Yep it is do-able. I have done it on our first 2015 i3 Mega.
It is really not too hard, below were my basic steps
- Acquire the right 10.25" screen from a wrecked i3 - Ebay/LKQ/etc -- Part # 65509306743 -- It has to be from an i3, as the mounts are not the same on other bmws
- Get comfortable with BMW E-sys (though the bimmercode may work)
- Pop the two rubber/plastic plugs on the top backside of the current screen to expose the screws (I spent waaay too much time figuring this one out....in the end I just used a dentist pick to stab them in the middle and pop them out...)
- Remove the two screws, pull the display out, unplug the cable
- put the new screen in
- Through Esys (and maybe bimmercode) - make note of the original setting of the two lines below and update it to match the following settings:
----- HU_NBT > 3000 HMI > DISPLAY_SIZE_RESOLUTION = 10.25_1280x480
----- HU_NBT > 3001 EXBOX > DISPLAY_VARIANTE = breites_display
------ Please note these were from my very rough notes while I was working on the project - you may actually need to choose a different setting, but these seem right
- Save the coding
- turn the car off and on - the screen should just work
- If not, try a different drop down setting for screen resolution - though I think it should be 1280x480 (see notes above)
- worst case, it doesn't work - either the screen is bad or my notes are way off - try again or if fed up, reset it back to the setting prior to changing the two lines above) and put back the original screen.
It took me roughly 2 hours to do this (not including time to get E-sys to install/work -- this knowledge can be obtained from various other BMW forums out there) ....granted...1.5 of those hours was me trying to figure how to get those plastic caps off without scratching the car or damaging the caps....poking a small hole in them with an angled dentist pick (harbor freight) and pulling them out was my solution - the rubbery-ness of the caps makes the holes almost unnoticeable after wards...if it really bothers you, look up the parts on REALOEM and order new caps...last I looked it was around $2-6 for a new set of caps from various bmw dealers online....
Assuming everything works ok - you now have a much nicer 10.25 screen to look at. The only deficiency I've noticed between the higher end HU_NAV unti that by default comes with this screen, is that the Nav system wont give you 3d perspective option...not a huge loss in my opinion....
Oh yeah...one more caveat/disclaimer - If you do this mod, it will be in your best interest to keep the old screen. In the event you need to take your i3 in for major service that may involve re-installing or updating the car's software - it will most likely behoove you to revert your settings back to the smaller screen and reinstalling the smaller screen. Reason being, is that when the service center redoes your software or updates it - its setting are based on the configuration BMW has set for that VIN - it is expecting that there will be the smaller, lower res screen. Needless to say, this will not work with the larger screen - it will just stay Black....not only will this probably freak out the techs (thinking that the updated software broke something), but will eventually bring attention that you may have done mods to your car that will void your warranty, and cause undue suspicion that you may have cause the reason the car to have a warranty claim or putting you on a blacklist if just bringing it in for a software update....you can tell I'm a pessimist....
oh yeah...one more of those disclaimers - I take no responsibility if you break your car/void your warranty/etc...this is for entertainment purposes only
//one more note:
For 2018, the 10.25 screen has a higher resolution of 1,440 × 540 (vs 1280x480 for 2014-2017) as well as an update idrive unit to support the higher resolution. I am not sure a 2014-2017 i3 can use this higher resolution screen nor am I sure a 2018 could use the lower resolution 10.25 screen -- however if you have the means to try it out, please post your findings!