Welcome 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. Continue reading
2001 was a big year for the E39 5-series, for BMW face-lifted the car. The E39 chassis had been around for 5 years or so, and it was time to update it for the final 3 years of production. On the M5, in particular, the updated steering wheel is one of the biggest updates. It looks a lot more modern than the old wheel, and feels much more sporty due to it’s thicker girth, and more pronounced side bolsters. Depending on when your E39 was made, this update process can be super easy, or damn near impossible. Let’s get into it. Continue reading
Objective: Remove and reinstall the headliner. Continue reading
Objective: Replace the trunk release pushbutton due to deteriorated rubber covering failing. Continue reading
Today I installed very lightly used carpeting into the trunk of my 2001 BMW 540i/6. The carpeting that was in the vehicle was in very poor condition due to abuse and lack of knowledge by the previous owner.
Objective: Refresh the look of your trunk area. Continue reading
In this article, we will discuss in-depth the steps required to upgrade your BMW’s navigation computer, display, software, and maps. The information in this article is only applicable to BMWs that speak the same ‘language’. All of the following models speak this same language, utilize the same connectors, and make use of the same hardware/software interface:
- E38 7-series (1994-2001)
- E46 3-series (1999-2006)
- E39 5-series (1996-2003)
- E53 X5 (2000-2006)
- E83 X3 (2004-2010)
- E52 Z8 (2000-2003)
*It is important to note that in order to upgrade your navigation system, you must first have a navigation system from factory. Retrofitting navigation to a car that did not originally come with one, while not impossible, is exceedingly challenging, time consuming, and expensive. This article does not cover or support such an endevour.
*I will also note that BMWs produced for the Japanese market are not supported in this article. They used completely different wiring harnesses and electronic components for some reason, and they do not speak the same language. Continue reading
Objective: This article will detail the replacement of the manual shift knob found in a BMW E39 5-series. A video of wiring an M5 shift knob is embedded at the bottom, as well as wiring an M shift knob into a non-M BMW.
Applicable Vehicles: 1997-2003 BMW E39 5-series: 523i, 525i, 530i, 535i, 540i, M5.
Parts Required: Shift knob. Note: M5’s have illuminated shift knobs, and will use one of these part numbers, depending on production date: Continue reading