DIY: iPhone 4/4S 5/5S dock for BMW E90/E91/E93 + video

Posted: 01/17/2014 in Cars
Tags: , ,

The first thing which I found missing after buying of my used 330i E90 was no bluetooth connection. Therefore I was looking for a solution to have my mobile close to my eyes and hands without any wiring around.  I found several (often expensive) options:

1)      Buy special fixture from BMW
2)      Buy mount on the window or ventilation grille (cheapest, but I hate cables around)
3)      Buy BMW 3-series iPhone Dock Connector (2006+)

The last option inspired me for creating my own dock which you can see here:


First of all what you need:

Medium-density fibreboard (MDF), I used 8mm thickness
piece of Alcantara
Iphone dock (4/4S or 5/5S) + USB cable from ebay
Male-male jack cable (thin connectors) from ebay
USB 12V adapter from ebay
And some others DIY Hardware (files, drill, jigsaw…)

My total costs were around 10 USD (compare it with previous solution)

Ok, now how to do it:

1)      If you have a car without a smoke packet like me, just remove the central panel. (Instructions are on youtube) If you have the smoke pocket, you have to buy box like I have.
2)      Remove the box from the central panel. Only a couple of screws.
3)      Now the fun comes. Go to the workshop and make a hole in the MDF for the dock from ebay. I used a jigsaw and after that hand files. The hole can be a little bit bigger then the doc, because the alcantara has also some thickness.
4)      Take a jigsaw and cut your MDF approximately 155x63mm. This dimension is bigger than the box, but it is just to be sure. After that try to grind your wood using hand files like plug into the box. See photo.

Steps 3,4 will take quite a lot of time, so be patient. I changed the order of the steps 3,4, because I was waiting for the delivery of the dock from ebay. I didn’t know the exact dimension of the dock.

5)      Cut the Alcantara like me and glue thecorners inside the hole
6)      Insert the dock into the hole where you have the Alcantara. It helps it stick. Wait till the glue becomes solid.
7)      During this time you can prepare the  sheetmetal holder.
8)      Glue the rest of the alcantara to the wood. Be careful . The glue is dangerous for the “nice” side of the Alcantara.
9)      I fixed the Corners  with  a industry stapler. Wait one day for the glue to dry.
10)   Make a bigger hole in the box for the wiring (USB and audio cable)
11)   And finally, the installation.

I will tell you later if it´s possible to speak with someone during driving. Enjoy 🙂

  1. Rens says:

    Hi, awesome tutorial! Thnx for that. I’m currently building a similir solution for my iPhone 5. Your tut. gave me the insight and it helped a lot 🙂
    I do have a question I hope you can answer: How does your iPhone hold up when you accelerate heavily? Doesn’t the phone tilt to the front, putting pressure on the connection between the phone and dock? I drive a 335i, so I’m afraid it will try to flip over… What’s your experience?

    • born2driveCZ says:

      Hi, no problem with acceleration (I have 330i), but for track days is better to put phone away (big centrifugal force – phone can flip over easily in this direction). Also iPhone5 has smaller connector so there can be also problem. You will see…
      Let me know after building and share photos!

  2. Daan says:

    Hi, did you test if it is possible to speak over the phone while driving? As i think the microphone is at the underside of the phone so it would block the sound

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