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Old 12-11-2011, 12:15 PM   #1
Swatter
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2010 X3 satellite pre-wire?

Is there a simple way to tell if my X3 has the satellite pre-wire? It is an Executive Edition with BMW Business CD and HiFi Sound System Professional. It also has Bluetooth. I am thinking about installing a DICE iPod kit.
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:32 PM   #2
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Pretty much all 2005+ are prewired for sat. You are going to have hook ups in the trunk behind the left panel or under the center arm rest (these are buried, so you'll have to dig for them). Also consider getting the unit from grom audio. Gromaudio.com. Much cheaper than DICE.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:05 PM   #3
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My dealer ran my VIN and informed me my X3 is not pre-wired for satellite radio. Satellite radio is not that big of a deal for me, but ipod connectivity is.

I do have DSP, and that seems to be a sticking point with many of the after-market ipod connectivity kits. I checked under the bin in my centre console, and there are wires for a cd changer. They were not even buried. When I check the DICE website, it ony lists direct wire FM adapters as being compatible with model year 2010. Its too bad, because the DICE Duo system looks like it is really easy to install, and gives you complete control over your ipod from the vehicle controls. I don't know what changed from 2009 to 2010 to make the DICE unit incompatible. KIRASIR has mentioned Gromaudio as an alternative. Any other suggestions? Has anyone installed the DICE system in a 2010?
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:43 PM   #4
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I wouldn't trust the dealer just yet

Take out the trim panel on the left side of the trunk (you just need to push the button on the top and the panel will pop out). Look for any loose connectors in that area. You should have a couple of 6 pin and a couple of coax looking connectors (you might also have a 3 pin and a 6pin connector). Look around the amp area for a Velcro "sock".

What kind of wires do you have under the arm rest? 3pin connection and a coax, or a 3 pin and a 6pin?

The armrest connectors are for the CD changer and should work with DICE/GROM without any problems (at least in theory) .


Quote:
Originally Posted by Swatter View Post
My dealer ran my VIN and informed me my X3 is not pre-wired for satellite radio. Satellite radio is not that big of a deal for me, but ipod connectivity is.

I do have DSP, and that seems to be a sticking point with many of the after-market ipod connectivity kits. I checked under the bin in my centre console, and there are wires for a cd changer. They were not even buried. When I check the DICE website, it ony lists direct wire FM adapters as being compatible with model year 2010. Its too bad, because the DICE Duo system looks like it is really easy to install, and gives you complete control over your ipod from the vehicle controls. I don't know what changed from 2009 to 2010 to make the DICE unit incompatible. KIRASIR has mentioned Gromaudio as an alternative. Any other suggestions? Has anyone installed the DICE system in a 2010?
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:00 PM   #5
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In the centre console is a 3 wire lead which goes to the aux jack on a flip out tray facing the rear seat on the back of the console, a two wire power lead which goes to the power outlet beside the aux jack, and a 13 wire cable made up of 10 individual wires and one black wire which has three individual wires inside it. These wires are plugged into a connector which is plugged into a harness which runs up into the hollow plastic hinge which holds the very top compartment of the centre console (the shallow one). The top compartment of the console has a false bottom. Also running into this false bottom is a coaxial cable. I am assuming these cables are for the optional snap in phone adapter which would replace the padded top of the console.

In the rear compartment there is a depression in the side wall which appears to be designed to hold some component. There are cutouts in the soundproofing where bolts or screws could be used to attach a bracket.

photo(7).JPG


The bluetooth module sits at the bottom of the compartment. The amp is tucked up behind the interior trunk liner and has numerous wires running to the end furthest from the opening used to access the compartment.

I did not see any loose wires or connections. There does appear to be a connection (which I tried to take a picture of) with several wires terminating in it which has what to me looks like a covered port. Does this have something to do with the satellite pre-wire?

photo(6).JPG

Checking the GROM website I notice they offer solutions for a 2010 X3 with DSP (GROM-USB2-BMW-T) so maybe this is a solution. I guess I will try contacting them with some of this info and see what they say.
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swatter View Post
In the centre console is a 3 wire lead which goes to the aux jack on a flip out tray facing the rear seat on the back of the console, a two wire power lead which goes to the power outlet beside the aux jack, and a 13 wire cable made up of 10 individual wires and one black wire which has three individual wires inside it. These wires are plugged into a connector which is plugged into a harness which runs up into the hollow plastic hinge which holds the very top compartment of the centre console (the shallow one). The top compartment of the console has a false bottom. Also running into this false bottom is a coaxial cable. I am assuming these cables are for the optional snap in phone adapter which would replace the padded top of the console.

In the rear compartment there is a depression in the side wall which appears to be designed to hold some component. There are cutouts in the soundproofing where bolts or screws could be used to attach a bracket.

Attachment 107877


The bluetooth module sits at the bottom of the compartment. The amp is tucked up behind the interior trunk liner and has numerous wires running to the end furthest from the opening used to access the compartment.

I did not see any loose wires or connections. There does appear to be a connection (which I tried to take a picture of) with several wires terminating in it which has what to me looks like a covered port. Does this have something to do with the satellite pre-wire?

Attachment 107876

Checking the GROM website I notice they offer solutions for a 2010 X3 with DSP (GROM-USB2-BMW-T) so maybe this is a solution. I guess I will try contacting them with some of this info and see what they say.
Okie time to start digging.

Take a look at this video below and try to get at the CD changer cables. They are really burried into the center console:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3pWV...feature=relmfu

Since your X3 is a 2010, my guess you have something called "analog" DSP - basically no coax cable. So under the carpet in the center console, you should have two connectors: 3pin and a 6pin. If you do have "digital" DSP like me then you are gong to have a 3pin connector and coax cable. If that's the case and you'll need a DSP adapter from either GROM or dice (adds about 70 bucks to the total cost).

The cutouts in the trunk are for the NAV DVD drive, and the NAV unit. The Bluetooth module and SATwould be at the bottom. The Sat cables should be either at the bottom around the bluetooth unit or beside the amp; you would have to dig for them (if your car is indeed prewired). Based on my prior research, the dealer usually does not know crap about these cars since BMW made a real mess with the options and wiring for these cars. You really need to dig around the car yourself to make sure you have the right wires/cables.

The connector in the last picture is a solenoid for the muffler flap. At low rpm/engine vacuum one of the pipes in the rear muffler closes and the car runs a bit quiter. If you start the car and let it idle, put your hand against the muffler, you will see that the exhaust is comming out from only the left pipe. If you disconnect the connector, an internal flap will open and the gases will comeout from both pipes.

Another possibility that you may try is to retrofit the stock Iphone/ipod kit. Since you already have the cables inside the top of the arm rest, it should be just a matter of buying the necessary parts and coding the car. The problem is that the parts will most likely be 2x the price of a DICE/GROM unit.

I would start with finding the CD-Changer cables in the center armrest first, and go from there.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:28 PM   #7
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So I watched all four videos, took out the rear ashtray, loosened and lifted my console only to discover there are NO additional wires buried anywhere under the carpet or in the cavity under the metal bracket. I even pulled the tab of carpet which fits under the rear of the console out and felt to the back of the cavity to make sure I was not missing anything. No wires wrapped or unwrapped anywhere other than the ones I mentioned previously which go up into the console lid.

Does this mean no pre-wiring for a CD changer? Or maybe they changed it to the back on a 2010. I have seen it posted elsewhere that some X3's were pre-wired in the console, AND in the rear hatch for a changer.

What should I be looking for in the hatch and where is the most likely place to find it?
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:17 AM   #8
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Sounds like 2010s are really messed up.

According to this post from bimmerfest, this 2010 X3 also didn't have CD-changer wires in the center console.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...7&postcount=71

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I installed the Dice this weekend. It is easy once you read some of the tips here and see some of the youtube videos. Anyway my 2010 X3 did not come with the CD changer in the center console or the back. The console did not have both the 6 and 3pin connectors required to hook up. Thus requiring the hook up to the cable connectors located in the rear of the vehicle. This required the removal of the back seat and side cushion, routing through the rear seat trim and under the carpet to the center console which also needed to be opened up enough to route the wires. Set the dip switches on the Dice device to NAV Radio setting, disconnected the battery, connected the dice unit and reconnected the battery. The Nav system recognized the ipod but no sound. Very frustrating. It appears that since my X3 did not come with the CD changer BMW did not hook up the white CD SARS wire to the back of the radio. Once I took apart the dash and hooked up the wire everything worked. Hope this helps someone else save some time.
The only difference is that he's got Nav and you don't.

I would give a call to these guys http://www.europeanautosource.com/ and talk to Tom. He is supposed to be a Dice installation guru for all BMWs, they are also an authorized dealer of DICE. He comes highly recommended on bimmerfest and some other forums.

At this point in time, it sounds like you "might" still be able to hook up a DICE or grom module directly to the radio without the CD-Changer cables but there is no garantee that it will work.

You can also try to pull out the radio (it's only two screws) and see if there is a secondary 12pin connector floating around behind the head unit. If, yes, then you should have either sat or cd-changer wires in the back around the amp.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:49 PM   #9
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After talking with DICE and GROM techs, it sounds like I am going to have to wire any sort of adpater directly into my head unit, and even then, the results may be kind of iffy.

I plugged my ipod into the aux in port, fiddled with the DSP settings, and was adequately pleased with the resulting sound quality. I pulled the aux jack out of the back of the console (what a stupid location BMW), re-located it under the storage bin, and ran a long 3.5 cable back under the cupholder to the aux jack. Now all I see is whatever length of cable I pull out from under the cupholder down by the carpeting. I only use my X3 for short local trips, so I am more than happy letting my ipod randomly shuffle through songs. I may run some sort of power line to it as well, but its probably not necessary if I remember to take my ipod in once a week to charge it. I am using a nano, so it just sits on the passenger seat and can be easily tucked under the seat when I exit the vehicle.

Thank goodness my X3 came with bluetooth. I would be super annoyed if I had to go back to using some crappy handsfree unit cliped to my visor.

I have to say, the sound system/ ipod interface/ bluetooth in my 09 MDX is vastly superior to the one in my X3 and it includes XM radio. I hooked my ipod to the factory Acura connection right after I bought the vehicle, and have not touched it since. Why the BMW has such a half-baked system is beyond me.
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