E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > BAVSOUND Mobile Electronics Forum

BAVSOUND Mobile Electronics Forum
Have all your A/V and electronics questions answered here. Ipods, A/V, Radar Detectors Oh My!
Sponsored by BAVSOUND

Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 45 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
Old 08-07-2006, 02:19 AM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Palm Desert
Posts: 32
My Ride: 2003 M3 SMG Topaz
Idiots guide to Double Din Install.

ok guys - so I finally did it, I put a double din in the E46. I know many have done it before but I wold like to think this is a complete novices guide to installing a double din.

Ok first the parts list.

1. Eclipse AVN5500 - $1308.00 shipped from EBAY ( reputable seller )
2. SIR ECL1 - (sirius adapter) $99.99 - Circuit City
3. wiring harness - Metra- #70 - 8590 -$20.00 - Best Buy - not pictured ( do not purchase the 70-9003 even tho the website say it is the right one - Its NOT )
4. Bezel+Dynomat -$259.00 shipped Mybimmer.net
5. PAC SWI X - $50.00 I did not install this yet because I ordered a PAC SWI ECL - which is made for the eclipse head unit
6. BMW climate control relocation -$50.00 Palm Springs BMW - Part# 51-16-7-001-408 - PS BMW = Worse sales team ever. Nice service people tho

PLEASE READ! I will say that this is not for everyone. Also I am not saying that I know what I'm doing or suggest this is the right way of going about it. Iam doing this because I am a complete

novice at car electronics. I think this will help those who want to do it but are to scared, also this will hopefully simplify things for alot of people. Consider this" The idiots guide to installing

Double Din in a M3".

Well first thing I did was buy the Metra Harness 1st I bought the 70-9003 Harness -TOTALLY WRONG - Metra says that my car requires the 70-9003 harness but that is incorrect and this was

the biggest downfall of my install. I spent the night before the install sodering the harness to the Eclipse harness. I figured this would help. ( boy was I wrong ).

The next day I stated by first seting out my tools and what I thought I might need.

First I disconnected my battery -

pretty simple located on the rear passenger side. lift up panel and disconnect the cables.

next I remove the trim using a trim removal tool I bought at AutoZone for 5 bucks.

Starting from right to left I slowly lift from underneath until the trim is slightly popped out, when I reach the opposite end I pull slowly, then it just pulls off. pretty easy.

I do the same with the trim piece over the Business CD. - these trim pieces will not break as easily as it feels.

next i unscrewed the Stereo - and upper AC vents - then removed them both also remove the climate control underneath the business CD. remove the elctrical accordingly

should look something like this

Next I remove the sunglass holder and center console / SMG Dome etc

To remove this area first you need to pull straight up on the SMG shift nob, be snug with it, it will pop off. then pry the dome off from the backside it has a little space to pop the tool in.

then remove the electrical accordingly. and unscrew the 2 screws on the SMG base. and pop that off. going to speed up because this is all fairly simple - just remove all the screws and replace

the options buttons in to the new part - BMW Part# 51-16-7-001-408 - also place the climate control as well.

This is all very straight forward -

One thing to note: the original ash tray set up has a light in it and a plug for it. the new center unit will not have a light or plug. I just tucked it behind the panel.

with light

without light (new unit)

I did not reasemble this area into the care unitl I was done. - It's easier to do this with the SMG area taken apart.


For cutting you can see here basically the same thing I did


Except I made mine of Sheet metal and dynomatted it to death - to seal air in - also the arm that controls the vents to the drivers feet ( basically opens and closes a little flap) can be removed or modified - this is a choice YOU have to make - yes i still want those controls and will spend time modifying the arm to do so or you can leave it open or close -

thats it - no magic - it's not too confusing and it's not difficult. - just make up your mind and do it. also I used a dremel to cut the vents and I removed the front panel so I could make a cleaner cut like this -


this pic was before i cleaned it up and added the sheet metal - i forgot to take pics of it with the sheet metal in there but basically it looks like everyone else with dynomat everywhere.

the wire harness was basic if you do it in advance - the problem I ran into was having to do the wiring twice because METRA doesn't have thier info right. Make sure you get the correct one -


this will make this so easy for you and complete plug and play - only hardwiring will be.... well none I can think of.

This is also a good way to mount the radio - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=359575
I did mine with a complete 4 " wide sheet metal band and around the unit and some plastic modifications. No pics sorry. I was in the moment -

The most dificult part about it was making room for all the harness wires everywhere - there are a lot!! - I found it easiest to run them along the top of the unit

by pulling the wires up from behind while i push the head unit in. kinda a pain but eventually you'll figure it out.

as for mounting the gps and siruis antennas I used this as my guide -


- for the most part it's pretty easy even for a guy with no car stereo electronic experience.

not that difficult at all. As for the unit - the AVN5500 is awsome -

Pros -

Plays DVD's ( yes while driving also )
Nav ( Yes While driving also )
Sirius ( awesome - nice not having wires all over the place and the info on the screen - )
Radio - sounds great but who cares.
Play MP3s
CD audio is great -

Cons - NONE i can think of.

worth it - BEST MOD EVER!!! THE NAV at night lights up in black!! SUPER DOPE!!!

would I do it all over again? YES

the reason I was able to do this is because of all the support from others before me - here are great links for those who don't have time to search -


these were the most useful for me.

THanks to Rich with Mybimmer.net - amazing craftsmanship and shipped it quickly for no extra cost, new how bad I needed the bezel. Also
thanks to S4play - his shop knows all.




Last edited by vic32amg; 08-07-2006 at 02:33 AM.
vic32amg is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:31 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2016 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use