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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I recently purchased a new XTRONS PQ7939BIP head unit and am looking to swap it out for the stock head unit. See link: https://xtrons.com/bmw-5-series-7-series-android-9-0-pq7939bip

I have seen other threads discussing the installation of these android head units but wanted to see if there are any forum members who have recently installed an XTRONS unit with success. This model is apparently the latest release and the most superior unit amongst all e39 head units made by XTRONS (They told me this). I purchased an XTRONS OBD2 scanner tool as well. My research also told me this manufacturer is the best in terms of quality vs other brands. I am aware that these chinese head units are not totally embraced by enthusiasts, but I really want to have a bluetooth connection and the modern conveniences that this unit brings.

There have been many models made by XTRONS - some not compatible with units that included DSP and others that are but need the DSP to be re-programmed. I am really looking to make this install as straightforward as possible (no microphone or front or rear camera will be installed). I want this to be done properly and also want to eliminate any headaches by figuring out what to avoid and consider during the initial installation. I have installed head units in a couple of my previous cars but they were extremely simple installs. I anticipate that with an old BMW (2003), that there will be obstacles with modernizing the head unit. I did consider doing this myself but I thought I would get some quotes to get an idea of the cost. I am definitely not going to do this myself after asking 3 different local car audio businesses to do the job and all 3 turned me down - they told me they don't work on old BMWs unless the head unit if made by a reputable manufacturer and they had never heard of XTRONS.

I would still like any information that could help me and the installers with this project to ensure all potential issues can be considered and addressed.

If anybody can recommend a car audio shop that is qualified and reasonably priced, please let me know! I am located in Sacramento, CA but am willing to drive to the Bay area if I find the right professional. I just want this installation to be done correctly so I don't have to get back in there and pay somebody to fix any issues.

Any thoughts, input, and advice are welcome. Thanks!
 

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Thanks for that link. I found that before posting and I appreciate all the information. Interested in seeing if others went a different route with success. I do not know how to solder and so I can't follow that DIY guide in full. I am having trouble finding local installers in Sacramento who are even willing to take on this install. I didn't think it would be THAT complicated but if they won't do it, I sure as hell won't risk damaging the car. I need a true professional in my area.
 

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Hi,

You've done research and you've spoken to reputable car audio installers locally who, quite rightly have turned down the request to install such a unit as they know reliability isn't good with these units and wouldn't want to risk their reputation if/when in a relatively short space of time, the unit begins to develop issues/problems. The next step will be for you to find a local 12V auto electrician who may fit the unit for you, so you'll need to do some searches and calls to ask. If you don't find anyone, then it's the usual with these Chinese units, which is a self DIY fit.

Over the last 10+ years, these cheap chinese units still are problematic, prone to issues and problems within a relatively short space of time and there's next to zero support for car audio dealers/shops for a after sales care/warranty/repair program and it's the reason you don't see these things stocked in local dealers/installers premises. There are some owners who report their units have worked properly longer term which is great for them, but the returns/failure rates are very high with these so no wonder car audio dealers want nothing to do with them as they get lumbered with faulty units and out of pocket.

My recommendation would be to purchase a high quality, respected brand head unit :)

Cheers, Dennis!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi,

You've done research and you've spoken to reputable car audio installers locally who, quite rightly have turned down the request to install such a unit as they know reliability isn't good with these units and wouldn't want to risk their reputation if/when in a relatively short space of time, the unit begins to develop issues/problems. The next step will be for you to find a local 12V auto electrician who may fit the unit for you, so you'll need to do some searches and calls to ask. If you don't find anyone, then it's the usual with these Chinese units, which is a self DIY fit.

Over the last 10+ years, these cheap chinese units still are problematic, prone to issues and problems within a relatively short space of time and there's next to zero support for car audio dealers/shops for a after sales care/warranty/repair program and it's the reason you don't see these things stocked in local dealers/installers premises. There are some owners who report their units have worked properly longer term which is great for them, but the returns/failure rates are very high with these so no wonder car audio dealers want nothing to do with them as they get lumbered with faulty units and out of pocket.

My recommendation would be to purchase a high quality, respected brand head unit :)

Cheers, Dennis!
Dennis,

I appreciate the input. I can still return my unit and get a full refund.

Do you have any suggestions for a high quality respected brand head unit? My impression is that this was one of the better ones but I could not find something superior.

Any recommendations are greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Alan
 

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Hi Alan,

From your initial post, it sounds as though you want the OEM looks and Bluetooth for the most part and the ability to use an OBD scan tool/solution. On their own, there's no premium, high quality brand head unit that has OEM looks, but they all have Bluetooth. The latest units in their ranges have genuine Apple CarPlay and Android Auto built in as well. I don't know for 100% certain if Android Auto will support/work with OBD2 scan tools/bluetooth OBD scanners, so more research needed there.

To provide the OEM looks, there is this fascia/fitting kit available, it's called the NXG-39;

With an Alpine iLX-W650



With a Kenwood DMX 706s



With an Alpine iLX-700 (iLX-007 in the USA)



With a Parrot Asteroid Smart



Night illumination



All the above are high quality, reliable, well engineered and fully backed up products and their performance both audio sound quality & build/usability is vastly superior to any chinese unit. There are many who have installed a chinese replacement unit and are happy and you've seen the specific Xtrons thread here showing that along with those who haven't been so 'lucky'. So it comes down to your personal preference on what you want - the chinese units are low quality/reliability overall and DIY fitment most likely, but currently are the only choice where the OBC and DSP amp is/can be supported. The premium brands are the complete opposite and are high quality in all aspects but don't support DSP or currently have the ability to show the OBC (I'm not sure if Android Auto will allow the OBC app to be installed and connected up like mentioned in the Xtrons thread - need more research here to confirm) but with the NXG-39 give you close to OEM looks.

Some pondering for you !

Cheers, Dennis!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Hi Alan,

From your initial post, it sounds as though you want the OEM looks and Bluetooth for the most part and the ability to use an OBD scan tool/solution. On their own, there's no premium, high quality brand head unit that has OEM looks, but they all have Bluetooth. The latest units in their ranges have genuine Apple CarPlay and Android Auto built in as well. I don't know for 100% certain if Android Auto will support/work with OBD2 scan tools/bluetooth OBD scanners, so more research needed there.

To provide the OEM looks, there is this fascia/fitting kit available, it's called the NXG-39;

With an Alpine iLX-W650



With a Kenwood DMX 706s



With an Alpine iLX-700 (iLX-007 in the USA)



With a Parrot Asteroid Smart



Night illumination



All the above are high quality, reliable, well engineered and fully backed up products and their performance both audio sound quality & build/usability is vastly superior to any chinese unit. There are many who have installed a chinese replacement unit and are happy and you've seen the specific Xtrons thread here showing that along with those who haven't been so 'lucky'. So it comes down to your personal preference on what you want - the chinese units are low quality/reliability overall and DIY fitment most likely, but currently are the only choice where the OBC and DSP amp is/can be supported. The premium brands are the complete opposite and are high quality in all aspects but don't support DSP or currently have the ability to show the OBC (I'm not sure if Android Auto will allow the OBC app to be installed and connected up like mentioned in the Xtrons thread - need more research here to confirm) but with the NXG-39 give you close to OEM looks.

Some pondering for you !

Cheers, Dennis!

Dennis, thank you once again for the wealth of knowledge you share. You helped me with my m-paralells and now with my head unit! You are the man.

I was not aware of the innovadrive NXG-39 fascia but...I cannot find it for sale online.

Do you know of any suppliers? If not in the US, I hope there’s a seller in the UK because my search came up with nothing.

I am definitely returning the xtrons unit. All other units you suggested are available for sale and are easily accessible. Retaining the OEM look is a must and the fascia is quite perfect. I can consider sacrificing OBC functionality - Quality matters more in the long run. Thank you. I appreciate your help with this project.

EDIT: https://www.m5board.com/threads/e39-m5-stereo-navigation-upgrade.602214/ | Dennis - I just took a look at that link and can see that you are the supplier of these kits! Please let me know the cost, shipment, and process of installation. I can't decide on the head units you suggested but will be doing my research in the coming days...
 

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Hi Alan,

Thanks for the kind words ! I do strive to give as best advice as I can based on actual experience where possible and then also via best practice/theory often backed up with knowledge from specialists in that sector/field!

Yes, it's myself that offers the NXG-39 ! a project I designed, developed and now manufacture for the worldwide E39 community ! Availability will always be offered and a forthcoming website will make it easier to purchase directly, along with more products I'm developing too ;)

I will send you a PM in a few moments :)

Cheers, Dennis!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Alan,

Thanks for the kind words ! I do strive to give as best advice as I can based on actual experience where possible and then also via best practice/theory often backed up with knowledge from specialists in that sector/field!

Yes, it's myself that offers the NXG-39 ! a project I designed, developed and now manufacture for the worldwide E39 community ! Availability will always be offered and a forthcoming website will make it easier to purchase directly, along with more products I'm developing too ;)

I will send you a PM in a few moments :)

Cheers, Dennis!
Very excited to hear more. Awaiting your PM!
 

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Hi xrviz,

Directly & so that it sits flush in the dash area? .. then no, the single DIN chassis sits low and view from the side creates an 'L' shape, check the various pictures here;


The lower rear edge sits too far back to allow it to fit flush. If the chassis was placed say in the 'middle' of the screen's height that might've been enough to give clearance. I guess you could get one of these, take it to a reputable electronics specialist and see if you can 'modify' the chassis to move it up to get that clearance.

Cheers, Dennis!
 

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Thanks Dennis. So the chassis needs to be mounted on the high side of the screen.
Do you have any experience with Sony decks like the AX1000 or AX5000?
 

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Hi xrviz,

Those Sony's as you can see have the chassis mounted on the upper side of the front face so will clear the top front edge of the airbox and fit flush. I haven't got direct use/experience of the AX1000/5000 (here in the UK, the equivalent units have different model numbers too) but in terms of fitment, they should work with no cutting/modifying of the airbox required. I personally don't like the single rotary knob on the face of the AX1000 but simply only for the E39 and it's interior design aesthetic in the head unit location. I'd say the AX7000 would be better in this regard.

Cheers, Dennis!
 
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