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      04-25-2011, 04:07 PM   #1
av_123
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335i Combox Telematics Retrofit Success!

To all those looking to retrofit the Combox Telematics—look no further than Patrys@BimmerTech!

Here is a brief synopsis of my story:

I ordered a 2011 335i coupe in July of 2010. It arrived in August. In the envelope my October bill I noticed a little announcement from BMW about the new “Office” features and the expanded iPod controls available in the 2011 cars. I was furious when I called and was told that not only was it a hardware update (I thought I would just need to update my vehicle’s software), but that retrofitting my car with the “Combox” was “not possible.”

I was so mad that I set out to prove those bastards wrong!

I joined this forum specifically for the purpose of contacting Patrys@BimmerTech and inquiring about his retrofit after seeing a couple of his posts.

1.) He replied to my email very quickly

2.) We discussed the pros and cons of retrofitting either the Media version of the Telematics version of the combox

3.) I ordered the Telematics version from him, which arrived in a few weeks’ time

4.) We set a time to complete the installation and he was prompt and patient with my questions and whining throughout

5.) I spent a few hours in the trunk doing some easy wiring

6.) THE MAGIC IS IN THE CODING. Once I finished the grunt work, he logged in via the internet to a laptop plugged into my car (with a cable he provided) and coded the various features we discussed.

7.) Voila, it friggin works!!

I am happy to say that I can now stream Bluetooth audio from my iPhone (including Pandora), I can select songs/albums/artists from my iPod using voice control, and I can see the album art on the display. Numerous other improvements are also evident (e.g. I can also now mute phone calls, numbers show up on the display when dialed from the phone itself). He also CODED video in motion so I can navigate and watch DVD’s while driving—NO NEW HARDWARE REQUIRED!

All that’s left for me now is getting BMW Assist to recognize the new hardware. I will update this post when I know more (fingers crossed).

IN SHORT: For any of you considering whether or not the combox retrofit works, or whether or not to use Patryk to do it, I can attest to the simple facts that IT DEFINITELY WORKS, AND PATRYS@BIMMERTECH IS THE MAN!

Last edited by av_123; 04-26-2011 at 01:55 AM. Reason: Corrected
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      04-25-2011, 04:14 PM   #2
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He most certainly is. I can attest to that.
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      04-25-2011, 05:19 PM   #3
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I'm nervously deciding weather or not I should do this. If they can make BMW assist work (I don't care if I would need a new subscription) and give me some promise that this won't void my warranty (I mean it's BMW parts, and the BMW Performance upgrades don't void the warranty sooo...) then I might have to jump on the COMBOX upgrade. I want my damn iPod bitsteaming/"iPod out"
Office would be nice...but if iPod out isn't working yet...then it's a no go.
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      04-25-2011, 06:30 PM   #4
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How long did the whole installation and coding process take? Was the installation plug and play, or did it involve any fancy wiring?

I have the same car as you (same month, model + M Sport Package ) and just ordered the Combox Telematics from Patryk last night.

Looking forward to hearing your success with BMW Assist.
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      04-25-2011, 06:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollinstone157 View Post
I'm nervously deciding weather or not I should do this. If they can make BMW assist work (I don't care if I would need a new subscription) and give me some promise that this won't void my warranty (I mean it's BMW parts, and the BMW Performance upgrades don't void the warranty sooo...) then I might have to jump on the COMBOX upgrade. I want my damn iPod bitsteaming/"iPod out"
Office would be nice...but if iPod out isn't working yet...then it's a no go.
It's my understanding that you need to have the 6NR feature to do "iPod out", which wasn't even offered until April 2011 I think. The combox supports 6NR, but in my case, it looks like I would have to run a new cable from the trunk to the CIC and really mess with the current install to get working. I don't need to stream video from my phone (I'm not in the car THAT much). I don't get a native iPod screen if that's what you're looking for, but the features it gave me are exactly what I was looking for. As far as your warranty goes, I have no idea...mine's a lease

Last edited by av_123; 04-26-2011 at 12:13 AM.
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      04-25-2011, 06:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jehu View Post
How long did the whole installation and coding process take? Was the installation plug and play, or did it involve any fancy wiring?

I have the same car as you (same month, model + M Sport Package ) and just ordered the Combox Telematics from Patryk last night.

Looking forward to hearing your success with BMW Assist.
I managed to pull it off in a few hours split over two days. The wiring is not fancy, but you do have to remove some pins from the TCU connector and put them in the Combox connector. If you have PDC, there are another couple of wires you have to run. It's not plug n play, but if you just stick with it, it's pretty easy. The coding doesn't take long at all.
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      04-26-2011, 08:50 AM   #7
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you can read how to do it on several other forums. So you could do all the things by yourself...
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      04-26-2011, 10:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
All that’s left for me now is getting BMW Assist to recognize the new hardware. I will update this post when I know more (fingers crossed).
I think that activation is the one significant piece holding a lot of us back on the Combox telematics retrofit.

Has anyone pulled this telematics unit apart, along with the old TCU to find if the GSM radios are modular and interchangeable?
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      04-26-2011, 11:29 AM   #9
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how much did the combox cost. I am in the exact same situation. Have a 2011 335 and ordered my Car July 2010.
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      04-27-2011, 05:12 AM   #10
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Thanks Allen for the feedback!

I am glad everything works as expected!

If anyone has any questions on this retrofit feel free to contact us at info@bimmer-tech.net

Thanks!
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      04-27-2011, 12:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flowmaster View Post
you can read how to do it on several other forums. So you could do all the things by yourself...
True but, for me, experience is often more valuable than knowledge in cases such as this. I personally find someone else's experience worth the extra money, in that it saves me time, which is the most valuable commodity of all...
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