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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > **Bluetooth Retrofit Guide** for TCU and ULF



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**Bluetooth Retrofit Guide** for TCU and ULF
Published by AoshichanX
09-21-2007
**Bluetooth Retrofit Guide** for TCU and ULF

The following is a cumulation of research from myself and contributions from fellow forum members--most notably Technic

Thanks Technic for all your guidance!

All US cars e9x are pre-wired for "telephone preparation" (SA640). European cars do not have this option standard.

If your car is non-US spec, the best route is ULF. Because ULF is not supported in the United States, full compatibility can only be achieved with TCU retrofitting for now. For Euro-spec cars etc, it is simply a matter of purchasing the part and programming at your local dealership.

Research/Steps Taken
09/21/07 -12/31/07 - ULF works but with German voice command. TCU is a bust.
02/06/08 - Conversation with Evan@Tischer Regarding Bluetooth Retrofit - TCU is back in the game?
02/21/08 - Ordered retrofit kit from bimmernav, expected ULF...
02/25/08 - Got package from bimmernav, got TCU instead of ULF.
02/26/08 - TCU part# from bimmernav same as the one mentioned in chat by Evan@Tischer. Found SIB Bulletin and PDF installation.
02/26/08 - Conversation with Evan@Tischer Regarding TCU Part#
02/26/08 - Dropped car off at Savage BMW
02/27/08 - Savage BMW required purchase of bracket/hex unit/loudspeaker/FZD.
02/27/08 - Evan@Tischer assures me they have done retrofit several times with only TCU swap and 2 step programming. Maybe Savage is dumb/they are really "by-the-book"
02/28/08 - Car has been retrofited with BMW Assist with Bluetooth Technology.

ULF Retrofit
  1. Retrofit has been known to be partially successful: voice command is unfortunately in German. Bimmernav attributes German voice command to a coding issue by maladroit BMW technicians.
  2. With proper coding, the ULF retrofit claims to be 100% operable. There has been no known documentation by a satisfied consumer to back this statement.
  3. This option requires dealer activation.
  4. The two most notable ULF suppliers: bimmernav and roveractive.
  5. Cost
    • ULF Module - BMW Part #: 84109154358 - $675
    • Microphone - $55
    • Bracket - BMW Part #: 65156927700 - $15
    • Installation and Programming Costs - Free (quoted from New Century BMW after I referenced a certain member of this forum)
  6. FOR ULF PDF CLICK HERE

TCU Retrofit
  1. Available as of September 2007; aka the factory install option: no German voice command problems.
  2. 1 success! (me ); 1 documented failure .
  3. This option requires coding by BMW dealership due to e90 MOST setup. As a reference, it took Savage BMW 3 days to get it right.
  4. Both Tischer and bimmernav supply the TCU retrofit.
  5. Tell your dealership to retrofit this TCU as per SIB 84 14 05
  6. Cost
    • TCU Module - BMW Part #: 84109171590 - $675 ($548 from Tischer but no stock...ever)
    • Microphone - $55
    • Bracket - BMW Part #: 65156937700 - $15
    • Installation and Programming Costs - $396.24 (quoted from Savage BMW in Ontario- 3 hours of programming only - no labor)
  7. FOR TCU PDF CLICK HERE

My Cost for Complete BMW Assist with Bluetooth Retrofit
  1. My car is a February '07 Production base model e90 335i with steptronic and navigation/idrive only.
  2. SA for this job is Cesar Velasquez of Savage BMW. Savage BMW has never done this retrofit before. They charged for all the parts in the SIB. If you go to Savage please make sure to purchase all your own parts! Purchase the retrofit kit from Bimmernav. Purchase the rest of the parts FZD center module, bracket, hex nuts, and loudspeaker from Tischer. That is the cheapest route for a complete retrofit.
  3. Going in, Savage assumed all they needed was the TCU since I had phone prep. Along the way they discovered I needed this part and then another part. Basically, all the parts from the SIB *pdf were required for this complete retrofit.
  4. My Bimmernav Kit
    • TCU Module - BMW Part #: 84109171590 - $675
    • Microphone - $55
    • BMW Bluetooth Antenna - Included
    • Shipping USPS Priority - $29
  5. Savage BMW
    • Bracket for Telematics Control- - BMW Part #: 65156937700 - $18.26
    • FZD - BMW Part #: 61319137523 (this is VEHICLE SPECIFIC and may be different for your car) - $268.42**
    • Hex Nut - BMW Part #: 07129906048 - $0.68
    • Nut - BMW Part #:41248147832 - $0.18
    • Loudspeaker - - BMW Part #: 65136938657 - $19.86
    • Installation and Programming Costs - $538.38 (1 hour labor, 3 hours of programming)
    • Tax - $24.02
  6. Total: $1631.48 (Vehicle option is $750 if ordered with the car )
  7. Only you can decide if this is worth it to you. SOS button works, I got a call from the operator--idrive displayed my latitude and longitude during the call. Voice command works in English. All functions work. Calls are clear. My phone is the VX8550 Chocolate 2 from Verizon. Phonebook is downloaded and synced.


**(special thanks to Evan for this price...otherwise Savage would have charged me a good $408. also thanks to my dad for convincing me to talk to the service manager, I would have pussied out probably otherwise and get charged up the ass)
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  #1  
By planetscott on 09-21-2007, 07:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AoshichanX View Post
1. Retrofit successful; voice command is in German. So far there has not been a perfect documented retrofit; at least there has not been one wherein the OP has replied to any further questions or comments.
I had a brief e-mail exchange with Martin @ bimmernav and he told me that the dealers are clueless and that he has a coding tool which he rents out to his customers. Apparently the ULF units operate in 8 languages, it's just a matter of coding it to the one you want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AoshichanX View Post
3. All US Cars with iDrive and navigation are prewired for this navigation retrofit.
I believe this is true for all North American cars. There was another thread that tells you what to look for in order to determine if your car is pre-wired for Bluetooth.

I'm also considering this retrofit, but I think I would rather get a PROcede first.
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  #2  
By calsynergy on 09-22-2007, 02:43 PM
Do you guys know how much the retrofit cost? So if I have an 07 e92 without iDrive or Premium Package it should work too?
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  #3  
By AoshichanX on 09-22-2007, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calsynergy View Post
Do you guys know how much the retrofit cost? So if I have an 07 e92 without iDrive or Premium Package it should work too?
$675 + $55 mic + Bracket + Dealership fees.

Quote:
Originally Posted by planetscott View Post
I had a brief e-mail exchange with Martin @ bimmernav and he told me that the dealers are clueless and that he has a coding tool which he rents out to his customers. Apparently the ULF units operate in 8 languages, it's just a matter of coding it to the one you want.



I believe this is true for all North American cars. There was another thread that tells you what to look for in order to determine if your car is pre-wired for Bluetooth.

I'm also considering this retrofit, but I think I would rather get a PROcede first.
Thanks planetscott. I JUST got off the phone with Martin from bimmernav, he said there is now a new module as of Sept 2007.

Aside from the ULF, there is now the TCU module, which is the exact factory option given with the BMW Assist/Premium Package.

That is what I will order.
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  #4  
By planetscott on 09-23-2007, 09:27 AM
Very cool. Let us all know how it works out for you!
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  #5  
By Technic on 09-23-2007, 10:51 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by planetscott View Post
I had a brief e-mail exchange with Martin @ bimmernav and he told me that the dealers are clueless and that he has a coding tool which he rents out to his customers. Apparently the ULF units operate in 8 languages, it's just a matter of coding it to the one you want.



I believe this is true for all North American cars. There was another thread that tells you what to look for in order to determine if your car is pre-wired for Bluetooth.

I'm also considering this retrofit, but I think I would rather get a PROcede first.
It is in the list of features and options:

Quote:
Pre-wiring for BMW center installation of mobile phone, alarm system
This is regardless of iDrive.
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  #6  
By Technic on 09-23-2007, 10:56 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AoshichanX View Post
$675 + $55 mic + Bracket + Dealership fees.



Thanks planetscott. I JUST got off the phone with Martin from bimmernav, he said there is now a new module as of Sept 2007.

Aside from the ULF, there is now the TCU module, which is the exact factory option given with the BMW Assist/Premium Package.
That is what I will order.
That will require a full retrofit including the rear view mirror, a different programming session, twice the price of the ULF, and of course $199* a year if you want the Assist service.


* ... used to be $240, although it is $199 after the first year free service if factory installed.
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  #7  
By KevinR on 09-23-2007, 05:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
That will require a full retrofit including the rear view mirror, a different programming session, twice the price of the ULF, and of course $240 a year if you want the Assist service.
Okay, so what do I need if I only want Bluetooth, without Assist? My car does not have Premium or Assist, but it does have the phone prep. Will the dealer be able to program this?

As an aside, it took the dealer all day to program my car for SIRIUS because the instructions they got from BMW's ASAP assumed my car had a TCU when it did not. They finally figured that out and did some type of jumper to make the SIRIUS work.

I can't wait to try adding Bluetooth...
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  #8  
By Technic on 09-23-2007, 06:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinR View Post
Okay, so what do I need if I only want Bluetooth, without Assist? My car does not have Premium or Assist, but it does have the phone prep. Will the dealer be able to program this?

As an aside, it took the dealer all day to program my car for SIRIUS because the instructions they got from BMW's ASAP assumed my car had a TCU when it did not. They finally figured that out and did some type of jumper to make the SIRIUS work.

I can't wait to try adding Bluetooth...
http://www.bimmernav.com/bmw_e60_e61..._retrofit.html

This is what the OP is talking about...
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  #9  
By KevinR on 09-23-2007, 07:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
http://www.bimmernav.com/bmw_e60_e61..._retrofit.html

This is what the OP is talking about...
Does that actually work? I've read in various forums that people have had trouble getting the dealership to code it to work.
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  #10  
By Technic on 09-23-2007, 08:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinR View Post
Does that actually work? I've read in various forums that people have had trouble getting the dealership to code it to work.
According to the next page on that link...

Quote:
If your BMW is prewired for phone, and you install a new generation Bluetooth module, like we sell, it is unlikely that you will need to have your car coded.
http://www.bimmernav.com/BMW_new_Blu...tructions.html

My guess is that, if a particular car does require programming, because the MOST ULF is not available in USA it seems that some dealers are just playing the BMWUSA tune of regulating MOST accessories programming. And because it's not an official USA accessory, some dealers just say... no can't do.

Which it is ironic when the Phone Preparation is standard all across the E9X line in the USA, regardless of iDrive or Assist. So, what owners are supposed to plug into those connectors as a phone???
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  #11  
By AoshichanX on 09-24-2007, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinR View Post
Does that actually work? I've read in various forums that people have had trouble getting the dealership to code it to work.

I believe planetscott's post below answer's your question

Quote:
Originally Posted by planetscott View Post
I had a brief e-mail exchange with Martin @ bimmernav and he told me that the dealers are clueless and that he has a coding tool which he rents out to his customers. Apparently the ULF units operate in 8 languages, it's just a matter of coding it to the one you want.
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  #12  
By jonm42 on 09-24-2007, 05:20 PM
Looks like bimmernav.com expired?
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  #13  
By KevinR on 09-24-2007, 08:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AoshichanX View Post
I believe planetscott's post below answer's your question
No offense, but planetscott indicated he hasn't done this retrofit; he's just going by what the vendor said. I'd like to hear from someone who has actually done the retrofit and and has it working.
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  #14  
By AoshichanX on 09-25-2007, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinR View Post
No offense, but planetscott indicated he hasn't done this retrofit; he's just going by what the vendor said. I'd like to hear from someone who has actually done the retrofit and and has it working.
None taken! I'll gladly be the guinea pig once I have the funds. I'll keep everyone posted
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  #15  
By Rallyman1 on 10-01-2007, 01:16 PM
I have done BT retrofit on mine 2006 E90 from bimmernav last year and it works fine
Except voice commend it still in German I tried two dealerships to recode the car
with instructions from Martin no luck. I was with Martin on the phone 4 times, last time he offered me to rent a tool called MOST optolyser but without cables (big help)
So now I am looking for basic voce commands in German
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  #16  
By uter on 10-03-2007, 11:08 PM
I'm in to try the BT retrofit in an e90 without assist or navigation.

My parts guy at BMW No. Scottsdale has some info for me so I'll see if it jives with the bimmernav.com stuff.

I really want the factory integration. The other day I had an e91 loaner and I paired my Motorolo e815 to it and it worked as well as my old e61 used to work.

For the record, I have an 07 MINI Cooper S with BT and navigation and the audio is terrible. Absolutely no one can understand me when I'm in my car and I don't think it's just because the car is noisier inside. I'll need to take it back to MINI service.
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  #17  
By AoshichanX on 10-08-2007, 02:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uter View Post
I'm in to try the BT retrofit in an e90 without assist or navigation.

My parts guy at BMW No. Scottsdale has some info for me so I'll see if it jives with the bimmernav.com stuff.

I really want the factory integration. The other day I had an e91 loaner and I paired my Motorolo e815 to it and it worked as well as my old e61 used to work.

For the record, I have an 07 MINI Cooper S with BT and navigation and the audio is terrible. Absolutely no one can understand me when I'm in my car and I don't think it's just because the car is noisier inside. I'll need to take it back to MINI service.
Just to keep this thread updated etc... I was at Savage BMW the other day and they told me the main part, the TCU unit would cost $2200 alone. It appears to be the same "recently released" unit as the one bimmernav was describing--bmmernav's is roughly 1/3 that cost.
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  #18  
By AoshichanX on 10-08-2007, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rallyman1 View Post
I have done BT retrofit on mine 2006 E90 from bimmernav last year and it works fine
Except voice commend it still in German I tried two dealerships to recode the car
with instructions from Martin no luck. I was with Martin on the phone 4 times, last time he offered me to rent a tool called MOST optolyser but without cables (big help)
So now I am looking for basic voce commands in German
Did you have the dealership program anything at all or was it plug n play. I asked my SA today at Savage BMW...he said coding would be 3-4 hours which amounts to....$508...that's a deal killer fo sho.
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  #19  
By Technic on 10-08-2007, 01:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AoshichanX View Post
Just to keep this thread updated etc... I was at Savage BMW the other day and they told me the main part, the TCU unit would cost $2200 alone. It appears to be the same "recently released" unit as the one bimmernav was describing--bmmernav's is roughly 1/3 that cost.
Bimmernav's an ULF not a TCU...

TCU = Assist Telematics + Bluetooth + Voice Activation
ULF = Bluetooth + Voice Activation
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  #20  
By AoshichanX on 10-08-2007, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
Bimmernav's an ULF not a TCU...

TCU = Assist Telematics + Bluetooth + Voice Activation
ULF = Bluetooth + Voice Activation

Hey Technic, thanks for the reply, but I spoke with Martin 2 weeks again and he said there is now a new module as of Sept 2007.

Aside from the ULF, there is now the TCU module, which is the exact factory option given with the BMW Assist/Premium Package.

It is also apparently the same price.
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  #21  
By Technic on 10-08-2007, 03:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AoshichanX View Post
Hey Technic, thanks for the reply, but I spoke with Martin 2 weeks again and he said there is now a new module as of Sept 2007.

Aside from the ULF, there is now the TCU module, which is the exact factory option given with the BMW Assist/Premium Package.

It is also apparently the same price.
There has been a TCU since late 2003 (with working BT since late 2004), with more than 10 revisions (software and hardware) and counting, being the biggest hardware upgrade at the E46 (I Bus) to E90 (MOST) model change. TCU are inherently much more expensive than ULF's just because it is a telematics unit and not a BT unit only (like the ULF).

So this new Sept 2007 TCU seems to me like a regular TCU revision and not a new addition to the ULF/TCU Bluetooth options.
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