Installation of the Dynavin DVN-E46 is fairly simple.  If you know how to install a standard DIN or Double-DIN sized car stereo receiver, you can install this unit.  It's designed to replace the OEM BMW radio and fit in the dash with an OEM-like fitment.  Unless you modify your air ducts, the E46 BMW only has an opening for a single DIN sized receiver.  The Dynavin is designed to fit in this awkward space.

Before you install your unit, you will want to verify a few things.
  1. Do you have the OEM navigation?  If so, you will need to purchase the FAKRA 5M cable.  A link to this cable can be found on the Accessories page.
  2. If you don't have OEM navigation, you will also need the HVAC Relocation Kit.  This is an OEM BMW part because all cars with navigation already have their HVAC controls below the navigation screen.  Before you buy the HVAC relocation kit, you will need to figure out if you have individual buttons for DSC, TPS Control, Heated Seats, etc or do you have a single row of buttons?

    The HVAC relocation kit is required for OEM fitment.  This is because the HVAC control box has rounded edges on the lower corners.  When you install the Dynavin, you will move the HVAC down to where the sunglass holder is.  You'll notice the sunglass holder has square edges.
Once you receive your HVAC Relocation Kit, you can install it before you receive the Dynavin unit.
  1. Remove the sunglass holder.  Just pull it right out.
  2. Pull up the shift boot to reveal screws that hold down the shift plate.
  3. Remove the shifter plate and the window controls.
  4. Below the flip cover, pull out the ashtray and take out the lighter.
  5. Remove the control panel for the DSC, TPS, Heated Seats, etc.
  6. Remove the existing bracket.  You'll have to unplug the wires that are hooked up to the back of the cigarette lighter.
  7. Plug in the wires to the new HVAC Relocation bracket and install it.
  8. Re-install the control panel for the DSC, TPS, Heated Seats, etc.
  9. Re-install the shift plate and the shift boot.
Once you receive your Dynavin unit, you'll want to take apart your dash board.
  1. Start by removing the trim on the passenger side of the dashboard.  You might want to purchase a plastic trim removal kit, so that you don't scratch your trim.  It's expensive to replace!
  2. Once you get the passenger side off, remove the trim around the top of the stereo receiver.

  3. You'll find some screws that need to be removed in order to remove the center vents.
  4. Remove the center vents.  Just pull up and out.
  5. Remove the OEM stereo.
  6. Unplug and remove the HVAC control box.

    Note that there is a white lever in the back that controls the HVAC.  Be careful not to get your wires bunched up in there, or you may have expensive HVAC problems in the future!

  7. Move the HVAC controls down to where the sunglass holder was and plug it back in.
  8. We're in the home stretch.  Attach the GPS receiver to the metal bracket behind the dash.  I actually found it easier to install it on a metal bracket right by the steering wheel.
  9. Plug in the steering wheel control box into the IR-IN cable on the back of the Dynavin.
  10. Most of the other plugs (AUX-IN, RCA-OUT, iPod, radio antenna) are self explanatory.
  11. Plug the Dynavin's harness into the OEM BMW harness.

  12. If all the cables are plugged in, turn on your car and test the unit to make sure it works.   The tricky part is getting the Dynavin back in.  If you make sure that everything works, you won't have to pull it back out.
  13. By now, you've noticed that the Dynavin is a weird shape.  It's sort of a hybrid between a single-DIN receiver with a double-DIN face plate.  There's not a lot of room to get the Dynavin back in, so what I did was separate the cables into two groups.  I put the "pony tail" of inputs on top of the Dynavin and then I pushed the thick radio harness off to the side of the Dynavin, closer to the steering wheel.  Guide the Dynavin back in and make sure the cables don't get caught on anything.  It will be tricky the first time, but once you're sure that the cables are out of the way, push in the unit firmly until it clicks.
  14. Since I put all of the inputs above the head unit, you don't have to take out the unit to plug in external inputs, such as an iPod Composite AV cable or a PS3.  Just unplug the center air vent!

  15. Screw the Dynavin in.  The OEM screws might be too short, but don't worry.  The center vents will keep it down.
  16. Re-install the center vents.
  17. Re-install the trim.