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      11-02-2020, 11:50 AM   #1
cbecker33
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Returning to a factory head unit

When I purchased my car it had an aftermarket head unit installed as well as an amplifier and (I assume) aftermarket speakers.

I have never been satisfied with the appearance of the head unit nor the features (they are already outdated). I have not found an aftermarket solution that both looks and functions as I would like. I think my best bet is to return to the stock radio, add Bluetooth capability and compatibility with my aftermarket amp. I would then use Android Auto on my phone for display and control (I rarely listen to AM/FM radio).

I do not know what factory radio was in my car. I assume (but am not positive) that it had navigation from the factory. Currently the aftermarket radio is connected to the rear-mounted amplifier via two RCA cables. I also have an aftermarket mic and antenna.

My questions are:

1. Which factory BMW radio should I purchase?
2. Is BlueBus my best option for Bluetooth with Android Auto?
3. What is the best way to connect a factory head unit to my aftermaket amp?

Really, any advice/opinion is much appreciated.
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      11-02-2020, 03:24 PM   #2
Clearancediver
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You need to run your VIN through a vin decoder to figure out what radio option was the original install.

That said... given the description you have provided it's likely you had the high ending DSP version...aka as the "Carver" high end system due to the complete replacement you describe.... amp and speakers.

Replacing head with a BMW business radio may not be an option at this point.

You can check to see what business radio was originally installed and the suggested replacement radio via realoem.com if you were to pursue a OEM head replacement.
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      11-02-2020, 03:43 PM   #3
cbecker33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clearancediver View Post
You need to run your VIN through a vin decoder to figure out what radio option was the original install.

That said... given the description you have provided it's likely you had the high ending DSP version...aka as the "Carver" high end system due to the complete replacement you describe.... amp and speakers.

Replacing head with a BMW business radio may not be an option at this point.

You can check to see what business radio was originally installed and the suggested replacement radio via realoem.com if you were to pursue a OEM head replacement.
I have not found a vin decoder that shows the radio option. Can you recommend one?

Last edited by cbecker33; 11-02-2020 at 04:00 PM..
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      11-03-2020, 12:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbecker33 View Post
I have not found a vin decoder that shows the radio option. Can you recommend one?
https://www.mdecoder.com/

If it errors out, try http://bimmer.work

The BlueBus doesn't really do anything with Android Auto, but it would certainly route audio from Android auto through to the car.

-Ted
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      11-03-2020, 10:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t3ddftw View Post
This shows:
609 Navigation System Professional Navigations system Professional
677 Hifi System Professional Hifi System Professional

Quote:
Originally Posted by t3ddftw View Post
The BlueBus doesn't really do anything with Android Auto, but it would certainly route audio from Android auto through to the car.
Fair enough, I guess I just wanted to ensure there are no know quirks or issues with the devices and Android Auto

Real OEM seems to show 3 head unit options. So I'm still a bit confused as to what I can throw in there. The nav screen is long gone and I have no desire to try to put it back in. Assuming that I did have a factory amp - it, too, is long gone.

My goal is to buy a stock head unit and connect it to the stock wiring harness in every regard (hopefully) except for the speaker outs. For the speaker outs I will need (I assume) a line-out adapter to the F/R RCAs that lead to the aftermarket amp. Somewhere I need to hook up a bluetooth adapter that plays nice with Android Auto.

Can I slap in any business CD radio?
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      11-04-2020, 11:55 AM   #6
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I would think that since your car system has been modified.... a complete delete of the high end system, that a business radio would work as long as it was for a 10 speaker system. No guarantee, but the radios are cheap enough if you want to spend the money to find out.

The trick would be to identify what radios fall within this definition. That I can't help you with.

Realoem will show you the original radio installed, plus radios that are compatible from later model cars.

Once you revert to a business radio you lose all the advantages of the existing radio. Bluetooth, hands free etc and it isn't easily replaceable.
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      11-10-2020, 11:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clearancediver View Post
I would think that since your car system has been modified.... a complete delete of the high end system, that a business radio would work as long as it was for a 10 speaker system. No guarantee, but the radios are cheap enough if you want to spend the money to find out.

The trick would be to identify what radios fall within this definition. That I can't help you with.

Realoem will show you the original radio installed, plus radios that are compatible from later model cars.

Once you revert to a business radio you lose all the advantages of the existing radio. Bluetooth, hands free etc and it isn't easily replaceable.
Anybody have a spare radio laying around?
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      11-11-2020, 01:30 PM   #8
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Check Ebay - these radios turn up all the time, at reasonable prices.
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      02-12-2021, 08:12 AM   #9
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id say if you dont want to put the nav screen back (and i dont blame you, as its rubbish) you need the radio that came with the non nav equiped cars. I have one lying around for the nav equiped car, but that will be useless to you as its got no screen itself and used the nav screen to navigate the radio options. good luck.
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      02-12-2021, 12:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanne View Post
id say if you dont want to put the nav screen back (and i dont blame you, as its rubbish) you need the radio that came with the non nav equiped cars. I have one lying around for the nav equiped car, but that will be useless to you as its got no screen itself and used the nav screen to navigate the radio options. good luck.
Thanks! The space where the Nav screen was is no occupied by a gauge pod - no hope of putting it back in.
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      02-12-2021, 05:15 PM   #11
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Show us some pics pls of the gauge pod I mean
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      02-16-2021, 01:22 PM   #12
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      02-18-2021, 09:55 AM   #13
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like the pod. that came with bluetooth, pull the rear panel(trunk) and the head unit out to see what previous owner did.
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      02-18-2021, 09:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by kaybat View Post
like the pod. that came with bluetooth, pull the rear panel(trunk) and the head unit out to see what previous owner did.
The pod is fine, though the gauges could use an update.


I've had the radio out and the back panel off - it looks like the wiring is intact but I'm not 100% (the hardware is long gone). Car is in storage for the winter but I'll get after it again come spring.
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      03-18-2021, 12:53 PM   #15
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I've decided to go with a Joying 8.8" unit. I assume that I will not need to purchase another harness/adapter (other than what comes with the unit) as I already have an aftermarket stereo in there !?
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      05-05-2021, 08:04 AM   #16
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Let us know how the installation goes. I've always been curious about these.

BTW - Your original setup may have had the BMW BT unit. There was no such thing as streaming music back then so it is for calls only. I used mine quite often.
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      05-05-2021, 08:54 AM   #17
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Let us know how the installation goes. I've always been curious about these.

BTW - Your original setup may have had the BMW BT unit. There was no such thing as streaming music back then so it is for calls only. I used mine quite often.
Will do. I just got my car back from the shop (getting ready for the season). Hopefully I can start the install soon.
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      10-29-2022, 08:41 AM   #18
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Check Ebay - these radios turn up all the time, at reasonable prices.
I will try that as well.
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