Conversion: New iDrive integrated into “old” BMW 5 Series E60

How-To | August 7th, 2010 by 27
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At the end of 2008, the new BMW 7 Series was launched to the market. Along with a new design and multiple technical innovations, the BMW owners received an important update of the often criticized iDrive Navigation System.

The new generation of infotainment is built on an entirely new platform, CIC (Car Infotainment Computer) and it is a hard-disk based system, replacing the slower DVD-based units. It is manufactured by Becker, same company that worked on Audi’s MMI system. The updated system includes a new iDrive Controller with shortcut buttons, together with a more intuitive iDrive menu system.

But with the new system coming to the market, existing owners weren’t left with many options. BMW does not offer a retrofit kit nor helps with the installation, so this market was left to open to third-party companies and enthusiasts to retrofit their BMWs. A member of M5board explains in detail how the new system could fairly easily be fitted into an “old” E60 5 Series.

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Before we jump into this visual guide, a few housekeeping things. First, make sure you know what you’re doing, and we certainly cannot assume any responsability for failed conversions which were commissioned after reading this article. Second, you need lots of new parts, from a the new LCD, a new operating unit for automatic climate control, plenty of cables and of course, the actual iDrive unit.

Guide by Stunt from M5board:

Here are all the goodies spread out on the table…

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Next up was pulling the trim off


A shot of the back of the CCC with all wires still attached


After complete removal of old CCC components


CCC vs. CIC backs. The orange connector on the CIC is not connected to anything once installed


CIC cables test fitted on bench


My old center trim before seperation


Lower center trim separated from upper. I broke all the tabs, but they are fortunately not used with the new upper center trim


Next up was pulling the pins from the power connector from the old display. Here’s the old connector


After transferring to new connector


Different angle showing the pin-outs


Routing USB cable to glove box. I used the same hole that the OEM iPod adapter uses




CIC with all wires connected just before being installed. Note that the cable to the old display and the power for the CCC cooling fan are not used with the CIC


CIC installed


Old vs. new Climate Controls


New Climate Controls installed along with center trim


Finally a set of shots showing some M5 specific screens on the fancy new display




[Source: M5board ]