BMW E39 SIRIUS XM, AUX Input, BM53 Radio Retrofit DIY

IMG_3169Welcome to what is going to be a very long article, and a great wealth of knowledge.  I am going to attempt to break down exactly what you need to do to retrofit a BM53 Radio, Auxiliary Input, and SIRIUS XM Radio into your BMW E39 5-series.  It is important to realize that the BMW E39 uses an infrastructure for technology in the car known as I-Bus, or Information Bus.  Picture it as the platform, and the language of hardware/software that makes everything technology communicate.  I-Bus was first used on the 1989 BMW E31, or 8-series.  It offers an impressive data transfer rate of 9.6KB/s.  I-Bus was used until 2006, on the E46 3-series and E53 X5-series.  This gave BMW a long time to create newer, better, faster, and more functional hardware that operated off of I-Bus.  Note that many BMW models used I-Bus, but the majority of these are not compatible with the products listed in this article due to their age.  The oldest car that I would expect to work with SIRIUS XM, for example, would be a navigation equipped E38 7-series.

What am I Doing?  Personally, I am adding auxiliary input and SIRIUS XM and the most modern BM53 radio to my 02/2000 production BMW E39 M5.  I will first retrofit the radio, then SIRIUS, and then auxiliary.  I also wired the XM antenna and 3.5mm cable into the car.

Objective: Update all of our car’s old I-Bus hardware to the latest possible I-Bus compliant components to support the most modern features possible.  This includes, but is not limited to, SIRIUS satellite XM radio, auxiliary input, and MP3 ID3 tags for the CD changer.

Applicable Vehicles: 1997-2003 BMW E39 5-series: 523i, 525i, 528i, 530i, 535i, 540i, M5.  1994-2001 BMW E38 7-series: 730i, 740i, 740iL, 750iL, E53 BMW X5, 1998-2006 BMW E46 3-series:  323i, 325i, 328i, 330i, M3.  More models may be supported by the product(s) featured in this post, such as the E83 X3, etc.  **This DIY requires navigation-equipped cars**

Prerequisites:  In order to support auxiliary input, you need one of the more modern BM53 radios.  If your car is a 09/2001 production and later, your car already has a BM53 radio.  However, it may not be late enough to still support auxiliary.  Refer to the BM53 radio part numbers below for information about support.  You will need to check the part number in your car to the number in the list below.

In order to support SIRIUS XM Radio, you need a few pieces of hardware.  Firstly, your car needs to be equipped with navigation to follow this DIY.  You need the MKIV navigation computer, and the 16:9 widescreen BMW display.  A post about upgrading those components can be found here.  You also need a BM53 radio new enough to support SIRIUS, so refer again to the BM53 radio part numbers below.

BM53 Radio Support with Part Numbers

65126904213  No aux input, no Sirius, no MP3
65126904214  No aux input, no Sirius, no MP3 (re-manufactured part number)
65126919080  No aux input, no Sirius, no MP3
65126919081  No aux input, no Sirius, no MP3 (re-manufactured part number)
65126922512  Aux input, no Sirius, no MP3
65126922513  Aux input, no Sirius, no MP3 (re-manufactured part number)
65106933089  Aux input, no Sirius, no MP3
65106933090  Aux input, no Sirius, no MP3 (re-manufactured part number)
65126927910  Aux input, Sirius, no MP3
65126927911  Aux input, Sirius, no MP3 (re-manufactured part number)
65126943449  Aux input, Sirius, no MP3
65126943450  Aux input, Sirius, no MP3 (re-manufactured part number)
65126964398  Aux input, Sirius, no MP3
65126964399  Aux input, Sirius, no MP3 (re-manufactured part number)
65126972662  Aux input, Sirius, no MP3
65126972665  Aux input, Sirius, no MP3 (re-manufactured part number)
65126976961  Aux input, Sirius, MP3
65126976962  Aux input, Sirius, MP3 (re-manufactured part number)
65126988275  Aux input, Sirius, MP3
65126988276  Aux input, Sirius, MP3 (re-manufactured part number)

Parts Required:  Depending on what you’re trying to do!

Part Number Part Description Price
65126988275 BM53 Radio to Support MP3, AUX, and SIRIUS XM $658.22
65120439436 SIRIUS XM Receiver $295.60
61126913957 C43 to BM53 Radio Harness Adapter * $78.04
61126913955 C43 to BM53 Radio Antenna Adapter * $34.71
61126924785 C43 to BM53 Radio CD Changer Adapter * $66.34
65128364756 BM53 Radio to SIRIUS Module Cable ** $39.74
84110150526 SIRIUS Module to CD Changer Slave Cable $12.83
82110149390 Auxiliary Input Cable $33.94
84110141975 SIRIUS Installation Bracket Kit (Bracket, bolts, zip ties) *** $–.–
51498166702 Trunk Carpeting Expanding Rivets **** $0.99
Amazon SIRIUS XM Antenna $16.08
Amazon XM Antenna FAKRA Adapter $19.95
Amazon Additional XM Antenna FAKRA Adapter $19.99
Total Price ***** $1,276.43

*  For vehicles produced in or before August, 2000.  Needed for BM53 radio retrofit.
**  Vehicles with digital DSP will need this cable.
***  Part “No Longer Available.”  Good luck.
****  If broken during installation process.
*****  Including upgrading from C43 to BM53 radio on a Digital DSP car. This was my job, your car may require much less hardware.

The above prices are quoted from ECS Tuning and Amazon.  Other vendors may vary in pricing.  Figures updated April, 2017.

IMG_1989

Above are all of the parts that I needed to complete my job. I needed all of the adapters to go from the C43 radio to BM53, plus the BM53 radio, SIRIUS module, and auxiliary cable.

Tools Required:

  • 8mm socket
  • 10 mm  socket
  • 3 or 6 inch extension
  • Ratchet
  • Flat/phillips head screwdriver, medium size
  • Jewelry size flat blade screw driver
  • Pry tool would be helpful, screw-driver works

Cost: $30-$3,000 (depending on what you already have, and what you want)

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Time Required: 15 minutes to 4 hours (depending on what you’re trying to do)

Procedure:  

  1. Read this whole article, it will help, I promise.  Also watch my video, located below. This is a loose description of that very in-depth video.
  2. Check prerequisites.  Note that for SIRIUS you need MKIV navigation and 16:9 display.  Note that for auxiliary and SIRIUS you need a more modern BM53 radio.
  3. Disconnect your battery’s negative cable.  It’s under the trunk carpeting in an M5, and behind the trap door in the trunk on the right in a standard E39 5-series.
  4. We will start by removing the CD changer.  On the side closer to the back seat, there are two phillips screws.  Loosen those, lift up, and pull out.  There will be two wires in the bottom of the CD changer.  One is a 3-pin connector, that is power.  The other will either be a six pin connector (analog DSP) or a shiny black antenna-looking wire (digital DSP).  Remove all wires and put aside.
  5. Retrofitting the BM53 radio.  If you’re just upgrading your existing BM53 radio to a new one that supports more functions, it’s plug and play.  To upgrade to the BM53 radio from the C43 is not a big job.  You just need the adapting harnesses listed above.  Firstly, remove the C43 radio with it’s bracket using an 8mm socket and ratchet.  Unplug all of the cables from it.
  6. Install the antenna adapter (61126913955) in-between the BM53 radio, and the old antenna in the car.  This only goes on one way, so snap it into place.
  7. Install the main harness adapter (61126913957) in-between the BM53 radio and the car’s original harness.  This too only goes on one way, so snap it into place.
  8. Install the CD changer adapter (61126924785) in-between the BM53 radio and the car’s original harness.  The white/black end of this harness only goes into the BM53 one way, so snap them into the BM53 radio.  The metal ends can connect to the car’s existing wiring multiple ways.  My video which shows the correct way to connect these cables is below.  Watch that, or plug and play until things work as expected.  Remember to test navigation volume and tape audio too.
  9. Don’t bother bolting the new radio in yet if you plan on installing SIRIUS or auxiliary. We will now move onto SIRIUS.
  10. Install the SIRIUS module in it’s bracket using the four included phillips screws.  Then use the acceptors and included bolts to bolt the bracket and module into the car against the DSP amp.
  11. Let’s move onto the power and DSP wires for the SIRIUS module.  The 3-pin that was previously connected to your CD changer needs to plug into your SIRIUS module now.  If you have analog DSP, plug that 6-pin connector into the SIRIUS module as well.  If you have digital DSP, leave that cable hang, and get the new DSP cable (65128364756) and install that.  One end goes into the car’s original harness for the radio (metal plug) and the other goes into the square port on the SIRIUS module.
  12. Installing the CD changer.  To obtain control of our CD changer, we need the CD changer slave cable (84110150526).  Plug the connector with the lever into the SIRIUS module, and the other two ends (3-pin and 6-pin) into the bottom of the CD changer.  This will restore original functionality to that.
  13. Installing the SIRIUS antenna.  You will need both FAKRA adapters to make the antenna work with the SIRIUS module.  They only go together one way, so hooking it up won’t be a problem.  You can install your antenna anywhere you want.  SIRIUS states that it needs a clear view of the sky.  I routed my antenna up on top of the rear deck against the glass in the corner, and hid the wires behind the C-pillar.  It works perfectly, even in my garage with the door shut.  You can route the wire into the car back by the back seat behind the carpeting- there is a hole for other wires there. Then hide it behind the back seat’s backrest, and then under the C-pillar.  Tie the extra wire up with a zip tie, and plug the antenna connector into the SIRIUS module.
    IMG_3179

    SIRIUS XM antenna installed and hidden on the rear deck, against the glass. I have lost no quality of service, even in my garage with the door down!

    IMG_3180

    SIRIUS XM antenna barely visible, with the wire hidden behind C-Pillar, and tucked under the rear deck.

  14. Let’s install the auxiliary input cable.  Take the cable (82110149390) inside to a desk, with a good light.  We need to take some pins out of this connector and transfer them to the other connector that actually plugs into the BM53 radio.  We need to do this because the BM53 only has room for one black 2×6 (12) pin connector, not two. So we’ll take the three pins from the auxiliary cable and install them into the corresponding slots on the black cable in the car.  On the following diagram, we are working with connector C and pins 3, 4, and 10.  Pin 10 is ground, and is brown/white.  Pins 3/4 and red/white and blue/white and carry right and left channel audio.  My video below better details how to move the pins over, but it’s pretty easy. Slide half of the black connector off, revealing how the pins are placed into the connector.  Depress the sides with a very small flat blade screwdriver, and gently pull the wires to remove them.  Remember where they go, or reference the diagram below.  Install these pins in the same place on the black adapter in the car, and then plug the adapter back into the BM53 radio.  Don’t worry, the pins will be available on the connector in the car.  Simply take your time, be careful, and sure about where you’re putting them.
    New Gen (BM53) Pinout
  15. Run the auxiliary cable up into the car.  I chose to go up the driver’s side… but this depends on where you want the end 3.5mm cable to reside.  I chose the glovebox. Get the cable into the car the same way you did the SIRIUS antenna, or go behind the driver’s side trunk carpeting, and get it into the back-seat area through the hole that other wires use.  If you’re going for the glovebox, I would recommend once you get the cable in the back seat, run it under the bottom seat cushion, which simply pulls straight up and out, and then under the door sill strips, B-pillar, and then finally under the dashboard and into the glovebox.  This can be done with flat blade screwdrivers, and you’ll absolutely never see or know that the cable is there.
  16. We need to program the BM53 radio into USA area in order for certain features to work.  To do this, make sure that everything is connected, and that you’re ready to plug the battery back in.  Don’t worry about bolting everything down yet, we’ll make sure it all works first.  Plug your battery back in.
  17. Go to the driver’s seat.  We have to put the BM53 radio into program mode to select the proper area.  Within a second after hitting the power button, press and continue to hold the SELECT button.  Within about 5 seconds, you’ll be in the menu looking at the serial number of the radio.  Use the CD track skip buttons ( < and >) to cycle through the different options.  When you get to area or location, press numbers 1 or 2 on the left of the 16:9 display until USA is displayed.  Once it is, press the radio power button (volume knob) to save these settings.

    IMG_3170

    Service Menu of BM53 radio. Set the Area to USA to enable SIRIUS satellite.

  18. Note that the GAL option in the service mode is speed-variable volume on a scale of 1-6.  If you want this system to be aggressive, select a higher number using the preset buttons 1-6.
  19. Stand up, and straighten up your back.

Troubleshooting:  Test out your system!  Turn on your radio, and start hitting the MODE button.  Depending on what you installed, you’re looking for different things.  If you installed both auxiliary and SIRIUS, you should see CD, TAPE, FM, SIRIUS, and AUX. Note that AM is selected by pressing the dedicated AM button above the MODE button. If you are missing any of the above inputs, or what you expected, there is one probably place for an issue.  This is where the CD changer adapter cable (61126924785) plugs into the car’s existing wiring harness, since you probably upgraded from the C43 radio.  You may have one or both of those connectors utilized.  Note that they can be switched, and turned around within another.  Try all different combinations until you find the modes that you’re looking for.  If AUX is not showing up, make sure that your pins are in the correct places, and that they are pushed down into the radio pins all of the way and thus making a solid connection.  The radio should see AUX even if there is no source playing into the 3.5mm cable.  Please feel free to contact me if there absolutely isn’t anything you can do to get your system to work.  Please use ryan@e39source.com for inquiries.  Please understand, however, that I am only experienced doing this in a 02/2000 E39 M5, but I will do my best to assist with other cars and other setups.

SIRIUS Activation:  When you first select your SIRIUS input, make sure that your antenna does have a very clear view of the sky, since you need to activate it.  On the module itself, you’ll see either an SID number or ESN number.  This is the number you’ll need to give to SIRIUS over the phone or online when you activate your account and plan.  You want channel 184 while they activate.  Within about 5 minutes, you should have SIRIUS XM radio in your car!

IMG_3150

SIRIUS XM radio view mode when on a station.

LOOK

SIRIUS XM radio view when in category view. Channels within the category are displayed here, and will scroll to second page if necessary with >> button.

IMG_3165

SIRIUS XM radio view when selecting a genre.

IMG_3186

When changing SIRIUS XM channels, the new station, channel, and program number (if applicable) will display on high OBC.

IMG_3167

BM53 FM radio view, PTY and RDS turned on to scroll song and station information.

IMG_3168

BM53 FM radio view, with select button pressed to review further options.

IMG_3166

Auxiliary mode.

IMG_3183

Auxiliary mode. My iPhone finally plays through the stereo!

IMG_3161

CD input: TR for track number, and CD for CD number with 6 disc changer. MP3 ID3 tags will be displayed if compatible 6 disc and BM53 radio are installed, and if you have a CD with song information written to it.

IMG_3162

Tape input, tape side 2.

IMG_3176

Messy wires. You can see those brown wires on the CD changer adapter cable for the BM53 radio.

IMG_3175

View of everything as it sits completed. The pink wire on the SIRIUS module (far left) is the antenna with two FAKRA adapters. One spot to the right is the CD changer slave cable. One more to the right is the DSP audio 6-pin, either from your CD changer before you started, the adapter that goes the car’s old 2×5 10 pin radio connector. Next is the 3-pin from the bottom of the CD changer originally. Far right is simply a fuse.

IMG_3178

Completed trunk looking completely stock, everything is very well hidden.

The above video is this entire article in video form, with my 02/2000 BMW E39 M5.

The above video is from Hassan and his 04/2002 BMW E39 530iA.  He upgraded his BM53 to a more modern version that would support Auxiliary, and added in the auxiliary cable.

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2000 BMW E39 M5, Silverstone Metallic. 2002 BMW E46 330xi, Topaz Blue Metallic. BA Business Management, Kent State University. E39Source Owner.

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80 thoughts on “BMW E39 SIRIUS XM, AUX Input, BM53 Radio Retrofit DIY

  1. Thanks Ryan,

    I just upgraded my 750il 1998 to bm53 radio and no sounds changed the dsp unit to the latest one and still no sounds.

    I bought all the necessary parts from the list above, just wondering maybe bm53 radio is not compatible with e38 dsp unit.

    Any idea,

    Regards

    Tom

    • DSP unit should be the same. I would check all the connections, make sure nothing is on backwards or can be fitted another way. Also unplug the battery overnight and see if that does anything.

  2. Hey Ryan great video love it.

    one question Part “No Longer Available.” Good luck
    what part are you talking about and do you have a part number
    I am trying to install BM 53 radio on my BMW 750il 1998.

    Regards,
    Tom

    • Hi Tom,

      I was referring to the Sirius module bracket. I am pretty sure that I bought the last one that was in stock anywhere in the United States, as they said no longer available right after I bought mine.

  3. Hey Ryan,
    First off, thank you for all the effort you’ve put into The E39Source.
    I have a question/issue concerning a BM53 Radio I purchased in prep for a Navigation / Sirius / Aux retrofit on my 5/12/2003 525i. My radio part # 65.12-6 972 662 is not found on any list. RealOEM says it supersedes and is superseded by numerous radios. I however cannot find any information of what it is capable of doing, i.e. Aux in, Sirius, Mp3. I assume that since it falls just prior to the last 2, NO mp3, numbers close to it in the radio list, that it does not do Mp3. Just wondering if you know of somewhere I can find the specs for this particular unit. Any help would be Greatly appreciated !! Thank You

    • Hi Terry,

      I cn only assume that you are right in regards to 65126972662. In fact, I have updated the listing of part numbers to reflect 65126972662 in place of 65126972664. I think the 4 was a typo, as RealOEM.com doesn’t even know about it.

  4. I have a 2001 540i, with the 6-cd changer in the glove box, and the stereo has DSP. I’d like to possibly add a GROM unit for Bluetooth/music. Can I remove the cd changer in the glove box and use that existing harness, or do I need to place in the trunk?

    • I don’t believe your 6CD changer in your glovebox is a stock unit. BMW never put it there. It’s always been in the trunk. So, it’s hard to say if you could or not.

  5. Ryan the video was awesome. You did mention that you where going to do DIY in the installation of the Bluetooth. Have you installed the Bluetooth. I have Nov 02 E39 M5 and I am thinking of doing the same. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work your videos are awesome.

    • He (and I) simply use a device called the TuneLink Auto. It plugs into the power outlet, and uses either aux-in or an FM transmitter to send audio to the radio via BlueTooth.

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