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Jared T

Radio/Nav fix for 2002 Jap inport

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Good morning all,

I've been driving a 2002 530i for the past 9 years, but it is now not in a great state and I've "upgraded" to a beautiful rust free 2002 525i imported from Japan.  The new car is wonderful in many ways, but there a few things I'm missing.  First, the subject of the new topic, is the radio.  The car came from factory with some version of the navigation modules, or so I expect, as the connectors in the dashboard are two (one blue and one white) rectangles with 2x6 pins.  The display in the car is no longer there, it was replaced with  a Japanese language aftermarket item that I've removed.  Now the issue is what to replace it with.  I don't especially care about the quality of the audio, but want to limit how dated it looks.  

 

One option is to find an oem navigation unit along with the other parts (dvd navigation unit and others I imagine).  This option has the benefit that it would look oem, but of course is kind of dated and it seems would cost about £200 for the various parts.  One the plus side it doesn't seem to require any wiring which would be wonderful.

 

A second option is what I would most prefer, which is to downgrade to the oem mid and cd player.  Two complications with this.  First is that the wiring is for the nav so unless anyone has a solution it seems it would require wiring from the dashboard to the boot.  Would be wonderful if anyone can correct me on this. Is there by chance an adaptor that would allow me to use the current pair of 2x6 pins to plug into an oem mid and cd player?  The car has a "high display" and option code 676 which reading seems to say it doesn't suffer from an added complication of p?? (not pdc, but sounds similar).  This  option without re-wiring to the boot would be my preferred option.  If anyone knows how to do this that would be great.  The second, less substantial complication here is the car doesn't have any oem mounting hardware and comes with the uncommon birch anthracite interior so getting the trim to cover the cd may prove difficult, but I suppose something black would look ok.

 

The third option would be to buy a new aftermarket part, which I see there is a lot written about so won't rehash that here.  This might be the most sensible option, but would be expensive and/or would require wiring from the dash to the truck which I'd rather not do.

 

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Jared (Oxford)

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Welcome to the forums Jared; nice to see another Jap import owner on here ;)

 

Myself and @Loadmaster both have imports

 

FYI; the Jap nav is useless in the UK and cannot be upgraded; you'd have to source everything from a UK car and swap it all over, a LOT of work and very expensive, for something that's outdated anyways

 

I don't use CDs any more, so I've bought a Grom Audio BT3 kit that plugs into the CD changer plugs and gives full Bluetooth hands free connectivity as well as music playback; works with the steering wheel controls also: https://gromaudio.co.uk/products/bluetooth-hands-free-and-a2dp-car-kits/bmw-mini-rover-bluetooth-integration-kit-677.html

 

You could speak to the likes of Baris at Carphonics and he could sort a BM54 amp for you, upgrade that and install Bluetooth as well, but it adds up quickly price-wise and in the end, that put me off the idea. I am still going to get the BM54 amp from him though, as the Jap Import BM53 amp has limited stations in the UK, whereas the BM54 has them all IIRC

 

Re aftermarket, again, I looked into that and decided against it, too much £££ for something I'd hardly use, so serious overkill in my opinion.

 

I've got a Google Pixel 3XL and OnePlus 7 Pr mobile phone, both have CoPilot and Google Maps on and I prefer to use sat nav that's at my eye level, rather than looking down all the time, so they cover that for me perfectly :) 

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Thank you for the kind welcome to the forums, and great to hear there is expertise here with Japanese imports.  Just spoke to a car audio place, OxfordCarAudio, and was quoted £800 for a complete install of a nice high end kenwood unit that would have everything to make a 16 year old happy.  While I won't use much of this,  it seem this might not be a lot more than putting a severely outdated system in.  The Grom connector you list sounds great, with the problem that I'd also have to buy something to plug the current hole in the dashboard and even that sounds like it would be at least £300.  Some thinking to do.

 

I have a couple other questions about my Japanese import that I'd love to ask you.  Shall I ask here or start another thread?

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21 minutes ago, Jared T said:

Thank you for the kind welcome to the forums, and great to hear there is expertise here with Japanese imports.  Just spoke to a car audio place, OxfordCarAudio, and was quoted £800 for a complete install of a nice high end kenwood unit that would have everything to make a 16 year old happy.  While I won't use much of this,  it seem this might not be a lot more than putting a severely outdated system in.  The Grom connector you list sounds great, with the problem that I'd also have to buy something to plug the current hole in the dashboard and even that sounds like it would be at least £300.  Some thinking to do.

 

I have a couple other questions about my Japanese import that I'd love to ask you.  Shall I ask here or start another thread?

 

Probably best to start another thread; keeps them relevant then :) 

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1 hour ago, Jared T said:

Thank you for the kind welcome to the forums, and great to hear there is expertise here with Japanese imports.  Just spoke to a car audio place, OxfordCarAudio, and was quoted £800 for a complete install of a nice high end kenwood unit that would have everything to make a 16 year old happy.  While I won't use much of this,  it seem this might not be a lot more than putting a severely outdated system in.  The Grom connector you list sounds great, with the problem that I'd also have to buy something to plug the current hole in the dashboard and even that sounds like it would be at least £300.  Some thinking to do.

 

I have a couple other questions about my Japanese import that I'd love to ask you.  Shall I ask here or start another thread?

Welcome aboard Jared...

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Hi Jared,

 

Thanks for the kind words and the discussion so far via the PM's !

 

There are options as you can see from the above and you'll need to evaluate the route to take Vs the overall cost of initial purchase and install along with the potential longer term costs if you do decide to retrofit the OEM modules and use the 'add on' type solutions such as the GROM etc. The quote from OCR will most likely be for a higher end head unit, but was it 'only' the install of the head unit/fascia & labour ? or does it include some upgraded speakers etc as well? 

 

I'm about to install the Kenwood DMX125DAB head unit as it's £159 at Halfords and for the next week or so, there's another 10% off making it around £146. With the NXG-39 for an OEM look you'd still have a decent amount left over for a good set of entry level 5.25 inch component speakers for the front and some £40-60 co-axials on the back shelf and a decent entry level amplifier! 

 

I'll respond back to your PM soon, it's Diwali weekend for me and we've got a lot of friends and family coming over ! 

 

Cheers, Dennis!

 

 

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Good morning.  It has been a few weeks since I started the post and thought I would speak to its resolution.  First, let me thank the hospitality here and great advice, especially from Dennis Cooper and Nick from the e-bay  store:

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/rotripltd-0?ul_noapp=true

 

Everyone was extremely helpful sharing their expertise and trying to help me source the right original equipment.  My aim was primarily to get the car back to original, but from Japanese to UK spec.  The advice I received was that getting back to original would be more expensive and timely than one might expect and that the original spec looking units like Dynavin have some reliability issues.  Nick from the above page helped me a lot to try and assemble the original parts, but in the end it turns out that at every stage the connectors were different than UK spec and rewiring from the front to trunk was going to be necessary for any UK spec option; yes there were adapters but they didn't seem available anymore.   If it were not for the rewiring I would have gone to UK spec.  I'm busy and didn't have the time or desire to mess up my nice new car with my amateur work.  Moreover, it seemed I would be spending on the order of £350 to get back to radio and cd or a £400 for a very outdated, but oem navigation unit.  

 

In the end I decided to go for having professionals fit a modern unit.  I opted for an Alpine ILX-700 (apparently the last new one from Alpine, who I called....).  The new unit installed was about £700 by OxfordCarAudio.  It isn't quite as original as I would have liked, but it has the modern navigation and high resolution screen which is nice (a DVD navigation disc seemed a poor method in this day and age).  It was also installed very nicely.  Also, I was very eager to get parking sensors in the car, which apparently they don't do on the japanese E39 (even 2003-2003 models), not even in the back.  Instead the car has beeps inside when in reverse and the passenger mirror dips to look at the curb.  I was looking into doing an oem retrofit of parking sensors, but that was costed at 8hrs of labour not to mention parts, so this wasn't going to be inexpensive.   Wonderfully OxfordCarAudio did the parking sensors front and rear for about £600.    I used the original trim, which was economical and easy to replace if desired.  The parking sensors don't look oem, but do look like most every modern car you see, picture attached.  So in the end £1300 gave me modern navigation, radio, parking sensors, all of the old japanese parts out.  While this is more than I was hoping to spend, it was less than what I thought it might cost.

 

Attached are pictures of the new system with the front parking sensor deactivation button (like the PDC button) in the top right over the blank.  Not oem, but I'm pretty happy.  Though I prefer oem in most ways, it is a radio and seemed fighting for 17 year old navigation or cd wasn't the point of an e39.  Instead I just love the way it drives and am glad I now have navigation and no rust thanks to Japan.  I'm also including a picture of the large amount of material that came out of the car.  If anyone would like these excess Japanese parts let me know.

 

Hopefully this write-up will be helpful for someone else looking at the same issue.

Thanks again for all of the support and advice.

Jared

 

 

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Looks a very neat install, not cheap, but well fitted and completed :) 

 

I personally stayed away from fitting an aftermarket stereo; mainly because I'm really not that fussed as I find the OEM system more than adequate, now that I've fitted the Grom Audio BT3 Bluetooth kit which alloys for hands-free calls and A2DP music playback etc :) It's a simplye plug n play affair that hides away in the rear with no signs of it installed. However, I am going to sort an upgraded BM54 amp from Baris at Carphonics for the full UK radio station listing and a more powerful amp ;) 

 

Re the parking sensors, I went for the Steelmate kit for the rear bumper when it was at my pals body shop a few weeks back; they did the full respray and install of the sensors and fixed/resprayed the bumper whilst they were at it and then my local auto sparky did all the connecting up; they work superbly and for a c£65 kit, I've been very impressed; this is how they look:

 

pdc5.jpg

 

pdc1.jpg

 

pdc2.jpg

 

FYI your old audio parts will be worth something, so if you're after getting some money back off them, get them on the relevant E39 buy/sell FB pages, if you're on FB and on eBay too :) 

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Hey Dan, thank you for the  pictures of your parking sensors.  They look great, and doing it when doing some painting sounds ideal.  Glad you are enjoying yours, and I imagine you must be thrilled about having a japanese import like I am.  

 

Regarding the radio, I definitely would have just remained oem if that had been an option but the car came with a japanese aftermarket unit that didn't work and once it went out it seemed a costly and time consuming affair to get back to oem.  Glad you didn't have to go through that.  I was happy with the tape deck in my prior e39, which I had for 9 years and never had a desire to upgrade the radio (even with only speakers on one side of the car working).  

 

Regarding the japanese units I've taken out, I'm a bit hesitant to sell them as I'm afraid someone will spend a lot of effort with them thinking they are UK.  I'm open to giving them to someone here who has some desire for them and doesn't want to resell them.

 

Cheers, Jared

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3 minutes ago, Jared T said:

Hey Dan, thank you for the  pictures of your parking sensors.  They look great, and doing it when doing some painting sounds ideal.  Glad you are enjoying yours, and I imagine you must be thrilled about having a japanese import like I am.  

 

Regarding the radio, I definitely would have just remained oem if that had been an option but the car came with a japanese aftermarket unit that didn't work and once it went out it seemed a costly and time consuming affair to get back to oem.  Glad you didn't have to go through that.  I was happy with the tape deck in my prior e39, which I had for 9 years and never had a desire to upgrade the radio (even with only speakers on one side of the car working).  

 

Regarding the japanese units I've taken out, I'm a bit hesitant to sell them as I'm afraid someone will spend a lot of effort with them thinking they are UK.  I'm open to giving them to someone here who has some desire for them and doesn't want to resell them.

 

Cheers, Jared

 

The only thing that won't work over here is the long, thin box which is part of the Jap nav set up, the rest of it should work fine :)

 

My car came with the OEM 16:9 widescreen nav head unit, but there were a lot of other Pioneer aftermarket gubbins wired in too (and aerials on the windscreen etc) that were soon ripped out and binned ;) Fortunately the rest of the OEM system works very well, the screen has a few marks on it, so may look to get that sorted too. I am trying to keep my car as OEM as possible as it's fairly rare on these shores, a 2002 530i touring with no rust and low miles for its age etc ;) 

 

I'm an audiophile too, so my properly hifi is in the house, for the car, it's mainly background music or radio etc :) 

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