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View Full Version : Need help before I take on my task tomorrow.


Dajinn
11-15-2005, 07:08 PM
I am the owner of a 1999 E46 323i and will be taking on the task of installing a complete audio system in my bimmer all day tomorrow. I currently have a Alpine CDA-9855 Headunit, iPod interface, Sirius interface, 5 1/4" Quartz Premium Components for the doors, 5 1/4" Premium Coaxles for the rear deck, 12" Kicker CompVR and all of it is being driven by a JL Audio 500.5 Amplifier. I already purchased the required antenna adaptor, wiring harnes and mounting plate so it's pretty much set to go. My question is what do I need to know about removing panels to install the door speakers and head unit? I have installed many car stereos in the past however on occasion you do learn by accidently retaining breaking clips the first time around. I would like to prevent this from happening as this is not a Honda Civic or a Ford Mustang. I love my new Bimmer and don't want to feel like I destroyed it by not removing something properly.

I will be needing to remove the factory headunit, door panels and interior/trunk panels.

Thank you in advance for any and all assistance.

jvr826
11-15-2005, 07:45 PM
I am the owner of a 1999 E46 323i and will be taking on the task of installing a complete audio system in my bimmer all day tomorrow. I currently have a Alpine CDA-9855 Headunit, iPod interface, Sirius interface, 5 1/4" Quartz Premium Components for the doors, 5 1/4" Premium Coaxles for the rear deck, 12" Kicker CompVR and all of it is being driven by a JL Audio 500.5 Amplifier. I already purchased the required antenna adaptor, wiring harnes and mounting plate so it's pretty much set to go. My question is what do I need to know about removing panels to install the door speakers and head unit? I have installed many car stereos in the past however on occasion you do learn by accidently retaining breaking clips the first time around. I would like to prevent this from happening as this is not a Honda Civic or a Ford Mustang. I love my new Bimmer and don't want to feel like I destroyed it by not removing something properly.

I will be needing to remove the factory headunit, door panels and interior/trunk panels.

Thank you in advance for any and all assistance.

I suggest you get the Bentley manual. It has everything you're looking for. If I had a scanner I'd get you the pages you need. Or...

You can probably find most of what you need by searching on interior trim replacement or similar. This task involves taking the doors apart and will get you to the speakers and expose the mounting screws for your OEM stereo.

I know the rear speakers are accessed from the top in the E46 and the trunk panels are pretty self explanatory, just pull out the center of the "rivets" and the other part pulls right out.

There's a site called "realoem.com" that u can search parts by drilling down. The pictures/schematics on this site are invaluable for putting things back together, or locating the part number for those pesky plastic parts you will inevitably break. I suggest picking up a few extras, just in case.

One good thing is this is NOT a Honda or Ford, so it will go back together as tight as it was before you took it apart. Good luck and post pics when you're done!

RSPDiver
11-15-2005, 08:37 PM
I would highly suggest checking out the stickies over on e46fanatics.com also. There is a very complete and comprehensive writeup of an install, including wire numbers/colors to tap for install using the factory harness (NOT amps), which seems to do a decent job of providing juice to components around the car.

Dajinn
11-16-2005, 05:10 AM
Thanks alot guys. It's 7:00am here in FL and I'm getting ready to go outside and start my long day. lol I'll let you know how it all goes.

RSPDiver
11-16-2005, 07:53 PM
I know it's dark now in FL, so what's the result? Any pics to share?

Orangefiv5
11-18-2005, 10:08 AM
So what's the word how did everything work out for you? Any pics?

46Lover
11-18-2005, 01:18 PM
Hey I know you had asked your question a few days ago and may have already finished your install... But I just registered on this forum and I'll throw in my 2 cents just in case it's in time for your install.

The one thing HIGHLY recommended for any front door speaker install (regardless of make/model and level of enthusiasm for car audio) is to have the doors sound-deadened and sealed. This can be done yourself, and can be retrofitted after an initial install. As usual, professional installation brings the the usual amount of peace-of-mind and avoids some hassles if you're willing to pay the price.

As we all know, car doors are about the worst speaker enclosure possible - with vibration-prone pieces everywhere, less than optimal alignment and, of course, holes everywhere (hardly ideal for seperating the front and rear waves created by the speaker).

The usual deadening process involves heat-applied or spray-on sound dampening material applied to the inner surface of the door skin, as well as most of the exposed metal of the door. Then a piece of thick mat is placed on top of the door panel to help seal any holes in the panel.

The result is greatly reduced bass cancellation - audible as stronger, "quicker," more defined midbass. Front speakers will blend with a sub much better, while keeping the midbass sounds up front where it should be. As a bonus, there can be less road noise. Performace purists may scoff at the added weight though typically (up to 20+lbs each for a very well-damped door).

I don't own a BMW yet, but this is a well-known and universal audio "modification." In the already-quiet cabin of a BMW, this can have an even greater effect - to the point of making a 5 1/4" speaker sound like a 6 1/2."

Good luck with your sound system. Can't wait to do the same to a BMW of my own in the near future.

Dajinn
11-19-2005, 12:41 AM
Well guys I finally finished the install yesterday. Unfortunatly I could not find my digital camera seemed to be acting up and I was unable to power it up. Thought the batteries where low so I replaced them with no luck. The 5 1/4's in the door where unable to mount from behind the panel due to clearance inssues so I ended up having to mount them on out outside of the panel. They ended up looking better than I thought. I'm borrowing my in-laws Digi Cam tomorrow to take pics. As for the rear deck, I made templates of the old speakers with cutout for the new ones in the middle. Again, due to clearance issues with the grill this time I had to mount the template/speaker from under the rear deck mat rather than on top. The factory grill would not close with it mounted from above. The subwoofer however seemed to be lacking alot of sound. If I opened the trunk it was loud however in the car was a different story. Tomorrow I will be removing the back seats and cutting out the ski hole for some type of venting. I figure our Bimmers are soo well isolated that the bass is deffinitly now making it from the trunk into the cabin. I was also considering removing the thick rubber/foam mat that covers the rear wall between the seat backing and the trunk.

On another note, my SWI-ALP steering wheel adaptor just came in the mail today. I will be attempting to remove my stereo tomorrow and hook it up so that I can retain my steering wheel/radio controls.

Oh yeah btw. Damn that Airbag light. lol I didn't realize that I had to disconnect the battery and not turn on the vehicle without the seats connected. Guess you learn something new every day.

Dajinn
11-19-2005, 12:45 AM
I would highly suggest checking out the stickies over on e46fanatics.com also.

BTW I can't thank you enough for this information. If it wasn't for E46fanatics.com I would never have figured out how to remove the center console, door panels, and radio console. It really was extremely helpful and you saved me ALOT of time and broken pieces. THANK YOU! :thumbup: