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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:50 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Wisbech
Posts: 5
My Ride: BMW 320d Touring
DIY: AUX cable replacing CD Changer (Tape Deck Headunit) + Routing cable

Greetings all!


After purchasing E46 320d with tape deck I was looking into a way of playing my music from the phone, without having to sacrifice the aesthetics of the carís interior.
I prefer the stock look and would not go for an aftermarket headunit.
Purchasing Alpine headunit that supports AUX was not an option so after a bit of research and help from other guides I figured out a way to make AUX input within the tape deck headunit and will describe it in this guide with plenty of images (did not find many in depth guides so though it might help someone).

Before going further please bear in mind that such method will require you to have a CD Changer in the boot and therefore the AUX input will replace the CD Changer.

Also, I do not take any responsibility if you break or damage anything within your car by following my guide as itís only an opinion based guide. All work carried out will be at your own risk.

First of all, I needed to make the cable to plug into the back of the headunit and with AUX socket on the other end.

1) Found such socket in Maplin (UK) electronic store:

2) Sourced an old cable which had two RCA connections on one end and an AUX connection on the other end. Both ends were cut to use as our cable:

3) For connections to the headunit Iíve found some old PC connectors that attach to the motherboard, they perfectly fit onto the pins of the headunit:

4) Clean of the black surround of the wire and split the wires, there we find RED and WHITE wire, both have shielding around them:

5) Before soldering the wires onto the socket Iíve put the heat shrink onto the wires:

6) Insert the wires through the round part and into the holes, wrapping them around. Also attach both shielding wires to the round part itself, make sure none of the wires touch each other (for example the red wire doesnít interact with the white wire). This was a big pain in the *ss due to the size of the socket!

7) Attached the first heat shrink wrap and applied heat, which firmly held all wires in place (image made before shrinking):

8) Then a bigger wrap on top to hold everything in place more secure:

9) The other end of the wire is simply soldered to double connector, for ease of remembering the WHITE connector wire was soldered to WHITE AUX wire. Both were heat shrink wrapped also.

10) The green connector wire was soldered to the shielding wire and everything was heat shrink wrapped for better protection:

Our DIY AUX socket is ready to be used. Now we need to wire it into the car. I did not want it to be somewhere on display all the time and in my tray on the centre console Iíve found round plastic attachment, which wasnít used for anything and therefore Iíve decided to use it as an AUX socket holder.

I have totally forgot to take photos of altering the attachment for my AUX socket but all I did is drilled a hole for AUX port to stick out of and filled it with hot glue to hold in place. Not ideal but it did the job.

Routing the cable
1) First of all squeeze the gaiter on both sides and pull it up. Unscrew two bolts as seen on the image:

2) Take out the rear ashtray insert:

3) Under the ashtray insert are two bolts which you unscrew:

4) After taking out the two bolts take out another insert and you come across another two bolts:

5) After unscrewing two bolts the panel comes off:

6) I was now able to lift the centre console up, attach my ďAUX attachmentĒ and route the wires under the console:

7) In order to hide the wires Iíve routed it under console and into the shifter compartment like so:

8) After, unscrew the two bolts that hold the ashtray:

9) Open the top tray and simply pull it out, there are no bolts holding it:

10) You will be revealed to another two bolts that hold the ashtray assembly, unscrew them also:

11) Now you can pull the tray to the side and route the cable under:

12) Now we onto taking out the headunit and first off, pierce off the trim (only one side is enough):

13) Pull the centre trim on the right also:

14) Holding the headunit are the two bolts on the sides of it, unscrew them and pull out the headunit:

15) Behind the headunit is a CD Changer connector, mine is already disconnected as I had previously connected different AUX cable:

16) Now that the headunit is out you can route the cable from the bottom to the headunit compartment:

17) After disconnecting the main plug from the headunit, route your cable through the connector where the CD Changer connector meant to be, to make your life easier:

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the wires plugged in.
Have a look at your original CD Changer connector and which pins the wires go to and plug as follows:
Double AUX wire connector plugs where WHITE/RED and WHITE/GREEN wires go.
GREEN AUX wire connector plugs where WHITE/BROWN wire goes.

Connect your main headunit plug back, switch it to CD Changer mode, plug in your AUX and test the sound. If the sound is not playing correctly, unplug the double aux connector, twist it (reverse) and plug it back in for a test.
If everything is working fine (it should, mine works perfect) then attach everything back in reverse order and enjoy your AUX socket.

The headunit thinks that CD Changer is playing as there is another plug powering the CD Changer but the cable that Iíve attached is the SOUND from CD Changer, therefore it thinks that our AUX is the sound from CD Changer.

My finished product:

Apologise for dirty parts, thank you for reading and I am happy to answer any questions.

P.S: With AUX socket it is possible to purchase AUX Bluetooth dongle, plug it in and have no wires showing at all. My next project will be making USB sockets within the tray area to either charge the phone when needed or to power the Bluetooth socket if I will end up using one.
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