BMW E39 5 Series - How to Remove Radio


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This tutorial shows how to remove an all-in-one IRIS radio from an E39 5 Series BMW.
The E39 BMW was delivered with a selection of radios, as follows:
1. IRIS radio (one-line screen)
2. MID radio (two-line screen)
3. Navigation unit (4:3 screen)
4. Widescreen Nav unit.

The basic model was the IRIS radio, noted by a one-line screen. This was available with a cassette or CD. The front face and the cassette player were either one single all-in-one unit, or two separate units that blended together.
The MID radio didn't necessarily have better audio quality (the professional DSP sound system was available with any head unit) but it controlled extended features in the car. It could control the high-OBC (enhanced on-board computer) or car phone system. It was standard in late model cars.

To remove the all-in-one IRIS radio as shown in the video, use the following steps:
1. Remove volume knob.
2. Insert flat head screwdriver to the hole at the 12 o'clock position.
3. Turn 90 degrees anticlockwise to release spring-loaded clasp.
4. Pull out the radio (use the tape slot for grip)
5. The reqar connector is difficult to remove and requires a lot of force to lift. Use a screwdriver to wedge it up, perhaps supporting the screwdriver like a lever as shown in the video.
6. Reconnect in reverse.

To remove an MID or a two-part radio, use a similar process.
1. Remove volume knob.
2. Use a #10 hex head and turn 90 degrees anticlockwise to release spring-loaded clasp.
3. The MID unit will spring off.
4. To remove the cassette or cd player, it is held by two screws, underneath the now-removed MID unit. (typically 2mm allen key should do it)
6. Reconnect in reverse.
This resource is useful for removing an MID radio only.

This radio is connected by round pins, proprietory to BMW. E39 radios after 2002 had flat pin connectors. Most aftermarket radios use the flat pins, so to install an aftermarket in a pre-2002 E39 you will probably need an adapter, available on eBay.

This system for removing radios can also be tried on other 1996-2003 BMW models. The MID radio from the first generation X5 (E53) used the MID or nav unit from an E39, as did the Range Rovers from 2002-2006 (L322), so these instructions apply for these vehicles.
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