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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > DIY - BMW MOST iPod Adapter Install



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DIY - BMW MOST iPod Adapter Install
Published by EvanL
09-15-2006
DIY - BMW MOST iPod Adapter Install

UPDATE AT THE END OF POST

OK, here's a DIY for the installation of a BMW MOST iPod adapter for (in my case) an E92. E90/1 shouldn't be much different.

1) Download and read the BMW iPod installation instructions found here.

2) Open your iPod retrofit kit. Make sure all the parts shown below are there.
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3) Remove the two TORX screws (not sure of the size, sorry) that hold the underpanel below the glove compartment. Remove the underpanel.
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4) Remove the four screws and the brackets securing the lower glove compartment to the glove box rail.
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5) Remove the pin holding the inner glove box to the glove box damper.

7) Remove the cupholders as shown in this post.

8) Unscrew the six TORX screws holding in the upper glove compartment and remove the upper glove compartment
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9) Remove the Climate Control Unit using a plastic knife or some other prying device wrapped in cloth (I prefer to use a Craftsman rivet puller wrapped in a rag). Insert the device in the lower right corner, and move up towards the middle of the unit to start prying. The unit should just pop out (make sure the entire unit is popping out, and not just the face trim).
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10) Remove the radio by removing the two screws shown in the above picture. Then remove the Radio Wiring Harness and Antenna from the back of the radio before pulling the whole damn thing out.
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11) Follow the instructions provided in step 1 for the installation of the retrofit kit with the following notes:

- The location shown in the step for mounting the interface module makes it physically impossible to reinstall the glove box. Install the interface module MUCH higher, and on the actual chassis tube. There is a picture later on in the instructions showing it mounted higher.

- Check all of your fiber-optic cables with a flashlight. On my kit, the bridge for the output from the interface module was installed on the input of the adapter, which caused the whole infotainment system to not function. Seriously, this was a complete pain in the ass.
12) Installation is the reverse of removal. Now go pay your dealership a freakin' hour of labor (in my case) to improperly flash your radio with the new software. Argue with your computer illiterate CA for 20 minutes that you're sure that the connections are correct, and tell them that they need to flash the radio again since the first flashing attempt returned errors. Note that they won't actually re-flash it, but will recommend that you let the car go into "electronic sleep" for 16 minutes. This does nothing. I recommend something to calm your nerves at this point.

Hope this helps.

-Evan



UPDATE (9/23/06):

Finally got the thing working. Thanks to rlc for his info. Notes below.

First: BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR FIBER OPTIC CABLES! Seriously, I've had 3 people contact me with the exact same problem described in one of the notes in part 11.

The "I Stage" or "I Level" programming is required prior to installing the adapter. It might be possible to do this programming after installation...but I honestly don't know. Either way, it's required. Here's what I did:

The programming is done via a MOST port next to the OBDII programming port under the driver's side dash. The plug (when the car isn't being programmed) is plugged into a "reflector bridge" that completes the MOST bus loop. I took this reflector (actually stole one off of an E90), and essentially took the MOST plug out of the iPod adapter, and plugged it into the reflector, essentially bypassing the whole iPod adapter on the MOST bus. I then dropped my car off at the dealer with the reflector installed on the adapter plug, and the glove compartment removed. This allowed them to program the car with the latest "I Stage" or "I Level" (they refer to it as either...my money is that your SA won't know what you're talking about when you mention it anyway) with the adapter "not installed" (bypassed, really), then simply remove the reflector, and plug the adapter back in for the rest of the flash.

End result: now the damn thing works!

-Evan
__________________
335i Coupe - Space Grey/Coral Red
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  #1  
By EvanL on 09-15-2006, 01:53 PM
Note that the BMW iPod installation instructions say that it is necessary to remove the wood/aluminum/whatever trim piece for this installation. While it is not necessary, if you are having problems getting your upper glove box panel back on, removing it will help you see where you're catching something and fix the problem. Let me know if you want me to post pictures on that procedure.

-Evan
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  #2  
By EvanL on 09-15-2006, 01:58 PM
Another note: There are a lot of small electrical connections to lights and accessories in the panels and climate control panel that you will have to remove in the process. No biggie, just remember where they were and how they connected. On my car, they were as follows:
  • 1 electrical connection on the under glove box trim panel (light)
  • 4 electrical connections on the upper glove box panel (1 lighting, 1 for trunk switch, 1 for the flashlight, and 1 dead connection)
  • 2 electrical connections on the Climate Control (both lever-actuated harnesses)
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  #3  
By FrankoQ on 09-15-2006, 05:50 PM
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Great!
kind of...
So what's your status?
Are they going to fix the software upload?

gives me hope to do the same.
Install it myself and hope to only pay one hour for software updates.
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  #4  
By skyblue on 09-16-2006, 01:16 AM
Thanks for the info. Cud u post pics of removal procedure for the trim piece?

You saved me lots of grief about the optical cable connector. It was on wrong cable in my kit 2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanL
Note that the BMW iPod installation instructions say that it is necessary to remove the wood/aluminum/whatever trim piece for this installation. While it is not necessary, if you are having problems getting your upper glove box panel back on, removing it will help you see where you're catching something and fix the problem. Let me know if you want me to post pictures on that procedure.

-Evan
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  #5  
By EvanL on 09-16-2006, 10:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankoQ
Great!
kind of...
So what's your status?
Are they going to fix the software upload?

gives me hope to do the same.
Install it myself and hope to only pay one hour for software updates.
Flashed it again, but still no "CDC" selection on my radio. We're not really sure where the problem is. My car is an E92, so that may be a possible (but unlikely) reason for the problem.

Strangely enough, the iPod shows the Roundel and indicated that it's in "BMW" mode, but nothing happens on the radio side.

-Evan
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  #6  
By EvanL on 09-16-2006, 10:37 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyblue
Thanks for the info. Cud u post pics of removal procedure for the trim piece?

You saved me lots of grief about the optical cable connector. It was on wrong cable in my kit 2.
Sure!

1) Start prying on the right side of the trim piece with a screwdriver/rivet puller wrapped in cloth. There are points on the trim piece (indicated by the blue squares below) where the trim is friction-fit via pins into the dash. Be sure to pry directly on them, and not simply pull on the trim piece.
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2) Remove the electrical connections from the center control module and the start button. Note that the center control module pops out, making reinstallation of the wiring MUCH easier.
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3) That's about it. Shown below is the trim piece removed with the cupholder trim piece removed as well.
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Hope this helps.

-Evan
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  #7  
By rlc on 09-17-2006, 01:32 AM
Evan,

Thanks for taking the time to post the excellent DIY for iPod install.

I had mine installed by the dealer last week. The tech said it took him about 4 hours, but said it was his first one, he was doing some experimenting, and felt that it will go much faster on the future installs. He made a point of saying he learned it was important to flash to the latest 'I Stage' (don't know for sure what that means) prior to connecting the iPod interface to the network. Could it be that not flashing prior to your install is the problem getting the system to recognize the adapter? Hopefully you won't have to go back and disconnect before flashing - what a pain?

My car's install was completed with the flash and coding process, but not a Progman update. The SA said the software portion of the install only took about 30 minutes. I was quoted and charged 1.5 hours labor for the install.

Thanks again for the writeup - hope you get it working soon.
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  #8  
By skyblue on 09-17-2006, 08:39 PM
Do you need to remove the cup holders in order to remove the glove box? Also did you have a 6cd stacker before you installed the adaptor?

I bought a kit when i was in US and will attempt install. The adaptors arent offered in Australia yet so Im screwed if i need programming. Has anyone DYI'd this thing and had it work without programming?
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  #9  
By EvanL on 09-17-2006, 08:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyblue
Do you need to remove the cup holders in order to remove the glove box? Also did you have a 6cd stacker before you installed the adaptor?

I bought a kit when i was in US and will attempt install. The adaptors arent offered in Australia yet so Im screwed if i need programming. Has anyone DYI'd this thing and had it work without programming?
Yes, the cupholders need to come out for the glove compartment (upper part) to come out.

No, I didn't have a CD changer beforehand.

You will need reprogramming if you don't already have a CD changer installed. If you do, I'm really not sure what the procedure is. I know that the 5-er and 6-er guys have been having good luck transplanting the iPod adapter for their CD changer without reflashing...

-Evan
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  #10  
By skyblue on 09-24-2006, 05:26 PM
I installed the adaptor with no problems after following evan's posts. I can confirm you dont need a software update if you already have a cd changer installed.
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  #11  
By EvanL on 09-25-2006, 01:36 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyblue
I installed the adaptor with no problems after following evan's posts. I can confirm you dont need a software update if you already have a cd changer installed.
Good to hear. At least this procedure (the software side, that is) will be much easier for those with going into this thing with a CD Changer installed.

Thanks to rlc for his info on the 'I Stage' or 'I Level' programming...the update to the original post should cover this information.

-Evan
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  #12  
By rlc on 09-25-2006, 02:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanL
Good to hear. At least this procedure (the software side, that is) will be much easier for those with going into this thing with a CD Changer installed.

Thanks to rlc for his info on the 'I Stage' or 'I Level' programming...the update to the original post should cover this information.

-Evan
Evan,

Glad you got it working. Great thinking on "tricking" the system in order to avoid tearing apart everything to disconnect before flashing.

What is the dealer charging for recoding and did he charge separately for the I-Level flashing or include it in your recode charges? IOW how much did you save on labor by doing the install yourself?

Rick
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  #13  
By silverado on 07-07-2007, 04:14 PM
Resurrecting an old thread here...

My dealer said that I cannot install the iPod kit if I have Sirius satellite radio installed in the car. Is this true? I've only seen the CD changer referenced, it is also true for sirius radio?

Thanks.
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  #14  
By rlc on 07-08-2007, 11:23 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverado View Post
Resurrecting an old thread here...

My dealer said that I cannot install the iPod kit if I have Sirius satellite radio installed in the car. Is this true? I've only seen the CD changer referenced, it is also true for sirius radio?

Thanks.
Unless there has been a recent change, the dealer is wrong. Sirius and the MOST iPod adapter can both be installed.

The iPod adapter will eliminate the ability to have the CD Changer connected to the MOST bus, as the iPod adapter emulates the CD Changer.
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File Type: pdf iPod Adapter MOST BMW.pdf (92.4 KB, 1672 views)
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  #15  
By headred on 07-09-2007, 11:39 AM
The "I Stage" or "I Level" programming is required prior to installing the adapter. It might be possible to do this programming after installation...but I honestly don't know. Either way, it's required. Here's what I did:

The programming is done via a MOST port next to the OBDII programming port under the driver's side dash. The plug (when the car isn't being programmed) is plugged into a "reflector bridge" that completes the MOST bus loop. I took this reflector (actually stole one off of an E90), and essentially took the MOST plug out of the iPod adapter, and plugged it into the reflector, essentially bypassing the whole iPod adapter on the MOST bus. I then dropped my car off at the dealer with the reflector installed on the adapter plug, and the glove compartment removed. This allowed them to program the car with the latest "I Stage" or "I Level" (they refer to it as either...my money is that your SA won't know what you're talking about when you mention it anyway) with the adapter "not installed" (bypassed, really), then simply remove the reflector, and plug the adapter back in for the rest of the flash.

End result: now the damn thing works!

-Evan

If I took a copy of this process to the dealer they could get it done? I have the adapter coming today... I'd like to install it and then just hand it over to them.
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  #16  
By headred on 07-11-2007, 06:31 PM
I just spoke to SA's from Cunningham, San Diego, and Brecht BMW... they all say that I Stage or I Level programming is done after installation and that there is no programming that needs to be done b-4.
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  #17  
By xpnstos77 on 10-31-2007, 12:54 PM
Same as factory?

Does the USB near the aux input get installed as if the car was ordered from the factory? The aux input is in the armrest. Does the kit offer this. I did not order it in my car because I had heard that the factory one disables the buttons on the ipod. After searching online for an aftermarket one I noticed that nobody makes one.
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  #18  
By tintivilus on 10-31-2007, 03:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by xpnstos77 View Post
Does the USB near the aux input get installed as if the car was ordered from the factory? The aux input is in the armrest. Does the kit offer this. I did not order it in my car because I had heard that the factory one disables the buttons on the ipod. After searching online for an aftermarket one I noticed that nobody makes one.
can't...resist...feeding...zombie...thread...

If you want to use the buttons on your ipod, what are you trying to install? Just plug it into the aux-in which could can do just as well with or without 6FL.
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  #19  
By xpnstos77 on 11-02-2007, 10:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by tintivilus View Post
can't...resist...feeding...zombie...thread...

If you want to use the buttons on your ipod, what are you trying to install? Just plug it into the aux-in which could can do just as well with or without 6FL.
You cant charge through the aux port and you also dont see your library on the nav with the aux port.

What I really was looking to do is have the best of both worlds and access it by hand and also by nav.
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  #20  
By pm2 on 02-19-2008, 10:55 PM
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How do you remove the wires from the head unit harness? I tried to remove them, but they are too tight. It seems like I need a special tool to release them from the front of the plug. Any help is much appreciated!
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  #21  
By FrankoQ on 03-04-2008, 12:21 PM
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Has anyone else been successful at doing this mod?
someone without CD changer.
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