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BMW E46 Install


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#1 Katch

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Posted 18 Jun 2002 - 15:09

Hi Guys,

Anyone done an audio install on a E46 BMW? I want to know how to run a power cable for the amp from the battery to the boot.

Anyone know an easy way?

Thanks In advance

Katch
Alpine M700 in Dash Monitor
Alpine TV Tuner
NVE-N077PS Sat Nav
Car PC
JL 6.5" front components
Diamond MacDaddy 12" sub
JL 500/1 Amp
PG Tantrum 600.4 Amp
1 Farad Cap
Stinger interconnects

#2 Dr_BASS

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Posted 23 Jun 2002 - 05:49

all BMW i've worked on have the battery in the boot but i don't know about the E46 should be easy if it is.

#3 Katch

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Posted 26 Jun 2002 - 14:18

Thanks Dr Bass,

I picked up the car yesterday and it does have the battery in the boot.

also does anyone know how to get the factory stereo out of the dash without mutilating it ?

Cheers

Katch
Alpine M700 in Dash Monitor
Alpine TV Tuner
NVE-N077PS Sat Nav
Car PC
JL 6.5" front components
Diamond MacDaddy 12" sub
JL 500/1 Amp
PG Tantrum 600.4 Amp
1 Farad Cap
Stinger interconnects

#4 vetinry

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Posted 26 Jun 2002 - 21:27

Hi Katch

You've obviously got a 6 cylinder engine cos that's why the battery is in the boot. The 4 cylinder units have the battery under the bonnet (or at least they did in the older models)

Getting the head unit out isn't too difficult.

Over the top of the glove box is some trim - mine's aluminium but sometimes its the wood. You need to gently prise this trim off (its held in place with a couple of cylindrical lugs)

There is another piece of trim between the head unit and the steering column. This needs to come off too.

Once this trim is off, you'll see 2 screws that were previously hidden, which hold the head unit in. These screw holes are where you fix the adapter plate if you are sticking a din unit in.

Hope this helps

Steve

#5 FLEXYA

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Posted 27 Jun 2002 - 00:42

Is there any E46 with 4 cylinders? I thought even the baby 318i has straight six fitted :confused:
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#6 vetinry

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Posted 27 Jun 2002 - 01:49

I think that the 318's are still 4 cylinders and 320 upwards are the straight 6's

Steve

#7 Katch

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Posted 27 Jun 2002 - 13:35

Thanks Vetinry,

Will try it at the weekend. Got to fit my Alpine In dash monitor in its place :D
Alpine M700 in Dash Monitor
Alpine TV Tuner
NVE-N077PS Sat Nav
Car PC
JL 6.5" front components
Diamond MacDaddy 12" sub
JL 500/1 Amp
PG Tantrum 600.4 Amp
1 Farad Cap
Stinger interconnects

#8 MrMajestic

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Posted 04 Jul 2002 - 01:06

The new 318 has a 4 cylinder 2.0litre engine. The 320 has a 6 cylinder 2.2litre engine. The 316 has a 4 cylinder 1.8litre engine!. BMW like to confuse things!
Proof of intelligence on Mars is that they haven't tried to make contact with Earth!..

#9 Matt F

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Posted 27 Jul 2002 - 19:21

Katch - be interested to know how you get on with this install - presumably you will be bypassing the standard factory amp that lives in the boot?

What are you doing about speakers? This is complicated on the E46 because the crossovers for the standard front component speakers are in the factory amp (located in the boot) so there will be four wires going to each front door.

I was toying with upgrading my E46 standard system but when I looked into it in detail and realised how complicated it could be I decided to leave it as it is.

The potential problems are:

1. If you retain the factory head unit and want to use a better amp (which I wanted to do) you need an amp that will deal with the balanced differential signals that the head unit sends (these are not line level or speaker level signals - they are isolated from the vehicle ground i.e. they aint earthed!). The only amps that can cope are ADS (USA only) and JL Audio but you also need some sort of custom connection to interface at the standard amp end - either that or cut loads of wires.

2. Using a different head unit is an option but you still have to bypass the standard amp as that amp expects balanced signals not the line level or speaker level signals that all head units send.

The fact that I could find no installers who knew anything about the E46 system didn't help - I even had to explain to one national car hifi shop what balanced signals are - doesn't fill you with confidence.

I found all the info I needed here:

<a href="http://www.e46fanatics.com/faq/stereosaga.html" target="_blank">http://www.e46fanati...eosaga.html</a>

It's a good read but it also put me off doing anything to my E46.

Hope this helps and let us know how you get on.

Matt.

#10 Katch

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Posted 29 Jul 2002 - 17:47

Hey Matt,

I have finished the install which included the following:

Upgrading the BMW headunit to Alpine M700 In dash monitor

Upgrading the front speakers to Kenwood KFC-PSR71P components.

Phoenix Gold QX4150 in boot
JBL BP300.1 Amp in boot.

2 JL 12W0 subs in boot.

I am running the Kenwood components through the supplied crossovers, off my PG 4150 amp.

I dont think there is an amp in the boot as when I dismantled the doors the crossover is built into the speaker unit as the tweeter plugs straight in the speaker and only 2 wires leave the door to the headunit.

With regard to the potential problems:

1.I have a very slight engine noise inerference problem, can only be heard when the unit it turned right down. I am going to see if there are any interference electronics i can use to get rid of this. I am sure it is possible and its only a slight noise. I did not have any issues with differential signals.

2. I didnt have any problems with the setup.

I read the following too:

<a href="http://www.e46fanatics.com/faq/stereosaga.html" target="_blank">http://www.e46fanati...eosaga.html</a>

but i think that guys system and the UK system is slightly different.

The amps were easy to wire as the battery is in the boot.

The only problem I have currently is that the standard BMW headunit amplifies the the Aerial signal and so when I use this aerial I get very faint pick up of ststions sometimes. I spoke to my local ICE shop and then told me they have an aerial amplifier for £20 so I will see if that will sort out the problem.

Appart from that the system is good. The kenwood components are great as they dont sound as tinny as the original setup and with the tweeters replaced the sound is more filling.

If you need any advice drop me a line.

only thing left for me to do is maybe consider some rear fill speakers and am getting Erskine to sort me out a new sub box.

hope this Helps

Mitesh
Alpine M700 in Dash Monitor
Alpine TV Tuner
NVE-N077PS Sat Nav
Car PC
JL 6.5" front components
Diamond MacDaddy 12" sub
JL 500/1 Amp
PG Tantrum 600.4 Amp
1 Farad Cap
Stinger interconnects

#11 Matt F

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Posted 30 Jul 2002 - 14:45

Thanks for the reply Katch. This just gets more and more confusing.

Presumably you ran your own RCA leads from your head unit through to the amps you've fitted?

When the amps were in place - how did you then wire them to the front and rear speakers? Did you run new cables from your amps to them or did you pick up the existing wires and, if so, where did you break into them?

Sorry for so many questions - I'm just interested to know whether you used any of the existing wiring or not. If you did then I do wonder if that is where your noise problem is coming from - with balanced differential signals you don't need to worry about the wiring between the head unit and the amp being well shielded because any interference is removed by the amp. If you use that same wiring for line or speaker level signals (going to a different amp) then any noise picked up will just be amplified not removed.

For what it's worth (and we'll have to agree to disagree on this one) I still maintain that the standard E46 system does use an amp in the boot - I think this for two reasons:
1. The system is unlikely to vary from country to country (even though the functions of the head unit may differ).
2. If you order the Harmon Kardon upgrade in the UK you get exactly the same head unit but with a different amp (in the boot) that has more channels feeding more speakers.

Oh, and this site shows exactly where the amp is sited:

<a href="http://www.mindspring.com/~pmbenn/hk_retrofit.htm" target="_blank">http://www.mindsprin...etrofit.htm</a>

Anyway, I'm glad to hear you got your fitted and that it sounds good and I hope you can cure the noise problem.

Matt.

#12 Katch

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Posted 30 Jul 2002 - 16:16

Yep I ran my own RCA leads from the headunit to the amps.

When the amps were in place - how did you then wire them to the front and rear speakers? Did you run new cables from your amps to them or did you pick up the existing wires and, if so, where did you break into them?

I ran new wires to the speakers. Was a damn pain to do but managed it after a couple of hours dismantling the car :) The power cables are in the boot so shouldnt be introducing any interference.

well I didnt really pay much attention to finding the amp in the boot but it might be there somewhere :)

So Matt are you gonna attempt it? or have I put you off ?LOL
Alpine M700 in Dash Monitor
Alpine TV Tuner
NVE-N077PS Sat Nav
Car PC
JL 6.5" front components
Diamond MacDaddy 12" sub
JL 500/1 Amp
PG Tantrum 600.4 Amp
1 Farad Cap
Stinger interconnects

#13 Matt F

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Posted 30 Jul 2002 - 20:40

Ah, so you did a proper job - hard work but worth it. Like you say, you shouldn't be introducing any noise the way you did it.

You haven't put me off but if I do upgrade I will stick with the factory head unit and just upgrade the amp and speakers - I think it would have to be a JL Audio amp as they are the only ones I know (available in the UK) that can handle balanced signals - they're good amps though so that isn't a problem - change the speakers to some MB Quarts - 5.25 components plus 6.5 (or 6x9s if they would fit) and I reckon that would sound pretty good - I've no room for a sub.

What does put me off is the lack of installer knowledge on the E46 - you'd think they'd know it well as it's been out a few years now. I don't fancy doing the install myself but the first dealer I spoke to said "Just change the head unit for a Pioneer or something" - bad advice in my opinion because of the problems with the factory amp etc. The other National installer knew nothing about balanced signals - he tried to convince me that a "speaker level to line level converter" would do the trick! Uh, no it won't - we're dealing with something different here.

So, until I encounter a dealer who knows the E46 system inside out it will be staying as it is.

What's really annoying is that the standard E46 system is brilliantly engineered but underpowered and is going through poor speakers. If the standard amp was a 4x50 watt (instead of 4x20) and they'd used better quality speakers with 6x9s in the rear shelf (there's plenty of room) then it would sound just fine - in fact a set up like that would probably sound better than the Harmon Kardon set up with multiple low powered speakers and tiny subwoofers.

Just a final thought - before I bought my BMW I was also looking at the Volvo S60 and that can be ordered with a serious sound system - separate 4x75 watt amp - 13 speakers including four 8" subs - centre speaker - pro-logic etc, etc. I think BMW could learn a bit from Volvo on the ICE front.

Matt.

#14 Katch

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Posted 30 Jul 2002 - 21:40

BTW if anyone is going to be doing an install in an E46 BM the damn aerial is amplified and needs to have a separate power connection in order to give you reception. Learnt that the hard way :)
Alpine M700 in Dash Monitor
Alpine TV Tuner
NVE-N077PS Sat Nav
Car PC
JL 6.5" front components
Diamond MacDaddy 12" sub
JL 500/1 Amp
PG Tantrum 600.4 Amp
1 Farad Cap
Stinger interconnects

#15 Katch

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Posted 23 Aug 2002 - 13:39

Got a VEN 4 imported from the states yesterday and after install it cured the alternator whine that was comming out of the front components. So anyone who has an E46 the VEN4 is a must unless you have an amp like the JL series ones. :D
Alpine M700 in Dash Monitor
Alpine TV Tuner
NVE-N077PS Sat Nav
Car PC
JL 6.5" front components
Diamond MacDaddy 12" sub
JL 500/1 Amp
PG Tantrum 600.4 Amp
1 Farad Cap
Stinger interconnects

#16 vetinry

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Posted 23 Aug 2002 - 14:47

Hi Katch

I've had problems with Alternator noise. Can you tell me a bit more about this VEN thing. How did you find out about it, and where did you get it from, and how much

Cheers

Steve

#17 Katch

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Posted 23 Aug 2002 - 15:42

Hi Vetinry,

The VEN 4 is made by Peripheral (part of stinger)
I learnt about it from here :

<a href="http://www.e46fanatics.com/faq/stereosaga.html" target="_blank">http://www.e46fanati...eosaga.html</a>

This is a link to the VEN 4:

<a href="http://peripheralelectronics.com/periph_products/line_output_convert.htm" target="_blank">http://peripheralele...convert.htm</a>

Basically its a line out convertor. So gives you 2 preouts and all you need to do is connect it up to the front and rear speaker outputs from the connector at the back of the radio.

The BMW amps have a noise cleanup circuit so basically they dont care what noise affects the signal before the amp. The amp cleans the signal and then pushes the clean signal to the speakers. If you are bypassing the amp you need something like the JL amps which have this functionality inbuilt. So the new amp you install just amplifies the noise and hence the alternator noise. The VEN4 cleans the signal and sends a clean signal to the new amp. Hence no noise :D

It is about $80 including shipping.

you can get it from:

<a href="http://www.autosoundgear.com/Value/itemdesc.asp?CartId=109052-ACCWARE-40DDQCS12&Ic=VEN4&Cc=&tpc=" target="_blank">http://www.autosound...N4&Cc=&tpc=</a>

HTH

Katch
Alpine M700 in Dash Monitor
Alpine TV Tuner
NVE-N077PS Sat Nav
Car PC
JL 6.5" front components
Diamond MacDaddy 12" sub
JL 500/1 Amp
PG Tantrum 600.4 Amp
1 Farad Cap
Stinger interconnects

#18 mth210367

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Posted 16 Aug 2009 - 21:33

BTW if anyone is going to be doing an install in an E46 BM the damn aerial is amplified and needs to have a separate power connection in order to give you reception. Learnt that the hard way :)


please can you tell me where the aerial amp is located, i have a e46 3dr 04 plate. thanks mike

#19 Grant

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Posted 16 Aug 2009 - 22:27

The new 318 has a 4 cylinder 2.0litre engine. The 320 has a 6 cylinder 2.2litre engine. The 316 has a 4 cylinder 1.8litre engine!. BMW like to confuse things!


The e92 320 is back to 2.0l 4pot, and the 325 is a 3.0l 6.
The 320d and 318d are both 2l 4s
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