The wife recently acquired a used 2005 Mini Cooper Convertible
and she really wanted satellite radio in it like her primary car. After reading up on what others had done, I ended up removing the stock stereo and going with these components:
Kenwood KDC-BT555U – $140
This radio had a special with Crutchfield where you could get a set of speakers for only $10 so I went with these for my rear speakers (can’t beat it for $10):
SiriusXM SXV200v1 Tuner – $50
I also picked up these Torx wrenches to use ($16)
and this Micro B USB cable so I could update the Axxess Metra steering wheel control device to the latest firmware before installing ($6)
The nice thing about ordering the receiver and speakers from Crutchfield was they included the receiver installation kit, wiring harness, antenna connector adapter, speaker installation kit, and instructions specific to my Mini.
First I went with the speaker upgrade. The convertible top had to be down so I did it this morning before the sun was overhead. The instructions had me remove the back seat bottom and both seat backs completely. Then I had to remove the side panels. Unfortunately on both side panels, when sliding them towards the front it seemed to have sheered off the upholstery clips (or a previous owner had already done that). It wasn’t an issue after reassembly, but annoying anyway to have pieces break.
The speakers required installing them to the Crutchfield supplied mounting bracket and then drilling some new holes to match the mounting bracket. I didn’t like drilling holes in the car but it was a necessary evil and went smoothly with a 1/8″ drill bit. I used the Crutchfield supplied wiring adapter to plug into the stock plug and had both speakers installed and reassembled in about 2 hours. Not sure I can tell much of a difference, but hey, they are new.
Took a break for lunch and then started wiring up the receiver wires to the Crutchfield supplied wiring harness. Also wired up the Axxess Metra to the harness as well. After doing that, there were 2 wires that would have to be handled on their own. For the switched power, a separate wire was included and instructions were given to run it to the fuse panel and tap the #10 fuse on the non-powered side. For the Axxess Metra device it needed to be wired in to the #9 pin on the stock Mini wiring harness for the steering wheel controls.
Disassembly to remove the stock radio was very straightforward. The instructions from Crutchfield were clear and made it pretty easy. After removing the old radio, I used the installation kit to mount the new receiver mounting bracket (it blends in very well to the stock opening). I then ran the power wire to the fuse panel (through the stock radio opening, and then to the left under the steering wheel, behind the panel beneath the steering wheel). I used my multimeter (set to 20v DC) to determine which side of the fuse was unpowered – it was the left side when looking at the fuse panel (towards the rear of the car). Tapping the fuse was easy except that the blade they sent me to tap it with was too short. I was able to make it work but I’ll eventually want to pick up the correctly sized tap. For the steering wheel control, I had to pull the #9 wire from the stock radio plug and splice it to the pink wire on the Metra.
Then I plugged the new wiring harness into the stock plug, hooked up the new radio, steering wheel control box, and satellite radio box and turned on the car to make sure everything was working.
It took me 2 tries to get the steering wheel control box programmed correctly. Once I did, it automatically recognized the car and programmed for these functions: volume up/down, station up/down, R/T was programmed as change source to cycle through FM, Satellite, USB etc. The phone button was programmed as a quasi mute, it attenuates the sound down on the radio.
I was planning on putting the satellite radio antenna on the dash at the base of the windshield instead of mounting it outside the car. I was happy to see that the satellite signal came in fine in this location. Next, I had to run the satellite antenna wire in a way to hide it. I ended up running it along the windshield/dash where it slid beneath the dash plastic nicely and isn’t visible. I ran it towards the drivers side and under the edge of the dash by the windshield pillar. I had to take off the side panel of the dash to get it fished under. Then I ran it back under the steering wheel (behind the under steering wheel plastic panel) to the satellite receiver box. I also had to run the radio’s bluetooth microphone up to the steering wheel. I put it right beside the tachometer on the steering wheel and ran it down the side of the steering wheel behind the plastic dash piece.
It was a bit tricky shoving all of those new wires, plugs, and control modules back into the dash so that I could push the new radio all the way into position but finally after lots of manipulating it went all the way in.
Reassembly was very smooth and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. It took about 3 hours to do the radio portion. More importantly the wife is happy that she can now listen to her SiriusXM and iPod. Not a bad upgrade for about $250.
Now to see if anyone on Ebay wants the stock radio/rear speakers.