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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > DIY: Replace Phone Cradle with Insert Tray (E92)



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      12-19-2015, 01:06 PM   #1
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DIY: Replace Phone Cradle with Insert Tray (E92)

Having become pretty tired of the phone cradle under the armrest in my E92 I decided that I wanted to get rid of it.



It wasn’t 2008 any more and I certainly don’t own an old Nokia. I had seen that BMW do a cubby hole insert to replace it like the one shown below



I’d looked a few times to see if anyone had done a guide for this in the past but only came across stuff for the E90, which is different. I thought I’d write up my method so that others can use it if they want to get rid of theirs too. I’d imagine with these instructions you can do this in under half an hour quite easily (It took me about 2 hours to do this after removing various bit of incorrect trim etc ).

Things you’ll need:

Insert tray. Part Number: 51167118064 (12.41)
Non marring trim tools
Jeweler’s type flat head screwdriver

Start by opening the armrest and working with the trim tool start at the left corner of the holder. Start with the corner closest to you if sitting in the driver’s seat. This part requires a little brute force and ignorance. Wedge the trim tool down the side and lever the phone holder upwards to remove it. You’ll want a narrow tipped trim tool for this as you want maximum force in a concentrated area. It should pop out relatively easily. If you’re having no success try another area of the holder but the retaining tabs are all located towards the front of the holder so the far end should be easiest.

Once the holder is free from the armrest you’ll want to pull through most of the wire that is tucked into the tunnel where the handbrake is.

Now remove the handbrake gaiter by pulling from the top of the gaiter. Mine came away very easily. Push the gaiter all the way to the end of the handbrake and you should be presented with a very tight space in which the two cables from the holder are connected. One on a white cable holder and the antenna was free hanging on mine,




The first cable can be disconnected by pushing down the tab just before the release clip on the side and then moving the clip all the way towards you to disconnect it. This is shown in the picture above but the clip is almost all the way to full release. The connector should then come out and the cable can be removed.

The second cable is the antenna. This will be tucked in there somewhere also and look like the picture below.



To remove this I suggest that you start from the back and push the clip through on either side with the small flat head screwdriver, The reverse of the connector is shown below.



I attempted it from the front by prying the clip upwards and broke the purple clip. I had to pull the rest out with pliers. Disconnect the antenna and fully remove the phone holder.



Replace the handbrake gaiter and slip in the new insert. Job done.



All you existing phone stuff will work (except the holder, obviously), as far as I know the cradle just charges the phone and connects it to the external antenna. The great thing about this is that the process is reversible and it can be put back if needs be. I’ve seen some guides where they dismantle the holder and leave the electronics inside which seems far from ideal.

Hope this helps some out there (in fact, click the 'Appreciate' button, I'd be interested to know if this has actually helped anyone/been useful.)
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Last edited by thesanchez; 07-12-2016 at 06:01 AM.
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      01-27-2017, 12:39 AM   #2
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Used your guide to get mine out for the most part. However, I had a third cable that ran underneath the cradle area and towards the back of the car on the passenger side. I don't know where it ends up or what it runs to, and I do not want to cut it out before I know where it leads (although everything is disconnected from the cradle and the motherboard in the cradle itself, and nothing seems to have stopped working...).

Any idea what this might be? keep in mind I am in the US and this is on a 2013 335is...
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      02-11-2017, 03:18 AM   #3
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Side question, does your Aux cable fall inside?
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      02-17-2017, 01:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by =C= View Post
Side question, does your Aux cable fall inside?
I never use it, so I wouldn't know. there are videos on youtube how to fix it, and I'm sure there are threads here too.

something about going through the vent for the rear seats and pushing it back through and like gluing a small piece of plastic to the side of the AUX rectangular insert so it doesn't fall back down again. it may not sit completely flush, but I'd imagine its better than having it fall into that abyss again
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      03-28-2017, 07:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilg1993 View Post
Used your guide to get mine out for the most part. However, I had a third cable that ran underneath the cradle area and towards the back of the car on the passenger side. I don't know where it ends up or what it runs to, and I do not want to cut it out before I know where it leads (although everything is disconnected from the cradle and the motherboard in the cradle itself, and nothing seems to have stopped working...).

Any idea what this might be? keep in mind I am in the US and this is on a 2013 335is...
Sorry, I've only just seen this. From what I remember there were only 2 cables in my car, so I can't offer any help as to what yours might be. I suppose if it's not doing any harm them I'd just leave it be.

As for the aux port, mine is firmly in place. I've never had any issues with it dropping through but I have seen other have that issue.
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      06-26-2017, 01:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilg1993 View Post
I never use it, so I wouldn't know. there are videos on youtube how to fix it, and I'm sure there are threads here too.

something about going through the vent for the rear seats and pushing it back through and like gluing a small piece of plastic to the side of the AUX rectangular insert so it doesn't fall back down again. it may not sit completely flush, but I'd imagine its better than having it fall into that abyss again
Did you ever work this out? what did you do?
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      08-06-2017, 07:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EB89 View Post
Did you ever work this out? what did you do?
sorry, just saw this now, so I'm assuming you probably fixed your issue already, but I'll address anyway...

not sure if you're referring to the AUX port thing or my 3rd cable. I never had nay issue with the AUX port to begin with. as for my third cable from the phone cradle, I simply snipped it and left the severed wire underneath the center console. haven't had any issues with anything not working properly as far as I can tell, so it seems like it is a safe enough thing to simply cut it away
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      08-08-2017, 07:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilg1993 View Post
sorry, just saw this now, so I'm assuming you probably fixed your issue already, but I'll address anyway...

not sure if you're referring to the AUX port thing or my 3rd cable. I never had nay issue with the AUX port to begin with. as for my third cable from the phone cradle, I simply snipped it and left the severed wire underneath the center console. haven't had any issues with anything not working properly as far as I can tell, so it seems like it is a safe enough thing to simply cut it away
I had the extra cable and it fit perfectly back down into the hole, didnt need to cut any wires.

Just pushed it down.
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      08-16-2017, 05:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EB89 View Post
I had the extra cable and it fit perfectly back down into the hole, didnt need to cut any wires.

Just pushed it down.
Interesting. iirc, there was some thicker cable bundling thing on mine that prevented it from going back through the holes. maybe I just didn't try hard enough lol
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      08-16-2017, 08:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilg1993 View Post
Interesting. iirc, there was some thicker cable bundling thing on mine that prevented it from going back through the holes. maybe I just didn't try hard enough lol
Yeah i suspect you just need to force it more, at first I thought theres no way this is going in, then after it went in I was like oh that was easy.
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