Aftermarket head unit installation with the new Innovadrive NXG-39 fascia - BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums
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post #1 of 14 Unread 8th July 2019, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Aftermarket head unit installation with the new Innovadrive NXG-39 fascia

There are few easy options for updating and upgrading the vintage sound and navigation systems in our e39s. Especially if wanting to retain the clean, unmodified “OEM look” of the dash. So far, the choice has been between the Dynavin and Android head units, which do a nice job of adding modern features while retaining the "stock dash look".

My upgrade path started with a Dynavin head unit. Next, the old DSP amp was replaced with a new DSP amp, and then, the speakers were upgraded. At this point, the Dynavin had become the weakest link and I started lusting after one of the recently launched, shallow depth head units from Alpine and Kenwood. However, the idea of sacrificing the OEM look of the dash kept this from happening. In February, I stumbled across a thread mentioning a new e39 specific fascia made by Dennis Cooper, a long time m5board member and e39 audio enthusiast, and the itch to upgrade returned. In a recent post, fellow m5board member Jared shared a photo of an Alpine unit installed with the fascia ( and that convinced me to have a go at this option.

A few weeks back, I purchased the Innovadrive NXG-39 fascia from Dennis and a shallow-depth Kenwood dmx706s head unit. The facia arrived from the UK within a week and the quality of the kit was obvious upon unpacking. The installation was a relatively simple, or at least no more complex than installing a Dynavin headunit, and Dennis responded promptly to questions about the installation. The Kenwood and fascia combo looks really nice in the e39 dash and it is very close to the OEM look. Below are a few photos to illustrate.

As expected, the Kenwood head unit sounds significantly better than the Dynavin, and it is very nice to have the convenience and features of Android Auto. For those considering an aftermarket head unit, I highly recommend this new fascia. Hats off to Dennis for developing this solution for our small group of enthusiasts.

Last edited by sorenm; 9th July 2019 at 12:15 AM.
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post #2 of 14 Unread 8th July 2019, 11:03 PM
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post #3 of 14 Unread 9th July 2019, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks 'Triksterut'. Not sure why they are not showing - they look fine at this end.

Here is a link to the photos, in case I do not succeed in getting them to show.

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post #4 of 14 Unread 9th July 2019, 12:42 AM
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Lools very, very good and it's probably the way I would go, too. I just don't want to commit to a touchscreen only.

ETA: pictures look fine to me

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Last edited by josiahg52; 9th July 2019 at 12:42 AM.
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post #5 of 14 Unread 9th July 2019, 01:46 PM
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Looks great man!! I'd like to upgrade my M's audio system one day, and keeping the stock look is a must for me. Best I've seen yet.
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post #6 of 14 Unread 9th July 2019, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the compliments!

I agree that touchscreen only is a bit of a leap, but think it looks nice in this particular fascia/install. The steering wheel buttons on the left side still control volume, track etc.
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post #7 of 14 Unread 11th July 2019, 02:24 AM
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I also have Dennis fascia w/ a Parrot Asteroid Smart - I wanted a totally clean look with no buttons, etc on the face of the display. Haven't hooked it up yet but I will post pics once I get it all done.

Dennis' kit is indeed very high quality.
post #8 of 14 Unread 11th July 2019, 06:56 PM
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Would those aftermarket head units be able to run the ibus software needed for the resler interface? It's android based.

Looks very clean.

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post #9 of 14 Unread 11th July 2019, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Stickey - I don't think that would work. They will work with the steering wheel controls, using a Metra Axxess or similar adapter between the iBus wire and the head unit. To my knowledge, this is the extent to which you can integrate these mainstream brands in the e39. To me, sound quality and reliability was higher priority than the level of integration you can achieve with the Android units.
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post #10 of 14 Unread 14th July 2019, 07:19 PM
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Sorenm - Thank you for your feedback and pictures above - glad they show up now! A pleasure to help and support you with your questions and glad you are happy ! The result in your car looks great and also shows that head unit's with a little lip protrusion at the bottom edge can still fit and look just fine

Joshiahg52 - There's some head units with a control knob which you could use, but they don't look so great as it's then an extra protruding aspect/extra knob which of course 'doesn't look OEM' ! Some of the E46 guys for instance have used the Sony XAV-AX1000 with a blank fascia (as that's all that's on the market for them) and it looks off for this reason. If you fit a flat faced/touchscreen controlled head unit, and you then connect the steering wheel controls you then get the button press type of control for the most common used functions of volume up/down and track/station search. Personally for me, I've been used the total touchscreen Parrot Asteroid Smart and it's been very easy to control - just like a good smartphone screen, a light touch and movement and done and to me feels just as fast, if not faster, than pressing a button multiple times. This is going to be one of those personal preferences type thing though.

Kevin - Hopefully see your audio upgrade soon along with pictures and your thoughts about the NXG-39

Stickey - This aspect of being able to show the OBC parameters and information on a premium brand's head unit is something I've been researching for some time now. I can 'solve' it tomorrow, as a piece of hardware exists in order to have this functionality. The cost to me in order to modify that hardware for the BMW OBC protocol/system and then to have it properly tested and certified is very very expensive - circa $30-40000 USD. This was from one of the specialists who supply the OEM manufacturers with automotive systems and technology, so I know their quality and expertise level is excellent and which would mean I'd have a 'reliable' quality product. Per unit pricing would then be perhaps in the $300/400 level at retail once batch manufactured runs are made. I've been looking around to see if I can get the initial cost down somewhat. I know many will say the app from the German based guy is only $30 or so, but keep in mind it's an untested and 'home brew' product with no QA/Testing or certifications etc. I did contact him to ask if his app would run on Android Auto, his reply suggested he wasn't sure/had not tried/probably wouldn't. I got the gist he wasn't too sure what Android Auto was/is i.e an operating system specifically for cars. The cheap chinese units don't run Android Auto, they run the 'Android' operating system as you'd see on cheap Tablets. There is an 'App' version of Android Auto which is free and runs on 'Android' and that's what they've done. Once I know more about a properly developed and engineered solution, I will update here and on other forums about it.

Cheers, Dennis!

2003 Ex-Police E39 530 Diesel Touring. Alpine White, 260,000+ Miles & climbing!

19" Hartge Nova 5 - with custom painted 'Flash Chrome' centres & Polished Lips (set of 5)
19" Hartge Nova 5 - Awaiting custom re-finish (set of 4)
19" Hartge Classic - with custom powder coated centres in shadow chrome & diamond cut/no lacquer lips (set of 5)
20" Hartge Classic - Awaiting custom re-finish
19" 3Pc Forged wheels - ID retained until re-built & finished (2 sets)
20" 3Pc Forged wheels -ID retained until re-built & finished
19" Centres - ID retained until rebuilt & finished
Full Custom Audio install - Arc Audio KS Mini ampliifers. DLS 5.25" 2 way front components & 4" 2 way co-axials. JL Audio 8W3-V3 subwoofer in stealth enclosure. Parrot Asteroid Smart head unit, custom door builds for DLS front stage & Earthquake SWS6 flatline subwoofers, custom rear pillar speaker pods. LumiDock iPod dock,

H&R Springs, ExoticsTuning front lip spoiler, Sport F/R bumpers upgrade, Carbon Fibre effect printed Vinyl roof wrap, High gloss black vinyl window trim wrap, Hartge bonnet/hood & tailgate badges, rear rooftip spoiler, matt Black kidney grille, projector foglamps.

Hartge auto gearlever, Hartge Handbrake handle, Hartge door sill strips, E46 M3 CSL Alcantara/Tri-stitch SMG steering wheel, full Black Leather Sport seats,


Custom ECU re-map biased for more Power & Torque in Steptronic mode, EGR delete, K&N induction kit, Stainless steel de-cat, Stainless steel exhaust backbox with twin oval pipes. Manual 5 spd gearbox conversion.

Plenty more modifications to come!
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