My 2008 E91 330M Sport had all the toys that I ever wanted when I bought it, that was until Mrs W took delivery of her new MINI Countryman, then I realised how useful Bluetooth was (never missed what I never had).... So, after a few conversations with a number of members and experts on this forum and a few others, I decided that a Dension Gateway 500 was the way forward - nicely hidden and Ipod/USB/Line in connectivity as well as bluetooth, whilst still retaining the factory controls.
I took photographs as I began the installation, it's pretty simple TBH as most of the trim comes apart without too much difficulty and the connections nice and simple - you really just have to figure out where to put the various bits. (I take no responsibility for any injury or damage that you might encounter following this write-up, I am confident of my abilities and the use of my tools...)
First you have to remove the climate control panel.
Easy enough with a trim removal tool, no other fixings with this and two plugs at the rear (one grey one black) - I borrowed this image as my picture came out really blurry...
Then remove the head unit, two screws at the bottom, and gently pull it forward to reveal the plugs at the rear
Unplug the aerial and the connector for the wiring and remove the unit completely (I covered the gear selector and aluminium surround to avoid damaging it)
Remove the centre console - grab the edges around the gear selector and pull up, it only clips in - you have to unplug the cigarette lighter and gear selector illumination plugs (auto) and push the gaitor out of the surround so you can remove it completely.
Remove the rubber mat in the arm rest where the phone preparation would fit.
Next I routed the wires for the USB connector and Ipod connectivity through the centre console to the area under the climate control.
I routed all the cables away from any moving parts or the gear selector, cable tied and secured them so that they had no chance of getting caught up. I also put a hole in the rubber mat and put a cable gland in to tidy things up a bit...
You need to make an electrical connection to power up the gateway, this needs to be permanent live supply (brown neutral and red with a green tracer live).
The blue unit is the bluetooth adaptor, we need to connect this to the gateway and to the microphone.
I routed the wire behind the head lining, down the door pillar and across the bottom of the dash behind the kick panel to the centre console.
Next I positioned and securely fastened the bluetooth unit under the heater control panel.
And positioned the Gateway unit alongside the glovebox in the centre console.
When it's all positioned, there was plenty of room to refit everything (more of the odd orange wires in a minute)..
At this point, I refitted the radio, climate control unit and centre console trim...
The view from inside the armrest looks like this now.
Now, that's not quite the end of it - the E9x series uses fibre optics for the audio system (MOST), and I do still need to make a connection to this - the orange wires in the above picture above come from the Dension Gateway to,
The green wire and the black (corrugated) wire - but as I don't currently have a CD autochanger, the MOST system needs to be activated BEFORE the connection is made.
I hope that this helps some people, it's not as daunting as it seems and once the MOST system has been activated (Using Autologic or similar)is about 15-20 mins work to remove the head unit again and make the fibre optic connection. I have someone in mind for the "switch on" and that will all be covered in Part II.
Thanks for reading.