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How to Install a Aftermarket Radio in BMW E46


Install an XM Satellite Radio system in BMW E46. XM Satellite Radio is a U.S.-based nationwide radio service providing over 100 channels of music, news, entertainment, and sports. Since the service is delivered by two geostationary satellites in orbit, the digital quality sound can be received almost anywhere in the country.

1 - Pioneer XM Receiver/FM Modulator.

1 - Terk XM Antenna.

1 - European Antenna Adapter - Male.

1 - European Antenna Adapter - Female.

10 & 13mm sockets
Ratchet Wrench
Flat Head Screwdriver
Phillips Head Screwdriver
Electrical Tape
Coat Hanger or similar object
Electric Drill
1/8" Drill Bit for Metal
Dremel Tool (optional)
Sandpaper (optional)

If you have the NAV system, disassembly of the dashboard will be a bit different.
1. First, as always, disconnect the negative battery cable in the trunk with a 10mm socket
2. Remove the back seat. Take both cushions out and put them someplace where they won't be damaged
3. Let's mount the antenna in the center of the rear deck; there is a tie-down for children's safety seats.
4. The antenna fits perfectly still has a great view of the sky through the back window glass.
5. Feed the wires through the driver's side of the rear seat panel; there is a large bundle of wires going through the bulkhead.
6. Using a undone coat hanger, tape the antenna, control unit, and switching unit wires to one end of the object. Make sure you tape the correct cable ends that will attach to the XM-receiver hide-away tuner unit.
7. Open the trunk, pop out the two carpet rivets on the driver's side and pull the carpeting away from the trunk wall. You can now use the hangar to feed the cables into the trunk area . Pull enough cable through to reach the location where you plan to mount the hide-away tuner unit. Chose to mount my receiver up underneath the rear deck between my HK subwoofers.
8. Once you know how much wire you need in the trunk, the rest will be used for the antenna leads. Pulled the antenna wire slack into the trunk and zip-tied it into a coil. .
9. Take the control and antenna switching unit cables and run them under the driver's side door sills and trim to the front of the car. You do not need to remove the trim pieces to do this, just tuck the wires under the edge.
10. Using a Phillips-head screwdriver, remove the 3 screws holding the driver's side footwell cover. There is also one pop-rivet on the center console and two clips under the steering column .As you are removing it, unplug the chime, lamp, and the ODB-II connector.
11. Run the wires behind the dead pedal and up into the dashboard. I chose to loop them around a piece of the existing wiring harness to keep the XM wires from dangling or interfering with pedal operation.
12. Remove the shifter boot from the center console by pressing it in from the sides. You do not need to remove the boot or shift knob, just lift it up off the trim.
13. Remove the two screws under the boot and pull up on the center console trim .You will need to disconnect the two electrical harness connectors from the window switches. Put the trim aside.
14. Open the oddments compartment .Reach in and apply pressure to the roof of the compartment while pulling out. It will just pop out. This reveals the 2 upper ashtray screws
15. Remove these 4 screws and pull the ashtray assembly out. You will need to disconnect the 2 cigarette lighter wires, the harness connector for the ashtray lamp, and whatever connectors you have going into your DSC/Seat/Audio etc switches. Set the ashtray assembly aside for later.
16. Now, you can continue feeding your controller and modulator wires underneath the center console and into the area behind the ashtray. If you haven't done so, now is a good time to attach the antenna adapters to the XM antenna switching unit.
17. The climate control unit will pop out by reaching up behind it and pushing out. You do not need to disconnect this unit.
18. Time to remove trim. Using a protected screwdriver or trim remover, gently pull the right side trim panel out from the gap. The dashboard trim pieces are held in place using rubber grommets and long pins built into the trim. They should come out fairly easily. You will also need to remove the center trim piece in the same manner after the right side is removed.
19. There are now 2 screws revealed on either side of the radio. Remove these 2 screws and pull the radio out. You can disconnect the two antenna leads and the wiring harness if you need to. The wiring harness block is released by prying up under the tab on the connect with a flathead screwdriver. There should be a small graphic on the connector to illustrate this.
20. We want to tap into the larger of the two antenna connectors. Remove the big antenna connector and pull it down through the dash to the area behind the ashtray where the XM antenna switch unit now is. Attach it to the new antenna adapter and run the other antenna adapter back up to the radio.
21. Connect everything back up and slide the radio back into place and fasten the 2 radio screws back into place.
22. Replace the trim pieces and A/C control unit.
23. If you choose the Velcro, find a spot, clean it, attach the Velcro, attach the controller unit, and connect the controller wires. You are done. If you chose my way, then be prepared to do some custom grinding and finishing.
24. Using my Dremel Tool, Greg sanded and grinded the ashtray cup until the controller unit sat flush and level in the cup . He then drilled a hole through the back of the cup and ashtray assembly for the controller cable. When finished, he cleaned the surfaces, and used a black marker for touchup. It came out great and props go to Greg for the work.
25. Whichever way you chose to go, you can now put your dashboard back together, reconnect all wiring, and fasten all screws.
26. Connect your switched 12V source to your the red ACC wire, run the yellow fused wire to the positive battery terminal and ground the black wire to the metal vehicle body. I sanded the contact points where I was going to mount the XM receiver to the rear deck and it works just fine as a ground.
27. Connect your power, controller, antenna, and modulator plugs into your XM receiver and turn on your ignition. Check for power to make sure everything is working.
28. If you haven't done so, now would be a good time to get on
29. Decide where you want to mount the receiver, attach the angled brackets to the unit, and attach it to the desired location.
30. Now zip-tie the extra cabling, tuck it behind your trunk carpeting and go for a drive!

A word about the radio installation kit you are about to install. There are many manufacturers of radio installation kits for this vehicle. Each manufacturer produces slightly different variations of the same kit, and a few make individual kits for specific vehicles. The pictured installation kit shown in the illustrations below is a standard kit used for many. Radio installation kits change with the model and years of production of the vehicle. When selecting a kit for this vehicle, make sure the kit you purchase states on the package the installation kit will work with your vehicle model and year. Some kits may require additional setup. Certain kits may be multi function kits designed to work with multiple vehicles and may require the installer to remove break away screw mounting tabs attached to the kit that are not required for your particular vehicle.
About Author Jack Wylde :

If you are looking for a good quality audio visit, <a href="" target="_blank"></a> for more information about car stereo products, and find the right accessories for your car.

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Article Added on Friday, December 4, 2009
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