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Thread: New X5 Owner In A State Of Confusion

  1. #1
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    New X5 Owner In A State Of Confusion

    Hi All,

    I just bought an X5, a car i wanted for a while and i was told by the previous owner that the owner before him had started to install new audio and not got around to finihsing it. Fine i thought, but upon closer inspection i havent got a clue as to whats going on with the audio. The unit that had been installed appears to be one of the android units, and i would like to keep this unit as it seems to work wellm connects to my phone etc, but from what i can gather, i appear to have 8 speakers in this car, the dash, tweeters, fronts and rears and the only ones that are working are the ones in the front doors, and they sound like they are underwater! No mids or tweeters or rear doors!

    I looked for the factory amp and bits that are located behind the left rear panel in the boot and they appear to have been removed, and there is only three connectors remaining, one larger rectnagular and two very small connectors. I have seem loads of references on different websites referring to the twisted coloured speaker wires that apparently come from the boot, but they dont exist anywhere either!

    Nothing behind the headunit appears to have been cut and spliced at all, and there is an iso type cpnnector in place with what appearrs to be everything connected, but it doesnt look like a normal ISO connector that im used to seeing. Ill get some pics up soon so everyone can see whats going on, but might it not be a better idea than to just forget about the factory wiring and just amp everything using my own cables directly to the speakers, or am i making uneeded work for myself?

    Ive looked at different diagrams on the web relating to speaker wires and locations etc, but eveything seems to say something different. And i forgot to mention its a 2001 car. Anyone got any info or pointers?

    Would be greatly appreciated.

    Hope all are well.

    Phil

  2. #2
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    I sounds (no pun intended!) that the previous owner remove the amp and is using the amp in the head unit. Now, BMW has used amps of differing configurations. Some amps have the crossovers (they divide the full range audio signals into 2 or 3 frequency ranges) built into the amp. Others have separate crossovers or blocking capacitors.

    First, go to www.realoem.com and enter the last 7 characters of the car’s vehicle identification number. Hit enter and bookmark the page. Then scroll down to audio. You’ll see the how the factory system was set up:
    - head unit
    - speakers
    - amp.

    Also, google “BMW VIN decoder.” There are several websites that’ll provide you with a detailed list of options that came with the car.

  3. #3
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    Hi,

    To start, as per Marco's response above, that'll give you what the car was fitted with at the factory. The thing is, since then it's possible things 'mightve' been changed/spliced/incorrectly wired up so you'll need to do some testing and that will depend on what you want/wish to do with the audio setup overall. Are you wanting to just have the OEM amplifier and speakers, the android unit working with them and you aren't overly concerned or bothered about audio quality/performance and reliability of the head unit ? or, would you have liked significantly improved audio quality and enjoy much better performance along with having a reliable, high quality head unit for which has the latest features etc ?

    If the former, you'll need to find the oem amplifier to plug back in and hope it's a working one. It's possible you'll need the 'DSP' amplifier and once you have a working one of those, you can plug it in and hope that each of the speaker cable runs to each individual speaker is intact along with a functional speaker driver itself. It's 'likely' that the 'android' unit you have wont' be/isn't compatible with the OEM DSP amp, but some of them are once you add a small USB stick unit called a 'Resler Interface' and a program called 'Ibus App' - if by a stroke of luck you have one of these units, then if the DSP amp is all fully functional (and wiring and speakers are good) it'll work once you've connected it all up and configured the ibus App etc. The downsides here are that in order to keep the oem speakers working, you need to keep the OEM amp as it's all a matched setup. You could power the speakers from an aftermarket amp or try to drive them from the android unit but if you aren't so keen on the 'sounds like they're underwater' results you have now, it'll sound marginally better due to impedeance differences and that the oem speakers don't handle much RMS power.

    If you would like the latter scenario, the weak point is the android head unit. These are low quality, low reliability units that use cheap/generic electronics and don't provide 'good' sound quality or audio performance improvements. They do offer a psuedo oem appearance and some are much better OEM looking than others. I'd suggest getting a high quality head unit that's much more reliable and will sound significantly better. They won't have the OEM looks though. You could then change the speakers to new much better sounding and performing speakers and either drive off the new head unit for the time being, and then add a good amplifier (or just use an amplifier right away), and wire up easily by running your own speaker runs or working ut which oem speaker wires you can use and confirm their continuity.

    Cheers, Dennis!

  4. #4
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    Hi all and thanks for the responses.

    I've had the whole rear of the car out and the one amp and dsp thingy are long gone. And I am suspecting that the previous owner can the rear speakers off of an amp, because when I connect the speakers from the fronts to the output to the rears there is nothing. Anyone know the correct wire colours for the speakers?

    Also, if I choose to amp everything, how difficult is it to get the speaker cables through into the doors?

    Regards

    Phil

  5. #5
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    I would be the speaker cables are still there. I don’t think even an audiophile would replace the speaker wiring as it’s a real pain. The wires that power the electrics in the doors are actually terminated at the connector at the door jam. The doors, which are about the last thing added to the car at the plant, have a cable connector which plugs into the door jam connector.

    Your situation actually provides you a lot of “freedom.” Freedom as in you select what you want, and how much you want to spend.

    Listen to Dennis. He’s the audio guru.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcoZandrini View Post
    I would be the speaker cables are still there. I don’t think even an audiophile would replace the speaker wiring as it’s a real pain. The wires that power the electrics in the doors are actually terminated at the connector at the door jam. The doors, which are about the last thing added to the car at the plant, have a cable connector which plugs into the door jam connector.

    Your situation actually provides you a lot of “freedom.” Freedom as in you select what you want, and how much you want to spend.

    Listen to Dennis. He’s the audio guru.
    Ok, thanks for the info.

    So I am presuming that prior to the door jams, the wires are running along the floor. Does anyone know the wire colours for the speakers in the rear doors so I can tap into them before the door jam and thus, avoiding the need to remove the door cards!

    Phil

  7. #7
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    Anyone!

    Also, while trying to find out what colours the speaker wires are, i had a look on realoem, and although interestingm didnt really tell me how my car was set up but rather, how it could have been set up. But i didi have a look on he VIN decoder and the only info it gives me regarding the audio the car came with is this

    S661 Radio BMW Business (C43)
    Preparation, BMW 6-CD changer I-bus



    But nothing else.




  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcoZandrini View Post
    Well, thanks for the infor and it was a lot more specific than real oem ,but not specific enough. So this afternoon i have installed my own amp in the boot and run the relevant remote, rca, speaker cable etc, and have ordered a new head unit. Yes is another android unit, but this one seems to have a huge looms of female rca connectors, which at the moment i dont have. Ill get that in and see what happens, as it were. I am suspecting that the existing unit has a problem as the amp i have is new, and the remote from the head unit doesnt work, so found a wire in the boot to power it up, but as a test i ran the speaker cables down to the front of the car and splived into what i think are the rear door speakers, and nothing! Not a peep. So either the speakers are knackered or the head unit is, and im incline to believe its the head unit.

    The only problem ive got is i CANNOT find out what colour the speaker wires are that go into the doors. Initially i was going to run cable from the amp directly to the speakers, but the socket in the door jam situation has killed that idea. So the only way around it is to tap into those wires before they go into both the rear and front doors!

    DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT COLOUR THE SPEAKER WIRES ARE AND WHERE I CAN GET TO THEM!!!!!!

    Any help greatly appreciated!

  10. #10
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    Hi,

    Check the X5 sub section and I think there's a forum called 'X outpost' so check/search there. As the OEM amp and modules aren't in the car, it's possible previously some wires have been cut/removed etc so you'll need to double check for those wires and then if you locate them, you will then need to test for continuity. Personally, I'd say run new speaker cabling. Good luck with the forthcoming head unit, hopefully it'll work and do so longer term !

    Cheers, Dennis!

  11. #11
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    I’d try a different vin decoder. All BMWs of that era were wired for the cd changer. As for the wiring color scheme you should try googling it. That is, google “xxxx BMW X5 audio wiring” where “xxxx” is the model year.

    I googled “2005 BMW X5 audio wiring” and this popped up: http://www.modifiedlife.com/2005-bmw-x5-car-audio-installation-diagram/
    Last edited by MarcoZandrini; 01-26-2020 at 08:22 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisCooper View Post
    Hi,

    Check the X5 sub section and I think there's a forum called 'X outpost' so check/search there. As the OEM amp and modules aren't in the car, it's possible previously some wires have been cut/removed etc so you'll need to double check for those wires and then if you locate them, you will then need to test for continuity. Personally, I'd say run new speaker cabling. Good luck with the forthcoming head unit, hopefully it'll work and do so longer term !

    Cheers, Dennis!
    Hi dennis,

    Just got my replacement head unit delivered and it appears to heve a bunch of wiring that was missing from the original unit that came with the car. Youll see from this interior shot



    And a shot of the replacement



    And the connections at the back of the replacement



    That the units appear to be identical except for the connections at the rear. I have looked at the various youtube videos and i appear to be missing any of the connections in the boot so either they were never there or they have been removed. The replacement unit has a large socket that seems to mirror the one behind the existing head unit, but im not sure if the one in the car is male or female so am unsure if the car harness will plug durectly into it. Sorry, no pics of that yet.

    The one thing i have noticed is that the existing unit has the square canbus adaptor enabling steering wheel controls, but the replacement doesnt appear to have anything similar, if so is there a workaround for this?

    Regards

    Phil
    Last edited by selkent1; 02-02-2020 at 11:59 AM.

  13. #13
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    And this is the amp ill be putting in the boot. 4 Channel one. Yes i know its not the best, far from it, but its served me well as is perfectly fine for my needs. Plan on putting it behind the panel on the left hand side.



    - - - Updated - - -

    Sorry everyone for the size of the pics, couldnt figure out how to make them smaller.


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by selkent1 View Post
    And this is the amp ill be putting in the boot. 4 Channel one. Yes i know its not the best, far from it, but its served me well as is perfectly fine for my needs. Plan on putting it behind the panel on the left hand side.



    - - - Updated - - -

    Sorry everyone for the size of the pics, couldnt figure out how to make them smaller.

    Typical!

    That serves me right for buying a used unit from ebay from a seller that doesnt accept returns.

    It doesnt work!

    Anyone got any suggestions as to what head unit i should be using, however it would be nice to retain a factory appearance.

  15. #15
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    Hi,

    There's no premium quality and reliable head units from the reputable car audio head unit brands specifically for the E53 X5 which has an OEM look. For the E39 platform, there's a combined fascia/fitting kit that allows a head unit from one of those high quality brands to fit and keep a very close to oem look. In due course, a version for the E53 X5 will be developed too.

    If you have to have an oem look, then you'll need to buy one of the cheap replacement units like this used unit you bought and cross your fingers it works when it arrives, and if it does, that it then continues to do so longer term.

    Cheers, Dennis!

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