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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-27-2012, 03:51 PM
vicdroid vicdroid is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 328i
Exclamation Installed new stereo; powers on but no sound from speakers.

Hello everyone.
Thanks in advance for your time.

I bought a 1998 328i e36 about a year ago. It has no radio in it, and it seems like the previous owner cut the cables and took/trashed don't know what he did with the factory harness. Harsh. Yesterday I decided to finally get a stereo along with 4 new speakers and subwoofers.
I had to connect the stereo's harness directly to the wires from the car and only installed the two front speakers to test the stereo unit but no sound comes out of the speakers.
Also, the stereo powers on just fine but only when 'switched'. And seems like it does not have a constant power for the time on the stereo. (BTW my connections are properly made, soldered+electrical tape)
I checked all my fuses last night and replaced two but those two belonged to the cigar thing and horn I believe. Nothing said anything radio related.

I actually removed part of the kick panels/lower dash to follow the cable from the stereo to check if the cables may be cut at some part but no they are factory put together and are in good condition. No idea whats going on here.

I bought both harness on eBay today; the BMW factory radio harness and the harness that will plug to the factory harness to connect to the new stereo's harness. They'll be here in about a week.

So my question is; Is the car's factory harness required for the stereo to work properly or does it have any role or why is it recommended that you use a harness?

Again, thank you very mucho for your time.
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2012, 07:03 AM
remmy1101 remmy1101 is offline
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Mein Auto: e36 328i
The car has a factory amp you have to turn on. I'm not sure what wire it is but you need to send your "remote" wire to it
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  #3  
Old 01-28-2012, 11:52 AM
013137 013137 is offline
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Mein Auto: '98 328i RIP,2000 540i/6
Tap the blue remote turn on wire onto the other blue wire.
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  #4  
Old 01-29-2012, 10:20 AM
vicdroid vicdroid is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 328i
I'm putting in a new JVC stereo. So I figured I can just bypass that damn factory amp and rewire all 4 speakers along with their tweeters.

And also if you can identify these cables for me I know the ones on the right are the antenna and the ones on the left are all speaker and power cables but in the middle theres a thick black cable with about 5 thin cables in it plus what I believe its a ground cable.
Whats that for? That may have something to do with my factory amp not working.


thanks!
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  #5  
Old 01-29-2012, 10:31 AM
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JoshuaG JoshuaG is offline
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Mein Auto: 95' E36 M3
Everything in the pink circle goes directly to the stock amp behind the carpet in the trunk on the left hand side. I believe the mess in blue used to go to your cd changer which would have been mounted in the trunk on the right side. To require the speakers straight to the amp you must run a fresh set of wires to either the doors and or rear deck directly to the speakers or which I recommend cause its easer to the wire harness on the output side of the amp. Keep this in mind though. The amp also worked as a crossover for the tweeters in your doors so running a wire straight to them is going to make them sound harsh and eventually blow them.
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  #6  
Old 01-29-2012, 10:37 AM
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BMRfanatic BMRfanatic is offline
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did you splice or do you have the aftermarket harness that goes into the stock harness?
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2012, 11:42 AM
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JoshuaG JoshuaG is offline
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that looks to me like the wires were cut behing the origional harness now that im not on my phone. put it all back to gether go to your local radio shop and get an aftermarket harness. There is no point in chopping all that out unless you are going to rewire the entire car.
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2012, 11:47 AM
vicdroid vicdroid is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 328i
Dino:I bought an aftermarket harness that goes in the factory harness.

Joshua: So Am I better off buying one of these. And replacing the stock tweeters as well as the speakers.
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2012, 11:47 AM
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BMRfanatic BMRfanatic is offline
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^what he said. probably why your having problems cause as you can see the wires coming from the stock harness are completely different colors than those on the radio which can cause issues

EDIT:

http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...W01B-BW01.html

You have this?
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Last edited by BMRfanatic; 01-29-2012 at 11:49 AM.
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2012, 12:31 PM
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JoshuaG JoshuaG is offline
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well if you are rewiring from the head unit the aftermarket speakers will do nicely because they will have a crossover or at least resisters to controll the tweeters. just remember you will not be able to use the speaker wires from the old harness because they dont go directly to the doors. I compleetly pulled the old sterio harness speaker wires from the entire car, its like a half mile of wire, and mounted amps under my trunk lid and ran all new wires. about 25 feet and 2 sets of RCA's
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  #11  
Old 01-29-2012, 02:29 PM
vicdroid vicdroid is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 328i
Wow. Yeah Im defenately gonna bypass the factory amp and remove the factory wires and start from scratch and rewire from the replacement head unit.
Replace all speakers and get my subwoofer installed. I will post a pic of the result. Thanks a lot. I really appreciate your time.
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  #12  
Old 01-29-2012, 06:38 PM
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JoshuaG JoshuaG is offline
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Mein Auto: 95' E36 M3
Yup. Make sure you get a GOOD ground in the trunk. Go as far as sanding the paint off whatever your grounding to. Also you can reduce the potential for alternator whine by running your RCA's and front speaker wires down the middle of the car under the center console and carpet thus avoiding the main grounding and wiring paths in the car. If you still get interference try two things. Get a bigger grounding wire then if it's still an issue try to run your red power wire to the jump stump under the hood. Usually found left rear of the engine bay. That's all the knowledge I have unless you intend to bring it to Seattle so I can work on it.
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Maybe I haven't been here long enough to realize the knowledge you have to share. But, from all I can tell you are just an over opinionated, rude, prick.

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  #13  
Old 01-29-2012, 11:33 PM
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DinanM3e36 DinanM3e36 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshuaG View Post
well if you are rewiring from the head unit the aftermarket speakers will do nicely because they will have a crossover or at least resisters to controll the tweeters. just remember you will not be able to use the speaker wires from the old harness because they dont go directly to the doors. I compleetly pulled the old sterio harness speaker wires from the entire car, its like a half mile of wire, and mounted amps under my trunk lid and ran all new wires. about 25 feet and 2 sets of RCA's
Under trunk lid? I just mounted to rear seat back(carefully), also have mounted to actual speaker box(2 12's in a band pass) always keeping in mind access to the spare
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  #14  
Old 11-16-2013, 10:36 PM
cberlioz cberlioz is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 325ic 1994
Thank holy grail

This was all I needed, mine was blue/white wire "extra" on male harness to car female harness. Stereo and Stereo had also blue wire Kenwood KDC-255U. All speaker work greate, easy. Had installed it a weekend before and no sound. This solved the problem. Kenwood manual said "optional" for amplifier systems. Thanks remmy1101.

Quote:
Originally Posted by remmy1101 View Post
The car has a factory amp you have to turn on. I'm not sure what wire it is but you need to send your "remote" wire to it
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  #15  
Old 11-16-2013, 10:44 PM
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dwonda dwonda is offline
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Mein Auto: 1996 328iS
I have a question, my '96 came with some JVC thing I ripped out later and installed the bmw tape deck from my '95, which is NOT the C33 model the car should have I believe. Anyways, the wiring on the back is identical, all of the wires plug into it, and I have no left overs. If the connection in the blue circle is for the cd changer, my radio currently has it, but there is no button on the radio that says CD, I just have a band button, and I want to listen to the tape you just have to stick the tape in. So whats the deal?
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