This E90 was an employee project here at Overdrive. It was a low mileage example with almost every factory option, but it lacked some of the modern creature comforts we were accustomed to. The factory BMW HiFi system sounded decent but only had an aux input to offer and no real modern connectivity. As a daily driver, the bare minimum these days is bluetooth but we wanted Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a backup camera for this car.
For this car we installed a Sony double din with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. These Sony mechless units are installer friendly for these applications as the single din chassis leaves a lot of room for the fiber optic module and steering control module needed for a car like this. We used a fiber optic module from Connects2 and a Metra dash kit for this install. The heated seat and hill descent control buttons are relocated to where the factory ashtray and cigarette lighter are. Those are removed to make room for the double din.
With an install like this, it's worth noting that the parts for installation easily surpass the cost of the head unit as the R&D costs are quite high and the parts only fit a handful of vehicles. A fiber optic amp retention module is required for most North American BMW and Mercedes vehicles. It's also important to note that power for the reverse camera should be run through a relay as the reverse bulb on CANBUS vehicles may not be a reliable power source and can cause interference with the camera. The module does not retain the factory backup parking sensors.
We added a bunch of other modifications to this vehicle as well including a pair of black kidney grilles, M Performance style pedals, an updated F30 style shift knob, and black chrome exhaust tips. We also installed a carbon fiber lip spoiler to give it a more aggressive stance. For the wheels, we used the RTX Graz in a 17x8 paired with Michelin Pilot Sport AS3 all season tires. These tires are not run flats and shed a significant amount of weight off the vehicle. Not only does this improve acceleration, handling, and ride comfort but it helps with fuel economy as well. This E90 also had factory HID headlights but we updated the angel eyes to LED bulbs to give it a more modern look. For the pre-facelift E90's, the angel eye bulb is much more difficult to install as it isn't a simple H8 bulb like the newer ones.
For the windows, we did an 18% tint which offers a good balance for nighttime visibility and privacy. All in all, the car has a much more aggressive look than it did with the factory 16" wheels and chrome accents. The RTX Graz wheels are great as they can take a factory center cap and lug bolts, we installed a set of black Alloygators on them to keep them looking black even if they're curbed.
For ideas on how to customize and improve your vehicle, contact us today!