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    Sirius Retrofit

Many people have told me one can’t retrofit the BMW Sirius kit into an X5 built prior to 10/2003. However as I don’t like to give up easily I decided to figure out what is needed in order to retrofit the Sirius kit into my car.

If I would have been unable to retrofit the factory Sirius kit I’d have not continued with the project as I wanted Sirius to be integrated into my factory head unit and not having to use another display and/or interface for Sirius. After some research and try and error I realized I have to update my current tuner module (the one located in the trunk underneath the spare tire), however BMW does not offer a core swap or replacement. After some searching and convincing of my contacts in BMW NA I finally managed to find an engineer who was willing to update my tuner in order to be ‘Sirius ready’. I removed the tuner sent it to BMW NA and it was returned within 2 days with the new software loaded. I installed the Sirius kit and had it working within a few minutes. The sound and reception is very good except for short interruption when driving under bridges or tunnels, Sirius very quickly looses its signal but also recovers very quickly.

I was also fortunate enough to have waited long enough for a new Sirius antenna being available which is much smaller then the original antenna sold for the Sirius kit.

For the installation you will need the following parts. There is also a whole section on Sirius available on http://www.x5world.com/ (Items 21-26) including more detailed installation instructions and photos (courtesy of IFlyX5)

  • Sirius Tuner/Receiver Module (NAV) #84-11-0-153-365
  • Sirius Installation Kit for X5 (E53)   #84-11-0-141-976
  • Extension Cable                                 #84-11-0-141-977
  • CD Changer Cable                              #84-11-0-141-9781
  • Sirius Roof Antenna (Large Style)      #84-11-0-141-9792
  • Sirius Roof Antenna (Small Style)      #84-11-0-390-239

I’d highly recommend to buy the parts via Crevier BMW (Chris Crinion) as the have competitive pricing and excellent service !!

The benefit of using the smaller (low profile) antenna is that you can hide it easily in the rear spoiler without taking the antenna apart. This will allow one to relocate the antenna onto the roof if really needed.

However please note the SIRIUS antenna which is sold by BMW is designed to have a flat metal surface of 6 inch radius around the antenna at all times to ensure reception performance.
If you choose to mount it in a different manner (such as in the spoiler) the reception performance might decrease and you might experience an increase in muting events of satellite radio.
Officially BMW NA does not approve of mounting our SIRIUS antennas in any manner than those specified in the installation instructions and makes no guarantee of reception performance if these procedures are not followed.

The installation kit for the X5 includes the installation manual and a mounting bracket which can only be used if do not have a TV tuner installed. Even if you have no TV tuner installed you can hide the Sirius tuner in a better location without having to cut the original mounting bracket/place.

Alternate mounting location for the Sirius receiver. It fits snug into the location next to the TV tuner and a cover with fleece will prevent it from causing rattles.

View of the rear spoiler location which already houses the TV antenna

Rear spoiler now with Sirius antenna mounted (with a supporting plate of aluminium)

Yet more cables 😉 ….

All cleaned up and cover re-installed

Let the Music play …..

If you have any questions, comments or remarks please feel free to contact me.

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