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View Full Version : Alpine MP3 changer and UGDO install kits


swchang
01-15-2004, 11:52 PM
The CD changer install has been discussed in great detail, I know, but I've been tracking most every discussion and still have not found a good answer some of my questions. All the DIYs posted are for older models cars, not 2003 or 2004s. Are there any DIYs posted for more recent models? It seems that the newer cars come with pieces that people previously had to purchase, like trunk liner and the install kits...

Otherwise, has anyone installed the Alpine MP3 changer in their 03 or 04 that knows what I would need to buy (other than the changer itself, the KCA-130B adapter, and the Blitzsafe DMX V.1 adapter)? If it makes a difference, I have NAV and pass through/fold down seats. Someone at Circle told me that the only thing I'd have to buy are "mounting plates and hardware [meaning nuts and bolts, I think]" which would run me about $8. That sound right?

About the universal transceiver/UGDO, I've found one DIY: the one on BMWNation. Any others out there? Anyone out there done this who can attest to its ease?

Finally, are Circle and Pacific the cheapest dealers people have found? East coasters, any place closer to us that are well priced?

TIA. :)

Mapman
01-16-2004, 04:35 AM
The CD changer install has been discussed in great detail, I know, but I've been tracking most every discussion and still have not found a good answer some of my questions. All the DIYs posted are for older models cars, not 2003 or 2004s. Are there any DIYs posted for more recent models? It seems that the newer cars come with pieces that people previously had to purchase, like trunk liner and the install kits...

Otherwise, has anyone installed the Alpine MP3 changer in their 03 or 04 that knows what I would need to buy (other than the changer itself, the KCA-130B adapter, and the Blitzsafe DMX V.1 adapter)? If it makes a difference, I have NAV and pass through/fold down seats. Someone at Circle told me that the only thing I'd have to buy are "mounting plates and hardware [meaning nuts and bolts, I think]" which would run me about $8. That sound right?TIA. :)I drive an 04 Ci, and I installed the Alpine changer last summer. I don't have the Nav system, and so I can't comment on that. As for the install, I used the Soundgate adapter instead of the Blitzsafe. Since the '04's (at least the Coupes) all seem to have the brackets & trim already in place, installation is easy even for relatively inexperienced old farts like me. I took my sweet time and had it up & working as advertised in less than two hours.

There's an installation guide page (which you've probably already found) on another site, which was a big help. That plus the instructions that come with the changer and you should be okay.

It may not be the ultimate jukebox solution, but with approximately 800 tracks available at any one time without any modifications to the user interface, it's a decent compromise, especially when you consider the cost.

swchang
01-16-2004, 07:39 AM
I drive an 04 Ci, and I installed the Alpine changer last summer. I don't have the Nav system, and so I can't comment on that. As for the install, I used the Soundgate adapter instead of the Blitzsafe. Since the '04's (at least the Coupes) all seem to have the brackets & trim already in place, installation is easy even for relatively inexperienced old farts like me. I took my sweet time and had it up & working as advertised in less than two hours.

There's an installation guide page (which you've probably already found) on another site, which was a big help. That plus the instructions that come with the changer and you should be okay.

It may not be the ultimate jukebox solution, but with approximately 800 tracks available at any one time without any modifications to the user interface, it's a decent compromise, especially when you consider the cost.

Did you need to buy the 2 mounting plates and nuts and bolts, or is all you bought the Alpine changer?

Also, can you tell me which install page you found helpful? I've found four:

http://www.bmw325i.net/inst_mp3cd.shtml
http://www.imagestation.com/member/join_signin_prompt.html?album_id=4291835919&bnak=1&rf=album&ru=%2Falbum%2F%3Fid%3D4291835919%26bnak=1
http://m3.madrussian.net/diy_alpine.shtml
http://www.geocities.com/koping/e46cdchanger.html

Mapman
01-16-2004, 09:20 AM
Did you need to buy the 2 mounting plates and nuts and bolts, or is all you bought the Alpine changer?Everything that I needed hardware-wise was included with the changer. All of the other stuff (brackets, etc.) was already in the car.

Also, can you tell me which install page you found helpful? I've found four:

http://www.bmw325i.net/inst_mp3cd.shtmlThat's the one!

Also, FWIW, I ordered the three parts (changer & two adapters) from Logjam.

LDV330i
01-16-2004, 10:08 AM
Did you need to buy the 2 mounting plates and nuts and bolts, or is all you bought the Alpine changer?

Also, can you tell me which install page you found helpful? I've found four:

http://www.bmw325i.net/inst_mp3cd.shtml
http://www.imagestation.com/member/join_signin_prompt.html?album_id=4291835919&bnak=1&rf=album&ru=%2Falbum%2F%3Fid%3D4291835919%26bnak=1
http://m3.madrussian.net/diy_alpine.shtml
http://www.geocities.com/koping/e46cdchanger.html
I installed my Alpine CD/MP3 changer with a Blitzsafe adapter on Sunday. I used MadRussian install page but any will do now the mounting bracket come pre-installed. The only problem I ran into was the Alpine supplied brackets for the CD changer appear to be off by a few mm with the holes on the factory installed rack. So I only got to 2 screws to go in with one kind of in there. The change was solidly mounted so it was not a problem.

Also do not turn on radio before you turn on the car. This helps the system identify the changer. I turn the radio on first and got nothing.

swchang
01-17-2004, 04:12 PM
I installed my Alpine CD/MP3 changer with a Blitzsafe adapter on Sunday. I used MadRussian install page but any will do now the mounting bracket come pre-installed. The only problem I ran into was the Alpine supplied brackets for the CD changer appear to be off by a few mm with the holes on the factory installed rack. So I only got to 2 screws to go in with one kind of in there. The change was solidly mounted so it was not a problem.

Also do not turn on radio before you turn on the car. This helps the system identify the changer. I turn the radio on first and got nothing.

So you didn't need a wire cutter or anything? What tools did you need? It seems from the two install pages you guys used I would need:

8mm socket and rachet to take off the bolts
Phillips screwdriver to screw the mounting plates to the changer
small flathead screwdriver to pop off the trunk liner pins
zipties or tape

Is that it? I'll probably buy the 2 mounting brackets if you say the Alpine supplied ones didn't fit. I'll also check my car to see if I'll need the 4 bolts and nuts to attach the changer to the plastic holder. To screw the brackets to the changer, though, you just used the screws that come with the changer?

Also, how did you end up attaching the adapter? Did you tape and ziptie it? Or did you just let it sort of hang there? :p

Any other tips before I try to install this thing by myself on Monday? Is it really a simple 30 minute job? Should I worry about damaging the trunk liner pins or wiring or anything in particular?

Finally, can you tell me what came with your changer? I'm not sure if I got everything, since the box was sort of opened. I think mine included the changer, the cartridge, a cable, some installation hardware (haven't opened the plastic yet, so I don't know the specifics), and a sheet of paper that I guess is supposed to guide installation.

TIA.

LDV330i
01-17-2004, 04:43 PM
So you didn't need a wire cutter or anything? What tools did you need? It seems from the two install pages you guys used I would need:

8mm socket and rachet to take off the bolts
Phillips screwdriver to screw the mounting plates to the changer
small flathead screwdriver to pop off the trunk liner pins
zipties or tape

Is that it? I'll probably buy the 2 mounting brackets if you say the Alpine supplied ones didn't fit. I'll also check my car to see if I'll need the 4 bolts and nuts to attach the changer to the plastic holder. To screw the brackets to the changer, though, you just used the screws that come with the changer?

Also, how did you end up attaching the adapter? Did you tape and ziptie it? Or did you just let it sort of hang there? :p

Any other tips before I try to install this thing by myself on Monday? Is it really a simple 30 minute job? Should I worry about damaging the trunk liner pins or wiring or anything in particular?

Finally, can you tell me what came with your changer? I'm not sure if I got everything, since the box was sort of opened. I think mine included the changer, the cartridge, a cable, some installation hardware (haven't opened the plastic yet, so I don't know the specifics), and a sheet of paper that I guess is supposed to guide installation.

TIA.
Aside for from the tools/materials listed you will probably need double side tape or preferably Velcro tape. I followed the suggestion to attached the Blitzsafe adapter to the underside of the spare (bottom)plastic bin in the rack with Velcro (or double side tape). You will also need to remove that bin (cubbyhole) to be able to do this. Please note that the top one gets discarded as that is the location of your changer.

It looks like you got everything that came in the box. I really did not use the instructions that came in the box since I was following the DYI sheets. You will aso need the Blitzsafe adapter and an Alpine AI-Net to M-Bus connector.

It is a simple job but you should budget 1 1/2 hours so you do not get rushed. Biggest pain was removing the trunk liner. My DYI instructions said the taillight clusters had a "latch" , while mine has a big knob that will unscrew the light cluster. I was also very careful in trying to remove the black plastc liner holders. The cap to one of the retaining pins broke off. I wasted time trying to figure how to remove the retaining pin. Tip: If this happens just use a nail or screw to push it through into the body cavity. This releases the actual retainer.

You mention that you think you may need 4 screws and bolts. I am not sure where you think you may use them. You will use 2 screws to mount the brackets to the changer and 4 screws to mount the brackets to the rack. That is it.

I do have one question for you that you can answer when you finish with your install. Are you able to get your CD changer to do an All Disc Random play? Mine only plays all tracks in one CD radomly before going on to another disc radomly. My old 318ti with a BMW CD changer always shuffled through all the discs. I am thinking I may have to do a hard reset (disconnect all connections). Next week I will be doing my Bluetooth kit install so I will have to get back into that area anyways.

Good luck with your install.:)

swchang
01-17-2004, 04:59 PM
Aside for from the tools/materials listed you will probably need double side tape or preferably Velcro tape. I followed the suggestion to attached the Blitzsafe adapter to the underside of the spare (bottom)plastic bin in the rack with Velcro (or double side tape). You will also need to remove that bin (cubbyhole) to be able to do this. Please note that the top one gets discarded as that is the location of your changer.

It looks like you got everything that came in the box. I really did not use the instructions that came in the box since I was following the DYI sheets. You will aso need the Blitzsafe adapter and an Alpine AI-Net to M-Bus connector.

It is a simple job but you should budget 1 1/2 hours so you do not get rushed. Biggest pain was removing the trunk liner. My DYI instructions said the taillight clusters had a "latch" , while mine has a big knob that will unscrew the light cluster. I was also very careful in trying to remove the black plastc liner holders. The cap to one of the retaining pins broke off. I wasted time trying to figure how to remove the retaining pin. Tip: If this happens just use a nail or screw to push it through into the body cavity. This releases the actual retainer.

You mention that you think you may need 4 screws and bolts. I am not sure where you think you may use them. You will use 2 screws to mount the brackets to the changer and 4 screws to mount the brackets to the rack. That is it.

I do have one question for you that you can answer when you finish with your install. Are you able to get your CD changer to do an All Disc Random play? Mine only plays all tracks in one CD radomly before going on to another disc radomly. My old 318ti with a BMW CD changer always shuffled through all the discs. I am thinking I may have to do a hard reset (disconnect all connections). Next week I will be doing my Bluetooth kit install so I will have to get back into that area anyways.

Good luck with your install.:)

LDV, thanks for your reply. To answer your question, although I haven't done my install, the Mad Russian page had a separate "review" page on his site where he talks about his analysis of the changer. He mentioned that one negative is that it will only do "random" on one disc at a time. It won't do the random mode through all the discs at once. I'd assume it won't do shuffle either, then.

You say I'll need to remove trays? I have NAV, though, so I don't think I have a bottom tray. I only have the top tray that will be discarded because the changer will occupy that space. (Or am I wrong? Do you have NAV already installed?) And since I have NAV, where can I tape the Blitzsafe adapter?

In retrospect, how would you have removed the trunk liner pins better, so as not to break them?

I thought I'd need screws and bolts (I'm assuming I don't have bolts because I didn't get an OEM changer installed). The screws would attach the changer to the mounting brackets/plates (2 on each side for a total of 4) and the 4 bolts/nuts would be used to attach the changer brackets to the rack (where the plastic tub used to be). Since it seems you didn't have an OEM changer either, can you tell me if I need to buy the bolts/nuts? And as far as the screws go, did the changer include screws I can use to attach the BMW brackets that I'm going to buy?

BTW, where does one get zipties and velcro tape and 8mm sockets and rachets?

LDV330i
01-17-2004, 05:27 PM
You say I'll need to remove trays? I have NAV, though, so I don't think I have a bottom tray. I only have the top tray that will be discarded because the changer will occupy that space. (Or am I wrong? Do you have NAV already installed?) And since I have NAV, where can I tape the Blitzsafe adapter? I do not have NAV so that explains the difference. I would suggest you tape your adapter to the top of the changer, though you may have to do it towards the back so it does not interfere with the rack crossbracing, here you really need to use velcro instead of the double sided tape.


In retrospect, how would you have removed the trunk liner pins better, so as not to break them? All of them came out easy except the one above the wheelwell. Maybe it was just fluke. I believe there is such a thing a trim removal tool. It is probably cheaper just to buy new retainers.

I thought I'd need screws and bolts (I'm assuming I don't have bolts because I didn't get an OEM changer installed). The screws would attach the changer to the mounting brackets/plates (2 on each side for a total of 4) and the 4 bolts/nuts would be used to attach the changer brackets to the rack (where the plastic tub used to be). Since it seems you didn't have an OEM changer either, can you tell me if I need to buy the bolts/nuts? And as far as the screws go, did the changer include screws I can use to attach the BMW brackets that I'm going to buy? To screw the brackets to the rack you reuse the screws that held the plastic bin to the rack

BTW, where does one get zipties and velcro tape and 8mm sockets and rachets? You can get all those at Home Depot.

swchang
01-17-2004, 05:38 PM
I do not have NAV so that explains the difference. I would suggest you tape your adapter to the top of the changer, though you may have to do it towards the back so it does not interfere with the rack crossbracing, here you really need to use velcro instead of the double sided tape.

All of them came out easy except the one above the wheelwell. Maybe it was just fluke. I believe there is such a thing a trim removal tool. It is probably cheaper just to buy new retainers.

To screw the brackets to the rack you reuse the screws that held the plastic bin to the rack

You can get all those at Home Depot.

Great, thanks for your help! :thumbup:

swchang
01-19-2004, 10:24 PM
Well, I did it today. Installed my Alpine changer in the freezing cold. It was so cold that my hands and toes kept losing circulation, so I had to take several breaks to warm up.

The whole thing took me like 2 hours or so, which was much longer than I was hoping to spend. Taking the second trunk liner pin out took FOREVER, though. The first one came out really easily, literally in a matter of a few seconds. The second one I didn't want to destroy, but I ended up just cutting the thing up so I could take the liner off. It wasn't worth the hour I spent trying to salvage the part. (LDV, I checked on trunk liner removal tools, but my dealership said they don't have them.) The other time-consuming part of the process was trying to take the trunk liner off completely. I got most everything off, and then the rear part wouldn't go, so I just left the end still attached. Plus, I figured that if it would take so much effort to get off, it'd probably take a lot of effort to get back on, too.

The setup sounds pretty good, I think, but I do have complaints about etronics.com and Crutchfield/Blitzsafe. I got a dirty Alpine box from etronics.com that was already broken and open. Inside, it was very obvious that someone had already been through the unit. Parts were missing, the instructions were folded up the wrong way and not in the proper bags, and the safety keys in the changer floor were gone. I'm going to have to complain bigtime to etronics about this. Everything else I've bought from them has been great. The changer even arrived the next day after I ordered it...

Crutchfield's parts also arrived the next day. The KCA-130B adapter was fine, but the Blitzsafe adapter came in sealed plastic wrap with just a simple sheet of instructions. Maybe it's supposed to be that way (did anyone get it in a box?), but when I plugged the KCA-130B adapter into the slot, the circuit board slid right out the other end, breaking off the side wall. I ended up having to tape it on...

Anyway, after all the torture of my first DIY, I'm glad I went through it. I'll hopefully be doing my UT/UGDO and alarm next weekend. Please be easier jobs... :angel:

BTW, anyone know what the part number is for the trunk liner plastic fastener?

Oh, and LDV, the random feature does indeed pick a random disc and then only play random tracks from that one disc.

To conclude, I'm hoping the Blitzsafe adapter isn't defective, but the sound quality seems pretty good, so I don't think it is. It's definitely nice having MP3 functionality again, and while the inability to do random throughout all 6 discs AND the lack of CD-TEXT AND the heavyhanded interface involving selecting songs above track 99 ALL really suck, I'd recommend everyone do this installation. :)

LDV330i
01-19-2004, 10:57 PM
Well, I did it today. Installed my Alpine changer in the freezing cold. It was so cold that my hands and toes kept losing circulation, so I had to take several breaks to warm up. Congrats on your install. :thumbup:
The whole thing took me like 2 hours or so, which was much longer than I was hoping to spend. Taking the second trunk liner pin out took FOREVER, though. The first one came out really easily, literally in a matter of a few seconds. The second one I didn't want to destroy, but I ended up just cutting the thing up so I could take the liner off. It wasn't worth the hour I spent trying to salvage the part. (LDV, I checked on trunk liner removal tools, but my dealership said they don't have them.) The other time-consuming part of the process was trying to take the trunk liner off completely. I got most everything off, and then the rear part wouldn't go, so I just left the end still attached. Plus, I figured that if it would take so much effort to get off, it'd probably take a lot of effort to get back on, too. It look like you had the same issues I did. The rear retainer came out easy. The one above the wheel well broke. I also did not remove the liner completely, left it hinged from the back seat making sure I did not swing it out too far out and break the finger clip.

I got a dirty Alpine box from etronics.com that was already broken and open. Inside, it was very obvious that someone had already been through the unit. I bought all my stuff from Crutchfield. I ordered a scratch and dent changer that technically has a Crutchfield warranty in lieu of an Alpine. for $50 off list price. The box had been opened and resealed but everything inside was inside the original factory sealed bags/packaging, no scratches/no dents. Even with the discount it was still about $20 higher than other places. What sealed the deal for me was that if you buy the Blitzsafe adapter at the same time, they give you a $20 dollar discount on it. So the total package was competively priced.:)

The KCA-130B adapter was fine, but the Blitzsafe adapter came in sealed plastic wrap with just a simple sheet of instructions. Maybe it's supposed to be that way (did anyone get it in a box?), That's the way they come. Looks pretty amateurish.:eek:

Oh, and LDV, the random feature does indeed pick a random disc and then only play random tracks from that one disc. Unfortunately I was hoping it was just my case. The other thing is that you cannot select which disc you want it to play randomly. It selects a disc randomly to play the tracks radomly, I hope that make sense. I put an MP3 CD-R yesterday. It does take a minute or so before it stats playing anything the first time. I wanted to play it radomly but got frustated because it would change to another disc.:(

swchang
01-20-2004, 08:15 AM
Congrats on your install. :thumbup:


Thanks. :)

It look like you had the same issues I did. The rear retainer came out easy. The one above the wheel well broke. I also did not remove the liner completely, left it hinged from the back seat making sure I did not swing it out too far out and break the finger clip.


If you want to buy a new one, MSRP is $.25 although your dealership may try to charge more like mine does. The rivet's part # is 51 49 8 166 702.

That's the way they come. Looks pretty amateurish.:eek:


So your Blitzsafe adapter's circuit board was pushed out, too, when you tried to plug your thing in? Or was yours more sturdily constructed?

Unfortunately I was hoping it was just my case. The other thing is that you cannot select which disc you want it to play randomly. It selects a disc randomly to play the tracks radomly, I hope that make sense. I put an MP3 CD-R yesterday. It does take a minute or so before it stats playing anything the first time. I wanted to play it radomly but got frustated because it would change to another disc.:(

Yeah, there's definitely some poor functionality, and it does take a while to load the CDs... I'm still happy, though. :)

LDV330i
01-20-2004, 09:02 PM
So your Blitzsafe adapter's circuit board was pushed out, too, when you tried to plug your thing in? Or was yours more sturdily constructed?
Mine did not come apart but I was not happy with look/construction quality relative to the price. The true price that I would give it is $15 dollars since it looks like it was built in somebody's garage. The price is set based on value in the marketplace and not the true cost to manufacture it. :(



Yeah, there's definitely some poor functionality, and it does take a while to load the CDs... I'm still happy, though. :)
I am too happy, specially since I can play my MP3's.:thumbup: