January 2010



How to install aux cable in panel below toggle switches

The information below is based on the account of a MINI2 member. Although MINI2 and the author of this thread believe this information is accurate, using it as a DIY guide is done at your own risk. MINI2 and the author are not responsible for any damage, personal injury, or warranty issues that may arise from the use of this information. Some information below may be specific to model specifications that are unique to certain countries, and may not apply to your model of MINI One, Cooper, or Cooper S.

Do not undertake any DIY project that you are not qualified to perform. If you have questions about this project, you should consult with experienced professionals and/or your MINI dealer before undertaking it. Always follow standard safety guidelines for car repair in performing DIY projects.

I got my aux cable kit installed and mounted the plug underneath the toggle switch set in the removable acess panel (like a couple of others here have done). There are some good walkthroughs of the install but none were quite complete for my install so I thought I would post some pics in case anyone else might find them usefull.

I have a 2003 Cooper S with the standard factory head unit (not HK) – No nav – No CD Changer. I am using my aux plug for my new ipod.

The install is as easy as everyone says. Do it yourself and dont bother paying your dealer for the job.

A couple of things I noticed about the install:

  1. If you have a left-hand drive car it is VERY easy to just remove the bolster under the steering column and plug the cable in (provided your head unit qualifies and you have a spot to plug into). I read a few posts where people where skeptical about being able to reach behind the head unit, but I found that there is plent of room and my hands are pretty average sized.
  2. I did not have a set of metric drill bits and therefore did not use the sizes recomended in the instructions. I initially drilled the hole for the jack end the same size as the hole in the faceplate. The threaded end of the jack is just barely long enough to fit through both the plastic of the access panel and the face plate. I ended up redrilling the hole and securing the end of the jack to just the faceplate. I suspect if I used the bit size in the instructions this would have been obvious.

OK so heres the process:

Here is what comes in the kit:

  • 1 Cable
  • 1 Faceplate
  • 2 Small Philips head screws
  • 3 Zip ties
  • 1 Nut for the threaded end of the jack
  • 1 set of instructions

For right-hand drive cars remove the glove box as described here to gain access to the back of the head unit.

Start by removing the bolster underneat the steering column. As its been described by others here just give it a good tug and the 2 prongs will pop out from thier clips. This will give you access behind the head unit.

If you have driving lamps installed then be carefull not to yank out the wiring for your switch.

There is plenty of room to reach behind the head unit. You can feel a rather large empty spot on the bottom drivers side (the same side as the volume control knob). This is where the aux cable plugs in with the clip to the top. Be sure to push it in until the clip clicks into place.

To remove the panel underneath the toggle set you just remove the torx screw in the center and press the two clips at the top. Its a tight squeeze to get the panel out from behind the down tubes but fortunately the panel is pretty flexible. I went out the side behind the down tubes, a little coaxing is all thats required.

Here is the panel entirely removed.

Use the faceplate to mark your holes before drilling. Drill small starter holes for the mounting screws. Mount the plate. (this is where I ended up redrilling the center hole so the threaded end passed through the plastic and secured to the plate – check your hole sizes before you re-install your panel).

Fish the jack end of the cable down through to the spot where the panel has been removed. I found that there is not much room behind the head unit but there is plenty of room to the side. Once you have the jack end through, plug the cable into its home on the back of the head unit until it clicks(volume control side bottom on late 03 standard boost head units without nav).

Once the cable is in place I would recomend testing the cable to be sure everything works before you put it all back together:

  • connect the ipod to the jack with a male to male stereo headphone jack cable
  • press the mode button on your head until the display reads "AUX"
  • turn on your ipod

If everything works, secure the jack end of the cable to the faceplate on the panel with the nut provided in the kit. Then replace the panel. The wire coming out the back of the jack is pretty stiff for about 2 inches or so. Be carefull to give it enought room when coaxing your panel back into place. Once the panel is in place wind up the slack at the top near the head unit and zip tie it. Then the excess cable can be slipped down next to the head unit. Finally replace the bolster under the steering colum.

Here what the jack looks like finished.

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