ECL...couldn't get it to work. Probably just me. Remember, don't program the R/T button. It activates whenever you turn on the ignition. I had it switch the source and got REALLY annoying.

vic32amg 08-11-2006 01:04 AM

I believe that for the Z1 you will need the 7" bezel which is different than mine, Also it takes longer to make. But it's all worth it if it look clean. everyone who has seen my unit latley has been WOWed. talk to rich @ mybimmer.net. His work is qaulity. Also it's just a face cover tha matches up with the cage for the OEM radio. you will need to modify the OEM cage to work with your unit. Some of the links I posted show different ways of going about it.


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