R56/R55 - Double Din Install Tips - How To Guide

44609 Views 39 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  tybardy
A few people have asked me how I did this and was it easy. Its very much a DIY job, with plenty of decent videos out there for removing the speedo etc to get this fitted. I didnt record a video as the one below is perfect for completing this install, and I have added a few extra tips to deal with the wiring. Excluding the head unit, other items only came to around £80.

What could it look like?

CLUBBY by James Baker, on Flickr

CLUBBY by James Baker, on Flickr

What do you need?
  • Double Din Head Unit - I went for the Pioneer SPH-DA130DAB

  • Double Din Fascia - Plenty out there such as the connects 2. They list as not fitting manual air con cars however it fitted mine fine. These are around £60

  • Aerial adaptor to connect the stock aerial to your new head unit for FM/AM signal - I used the CT27AA17 Fakra to Din Antenna "Aerial Adaptor For Audi Fiat Seat Skoda Peugeot VW" which was only £3.95 on ebay

  • ISO Wiring Harness Adapter Loom to allow you to connect your new headunit to the car - I used the "Connects2 CT20BM03 Wiring Harness Adaptor ISO Loom For BMW" which was only £6.90 on ebay

  • 12v inline fuse + holder + cable + ring terminal connector large enough to attach to car battery - This is to run a permanent 12v feed from your battery to the red powe rline on the ISO wiring harness, will probably cost you £10 at most

How to do it?

Highleve steps are as follows:
  • Remove speedo and heater controls/window controls
  • Fit the heater/window controls to the new fascia
  • Bolt headunit to new fascia
  • Use aerial connector to join between the after market headunit and stock aerial connection: Head unit > Aerial convertor connector > stock aerial connector
  • Use ISO wiring harness to connect the harness supplied with the head unit to the stock ISO connection therefore it should go: Head unit > Head unit wiring harness > ISO Wiring Harness > Car harness
  • Create a permanent live by taking a power cable cable of taking 12V, connecting it to the battery with a ring terminal connector and then have the inline fuse with a few inches of the battery. Then to get the power cable into the car, remove the car battery and there is a rubber bung, covered by a plastic cover that runs straight through the fire wall behind the glove box. Remove the plastic cover to reveal the rubber bung. Feed your 12v cable through this, I used a wire coat hanger to help and look up from the passenger footwell behind the glove box to see you cable coming through. This feed can then be fed to the back of the head unit and connector to the red cable on the ISO wiring harness. This permeant 12v supply allows the head unit to maintain its setting when the car is off. The Mini automatically cuts the 12v feed to the stock head unit but the stock head unit is designed to work with this, aftermarket ones aren’t hence the need for the new 12v feed.
  • If you aren’t going to run an aftermarket amp etc then reverse the removal instructions to refit everything in place
  • Note the fascia kit comes with a blanking plate for the speedo as you lose the screen/stock stereo controls in the speedo as they are removed when removing the stock headunit and wouldn’t function without it. In my opinion these blanking plates are ugly and I will suggest an alternative solution below. Here is an example of the blanking plates:

Alternative to blanking plates

Final result could look like this:

Custom dials by James Baker, on Flickr

Other Questions

Will this work for a Mini with HK/Hifi audio? - My car had the barebones system, no steering wheel controls etc so I didnt have to worry about anything. You can buy wiring etc to ensure your steering wheel controls work and also HK. Newministuff would be the best place to ask about what ISO block is needed for both these as I dont have the knowledge to recommend anything

Is it reversible? - Yes everything you do during this install is fully reversible and could be put back to stock if required

What do you lose by doing this? You lose the small screen in the speedo, not 100% sure but I have heard Mini cannot flash the car with software updates without this screen. Not sure how true this is but with these car reaching 11 years old most wont ever go into a dealership again so this wont be an issue.
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Did you have any problems when trying to get the chimes to work ?? I've got an 07 plate One and the youtube video seemed to imply that you need a seperate module so that you can get the chimes to work. Cheers
I didnt do anything extra RE chimes, I dont remember testing it but I dont rely on chimes to tell me things are left on so wasn't bothered. From memory chimes are only around if you leave the key in the car or leave your lights on, wasnt fussed losing those.
Yeah i'm not bothered either because i think they are annoying but was worried about losing the indicator sound as i thought that ran off of the same system that the chimes ran off of. Do your's still work ??? Cheers
I dont own the car anymore but I dont remember them not working.
Aww no worries man, guess there's only one way to find out hahahaha
Thanks for the reply! I checked the connectors to the climate control today, all seemed fine but I unplugged them and plugged them back in again, and now all is working as it should! I must've not plugged it in properly the first time!!

Thanks again for the walkthrough, mega helpful!
Best feeling ever when a fix turns out to be that simple hahah
Im having an issue where the headunit does not seem to be getting any power.
the fuses are fine and it has been fused into a 12v, but still the headunit wont power on at all???
Everything works fine when i put it back to oem.
any advice?
Have you checked the iso harness to make sure it's wired up to your stereo ?
I know nothing when it comes to wiring so I'm just using the vehicle specific harness I ordered online.
all the cables seem to match up though...
Hmmm weird. Is the accessory wire and ground wired up correctly on both ends of the wiring harness. So is it wired correctly at the vehicle specific harness and the radio harness ? Accessory wire should be red and ground should be black.
I know nothing when it comes to wiring so I'm just using the vehicle specific harness I ordered online.
all the cables seem to match up though...
If I were you I'd double check that the Red(Positive) and the Black (negative) on the head unit are correctly wired up to the harness, Also have you wired up the Yellow 12v constant power wire that the above OG talks about?
I real long shot but are you not getting power when the stereo is ‘loose’ or not in its cage?

the only reason I ask is the Alpine halo9 I put in my wife’s Touareg (and murano before that) doesn’t power up until its touching the cage itself, (I.E earthing itself) never had a stereo do that before and it’s odd it does it in 2 different make of car but may be worth a look

Other than that have you got the red/yellow leads the right way round on the harness to allow it to switch and save its presets etc

final thought, a question to everyone this time, do you need some sort of canbus adapter on the later Minis, I had to add one to the Touareg as the OEM stereo wiring didn’t have a switch function, that adapter allows the stereo to turn on and off on the ignition as per the standard head unit, prior to fitting that I wired it to a spare fuse ‘hole’ but it meant it only came on with the engine running and went off instantly when the key was turned back to ‘ACC’ position
Not that I know of. I've installed a cheap Chinese android unit in mines and it will turn on and off with the ACC wire (red wire) and it will use the Constant power wire (yellow wire) to put it into sleep mode when the ignition is turned off so that you don't need to wait for it to boot up everytime you get in the car, it'll just wake up. My stereo works fine without the engine on and the key in ACC so I don't see there being a problem. I bought my kit here o had a little issue with it not fitting properly so I had to cut away at the cage that holds the Speedo for the unit to fit but I think that's just because I was using a Chinese stereo as they have been renowned for not fitting correctly in double din kits I got my stereo here and it's brilliant works with steering wheel controls too! Here my before and after, excuse the mess and I know it's not quite fitting, need to do a bit of tweaking hahaha I just wanted it done the day I installed it planning on ripping it all out again to install a dab adapter and back up camera!
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thats actually wrong, the Mini already has the permanant live, (the yellow wire) you need to bring in a switched live, which i found from the electric sunroof, connected that up to the red wire from the harness
That's wrong. It's a constant live that you need to run from the battery to the head unit.

The R56 has ignition live not constant live so the stereo will not hold any memory unless you run a cable to the battery.

I did this on my R56 and it was the same as Tweedbeans. There's a reason why these kits come with the inline fuse for the constant live....
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AHHH Bummer, think you could be right there Kieran, come to the car to start putting everything back in radio hasnt stored memory, i take it the ignition feed goes off after a while????? this will mean i will have to manually turn off the unit when i turn the car off
Yeah ignition live turns off not long after the ignition has been switched off.

I'm afraid turning the radio off before turning the car off might not fix the problem as most devices always have a little bit of power running to them so that the keep the time, date etc. I work in IT. Laptops and Phones are the same. Laptops and desktops have a little watch battery in them called a CMOS battery that's used to keep the date and time and motherboard settings.

Same principal goes for you cars stereo just this time it's the constant live wire that keeps the stereo powered so that it can hold the date time, memory and allows fastboot on Android head units. If I were you I would try to run a constant live wire to the head unit. I found that I could access the headunit in my now old R56 by only removing the fascia. I managed to gently get it out without needing to remove the Speedo so just something to keep in mind. All the best!
Did you loose the gong and pdc after this ?
No loss of gong and PDC but i discovered that I had a really early version of the R56 as the gong was pushed to a speaker in the Speedo unit instead of being pushed through the cars speakers
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