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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DIY: How to install an aux cable in panel below toggle switches - with pics

I got my aux cable kit installed and mounted the plug underneath the toggle switch set in the removable acess panel (like a couple of others here have done). There are some good walkthroughs of the install but none were quite complete for my install so I thought I would post some pics in case anyone else might find them usefull (use this information at your own risk - I am not responsible for any damage or injury caused as a result of attempting this installation).

I have a 2003 Cooper S with the standard factory head unit (not HK) - No nav - No CD Changer. I am using my aux plug for my new ipod.

The install is as easy as everyone says. Do it yourself and dont bother paying your dealer for the job. A couple of things I noticed about the install:
1. If you have a left-hand drive car it is VERY easy to just remove the bolster under the steering column and plug the cable in (provided your head unit qualifies and you have a spot to plug into). I read a few posts where people where skeptical about being able to reach behind the head unit, but I found that there is plent of room and my hands are pretty average sized.
2. I did not have a set of metric drill bits and therefore did not use the sizes recomended in the instructions. I initially drilled the hole for the jack end the same size as the hole in the faceplate. The threaded end of the jack is just barely long enough to fit through both the plastic of the access panel and the face plate. I ended up redrilling the hole and securing the end of the jack to just the faceplate. I suspect if I used the bit size in the instructions this would have been obvious.

OK so heres the process:


Here is what comes in the kit:
1 Cable
1 Faceplate
2 Small Philips head screws
3 Zip ties
1 Nut for the threaded end of the jack
1 set of instructions


Start by removing the bolster underneat the steering column. As its been described by others here just give it a good tug and the 2 prongs will pop out from thier clips. This will give you access behind the head unit


If you have driving lamps installed then be carefull not to yank out the wiring for your switch.


There is plenty of room to reach behind the head unit. You can feel a rather large empty spot on the bottom drivers side (the same side as the volume control knob). This is where the aux cable plugs in with the clip to the top. Be sure to push it in until the clip clicks into place.


To remove the panel underneath the toggle set you just remove the torx screw in the center and press the two clips at the top. Its a tight squeeze to get the panel out from behind the down tubes but fortunately the panel is pretty flexible. I went out the side behind the down tubes, a little coaxing is all thats required.


Here is the panel entirely removed.


Use the faceplate to mark your holes before drilling. Drill small starter holes for the mounting screws. Mount the plate. (this is where I ended up redrilling the center hole so the threaded end passed through the plastic and secured to the plate - check your hole sizes before you re-install your panel)


Fish the jack end of the cable down through to the spot where the panel has been removed. I found that there is not much room behind the head unit but there is plenty of room to the side. Once you have the jack end through, plug the cable into its home on the back of the head unit until it clicks(volume control side bottom on late 03 standard boost head units without nav).


Once the cable is in place I would recomend testing the cable to be sure everything works before you put it all back together. (connect the ipod to the jack with a male to male stereo headphone jack cable - press the mode button on your head until the display reads "aux", turn on your ipod)


If everything works, secure the jack end of the cable to the faceplate on the panel with the nut provided in the kit. Then replace the panel. The wire coming out the back of the jack is pretty stiff for about 2 inches or so. Be carefull to give it enought room when coaxing your panel back into place. Once the panel is in place wind up the slack at the top near the head unit and zip tie it. Then the excess cable can be slipped down next to the head unit. Finally replace the bolster under the steering colum.


Here what the jack looks like finished.

I have a Tunedok on order. When it arrives I will post pics of the complete setup with the ipod in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
reggie-

the tunedok is a cupholder cradle/mount for your ipod. In addition to the tunedok I am using the belkin auto kit which charges the ipod as well as has a built in amp so the line into your aux cable jack is powered better. The auto kit plugs into the lighter and has a firewire cable that plugs into the dock outlet on the bottom of the ipod. You can find both products at belkin.com. I was not able to find a tunedok in the stores yet but you can also find the auto kit at belkin retailers.

The cup holder base that comes with the tunedok fits the minis cup holders very well. It just way to tall. I cut mine down so it was just the hieght of the cup holder lip. After I cut it down I found a spray paint product called plasti-dip to paint it black. Its a sort of rubber surfacing spray. Now the cup holder base is virtually invisible making for a nicer looking install. The only other modification I did was to cut and splice the 3.5male to 3.5male jack cable that connects the setup to the aux cable jack. Now the cable is only about 5 inches rather than 6 feet.
 

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sifl_n_ollie

Thanks for the added info. My MC should arrive this week and this is one of the first additions that I want to make. I have a 3rd generation ipod and I bought the aux cable from my dealer.

So as I see it I will need a patch cable and a something like the Belkin auto kit to charge the ipod as I use it, ya? I like that you spliced the cable so that it wasn't 6' long!

So with the Belkin auto kit, you plug the aux cable into it instead of into the ipod itself? It acts as an amp? Does it distort the sound or is it pretty good?

Will look forward to seeing your pictures with the tunedock all fixed up and installed. Also a shot of it all hooked up would help.

Thanks so much for the time and effort you have gone through to post this. It is very timely for me and I'm sure others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
min106

the aux cable kit costs around $36. You can get them from your dealer.

the belkin auto kit and the tunedok both run between $30-$40

The sound quality is good. I cannot tell the difference between a cd in the head unit and the ipod. I am sure there are audiophiles with $3k worth stereo equipment who would not agree but I think the sound is good. Its certainly far better than the fm transmiters you can use on your ipod.

The only thing bad I have noticed so far is a hissing noise if the volume on the head unit is up and I turn off or pause the ipod. There are 3 volume controls - the main head unit control - the volume control on the belkin charger (this one seems to negate the ipod volume control) - and there is also an aux input level adjustment setting on the head unit. I suspect that the correct balance of these 3 may alleviate the hiss. If not I may try a different 3.5 to 3.5 jack cable. The one I spliced was a cheapo one I picked up at target.


reggie

Yes you plug the aux into the auto kit rather thant he ipod. It goes like this:
Belkin auto kit charger goes into your lighter - the firewire cable from the charger goes into the bottom of your ipod - the 3.5 to 3.5 jack cable connects between the charger and your aux cable jack.
You really cannot get it wrong. The charger has a light on the top of it that turns green if you have it all connected correctly and red if you have it wrong. It works great.
 

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sifl_n_ollie said:
The cup holder base that comes with the tunedok fits the minis cup holders very well. It just way to tall. I cut mine down so it was just the hieght of the cup holder lip.
After seeing the TuneDok at Belkin's Website, I was under the impression that it came with a variety of cup holder adapters, including one that is very short. Perhaps sifl_n_ollie can confirm.

For anyone in the US that's interested in the TuneDok, Buy.com has them for $12.79 plus about $6 for shipping. I have mine on order.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
12.79 for the tunedok is a steal. Mine was $40 with shipping from belkin.

min106
The tunedok comes with 3 cupholder parts. Basically they are different diameters for different sized cupholders. The short one is actually the largest diameter so it does not fit the mini by a long shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
nope - if you screw the cradle in all the way you dont need to shorten anything else. The shaft is only about an inch above the lip of the cupholder giving you just the amount of room you need to angle the cradle however you like.
 

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TuneDok modification

sifl_n_ollie,
I can't thank you enough for the fabulous pics and instructions on installing the aux input cable and the belkin equipment used to mount and charge your iPod. I've pretty much duplicated your effort, though I still haven't drilled holes in the panel below the toggle switches yet.

However, after using this setup for a few weeks now, I became frustrated with having to unplug the firewire cable every time I wanted to take the iPod out of the TuneDok. I've taken a few trips with a co-pilot with eyes that can't quite see the iPod screen while it is in the TuneDok, and it would be nice to easily take it out and replace without the plugging and unplugging business. So, I took out the trusty Dremel and cut out the bar the crosses over the firewire port. Voila! Instant portability.
 

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mount belkin charger behind access plate?

thanks for the install guide and pictures.

i have an MCS on order and am just in the planning phase.

one question i have is whether there is room to mount a cigarette lighter plug behind the access plate and then plug the belkin charger into it. the connection to the aux input could stay hidden too. in the end you'd only have the belkin connector for the bottom of the 3rd generation iPod coming out from the dash and you'd have the cigaretter lighter available for use for other devices.

thanks,
squishy
 

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squishy said:
one question i have is whether there is room to mount a cigarette lighter plug behind the access plate and then plug the belkin charger into it. the connection to the aux input could stay hidden too. in the end you'd only have the belkin connector for the bottom of the 3rd generation iPod coming out from the dash and you'd have the cigaretter lighter available for use for other devices.

thanks,
squishy
Squishy,
Great question. That would make things nice and tidy. Anyone know if and how this might be possible? I would love to only have the white belkin cord to deal with.
 
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