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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 01-30-2010, 03:16 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Montclair, NJ
Posts: 255
My Ride: 2011 328i xDrive
Bluetooth Installation: TCU version

I just finished installing my bluetooth system in my car, a 2004 330xi. I haven't found any pictorial DIY's on here for TCU versions, so here goes. Some background:

NOTE: This DIY is for cars with BMW Assist already installed.

- The TCU is a cellular module that mounts in the trunk, and supports both BMW Assist and Bluetooth.
The most up-to-date module is PN 84109195455

- This should be the same for all cars 03/2003 and on with the BMW Assist option. Allegedly, all cars from that date are pre-wired for Bluetooth and the Cellular Phone. I have the Prewired for BMW Cellular Phone label in my trunk, and Assist installed. The only other part you will need is the bluetooth antenna, PN 84506928461 I believe. You may need the bracket as well, the one I bought from a member already had it.

- NOTE that this is for a car with Assist and I already had the Mic in the overhead console. If your car is the same setup as mine, these are the only two parts you will need!

- Write down the BT PK and ESN numbers before your install your TCU. You will need the BTPK number to pair your phone and the ESN if you want to activate the assist.

I started with the antenna installation. Open up the rear ashtray, and pull out the ashtray liner. Unscrew the two screws holding down the inner liner, and pull that out. Unplug the little orange LED light harness, and set everything aside.

Now you will see two screws holding down the console piece itself. Unscrew these. This may take some finesse, but gently pull this piece up and out. It shrouds the hinge on the sides of the armrest as well, so just be careful.

Now start digging around for the antenna wire. It should be tucked in there. The plug will be wrapped in a piece of foam so it won't look like anything. It should be right there, but it IS UNDER THERE! This is what it looks like with the foam off:

And this is how it plugs in to the antenna:

Before you go crazy and plug this thing in, it has to mount BELOW the innermost plastic liner of the console and the bracket will set on bracket that those two screws fasten onto, BELOW the plastic. Some guys pull apart the whole console, but I just lifted it up enough so I could pass the antenna wire out, plug the antenna in, and align it onto that bracket. Then I set the console down, eyed up the screw holes to make sure they were aligned, and screwed it in. Re-assemble the astray.

This was a bit more difficult. The antenna part is easy. This is all about the TCU swap. Fold down rear seats helps immensely.

Start but gutting your trunk. Pull off the floor liner, and start to take out the driver's side trunk liner. The tabs that hold it in are a PITA, and having the tool helps. This liner is tucked in behind the taillight as well, so unscrew the cap on that and pull the headlight backer out, unplug it and set it aside. Keep working your trunk liner until it is completely removed. I had to fold down the back seat to get it out. It might be a bit of a process, but spending the extra few minutes to clear the area will help. This is what your trunk should look like:

That's an aftermarket Sirius module before anyone asks. The TCU is the silver box on top. This thing is a pain to get out. Start by unbolting the (4) 10MM (?) bolts that hold the actual TCU down. The clearances are tight, but be patient.

And this is what your old TCU should look like. Neither of the antenna wires are the BT wire.

The only conceivable way I could do this was to unbolt the TCU bracket as well. It's just too tight to work back there. There are two little bolts on each of the opposite corners, unbolt them so you can pull the whole TCU assembly out.

The reason I suggest this is because there is literally no room to unplug the main wiring harness behind the TCU, and you need to dig around back there to find the BT antenna wire. The main plug locks in with a white clip. I accidentally broke this off, but I believe it rotates to unlock. This gave me the most problems.

Once you have the TCU completely out of there, pull the plug wiring harness out as much as you can. There is virtually no slack. You will see a bulge in the harness wrapped in that same foam as before. Undo this. There will be 3 plugs in there. One is a big blue harness (i believe this is for the ULF version), a black/purple antenna (not sure what that does) and a cream/pink antenna. The CREAM/PINK plug is the BT antenna wire. Pull this out and route it back towards the tail light so you can plug it into the TCU.

Plug in the 3 antenna wires as shown in the pic below. Each end is slightly different so they will only attach to their particular ports.

Now plug the main harness in. Refer to step 3 to pair your phone and do this before you put everything back.

Bolt the TCU back onto the bracket, and then rebolt the bracket onto the car. the final setup should look like this:

Re-assemble your trunk when you're done.


Here is how to pair your phone. This should be easy. Set your phone to Bluetooth "discoverable" or "On". I have a 2G iPhone and it paired in 30 seconds, FYI. Turn your car on, and press the R/T button on the wheel. The display should say "SEARCHING..."

On your phone, BMW should show up in about 10 to 30 seconds, and it will ask you for a PIN. Type in the PIN you wrote down from before, and hit OK. Your display willl now say "LOADING" which means it is downloading your contacts.

Once it is done, your contacts will be available. To bring them up, press the R/T and use the arrow buttons on the wheel to scroll through. Find the name/number you want, hit the talking head, and you will hear the music mute and the phone start ringing.

This should only take you about an hour to do. If you are prewired for Bluetooth and Assist, this is as good as it is going to get for you! 90% of the work is done already. Good luck with your projects and feel free to PM me if you have questions.

| 2011 328i xDrive | Titanium Silver [B]|
Past: | 2004 330xi | Titanium Silver

Last edited by redrum0486; 01-30-2010 at 03:34 PM.
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