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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 06-08-2011, 09:43 AM   #1
fredwordsmith
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 15
My Ride: 2004 325xi
Aux Input in console (not glovebox) in 325xi w/heated seats?

Hi everyone - did the usual searches and can't find an answer to this specific question.

I have a 2004 325xi with the new "Mode" headunit and I have been thinking for a long time about installing an aux cable for listening to our many devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.) during drives. For $40, this is a much cheaper experiment in quality sound than even something as nice as a Dynavin (although I would love one!) especially since I listen to music through a lot of applications like Rdio, rather than just iTunes playlists.

Not having control through the steering wheel doesn't bother me since I usually pick a playlist and stick to it and would only really want to control the volume - from all I've read, I can still do that on the steering wheel, or at the very worst on the console itself.

I've stumbled across a great tutorial here:

http://www.my330i.com/mod26.php

Although it's for a 330, I think this should work for me. It walks through everything with a series of photos which is a huge benefit. I've also found a number of great tutorials on here.

My question deals with the placement of the aux jack itself:

The input in this case was installed on the minor column between the sunglasses holder and the ashtray/cigar lighter. In this tutorial, they drilled a hole in that column and placed the aux jack there on the right-hand side. While that would be great, I'm wondering if I can do that, since I have the cold weather package (I'm in MN) and I have a number of buttons there for my heated seats.

I certainly still think this DIY can be easily done - I'm just wondering if there's another place I can put the jack. Would even moving it over a few inches be possible? I don't want to damage any of the circuitry associated with my seats. At the same time, I'd love to place it there since it's a perfect spot and the glove box would be semi-cumbersome.

Thanks in advance for any replies!
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:26 PM   #2
mletchworth
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: St. Charles, MO
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My Ride: 2003 325i, 2007 x3
You could probably move it over an inch or two. That whole button bar should be available for buttons, lights, or aux input jacks. As long as there's an empty slot, you're good to go. I chose to put mine at the bottom of the ashtray. It's nice because it can be completely hidden. However, since I now have an XM radio plugged in all the time, I have to keep the door open all the time.
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:38 PM   #3
ao125
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Nice find.

I'm sick of using my FM transmitter.
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Old 06-08-2011, 03:21 PM   #4
SamDoe1
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You can put it wherever you want as long as the wire will reach...and even then you can probably get an extension for it if you really need it. I personally also put it in the ashtray so that it can be covered up if necessary and it makes it much easier to get to. But ever since I got the iPod integration in, I haven't plugged anything into the aux jack. As far as putting it in the button bar, just make sure you are drilling into an area that doesn't have a button or any circuitry on the backside and you should be good to go.

Also, unless you are talking about engine/brakes/transmission, there's no difference between a 325 and a 330.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:17 PM   #5
fredwordsmith
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Location: Twin Cities, MN
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My Ride: 2004 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
You can put it wherever you want as long as the wire will reach...and even then you can probably get an extension for it if you really need it. I personally also put it in the ashtray so that it can be covered up if necessary and it makes it much easier to get to. But ever since I got the iPod integration in, I haven't plugged anything into the aux jack. As far as putting it in the button bar, just make sure you are drilling into an area that doesn't have a button or any circuitry on the backside and you should be good to go.

Also, unless you are talking about engine/brakes/transmission, there's no difference between a 325 and a 330.
I never thought of putting it in the ashtray. Right now it holds nothing (non smoker here) and I have to leave it open anyway for my iPod/iPhone charger. It would also give me a cleaner look if I ever want to shut it if it's not in use. That'll be a much simpler process.

As far as the 325/330 difference, I figured there was none (other than performance) but I have read enough on the forums to know that there can be minor, unexpected differences between seemingly similar vehicles to say that I knew I should clarify

This forum rocks! Thanks a ton for the help - I hope to knock this out in a few hours this weekend and be listening to some Rdio tuneage by Saturday evening.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:44 AM   #6
fredwordsmith
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Location: Twin Cities, MN
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My Ride: 2004 325xi
Question again:

Perhaps I'm thinking of the wrong ashtray - were you guys speaking of the one in the front of the car, just below the sunglasses holder, or the ashtray behind my armrest that's actually in my back seats? The tray in the front of my car looks like it is flush up against some structural molding, and I haven't been able to remove the back ashtray to take a closer look.
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:23 PM   #7
SamDoe1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredwordsmith View Post
Question again:

Perhaps I'm thinking of the wrong ashtray - were you guys speaking of the one in the front of the car, just below the sunglasses holder, or the ashtray behind my armrest that's actually in my back seats? The tray in the front of my car looks like it is flush up against some structural molding, and I haven't been able to remove the back ashtray to take a closer look.
The front one. You have to line it up so that the hole misses the structural plastic on the back. It works but it makes it so that you can't remove the ashtray at all.
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Old 07-30-2011, 02:14 PM   #8
StreetTrixE4six
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My Ride: 08' 328i E92
I'd like to do this as well to my 04' with factory nav. Curious to see if anyone knows if you will be able to watch movies on the nav screen using movies on the ipod video or iphone? anyone know? Much appreciated
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:14 AM   #9
fredwordsmith
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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My Ride: 2004 325xi
Scratch that - the thread below this one about the 2001 install gave me a much easier spot (the blank area between my cupholders and the coin slot). Right now, it's just holding my Bluetooth earpiece and does nothing useful, so this will be a perfect spot for this.
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