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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Sirius Sattellite radio installation on a 2003 M5

Thanks to member ard who made all this!

This document details my quest for adding Sirius satellite radio to a stock 2003 E39 M5.

Baseline configuration:

2003 E39 M5
Production Date: 12/2002
I had a Mk4 nav unit and an ‘old’ radio

Recent Developments:

My nav unit flaked out one day- and I had a digital camera with me. I captured an mpeg of this one time occurrance. Dealer looked at that, ran some diagnostics and replaced the nav.

Replacement Nav is a: 65.90.6.942.910 Note: I BELIEVE THIS IS THE STOCK, STANDARD NAV for that production date. The dealer just did a replacement.

Per Service Measure B65 209 04, I complained of the ‘dreaded stereo to mono’ drift. (Prevoiusly, the antenna amplifier had been replaced under a different TSB.) My dealer ordered and installed a new radio. No sweat, no questions- simple. Handed them the TSB, and they said ‘sure’. New Radio is: 65.12.4.135.562

So, I’ve got the new radio (Business Radio) and the Nav with 3.0 Firmware.

First step- order parts:

1. Sirius Receiver: 84.11.0.153.365
Note: this is the Sirius receiver that will work with NAV. (One model is E46 w/ Nav) There is a -981 model which will not work with Nav. Some dealers believe the 981 supercedes the 365- nope, other way around. You can use a 981 in only a non-Nav, you can use the -365 in either.

2. Install Kit: 84-11-0-141-975
Few cables for the antenna, screws, anchors, and a nifty bracket.

3. Antenna 3 84-11-0-392-099
The newest model is a ultra low profile. Looks fine. Magnetic base- designed for exterior mounting on a grounded metal plate (trunk or roof).

4. Sirius CD Extension Cable 84-11-0-150-526
This is a simple multi pin connector on one end, and two connectors on the other. See picture:



Installation:

Remove rear cover over the electronics bay.



Remove side trim to access cables and the wire harness. There is a small tool I’ve had for years that is indispensable for removing little plastic clips. I’ve included a picture below.



Sure, you can use two screwdrivers, etc, but that is a pain. I can’t tell you how many times this saves breaking the clips- especially when the get older and brittle. The side trim panel covers a bunch of wires that you might need to get at.



I removed much of the trunk trim to facilitate access. Since I wasn’t very familiar with all the trim, wire paths, etc, I just removed most of the trunk trim on the left side. You may only have to loosen pieces on the left side.



Install Sirius radio in bracket. Four Philips screws hold in into place. The bracket has two screws on the bottom side and one on the top. Orient the receiver so the connections are on top.



To install the Sirius module in the car electronics rack, you’ll need to remove the Voice Module (if equipped) as well as the CD player. The CD player is held on the right with two Philips screws. Once you’ve removed the CD player, unplug the two cables to it. The CD player has two connectors- the larger 6 pin connector has a push release. The smaller 3 pin connector is a friction fit. Set it aside.



The voice module is held with two 8mm hex nuts. The voice module has a single blue plug which is held with a while swing arm (pic).



Install Sirius carrier- The Sirius carrier slips under the CD bracket on the right and the radio bracket. You’ll need to fully remove the two hex bolts (one in the CD bracket and one on the radio bracket- See red lines in photo above.). In addition, you’ll need to loosen a bunch of the 8mm hex bolts to lift the pieces up enough to get it in. You DO NOT need to remove these- just loosen. Before you put the bracket in, find the upper mounting hole and position the Timmerman nut. (This is a nut with a clip that holds it in place. (See pic))



Once the Sirius carrier is in place, install the three 8mm hex bolts, and tighten any that were loosened.

Connecting wires:
The wires that used to go from the CD player now go to the Sirius module. Unfortunately, since these are routed under the soundproofing in the trunk they are too short. (See the yellow line in the picture below.)



It is very simple to reroute. GENTLY pull the left side trim towards the center of the car. (See photo)

Reach your hand back down to the wire loom. You will see where the two wires leave the main loom and travel to the CD player location. I gently used the tips of my fingers to pull each cable back, and inch the cable back up towards me. Then just routed them behind the trim to the Sirius receiver.





Plug in wires: Plug the 6 pin connector that used to go to the CD into the appropriate Sirius jack. It only goes in one way. The other wire has 3 pins, plug that into the other jack.



The extension cable PN 84.11.0.150.526 has a pivoting arm- pull it fully open. Insert it into the jack on the Sirius. Close the pivot arm- it will pull the connector down. (It will only go in one way.) The two connectors on the other end go into the CD player. (same connector types as the two you just connected to the Sirius receiver.)



In the above photo you can see the antenna connections: There are two antenna connections on the module, as well as two connections to the “splitter”. The antenna has a single lead which goes to the splitter where the signal is separated into a Satellite signal and a Terrestial signal. More on the antenna later.

Mount CD player back where it was. Tighten the two Phillips screws.

Mount Antenna.

This is a whole can of worms- or can be. I was unfamiliar with the parcel shelf ‘underpinnings’, so I opted to (try to) remove it. (We should note that I have a rear sun shade)… Here are the basic steps. There are other places where this is discussed in more detail. (See http://www.nextmill.net/bmw540/rears.htm for a post on E39 shelf removal.)

Remove Bottom of rear seat. Pull up sharply on fron edge of cushion.
Remove center headrest
Remove back of rear seat (two 10mm bolts on lower outside of seat back, then pull up)
Remove other head rests
Remove rear passenger courtesy lights, unscrew 8mm bolts holding quarter panels, remove quarter panel trip
Remove child seat anchors
Remove grills at window
Loosen the center brake light adjusting screw (in the trunk)
Muscle trim forward a bit- decide not to do any more, since this has given you an adequate access to a path for wires.

Interior opened:



I now had a choice, I could mount the antenna just under the grill (left side, see red line below) directly on the padded deck under the parcel shelf OR mount it on top of the parcel shelf. Here is a photo of the grill opening and the antenna mounted:



I opted to mount the antenna on top of the brake light. (Green line) The wire goes directly back and tucks under the parcel shelf trim at the stop light. It is kind of pinched by the trim/rubber that holds the brake light against the glass. Since the glass has that black masking, you cannot see a thing. The antenna is incredibly small. I wanted to maximize signal from not only satellite signals but also terrestrial (repeaters). I felt that the antenna would be less sheltered from ground based repeaters.

There was an existing hole in the parcel shelf into the trunk just next to the woofers. I installed a rubber grommet in the hole, then some cable self adhesive anchors to run the antenna lead back to the ‘front’ of the trunk so that could route with the other wires to the left side and the main wire bundle. I just looped the excess and attached the connector to the splitter.

Here is what the antenna looks like:



One thing to check with the radio: Make sure the radio is in USA mode: (Thanks Martin at BimmerNav.com.) “Turn the radio on and immediately push and hold the SEL button for 5-10 seconds until the radio serial number is shown. Using the <> key scroll until you find the area mode- it may be in Europe or No area. Use the number keys to select USA, maybe #1 or 2. Turn off your radio.”.

There you go- OEM Sirius.

Notes on antennas:

Virtually all satellite antennas are designed to be mounted on a metal surface- roof, trunk. Many have mounted on the rear parcel shelf, either under or over the trim. I have no idea if the interior location looses any signal- plenty of posts with anecdotal comments that it works fine. But no ‘head to head’ comparisons.

There is a new antenna, just shipping now. It is a Sirius SIGMA interior glass mount antenna. Nissan is the only company offering it at this point. 999U9-VR002 is the PN, list $74. I may give it a try.

However, I am not sure it is needd- I seem to capture stations in under two seconds, and no signs of drop-out.

The BMW set up I used has a single lead, with a dual lead splitter. (Sirius antennas have a terrestrial signal and a satellite signal. The older antennas had two separate leads, and hence the electronics had two connections. The newer antenna has a single lead, then a splitter which ‘makes’ two leads to go to the Sirius receiver. You should be able to use any antenna, even a dual lead antenna and just eliminate the splitter.

A few notes:

1. BMW uses a ‘bus’ to communicate with radio, cd, Sirius, etc. You install the Sirius ‘in between the radio and the cd player’. You might ask, well, if both are hooked up, how does it all work? The BMW Business radio ‘knows’ the codes to select either the Sirius or the CD player. Even though they are both attached to the bus, only one is on and sending audio signals at a time. This is why the radio is essential- the older radio doesn’t know how to activate Sirius. (My theory)

2. There are some folks with OEM Sirius that plays, but shows ‘CD player” . My belief is that the nav firmware cannot understand the data it sees bus on th (it doesn’t know about a ‘sirius display’ and you get a CD display. Upgrade to Firmware 3.0 or 4.0 and you’ll be set. (I”VE NOT FOUND ANY WAY TO UPGRADE firmware IN THE NAV UNITS…this is not the same as the CD based operating system upgrades floating about. Also note that there is usually a sticker on the Nav unit with “HW” and “SW” versions… I use the term “firmware” to distinguish the internal software in the module with the operating system software.)

3. I get a display with any channel that lists the channel, the artist and the song. The latter two fields are limited to 16 characters, and DOES NOT SCROLL. The BMW instructions state this is normal. Anybody who gets scrolling should let me know how, or if their Nav firmware is other than 3.0.

4. Removing the interior trim requires care. Inappropriate use of a screwdriver can nick the edge of the plastic trim pieces or break a tab. Be careful…

This was a fun project.

Again, THANK YOU member ard!
 

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Excellent writeup Gustav, the exact setup I have in my 2003, and I am really enjoying it.
 

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Okay Ard, A few questions for you please.......

First off, Thanks Gustav for posting the how to do instructions.

Ard,
In the beginning of your instructions, you "My nav unit flaked out one day- and I had a digital camera with me. I captured an mpeg of this one time occurrance. Dealer looked at that, ran some diagnostics and replaced the nav. Replacement Nav is a: 65.90.6.942.910 Note: I BELIEVE THIS IS THE STOCK, STANDARD NAV for that production date. The dealer just did a replacement." My question is, Is this required for us to replace the NAV Unit ???

You then stated, "Prevoiusly, the antenna amplifier had been replaced under a different TSB" Is this required to do, to get the Sirius radio to work as well ?

Thanks for your answers. Much appreciated!
Robert :cheers:
 

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Great Write up Ard!

One thing for you to watch for: See if your cd changer is 'playing' when you are on Sirius. I.E. Set up your cd at disc one, track one, then go to sirius for a few minutes then back to cd.Do you pick up the cd where you left off, or are you now later into the cd? In my install, the cd changer is running the whole time i'm on sirius (actually, my phatbox, in my case, since it's replaced my cd changer).
Mike
 

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...I couldn't figure out how to embed the photos and text in one coherent post, so I sent it to Gustav (if anyone has a tip, let me know... seems I could only attach pictures, not embed)

I now realize I was remiss in not giving acknowledgements to others who made this possible- Jason (El mono), Mike (motatti), Martin (@bimmernav.com), Mike E. (on his roadfly post) and others who's comments and interest made this a very risk-free endeavor. Thanks.

To clarify- the radio antenna replacement is totally unrelated to Sirius- sorry it confuses the issue. I included that to hightligth that there are two TSBs having to do with radio reception. Complain the wrong way and you don't get the correct part replaced- theyll do the antenna amp and not the radio. Magic words are "fading stereo to mono".

On the question of MK4 Nav unit compatability.. boy, this is not clear. The high priest of nav upgrades (martin) is not 100% sure either. It appears that V1.0 SW (IN THE NAV BOX- BASED ON THE STICKER ON THE UNIT) is NOT compatible. 2.0 MAY be compatible. 3.0 and 4.0 is compatible. I wonder if 4.0 adds any functionality over 3.0... (Scrolling display?)

As was suggested to me, if you are unsure your MK4 nav will work- try it. If it doesn't, you can sell it an buy a new one from bimmernav. The going rate for the navs is around $600-650 so your 'out of pocket' is 150 or so.

My cost was $388, total. Plus I got a free year of Sirius. Simply called up for activation, said this is an OEM sirius installation, gave them the ESN of the sirius and the VIN and it was all set. No activation fee. This is a 'savings' of 142+15 or 157... (rationalizing..:)

Now, I want to go out and DRIVE (the M and not an Ark... those of you in CA know what I mean)

Ard
 

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Great write up ard! I'm "Mike E." of the roadfly post you reference. The only problem I notice with my setup/install is that, as some others have noticed, occasionally the CD Changer will continue to run in Sirius mode. It's nothing I can't live with and from what I can tell, if I start the car and it is already in Sirius mode the CDC does not run. If I have to cycle from FM to Sirius using the MODE button it goes to CDC mode on its way to Sirius mode and the CDC stays running. Seems like a minor software bug.

I suspect I may get a few more dropouts having the antenna mounted under the rear parcel shelf but as you said I have nothing to compare it to. Either way, the drop outs are not many and even if signal reception is slightly degraded it is something I'm more than happy to live with to not have that antenna mounted on the roof or trunk. I love the completely "stealthy" install.

Mike
 

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I don't think I get any more dropouts with the antenna under the glass. (I had to put it on top of the parcel shelf). But sometimes it may take an extra second to grab on to the signal. My wifes SUV (with the antenna on the roof) snaps it right out of the air :p. She also has a brand new reciever, and mine is almost a year old .. who knows. Either way, there is no denying, that it is definetly the way to go.
 

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i had initially installed my antenna on the parcel shelf, but i would loose the signal very easily, trees etc. After a few days, i put it on the roof, it doesn't look too bad, and works much better (in my area, at least).
Mike
 

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You are correct. V1 and V2 Firmware will not suport. You'll need a MKIV nav system with at least version 3.0 firmware. Sorftware varies.. the latest is 24.1 but anything after 21 I believe will also work.

Cheers, best of luck

ard said:
...I couldn't figure out how to embed the photos and text in one coherent post, so I sent it to Gustav (if anyone has a tip, let me know... seems I could only attach pictures, not embed)

I now realize I was remiss in not giving acknowledgements to others who made this possible- Jason (El mono), Mike (motatti), Martin (@bimmernav.com), Mike E. (on his roadfly post) and others who's comments and interest made this a very risk-free endeavor. Thanks.

To clarify- the radio antenna replacement is totally unrelated to Sirius- sorry it confuses the issue. I included that to hightligth that there are two TSBs having to do with radio reception. Complain the wrong way and you don't get the correct part replaced- theyll do the antenna amp and not the radio. Magic words are "fading stereo to mono".

On the question of MK4 Nav unit compatability.. boy, this is not clear. The high priest of nav upgrades (martin) is not 100% sure either. It appears that V1.0 SW (IN THE NAV BOX- BASED ON THE STICKER ON THE UNIT) is NOT compatible. 2.0 MAY be compatible. 3.0 and 4.0 is compatible. I wonder if 4.0 adds any functionality over 3.0... (Scrolling display?)

As was suggested to me, if you are unsure your MK4 nav will work- try it. If it doesn't, you can sell it an buy a new one from bimmernav. The going rate for the navs is around $600-650 so your 'out of pocket' is 150 or so.

My cost was $388, total. Plus I got a free year of Sirius. Simply called up for activation, said this is an OEM sirius installation, gave them the ESN of the sirius and the VIN and it was all set. No activation fee. This is a 'savings' of 142+15 or 157... (rationalizing..:)

Now, I want to go out and DRIVE (the M and not an Ark... those of you in CA know what I mean)

Ard
 

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Pretty sure the latest version is still 4.0 but there is a planned upgrade for use in the E60 series DVD based navigation... not sure on that however.



FAST 5 said:
War question for you.........
What's the highest Firmware at this point? Is it the 3.0 version or is there a higher version than 3.0 ???
 

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I also notice the CD continues to run after switching away.

Did it do this when there was no sirius in the system?

A minor annoyance.

On the issue of reception: My understanding is that there are two antennas: one for satellite and one for ground based repeaters. If the antenna is down inside the package shelf it is more likley to be shielded from low angle ground repeaters.

The other matter is that the reception pattern/characteristics of these antennas require that they be mounted on a ground plane. The roof or trunk meet those requirements. Might be a reason the package shelf has some drop out in some installs.

As I mentioned above, I am looking at a new glass mount (by Nissan). In any event, I don't notice any drop out except under things...

:)

A

PS 2.5 hr drive last night- just couldn't listen to enough!
 

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ard said:
I also notice the CD continues to run after switching away.

Did it do this when there was no sirius in the system?

A minor annoyance.

On the issue of reception: My understanding is that there are two antennas: one for satellite and one for ground based repeaters. If the antenna is down inside the package shelf it is more likley to be shielded from low angle ground repeaters.

The other matter is that the reception pattern/characteristics of these antennas require that they be mounted on a ground plane. The roof or trunk meet those requirements. Might be a reason the package shelf has some drop out in some installs.

As I mentioned above, I am looking at a new glass mount (by Nissan). In any event, I don't notice any drop out except under things...

:)

A

PS 2.5 hr drive last night- just couldn't listen to enough!

Ard, What do you mean????????????
Are you saying that when your actually listening to the Sirius radio, the CD player is also operating and the CD discin the changer is spinning as if it were playing the CD disc?????
TIA.
Robert
 

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Yes, as mentioned above by both Motatti and ElMono, I just confirmed mine behaved the same way. (I wonder if a different Nav, like 4.0, might not do this?)

It seems that someone at BMW/Alpine/Becker 'forgot' to code in a "stop" command to the CD player just before the "switch to Sirius" command.

A
 

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Gustav and ard, thats an amazing piece of work you have provided. Any idea how long the full install takes from start to finish (if you are not taking pixs as you did)? I'm a little scared to take on such a project so I wish there were others (dealer is clueless) who can be trusted to do a quality instal in So Calif (who says it never rains in So Calif?). Cheers! David
 

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I'll be honest- I did it twice.

Once to make it work.

Again to take the pics!

Except for the antenna, figure an hour. Including opening the UPS boxes with the parts. It really is that easy.

Maybe add 1.5-2 hrs to remove the package shelf and run the wire. 1 hr to just lay the wire on top and route it down to the trunk.

The antenna is a PITA depending where you put it and what interior you have (rear sun shades). The stock antenna has a magnetic base and your could just pop it on the trunk to get it going- then have any old shop install the antenna for you.

My idea with doing the 'to do' post was to let anyone tackle this one.

Any problems, just post!

A
 

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Ard, with you as inspiration, I have begun the journey to install Sirius in my 03 E39.

Made my first visit to the dealer today and complained of my radio drifting/switching from stereo to mono. Service said they'd check it out. When the car was returned, my amp (Part No. 65-12-4-127-873) had been replaced. Hmmmmmm. No mention of a TSB nor offer of a new radio. I left saying I'd check it out to see if the problem was solved.

So, my question is, can you point me to the TSB? I, too, would like to deliver a copy to them as justification for replacing the radio thereby permitting a factory-clean install of Sirius.

I will check BMW-NA's website for the TSB but thought you could direct me to it faster.

The pix and narrative of your install were fantastic. They'll be invaluable to whomever takes on the challenge himself. But, it looks a little daunting for my 10 thumbs.

Thanks in advance for your help. Kent aka 5driver
 

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5driver said:
Made my first visit to the dealer today and complained of my radio drifting/switching from stereo to mono. Service said they'd check it out. When the car was returned, my amp (Part No. 65-12-4-127-873) had been replaced. Hmmmmmm. No mention of a TSB nor offer of a new radio. I left saying I'd check it out to see if the problem was solved.
Yeah, they do this alot.

Just say- 'it still does it, someone suggested I look at this"

Good luck

Ard

PS You should note that it DOES NOT require them to CONFIRM that it 'fades'... it is done AUTOMATICALLY on a customer complaint basis (or should be...)
 

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a simple suggestion for the antenna... I removed the center child seat teather, dropped the speaker assembly down for access (without removing it, easy on an 00, probably more difficult if you have M audio) and ran the wire up thru there. You could then partially reassemble the teather and mount the antenna right there. I did this temporarily, it fit and looked fine, but my reception would quickly drop out with every little thing i drove under (trees etc).
Mike
 
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