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      06-25-2020, 11:56 PM   #1
timmahh
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Aftermarket Crystal Mods - My Thoughts / Photos

Hi Everyone - There's been some interest around this and a few threads about retrofitting it. I know this look is not for everyone, but I have no issue admitting blue lights and shiny things instantly get my attention.. so naturally I have my lights all set to blue and I loved the crystal accents when I first saw them.

Unfortunately the X5 I picked up did not come with them and BMW doesn't just sell (all) individual pieces outright. Not to mention they're pricey.

I came across a company called Car Analysis (www.car-analysis.com) by way of seeing their iDrive knob on Amazon. I found their site and discovered they sell the start/stop & shifter as well. I emailed them to see if they would provide a further discount for buying all three at once and they did. Coincidentally, the package deal is now listed on their site, so bonus for anyone else interested. I had several email exchanges with them about the quality and compatibility. I was satisfied with the responses so I bit the bullet. They were also incredibly helpful with my dilemma by sending me a replacement shifter even though I caused my own problem (to ensure that if I managed to damage the existing one, I wouldn't reconnect something broken).

My plan was to fully detail this install, but apparently my ADHD kicked in because I took a photo of the start/stop button pop-off and then failed to take any further meaningful install pics.

Here's what I've discovered, pics will follow at the end.

1) The start/stop button is raised slightly
2) The X logo in the shifter lights up white. It will not change to amber at night like the factory shifter. Additionally, I was told the P button would not light up, but it actually does. It's not super bright but you can see it at night.
3) The iDrive "sticker" can be saved, if you remove it carefully. If you're too harsh you could damage it permanently.
4) If the instructions say to disconnect the battery, DISCONNECT THE FRIGGIN BATTERY. I did not do it for the shifter install and I subsequently killed the control module. My car sat for two weeks unable to move out of park because I didn't take 10 minutes to disconnect the front and rear batteries.

I'm very pleased with the product. It adds character to what was kind of boring otherwise. If the shifter was leather/plastic, like in my 540 I don't think I would have changed it. Unfortunately it's not, and it makes things a bit boring on the inside to me.

TL;DR: If you didn't read any of that or don't want to, that's fine, here are the photos. If you do this, REMEMBER TO DISCONNECT THE BATTERY IF YOU SWAP THE SHIFTER OUT!



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      06-26-2020, 12:21 AM   #2
ted920
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I think I'm going to get this full set.
Flash and color is as important to me as it is to you.
I'm going to read the installation instructions closely before purchasing to make sure I can do it. I expect that I will be able to and will thus go and buy it.
Thanks.
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      06-26-2020, 12:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ted920 View Post
I think I'm going to get this full set.
Flash and color is as important to me as it is to you.
I'm going to read the installation instructions closely before purchasing to make sure I can do it. I expect that I will be able to and will thus go and buy it.
Thanks.
None of it is too difficult honestly. Definitely get an interior trim removal kit and a hex screwdriver to make things easier. I also put a microfiber towel around the areas I was working in, because you can easily slip up and scratch the console which will suck beyond belief. Use caution when working with the ribbon cable on the shifter, though it does have a little bit of slack. Just push any excess back down so it's flat.

Here's what I bought from Amazon if you don't have the stuff already:

https://www.amazon.com/GOOACC-Remova.../dp/B07V22YC9J

https://www.amazon.com/Screwdriver-T...dp/B07TTG243M/ (Note: You only need the T10 I believe, but I figured the others may come in handy some day)
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      06-26-2020, 03:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmahh View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ted920 View Post
I think I'm going to get this full set.
Flash and color is as important to me as it is to you.
I'm going to read the installation instructions closely before purchasing to make sure I can do it. I expect that I will be able to and will thus go and buy it.
Thanks.
None of it is too difficult honestly. Definitely get an interior trim removal kit and a hex screwdriver to make things easier. I also put a microfiber towel around the areas I was working in, because you can easily slip up and scratch the console which will suck beyond belief. Use caution when working with the ribbon cable on the shifter, though it does have a little bit of slack. Just push any excess back down so it's flat.

Here's what I bought from Amazon if you don't have the stuff already:

https://www.amazon.com/GOOACC-Remova.../dp/B07V22YC9J

https://www.amazon.com/Screwdriver-T...dp/B07TTG243M/ (Note: You only need the T10 I believe, but I figured the others may come in handy some day)
I am only interested in replacing the I drive controller. Is it a difficult process? Also is it necessary to disconnect the battery if I am only changing out the controller and not the shift knob?
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      06-26-2020, 08:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roshm View Post
I am only interested in replacing the I drive controller. Is it a difficult process? Also is it necessary to disconnect the battery if I am only changing out the controller and not the shift knob?
There are several posts on the Amazon site, as well as on manufacturers site. The controller and start/stop are quick and pretty easy. No battery disconnect. If you get the controller, you'll want the button imo. The "GTF" post describes recommended adjustment to the Car-Analysis video. 20 minutes to install both.
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      06-26-2020, 10:15 AM   #6
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To be fair I'm.not sure why you'd buy aftermarket one when you get used OEM for pretty much the same.
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      06-26-2020, 11:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StanTheManBG View Post
To be fair I'm.not sure why you'd buy aftermarket one when you get used OEM for pretty much the same.
I haven’t seen OEM for sale for anywhere near the bundle price of all three. I checked eBay again and it’s >$900 for just the shifter.
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      06-26-2020, 11:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTF View Post
There are several posts on the Amazon site, as well as on manufacturers site. The controller and start/stop are quick and pretty easy. No battery disconnect. If you get the controller, you'll want the button imo. The "GTF" post describes recommended adjustment to the Car-Analysis video. 20 minutes to install both.
Just don’t hold the brake pedal when doing start/stop, otherwise you’ll just keep starting the car (it took me 3 or 4 attempts to get the factory cover off)
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      06-26-2020, 01:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmahh View Post
I haven’t seen OEM for sale for anywhere near the bundle price of all three. I checked eBay again and it’s >$900 for just the shifter.
Got this just the other day for €800 shipped express. Includes the radio panel as well. The guy has plenty more
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      06-26-2020, 01:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StanTheManBG View Post
Got this just the other day for €800 shipped express. Includes the radio panel as well. The guy has plenty more
Which is ~900 USD plus shipping from EU. Don't want to get into a debate about it - OEM is superior of course, but there's a cheaper viable option so I'll stick with it.
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      06-28-2020, 03:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StanTheManBG View Post
Got this just the other day for €800 shipped express. Includes the radio panel as well. The guy has plenty more
Did you install the shifter you got from ebay to your car yet? If you did. Does the X light up or just the P button? Thanks and do you have the link from the ebay guy you bought from?
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      06-28-2020, 03:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmahh View Post
Which is ~900 USD plus shipping from EU. Don't want to get into a debate about it - OEM is superior of course, but there's a cheaper viable option so I'll stick with it.
Hi. When you disconnect your battery. You disconnect both negative n positive too or jist the nehative terminal? And afterward do you have to program back anything with the new shifter to to the idrive? Or just prety much plug and play?. You notice anything diff. Vs all the oem stuff that you had on earlier? I have 2020x5 too and thinking of buying the bundle so just want feed back. Also can you take a pic of the light up X logo to share with us? Thanks
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      06-28-2020, 04:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otommytruongo View Post
Hi. When you disconnect your battery. You disconnect both negative n positive too or jist the nehative terminal? And afterward do you have to program back anything with the new shifter to to the idrive? Or just prety much plug and play?. You notice anything diff. Vs all the oem stuff that you had on earlier? I have 2020x5 too and thinking of buying the bundle so just want feed back. Also can you take a pic of the light up X logo to share with us? Thanks
Do both, you're already removing one so may as well remove the other. No point in risking anything. Just have to set the date and time if I recall correctly. It's all plug and play. I'll add a close-up photo in a bit.

Here's a close up
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      06-28-2020, 06:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmahh View Post
Do both, you're already removing one so may as well remove the other. No point in risking anything. Just have to set the date and time if I recall correctly. It's all plug and play. I'll add a close-up photo in a bit.

Here's a close up

Thanks for the pictures and info. Thumbs up looks great. And you have not have any problem with it so far as in the buttons itself and espesciakt with the wiring connected to the new shift lever?.
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      06-28-2020, 06:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otommytruongo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by timmahh View Post
Do both, you're already removing one so may as well remove the other. No point in risking anything. Just have to set the date and time if I recall correctly. It's all plug and play. I'll add a close-up photo in a bit.

Here's a close up

Thanks for the pictures and info. Thumbs up looks great. And you have not have any problem with it so far as in the buttons itself and espesciakt with the wiring connected to the new shift lever?.
Nope - it's working great at this point!
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      Yesterday, 04:42 PM   #16
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OEM Crystal iDrive Controller?

I realize there are Amazon Crystal iDrive knobs available to retrofit the flat black factory iDrive knob. But, has anyone replaced their flat black factory iDrive controller with the OEM BMW Crystal iDrive Controller? I’ve got a ’20 M50i and my dealership is telling me it cannot be done.
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      Yesterday, 04:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I realize there are Amazon Crystal iDrive knobs available to retrofit the flat black factory iDrive knob. But, has anyone replaced their flat black factory iDrive controller with the OEM BMW Crystal iDrive Controller? I’ve got a ’20 M50i and my dealership is telling me it cannot be done.
I think you will have to buy the entire iDrive controller unit, not just the knob portion.
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      Yesterday, 06:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmahh View Post
I think you will have to buy the entire iDrive controller unit, not just the knob portion.
Yes, that is correct. I'm referring to the Crystal iDrive controller below the knob and the knob itself.
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      Yesterday, 06:26 PM   #19
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Lighting

Love the blue colored lighting. Need to check and see if it is available for my x5.
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      Today, 12:13 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeIn2 View Post
Yes, that is correct. I'm referring to the Crystal iDrive controller below the knob and the knob itself.
Thought I had seen it somewhere on one of the vendor sites (OEM), but it's just the shift knob. Try eBay for a used one, or car-part.com, or just go aftermarket. It's quick and easy (far easier than changing the whole unit yourself).
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