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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > ConnectedDrive / I-Drive / Navigation Related Discussion > I-Drive Navigation Retrofit!



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      04-03-2008, 02:00 PM   #1
Booster4075
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I-Drive Navigation Retrofit!

Okay-

I know pretty much everyone here either has i-drive or went the cheap way with an aftermarket GPS. However, I have a NUVI and still want my idrive navigation setup. ....and no...I'm not going to buy a new car. I've seen a few people on these forums express interest in this, so I'm going to push forward and make this work.

I'd like to start a technical topic here on the retrofit of the Navigation Professional system on an E90. I'm going to do it. Of course, cost is an issue, but I plan to do all I can (labor wise) and just pay the stealer for the programming and such. I'll make a DIY page with pics when I'm done.

My car is a US 2007 e90 335i sedan with Logic 7 audio, factory bluetooth, and BMW (SOS) assist. I have scoured all of the forums, looked at the TIS, attempted to review the wiring diagrams (for which I could find) and have already purchased some parts out of a wrecked 320d from the UK. The parts I have already are the CCC/SatNav DVD drive, the 8.8" screen, a wiring harness, the i-drive controller, and I've downloaded the torrent of a 2007 nav-professional map. All I need (I think) is a dashboard, and a bunch of knowledge before I rip my car apart.

There's a couple of questions (with many more to follow) that someone must know:

1) If I have BMW (SOS) assist, is the shark fin antenna already equipped with the guts needed for satnav?
2) It doesn't appear (from the realoem.com site) that there is a difference in dashboard wiring harnesses from a regular car to one equipped with i-drive. I can't quite believe this. If this is true, I should have an idrive controller knob connector under the center console...I can't seem to find it.
3) I know the dashboard is different...almost $700 new, hopefully less at a salvage place. How hard is this to change?....it doesn't look too bad on paper. I'm most worried about pulling out the a-pillar airbag-curtains.
4) My steering wheel buttons (on the right) are slightly different than an i-drive car...but when equipped with a CCC, will the car see them as the optional programmable keys?
5) I have yet to figure out the difference between I-drive controller knobs/buttons. There is a "high" model, but I have no idea what the rest is about. The one I received with my kit from the UK has one "menu" button. Most I see pictures of have two buttons...one menu button and one with voice assist. Another question here...is there such thing as a factory i-drive install without voice assist?

If anyone has any of this info, or is in a position to try this install also (or has already done so!) - please chime in!
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      04-03-2008, 03:09 PM   #2
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April fools!

OH wait, it's April 3rd. Well, you know what they say...

In all seriousness, this would probably void a good amount of your warranty, and iDrive glitches won't be covered either. You already ask a bunch of serious technical questions that nobody has necessarily come across since it will end up being much more than the $2100 that the iDrive option costs, to retrofit. As you said, $700 for just the dash, that's 1/3 the iDrive cost from the factory!
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      04-03-2008, 03:28 PM   #3
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I'm scared by the fact that you actually thought there was an Idrive knob tucked under the center console somewhere not being used and that you looked for it...
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      04-03-2008, 03:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-MC-G View Post
I'm scared by the fact that you actually thought there was an Idrive knob tucked under the center console somewhere not being used and that you looked for it...
OK, I feel guilty about being negative. I would personally buy the Idrive dash and flush mount a cool touch screen aftermarket nav system where the OEM one would go. I feel like your existing communications equipment is piped via the stock radio, and if you pull that out in favor of a new Idrive system, that will all need to be re-wired to work. Also you will need to install a speed sensor wire, since the non-Idrive cars don't have an extra one.
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      04-03-2008, 09:11 PM   #5
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Ahh...you're being silly...I know there's no knob under there...I was expecting a four-pin (disconnected) connector for the controller tucked under there somewhere, I just didn't see it.

The information (like the speed sensor wire) - this is the information I need. I'm surprised that info doesn't come over the vehicle bus. Hmm...

..and yeah, its a $2100 option, but I didn't buy my car new, so buying a new car is a $15K+ option...or finding the "perfect" used car. I love my car and have it fixed up nearly the way I want it. Its easier for you to say because you ordered a new one with the option. I figure I'll gather the parts, do as much R&D as possible, then see if it works. If not, I can always sell the parts on ebay. I'm trying to make open-minded friends at the dealer so that they can help me with suggestions on how to get this whole thing going. It seems to me that it shouldn't be impossible...its the same exact car, equipped slightly different. Like I said, I already have the i-drive dash harness, so that should solve some problems (if I actually need it.)

I also found there there is an air-cooling pipe that is tucked into the dash, likely to help cool the CCC. I just keep hearing about fan wiring, but I think that's more related to e46 nav retrofits(?). My hope is to get this thing done for about the same price as the option. I've got the expensive pieces already (sans the dash) and I'm still under $900. Don't get me wrong, I refuse to spend $6K or some ridiculous amount for this...then I WILL buy a new car!
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      04-03-2008, 09:59 PM   #6
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There was a guy "Tierfreund" was his name, who knew everything about this kind of stuff. I haven't seen him post in a year, but he would be the best bet for help. I have lots of experience with the stereos in non-Idrive E90s, but not to much with ones equiped with Idrive. I'll help you out if I can, but can't promise too much.
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      04-04-2008, 01:29 PM   #7
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I'd (along with many others also!) would appreciate any info or wiring diagrams you could come up with.

I'm learning more about this everyday! It's crazy, but I really think it can be done for a reasonable amount of money and a little bit of work. I think all of this R&D is the real work...I need to spend a few hours with some I-drive/non-I-drive wiring diagrams to put it all together. I think it'll be a useful learning experience and the DIY will help at least a few others...

More news..I located a used dashboard (complete) with the double-scoop for $345....that beats a new one for $670+shipping. The quest continues....

Last edited by Booster4075; 04-04-2008 at 02:32 PM.
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      04-06-2008, 04:35 PM   #8
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      04-06-2008, 09:23 PM   #9
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I'm NOT kidding about anything about this topic. I am technically inclined (I changed one car of mine from an automatic to 5-spd) ...goal oriented, and hey, if I can get it done for less than the $2100 option, I gotta try!
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      04-07-2008, 12:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booster4075 View Post
I'm NOT kidding about anything about this topic. I am technically inclined (I changed one car of mine from an automatic to 5-spd) ...goal oriented, and hey, if I can get it done for less than the $2100 option, I gotta try!
you should have let off on drinks....

J/k!

In all seriousness - I doubt this will be something you can get done for under 2100$.

Parts usually cost much more when individually ordered for components such as the I-Drive not mention the whole time/effort it will take to retrofit. Also, unless you are a BMW certified mechanic/engineer....I can't imagine the various components that will be linked to I-Drive and/or removed when retrofitting this into the vehicle...

But never say never, so I wish the best of luck to you!
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      04-07-2008, 12:13 PM   #11
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Good luck bro

I tried doing this in my 325...I ended up buying a 335 with navigation
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      04-07-2008, 12:20 PM   #12
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Hunter399- How far did you get and what kept you from getting it done??

I'm not at all worried about getting the dash and all the components in....its all that unknown stuff. (like on the X5's, there are two signals from the OBC that the NAV won't get unless you replace instrument cluster) I've got a torrent of the wiring diagrams going now...I've got some serious homework ahead of me.

I'm already looking into the heater seat retrofit, which seems much simpler. (I've already retrofitted two of my previous cars with seat heaters.) That oem kit for the 320d should probably work with a s/o switch panel.

Hmm....Probably shoulda saved up $55K and just bought a new 335 with all the gizmos.. heh heh OH WELL
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      04-07-2008, 12:30 PM   #13
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I dident get far at all

I got to the point of ordering the dash, and quit hah\
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      04-07-2008, 12:48 PM   #14
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So..I'm assuming you quit for $ reasons? (or $$$$ reasons in this case!?)

I was hoping to find someone on this forum who has silently done it without posting about it. Maybe I'll be the guinea pig who fails, but I'm determined to make it work. With no rattles!
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      04-09-2008, 03:27 AM   #15
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I admire your drive to get this done but I think the flaw in the whole idea is that the built-in Nav totally SUCKS compared to basically any aftermarket nav unit, including $150 TomTom, Garmin, Magellan, or even second tier brands like Mio. With any of those units you can program in and find destinations in seconds compared to 1-2 minutes with the iDrive. You'll actually be able to find POI's instead of searching around for which category to search in. You'll have better graphics with night mode, etc. You can actually have usable rerouting options. You can construct multiple waypoint itineraries. Etc, etc, etc. The BMW Nav is an embarassment. Frankly, it is the part of the car that I hate the most.

I second the earlier suggestion to get the double hump dash and then install another type of Nav unit into it.
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      04-09-2008, 04:32 AM   #16
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Honestly, I have thought that through some, and have used the i-drive a bit to know the difference. I really do enjoy the ease of the Garmin NUVI GPS and finding POI's, etc. I just HATE pulling out my NUVI seemingly everywhere I park in fear that my car will get boosted for the more than obvious GPS mounted on the dash...once in my car, they'll grab the ipod and who knows what else.

I also like the other functionality in the i-drive (besides the GPS.) Controlling my ipod through the Professional radio right now is stupid & ridiculous - I may have to fashion the USB retrofit (6FL) at the same time.

I suppose once the dash is in, it should be easy (assuming right now that the instrument harness is the same) to go back to my original configuration...except it'll require a custom bezel to remount the Professional radio (as it loses it's mounting location with the double-scoop dashboard.)
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      04-09-2008, 04:59 PM   #17
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Hey Booster4075,

You got a partner here! I hope to acquire an E90 330i shortly and add iDrive and a rear power sunshade.

Got a quote of $3100 on a Salvage E92 for everything 'cept for the dash and most likely some harnesses and i'm not sure if that included the center console + knob.

Looking at pics of an idrive and non idrive equipped car, the climate control module looks the same on both, except a different bezel is used.

The GPS computer + pathetic single disc cd player. assuming a 330i with premium package bmw assist+bluetooth and a logic audio system, i hope the wiring and electrical signals are compatible from gps headunit to amp.

I'm willing to tear apart the entire car to do this project. The toughest part will be sourcing components for less than $2100.

If the airbags have deployed, does that render the dashboard useless?

thanks,
Ben
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      04-09-2008, 05:05 PM   #18
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Ben - SUPER! Glad to have you on board! So many questions to be answered in this!

Okay...yes, if the passenger airbag is blown, the dashboard is useless...its all one piece that we need intact. The HVAC control does look the same and it just pops in the double-scoop dash without the bezel we have on the non-idrive car. I bought some parts from the UK (SatNav Pro system with 8.8" screen, DVD drive/computer, i-drive controller, antenna with shark fin, and wiring loom) for less than $1K. I dunno if I need to change out the antenna since I already have BMW (SOS) assist installed, so I think the GPS antenna is already in the sharkfin. A new dash is around $700, sand it eems like salvage ones (not blown up by airbag) are around half of that.

I too, am willing to tear my car apart...(see my next post) and am working diligently to figure this out! Glad to have some help!
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      04-09-2008, 05:16 PM   #19
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PM'ed you, but since this will eventually turn into a DIY, for background, how similar is the electronic component topography to that of an E46.

On the E46, the navigation computer was in the trunk, cd player sat behind the 16x9 widescreen and the radio/audio control module model BM53 plugged in somewhere along the way.

IS the E90/92 th same in that the double DIN gps computer/cd player requires a audio/radio module (brain) to manage the radio? Is it model BM53 or BM54?
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      04-09-2008, 05:20 PM   #20
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Okay - I tore half my car apart last night for some R&D and found a few things....

-- Under the center console (next to the ebrake if you pull the whole thing up) are two UNUSED wiring connectors, clipped into the console so they won't rattle. One is a purple/violet antenna connector...it goes into the harness and disappears. A continuity test indicates that it is grounded with the FM radio antenna but the center pin is different. I dunno if it has anything to do with NAV or its there in case I had the comfort access option. The other connector is a huge funky connector with only four pins installed which has BL,GN,BR,RT/GN wires coming out of it. Its in the perfect location for the i-drive controler, but the wiring color codes don't jive with my WDS diagram. The connector doesn't even come close to fitting the i-drive controller I have either, Hmm....


-- I have another wiring loom I got with my SatNav system...its confusing since I seem to think its exactly the same as the one in my car. Yes...so far, I think the dash looms are identical to i-drive cars. The audio system harness appears to be the same also! No different part numbers on realoem.com either. I've labeled all of the connections I've located so far. If I could find the unused display connector (somewhere behind the instrument cluster I think) for the i-drive lcd screen, I'd be sure its the same harness...more R&D to follow...

-- The connector that goes into the back of my stock Professional radio is the same that goes into the back of the SatNav computer. I put it in and it fired up the CD motors, and lit up the button backlighting, but nogo. (although I didn't have the display hooked up either.)

-- Bottom line, I think there are three main things so far to deal with: a) Antenna: if a separate antenna lead to the nav antenna was run from SatNav computer to sharkfin (or wherever the harness ends) I think we'd be in business. It looks like the antenna for the SOS system contains the GPS guts. b) The wiring for the i-drive controller needs to be located (or adapted if the wiring I found is it.) c) Display wiring: the display has two connectors, one fat multi-pin wire to the SatNav computer (easy) and another 12-pin connector, which at this time is MIA. I still think its hidden up in the dash somewhere, taped to the harness so it won't rattle.

I'm sure there are many more issues, but these are the beginning ones I located thus far.

Rev2Live- I'm pretty sure that the CCC/SatNav computer is completely self-contained within the radio..the entire system is in the box and is routed up to the display and uses the i-drive controller. The radio does use the Logic7 amplifier tho, as far as I know. There is no other computer in the trunk (this may be completely different if you have the TV option though...) The SatNav computer does look like it has a two-part module put together (sort of like the 53/54 you were talking about), but its not the same thing. Its a complete set that doesn't come apart. Looks similar tho..

Last edited by Booster4075; 04-09-2008 at 05:38 PM.
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      04-09-2008, 05:58 PM   #21
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Most likely, you'll need a retrofit harness for the iDrive connector. Also, you will need an aerial antenna. Do you have the Video Control module and gyroscopes?

I'm pretty sure the harness is similar to number 3 and 5 in this diagram.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...13&hg=84&fg=95

And don't forget that the dealler has to code the idrive system to your car or else no go.

Last edited by Rev2Liv; 04-09-2008 at 06:02 PM. Reason: add
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      04-09-2008, 06:48 PM   #22
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You know...I know nothing about the gyroscopes on this project. I don't know if its integral or what. There's no external ones that I know of. I have the nav antenna and shark fin (from my parts aquirement) although from my understanding the antenna used for BMW assist (SOS) should work also. (?) I have the video module, the controller, from my understanding, is part of the satnav computer (CCC) module. I think the satnav's of earlier BMW's are quite a bit different than this animal.

Coding is, of course, necessary, but thats a headache for the end of the project.

First I have to determine if that unused connector is indeed for the i-drive controller...then I could either adapt (make a harness) or find a retrofit harness. Its kinda weird. I'll post a picture of the connector and my i-drive controller interface connector in a little bit..
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