Stories, how-to, and reviews from my personal tuner shop... my garage.

My collection of media including photos, audio, and video.

Specs, history, pros/cons, and stories about my own 330i.

BMW places on the Internet that I find useful.

Completed 4/11/2004

Install an XM Direct Receiver. The success of the XM service in the first Project Car led me to find another solution for this Project Car. I had actually purchased the same Pioneer system as before to use again, but elected to try to find a better integrated solution. I found that solution at MyRadioStore which specializes in XM Radio interfaces. The "XM Direct" unit allows 2003+ Satellite-Ready 3 Series to utilize XM through the factory Sirius interface. What this means is that you can control your XM from the factory head unit and steering wheel and even display channel, artist, and song names on the radio display itself. Since I like to maintain the illusion of a stock vehicle, this was perfect.

1 - XM Direct Receiver
     (XM DIRECT UNIT $299.49 part #XM-RDR-D-101)
NOTE: The D-100 unit can be used if you do not have a CD Changer. The D-101 has a pass-thru for an existing CD Changer.

12mm Socket/Wrench
Trim Tool/Flathead Screwdriver

Since I already had the Alpine MP3 CD Changer, this installation was quick. I installed both at the same time and planned on the right adapter to allow both XM and the Changer to use the existing BMW CD wiring harness. This DIY assumes you already have a CD Changer, but the differences are minimal regardless.

1. Remove the two trim plugs in the driver's side trunk liner and pull the carpet back (Photos A, B, & C)

2. The XM Direct adapter will plug directly into your CD Changer wiring harness. This harness is bundled against the trunk support normally if you don't have a CD Changer already. From there, the XM Direct will plug into the adapter. If you have a CD Changer, it will attach to the adapter as well. You can see how everything fits in the space under the changer (Photo D).

3. To locate the antenna, I chose to put it again on the rear deck of the interior. This location provides excellent signal coverage if you don't have metallic tint on your rear window.

4. Pop the cap off the center child seat anchor point (Photo E).

5. Using a 12mm socket, remove the anchor point (Photo F).

NOTE: If you don't mind the tiny antenna cable showing, then I refer you to the PIONEER XM install. Check how I installed the antenna there. If you want to continue my way, be very careful with the delicate antenna wiring/plug.

6. To make this install cleaner, I chose to run the antenna wire down into the hole left by the anchor point removal. To do this, the pink plug had to come off the end of the antenna wire. You can do this by first pressing out the white locking clip. Press down on the tab of the white part of the clip and press it out. I used a sharpened bicycle spoke to do this but anything with a sharp point will do (Photo G).

7. Once the locking clip is removed, you can then release the cable from the plug by going in and pressing the inner tab (Photo H).

8. Once the plug is off, then the little connector can fit down the anchor point hole and into the trunk (Photo I).

9. Run the entire length of wire through the hole and tie it up in the trunk. Be sure to put the jack back on the wire.

10. Using the supplied sticky tape, fasten the antenna to the rear deck (Photo J).

11. Once all is in place, the antenna will sit flush and look very nice. This photo was taken before the windows were tinted (Photo K). Now, with 20% tint, you can't see the antenna from outside unless you really look for it.

12. Check all your connections, clean up the cables and you should be set. Use the MODE button to select SAT and if your XM is already activated, begin to enjoy your pure digital XM radio! You can set presets the same as radio stations and then select them with the 1-6 buttons or cycle through all 18 via the steering wheel. The INF button will show you channel, artist, and song name, then return to the channel name.


Photo A

Photo B

Photo C

Photo D

Photo E

Photo F

Photo G

Photo H

Photo I

Photo J

Photo K


I knew I would have XM radio in this Project Car as well, it was just a matter of how to go about it. I love this installation as it integrates with the factory deck flawlessly. Now, I have FM, AM, CD, CD Changer, XM, and AUX as inputs. I should never run out of things to listen to... all on the existing BMW head unit. The XM Direct unit excels in this respect. Perfect!

  © MarvelPhx