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E46 Convertible
The E46 vert forum. Talk about dropping your E46 top here.

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Old 04-19-2011, 12:21 AM   #1
zracat
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Isimple ISBM72 ipod adapter install

I final decided to install a ipod adapter in my 2 vert's. Did one last week and liked it so well. I installed one in the wife's car today. After much looking around and not wanting to spend a lot of money, I decided on the Isimple. It sounds great and was a pretty easy install. I took some pictures of the install. It took about 2 hours to do the first one(last week) and about 90 minutes to do the one today. I ran mine to the center console and drilled a hole in the small tray in front of the coin holder and just left the cord hang out from there. I put the Ipod either in the cup holder or sitting on the front of the front ash tray.

First thing remove the floor in the trunk.
Next remove the two plastic pins holding the flat tray in on the driver side of the trunk. Using two flat screw drivers.
Under the tray you will find the wiring harness wrapped up.
Plug in the Isimple to it and hook up your ipod and make sure everything works before running the wire all the way up front. You use the mode button on the radio to switch to CD. It might take a minute or so for the ipod to start playing. Check and make sure the steering wheel buttons change the ipod and the volume works.
If everything works unplug the 20' cord and the ipod. So you can now run the wire up to the front of the car.
Next you will need to remove the cover over the battery and that carpet on the passenger side of the trunk. Remember to unhook the green plug hooked to the gas door.
After removing the carpet you should see the red battery cable run to the front of the car, that is the the same spot I ran the cable.

Next is removing the rear seat. Start by removing the rear cover over the ski bag. It just pulls right out .
Then remove the flap attached to the ski bag. It just is pushed on over a metal rod. It pulls right off. Now lift the bottom of the rear seat out.
Next remove the two silver nut holding the back of the seat.
What I did next was fish a piece of wire from the trunk to the passenger side of the rear seat. I used a wire flag with a slight downward curve on it. It should come out by the seat belt latch. Took me a little while to find it the first time. We'll come back to the wire shortly.

Next you need to remove the rear ash try in the center console and two screws under that.
Remove that and unhook the light.
Next remove two more screws and lift out the back of the center console. You should be able to lift up the back of the center console about 6 inches between the arm rest, that should be all the room you need.
Next remove the cup holders.
What I did next was drill a 21/32 hole in the small tub in front of the coin holder, started with a smaller drill first.
Then I used another wire flag and fished it from there back under the carpet and came out by where the seat is.
Now I took the 20' cord that come with the Isimple and feed it from front to back. Thur the hole I drilled using black tape to tape it to the wire flag, pulling it under the carpet up by the rear seat and then pulling the carpet back and following wire to the passenger side of the rear seat where the other wire flag is that we fished early.
There I used black tape again and connected the cable to the wire going to the trunk.
Pulled the wire to the trunk and then just tucked the wire under the trunk carpet to the drivers side and back over to where the Isimple is pugged in from earlier. I wrapped my Isimple in Bubble wrap and tucked it under the side carpet on the drivers side.
Put everything back and enjoy the Ipod.
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Last edited by zracat; 04-19-2011 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:54 PM   #2
DMART21
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Definitely be using this when i get mine, thanks man
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:01 PM   #3
nvoges
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I did the same thing last week. Nice write-up. FTR, I really like the Isimple
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:18 PM   #4
sromero287
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Best and cheap option EVER!!!!!!!!! sound just Perfect.
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:16 AM   #5
ChrisDough
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+1 thanks man.
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:46 AM   #6
sankofa
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Just picked up one of these myself. Time taken from beginning to end was about 90 minutes with the toughest part of the process being trying to re-align the hooks of the seat backs in my cabrio. Beyond that, everything was exceptionally simple once I confirmed that there was no "support structure" behind the side wall carpet in the trunk that I might ruin if I just yanked it out.

Disconnected the changer and plugged it into the iSimple. Ran the cable up to the front, tucking it into the molding along the way and feeding it up to the sunglasses/accessories cubbie. The only mod required was pulling out my Dremmel to make one of the holes in that holder a little longer to fit the connector through.

Easily the best $100 I've spent in a LONG time
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:11 PM   #7
MarcusDubya77
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Just picked mine up, and have to do my install.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:51 PM   #8
MarcusDubya77
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subscribed for weekend project.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:59 PM   #9
srbija 328i
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Does this work for early e46 that don't have a MODE button on the radio?
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:08 AM   #10
MotoChip
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Yes, it functions in place of the CD changer pre-wire harness in trunk. It will operate by the CD button on the radio for older and newer CD53 radios. It will disable the CD function but will make the CD button a 'iPod' button instead.
I know this thread is old...but always useful to add comments to clarify/improve for the next person researching. I just researched the topic to find a suggestion on how to route the cable.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:29 PM   #11
JoeRoundel
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Great writeup! I used this most of the way. I would like to add that you can take a few extra steps and have the cable route through the sunglasses carrier above the ashtray while the cable runs under the center console with a few extra steps:

1. Pull the rubber boot around the shifter up to reveal two screws. Remove those screws and pull the shifter/window button trim back and free.
2. Pull the ashtray and sunglasses holder from the bracket (just pull them, they will come out)... shift knob needs to be in neutral position for clearance.
3. Remove the 4 screws holding the ashtray/sunglasses holder bracket (two on the top two on the bottom).
4. You should now have the clearance you need to sneak the cable through the center console, under the shift trim, and back up through behind the bracket that holds the ashtray/sunglasses holder. A bent hanger with a loop in it will be your friend when routing the cable behind these tight spaces.
5. The cable should now be hanging out of the area where the sunglasses holder goes. Now just drill out an opening in the back of the holder, pull the cable through and slide it back in. You now have a nice spot to store the cable out of sight when not in use (and I still had room for my sunglasses).

Cheers, and thanks again for the original writeup.
Joe
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:26 PM   #12
hisport
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Just wanted to thank OP for suggestion

I just installed the interface in my 01 m3 vert, and it works great. Fidelity far better than aux input

I routed the cable around Lh side of rear seat (following OE harness), then through ebrake chase and up into rear console cubby (left the ashtray out)

If you pull the armrest stand, there is sufficient room to route the plug/cable through

Suggest wrapping both cable ends (i used corner of a baggie plus tape) before fishing it through things (protect the connectors)
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:34 AM   #13
werdstrave
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Hey guys. I just bought a 2001 with this isimple harnessed into the trunk in place of the CD changer. Everything seems to be connected properly however when I plug an iphone 4 in and switch the mode to CD, nothing happens. The mode itself won't even change. I've double checked the sitches on the isimple unit and made sure they are all in the right position and allowed the ipod to play for a bit. Still nothing. It seems like my factory stereo isn't even recognizing it's there. Is the factory unit suppose to say "CD" when you switch modes? It just doesn't switch over from radio when I press the button. Any help would be appreciated. Maybe my isimple is broken?

Drew
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:10 PM   #14
hisport
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Drew - I was ready to call isimple but kept turning my headunit and ipod (nano gen 4?) on and off (waiting for a few minutes of "play" inbetween) until they were finally was able to "handshake".

A couple of quick things to check:

- Update your (Iphone, Ipod) software via apple website

- Check your interface dip switches (per isimple instruction sheet)

- The head unit needs to be switched to cd changer mode (see radio manual); on my OE "Business Radio", mode switch toggles through CD changer, AM, FM, Aux, CD, and repeat

- If no luck pop head unit and make sure cd changer harness is plugged in. See the wiring sticky at top of ice forum page to identify your specific head unit plugs. Note that there are TWO BMW plugs going into the isimple interface box

The next troubleshooting step would be to read pin voltages at BMW plugs with a VOM, But try the simple things (as listed above) first

My setup now seems to work fine; very much like a cd changer. Comes straight on with no delay. Functionally, it is far better than an aux input connection, but not very sophisticated otherwise
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:41 PM   #15
JoeRoundel
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Drew- I had the same thing happen at first. What worked for me was to leave the iPod unplugged, turn on the key wait a few seconds, plug the iPod in, and play the music. This seemed to complete the "handshake" that hisport is talking about. After I did that once I have simply plugged my iPhone (5) in whenever I get in and I'm good to go. Try that a few times and see if it works.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:59 AM   #16
werdstrave
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Thanks Joe. What you said to do worked but here's the catch. I tested your method with my old iphone 3GS (30 pin connection) and it worked. I went out and bought a legit apple made 30 pin to lightening connection for my iphone 5 so I could use that in the car. No such luck. When plugged in, I get an error on the iphone 5 that says "this device is not supported" or something like that. Did you have this problem with your iphone 5? Has anyone got an iphone 5 to work with an adapter for the ISBM72 isimple? I can't get it to work even though I called isimple and they said it should work fine with an adapter. Stuck again.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:21 PM   #17
JoeRoundel
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Hey Drew, glad we made some progress. I also use the Apple made 30pin to lightning connector and it works great. Not too sure why it isn't synching up for you. I do remember that I used both of my phones to get mine going at first. I hooked up my iPhone 4 (30 pin) and got it playing, then I removed the phone, attached the adapter, and plugged in my iPhone 5. Try some different combinations of that. It is not just about having everything hooked up with these things, it seems the order in which you connect them also matters. Good luck.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:27 PM   #18
werdstrave
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I will try different combinations of turn on/plug in. You never got the error message on the iphone 5 itself "device not supported"?
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:51 PM   #19
JoeRoundel
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Drew - Yes, I did get the same message. Its been a month or so since I set it up, but I know I had to try a few different combinations of key off/on/plugging cables in to get it going at first. After that it has been no problem.
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:29 PM   #20
werdstrave
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Ok Joe I tried your method however I still get the same message. To my surprise I even get the message when I plug the adapter into the back of the iphone 5 while it is not hooked up to the isimple 30pin aka the adapter is not recognized at all by my phone. This was bought directly from the apple store. Do you have the one that has ~6 inches of wire between the lighting and 30 pin? That's the one I have and my phone seems to not like it. Kind of pissed and going to have to waist more time and go back down to apple to have them give me one that works. Let me know which one you have as I know there are a few different kinds that apple carries. A link might help. Thanks bud.
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