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IT'S DONE! Radio/Tape to Radio/CD - UPDATED!

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E39 BMW Reverse RDS (Radio/Cassette) to separate BMW Business Radio & CD

Original Set-up: Radio/Cassette: 65 12 8 377 005 with 6 CD changer in boot.

Parts req:

‘New’ CD: 65 12 8 374 999 Philips (Round pin version)

‘New’ Radio: 65 82 8 361 346 Philips

Both of the above supplied by Quarry Motors, Sheffield. Excellent service.

Cable (Tubing): 65 12 9 405 409 (incl: Radio cable & plug, 7.5 & 5 amp fuses, cable ties, splice-locks) £16.64 incl

1. Ignition OFF. Simply pull & remove on/off knob on radio.

2. Insert screwdriver (A/key or Torx key) in hole at bottom of spindle hole, mine was at 12 o’clock, but position may vary depending on model. Turn 90°, radio/cassette unit should move toward you. Gently pull unit away from dash. Be careful of cables & aerial attached to rear of unit.

3. Disconnect multi-pin socket by sliding outer part, to top of unit then pull, this was really tight. Remove aerial cable and (I think) an earth cable.

4. Do not install, but check separately to see if the ‘new’ units will fit & the lock/release mechanisms work in the existing support cage.









5. Next is the glove box removal. Remove tunnel carpet trim RH side of glove box, remove 1 screw, and then slide to rear of car. Underneath the glove box, pull the plastic cover toward you & remove. Remove clips on nylon strap and damper attached to sides of the lid. Slacken two 10mm nuts under glove box, pull toward you, and disconnect the torch cable and remove.



6. Above carpet trim previously removed there’s a tin shield, remove 2 screws and set aside. This will make it easier to install the new cable later.


· Clipped to the RH side of the Housing are 2 fuses (50 & 45 amp), remove these before going any further. The tops of the fuse links are bare & NOT completely covered by the plastic moulding. I caught mine on the metal frame that supports the glove box and it sparked, thankfully no damage done. If I’d known about this I’d have removed them first. *

· To the RH side of the Housing is a gold coloured bracket held onto the bulkhead by 2 plastic 10mm nuts, the lower one also holds the Housing. Remove the nuts and bracket. This will free the lower part of the Housing, the upper part is still held by 2 plastic clips located under the dash air-bag area.

· Pulling the Housing toward you will release it from the upper clips. Make as much slack in the cables or press the clips outward to release the relevant black block. In the bottom of the block you will see rows of extra male connectors, I think these are called Bus Bars in the trade.

7. Feed the new cable (listed above) thru the lower slot in the radio/cassette support cage & guide the wires behind & under the dash to the Housing area. Make sure you don’t drop the plug-end of the cable down behind the air-con/heater panel.

8. Now you need to fit 3 off the wires situated halfway down the new cable. On my car the 3 slots for the relevant wires were at the bottom of the black block. MAKE SURE YOU FIT THE CORRECT WIRE IN THE CORRECT SLOT by the wire colour codes. THIS IS IMPORTANT. If you get them in the wrong slot I understand they’re a real PIA to remove and you may have to strip the entire block apart.






9. Refit the black block in the Housing ensuring the clips are locked. Now the awkward bit, because you’re working blind behind the steel back-support for the glove box. Lift & locate the complete Housing just in front of the LH clip. With a long screwdriver or thin bar gently force the round locating bar of the Housing into the clip. This then enables you to use both hands in slotting home the Housing in the RH clip.

10. Ensuring the Housing is located on the lower stud, refit the gold bracket. Refit the 50 & 45 amp fuses. (I put some electrical tape over the top of the bare connectors first for future safety.)

11. Release the fuse box, and separate the fuse bank from its support by pressing the clips in front of fuses 10 & 35. You now need to install the last 2 wires on the new cable in fuse positions 5 & 6. (If these are already occupied, cut the female spade connector from the wires and splice in the existing cables with the splice-locks supplied) If the fuse slots are empty, slot 5 (Violet/Brown) on mine was, turn the fuse bank over and push-in the cable end, this takes some force, and make sure you have the female spade in the correct alignment for the fuse blade. In the case of slot 6 (Red/Blue/Yellow), this was occupied with a 30-amp fuse and wire, so I removed the fuse & spliced it. Replace any removed fuses and install the 5-amp fuse (supplied) in slot 5.



12. Ensure the 10 amp fuse in ‘new’ CD player is good then connect multi-pin plug, aerial & earth into rear of ‘new’ CD player. It’s wise not to install it in the dash just yet in case of any problems.

13. Connect new cable plug into rear of ‘new’ radio. After a few seconds the time display will come on and reset itself. It’s wise not to install it in the dash just yet in case of any problems.

14. Key in ignition, turn on, no need to start the engine, press the radio ON button and watch it come alive. Pressing the MODE button changed it from Radio to CD then to CD Changer. Check all the pixels and control buttons & if you have them, the steering wheel controls. Select one off your favourite CD’s and place in ‘new’ CD slot. Eddie Cochran’s Something Else filled the air.

15. Ignition Off, install & press the CD player fully home & tighten the small Allen key screws. Install the radio.




I did this project when it was freezing cold. Opening & closing the doors with the interior lights on & off many times may have contributed to a flat battery. Jump start required!

Ensure all cables are suitably tied (tie-wraps supplied) & replace removed parts in reverse order. It took approx 5 hours to do the job including taking pictures at each stage and having lunch. Now it’s time to repair the broken fingernails and scratched hands!

Hope this helps.

Happy listening.

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Following on from my project...

The flat battery, although nearly 10 years old and now replaced, was due to the clock time staying ON even when the key was removed & draining it overnight.

I've spoken to my local indy who says the 'new' radio needs to be coded in, as the car's brain sees it as a retro-fit.

It's booked in for next week & I'll post the results & edit the original post.


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Following on from my previous posts on this topic…

The instructions supplied for the installation of the wiring loom for the replacement radio recommends that 2 wires are fitted in fuse positions 5 & 6.

If they’re already occupied it states they should be spliced with the connectors supplied.

On my car, 1999 528i SE, fuse 6 was already supplying the Central Locking, Outside Mirror Adjustment & Window Lift, so I spliced into this.

In vacant fuse position 5, which according to the fuse chart would have supplied the Sliding/tilt roof (this is not fitted to my car) I installed the wire & new fuse.

The replacement BMW radio/cd & existing cd changer worked perfectly.

However, when I turned everything off & removed the ignition key the radio (MID) clock stayed on & drained the battery overnight. The battery was the original (9 ½ years old). Installed new battery (£104 from stealers) & new Final Stage Resistor (£42 Motormec) just in case, but the clock stayed ON.

My local Indy said he’d never come across this, not being able to make the car go into full sleep mode, even after doing a full diagnostic check & ensuring the replacement radio was ‘accepted’ by the ‘brain’.

The only way to prevent clock staying on was to remove the new fuse 5, but this prevented the radio/cd & changer from working.

Used a multi-meter to trace an ignition supplied source.

Fuse 18, supplying Instrument Cluster, seemed ideal.

Removed fuse from No 5 position, snipped & made safe the wire then spliced into fuse 18 output wire.

Success, but I’ll keep my eye on it & report back if any further problems.


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In my case I wanted to splice into a wire where the existing fuse was within the 5 - 7.5 amp rating to safeguard the radio.


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Guest Fox

Good mod. I've done pretty much the same thing myself.

Bit confused as to why you went for the Reverse thingy though, why didn't you just fit the Multi Info display? Same amount of work yet.. it's much better.

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How much did you pay for the new audio units?.. (if you don't mind me asking..)

£100 for CD, £25 for radio, both from Quarry Motors, Sheffield.

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your not wrong about the satte of your hands afterwards, you need hands like a 5 year old. my big old shovels are ripped to pieces.

I fitted the MID in mine but it doesnt work (sound for 10 secs, no display at all) so i'm hoping its just a coding thing.

Cheers for the guide though it came in very handy

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guys and girls, sorry to drag up a very old thread. Whilst i retrofitted the adaptor i never actually got round to fitting my new 2 piece MID and cassette player for the above reasons. I tried to get it coded but it came back as it couldnt be done as the diagnostic machine couldnt talk as it didnt have an IRIS module- i thpught the unit itself was that? does that mean the unit ive bought is goosed?

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Hello everyone!
Sorry if I answer such an old discussion but I need help!

I have a 1997 BMW e39 with low instrument cluster and basic cassette radio.


I bought an original BMW radio but the model (from 1996) with the larger screen and theoretically the BC and telephone buttons.
Obviously it is the model divided into two parts and I had to buy the wiring for the MID retrofit


I followed all the instructions but I have a problem; The cable that I have to connect is red / blue / yellow theoretically in slot 7 but this is occupied by a white / red / yellow cable.
I connected as said with a "steal current" to the cable of slot 7: everything seemed to work but I have a problem: the clock on the radio always stays on even when I remove the keys from the panel!


I noticed that the color of the MID cable is different, there would be a cable of the same color but it connects to fuse 9

can you help me, thanks

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Goodmorning everyone.
In the end I solved it like this:
The cable (red / blue / yellow) must be connected to the wiring to the fuse 6.

For those who have had problems with fuse 5 and the clock remained on with the machine off, just move the connector from point 5 to fuse 45 (in my case it was empty: it would be that of the motorized sunshade)
So everything works perfectly!


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