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Updating an E38 E39 sat nav

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Howard View Drop Down
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    Posted: 29 Apr 2018 at 9:05am
Has anyone out there tried to replace the Satelite Navigation system on an E38 or E39?
The reason I am asking is that recently I have purchased 3 cars that were built for the Japanese market, where they use a completely different system for navigation, that is not at all compatible with the one we use in Europe.

Why buy Japanese? Where else can you buy a 740i from 2000 with 6K miles on the clock and not a spec of rust anywhere and where you could eat your dinner of the underside for under £20K. I was so pleased with mine that I bought a Jap E39 for the wife, and liked it so much that I am currently buying another for me, saving the 740i for special occasions. One downside is that the 4.4 litre engine likes fuel.

On the E38, I spent about £2k (BMW Retailer prices) changing all fluids and the 18 year old tyres (with 7mm tread but too old to use) and installing a replacement starter motor and two new keys. It's a delight to drive even at 20.2 miles per American gallon.

The speedo was no problem to convert to MPH. I contacted a firm that makes replacement plates that have both KM and miles and found a guy to fit one, and to calibrate the speedo at a cost of £140. He came to my house in a big Ford estate fitted out as a workshop, and an hour later I had a fully working and dead accurate MPH and KMPH speedo. Great job.

One of the problems is that the Japanese versions of radio and sat navs fitted to Jap language versions don't work very well in the UK. Radios fitted prior to late 2001 don't have the full range of FM frequencies available, though later ones have a secret menu that allows one to add the UK frequencies.
Japanes Sat navs using dvd or cd don't work at all here.
 
I tried using Google maps, which worked very well until the 22nd of April 2018, after which Google started sending full screen adverts to my phone every 5 minutes while I am navigating with it, so that's now not worth using any more. Cannot drive while reseting the map screen, so I deleted Google Maps from my phone and now use Waze. You might all follow suit.

I have tried all the upmarket built in sat nav systems but cannot find one that will fit in the 740i or the 525i. There are some Chinese imports that state they will fit, but my Auto Electrician says he will not install them, as they usually don't look right when fitted, or are incompatible with the cars wiring looms.
Question - has anyone managed to fit an aftermarket Satnav that works, and looks OK? To either an E38 or E39 car from 2000 on.

1988 635csi,
2002 E39 525i, 2001 E38 740i
2005 E90 330 saloon
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NickDE View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickDE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2018 at 9:51am
I would just buy a free-standing Garmin GPS. Much less hassle and you cam move it between the cars.
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Howard View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Howard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2018 at 2:33pm
I bought one of those Nick,  but they are terrible sat navs. I also have a Tom Tom, which is much better, but I prefer a built in sat nav that comes with bluetooth, dab radio and usb inputs. Having four cars I often found that it was in one of the others, or the wife was using it. I suppose I could buy three more.
Google maps was great - I just used to say to it "Navigate to the  club office" and it did.
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1988 635csi,
2002 E39 525i, 2001 E38 740i
2005 E90 330 saloon
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NMcD View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2018 at 8:08am
there are some links on youtube - I was told previously if your early system has the sat nav already then you can upgrade to the facelift widescreen - I have been thinking of doing on an E39 for some time now - several people have said done it  so maybe I need to follow up and you do the E38 and I do the E39 and it could be a good article for the club magazine.  Depends if the factory unit works for you - the aftermarket ones seem to offer all bells and whistles but how reliable are they is the concern
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