How to Install BMW X5 E53 Aftermarket Radio with Navigation Upgrade

More and more BMW X5 E53 owners prefer to upgrading the factory car stereo with an aftermarket one which has DVD player and GPS navigation system built-in, and some would like to install the new replacement by themselves, but there may be some problems during installation if you have never installed such a unit before. We write this post to introduce you some tips on installation of such unit.

  1. Installation for BMW X5 e53 with business CD and radio without a wide screen:

    If your BMW X5 e53 just comes with factory car radio and CD player in dash, there’s a plastic cage inside of the dashboard as you can see after you take out the factory radio and CD, if you don’t remove this cage, you may think it does not fit into the opening of the original entry, the new navigation dvd unit can not be pushed entirely into the dashboard, see pics below:cage_plasticfit
    Don’t worry, there are two methods which can allow you to push the new BMW X5 navigation unit into the dashboard fully. Some installers just cut the plastic cage, and others remove it.

    In order to remove the plastic cage, firstly take off the 4 screws that hold the cage in place, 2 on the right side, and 2 on the left side (same as right side). The following pictures are for your reference:rightright_2right_3lefttake_out_cage
    You need to pull down and slightly left the dash part which is close to the steering wheel. When you are doing this, use your other hand to push down in the middle of the opening where the cage is, and as you opened/pulled the dash/trim this far, you are able to hold it with one hand in this position and start wiggling the cage with your other hand. When are doing this, some force is necessary, but not too much. Once you start playing with it, you will get the jest on how to pull out the hooks, then as you have the left hook out, you now pull to a side and down on the right side (glove compartment side) to clear the other hook.
    Once you removed the plastic cage, you are able to push into the new unit into the dash fully.

  2. Installation for BMW X5 e53 with a wide screen or navigation.

    If your BMW X5 E53 comes with factory navigation system, there’s a large screen in the dash, the 17pins(before year 2002) or 40pins(after year 2002) plug is not at the back of your factory radio, it’s located under the trunk, so you need to use a 6m long power cable with 17pins or 40pins plug to connect the correct plug under the trunk.
    factory bmw x5 e53 navigation screen
    remove frame
    remove screws
    unplug the amp
    40 pins plug under the trunk
    connections in the trunk
    can-bus decoder
    How to run the 6m long cable to the trunk?
    You can run the long wires under the carpet along the door frames, removed the back seat to get access to the trunk, and hid the wires behind the cover panel in the trunk.

    How to connect loose wires?
    This long cable also has some loose wires, one yellow, one black, and two white wires. The yellow and black wires should be connected to car battery, you do not need to connect extra 2 white wires.
    Yellow wire: connect to 12V+ car battery
    Black wire: connect to 12v- car battery

    For more information you may need on these loose wires connection, you can check DSP Wires Connection for Aftermarket BMW X5 GPS Navigation System Installation.

If you are installing an android BMW X5 navigation, for more information about wiring diagram and how to connect all plugs, please check Aftermarket BMW X5 E53 DVD GPS Navigation Head unit – Android Version