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Old 02-25-2011, 03:07 PM   #1
delmarco
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Cool Pictorial Guide to buying BMW Business CD53 Alpine Radios that play MP3 Data CDs!

Production Date of a BMW Business CD53 Radio unit is the worst indicator to go by when looking for a unit that has integrated AUX IN or MP3 CD playback capabilities.

DO NOT buy a radio for Aux In or MP3 CD playback based on the car's production date or radio's production date alone.

You will NEED to acquire the Part Number of that CD53 Radio to properly assess what that unit is capable of.

Based on the fact that BMW started production of CD53 Aux In Radio in the late summer of 2003, the general consensus is that E46 cars made after mid year 2003 should have Aux In capable CD53 Radios but this is proven time and time again to not be the case. Some folks with late 2003 and even early 2004 production year cars usually discover that their car's CD53 Radios DO NOT have a working Aux Input capability.


Many of us own these cars as second and third hand cars so there is no telling what the previous owners removed and installed from the cars.

Also CD53 Radios that failed would have been replaced under warranty and that car could have received other CD53 Radio units with later or earlier production dates and P/Ns. This is the case with many 2004 and 2005 CD53 radios that had MP3 CD playback.

So if you have a Production Year 2003 BMW E46 or are buying a radio or car from the 2003 and 2004 Production Year stock there is absolutely NO guarantee that that car currently has a CD53 radio with the Aux In feature.


Below I have compiled a list that will help you in deciding what to buy based on your needs.


BMW Business CD53 Units manufactured and dispatched for the USA E46 cars from 1998 to 2007 with their respective Part Number, Production Period, and what each unit is capable of :

1998 to 2001 E46 3 Series vehicles

Blaupunkt, Part Number 6512-6 909 883 iPod Data Capable
Blaupunkt, Part Number 6512-6 909 882 iPod Data Capable
Blaupunkt, Part Number 6512-6 902 661 iPod Data Capable

NOTE: iPod Data Capable is ONLY if the car is Prewired in the trunk for the CD Changer - You can also add Aux Input ONLY thru an iPod Data Kit like the USA Spec PA12 or the DICE iPod kits


2001 to 2007 E46 3 Series vehicles including the E46 M3


Alpine, Model CD53, Part Number 65. 12-6 916 241 (July 2001) iPod Data Capable
Alpine, Model CD53, Part Number 65. 12-6 915 711 (Sep 2001) Ipod Data Capable

Alpine, Model CD53, Part Number 65. 12-6 919 072 (Dec 2001-Jun 2002)iPod Data, Sirius Capable
Alpine, Model CD53, Part Number 65. 12-6 921 963 (July 2002-Jan 2003)iPod Data, Sirius Capable

Alpine, Model CD53, Part Number 65. 12-6 927 902 (Feb 2003-Aug 2003)iPod Data, Aux and Sirius Capable
Alpine, Model CD53, Part Number 65. 10-6 927 903 (RMFD thru Dec 2006) iPod Data, Aux and Sirius Capable
Alpine, Model CD53, Part Number 65. 12-6 941 505 (Jan 2004 - Sept 2004) iPod Data, Aux and Sirius Capable
Alpine, Model CD53, Part Number 65. 12-6 941 506 (RMFD thru Dec 2007) iPod Data, Aux and Sirius Capable

Alpine, Model CD53, Part Number 65. 12-6 943 429 (Oct 2004 -Sept 2005) iPod Data, Aux, Sirius and MP3 Capable
Alpine, Model CD53, Part Number 65. 12-6 943 430 (RMFD thru 2008) iPod Data, Aux, Sirius and MP3 Capable
Alpine, Model CD53, Part Number 65. 12-6 961 215 (Dec 2005-May 2006) iPod Data, Aux, Sirius and MP3 Capable

NOTE: RMFD = Re-manufactured/Refurbished.
If you find any BMW Business CD53 Radio Unit with a production year date sticker on it that is later than these production dates corresponding to each part number unit (IE. a year date that is 05, 06, 07, 08) it is most certain that those units are re-manufactured/refurbished (RFMD) under warranty and re-labeled to reflect the date of re-manufacture. This is especially true for the factory recalled MP3-capable BMW Part Number 65. 12-6 943 429 unit which is always re-labeled to become BMW Part Number 65. 12-6 943 430 after refurbishment.



From that information we see that only three possible BMW Business CD53 Radio Parts Number for the E46 cars has MP3 playback (along with Sirius Integration and Aux-In Data function)

Part Number: 65.12-6 943 429 and it's Re-manufactured/Refurbished counterpart CD53 units with Part Number 65.12-6 943 430. The BMW Part Number: 65.12-6 943 429 CD53s were plagued with problems and there was a factory recall of these units at one point of their hectic production lifespan hence why you come across many BMW Part Number: 65.12-6 943 430 CD53s on eBay today. These 430 units are Re-manufactured/Refurbished versions of the original Part Number: 65.12-6 943 429 Business CD53 Radios even though the sellers of these units either don't know this or won't mention that to you if they do.

AND


Part Number: 65.12-6 961 215 will also give your car MP3 playback ability. These were superior post stock original production units that were made on the last production E46 coupes, convertibles and M3 cars from late 2005 until late 2006/ 2007. If you come across one of these on eBay for under $300 then immediately buy it! These will give you the full capacity and digital function of all the previous CD53 Radios including MP3 playback and it lacks the refurbished and buggy history that the Part Number: 65.12-6 943 429 units come with.


The way the parts number work is that when a said unit gets re-manufactured or refurbished BMW changed the parts number by one up from the original number so say if my parts number unit 65-12-6-943-429 got sent back to the dealership and got refurbished. BMW would restock the same said unit after refurbishment with a parts number of 65-12-6-943-430.

The parts number last three digits increases by 1. So 429 becomes 430 or a P/N 65. 12-6 941 505 radio would now become P/N 65. 12-6 941 506 after refurbishment.

Which is why when you browse REALOEM you will see a lot of strange new P/N come up and some common P/N are not there for the Alpine Business CD53 Radios.

It is possible to find a refurbished P/N with a really late production date like say Dec 2007 or May 2008. Because of this the Production Date of the later years CD53 will tell you little information on what that CD53 unit is capable of. You will need the Parts Number to find out the true identity of that CD53 unit.

NOTE:
They are lots of sellers that try to bump up the price of their Re-manufactured/Re-furbished Part Number: 65.12-6 943 430 units because they will tell you it has a late production date like NOV 05 or something like JAN 07 and the quality or newness is better.

This is to rope you into buying a refurbished unit for more money than those units are actually worth relative to the original Part Number: 65.12-6 943 429 units (which can come with bugs and can be pretty much something you may want to avoid).

I would try to seek out a Part Number: 65.12-6 961 215 unit where ever you decide to buy your unit from.

Even if it a BMW Dealership make sure you ask for the Part Number: 65.12-6 961 215 unit since they may charge you the same price as a 65.12-6 943 430 unit of over $1,000 for it.




Here are some pictures of the Alpine Business CD53 Part Number: 65.12-6 961 215 Radio and the label location where the P/N and Production Date are;





Here is another pristine unit made in May 2006:








In these pictures below you will see how this slick eBay seller tries to peel away the Remanufactured Parts# sticker to reveal the original Parts# beneath so that he can bump up the price. He is selling his units for $309 and $319 based on the prod dates of NOV 04 and FEB 05 respectively claiming the later build date deserves the price increase when both of these units are most likely refurbished versions of their bug ridden/factory recalled Part Number: 65.12-6 943 429 original units. Not all 429 units went bad. Those that did, went bad early on and already got refurbished to factory new and replaced as 430 units. So buying a 429 unit today will be perfectly okay.





A general rule of thumb for visually inspecting if the unit has MP3 digital capabilities is that the Business CD53 Radio that play MP3 files usually has the black trim along the same side as the pin17 connector-input that is in the back.





And it should ALWAYS be an Alpine-made unit that has the MODE button in the place of the older Blaupunkt CD button under the AM/FM buttons.

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Last edited by delmarco; 02-28-2011 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:44 AM   #2
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clarification

We only recently bought a 99 328i and so I am new to the car (and to a BMW); the car has a Business CD deck with CD player; I'm trying to determine if we can integrate an ipod connection into this unit; do I need to remove the unit and get the info from the label and then refer to your info? Or do you already know if it's ipod capatible?
Thank you.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesg View Post
We only recently bought a 99 328i and so I am new to the car (and to a BMW); the car has a Business CD deck with CD player; I'm trying to determine if we can integrate an ipod connection into this unit; do I need to remove the unit and get the info from the label and then refer to your info? Or do you already know if it's ipod capatible?
Thank you.
James Gallman
Greenville, SC
Hi James,
All units are iPod Data capable if you are using an iPod Data kit like a DICE or USA-Spec kit or something similar.

However your BMW MUST be prewired for the CD Changer since the iPod Data kits all use the CD Changer prewiring.
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:28 AM   #4
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Not to try to throw a monkey wrench into things but I have a CD 53 PN 65.12.6.927.902 with a Mfg date of Jan 2004. So I think you can modify your date ranges for your 902s in your list.
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikerob97 View Post
Not to try to throw a monkey wrench into things but I have a CD 53 PN 65.12.6.927.902 with a Mfg date of Jan 2004. So I think you can modify your date ranges for your 902s in your list.
Hey Mike,
You can keep your monkey wrench in your garage for now because I state that there will be anamolies in the production dates due to units getting remanufactured and/or sent out late. So you can find units with an older era parts number and a newer production date.

A while ago I saw a unit on ebay with a 2008 production date. Clearly BMW/Alpine was not making E46 vehicles or E46 CD53 radios out the factory in 2008 so most likely that was a radio that was refurbished and reinstalled under the car's factory warranty in 2008.

Suprisingly the CD53 radios do tend to fail alot in various categories whether CD playback skipping, pixelation issues, power issues.

So don't be surprised if you find a 2004 production date radio with a 2003 era parts number in a 2002 car.
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:20 PM   #6
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I have a 2001 330i, Nov. 2000 built date. Are the newer model units compatible with my car?
A seller on ebay says that the antenna connection is different and I would need one of the Blaupunkt units.

Thanks.
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy_brain View Post
I have a 2001 330i, Nov. 2000 built date. Are the newer model units compatible with my car?
A seller on ebay says that the antenna connection is different and I would need one of the Blaupunkt units.

Thanks.
It can be done.

I made a DIY from when I did it in my car.

See here:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...972&highlight=
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Old 07-02-2011, 02:21 PM   #8
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First, thank you for this thread, its been VERY useful to me on my search for an MP3 capable player.

Just want to point out I found a MP3 capable unit part number 65.12-6 961 214 that isn't in your list. It has a manufacture date of December 2005. I tested it and it does indeed play MP3's, Sirius, the whole 9 yards. Maybe these were made between Sept 2005 and Dec 2005?
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:51 PM   #9
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:09 PM   #10
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delmarco you are the man! Thanks and thanks to you for this information!
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkneeshaw View Post
First, thank you for this thread, its been VERY useful to me on my search for an MP3 capable player.

Just want to point out I found a MP3 capable unit part number 65.12-6 961 214 that isn't in your list. It has a manufacture date of December 2005. I tested it and it does indeed play MP3's, Sirius, the whole 9 yards. Maybe these were made between Sept 2005 and Dec 2005?
I purchased the part number 65.12-6 961 214 prod date of dec 2005 but the aux doesn't work. When I press the mode button, it's only CD and FM radio. Do I need to program or enable something?
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ShonTheBest View Post
I purchased the part number 65.12-6 961 214 prod date of dec 2005 but the aux doesn't work. When I press the mode button, it's only CD and FM radio. Do I need to program or enable something?
Hey I have been research on that part number heavy as well. Good thing I didn't buy it because it seems to me that there is no aux or mp3 for that player.

Source:
http://forum.roadfly.com/threads/129...ybody-did-this

"65.12-6 904 214 No aux input, no Sirius, no MP3 (remanufactured part number)"
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kakashi_sensi View Post
Hey I have been research on that part number heavy as well. Good thing I didn't buy it because it seems to me that there is no aux or mp3 for that player.

Source:
http://forum.roadfly.com/threads/129...ybody-did-this

"65.12-6 904 214 No aux input, no Sirius, no MP3 (remanufactured part number)"
It does play MP3 just no aux. I am not sure if the AUX mode it enables by default or its enabled after you plug in the cable. I did plug in a cable to the data port next to the CD changer. I also have the parrot Bluetooth, don't know if that causes any interference.
Is the aux mode there by default?
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:14 PM   #14
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It does play MP3 just no aux. I am not sure if the AUX mode it enables by default or its enabled after you plug in the cable. I did plug in a cable to the data port next to the CD changer. I also have the parrot Bluetooth, don't know if that causes any interference.
Is the aux mode there by default?
Oh gosh, such poor grammar on my last post. But I am glad you knew what I meant.

Hmmm I am confused. Some say the 214s have MP3 compatability and AUX and some say they dont.

MP3 and AUX:
http://www.e46toronto.ca/forums/show...-Business-CD53

Did you plug in a OEM aux input cable?
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:22 PM   #15
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Oh gosh, such poor grammar on my last post. But I am glad you knew what I meant.

Hmmm I am confused. Some say the 214s have MP3 compatability and AUX and some say they dont.

MP3 and AUX:
http://www.e46toronto.ca/forums/show...-Business-CD53

Did you plug in a OEM aux input cable?
Neah, I bought a cheapo egay cable for 5 bucks. I am confused too, some say it does have aux and technically it should work right since it has an input next to the CD changer port. I don't want to waste more money on the OEM aux cable only to find out it doesn't work.

Can someone please confirm if the AUX mode is activated without the cable or does the cable have to be plugged in?
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:14 PM   #16
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And the MP3 cd does play on the 1214 CD53 radio, that's what I rocking for now
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:39 PM   #17
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UUPDATE. The AUX works on 65.12-6 961 214. It also plays MP3 disc.

Apparently the cable wasnt plugged in right and Second the AUX needs some signal to be triggered. Plug the phone/Ipod/Mp3 player, Play a song and then press the mode button. It will go to AUX and sound continues from car speaker.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:13 PM   #18
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Z3 CD player compatible?

i have a 2001 325i, would a CD player from a 2003 Z3 work?
the part is: 6512 6935625- 01, other labels: BMWRCD105-01
it looks the same as the CD53 for our e46, so i'm just wondering if it would work.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evo8 View Post
i have a 2001 325i, would a CD player from a 2003 Z3 work?
the part is: 6512 6935625- 01, other labels: BMWRCD105-01
it looks the same as the CD53 for our e46, so i'm just wondering if it would work.
It should. Do you have a picture of the connections in back or the front?
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:00 AM   #20
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Delmarco - quick question: I have a 6/2002 manuracture date 330i and just purchased an 4/2007 CD53 Alpine Unit. Will this match-up directly for a quick painless install or will I need to make modifications? Thanks!
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