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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 06-19-2017, 02:22 PM   #1
Rubik1014
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Dated information...adding Sirius to my 2001 330i

Glad to have a reason to visit this forum, it looks great...

I recently acquired a 2001 330i, which is in the early build run. I'm having a hell of a time finding someone to upgrade the head unit to Sirius.

The dealer said that my build date won't allow for upgrading the head unit to the newer unit, which they would have sold me for $1,600!!

Is this the case? What are my alternatives if I want a clean install on a head unit that will allow for Sirius for sure, and ideally Aux In as well! Cost is not really a concern, but I don't want to blow $1,600 unnecessarily.

I know this has probably been asked and answered based on the searches, but the dealer had issues with the part numbers, as most of the threads were from the late 2000's on this subject that I could find elsewhere.

TIA!

Edited to add:

I haven't followed this car very closely, so unlike other cars I've owned, I'm learning this as I go. The dealer was super unsure about what I was asking about, and I'll admit I'm not super inclined to hammer through hundreds of old threads until I can find the exact detail I need.

If someone could walk through it on a very basic level for me, which I may need to run past the dealer so I can annoy them some more, it would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Rubik1014; 06-19-2017 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:12 PM   #2
Rocket22
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DId you get your answer

I have all the info, and if you are just looking for a replacement head unit I have that too. I sell e46 parts through online and you can replace an e46 radio in 10 minutes and still have time for a beer. 3 screws and that's it.
There are exact specs listed, but you need a 2003 , actually 9.2002 build or newer and software
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:21 PM   #3
Rubik1014
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No I don't have an answer yet. If you'd like to post it all here or send a PM, that's great.
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Old 06-19-2017, 04:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Rubik1014 View Post
No I don't have an answer yet. If you'd like to post it all here or send a PM, that's great.
First, I'm going to assume you don't have the OEM nav system...

It's pretty simple. Install an updated radio-look for a "mode" button on the facia- along with an updated antenna amplifier, and then hook up a BMW Sirius tuner. I have a circa 2004 Business CD player which I can sell you if you have trouble finding a suitable player.

Here's a DIY done by the well-respected Delmarco:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=396343

Last edited by HOODY007; 06-19-2017 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:46 PM   #5
Rubik1014
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I expected it to be that simple. Can someone explain why the dealer's guy "who really knows E46's" told me the wiring doesn't allow for it, and the parts alone would be $1,600? I'm trying to get help understanding why they were wrong if that's the case.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:14 PM   #6
Sicily1918
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubik1014 View Post
I expected it to be that simple. Can someone explain why the dealer's guy "who really knows E46's" told me the wiring doesn't allow for it, and the parts alone would be $1,600? I'm trying to get help understanding why they were wrong if that's the case.
A few possibilities:
  1. They're trying to rip you off.
  2. They don't know -- the E46 is just young enough that some E90/F30 stuff was on that car, but a lot else wasn't (e.g., you don't have to reprogram the car for a new battery).
  3. They're hoping $1600 makes you go away.
  4. There really IS some software compatibility between the car and the radio that necessitates more hardware.
Personally, I'd look into a nice Dynavin (or whatever) touch-screen HU and call it a day. Those units have built-in support for everything, work with the steering wheel controls, and actually look like they're OE. Since money's not an object for you, I figure a fully-loaded unit with everything, including center console and stuff, should run you less than $1000, and you get navigation to boot!
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Old 06-20-2017, 10:45 AM   #7
Rubik1014
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Originally Posted by Sicily1918 View Post
A few possibilities:
  1. They're trying to rip you off.
  2. They don't know -- the E46 is just young enough that some E90/F30 stuff was on that car, but a lot else wasn't (e.g., you don't have to reprogram the car for a new battery).
  3. They're hoping $1600 makes you go away.
  4. There really IS some software compatibility between the car and the radio that necessitates more hardware.
Personally, I'd look into a nice Dynavin (or whatever) touch-screen HU and call it a day. Those units have built-in support for everything, work with the steering wheel controls, and actually look like they're OE. Since money's not an object for you, I figure a fully-loaded unit with everything, including center console and stuff, should run you less than $1000, and you get navigation to boot!
I'm trying to understand if there is in fact a rational explanation for why they said "you can't do what you want to do", and if so, how do I convince them they are wrong.

I have no interest in tearing the trunk apart myself to get it done.
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:12 AM   #8
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I have an early 2002 car. All I needed was a new head unit and the Sirius tuner. The only other thing you may need is the updated antenna.
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Old 06-20-2017, 12:03 PM   #9
Rubik1014
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I have an early 2002 car. All I needed was a new head unit and the Sirius tuner. The only other thing you may need is the updated antenna.
How much did the head unit cost? I'm wondering what the $1,600 dealer part is in the real world.
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Old 06-20-2017, 12:13 PM   #10
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How much did the head unit cost? I'm wondering what the $1,600 dealer part is in the real world.
Brand new probably around $1600, on eBay around $100-150 used for a good one. Search CD53 and the production date needs to be Sept. 2002 or newer.
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Old 06-20-2017, 12:32 PM   #11
Rubik1014
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Brand new probably around $1600, on eBay around $100-150 used for a good one. Search CD53 and the production date needs to be Sept. 2002 or newer.

Thanks. Now I feel like I'm getting somewhere.

And how do I buy the Sirius kit to go with it?

Thanks again.
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Old 06-20-2017, 01:25 PM   #12
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I'm not sure about the head unit, but if you can get one to support an AUX port and then hookup Bluetooth for your smartphone you can get the Sirius app on your phone and avoid all of the other hardware issues. You can also bargain with Sirius about the price. Just say "no" to their first few offers and they'll come down. If not, call and get a different rep and you'll find one that will play ball for a price that you're willing to pay.
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:47 PM   #13
Rubik1014
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I'm not sure about the head unit, but if you can get one to support an AUX port and then hookup Bluetooth for your smartphone you can get the Sirius app on your phone and avoid all of the other hardware issues. You can also bargain with Sirius about the price. Just say "no" to their first few offers and they'll come down. If not, call and get a different rep and you'll find one that will play ball for a price that you're willing to pay.
I know what you mean, but that interface is terrible. I want it on the head unit straight up.
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:27 AM   #14
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Because unless BMW says "Yes! Retrofit possible" explicitly somewhere, the dealership won't touch it.
It wasn't available until the new heads came out that suppsrted it.
Wrong, obviously your 2001 car can't possibly be Retrofit since it requires the correct head, which involves different wiring somewhere ( antenna amp ) that they have no idea about.
Dealerships are mostly diagnostic computer readouts and parts swapping.

Btw, this is a damn good thread.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37661
Make sure you buy a nice terk antenna and splitter, the module, amd if you are retaining the Changer, the adapter cable. Might as well install aux adapter cable too, lol.

My only question is... why?
Now with cell phones and music streaming, there really is almost no use for Sirius.
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Old 06-24-2017, 07:43 AM   #15
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OP...you can use an FM antenna adapter to connect a SiriusXM reciever unit directly to the antenna "port" on the back of your existing head unit. You tune the head unit to 89.5 and it recieves the satellite signal directly. No intereference whatsoever.

That's what I did in my 2000 323i and the reception is crystal clear. I also added a little splitter so I can still use the factory antenna to tune AM/FM stations if I so choose. I seldom do that...only when there is a football game or whatever on an AM station that I can't get on my XM subscription.

Here are the bits and pieces I have:

XM Onyx

FM Adapter

Splitter

All the cabling tucks away nicely behind the head unit and or under that dash. A little added nicety is that Onyx lets you change the color of the display. The orange/red matches the BMW dashboard lighting exactly.
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