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Old 04-08-2004, 07:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a 1998 bmw 528i with a 6 cd changer in the trunk and a tape player that is hidden under a wood grain flip thing. I have heard that I can switch out the tape insert to a cd insert. The dealer wants to charge me $550....I dont think so. I have also heard that you can just buy a head unit and insert it that way and hide it with the trim. A friend of mine that works in the bmw service department told me the reason the bmw cd insert is so expensive is because it is specially wired for the stereo in the car to connect right in. He said if you buy a regular head unit, other than the bmw insert, it will not work properly as a whole system. He said it would require a splitter, but one wouldnt work without the other, they would play at the same time, and such problems. Does anyone who has had this problem or has dealt with it have any answers!??! help! All I want is to insert cds while Im driving if I feel like it and use the controls I already have. Sorry for the novel.
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Old 04-09-2004, 10:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You only alternative is to buy an aftermarket Headunit. He was correct about it not working, to a certain degree. It will work, but you will more than likely have to bypass the factory amp. another issue you may encounter is the fact that most aftermarkets are 4ch, and your car has between 8-12 speakers, hence the splitter comment.

So, it can be done, and it would cost less than $550, but you wont retain factory controls.
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Old 04-09-2004, 01:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Aftermarket head units will NOT fit in the upper portion of the radio, under the wood flip door. It is not quite high enough. Also, a portion of the factory controls (bass, treble, fade, and balance) are contained within that upper module, and speak to the lower main module over BMW's iBUS--you would completely loose those controls, and I'm not even sure if the main unit would still work. From what I've read, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't -- you either use both BMW units, upper and lower, or you rip them out and put in an aftermarket (which looks HIDEOUS in the E39 -- if I can find a picture I'll post it).

$550, while expensive for a CD player, doesn't sound too bad for the BMW CD. From what I understand they are actually around $800, but then the dealer will give you money back if you turn in your tape deck or something like that. Oh, and DON'T have the dealer do it -- you do it, it's literally a 5 minute job, it's so simple. See here: http://www.bmwtips.com/tipsntricks/My%20bu...20(archive).htm
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Old 04-09-2004, 07:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've witnessed install shops say to to installing in a e39 because too much work... it was a 97 538i.... there is a face adaper avaible from bavauto.com for about $30 that will fit DIN decks but was made for the HarmondKardon GPS HU....
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Old 04-10-2004, 03:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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another alternative would be to check ebay for someone selling theirs.
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Old 04-10-2004, 03:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Mp3 changer and a blitzsafe.... lots of tunes and less need to change CDs in most cases....
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