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-   -   iPhone 4 "integration" hack in a 2002 325xiT with factory iPod dock (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=977958)

MikeyManBMW 03-24-2013 05:19 PM

iPhone 4 "integration" hack in a 2002 325xiT with factory iPod dock
Here's some real-world data for anyone trying to make use of an early model factory 30-pin iPod dock in their e46...

I recently bought an '02 325xi touring/wagon that came with the Business radio/single CD stereo head unit, Harman Kardon surround sound speaker system, and the factory iPod dock installed in the glove box.

When I connected my iPhone 4 to the dock, I could get music to play through the stereo just fine, showing up on the head unit as coming from the nonexistent CD changer (by presumably hijacking that input on the back of the stereo).

My phone didn't charge however, since Apple apparently changed from firewire to USB charging in about 2007. So I had to buy one of these to adapt the iPod cable to allow charging.

Still... although the glove box iPod dock concept was a pretty cool and stealth solution back in the days before do-everything smart phones, having my iPhone 4 buried in there wasn't exactly what I had in mind for car integration. I wanted it out and mounted on the dash where I could use it as a navi and to take phone calls too.

So... I bought a dash mount and swiveling holder from ProClip to mount the Phone, and both look and function great.

But how to get audio to the stereo?

After reading this thread over on another M3 forum, it looked like I had a shot to get wireless bluetooth streaming working from the dash-mounted phone to a bluetooth dongle attached to the iPod connector in the glove box (the perfect lazy man's solution).

Sadly, I'm here to report that, although this solution seemed to work great for others with newer cars and/or non-factory iPod docks, the devices I tried (here and here) didn't work with my factory unit.

The dongles seemed to draw power just fine, they would light up to indicate that it was time to pair, the phone would recognize them and pair, but the sound source never came up when toggling the "Mode" button on the stereo. :hmm:

Finally, I just opted for a hard-wired hack (see pictures below). I removed the glove box and enlarged the cable access hole slightly with a box cutter so I could free the 30-pin connector from the glove box interior. The connector and charging adapter can now reach all the way out to the dash mounted phone, with only a small white tail emerging from the corner of the closed glove box. I tuck the cable and adapters back into the glove box when not in use.

Having the cable pull out through the ash tray would be better, but I didn't see any easy way to route this. Anybody know a better solution?


ccaudio1 03-26-2013 12:14 AM

heres an idea.:idea: not quiet sure how long your going to use the iphone but what i would do is re-route the cable to the pocket below the ac control. pull out the ash tray/pocket assembly now on the upper right hand corner i would notch it out to the exact size of the cable (not connector) or maybe just a hair bigger so you can pull or push on the slack of the cable to connect or disconnect the phone/ipod.

the notch would be barely noticeable if its done in the very upper most corner

hope it makes sense..:thumbsup:

btw: i would use a round/rat tail file http://www.sonex604.com/images/tools/rat_tail.jpg

MikeyManBMW 03-26-2013 12:57 AM


Originally Posted by ccaudio1 (Post 15284585)
what i would do is re-route the cable to the pocket below the ac control.

Hey ccaudio,

Thanks for the idea -- what you're describing is what I want to achieve (the white iPod connector living in a modified version of the ash tray and then you can pull it out and up to meet the phone in the cradle).

And I like your idea of shaving away a cable-width of ashtray sidewall in the corner to allow for the cable to extend/retract.

My problem is *HOW* do I route the cable down to the ash tray? The connectors on either end of the iPod cable are bigger than the cable itself and are hard to route.

I'm sure somebody out there has done this hack before.... Just gotta find the time to search the forums... :hmm:

ccaudio1 03-26-2013 01:42 AM

by looking at the picture u took. if you remove the ash tray/ pocket assembly you should be able to see from the right side where that cable is ran to the glove compartment. if not you probably need to pull the radio and ac control out and you have a wide open area to work with and route the cable where you want it to go

Erns 03-26-2013 10:55 AM

Out of curiosity, did you try the Bluetooth dongle in connection with the Scosche Charging Adapter?

MikeyManBMW 03-26-2013 11:03 AM

Yep. That was the only way I could power up both dongles I tried, as they were both made in the post-2007 "USB charging" era.

Erns 03-26-2013 12:02 PM

For $50 or less (much less if like me you have an old iPod Nano hanging around), pick up something like a used 3rd gen iPod Nano (i.e., the iPod "fatty"). In other words, one that will charge through your existing iPod cable. Hook it up to your existing iPod adapter and stick it in your glove box as your music player. Leave your phone where it is. Clean, simple, and no more holes.

I realize that if you really need to always have your phone plugged in and charging in the car, this won't do it, although it would be fine if you only need to have the ability to charge your phone when you needed to. Since I usually charge my phone at home, I rarely need to charge it in the car (especially if it is not being used to stream music).

MikeyManBMW 03-26-2013 12:24 PM

Hey Erns -- I hear you -- I already have an old iPod, so I could default to your plan. But I'm one of those folks who live off their phone, and just want to use it for everything. My phone is often charged at home too like you, so I'm less focused on the charging cable part of my "solution" and more focused on a having a clean looking way of getting the AUDIO from the phone into my stereo.

The "solution" I have built so far is working great -- the phone is "integrated" into the car -- it's just that the white pigtail snaking out of the glove box is violating my neurotic principles of cleanliness and a "pro" install look.

As ccaudio notes above, I'm probably gonna have to devote some serious "dash surgery" time to really get what I want (if I insist on using the factory-installed iPod connector). Just not psyched to do it yet (lazy) -- and I still hope to run across a DIY on a forum somewhere that spoon-feeds me some sort of shortcut.

More expensive alternative is to remove the factory iPod connection and buy an Audiovox Mediabridge or something similar to implement bluetooth the "standard" way. Just more $$ than I want to devote to the goal of hiding a cable.


MikeyManBMW 03-31-2013 06:48 PM

I decided that I like this setup a lot now.

First reason is that although I'm still not in love with the cable snaking out of the glove box during playback, I can still easily hide my phone in the glove box and charge it while doing so.

Second reason is that I found out that staying cabled means I have full head unit and steering wheel control of the iPod app on the phone, which is awesome. Thank god somebody at BMW archived the original user manual for the factory iPod kit.

MikeyManBMW 05-05-2013 08:51 PM

I finally decided that I had to have wireless -- so I removed my iPod adapter (it's for sale on the forum over here) and installed a Dension Gateway Lite Bluetooth module behind the glovebox instead.

So far, the streaming music sound quality from my iPhone 4 is pretty decent (although not *quite* as good as the wired iPod adapter), and phone calls come in clear on the car speakers. I installed the phone mic behind the mic grate in the headliner to the right of the sunroof switch.

It's somewhat cheaper than the Audiovox/DICE Mediabridge kit, which is great if -- like me -- you're just after Bluetooth but the cheap iPod dock bluetooth modules won't work for you.

nini46 03-04-2015 04:34 AM

That's looks super housse nexus 6 coque google nexus 6 _sl_

syrgrad91 04-25-2016 10:53 AM

Hey MikeyMan, it's been a few years since you last posted on this thread, but how has the Dension unit worked out for you? I've been considering it for my '03 325i sedan.

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