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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 09-21-2006, 12:55 PM   #1
AndrewB
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AUX in for pre 09/02 Business CD units

Now don't kill me - this is my first post. And I know this topic has come up a lot.


But I want to nail it. Once and for all. And then I'll shut up.

What I want is to hook up an aux in for my various ipoddy type things.
Don't want full integration or any fancy stuff.
...and yes, I know the Dice unit has both options and is very good. And of course that will be my fallback should all else fail.

I've spent many hours searching all around this excellent forum and wider on the web plus conversations with BMW in the UK about this.

I've got a business cd head unit on a late UK spec 2001 330Ci which has:
1. The mode button
2. The frontloading CD player
3. The rear connector that looks like this
4. One factory lead connected to the bottom left rear socket (as you look at the rear of the HU (don't know what this does - has no effect when I take it out)
5. No multichanger in the trunk/boot (although haven't checked to see if the multichanger wiring is there behind the carpet)

BMW Stock aux lead doesn't work
When I hook up the bmw stock aux lead (3.5mm stereo jack socket-to-10 pin grey connector) to the remaining socket on the back of the HU I get the usual problem of AUX not appearing when I press mode. It never has.
Now, of course, we all know this is because this lead only works with post 09/02 HUs


So - to my questions to nail this once and for all:
Could any of you fine people confirm the following:

1. The fact that this stock lead doesn't work ...Is it a head unit software issue or a hardware issue, i.e. the wiring just isn't in place inside the HU
- If hardware then fair enough, I'm not going to open up the head unit.
- If software, can it be upgraded?

2. If a hardware issue - is it a case of NONE of the pins on that spare connector being enabled, or just a different configuration - i.e. could swapping pins on the grey connector from the stock aux lead work?

3. If a hardware issue - what is that spare port for?

4. The connector and lead I mention in (4.) above - is this the factory cabling 'ready installed' for a rear multichanger?
- If so, then there MUST be a line-in from the rear changer, right?
- So... it then follows that if I swap some pins around from the BMW stock aux lead according to the pin out diagram to be line in (L,R,GND) It'll be effectively become an line-in for aux.

Sorry to go on - but it really bugs me when I can't make stuff work. I'm sure you understand.

Love to hear your thoughts.

Last edited by AndrewB; 09-21-2006 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:02 PM   #2
lph65724
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If you upgrade your radio unit to a 2005+ by a adapter, then you will be able to connect the AUX to your new 2005+ unit. -2004 radio units have round head connectors, and 2005+ have flat head connecotrs (could be other way around). BMW has the adapter that can let you upgrade your radio unit. This is the only way I know, and it's going to be expensive, but there may be other methods you can do it.
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Old 09-21-2006, 09:56 PM   #3
NolbobBMW
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Today my buddy Alec and I went to the Dealership to try and get a piece to take out little clips or something in his radio. We had this same problem. He bought the new buisness radio by alpine and put it in his 99 325i and it sounds a lot better than his old one. We went to the dealership to borrow the tool that would get these little clips out in one of the wire connectors, but they wouldn't let us borrow the tool, so one of the techs said that he was getting off in a couple minutes and he would take a look at it after he was done for 40 bucks, instead of 115, or whatever the dealership was gonna charge him. He took Alecs car back and looked at it and tried to hook up the Ipod adapter as best he could, but when he played the Ipod all that came up was static. The radio acknowledged the i pod was playing and the ipod showed it was plugged into the radio, but there was only static. So it ended up not working and it was a waste of an hour and 40 bucks. But i'd talk to Alec if you have any question cause he talked more to the Tech than i did, and the tech gave him other ideas on how to play the ipod on his deck, but maintain the stock look. Talk to hi its me alec
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Old 09-26-2006, 04:43 AM   #4
AndrewB
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Thanks chaps. I'll follow up on the advice.
A
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Old 10-02-2006, 02:31 AM   #5
tom @ eas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lph65724 View Post
If you upgrade your radio unit to a 2005+ by a adapter, then you will be able to connect the AUX to your new 2005+ unit. -2004 radio units have round head connectors, and 2005+ have flat head connecotrs (could be other way around). BMW has the adapter that can let you upgrade your radio unit. This is the only way I know, and it's going to be expensive, but there may be other methods you can do it.
All e46 radio use the R17 (round pins) design. All other vehicles use the flat pins. There are no adapter harnesses needed on a radio swap.
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Old 10-02-2006, 03:10 AM   #6
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I had static too the first time I did it. I made the harness some 2.5 years ago so my memory is a bit rusty.

Methinks I had attempted to build my own Ipod connection cable with some resistors and a capacitor from radioshack from a diagram someone posted on this site. The solution was that I then went ahead and bought one from the stealer and had success.
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Old 10-02-2006, 03:12 AM   #7
tom @ eas
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Originally Posted by Gir View Post
I had static too the first time I did it. I made the harness some 2.5 years ago so my memory is a bit rusty.

Methinks I had attempted to build my own Ipod connection cable with some resistors and a capacitor from radioshack from a diagram someone posted on this site. The solution was that I then went ahead and bought one from the stealer and had success.
Not with a 2001 radio, the radio is simply not compatible. You need a 2003+ radio in order to have AUX compatibility from the HU.
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Old 10-02-2006, 11:57 PM   #8
Gir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom @ eas View Post
Not with a 2001 radio, the radio is simply not compatible. You need a 2003+ radio in order to have AUX compatibility from the HU.
You're assuming I have a 2001 radio, I do not. I picked up a 2003 H/U and sold my old 2001 and actually made a profit. Albeit ~$15.
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Old 10-03-2006, 12:01 AM   #9
tom @ eas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gir View Post
You're assuming I have a 2001 radio, I do not. I picked up a 2003 H/U and sold my old 2001 and actually made a profit. Albeit ~$15.
I missed that in the post - Good work!
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Old 10-03-2006, 02:49 PM   #10
M_Thrizzle
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Have you looked at this? http://www.usaspec.com/ipod.html
I have their unit that has 2 RCA AUX inputs and it was only about $60. Build quality is solid and the housing is aluminum.
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