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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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AoshichanX's Avatar **Bluetooth Retrofit Guide** for TCU and ULF
AoshichanX
09-21-2007
The following is a cumulation of research from myself and contributions from fellow forum members--most notably Technic

Thanks Click here to read the entire tutorial
  #22  
By AoshichanX on 10-09-2007, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
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.
Wow, thanks a bunch for the info. I am gonna have to call bimmernav tomorrow and get everything straightened out before I take the plunge.

The more you know! haha
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  #23  
By Technic on 10-09-2007, 07:44 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AoshichanX View Post
Wow, thanks a bunch for the info. I am gonna have to call bimmernav tomorrow and get everything straightened out before I take the plunge.

The more you know! haha
And remember, in the E90 (as in the E46) a TCU is for a complete retrofit of Assist/BT, so you will need additional hardware parts (Assist buttons, sharkfin antenna) for functionality plus full programming into the car. This is not an accessory as the ULF, as it is the actual Bluetooth solution for the Phone preparation included in the E90.

Buying a TCU for Bluetooth only is not cost-efective, although if you are looking for the best Bluetooth connectivity with compatible phones that's the one to have as it is the official factory supported solution: see how quickly BMW supported the iPhone in the current TCUs, but it has to issue a complete new version (generation) of the ULF module because past versions have issues with that phone. The ULF in the USA has been the "black sheep" in support and compatibility from the factory...
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  #24  
By uter on 10-09-2007, 08:50 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
And remember, in the E90 (as in the E46) a TCU is for a complete retrofit of Assist/BT, so you will need additional hardware parts (Assist buttons, sharkfin antenna) for functionality plus full programming into the car. This is not an accessory as the ULF, as it is the actual Bluetooth solution for the Phone preparation included in the E90.

Buying a TCU for Bluetooth only is not cost-efective, although if you are looking for the best Bluetooth connectivity with compatible phones that's the one to have as it is the official factory supported solution: see how quickly BMW supported the iPhone in the current TCUs, but it has to issue a complete new version (generation) of the ULF module because past versions have issues with that phone. The ULF in the USA has been the "black sheep" in support and compatibility from the factory...
So, a new ULF from Bimmernav might not even be compatible with Iphone? That would be a disappointment.
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  #25  
By Technic on 10-09-2007, 10:07 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by uter View Post
So, a new ULF from Bimmernav might not even be compatible with Iphone? That would be a disappointment.
The latest version out is supposed to address the iPhone compatibility problem; Bimmernav only sells the latest version as soon as they come out, so it should be good.

Call him up and ask...
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  #26  
By ras on 10-14-2007, 10:31 AM
bluetooth retrofit

Got a kit from Marten at BimmerNAV. kit installed fine in 2006 E91 by Calgary BMW (no idrive and no assist) BUT voice command in German with no work around that I know off. Have you found a solution?
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  #27  
By jonm42 on 10-19-2007, 10:12 AM
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  #28  
By AoshichanX on 10-20-2007, 12:35 AM
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Been calling dealerships about a quote for coding TCU. Exorbitant charges and "I'll get back to you" aside, I can't proceed until I find something reasonable.
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  #29  
By parachute on 10-21-2007, 04:18 PM
if someone installs this and gets voice commands in english I'll be all over it in a second
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  #30  
By DT_ on 10-22-2007, 09:34 PM
OK so... i know Martin is a very helpful member of the community and he also is extremely knowledgable and provides a good service with the producsts he sells. That being said, he says that dealers are just too stupid to encode the modules correctly and this is why the voice activation is stuck in German. If this is the case then why can NO dealers do the coding ? Are they all stupid? Across all 50 states? I find that kind of hard to believe. Another thing, if they are just stupid and it supposedly can be done then why Martin do you not post coding instructions using SSS online for the dealers to use or include them in your kit? Why must a MOST optylizer be used? Will the SSS then in fact NOT work to do the coding? If thats the case then the dealers are not stupid they just dont have the proper equipment because it isnt needed to do their job. Something just isnt adding up here. Martin can you explain to me what all the dealer techs are doing wrong? Has ANYONE here been able to successfully retrofit a european ULF module AND have working voice command in English?
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  #31  
By AoshichanX on 10-25-2007, 06:56 PM
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Yeah Martin said the coding takes 5 minutes.

But I called ALL the local dealerships in my area. They all say it's at least a 3-4 hour coding process...and thats IF everything goes smoothly. If there are any errors, then they have to run diagnostics + more coding time.

So at the minimum - its $300-$400 or more as needed.
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  #32  
By DT_ on 10-25-2007, 10:20 PM
takes 5 mins using what? The MOST optilizer thingy that he has no interface for? Id like to see this.
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  #33  
By bmster on 11-03-2007, 02:56 PM
Here my experience with bimmernav.
Got a 05/2007 328i. I stay in dallas so i drove to austin to get the TCU (84109122446 03/2007). Martin was very helpful and got the TCU installed but his coding tool could not recognize the car so we could not code it. Went back to my dealer but he could not code it either and told me this was an old unit, cars after 03/2007 are not compatible with older TCU's and would have to get the latest one. Martin sent me a ULF (84219123290 09/2006) as replacement. I tried to get it programmed from the dealer but with no success. I have given up and decided to return the parts to bimmernav for a refund.
So after $250 (programming) + most probably a 20% restocking fee i still have no bluetooth.
For those who really want to get bluetooth i would recommend getting it done from the dealer. It might be more expensive but if you are not able to get it installed successfully yourself in the first attempt it is going to cost you a lot more....
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  #34  
By Technic on 11-03-2007, 04:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmster View Post
Here my experience with bimmernav.
Got a 05/2007 328i. I stay in dallas so i drove to austin to get the TCU (84109122446 03/2007). Martin was very helpful and got the TCU installed but his coding tool could not recognize the car so we could not code it. Went back to my dealer but he could not code it either and told me this was an old unit, cars after 03/2007 are not compatible with older TCU's and would have to get the latest one. Martin sent me a ULF (84219123290 09/2006) as replacement. I tried to get it programmed from the dealer but with no success. I have given up and decided to return the parts to bimmernav for a refund.
So after $250 (programming) + most probably a 20% restocking fee i still have no bluetooth.
For those who really want to get bluetooth i would recommend getting it done from the dealer. It might be more expensive but if you are not able to get it installed successfully yourself in the first attempt it is going to cost you a lot more....
I don't understand why you decided to get a TCU first and not an ULF right out of the bat... E9x TCU's are not like E46 TCU's as programming is concerned: in an E46 if you wanted only the Bluetooth functionality a TCU was just a plug n' play unit as long as it was a used unit and the Bluetooth section was previously working. Even if the TCU was new at the most it was as simple as making sure that the Bluetooth feature was turned on thru the DIS computer, plug that sucker in and that was it.

Programming was only required if you were doing a full Assist retrofit.

In the E9x, MOST gates control everything, including inclusion to the network; even a CD Changer installation requires programming, for God's sake. So trying to add a TCU will require full programming -even if the only thing that you want is Bluetooth- just for the TCU to be recognized and permitted to "join" the network. The problem with that is that your car does not have all the parts required for the Assist, so programming this TCU was doomed from the very beginning, as the MOST will have to check for all the components presence before "letting" that TCU in. And if BMW had completely superceded the TCU version with a different software "signature" one on top of all this, well... it was expected to fail.

As for the E9x ULF, I think that USA dealers do not have either the correct section in the DIS software to set this unit to USA English or is as simple as they don't want/don't know how to do it with their current DIS software because it is not an USA part.

As I stated in other threads, BMWNA needs to explain why all USA bound E9x -regardless of having Assist or not- proudly advertise in their list of standard equipment the Phone Preparation option for a "BMW Center installation of a Phone" when no OEM Phone system is available/offered in the USA as a "BMW Center installed Phone".
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  #35  
By KevinR on 11-03-2007, 06:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
As I stated in other threads, BMWNA needs to explain why all USA bound E9x -regardless of having Assist or not- proudly advertise in their list of standard equipment the Phone Preparation option for a "BMW Center installation of a Phone" when no OEM Phone system is available/offered in the USA as a "BMW Center installed Phone".
I specifically asked this question of BMW Customer Service and got a generic "talk to your local BMW dealer" answer. It is extremely frustrating, to say the least.
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  #36  
By DT_ on 11-03-2007, 09:16 PM
I would like to see a car with a European ULF fitted. If it can be coded I can do it. Anybody in Norcal area with one fitted please PM me. I want to know the real answer.
Martin says dealers are stupid and barely know how to fumble through their own software. Lets see if this is true. Any takers?
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  #37  
By Technic on 11-03-2007, 10:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DT_ View Post
I would like to see a car with a European ULF fitted. If it can be coded I can do it. Anybody in Norcal area with one fitted please PM me. I want to know the real answer.
Martin says dealers are stupid and barely know how to fumble through their own software. Lets see if this is true. Any takers?
I think that there's more than that... what I would like to know is if that ULF is really multi-language, i.e., if it is the same P/N in the UK as in Germany, for example.
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  #38  
By DT_ on 11-04-2007, 07:09 PM
Well yes, thats what I'm getting at. I'm not believing that its a software issue. if NO dealers can code it then you have to start questioning the hardware. Sounds like from what people have posted even Martin himself can not get it coded and working correctly.
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  #39  
By bcbushman on 11-12-2007, 06:09 PM
Pre-wire is misleading

I agree with this thread and think that anybody wanting to should write to government consumer protection branches and file a complaint. I'm going to. Advertising these cars (I have a 2007 328xi / e90) with "Telephone Pre-wire" is totalling misleading.
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  #40  
By Fieno on 11-22-2007, 03:02 PM
Any news on this? Has anyone successfully coded or got the voice activation to work? I would get this in an instant if this worked.
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  #41  
By AoshichanX on 11-24-2007, 01:48 AM
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Thanks DT_ and Technic for your contributions.

Thanks also to bmster--I am sorry that your situation did not turn for the better, but it has helped a lot of us save time and money with that TCU route.

I am beginning to think Martin is a charlatan. :/

OP has been updated.

I am still looking into this btw. Are all voices in German for the ULF module? Does it announce incoming calls in German as well?
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  #42  
By Rallyman1 on 11-24-2007, 12:19 PM
Incoming calls announced by ringing sound and caller ID on the radio display no voice announcements all you have to do just push the phone button on the steering wheel and start talking
When you push voice commend button on the steering wheel than the lady start talking in Gwerman and you seat there like moron not knowing what to do

BTW last week I spoke with Martin and us usual he told me that all dealers are idiots and @#$%^%^&&*….. But this time he recommends me to call some guy his name is Micke
He is working for BMW electronics dep. But because I am not an expert in car electronics I PM phone # with explanations to Technic and ask him if he can call this guy
And than post his conversation on this thread
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  #43  
By uuni on 11-25-2007, 12:20 PM
I am really confused about these bluetooth things. I have e93 so can it be retrofitted with bluetooth??

I would be satisfied if I just could hear the voice from speakers and talk when my phone is in the pocket and control volume. I really don't need voice command or anything but of course it would be nice to have that also. Is this possible without any bigger problems??

I don't have navi on the car.
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