I want to share my CIC retrofit installation story of my X6 E-71 from the Canadians at http://www.bimmerretrofit.com/
. The story started in December 2010 where I got interested in this solution and ended in June 2011.
It all started with some mail conversations with a guy named Alex where he explained the whole process with the order and the installation. All seemed peachy so I made the order through PayPal and bought the CIC unit + maps and activation, video in motion and the Combox unit.
A total price of according to Alex.
- CiC system 2350$
- Nav + Voice activation 900$
- FSC 240$
- Security deposit 140$
- shipping 85 $
The Order (December 2010):
After some mail exchange I agreed to pay 3090$ USD for the whole package but this did not include the Bluetooth/Internet function that I wanted so they told me about this new unit called the Combox that was replacing the MULF TCU, so I agreed to buy this for 600$USD, so a total of 3690$ including install instructions, cable harness and coding. I placed the order and received the package containing all the parts for the CIC except for the plastic covers for the gearshift and the front panel where the CIC is located. When I opened the package I noticed that the CIC was really worn on the outside and that the front panel where the volume knob is located was loose. The cable that came from inside the CIC and the panel has an orange connector that was broke and the pins from the connector were hanging loose. After some mail conversations where they assured me that the system was shipped 100% I bought the connector from ELFA in Sweden (ELFA is a store where they have all kinds of cables connectors) and soldered it myself. After that I had some problems with the screen but a guy Vlad helped me out and after a few connections we got it all working. No complains here but the front panel issue.
The HDD (February 2011):
Now for a really entertaining story, in February 2011 we had one of the worst winters ever in Sweden with temperatures of -20/-25 Celsius and I donít have a garage where I can park my car indoors. One day while driving to work my CIC unit did not start when I drove to work but it did fire up when I was parking the car at work, the map option was grey and no music was found in the music library but I had no time to investigate this cause I had to get to work. When I drove home that evening I still had no maps or music but this time I stayed in the car and drove around to warm it up a bit when I noticed a strange clicking sound that was coming from the CIC unit, since I work with computers I recognize this as a HDD that is about to die and quickly realizes that this is what has occurred. After some investigation I realized that the HDD that BMW is using is a laptop IDE HDD that Toshiba uses in their mobility series, itís a tougher HDD than a regular one but it still has mechanical arm that read the magnetic discs, the HDD is a MK8050GAC (http://sdd.toshiba.com/main.aspx?Pat...Specifications
) The HDD can be operational at -30 degrees Celsius but if you see the parenthesis () you see that it only starts at -22 Celsius and my car was below that when I tried to start it that morning. So I had no working HDD and I sent a mail to Alex and explained everything and that I just wanted a new HDD shipped to me as a warranty repair. This is where all hell breaks loose and they started accusing of tempering with the CIC unit, assuring me that the HDD never breaks down and that the HDD last for at least 10 years. (How can you guarantee that if you never had a CIC system for 10 years, specially a mechanical HDD that is in motion all the time?) Anyway I offered to send the unit back to them so they could study it and they could replace my HDD, but this was out of the question, I had to pay around 400USD for them to take the CIC back, so they offered to sell me a new one and then installing the OS (QNX) and ship it to me for 150USD$. Since I had nowhere to turn at this point I accepted the offer and paid the 150USD only to receive a HDD that was a copy of one of the engineers at Bimmerretrofit, because it still had like 11 CD rips with techno/house and the 2009 years map on it. Once again I email them, and I got back that I had buy the DVD for the 2010 edition and they would send me the activation codes for my CIC unit, so I bought the DVD:s and then the code did not work. After a lot of mailing back and forth they told me that I had to buy the maps for the 2011 and then it should work, so I bought the maps form 150USD and then the codes that they sent me worked for that version, I had to DL the maps from http://fscmap.com/
. So even though I already had paid for the 2010 maps that they could not get working I had to pay once again for the maps, a newer version yes, but still no customer thinking here, only $$$.
The ComBox (From January to June 2011):
So finally we have the ComBox unit that I had from the beginning but without instructions or cable harness. I started the email conversation with Alex in January asking for the retrofit instructions and they stalled me from the very beginning sending me some blueprints from BMW that show the schematics of the ComBox but without the cable harness itís almost impossible to retrofit this system. After almost 8 emails asking for help and no response whatsoever I gave up, so in June2011 I contacted Patryk Matysiek from Bimmertech (email@example.com) after seen a review on bimmerpost forum. I explained my problem with the Canadians and the ComBox and he agreed to help me, so I sent the CIC unit and the ComBox to him in Poland and he upgraded the CIC unit, but the ComBox was an RnD version that was useless, cause its only for test and development. Patryk bought me a new one for 300Euros and programmed the CIC and bought the cable harness for the ComBox and the PDC/Camera for a total of 890Euros. After a few days in the car and with some programming skills from Patryk we got the ComBox running with all the functions. I had to send the CIC unit back to him after I received it cause I f*ckd up in not screwing the HDD on its place, so the CIC did not find the HDD when I mounted everything in the car, but that was my fault and Patryk solved this for me. Everything that Patryk promised me he delivered, I was a bit worried about sending money in advanced to a guy I donít know and then hoping to get my CIC back, but he responded every email and you can reach him on Skype whenever he is online and he always replies back to you, even after the installation was complete he sent me an email to ask how everything was working. I hope that you do not make the same mistake as I and buy your system from the Canadians but buy them from Patryk, he is fast reliable and does not bullshit you.
Iím still waiting for the Canadians to get back to me about the RnD Combox that I bought, if I can get my money back or get a new one, or maybe get the promised instructions and cables that didnít arrive, these people call themselves professionals but I donít see any of that in scamming me for 600$USD and really bad service that including no warranty so ever for a product that you paid 3600$USD, might be a good thing to consider before you pay that amount of money to a company that cares little of their customers. /Chris