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  #1  
Old 05-30-2006, 08:57 AM
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jvr826 jvr826 is online now
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Mein Auto: 05 330ci 6MT
2005 330ci H/K Sound System Upgrade - Complete!!

I just completed installing the a/d/s/ equipment I've used in two previous Bimmers, both E39's. The equipment has been sitting and waiting to be installed for a full year. My only regret about this project is I waited a year to do it. What was I thinking?

Well, I was thinking the H/K system wasn't that bad. Compared to the standard system in my past E39’s, it really wasn’t. However, compared to the a/d/s/ equipment, there’s no contest. What was I waiting for?

Vehicle
2005 BMW 330ci with Navigation and H/K Sound System

References
I used the awesome post at: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=245914 originally written by William Quiles (bmwm3coupe@yahoo.com), reposted with permission by Seth Horwitz. This gave me all the wiring harness information, as well as a good idea of what to expect when I pulled the doors apart.

I also used this post: http://www.e46fanatics.com/howto/how...php?howto_id=6 by Jordan Buser. This gave me clear instructions of how to remove the front door panels.

Equipment
As I mentioned, this is the same a/d/s/ equipment I’ve had since 1999. P840 amp, 335is component speakers up front, A5i/m rear speakers, 310RS sub in a custom sealed enclosure. I also purchased a Peripheral SVEN4.

Requirements
  1. Make no permanent modifications to the car.
  2. Connect to the factory harness without cutting off any connectors.
  3. Retain as much trunk space as possible.
  4. Do not obstruct access to the donut spare tire.
  5. The system must be fully removable for track days.
  6. This time it’s gotta look good and sound good!!

Wiring
When I did my E39 installs I was able to obtain matching connectors from Tyco/AMP and wired them to interface to the factory harness. I tried again, but was unable to achieve the same miracle with the E46 install. The reason being, Tyco/AMP does not make the connector that is in the amplifier. It’s made by Siemens and all attempts to get the parts failed. In order to meet requirements 1 & 2, I purchased a used standard amplifier for a 1999 E46 Sedan from a guy on eBay and removed all of the guts except for the small PC board the connector is on.

On this PC board are six mini connectors that plug into the main system board. I used a voltmeter with a continuity test feature to map the pins from the harness connector to the appropriate contacts on the mini connectors. I have documented the mapping in the following diagram. A high resolution version is available here.


Cannibal connector pin mapping

To make my “cannibal connector” I used 24ga solid core wire from telephone cable and some other stuff I had around. The size of this wire is perfect for making a good connection with the contacts in the mini connectors. I ran these short wires to terminal strips, the same ones William used in his install. One bank for front speakers, one bank for pre-amp signals. The image below is a pre-tested photo of my “cannibal connector.” After testing it, I had some alternator whine that was not volume dependent, so I did some poking around and found that BillP had the same problem – the solution was to move the +12v remote-on signal away from the pre-amp signals. Once I did this, the whine was substantially reduced. I then tuned it out by adjusting the levels on the SVEN4.


Cannibal connector

To satisfy requirement #5 I used molex style connectors I purchased from Radio Shack to connect my equipment to the cannibal connector and to my rear speaker and sub wiring. I used three matching pairs of 9-pin connectors (front speakers, rear speakers, pre-amp) and one 4-pin connector (dual voice coil sub). These accessories make removing the system a one minute operation.


Cannibal connector with terminated feed cables.

In addition to these connectors, I also used 4-conductor speaker cable. I had several feet of Monster Cable XLN cable from my 2002 530i system, but it was only enough to use on the equipment board. I purchased 25 feet of CL-3 rated 4-conductor Monster Cable home theater cable for the runs from the cannibal connector to the system board connectors. Using the 4-conductor cables made a very neat install. All the wire is 16ga.

Equipment Board
To meet requirements 3, 4 and 5, I created an equipment board that sits on the donut spare under the trunk floor. Several people have installed their equipment in this location so I figured it would work well for me also.


Equipment board

I used the plastic insert that covers the spare tire as a template and cut a piece of .75” MDF, drilled a 1.25” hole in the center for the threaded pipe that holds the tire in place, and covered it with grey carpet I had on hand from the 1999 528i project. It was not a good color match to the carpet in the trunk of that car, but it’s nearly a perfect match to the carpet in the E46 trunk. Good thing I’m a pack rat!

I mounted the SVEN4, P840, and the four crossovers on the board. The amp is situated on the right side, close to the battery and grounding point so that the 4ga power wires would not cross any signal or speaker wire connections. I used the Monster Cable XLN cables with their black jacket to do all the wiring on the system board. I fixed the cables using black wire ties fed up from the bottom thru holes I drilled in the board. All of the cables run to the back left corner of the board and terminate at the molex connectors.


Molex connector medley

Rear Speakers
I decided since I had room for the crossovers and I could access the rear speakers without yanking out the whole rear end of the car, as you must in the E39, that I’d put them in. I removed the wimpy H/K “woofer” from the factory mounting brackets and used the a/d/s/ mounting bracket that came with the speakers to mount them in the stock bracket, then removed the “basket” from the factory mounting location and installed the speakers. I ran 4-conductor cables to each location and terminated them with a molex connector under the floor of the trunk.


Cutting the a/d/s/ mounting bracket on the band saw


Rear speaker in factory bracket


Rear speaker in factory bracket, back side


Mounting location in rear deck, basket removed


Rear speaker in factory location

Front Speakers
The a/d/s/ woofers fit in the stock locations well. I used the same approach William used in his DIY except I did not have any foam rubber to make a gasket, so I purchased .75” wide by .5” thick auto/marine weather stripping. I also did not cut the factory harness connector off. Instead, I plugged a blade-type wire connector into each side of the factory connector and taped it up well with electrical tape.

For the tweeters, I also mounted them in the midrange location, however I do not do well working with metal, so I removed the factory midrange from it’s bracket and fashioned an adapter to mount my tweeters in. They do not angle towards the driver like the factory tweeters do, but oh well. I don’t think it makes any difference in this situation. Imaging is fine.

To make the bracket I cannibalized an old network router I had because it was large enough to make two brackets, the plastic case was 1/8” thick, and I could use my Dremel to cut it. This could not have worked out any better!


Tweeter mounting pieces, custom bracket on left



Tweeter mounted - front view


Tweeter mounted - rear view

For the wiring, I utilized the midrange connections because they were right there and I was able to connect to them without cutting any wires.


Tweeter mounted in door panel

Subwoofer
I built the enclosure for my 530i project and modified it for the E46. In the 530i, the woofer fired thru the rear armrest. Unfortunately, I was unable to do this in the 330ci project because I have fold down rear seats with the ski pass-thru. There is a rear door that is not easily removed, and since I didn’t want to make any permanent modifications, I modified the enclosure so the woofer fired into the trunk space. Since I removed the H/K subs, their port holes are open and allow the bass to enter the cabin pretty well. The enclosure is angled to fit snugly against the rear seats, minimizing the space required for the box.



Subwoofer Enclosure

To satisfy requirement #6, I covered the enclosure with the same carpet I used for the equipment board. Connections to the sub are made with banana plugs, again, for easy removal. I have Velcro on the bottom and will have angle brackets on the top that screw into the metal below the package shelf.


Subwoofer in place

Concerns
The Ultimate Driving Machine is now the Ultimate Sound Machine too. Will I ever be able to park this car?

I do have one real concern, heat build-up under the trunk floor. The P840 can get pretty hot and I’m wondering if it will be enough to shut the amp down on long trips. I’ll be doing 350 miles to Willow Springs next weekend and will see how things go.

The Results
If you’re not fully satisfied with your E46 sound system, rest assured there is a lot of room for improvement. All I can say is WOW! After a year with the H/K system I wasn’t sure all the work would be worth it. It was very worth it and I was able to meet every single one of my requirements. A little more fine-tuning and a few punch list items to complete and it will be done.
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  #2  
Old 05-30-2006, 12:10 PM
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Hercules Hercules is offline
Nick Burns, the Comp Guy
Location: New Jersey, USA
 
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Looks great! Do you have a final price and time on your labor?

I might hit you up with questions when I finally get around to doing it... a few months away probably, by fall I think, when it's cooler out
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  #3  
Old 05-30-2006, 12:23 PM
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Hercules Hercules is offline
Nick Burns, the Comp Guy
Location: New Jersey, USA
 
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By the way, you can always add a cooling fan (PC ones are good, high CFM, low power utilization) to dissipate the heat off the amp or use it as an exhaust or whatever.

Just run it off of the 12v switched power.
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  #4  
Old 05-30-2006, 12:55 PM
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jvr826 jvr826 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hercules
Looks great! Do you have a final price and time on your labor?

I might hit you up with questions when I finally get around to doing it... a few months away probably, by fall I think, when it's cooler out
Thanks!! I've had the equipment since 1999 and back then I think I spent about $2k on everything, including the installation necessities. I know someone who got almost the exact same setup, used from eBay for a quarter of that cost.

You can skip the rear speakers. Like I said, I put them in because it was easy access and I had them. If I were starting from scratch I'd skip them completely.

The fan is a good idea and something I've had in the back of my mind. I'd have to cut a hole in the trunk floor, so I'm only gonna do that if I have problems.

I spent many, many hours on the project this past week. I live in a rural area, so most of my time was spent running for this and that. You know the drill, nothing works, you need to pull out your voltmeter that hasn't been used in months to check a circuit, and it's dead. It doesn't take the batteries you have piles of, it takes special watch batteries, so you go out for new ones, come home and it still doesn't work. Now you run out to buy a new volt meter. Three hours later you can debug the problem.

And, what you see is my final interpretation. I took a journey to get to the rear speaker mounting decision, and another one for the front tweeters. I tried some other things first.
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  #5  
Old 05-30-2006, 01:19 PM
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Hercules Hercules is offline
Nick Burns, the Comp Guy
Location: New Jersey, USA
 
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Well you can run the fan inside to move stagnant air around, without drilling out to the trunk... it might be a better solution than to have an unsightly hole peering out at you
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  #6  
Old 05-30-2006, 01:26 PM
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Hercules Hercules is offline
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I have to admit, I'm not going to make it too tough on myself... I'll likely just snap off the speaker connections. I might try to fashion a connector for the main harness so I can keep the amplifier incase I decide to switch out, but that's down the road and we'll see
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  #7  
Old 06-05-2006, 09:02 AM
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jvr826 jvr826 is online now
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Well, my concern about heat under the floor was valid. I learned a hard lesson this past weekend on a long trip in 95+ degree heat - locating my air cooled amp under the floor in the trunk was a BAD idea. On short trips it's fine, but driving over 5 hours in that heat with a trunk full of stuff caused my a/d/s/ amp to overheat and fry itself. It cut out on me about an hour before I reached my destination and upon investigation it blew the fuse in the amp. I replaced it and it blew immediately when the amp turned on. After taking the amp apart, I found a component on the board had roasted itself.

I was at the track this weekend in 100+ degree heat and learned also that the muffler gets very hot. I empty my trunk for sessions and when I was packing up to leave, I touched the metal in the spare tire well to find it was very hot, too hot to hold my hand on for more than a second. In an M3 with that big honkin' muffler, well, I can only imagine how much heat is generated under there.

Back to the drawing board for me. I don't know that a fan swishing super hot air around would have prevented this disaster. This is a major buzz kill. The setup I had was ideal for my needs, now I have to rethink it all.
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:50 AM
el_duderino el_duderino is offline
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You have height issues there that might prevent using spacers under the amplifier for better circulation, and the a/d/s/ amp is thinner than anything now produced.

A 6-channel amp that will fit in that spot is a tough call. The Zapco DC amps are low profile and internally fan cooled, but they are long and narrow, and I don't know if they would fit.

But I think a fan would have helped. The air moving across the heat sink would have cooled things down, and space underneath the amp - even a couple of mm - would help prevent it from getting too hot. You might consider flushing a fan into the amp floor and spacing the new amp with a couple of washers.
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  #9  
Old 06-06-2006, 01:57 PM
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I found a repair facility in MA that will take care of my amp for me. ampdoctor.com. He said it would be about $100 plus shipping, pretty reasonable. He'll wind a new transformer for it.

While it's gone I'm going to rewire the system so the amp is no longer under the floor. It was a good idea at the time, but I don't want to chance another melt down. I will also ditch the rear speakers and bi-amp the fronts. This will give me more control over the tweeter volume so I can blend the front stage better.

I may also rework the sub enclosure to fire thru the rear arm rest. The bass is barely adequate. Though I don't need to tip over trash cans, I do need a little more low end support up front. I think 120w per coil is borderline not-quite-enough in the current setup.
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Old 06-13-2006, 10:19 AM
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jvr826 jvr826 is online now
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What do u think if this idea El Duderino?

My amp is getting repaired and I've been thinking about the fixes I need to make. I really do want to keep the amp under the floor. So, I ordered 2x 115mm square fans that pull > 100cfm each and plan on installing them in the trunk floor in a push pull arrangement. Question is, does it matter where they go?

From a convenience perspective, having them above the SVEN4 and amp connections would allow me to load the trunk and not obstruct air flow. Would this be adequate?

The other option is one above the amp connections, the other at the opposite side of the amp where the setting adjustments are. This would pull hot air out and draw cooler air in and flow it over the cooling fins.

I'm also building a new sub enclosure that will fire the sub thru the rear arm rest. Turns out, removing the ski pass-thru in the coupe was a five minute exercise with no permanent mods to the car, much unlike the E39 I once had. I'm also gonna ditch the rear speakers and feed the sub with those channels so I can control the blend from the stereo controls, and bi-amp the front components.
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Old 06-13-2006, 12:22 PM
el_duderino el_duderino is offline
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The fans should be great - just make sure that the amp has some air underneath it too. Plastic spacers of some kind should do the trick.
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  #12  
Old 06-14-2006, 06:33 PM
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jvr826 jvr826 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el_duderino
The fans should be great - just make sure that the amp has some air underneath it too. Plastic spacers of some kind should do the trick.
Danke!
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:03 AM
YourOPeein YourOPeein is offline
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I 'threw away an 05 E320 with an H/K and man do I miss that sound. Where can I find a H/K for an 2001 540? I must not be looking in the right places.
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