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2003 BMW Install - general questions

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  • 2003 BMW Install - general questions

    Finally getting ready to dive in....

    I have a 2003 BMW 525i. It has the stock HU - Business CD with DSP.

    I want to replace the CD with a single din LCD - and keep the Mid ( the radio + display portion)

    I have a car2pc adapter from Indash to connect up to the ibus, and I know I need a s/pdif out from the computer to tie into the audio - because I have DSP....

    I have read-up on a lot of threads about installing for e39s and have seen references to installing a single din LCD while keeping the mid - but I have not actually found a finished example of this.

    Does anyone know if this would even fit/work?

    Also, while I have the car2pc adapter, I have seen comments suggesting that other ibus adapters are more capable.

    Does anyone know if this is the case? Should I have gone with another adapter?

    I am a noob to the board, but have been lurking for a while - please be gentle... HA!

  • #2
    Anyone have any suggestions?


    • #3
      Am I asking the wrong questions or perhaps I am posting in the wrong sub-forum?


      • #4
        Well I have a e46 M3 and I put in my carputer pretty simply. I have HK w/ DSP but I just bought the RCA input adapter (plugs in where the CD Changer would) and it gives me an input (that I just plug in to the computer with a standard headphone cable).

        As for the Ibus integration... I haven't done this yet and am not sure if I am going to, but that would be pretty cool because you could control a lot. There is a yahoo group called HackTheIbus that has a ton of info on that.

        I hope this was helpful!


        • #5
          I'm about to do an install on my E46 as well. I'll have an aftermarket headunit in the glovebox and I'm relocating just the faceplate where my current ashtray is. I'll use the headunit for my aux input. I also have the ibus controller. Go to for all your ibus questions. The guy running that website really knows his stuff.

          What kind of setup are you going to be running btw?


          • #6
            So are you putting an aftermarket headunit in the glovebox to make room for the LCD bezel in the dash? That would give it a nice clean OEM look... but if you're a little crazy like me, I got rid of my rear-view and mounted the monitor there. I put in a rear-view camera so I still have that when needed (even tho you really don't HAVE to have it once you get used to no rear-view mirror)!

            The one main advantage of this is that you don't have to screw with the default factory setup, which was the main reason my old install in my last car was buggy. Controlling the volume via the headunit (and from the steering wheel) is so much easier than having the carputer do it. Here is a post that shows this setup (see last page for pics).


            • #7
              very nice, i actually read that thread on fanatics not too long ago. I'll have an lcd filling the entire double-din area where my current HU and AC controls are now. My AC controls will move down to where the sunglass holder is and I plan on making a custom bezel for my alpine faceplate where the ashtray is. I went with alpine because this particualr unit allows you to change the color of the buttons. Their amber color matches the oem BMW amber perfectly. I bought a pre-made LCD bezel for my xenarc screen too. Should be a nice, clean, OEM-look install when its all done.


              • #8
                Cool... post up pics when you're done cause I'd love to check it out!


                • #9
                  Hey guys - glad to see some posts...

                  I will start looking into hacktheibus. Do either of you know if someone has installed a single din unit in the same slot as the cd changer, keeping the existing HU?


                  • #10
                    not sure, i dont believe i've ever seen this. Maybe try something custom?


                    • #11
                      Rolf Resler's IBUS adapter is the best one out there.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by konfoo View Post
                        Rolf Resler's IBUS adapter is the best one out there.
                        agreed. I've got the seriel connection type. The hardest part is programming the damn thing