MINI stereo in Porsche

A little bit unusual, but not quite off-topic 😉

I was contacted a while ago by Roy (COOPSTR on NorthAmericanMotoring), saying:
I am trying to install an original 05′ Mini head unit into my 86′ Porsche Carrera. When I turn it on it shows DISABLED. Any suggestions as to a work around? I have been told that it is because it does not have the required Bus signal (also, see this thread)

I knew all about the “DISABLED” message, having worked with the MINI HU when developing my HKenabler – the HU expects to see iBus communications on it’s pin 13, and refuses to operate without it. It’s a security feature to discourage people stealing the MINI HU.
Back in 2003, GBMINI#2 came with a security code card – you could enter a “secret” menu of the HU while it was installed in a MINI, and changed it over from “iBus” security to “CODE” security – then after a power off, it will ask for a four digit security code. This is how I was able to use my HU on the bench.

Now though, the MINI HU no longer includes the CODE feature, so Roy was stuck. At least until I did some bench testing, and discovered that the iBus security check is quite easy to resolve, especially with HKenabler experience! So after resolving a hiccup in my solution, Roy was able to achieve his goal, and was kind enough to send a couple of pictures:

I’m impressed how good it looks in Roy’s Porsche – and as you can see in the second picture, it’s happily working and decoding RDS information 🙂

UPDATE: I had to add one resistor to the HKenabler to make it work as a MINI radio “de-security” module; see picture in the Gallery

10 thoughts on “MINI stereo in Porsche

  1. Cool, but (and I should better than to ask this…) why? Just because he had it laying around, or does it match the lighting in the Porsche? Seems like an off-the-shelf aftermarket HU would be easier.

  2. Yes, an aftermarket HU would have been easier and probably higher quality but this seemed like a really fun engineering puzzle to overcome.

  3. I know this is old but there isn’t much information about the CD53 R50 headunit out there for non-mini swaps.

    I am interested in installing one of these in a similar fashion in my E36 M3. The main reason being I do not like the way most aftermarket headunits fit in BMWs (they look out of place), this unit has a more OE look.

    My 95 would have a CAN signal but not to the radio harness. I could tap the CAN signal wire from the gauge cluster, or does the radio require a specific signal?

    If the existing network in the car is not sufficient would this modified HK enabler work for my application as well, and is it available still?

    Appreciate your time.

  4. Charlie,
    There’s some debate whether the radio only wants the wire, or whether it wants actual specific data. From my testing, specific data is needed.

  5. Charlie, I’ve been doing some work on getting that head unit working in my E30. Specific data (any valid I-Bus command, I believe) is required. I’m also working on creating an iPod adapter. I’d be happy to collaborate!

  6. The battery was disconnected to install a new thermostat and now the radio reads -disable-. Tried disconnecting the battery for 30 minutes and it didn’t work. Do you know what I can do to get it to work?

    Thanks so very much,

  7. Very strange!
    The DISABLED occurs when head unit can’t read iBus communications in the car, which it gets on pin 9 of the 16 way connector. No logical reason why this would fail with battery disconnect.

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