Date: Tues, 8 Dec 1998
Subject: E46 CD Changer Installation

1999 BMW E46 3-Series Alternate CD Changer Installation

Investigation and test installation by Stephen Wolff (

Final Installation, Pictures and Instructions by Dave Heckendorf (

The following are detailed instructions for the installation of the CD Changer in Left-Rear fender area of the trunk of a 1999 BMW E46 3-Series Sedan. After having seen the standard installation in the center of the parcel shelf that, with the "fuzzy cover" in place, takes a substantial bite out of the useful trunk space, Stephen investigated this alternate installation which is INFINITELY PREFERABLE to the standard installation as evidenced by Pictures 4-7 below.

NOTE: These instructions do not apply to E46 with BMW Navigation System. If your car has the NAV system, you already have the brackets and cover installed.

You will need the following tools:

- 1/4" or 3/8" Socket driver with 3" extension

- 8mm and 10mm sockets for above driver

-#2 Standard screwdriver

The following are the BMW OEM parts you will need:

Qty Part# Description

1 65-12-8-370-924 Carrier Front

1 65-12-8-370-932 Carrier Rear

2 65-12-8-370-925 Bracket CD Changer

9 07-11-9-915-113 Screw

9 61-13-1-372-033 Clip Nut

4 07-11-9-907-657 Screw AM4X6

1 51-47-8-162-577 Compartment

1 51-47-8-230-573 Left Oddments Tray

1 82-11-1-469-404 CD Changer Alpine

1 51-47-8-217-425 Trim Panel Left (WITH Folding Rear Seats)


1 51-47-8-217-421 Trim Panel Left (W/O Folding Rear Seats)


And now, the instructions (my car has both a Harmon-Kardon Sound System and Split-Folding Rear Seats, so you may need to adjust the directions accordingly)

  1. Remove the Spare tire cover and the left-rear carpet panel from the trunk. It is held in place by three expanding two-piece plastic rivets. The first is by the lower left by the taillight, the second in the upper middle of the side trim panel, and the third is behind the left-rear seat bolster (you have to lower the left Split-Folding Rear Seat back to access this rivet and remove the panel). These rivets are removed by lifting the inner "pin" which pushes into the outer "molly". A flat screwdriver comes in handy here, just pry the two discs you see apart, remove the "pin", and then remove the "molly".
  1. Remove the left-rear floor tray. There is a snap-on cover that is oriented front to back, remove it by lifting up on the left side and rotate it toward the spare tire. This will expose two more expanding two-piece plastic rivets (these are slightly different than the carpet ones, DO NOT mix them up).
  2. You will note that there are two brackets that are holding the amplifier in place. Unbolt the amplifier brackets from the fender supports and trunk floor and unplug the amplifier. Referring to Picture 2, unbolt the amplifier from the stock brackets and bolt it (finger tight) into the new brackets.
  3. Picture 1

    Picture 2

  4. Referring to Pictures 1 and 2 (the brass spots on the blue metal), slide speed nuts into holes that don’t have them (you should only need one additional; there are four on the floor, one above the shock tower on the right, and three on the back fender supports). Now fit the two brackets (with amplifier mounted) to the speed nuts and bolt in place (again, finger tight).
  5. Remove CD Changer shipping screws from bottom (cover holes with black dust prevention "dot" stickers). Verify that shock springs are oriented for horizontal installation (and cover with spring lock –in stickers). Attach small "L" brackets to sides using the forward holes (the longer leg goes along the changer side with the small of the L facing forward).
  6. Plug in the CD Changer power and data cables (the cabling is wrapped in fuzzy tape and can be found tucked in the fender supports). Referring to Pictures 2 and 3, slide the remaining eight speed nuts onto the new brackets and bolt CD Changer into the top position (the only one wide enough for it to fit in). Tighten all bolts (Brackets, Amplifier and CD-Changer). Bolt in the storage bin just below the CD Changer with the long side going toward to shock tower.
  7. Picture 3

    Picture 4

    Picture 5

    Picture 6

    Picture 7

  8. Referring to Pictures 4-7, install the new floor tray (there’s a small rubber button that pushes into the circle on the bottom and cushions it from rattling) and in reverse order of Step 2 securing with "smooth" expanding rivets. Install new carpet panel in reverse order of Step 1 and secure with "ribbed" expanding rivets.

You’re now done with the installation, enjoy your CD Changer in the only location that BMW should have planned on installing it in!