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Old 23rd September 2011, 03:32   #1
jarrett
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CIC Retrofit Experience & Lessons Learned

After 3 months, I finally finished the CIC retrofit in my E60 M5 (yes, 3 months…). Everything is finally working great! It is a huge improvement over the old CCC unit, which I hated.

It’s pretty sad that it took 3 months considering the install is fairly easy and only takes 30-60 minutes (unless you retrofit the new style iDrive controller). Here’s my experience; for those who haven’t upgraded to the CIC and have the money to do it (~$3K), it is well worth it but beware of the low cost options out there!

My experience may be a unique case, but either way, I wanted to inform everyone here of what to do and what not to do for a CIC retrofit.

First off, before attempting the upgrade, it is probably a good idea to get your car updated to the latest software at the dealer. This is going to cost you somewhere between $200-$300. I had to rent a car for 2 days as they kept my car overnight to do the full update. Apparently it takes quite a bit of time if your car’s software is way out of date . I ended up spending about $275 between the rental car and software update.

Next, avoid the low cost CIC retrofit options on eBay. I was on a low budget when I decided to do the retrofit as I had only purchased the car recently. I went the cheap route and bought mine from Used-parts-specialist as they were the cheapest out there and promised me I could use my old iDrive controller and that I wouldn’t need to update the software in my car. I was also told that the CIC was fully updated and plug-n-play. WRONG!

The CIC arrived in somewhat good working order… except the optical plugs in the back was unseated and sitting inside the CIC unit… It took me several installs/uninstalls of the CIC unit to realize this. I kept getting an SOS error when I started the car (and no sound). After I took apart the CIC unit and reseated the optical connectors, the SOS error went away.

The next two problems I had were no sound and the iDrive controller did not work (it just did a page up/page down every time I scrolled, it wouldn’t scroll one item at a time like it should)… so I pulled the CIC out of the car and contacted the Used-parts-specialists. He said their programmer would connect in and fix it but they needed to send me a data cable… oh, and he needed $130 for the cable. Great! Now I am $130 over my max budget for the project.

Fast forward a few weeks since I originally received it. I reinstalled the CIC but the programmer missed the appointment that we set up (and I had taken time off work to make the appointment). I waited another week or two. He connected in and said everything was fine but that my car’s software needed to be updated and that everything was programmed properly. He also said that he couldn’t get my old iDrive controller working because it was too old.

I scheduled an appointment at my dealer for a couple things and when I dropped my car off, asked them to update the software. I picked up the car that night and they said the software was already up to date. You can imagine I was pretty annoyed now. I had installed/uninstalled the CIC about 10 times.

I emailed the programmer (bimmerretrofit) and even posted a question about the sound issue on this forum. Patryk (I believe his handle on this forum is Patrys) quickly offered to come to my rescue but bimmerretrofit saw the post and quickly got a hold of me to help fix the issue.

Sure enough, a week later, they fixed the sound issue (amp software was out of date… go figure). I was still without an iDrive controller though… so I had no choice but to pull out the center console and modify the wood trim to install the new style controller. I originally didn’t want to do this because of the risk of ruining the wood trim. It was surprisingly easy to modify the console trim. I am pretty handing when it comes to things like this and have the necessary tools. I was very happy with how it turned out.

I re-installed the CIC unit and new style iDrive controller and all seemed to be working properly now, or so I thought. I quickly realized there were other issues still. When I would start my car, I couldn’t tune a radio station and presets wouldn’t show up for several minutes. I also was getting a ‘service required’ message every time I started the car. When I checked the vehicle info screen, I noticed that the Spark Plugs and Microfilter labels were blank and the mileage in each was not registering properly.

I contacted used-parts-specialists and bimmerretrofit again to figure out how to fix this. We went back and forth for a couple weeks with no success. They finally connected in again and confirmed that the car’s software was in fact a couple years out of date.

I removed the CIC again… and had to remove the newly installed iDrive controller which left an ugly hole in the center console. I brought the car in to the dealer 2 weeks later and insisted they update the software (it took 2 weeks to get an appt to update the software). They updated the software to the latest version.

I got the car home and reinstalled the CIC and iDrive controller (which requires removing the center console and rewiring the iDrive cable). Nothing had changed… still having radio issues and service required warnings. I contacted them again to figure out what was wrong. After a week or so, they connected in again and determined the CIC software was outdated and needed to be updated. This couldn’t be done remotely so the CIC needed to be replaced.

Needless to say, I was about to throw the damn thing in the trash. I insisted they advance exchange the CIC unit because I was done rewiring the iDrive controller and CIC display… at this point, I probably installed/uninstalled the CIC system nearly 15 times. They were very good about doing the advance replacement and sent me a CIC unit that was fully updated (it was supposed to be updated before they shipped it to me originally). I received it a couple weeks later and installed it.

The radio issue was fixed! I also wasn’t getting the Service Required message (for 2 days)… but the Service Required message quickly returned every time I started my car. This was relating back to the labels and mileage missing for each item in the vehicle info screen. F#$K! What the heck was wrong and why couldn’t bimmerretrofit fix the issues!

I took some pictures and sent it to them but they couldn’t figure out what was wrong. At this point, Used-parts-specialists just stopped replying to my emails… They were probably hoping I would go away if they ignored me.

I decided to take up Patryk on his previous offer to fix the issues for me. Patryk is probably the most genuinely reliable programmer out there and even though I didn’t buy from him, he was willing to help me out. Don’t think that by me saying this that he will help you out if you fix issues if you bought your CIC from another source. I doubt he will help anyone if they bought somewhere else.

Patryk also offered to help me on the weekend so I wouldn’t have to take time off work. Due to a problem with my cell phone, his message didn’t come through and I missed our appointment. He was more than willing to reschedule at a convenient time for me though. He connected in remotely and fixed the ‘Service Required’ issue in only a few minutes… something that bimmerretrofit didn’t know how to fix… something seemingly simple the way he talked about it.

I am now driving around with a fully functional CIC unit that is error free! Thank you Patryk!

So take all this as a lesson and do the right thing, spend a little more and have a professional do the work. Contact Patryk, he will hook you up and if there are any problems, you can be assured that he will fix them quickly. He definitely knows his stuff!

BTW, I am in no way affiliated with Patryk but am a big fan at this point
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The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to jarrett For This Useful Post:
///M-five (23rd September 2011), e39_415 (24th September 2011), Justchill (11th March 2014), LeeDan00 (18th August 2014), ur20v (23rd September 2011)
Old 23rd September 2011, 04:34   #2
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Patryks has staed he wouldn't help if you purchased else where and you can't blame him looking at the issues you had. I'm glad he came through for you though, well done Patryks!!

This is a mod I want to do when I have time and I know where I will go to purchase....

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Old 23rd September 2011, 05:23   #3
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nice to see you got everything resolved. I'm thinking of doing the CIC conversion next summer.
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Old 23rd September 2011, 11:55   #4
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Glad to hear everything is worked out! Mine is still laying around, still not sure if I'm going to modify my trim or just get the part for the new control, either way I need to install it soon.
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Old 24th September 2011, 03:42   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Morgan Evans View Post
Glad to hear everything is worked out! Mine is still laying around, still not sure if I'm going to modify my trim or just get the part for the new control, either way I need to install it soon.
Modifying the trim isn't difficult... just take your time. I put painters tape all over the trim to prevent scratches and get a cleaner cut. I then used the iDrive plastic bezel piece to trace the outline on the trim before I cut it with my dremel.

After you are done cutting, test fit and then grind down the trim a bit more with your dremel using a grinding bit.

You will really like the new style iDrive controller. It is a Huge improvement over the old one.
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Old 24th September 2011, 05:33   #6
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Good post, I'm definitively going to be contacting Patryk when I'm ready for CIC retrofit. After driving a loaner for 2 weeks while my car was getting serviced and jumping back into my car I felt as my idrive was on par w/ windows 98 technology
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Old 7th October 2011, 22:36   #7
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Where do you see Spark Plug and Micro Filter Info? My CCC does not show those

Quote:
Originally Posted by jarrett View Post
After 3 months, I finally finished the CIC retrofit in my E60 M5 (yes, 3 months…). Everything is finally working great! It is a huge improvement over the old CCC unit, which I hated.

It’s pretty sad that it took 3 months considering the install is fairly easy and only takes 30-60 minutes (unless you retrofit the new style iDrive controller). Here’s my experience; for those who haven’t upgraded to the CIC and have the money to do it (~$3K), it is well worth it but beware of the low cost options out there!

My experience may be a unique case, but either way, I wanted to inform everyone here of what to do and what not to do for a CIC retrofit.

First off, before attempting the upgrade, it is probably a good idea to get your car updated to the latest software at the dealer. This is going to cost you somewhere between $200-$300. I had to rent a car for 2 days as they kept my car overnight to do the full update. Apparently it takes quite a bit of time if your car’s software is way out of date . I ended up spending about $275 between the rental car and software update.

Next, avoid the low cost CIC retrofit options on eBay. I was on a low budget when I decided to do the retrofit as I had only purchased the car recently. I went the cheap route and bought mine from Used-parts-specialist as they were the cheapest out there and promised me I could use my old iDrive controller and that I wouldn’t need to update the software in my car. I was also told that the CIC was fully updated and plug-n-play. WRONG!

The CIC arrived in somewhat good working order… except the optical plugs in the back was unseated and sitting inside the CIC unit… It took me several installs/uninstalls of the CIC unit to realize this. I kept getting an SOS error when I started the car (and no sound). After I took apart the CIC unit and reseated the optical connectors, the SOS error went away.

The next two problems I had were no sound and the iDrive controller did not work (it just did a page up/page down every time I scrolled, it wouldn’t scroll one item at a time like it should)… so I pulled the CIC out of the car and contacted the Used-parts-specialists. He said their programmer would connect in and fix it but they needed to send me a data cable… oh, and he needed $130 for the cable. Great! Now I am $130 over my max budget for the project.

Fast forward a few weeks since I originally received it. I reinstalled the CIC but the programmer missed the appointment that we set up (and I had taken time off work to make the appointment). I waited another week or two. He connected in and said everything was fine but that my car’s software needed to be updated and that everything was programmed properly. He also said that he couldn’t get my old iDrive controller working because it was too old.

I scheduled an appointment at my dealer for a couple things and when I dropped my car off, asked them to update the software. I picked up the car that night and they said the software was already up to date. You can imagine I was pretty annoyed now. I had installed/uninstalled the CIC about 10 times.

I emailed the programmer (bimmerretrofit) and even posted a question about the sound issue on this forum. Patryk (I believe his handle on this forum is Patrys) quickly offered to come to my rescue but bimmerretrofit saw the post and quickly got a hold of me to help fix the issue.

Sure enough, a week later, they fixed the sound issue (amp software was out of date… go figure). I was still without an iDrive controller though… so I had no choice but to pull out the center console and modify the wood trim to install the new style controller. I originally didn’t want to do this because of the risk of ruining the wood trim. It was surprisingly easy to modify the console trim. I am pretty handing when it comes to things like this and have the necessary tools. I was very happy with how it turned out.

I re-installed the CIC unit and new style iDrive controller and all seemed to be working properly now, or so I thought. I quickly realized there were other issues still. When I would start my car, I couldn’t tune a radio station and presets wouldn’t show up for several minutes. I also was getting a ‘service required’ message every time I started the car. When I checked the vehicle info screen, I noticed that the Spark Plugs and Microfilter labels were blank and the mileage in each was not registering properly.

I contacted used-parts-specialists and bimmerretrofit again to figure out how to fix this. We went back and forth for a couple weeks with no success. They finally connected in again and confirmed that the car’s software was in fact a couple years out of date.

I removed the CIC again… and had to remove the newly installed iDrive controller which left an ugly hole in the center console. I brought the car in to the dealer 2 weeks later and insisted they update the software (it took 2 weeks to get an appt to update the software). They updated the software to the latest version.

I got the car home and reinstalled the CIC and iDrive controller (which requires removing the center console and rewiring the iDrive cable). Nothing had changed… still having radio issues and service required warnings. I contacted them again to figure out what was wrong. After a week or so, they connected in again and determined the CIC software was outdated and needed to be updated. This couldn’t be done remotely so the CIC needed to be replaced.

Needless to say, I was about to throw the damn thing in the trash. I insisted they advance exchange the CIC unit because I was done rewiring the iDrive controller and CIC display… at this point, I probably installed/uninstalled the CIC system nearly 15 times. They were very good about doing the advance replacement and sent me a CIC unit that was fully updated (it was supposed to be updated before they shipped it to me originally). I received it a couple weeks later and installed it.

The radio issue was fixed! I also wasn’t getting the Service Required message (for 2 days)… but the Service Required message quickly returned every time I started my car. This was relating back to the labels and mileage missing for each item in the vehicle info screen. F#$K! What the heck was wrong and why couldn’t bimmerretrofit fix the issues!

I took some pictures and sent it to them but they couldn’t figure out what was wrong. At this point, Used-parts-specialists just stopped replying to my emails… They were probably hoping I would go away if they ignored me.

I decided to take up Patryk on his previous offer to fix the issues for me. Patryk is probably the most genuinely reliable programmer out there and even though I didn’t buy from him, he was willing to help me out. Don’t think that by me saying this that he will help you out if you fix issues if you bought your CIC from another source. I doubt he will help anyone if they bought somewhere else.

Patryk also offered to help me on the weekend so I wouldn’t have to take time off work. Due to a problem with my cell phone, his message didn’t come through and I missed our appointment. He was more than willing to reschedule at a convenient time for me though. He connected in remotely and fixed the ‘Service Required’ issue in only a few minutes… something that bimmerretrofit didn’t know how to fix… something seemingly simple the way he talked about it.

I am now driving around with a fully functional CIC unit that is error free! Thank you Patryk!

So take all this as a lesson and do the right thing, spend a little more and have a professional do the work. Contact Patryk, he will hook you up and if there are any problems, you can be assured that he will fix them quickly. He definitely knows his stuff!

BTW, I am in no way affiliated with Patryk but am a big fan at this point
Is that a new CIC function?
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Old 9th October 2011, 05:51   #8
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I think it was eliminated on the newer units.
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Old 10th October 2011, 18:26   #9
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post pics!
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Old 22nd September 2012, 20:58   #10
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Lesson Learned fr M5 Retrofit

OK guys,
I have to give my two cents on retrofits. I also did not purchase my unit from Patryk. My unit was advertised as having the latest software, US Maps loaded and was suppose to come with the 6NR coding so that I could add the combo box.

I received the unit and it was an easy install. Of course I did not want to cut my wood grain for the new controller, so I kept the original controller. The first issue I noticed, as noted before was there was no sound. The more I played with the unit, I found out that I did not have US maps installed. This made me worry if I did have the 6NR coding at all. I went back and forth with the seller (I will not name) and was sent to Patryk@bimmer-tech (www.bimmer-tech.net) for help and coding.

Patryk did not have to help me as I did not purchase the unit from him. Once I received the DCAN cable, Patryk graciously contacted me via skype on a Saturday morning. I downloaded the files and programs that was recommended and he went to work. We quickly noticed that my software was not up to date as advertised (it was from 2009) and the maps were 2008 and from Europe. So my navigation will not be active until I get the proper maps installed.

He was able to get the sound on in seconds. He also got the Ipod and Sirius running without any issues. He even worked his majic on the old idrive controller and it works perfectlly. My next step is to add the new climate controls and I will be sending the unit to him to load the proper maps and to code it for the 6NR to allow me to use the combo box (that I will purchase from him).

Guys please do not go with any other venders. You will end up dealing with Patryk anyway. It just makes sense to pay a little more and purchase from the pros who started this process. Most of the venders will sell the units but they do not have a clue on the coding.

I have learned my lession . Do not make the same MISTAKE!!!


Last edited by docrober; 23rd September 2012 at 17:21.
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