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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 01-22-2011, 11:58 PM   #1
9deuce9rr
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FINALLY! preface DIY ipod hookup < $15

For those of you, like me, stuck with this bad boy: http://www.bavariansoundwerks.com/im...ize/636_fs.jpg

Here it is. The quick, simple, iPod hookup (assuming you have a disc changer).
Sorry for the terrible (phone) pics and the lack of detailed pictures. I started out taking tons of pictures, but after 4 different attempts of figuring out how to make this work, I was tired of all the useless ones. So here it goes....

Items Needed:

Something to strip wires with (wire stripper,scissors,etc)
exacto knife (makes life easier)
Connectors (preferable male/female in case you mess up)
headphone jack --> RCA converter (can buy at fred meyer/wal mart/anywhere)

RCA cable or headphone extension to extend wire length
heat shrink tubing (optional)


1) Take the RCA end of the headphone converter cable and cut the RCA (red/white) Connectors off, so you just have the wires. strip the black outer rubber from the wires. inside, there will be a bare copper wire and another wire, which also has an insulator. (see picture) Do this for both the red and the white side. Then strip the inner insulation, so you have all 4 of the inner wires with the actual wire exposed.



2) Pull the 6-pin connector from the rear of the CD changer. Use the exacto knife to cut a slice along the jacket of the cable and cut off about 2-3 inches of the jacket, so you have that 2-3 inches of the inner wires exposed and easy to work with. With your scissors/wire strippers, cut the red, white, and gray wires



3) with the cable side of the wires, connect as follows (bmw cable/RCA cable):
-white/white
-gray/yellow
-red/bare (connect both of the bare RCA wires into the same connector)

Use heat shrink tubing if wanted:



4) leave the 3-pin connector plugged into the cd changer. The 6-pin connector can remain unplugged

My final connection shown below. CD changer cable > RCA Cable > RCA to Headphone jack converter cable > iPod
I plan on routing the rca/headphone input along the original wire, then through the back seat, under the carpet, and into the rear ash tray, and connecting an ipod mini.




Hope this helps everyone. $10-$20 for supplies and a couple hours out of your life seems a lot better to me than $150 for a kit.

Feel free to ask any questions if you have any!

Last edited by 9deuce9rr; 01-22-2011 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:36 AM   #2
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thats pretty cool
so how do you access the station to play the ipod or mp3 player on??
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:04 AM   #3
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Nice ... does that give you any access to the mini, via the radio, to choose what you listen to, or does that need to be done manually?
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:11 AM   #4
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:04 AM   #5
DontWriteGraff
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I dont have cd changer. How should i go about doing this?


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Old 01-23-2011, 12:17 PM   #6
9deuce9rr
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3 two 3
It plays through your CD changer input, so rather than having it transmit over a station, you just select CD on your radio, as if you were trying to listen to your CD Changer.

Sansho
You can't control the iPod through the radio or the steering wheel this way, this is just an input. What i plan on doing is buying a Griffin in-line remote (like on the iPod headphones):
http://www.amazon.com/Auxiliary-Audi.../dp/B001UGXC8K
Just hook this up between the iPod and the RCA/Headphone jack cable. It will let you pause/play/next/prev/ff/rw. You can't actually pick which song to listen to though, without doing it manually on the iPod
I plan to run this up into the center console arm rest.

DontWriteGraff
I dont know for sure, since i have not actually looked at one, myself. I would assume that the car would still come wired for the CD changer. If not, this cable can be accessed by pulling the head unit out of the dash, and it's the smaller of the two plugs on the back side of the radio.
The only thing that I am not sure how to get around is getting your radio to allow you to select the CD input. If I disconnect the 3-pin connector on the back of the changer, the radio will tell me that there is no cd available, would have to do some research to figure out how to loophole around that
EDIT: Is that your car in your sig? This writeup is for the pre-facelift E46's. You should have (I would assume) the newer version of this radio. Try this thread: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422239

Last edited by 9deuce9rr; 01-23-2011 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:23 PM   #7
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And yes, I forgot to include it earlier, but by cutting the wires to the changer the way I did, the CD changer will no longer be an option.
The only way around this is when cutting the red/white/gray wires, splice them back together, along with the headphone cable (or use an in-line t-connector to tap into the wires).
This will, however, cause multiple audio sources (cd changer and ipod) to send signal simultaneously, causing them to play on top of each other through your speakers. To get around this, create one CD with a single song that has no audio.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:13 AM   #8
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I've taken 9deuce9rr's concept (thanks for the idea!) and tweaked it slightly. When i got my E46 it had a sony Cd changer linked to the BMW headunit via a connects2 box. I honestly cannot remember the last time I got a CD and everything I download goes onto my android phone. By leaving the control lead from the connects2 box to the Cd changer in place I ran an RCA lead from the connect2 box to the centre console which gave me the same set up as above (select CD but plug my phone in to the end of the lead to use music from my phone).

This is where I changed things! A few years ago I unstalled 2 powered USB ports under the front arm rest so I could charge my phone\satnav\camera from it but as thing have changed I dont use it anymore. I connected the rca cable to the pins on the USB ports then made a USB to headphone lead which connects my phone (or any audio device) to the connects2 box - audio hookup done!

The advantage of this is I havent cut any wires and can plug the CD changer back in easily plus the USB ports are hidden under the arm rest so when I sell the car it should cause any problems.
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:47 PM   #9
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Hey OP, can you help me out with this DIY? http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...5#post12944875
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9deuce9rr View Post

3) with the cable side of the wires, connect as follows (bmw cable/RCA cable):
-white/white
-gray/yellow
-red/bare (connect both of the bare RCA wires into the same connector)
For the bolded, do you mean gray (BMW)/red (RCA)? There's no yellow in an RCA cable.

For the underlined, do you mean that I connect all three wires together? The bare wires from both the red and white half of the RCA cable combined with the red from the BMW radio?

Also, to do this, you have to cut off (or remove somehow) the 6 pin connector, correct?

I've finished this DIY but I don't have any sound. The car reads the CD and plays it normally, just with no sound. I have the iPod connected with full volume and I get no sound.

I connected the wires as follows: (BMW/RCA)

white/white
gray/red
red/bare wires from RCA white/red halves

Was I supposed to connect red/red and gray/bare?

Thanks.
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zsp View Post
For the bolded, do you mean gray (BMW)/red (RCA)? There's no yellow in an RCA cable.

For the underlined, do you mean that I connect all three wires together? The bare wires from both the red and white half of the RCA cable combined with the red from the BMW radio?

Also, to do this, you have to cut off (or remove somehow) the 6 pin connector, correct?

I've finished this DIY but I don't have any sound. The car reads the CD and plays it normally, just with no sound. I have the iPod connected with full volume and I get no sound.

I connected the wires as follows: (BMW/RCA)

white/white
gray/red
red/bare wires from RCA white/red halves

Was I supposed to connect red/red and gray/bare?

Thanks.
Alright so I figured it out myself. It's what I thought.

white/white
red/red
gray/bare

You should put heat shrink as mandatory because those stupid connectors aren't going to hold sh!t. I used heat shrink then lots of electrical tape to make sure they didn't come apart.

The sound is pretty good and I'm happy. Thanks a lot OP!
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:43 PM   #12
PTPMotorsports
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Just did it...

A lot more easier than I thought, no problems at all... The cable connections from zsp are the correct ones...

Sound quality is pretty good, balance correct.

Next step to installa female 3.5mm connector somewhere to avoid having the cable all the time.

Thanks

Last edited by PTPMotorsports; 05-13-2011 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:20 PM   #13
zsp
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I'm bumping this thread for no reason except that it was very helpful to me, and I'm sure it will be to others.
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:49 PM   #14
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What about the Blaupunkt units with a CD button instead of MODE button?

If I have a CD changer harness could this still work?

This is what my radio looks like:
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeRon View Post
What about the Blaupunkt units with a CD button instead of MODE button?

If I have a CD changer harness could this still work?

This is what my radio looks like:
That's the kind of radio I have, and I believe that's what the OP has. Works just fine.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:55 PM   #16
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Mine is only pre wired for the cd changer?? Would i not be able to listen cds once i do this?
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:58 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by CoupeMagic323ci View Post
Mine is only pre wired for the cd changer?? Would i not be able to listen cds once i do this?
I tryed to get the audio without connecting the CD Changer without succes, the radio must recognize that theres a CD Changer working in order to play the music.

I'm sure there's a way to "cheat" the radio into believing theres a CD Changer working but I have no idea how.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:07 PM   #18
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Thanks man. i knew this sounded too easy. lol
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9deuce9rr View Post
Connectors (preferable male/female in case you mess up)
I've been reviewing this DIY and am going to tackle it this weekend, however I am just slightly confused as what exactly the "connectors" are as quoted above.
I didn't read of any connecting of connectors throughout the DIY except when OP stated the quote below.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9deuce9rr View Post
-red/bare (connect both of the bare RCA wires into the same connector)
can someone perhaps post a picture so I know exactly what it is I'm looking for.


also, how is it that these connections are connected together? and where did the yellow connector come from? I thought that the red and white connectors were cut off in step one to obtain the red, white, and bare wires. Because following the headphone jack connector wire, it looks like it leads up to the red and white cables that i thought were cut off.



this seems so simple, why am I sooo confused
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:34 PM   #20
zsp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTPMotorsports View Post
I tryed to get the audio without connecting the CD Changer without succes, the radio must recognize that theres a CD Changer working in order to play the music.

I'm sure there's a way to "cheat" the radio into believing theres a CD Changer working but I have no idea how.
You have to leave a CD in the CD changer, and the radio thinks it's reading from the CD but really it's reading from whatever you have hooked up with the 3.5mm cable. I'm not sure what you should do if you don't have a CD player.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leeezyx3 View Post
I've been reviewing this DIY and am going to tackle it this weekend, however I am just slightly confused as what exactly the "connectors" are as quoted above.
I didn't read of any connecting of connectors throughout the DIY except when OP stated the quote below.


can someone perhaps post a picture so I know exactly what it is I'm looking for.


also, how is it that these connections are connected together? and where did the yellow connector come from? I thought that the red and white connectors were cut off in step one to obtain the red, white, and bare wires. Because following the headphone jack connector wire, it looks like it leads up to the red and white cables that i thought were cut off.



this seems so simple, why am I sooo confused
These are the connectors that OP is talking about, AKA wire caps.



You put the two bare wires in and twist the cap. I don't recommend these, though, as they come apart pretty easily. You can solder the bare wires together or do what I did and put the bare ends together and slip heat shrink tubing over them.

Here's my MS Paint illustration since I'm too lazy to go pull back the carpet in my trunk. Hope this helps. You route the 3.5mm end through your rear seat and into the center console. I can post the link to the DIY where it showed how to do that if you want.

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