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      07-10-2012, 11:44 AM   #1
Private First Class

Drives: 07 328xi
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Louisville, Ky

iTrader: (0)

Pioneer AVH-p8400BH and Dynavin service info

Just thought I'd throw up a few pics of this double din unit installed in my e90. Recently a few people asked if it was possible to install a double din unit.

Please note that I did not have iDrive, do not have BMW-assist. I did not relocate the stock headunit. I do not notice any missing chimes. My car came with Hi-Fi.

Before this pioneer unit I had a Dynavin D90 (the first unit released for e9x). It seems to have failed on me after 1 year and 3 months of service, although I admittedly need to take some time re-seating some of the ZIF socket connectors in the event that one just came loose. My Dynavin distributer (CarAudioCraze) informed me that for out of warranty repair that the unit would have to be shipped to Europe for a cost of $80, at which point I'd then be quoted a repair price if it was possible for repair. I obviously, having had already invested ~$700 into the Dynavin did not want to invest more.

(If anyone needs any spare Dynavin components, the LCD screen, remote, harnesses (canbox), GPS antenna and everything are in working order, PM me for cheap price)

The installation of the pioneer AVH-P8400BH went smooth, it's about the same as installing a Dynavin itself except you have to terminate the new radio harness to a BMW harness adapter. Nothing much to say here really.

The dash kit fits a little tight, but that makes it firm. It does stick out a little at the bottom but so what. The stock radio can always go back in and it's worth it to have significant more functionality than the stock radio, IMO.

I used the metra axxess steering wheel controls interface. Only had to tap into two wires. Auto-programed by repeatedly tapping the volume up button after the first power on until an LED quit flashing. Easy as that.

Additionally you will see the Metra heated seat button relocation. I liked this over the Dynavin ashtray solution (the gloss black didn't look right to me when the car had more of flat black). It's probably different for the silver ashtray.

Compared to the Dyanvin it's really no contest. The OS of the pioneer, (although could be improved) is really advanced over the Dynavin. The touchscreen is snappy and responsive to touch from the finger. The iPod/iPhone controls actually function and function well. It's easy to load a new playlist, change to a different artist, ect. The Bluetooth audio works perfect (and shows artist track/title information as well) and autoplays upon getting in the car.

The unit that I purchased does not have built in navigation. It's an optional add-on, but it has what is called Advanced App mode, wherein I just use the Motion-X GPS app on my iPhone, plug in my phone, and then it shows up on the Pioneer's touch screen. I have some touchscreen controls available (like muting the voice guidance) but I have to do POI searches on the phone itself. I actually prefer this method because I can type much faster on my phone, searches are linked to Google and not a POI database in the navigation maps, and I only need to manage one navi system (I travel and use my phone in rental cars and such). I saved several hundreds by not needing (or wanting) a built-in Nav. Additionally, I can use my iPhone and play Netflix, Youtube, Pandora, a few other GPS options, ect. The unit also has USB/SD/HD-Radio/Sat-Radio options.

I highly recommend this, and likely most modern double-din touchscreens over the Dynavin. It really only boils down to the look of the installed radio. I thought the OEM look of the Dynavin was all that mattered, but after having had owned both, and considering the risk of the Dynavin investment with regards to available service, I can honestly say that I wish I had not purchased the unit. The day to day use of the unit just doesn't fit in a world with iPhones and Android devices that illustrate the importance of a well functioning operating system.

The Dynavin team should quit making the radios but install make "dash kits" that have the backlight volume knobs and buttons that come with the integrated canbox (steering wheel) interface that has a double din opening to accept aftermarket radios. That way you get the look of the dynavin with the radio quality of an established manufacturer. The canbox can be programmable like the PAC or Metra unit to work with any aftermarket radio using the wire remote interface.