2003 BMW (FMSC1 and SCC1) Install

Superman07

Member
Oct 27, 2008
35
1
8
Sirius is an option on my BMW model, but I had a few issues with the stock solution (despite the clean factor integration).

1) The module is expensive ($400+ new)
2) The module is only a receiver

On top of these I was unsure if my radio module was compatible with the OEM solution (that would have been another $600!). Once I discovered the OEM solution would work, it turned out that it was discontinued! Even if I was able to find a good deal on a used unit I didn't feel I would be satisfied with simple receiver after living with the benefits of a PnP system for years. My initial thought was simply to go with the forthcoming iPhone application (Sirius XM iPhone App made official - Orbitcast) since I have a device that integrates an iPod/iPhone with the stock audio system. However, the application was (still is) taking too long to get to market that I wanted a better solution. Additionally, online access only gives limited channel access.

After trading some e-mails and taking some measurements I decided to see how the non-vehicle specific Sirius Connect system would work out in my car. I ended up buying both the controller and tuner as both are required.

Controller - Universal SiriusConnect™ Controller System FMSC1
Tuner - SIRIUS Connect Vehicle Tuner SCC1

I wanted a very clean install, so I opted to put the unit in the front ash tray under the HVAC controls. However, I needed to take care of two issues. First, I needed a way to route the cables, so I expanded the hole at the bottom/back of the tray. Second, I removed the hinge mechanism that stops the tray door from fully opening, as well as pushing the bottom part of the hinge "out" when the door opens. On test fittings this was causing the module to shift around each time I opened and closed the door.

Hole expanded in tray (side):


Hole expanded (close up):


I had a few options on where to place the two modules, but I was limited on the cord length of the display module that connects to the controller main unit. The two options that I felt comfortable with were under the passenger seat or behind the glove box. Based on some searches through common forums and concerns with the ventilation output under the seat I opted for behind the glove box. There are a handful of instructions on the web explaining how to access the compartment. A simple Google search will turn these up so I won't both to reproduce these. An added bonus is that the modules fit snug in the existing structure with prevent them from sifting around.

Test fitting the modules:


Hooking it all up:


At this point I will say that my inexperience with automotive electronics really took a toll. For those not wishing to spend the better part of a day on this project (like I did... :eek:) a few suggestions:

1) Go buy a fuse tap/add a fuse : [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Bussmann-BP-HHH-ATM-Add-A-Fuse/dp/B000GKEXK2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1243388165&sr=8-3]Amazon.com: Bussmann BP/HHH ATM Add-A-Fuse: Home Improvement[/ame] I picked one up at the local auto parts store. (Make sure you add two fuses into this type of unit. It is necessary for pass through of power).

2) After continual testing I couldn't figure out the problem. The instructions are not entirely clear. Thanks to Josh from TSS I found the problem - you need to hook both 12V lines up to the tap.

3) Grounding was a pain, but I found a place in the area between the door jam and the glove box compartment (used a screw, washer and nut).

Since I only wanted the unit to be on when the car was in the "on" position or running I branched off of the same fuse that runs the radio.

After many, many hours I finally had a working product! Here are some pictures of the final product.







(Sorry for the poor night picture)


Overall I am very happy with the final product. I now have a solution that gives me more functionality than the that of the OEM (e.g. artist seek, song seek, traffic jump, game alerts, etc.) and it was a fraction of the cost. Additionally, I can simply close the tray door and everything is hidden.

It did take me the better part of a day to complete, but that was due to my inexperience with many areas of the car. If I had to do it again I would guess it shouldn't take much more than 2-3 hours.

Finally I'd like to say thanks to Taylor and Josh over at TSS. They were a great help in addressing my concerns before ordering as well as helping with a few hurdles during the installation. I will certainly be using them for all of my future satellite radio purchases. :clap:
 
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limegrass69

Confused
Oct 12, 2008
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Nice job. There are pros and cons to each.
I've always opted for the OEM units for in car listening. But I do miss the feature of the PnP when I'm out and about. But it's cool to have everything (NAV, SAT, Phone, Radio) integrated in the single screen display.

P.S. I always wanted a M3 or M5, but I need AWD in this area. How do you like the ride?? They're fun.
 

Superman07

Member
Oct 27, 2008
35
1
8
Nice job. There are pros and cons to each.
I've always opted for the OEM units for in car listening. But I do miss the feature of the PnP when I'm out and about. But it's cool to have everything (NAV, SAT, Phone, Radio) integrated in the single screen display.

Thanks for the kind words. Agreed with your assessment on OEM units, which is why I struggled for so long.

P.S. I always wanted a M3 or M5, but I need AWD in this area. How do you like the ride?? They're fun.

I enjoy her very much - great car. AWD isn't a must around these parts, but a few times a year so you can get away with 2WD, although I was seriously thinking about AWD before I bought her. I had an "incident" a few years back where I was mostly stuck. :jj:
 

limegrass69

Confused
Oct 12, 2008
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I once had a 2001 BMW 740iL (I miss that car, but my Dad has it now so I can visit). One snowy morning I started up my driveway (it's a decent hill when it's snowy/ice). Next thing I know, I'm going sideways and ended up on the front lawn. It was at that humiliating moment that I told my wife to kick me in the groin if I ever bought a rear wheel drive as my primary vehicle again. That's with the snow tires!!

Maybe if I move somewhere warmer, I'll indulge.
 

TSS Taylor

DRC Fan
Oct 9, 2008
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Chicago, IL
www.tss-radio.com
I once had a 2001 BMW 740iL (I miss that car, but my Dad has it now so I can visit). One snowy morning I started up my driveway (it's a decent hill when it's snowy/ice). Next thing I know, I'm going sideways and ended up on the front lawn. It was at that humiliating moment that I told my wife to kick me in the groin if I ever bought a rear wheel drive as my primary vehicle again. That's with the snow tires!!

Maybe if I move somewhere warmer, I'll indulge.

I feel like around here half the 5-Series and 3-Series are the 4 wheel drive versions for that very reason.
 

limegrass69

Confused
Oct 12, 2008
6,079
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New York
I think I found a good compromise. I have the Mercedes E550 Sport with the 4Matic all wheel drive. So, I get a little sporty performance with the all wheel drive aspect to keep me out of trouble. It was a close call between that and the 5 series. The big V8 in the Benz put me over the top.