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      06-08-2019, 10:53 PM   #1
The Blimp
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Non-iDrive to iDrive Saga

When I was looking for my 1er, I was wanting an e88 135i w/n54, low kms and, if possible, iDrive. However the one I found that was the price i was willing to pay was sans iDrive, and I thought I could just live with it - I was wrong. The professional radio is a pain to use for mp3s etc., so I want to retrofit iDrive. looked at the Bimmertrofit and similar kits but thought they were quite pricey and support didnt look to be very comprehensive. So looked at sourcing the parts myself and working it out.

I looked into the success of others and thought it was pretty straight forward. I first purchased the following parts:

1. CIC computer - $350 off ebay. Local wreckers and thought it was a good price. They stated it was in working condition though I would not be able to confirm until I had the system up and running.

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2. CID. These are hard to find for the e8x, and those that are for sale are quite pricey. Found one on eBay from the states, $300 and looked ok from the pics, however when it arrived there was chemical damage to the screen's UV coating. I got 50% of the price refunded, and was happy with that. I decided to just remove the remainder of the UV coating so it looked a bit better/consistent.

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3. Controller. Again, eBay from local wreckers - $80. In ok condition.

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4. Emulator. Ali express $40 job. IT said e8x compatible on the ad but came with e9x and e7x on the unit itself. I assumed this wasnt an issue as they should share the same units.

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5. CIC to CID cable. New from Schmiedmann (~$60 from memory).

With these parts I assumed that I had the bare bones to see if the system would work. First I had to make my own harness to power the screen and controller and link the CAN signals. I looked at the following wiring diagrams:

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I purchased the sockets for the screen/controller and looked at the wiring of the emulator based on the inputs of the CID and radio professional - diagram below:

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I spliced the wiring for the controller and screen to the emulator and plug everything....and nope, didnt work. Well, the controller was illuminated so i guess it was getting power at least. The CIC itself appeared to be powered on and the cd player could eject and accept CDs, however there was nothing on the screen. It appeared to not power. The BMW TIS info on the CID said that if there is power but interrupted data from the CIC, then screen would be red to signal the fault.

I then thought that the screen had been damaged and was letting this retrofit down. So I looked at ebay again, this time for e9x versions that had the clear screen protector, which should ensure no damage to the UV coating. These are way more plentiful and found one for $200.

The e9x CID arrived and it was in great nick. I pulled it from the e9x housing and fitted into the e8x one. It fitted up well and looked as new.

So, attempt number 2 of the bare bones system was ready to go...and same deal. POwer to the controller, CIC but nothing on the screen. I thought maybe my wiring was crap (it likely is) so swapped out the wires from the controller (that seemed to work) and tried them on the screen - no change.

So now I am stuffed if I know where to go from here.

I suspected that maybe without coding there is nothing to display and therefore the screen would be blank, though in some of the other non-idrive to idrive retrofits from the UK or Netherlands, it just worked. No coding and the menu came up as normal, so I have no clue what is going wrong.

It could be the emulator, though I am hesitant to throw more money at that option.

I am hoping to get the oe wiring from the JBE to the screen. There are 4 wires from the JBE to the CID and I'm hoping that using these original wires that it may work - but as it isnt coded perhaps not:

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Open to any assistance from more knowledgeable people. Really want to get this sorted.

Last edited by The Blimp; 06-08-2019 at 10:58 PM.. Reason: typo
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      06-09-2019, 02:59 PM   #2
Loves me some MHD!
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