A customer owning a last of line 2005 MG ZT-T 190 SE requested some upgrading work on the interior electrics and driver aids to bring it right up to date as though MG Rover had produced it today.Because of the high original specification of this car (High Line Sat Nav), the decision was made to keep the original ICE front to rear overlay harness in the car and modify it where necessary. Also in the brief was to install everything to a factory fit standard and appearance where possible. The specification of the ICE, Navigation System, Driver aids and wireless connectivity to a mobile phone bring the car right up to date in this respect.
Standard Harman Kardon 9 Speaker system remains, but the radio unit (located in the wheel well) has been upgraded to the latest BM 54 unit. Made by Becker it has far superior sound quality over the original Philips unit. On full volume, it makes full use of the Harman Kardon amplifier, subwoofer and speakers with no distortion of sound. It also has better mute characteristics, the music volume is lowered and the Navigation voice speaks over the music – particularly useful when listening to radio reports. A new feature from 2006 was MP3 file ID3 tag reading. A BMW 6 Disc player with MP3 function was fitted to replace the standard glove box fitted unit, the song and artist titles are displayed on the Boardmonitor. The 6-disc player has an extra length casing to the rear, but other than that, the dimensions are the same, and the original MG Rover mounting brackets were used, but the mounting holes in the glove box needed to be moved forward. BMW used two connectors for the 6 Disc and MG Rover only one so this was converted to allow use of the original MG Rover ICE overlay harness. Other features of the Radio are Dual tuners so the TMC function has its own radio and always works (only worked on older units when listening to classic FM), all the available radio stations are pre tuned in and available to chose from the Boardmonitor display with FM, MW, LW and SW frequencies available. The radio unit has a different connector and had to be fitted to a special adapter harness to convert the older round pin BMW connector to the later Quadlock system
The standard Boardmonitor with cassette deck has now been replaced with a 16:9 aspect ratio widescreen unit. It has a single slot CD player behind the motorised face (a cassette player and mini-disc units are also available). This needed some modifications to the mounting brackets to fit into the MG console, but other than that looks factory fit. The Navigation computer with CD drive (located in RH side of the boot area) was a Mk3 unit. This was replaced with a Mk4 unit, which has a DVD drive and much faster processing. More information can be crammed on a DVD and as a result, it has a complete map of 7,000,000 Km of European roads! This unit also generates a welcome screen on the Boardmonitor screen, which boots up as soon as the handset has unlocked the doors so it is ready and waiting when entering the car. Special software has been installed to the Navigation unit to overwrite the 'BMW' welcome screen with a more suitable “MG” message. The European map CD also includes a 7-digit postcode search, TMC active traffic re routing and Speed camera locations. Routing is far faster, the screen moves seamlessly and an extra feature is the 3D map view. Because a widescreen has been used, a 'split' screen function allows you to select both route map and radio, trip computer displays etc, simultaneously.
The TV Module located in the wheel well has been replaced with a hybrid unit that can receive both analogue and digital TV signals. This makes it future proof in all countries of Europe (Germany and Austria have already switched off the analogue transmitters). It also generates a widescreen picture for the new Boardmonitor and broadcasts the sound in stereo (old unit only has mono sound). The usual teletext functions remain. A special interface has been fitted to allow TV viewing on the move (not recommended for the driver), however, it has one special function; by pressing and holding the “time” button on the Boardmonitor, this function can be turned on and off as a safety feature.
A voice command and Bluetooth phone connection ECU has been fitted to the RH side area above the navigation ECU linked by a Bluetooth receiver. A BMW microphone is fitted to the front interior light unit, which has the microphone fitting designed into it. A special 'talk' switch is fitted to the centre console which houses the row of oval type switches (This switch has been made with the front of a Smartnav switch and workings of a traction control switch to achieve the factory look). All are linked with a BMW Mini overlay harness (which needed special adaptation to fit the car) and is connected via an interface harness to the radio in the wheel well. This harness was further modified to the Quadlock conversion harness to reduce connections and overall harness bulk in the wheel well area. A Bluetooth phone can now been linked to this unit. When enabled no further action is required when getting into the car. The phone can be selected via the Boardmonitor screen and the sound is broadcast via the front speakers only. Text messages can also be read and the phone caller directory accessed. Conversation sound quality on the move is second to none and is crystal clear. Voice commands can be given from the driver by briefly pressing the button in the centre console. A short beep sound is heard and a phone number, location information and notepad can all be given amongst the various commands to the navigation or phone systems. (The language displayed on the instrument pack, navigation and Voice command can all be changed via the trip computer functions). It was tested using a variety of accents to the voice command and we could not catch her out!
Further to the parking aid, a colour wide-angle reverse camera has been added to the number plate plinth. This was adapted from a Genuine BMW 3 Series accessory kit. The tailgate release rubber button and micro switch have been removed and the plinth cut away to allow fitting of the camera and a relocated round button tailgate release switch. This car being a Tourer had a much longer and more complicated wiring harness route though the tailgate and roof area. The harness runs through the RH tailgate washer tube gaiter (the LH one already has too much harness bulk used here. It is then connected to the reverse light circuit and TV module in the wheel well. When reverse gear is selected, the Boardmonitor screen is overridden and a view from the rear of the car is generated.
 This was a challenge and involved extensive research but the end result really just gave job satisfaction.