Combox Retrofit Guide

doublespaces

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INTRO

Despite being a mod which has been done for several years, I found myself struggling to get all the information in one place and consistent. So here is my guide for the combox telematics retrofit on my 2009 E93 335i with build date 10/08 which is equipped with a TCU+MULF2. I tried to accommodate with the information I found for the other variations, but not everything is covered as there are some exceptions to this process.

Firstly, you need to understand that your car can be one of three variations:

1) TCU and MULF
2) TCU Only(Telematics Control Unit)
3) MULF Only (Media? Universal Ladefreisprechelektronik)

This means, your car can have a TCU and a MULF(Options 6FL and 639 or 633), or just a TCU(Options 633, 639 or 644) or just a MULF(Options 6FL or 6FL + 644).

When upgrading to the Combox, the other module(s) are removed entirely, so only the combox will be installed in the car. If you have both a TCU and MULF modules, there will be an extra fiber optic MOST connector(two green wires) that need terminated so the MOST ring continues to operate properly. There are actually two MOST connectors, but since you are replacing two modules (TCU and MULF) with one module(Combox), you'll have an extra MOST connector unplugged. Since the MOST ring is a fiber optic network, they need terminated properly.

The TCU and MULF modules are located in the trunk of the car, depending on which E Chassis vehicle you have. This guide will cover the locations for the E93, but the wiring and connections are identical across all E chassis. It is not necessary to make a retrofit harness, however this guide will assume that is being done as it retains the stock mounting locations. The biggest variable to this installation is the USB hub and if you need to account for it, personally with my configuration I did not. Depending on the options your car came with or has had retrofitted(6FL/6NR etc), this hub may be in the trunk or located in the driver footwell or may not be present at all. There may be cases where you may have retrofitted something or may need to move wires to and from the USB hub, and because of its varied placement and presence, you have to just figure this out yourself. In my case, it was not a factor and will likely be that way for many others.

Here are the items you'll need to buy for the harness:

Combox Side:
61136913644 - BMW 26 pin Connector
61136913626 - BMW 26 pin Socket Housing
61131393726 - x20 Female Socket Contacts

TCU Side:
Kufatec 37758 - 54 pin Connector (If you have both TCU and MULF, you'll need two of these)
61130006664 - x20 Male pins with extensions

Special Tools:
Open barrel Crimper (Optional)

Other:
MOST Terminator - 61136931507 or 61136917541 (For TCU+MULF cars, take your pick)
USB HSD Cable (Depending if you have a USB hub, where its located and how you route it). This is probably the biggest question mark when it comes to this retrofit, some people may needs this and some may not. You'll just have to tear into your trunk and see what you've got. There are three lengths of HSD cable sold by BMW:
  1. 61119129361 (3370mm = ~ 11 feet)
  2. 61119202749 (2210mm = ~ 7.2 feet)
  3. 61119129360 (2330mm = ~ 7.6 feet)
Combox Connections:
Once you've made your harness, you'll have various cables with fakra connections you'll need to plug into the combox. On the right side there are two little black plugs that are very close together and will not fit. So you'll need to buy a Fakra jack double B right angle to TWO fakra plug Z adapter. The plugs on the combox will connect to this double b jack, and this gets converted to two z plugs. These z plugs will be inserted into the jacks that used to hook onto the TCU. These jacks are Fakra B and Fakra D, but Fakra Z plugs are universal and will fit. TLDR: You can buy this cable from here:
20170919_205548.jpg
EDIT: It should be one of these:
1596402463922.png

Note: For the pins and socket contacts, you may need less than 20 depending on which type of combox you are connecting. However with the Combox Telematics on a TCU+MULF car and enabling BMW Assist, you'll need 18 and that is without messing any up during crimping. Also, if you don't have sat radio this is a good time to retrofit it as the module hooks up in the same places.

RETROFIT HARNESS

To start off making the PnP harness, make sure you have these items(There is actually a second kufatec connector, not pictured):
full.jpg


Now take the kufatec socket holders and stick them together with the tabs facing right and the larger opening facing you. Pin #1 is the bottom left, Pin #18 is the top left. Pin #19 is the bottom middle, Pin #36 is top middle. Pin #37 is bottom right, pin #54 is top right:
full.png


Now you need to crimp the female socket contacts onto the wire ends. You may need an open barrel crimper, here is a video on how to do this properly:

full.jpg

full.jpg


Start by putting one of the female pins into Pin #1 of the Blue BMW 26 Pin connector. Now take the other end with the male pin, and put it into Pin #17 of the Kufatec 54 pin connector. This wire is the same for all three harness combinations. Keep in mind, if you have a TCU + MULF, you'll be creating a Y cable where half the wires from the BMW 26 pin connector go to one Kufatec connector and the other half go to the other. Each Kufatec connector plugs in to the original harness that used to go to the TCU and MULF. These plugs then merge into one 26 pin connector that plugs into the Combox, which assumes the duty of both the TCU and MULF. Finish building the harness using one of the tables below, BOLD pins are optional if you're installing a combox media and not a combox telematics:
TCU + MULF
BMW PinTCU PinMULF PinDescription
117Power T30
217 Power T30
3Phone Cradle Power?
4
5 CAN HIGH (Connect to PDC Module)
6 CAN LOW (Connect to PDC Module)
715 TEL CRASH
8
9
1022AUX GND
1121MIC BLNC (Shield)
1219MIC-
13
1436Ground
1533TEL Wake Up
16
1750 NOTRUF L (Emergency Button LED)
1831 NOTRUF S (SOS)
19
2038 LS NOTR- (Emergency Speaker)
2137 LS NOTR+ (Emergency Speaker)
2223AUX BLNC (Shield)
234AUX NF L
245AUX NF R
251MIC+

TCU Only:
BMW PinTCU PinDescription
117Power T30
217Power T30
3
4
5CAN HIGH (Connect to PDC Module)
6CAN LOW (Connect to PDC Module)
715TEL CRASH
8
9
10AUX GND (Connect pin from AUX connector if added)
1121MIC BLNC
1219MIC-
13
1436Ground
1533TEL Wake Up
16
1750NOTRUF L
1831NOTRUF S
19
2038LS NOTR-
2137LS NOTR+
22AUX BLNC
23AUX NF L (Connect pin from AUX connector if added)
24AUX NF R (Connect pin from AUX connector if added)
251MIC+

MULF Only:
BMW PinMULF PinDescription
117Power T30
217Power T30
3
4
5CAN HIGH (Connect to PDC Module)
6CAN LOW (Connect to PDC Moldule)
7TEL CRASH
8
9
1022AUX GND
1121MIC BLNC (Connect pin from added mic)
1219MIC- (Connect pin from added mic)
13
1436Ground
15Not Connected (TEL Wake Up)
16
17NOTRUF L
18NOTRUF S
19
20LS NOTR-
21LS NOTR+
2223AUX BLNC
234AUX NF L
245AUX NF R
251MIC+ (Connect pin from added mic)

Be very careful not to break the socket holders or you may break one like I did. Luckily, the MULF side of the harness has one row that is completely unused, so I swapped them over, super glued it and put the connector together:
full.jpg


When you're done, if you have a TCU+MULF car, the harness should look something like this:
full.jpg


INSTALLING COMBOX

Once you have the harness made, you'll need to get access to the combox. In the E93, you start by removing the floor of the trunk and you'll be able to see half of the modules. On the right, there is the TCU and below it is the MULF2. On the left, there is the Sirius sat radio module.
full.jpg

full.jpg

full.jpg


To get access to the back side of the modules, you'll need to get in the back seat and fold down the back rest. Open up the ski pass and you'll see two oval shaped plastic covers. Pop these off and use a 10mm socket to remove the screws. The plastic housing for the ski pass should come away from the tunnel.
full.jpg

full.jpg


Now go to the trunk and remove the four torx bolts starting near the bottom bolts, pull back on the housing and you'll hear it pop after a fair bit of resistance.
full.jpg

full.jpg


Do this to the other side and the trunk side of the ski pass tunnel should come out also. Next, there is the carpet covering, I personally left this in because the push rivets did not want to come out. You can just pull back on it and the foam piece will come out, exposing the back of the modules:
full.jpg


From this point, its pretty straight forward. I recommend taking photos of all the connections and so you can remember which colors go where. Go ahead and remove all the modules, its a pretty straight forward process. Try to remember where everything goes because it helps when trying to understand what you're moving. The TCU and the MULF(If you have them) can be removed completely.

Transfer the one black plug from the MULF2 and connect it to the black jack on the combox(the blue jack on the combox is NOT used in this configuration). Take the blue 54 pin harness that used to go into the MULF2 and the white 54 pin harness which went to the TCU, and plug them into the appropriate connectors on your retrofit harness. When you do this, you'll need to take a box cutter and cut off some fins so the connector will fit. If you forget which connector is which, the MULF2 has no pins on pins 37 through 54.
full.jpg

full.jpg

full.jpg

full.jpg


Take the MOST connector that went into your either your TCU or MULF (depending on which way you will mount your combox will dictate cable lengths and orientation), and connect it to your MOST terminator. Take the other MOST connector and plug it into your combox. Next, take the 26 pin connector which both 54 pin connectors merge into, and plug it into the combox.
1596404016057.png

At this point I had three Fakra jacks left to plug in from the factory cables, white(Bluetooth), black, and maroon(GSM Stuff). The white jack connects to Fakra B to Fakra G adapter you bought. Plug the other end of this Fakra adapter to the white/yellowish plug on the combox, (left of the black USB connector and two spots left of the blue USB connector). The black and maroon jacks connect to the Fakra Z plugs in your other adapter(I don't recall if it matters which one). Then plug the double B right angle fakra plug into the fakra double b jack on the far right side of the combox.
20170919_205548.jpg

Connect the USB connector to the black jack, now hook your sat module back up if you have one and install the combox and mounting hardware. You should have two wires coming off the combox 26 pin connector, these need to go to your high/low on the canbus so BMW Assist will work.

CODING

Looking for a member contribution on this part since I never did this myself.

Update:
Coding: https://bmw.spoolstreet.com/threads/combox-retrofit-guide.2159/post-99982
 
Last edited:
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doublespaces

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For those not familiar a Combox is an upgraded communications box that replaces the TCU/MULF2 in the car and gives extended functionality and was installed in F chassis BMWs but can be retrofitted to some E chassis.
  • Bluetooth integration
  • Bluetooth Audio
  • Album Art Covers
  • Office menu
  • Support for Apple white cable
  • Internet
  • BMW Live
(Not my pics)
ojDdkTf.png

f84uMaz.png

VPUC2BU.jpg
 

doublespaces

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My car had both, I retrofitted the combox, then sold it when I installed my Avin iDrive screen.
 

JuniorB

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May 9, 2017
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Ya, my 08 had the Mulf, found out there are different versions, since I'm in the harness, I like this idea, I mean really, why go thru it all to keep up with the old? It's like using the yellow pages...Is the coding difficult, I'm trying to download the Bimmergeeks programs, but getting stuck.
 

doublespaces

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I never completed the coding. I sold the retrofit for like 200 bucks to someone, and they had it installed. Said it worked fine.
 

nsjames

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Jun 3, 2017
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well it looks like I'll be the guy that documents the coding.

I've got half the parts to make a harness here and I'm waiting on the others.
Installing it into an 08 that I retrofitted cic into.
 
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Seb335i

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Coding is pretty simple You need to change build date to 03/11 then add those following codes to your FA using NCS Expert
$6VC (Combox)
$6FL (Port USB/Audio)
$6NR (BMW APPS)
$6NF (Smartphone integration)
You will need FSC code to activate the 6NR option
 
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nsjames

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Jun 3, 2017
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328 XI Touring
Coding is pretty simple You need to change build date to 03/11 then add those following codes to your FA using NCS Expert
$6VC (Combox)
$6FL (Port USB/Audio)
$6NR (BMW APPS)
$6NF (Smartphone integration)
You will need FSC code to activate the 6NR option
that doesn't sound bad at all.

Looks like I've got a couple broken links now...
part numbers are sweet though.
thoughts on just repinning the wires into the single connector? I'm worried it ends up like a half inch short.
I've got a TCU+MULF setup.

I need to figure out WTF I'm doing with all the coax cables too. I think I'm going to need to extend one.

surprisingly my 2007 tcu/mulf combo is working just fine with a cic unit, so it's not a huge rush at least.
the SSD swap went swell.
 

carabuser

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Oct 2, 2019
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I'm going to do this next weekend on my car. Have the combox purchased and it comes with all the connectors attached and just the wires severed so I should be able to repin the connector.

I only have TCU currently so no MOST terminator needed. The only question is if repinning the TCU connector into the Combox one will be too short and what cables I need for the antenna connections.
 
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doublespaces

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Please let me know if you find any discrepancies in the pins. I had to collect this data from several different places.
 

carabuser

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Oct 2, 2019
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Please let me know if you find any discrepancies in the pins. I had to collect this data from several different places.

Will do. The link for the Bluetooth antenna adapter is broken, will this item work: https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/143085158823 ?

I was looking at getting a kufatek connector, they ship pretty fast from Germany so I can have it here by Wednesday. There's an option that includes the connector and 54 wires with male connectors pre crimped for €20. Would just need to buy some female connectors and pin the other ends.

EDIT:

Change of plan, I'll get the Kufatek connector with male pins included (https://www.kufatec.com/en/accessor...e-54-pin-for-vw-audi-bmw-37758?number=37758-1) and antenna set (https://www.kufatec.com/en/car-hifi/antenna-adapter/antenna-adapter-for-bmw-mulf-tcu-to-combox-39214) along with some male pins and just adapt the severed connector that comes with the Combox.

Should just be a nice easy crimping session with a quick install and some easy coding. Famous last words :D
 
Last edited:

doublespaces

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Will do. The link for the Bluetooth antenna adapter is broken, will this item work: https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/143085158823 ?

I was looking at getting a kufatek connector, they ship pretty fast from Germany so I can have it here by Wednesday. There's an option that includes the connector and 54 wires with male connectors pre crimped for €20. Would just need to buy some female connectors and pin the other ends.

EDIT:

Change of plan, I'll get the Kufatek connector with male pins included (https://www.kufatec.com/en/accessor...e-54-pin-for-vw-audi-bmw-37758?number=37758-1) and antenna set (https://www.kufatec.com/en/car-hifi/antenna-adapter/antenna-adapter-for-bmw-mulf-tcu-to-combox-39214) along with some male pins and just adapt the severed connector that comes with the Combox.

Should just be a nice easy crimping session with a quick install and some easy coding. Famous last words :D

I've updated the post with some photos I managed to find. There is a photo of how it connects to the combox and the packaging of the cables. Additionally, I looked up replacement links to the product, there are two different options with different wire types but it should be one of them.
 

aus335iguy

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Nov 18, 2017
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I’ve done the retrofit. For e series look for a combox with Bn2000 written on it.
I managed to find a retrofit harness and all I had to do was re-pin. I didn’t have a TCU just a mulf unit
I didn’t need a hub but be careful. It willl work without it but most phones will consume more power than the combox can source. The hub is under the drivers seat on left hand drive vehicles
Apps won’t work on all versions of CIC
C13 doesn’t require FSC coding. Best version is C1A and can be patched to Work. FSC generation It’s easy but has many steps.
Ill help as much as I can but much of this was a couple of years ago and my memory is hazier than I’d like
 

aus335iguy

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Also once you get all this working you’ll likely wonder what the fuss was about. The android boxes do all of this better and easier. They just don’t do audio quality as well.
 

carabuser

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Oct 2, 2019
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Z4 35i & 335i
I've made a little spreadsheet detailing the wiring colours and where I intend to route them. Should be a really neat harness in theory :p.

Seems very straight forward aside from a little uncertainty regarding power and AUX. The power connection mentions either fuse 13 or 59 (probably depends on other options) but both scenarios are only 5A which does seem low, the Combox normally has 2 supplies, 5A and 10A. Would just replacing the 5A fuse for a 10A one fix this? I'm guessing the wire gauge would be the same so chance of burning?

I don't plan on installing the AUX/USB port in the armrest just yet, I have just AUX at the moment which I assume is wired directly to the headunit as the TCU has no AUX connections and I'm TCU only. If I install this then the armrest AUX may stop working as it'll expect the signal from the Combox after the coding?

I really like the CIC system. It suits the car and the addition of the Combox will add Bluetooth streaming which is all I miss. I have an irrational hatred for any after-market headunits, there's a few been done by other Z4 owners across the forums and they all make me want to puke, my favourite was one over at bummerpost that involved using duct tape to stick a tablet to the dash in place of the standard popup screen.
 

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aus335iguy

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The part of the retrofit that I use is the bluetooth
It actually doesn’t work as nice as when I had the original mulf, with the USB and aux jack and a Bluetooth dongle. It worked exactly the same but the audio quality was better