OEM Navigation Retrofit Guide

After researching for a little over a year the way of retrofitting the OEM Nav first to my 330i and now to my M3, luckily BMWAG came up in January of 2004 with a complete retrofit kit that includes a simplified harness that just plugs into the existing Audio/I Bus harness, the 16:9 display with CD player, the MKIV GPS receiver/DVD computer, the Professional radio (not Business), all brackets, bolts, connectors, plugs and installation manual for an all inclusive set.

For those that also have been researching a way of retrofitting Nav in their 3 Series you will inmediately notice how less complicated and time consuming this installation is compared to the old way of unplugging the current non-Nav harness from all its components and installing one built for a Nav car.

This is a simple guide of my installation, with tips to facilitate its reproduction in your car.

Disclaimer (copied verbatim from this DIY) :

While I think this process is pretty easy, you need to read through the directions and evaluate it yourself to decide whether or not you can do it. The details presented here are believed to be correct but they are not not guaranteed to be correct. I am not responsible for any damage that you may do to your car or injury that happens to you as a result of following these directions. Proceed at your own risk.

Preliminary steps:

The very first thing that anybody should do before attempting to do this retrofit is to read and study the installation manual (thanks to Santiago for hosting this document). Once you familiarize well enough with the steps to follow you will get the best results in the least amount of time.

I did this installation by myself; if you can get some help from friends knowlegeable and careful enough, the time and effort will be greatly reduced. However, the main idea is to get a quality and reliable job performed, not to finish ASAP.


Having the BMW TIS/ETK software and/or the Bentley manual for E46′s, although not required, can further simplify the overall installation procedures. BMW TIS/ETK CD’s can be bought for some $20.00 at Ebay.

At no time you should insert your key in the ignition during disassembly.

If your car have manual seats, disconnect the negative post of the battery before step 1 below. If your car have power seats, please follow the steps below:

1) Remove driver’s seat. (TIS 52 13 000)

There are 4 bolts on each corner of the rails. You will need the battery power to move the seat back and forth to gain access to the bolts. Once unbolted, tilt the seat back to disconnect the main plug underneath.

2) Disconnect negative battery terminal from car chassis.

Once disconnected, cover it with electrical tape.

0b438f4c77932284dd718551e4fbc0f0  OEM Navigation Retrofit Guide3) Remove left inside door(s) rocker panel strip (item #1 below). (TIS 51 47 000)

This strip have to be slided towards the front of the car first and foremost and then pulled up. Otherwise you will break it. Once removed you will have easy access to the carpet.

4) Remove the rear seat bottom cushion (item #1 or #4 below) and left side cushion (item #7 below). (TIS 52 24 005)

Just pull up the bottom seat and slide forward. Before the left cushion can be removed the top plastic cover have to be removed (item #10 above). Once this is done (one clip) pull the top of the cushion out and then up in that order. Otherwise its bottom tab will be broken.

5) Remove decor trim and rear left side panel (if Coupe or just the decor trim if Sedan)

6) Remove center console, shifter trim and storage assembly below radio-A/C unit. (TIS 51 16 210)

Start with the shifter unit (shown in the previous step), follow with the center console (where the armrest is, you do not have to remove the armrest, only item #7 and its subassemblies shown below) and then with the center storage assembly in front of the shifter.

The trick of the center assembly removal is that there are 4 screws at the bottom and in the top. You only can see the bottom two screws once you remove the shifter trim. The other two are behind the top cubicle (above the row of DSC/HK/heated sets buttons, below items #3, #4 or #15 depending of your vehicle).

Open the lid, and press up hard on the inside top front corners of the rubber cubicle and then pull forward; it will come off. The two screws are behind this separate assembly.

7) Remove Radio and Climate Control panel (TIS 65 11 030)

The trick is to remove first the air vents above the radio. Remove the two screws above the radio and pull the vents up and forward. Once this is done the vents are no longer in the way of the radio, Just pull the radio out, disconnect the antenna and main plug and then pull the climate control out. Disconnect its connectors and relocate towards where the top cubicle below the A/C controls where. That’s going to be new location of the climate controls.

8) Remove glove box (TIS 51 16 360)

Six screws attach the glove box to the dash: three on the top, two deep into both sides and a single one on the bottom right.

9) Remove both C pillar covers

These covers have a Torx screw behind the light fixture. Remove the light fixture (clips) and unscrew this screw before pulling out the trim (two clips attach it to the pillar, item #8 below)

10) Remove rear shelf (item #1 below)

The rear shelf is secured by four plastic clips at the front (towards the front of the car) attaching the plastic trim item #6 below, the three child seat anchors and a single screw centered thru the metal shelf underneath.

If your car has the HK subwoofer, you will need to remove the sub unit (item #1) to gain access to this screw.

9) Remove left trunk liner (item #1 below) (TIS 51 47 151)

If you do not have the OEM CD changer/Assist preparation in your car, you will need to buy a new trunk left trim (the one with the door).

Once you remove all these parts you Coupe should look like this…

05812866e45a65ccb6eea9f05d51c1d0  OEM Navigation Retrofit Guide

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027651c08226caaf33efcfe1826fd8e2  OEM Navigation Retrofit GuideHarness installation:

Is as easy as following this document.


a) The only part of this retrofit that is absurd is the connection of the telephone/CD Changer wires to the new harness (page 10, top illustration). Why BMW did not attached the same connector as the one in the main harness to make it just “plug and play” like the main connector but force the installer to remove pins and wires from one connector and create another is a mystery to me, especially when plug X13321 have the same number of wires as branch A3.

b) The section that explains where branch A7 connects is not very illustrative. Joint connector X428 is located on top the fuse box. Pull the fuse box further down (over its detent, it will not break) and connector X428 is the big junction box snapped on top. Branch A7 is connected where all the blue/yellow wires are located. If there is no free space left, use one of the joint tap connectors supplied with the kit and connect this wire to another blue/yellow.

I got the location of this joint connector from the main tech of my local dealer…

See photo below for location:

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Re-assembly and function check:

If the installation document is followed step by step, all the components should be installed and connected at this step.. Before putting everything back together I also installed the SES voice recognition module. It is the silver box shown in the photo below on the upper right corner (above and slightly to the right of the shock tower. Its 54 pin blue connector, with a shorting plug is inside the cubbyhole above that shock tower. Remove the shorting plug and plug the module… and that’s it.

1) Re install the driver seat by just plugging the connector under it.

2) Check that all connections are made, secured and visually inspect that there is no wire chaffing or breaks in both the main and add on (new) harness.

3) Reconnect the negative battery terminal.

4) Finish bolting down the seats.

5) Turn ignition to the ACC position.

6) The screen should come on showing that the firmware CD has to be loaded for full functionality. The radio should work however.

7) Load the CD-ROM included in the kit into the DVD Computer. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUNSTANCE REMOVE THE KEY OF THE IGNITION DURING THE FIRMWARE LOADING SECUENCE. It should take some 6 minutes max to load the firmware.

8) Once the firmware is loaded, you should see the main screen shown below. Go to the GPS Navigation using the right knob and press it. The screen informing to load the DVD map CD (included) should come on. Load the DVD and really wait some time. In my case it took some a couple of hours to finally read the DVD, but it did it.

9) Check the functionality of the rest of the NAV/Radio/CD/GPS/Telephone (if so equipped) functions using the OEM User’s manual. It is kind of old, but it covers most of the important features of the system.

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9de0ca267c6dfc0b1b28f5ded2589b70  OEM Navigation Retrofit Guide

Function check (continued):

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184f2670ab35738c0dd4cbbc99109dca  OEM Navigation Retrofit Guide

7338638ef2462aff95a559c678fe4668  OEM Navigation Retrofit Guide

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Final reassembly and dealer programming:

Once the system is running and working, remove key from ignition and proceed to reassemble the interior, front to back.

Take car to dealer to be programmed to be in sync with the rest of the car systems, especially the ASSIST system. It is only one hour of labor… at the absolute most.

At the end you should have a full OEM Navigation system integrated to your car.


1) Ebay final bid price: $2035.00

2) Seller: postgolf

3) Ebay item number: 7926128105 (part numbers and components included)

3) Replacement console for the Climate Control unit part number: 51-16-7-001-408 (Coupe)

Final disclaimer:

This installation is primarily focused on my 2004 M3 with ASSIST. All references are concentrated and meant to apply to my particular car and configuration. Please be aware that your car is different and some steps are different in application and parts. This installation is not, in anyway, covered by BMW warranty due to the simple fact that the Navigation components were not bought in an authorized BMW dealer.

Good luck!

Write up by: Technic

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