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2006 BMW E90, here we go again.....

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  • 2006 BMW E90, here we go again.....

    OK, my first post, please bare with me.

    I have had the car for about a year now, and have tried over and over to figure out how to get a monitor into this car.

    For all those unfamiliar with the interior, this is a stock photo of the dash:

    Now some might say the easiest way is to buy the trim for cars that come with navigation, of course BMW makes that impossible. Here is a pic of a dash with stock navigation aka I-Drive:

    This is not a trim piece, instead the WHOLE dash needs to be changed which is something thats not possible for me. This is a diagram of the dash with the screen housing:

    So after being stuck in this situation for a while now, i finally dug up some interesting pics on a BMW forum:

    This was posted with no other info, seems to be a Japanese Ebay item.

    Now to me, that thing looks horrible, and way too big. BUT thats exactly what I had in mind. Something to this effect, where it can be a standard 1 DIN size slot.

    Does anyone think they can take on a project like this? I basically just need the housing, but something that will flow with the dash.

    What do you guys think? Any other ideas or suggestions?

    *Please note, the head unit is not something i want to replace. The radio not only controls basic radio function, but its the only way to access blue-tooth, sat radio, and even a OB computer and engine info. Plus that and the fact that it uses a fiber optic system and is all tied in with steering wheel controls, its just not an option for me.
    The good thing is it has a AUX input, so getting sound out of a carpc should not be a problem.

  • #2
    Heres another idea, using an external DIN case, the only ones I can find are the ones used on boats:

    What do you guys think? Any other suggestions?


    • #3
      None of those pieces is going to look very much like an OEM installation.

      Maybe you could determine what years of E90 use that dash piece, and then start hitting the auto graveyards to see if you can find a deceased model with a good dash. In Florida, we have yards called "U-Pick" where you can go out and pull the parts yourself. Others will do a part search for you across the network of parts recyclers, and give you a price for them to get one in at their yard. There's a "roadrunner" who circulates among them delivering parts, so they'll get it in for you.

      Depending on what material it is, it may be possible to change the color, so you have a wider selection; some of the body shop members on here may know about that.

      It's a chunk of work to change a dash, but the beautiful result would be worth it. I wish my installation was as easy as changing a dash . . .
      If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

      2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at


      • #4
        Ever thought about a half-DIN size motorized screen?

        Track down a smaller pod like that, or a custom pod. That way, it won't be as protruding as the one you posted in your first post.

        Here is 2 photos shamelessly stolen from Nexson fabrication thread.

        Yes i know its a Honda. But just showing for illustration purposes.


        • #5
          All those add on pieces are just gross..............not befitting a BMW.

          You could always use a flip out screen, but that's not very Bimmer-ish either.

          Changing a dash is not as impossible as you think. It's a lot of work, easily a full weekend job if you're not familiar with it, and I would make sure you have a way to work on monday besides the bimmer if it's your only car. But if you can use a screwdriver and a socket set, you just dissasemble it and then put it back together with the new parts. There may be a few minor differences (obviously) but if the part is made for the car, it will go in.

          Not only that, the knowledge you will gain of the space, components and electronics will be invaluable when installing a carputer.

          I'd start collecting together the pieces for your 'puter and keep watching the salvage yards and maybe ebay (but you'll probably get hosed on ebay) for a dash.

          A dash will turn up (some fool will wreck one sooner or later) and you can use the time waiting for a dash to get your 'puter setup running on the test bench. This will allow you to at least get the OS stable before attempting and install.

          It's a bimmer man;

          Do it once, do it right.

          Just my .02..........
          For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
          Leonardo Da Vinci


          • #6
            I totaly agree with the great white thing.

            Have a look at the clima and stereo... When I replaced my business system with a Bordmonitor I needed to move the clima down one click, and that required a new center frame.

            I'm not saying you will have too, you just need to make sure so that you do get all the bits and pieces when that wreck do show up.
            My car installation mp3car thread "showing off project"


            • #7
              The new dash is surprisingly cheap, around 280 in the UK and around $350 in the States.

              I am not however sure if the radio and climate controls will then fit in the new dash, it is slightly different as it is designed to hold the climate on top and the nav computer underneath, however, I think it will as I have the business nav hear and that fits in the standard cd player slot.
              You may have to move the radio down below the climate and then dremmel the edges down so it isn't as wide.

              There are also double din kits...




              I think I am going to use the grille in the dash and fabricate a pod to hold a screen, like an i-drive hump but a little farther back, you can revert the car back to stock at any time then by buying a $20 grill.