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Thread: 2003 E46 BMW 3 Series Ci Coupe UK Install Complete - custom dash/RR skin - many pics!

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Wales, UK

    2003 E46 BMW 3 Series Ci Coupe UK Install Complete - custom dash/RR skin - many pics!

    After a few months of learning by searching through these forums, other forums and Google, I've finally completed my carPC install on my 2003 E46 318Ci M-Sport.

    First of all - the car:
    Since October 2005 I have been the proud owner of a BMW 318Ci M-Sport (BTW: My name is Lloyd Cody, hence the C8DY L). Here are some pics:

    These are the features I now have in-car:
    - GPS Navigation
    - MP3 / CD / WMA etc. music file player
    - DVD player
    - FM radio
    - CD/DVD / MPG / AVI etc. video file player
    - Digital Terrestrial (DVB-T) Freeview and Analogue television
    - Internet browser and email facilities
    - Games and utility applications

    Here are some pics of my interior and boot (trunk):

    These are pics looking into my boot from the rear seats with the rear seats folded down. This way have access to all my amps, sub bass box and carPC. The PC is vertical and is velcroed onto the side of the subwoofer. My amps are also velcroed to it. The velcro is very heavy duty and takes a huge effort to pull apart so it is very secure. This then gives my the opportunity to take individual items out if I need to. (I apologise for the ****e photos):

    Next, these pics are of the interior of the car with my in dash screen. I have moved the AC controls down into where a storage bin once lived, removed my head unit and put in a Xenarc 7" touchscreen with custom built surround that I ordered from Germany (details below). The bezel surround is from Janus ( board member from Germany - email [email protected] for further details):

    This is the main screen you see after the PC has booted. I am using the RoadRunner front end software (which uses WinAmp) with my own skin. I plan to make release this skin for everyone when I have completely finished it!

    This is the shutdown screen:

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Wales, UK
    This is the audio player (and with visualisation playing):

    This is the On Screen Keyboard (OSK) for character input:

    DVD Player:

    GPS Navigation. For this I'm using iGuidance. I wanted to use Destinator 3 with Map Monkey but the maps have errors where I live so it wasn't possible. iGuidance looks much better IMO anyway - working on a TomTom set up atm:

    Video player (playing an episode of Top Gear):

    Web Browser. I connect to the internet via a bluetooth connection to my mobile, which uses GPRS:

    Utilities screen (other applications). Includes settings, windows explorer and games etc:

    My carPC is running WindowsXP Pro with a styled windows appearance to match my skin. This is so that when error / message dialogues appear, they look as though they are part of the skin:

    I will hopefully have some much better pics at some point. I just took these quickly while I was in the mood to write this!

    This is my PC specification:
    - OPUS case and 120W PSU from Store with onboard 5.1 sound
    - 512MB RAM
    - Via EPIA SP13000 Mobo
    - 100GB laptop drive
    - Avermedia AverTV Hybrid DVB-T/Analogue TV + FM Radio PCI card
    - Belkin Bluetooth adapter
    - Netgear WLAN USB dongle
    - Logitech USB noise-reducing microphone (for when I get my phone integrated)
    - IBUS serial interface in order to use my car's steering wheel controls
    - HOLUX GR-213 USB GPS receiver
    - Xenarc 7" touchscreen

    I've also installed a handy USB port and reset button just below my AC controls (see pics above) just incase the PC freezes. The USB port has been VERY handy. I can plug in a mouse/keyboard for when I need to change settings etc.

    The install took around 3 days after everything was ready to go in - this includes installing a subwoofer and amplifiers.

    - Get the FM radio working properly
    - sort out my slight alternator whine - I have a ground loop in my speaker set-up somewhere that needs eliminating
    - Mount my tv aerial in the rear in order to get decent reception without obscuring the view
    - mount my FM aerial to get decent reception without obscuring the view
    - Complete my RoadRunner skin and release it officially
    - Find some damn way of getting tomtom onto the PC!
    - Get PhoneControl.Net working with my phone (P910i) so that I have my PC as handsfree
    - complete my PC car security system - I'm working on a system to use the PC to be able to use webcams / mics / gps to capture and track criminals in the event the alarm has been triggered

    This is what I hope to write-up in the near future:
    X (NOW COMPLETE) All my expenses to the penny (there were a lot of them!) SEE LATER IN THREAD
    - Full write-up of the install
    - Many more detailed pics
    - My experiences with skinning and a download of the skin I have made
    - Links to all the posts on this forum I used and found very helpful
    - Alist of the problems I faced (and am facing) and their solutions

    Feel free to ask any questions - I will help you to the best of my ability.


  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Very VERY VERY nice setup my friend. Looks very OEM and very clean!!!
    2012 Honda Pilot (In Progress)
    2010 Honda Accord (After the Pilot)
    2008 Honda VTX1800N

  4. #4
    Phillie Escalade182's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    beautiful car. beautiful instal. beautiful....everything. lol

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Wales, UK
    Thanks guys - that just put a huuuge grin on my face. Appreciate your comments!


  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate ramy_zohair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sharjah, Emirates
    I want that skin
    lovely setup

    Final Touches

    Car: 2002 Mitsubishi Magna EI
    CarPC: SP13000, M2-ATX, 512 MB RAM, 120 GB 2.5" HD, X-Fi Sound Card, Xenarc 700TSV, Garmin 18 USB.
    Audio: 2X15" Rockford Punch Z, 1 Rockford Punch 2-ch Amp, 1 Soundstream Lil Wonder II 4-ch Amp

  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    please do!! full details would be great, install looks perfect.

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    this is a nice setup! one bimmer owner to another, can we tidy up the wiring in the boot? thats the only thing keeping this from being a perfect install!

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Wales, UK
    You are right about there been a mass of cables in the boot! However, there's not a lot more I can do:
    - Most of the cables are going into the back of the PC - this I cannot avoid obviosly.
    - The rest of the mess is just where some of the cables interconnecting the amplifiers to the PC. Some are too long for their purpose. Other than buying new (shorter) cables I also cannot avoid this (which I'm not prepared to do as I've spent enough already!)

    I suppose I could cable-tie many of the cables so they look neater, though I don't want to do this just yet as I'm still unplugging and replugging things in all the time trying to improve the system (and find my bas**rd ground loop!).

    Please bear in mind this is not seen in the actual boot. This is the "behind the scenes" wiring that you can only see if the seats are pulled down. The boot space itself is very tidy (well... as far as cables are concerned - junk is another thing!). I will try to get some pics of the actual boot space up as soon as I can.


  10. #10
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Amazing work... Love the skin any chance or releasing the XP and Road Runner skins. Also, if you figure out a way to eliminate the speaker whine let me know. I have a similar problem with my install in my '01 E46 325i. Once again great work man...

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