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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #51  
Old 02-01-2013, 12:25 PM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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Location: Springfield, Ohio, USA
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster
Lots of people use aftermarket amps with the Z3 headunit. You have to choose the right amp, however. Some amplifiers handle "Line Level" inputs, or levels that are already strong enought to run speakers. You can connect those amplifiers right into the speaker lines. Others require pre-amp level inputs, which are RCA connectors in the back of modern head units. The advantage is that, since the signal has not already been amplified, it has lower noise to the input. Then most modern amps can handle either level either by changing a swithch or automatically. Plus, if you have the wrong configuration, you can buy adapters to match them.

The BMW head unit has a pre-amp level to the HK amp. Just about any aftermarket amp will work just fine if you connect to those wires. Just don't choose an amp specifically made for line level. You will probably have to install RCA connectors to the BMW wiring or choose an amp that has screw connectors for the input wiring.

A bad way to do it would be to connect a line-level amp to the output of the HK amp. Then you would be amplifying the already bad 10% Total Harmonic Distortion.

An even better choice would be to replace the head unit with a modern one that has an ipod interface, etc. Then run a three-channel RCA cable from the pre-amp of that to a new amplifier in the trunk.

Last edited by Blacklane; 02-01-2013 at 12:59 PM.
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  #52  
Old 02-01-2013, 08:31 PM
gettheledout gettheledout is offline
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Location: West Virginia
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Mein Auto: 2000 M Roadster
I have the HK system. I have purchased an Audiocontrol LC7i to accept the 4 channels + sub from the factory CD43. Just to be clear, the INPUTS to the Audiocontrol will be the wires labeled "left back in +/-, left front in +/-," etc.

These inputs are from the headunit and are completely unfiltered, right? I will use the crossovers on my new front component speakers to do that.

Then I will connect all the wires like "left 1" +/-" to the amplifier outputs, since I am reusing the stock wiring.

If that's all correct, I think I finally understand how the wiring in this works!
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  #53  
Old 02-02-2013, 08:09 AM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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Location: Springfield, Ohio, USA
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster
I guess you could do that, but normally the crossovers go between the output of the amp and the speakers.
The head unit output correspond to amplifier inputs for each channel.
The amplifier output can go to the speakers (for broad-frequency range speakers, such as the rear speakers). For component speakers, the amplifier output goes first to the crossovers to separate the frequencies into low frequency for the mid-range speakers (usually in the footwell) and high frequency for the tweeters (usually in the door).
You will supply your own wires between the amplifier and the crossovers and connect to the existing wires everywhere else.
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  #54  
Old 08-13-2015, 08:20 PM
KY Z3 KY Z3 is offline
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Location: Louisville, Kentucky
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
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Mein Auto: '00 Z3 2.3 Titanium Silv.
Wiring Question

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Originally Posted by Mpire View Post
Wait, are you using a stock head unit? If so, you don't need to thread anything or do anything in the cabin, ITS ALL IN THE TRUNK ALREADY.

If you are using an aftermarket head unit I would just run a 6 channel RCA down the center of the car on a coupe and across the drivers side and down the footwell to the hatch area through the grommet behind the driver under the carpet.

However, you don't need to do anything if you have a stock head unit.

Just look at this diagram and splice the leads accordingly into the amp and then wire the speakers into the crossovers. That's all there is to it.

Hey, MPIRE...I know it was a long time ago that you posted your wiring map. I have a question about slots 8 & 16 and 11 & 12 on the output harness. You indicate 8 & 16 as "right back in + and -" and slots 11 & 12 as "right 1" + and -." Which grouping is the tweeter and which is the mid-range or am I misinterpreting the descriptions. I am trying to run a three way crossover to the kickpanel and door speakers and I am not sure which is which. Any assistance you can give (if you remember!) would be greatly appreciated.
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  #55  
Old 08-14-2015, 04:52 AM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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Location: Springfield, Ohio, USA
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster
The best way to choose the speaker wire pairs is to see what colors are at each speaker position when you install the speaker. The colors at the amp end are the same. Be sure to note the polarity (+ or -) at the speaker, or at least assign the polarity to be the same at each end. In general, a pair will have one "softer" and one "brighter" color trace, such as brown vs red or gray vs blue. The softer color is the (-) side.

According to my Bentley manual for 1996-1998, the speaker wire colors are:
Left Front low: Yel/Red Yel/Brn
Left front high: Yel/Grn Yel/Brn
Left Front mid: Yel/Gray Yel/Blu
Right Front low: Blu/red Blu/Brn
Right Front high: Blu/Brn Blu/Grn
Right Front mid: Yel/red Brn/Orange
Subwoofer left: Yel/Grey Yel/Blu
Subwoofer right: Blu/Vio Blu/Gray
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  #56  
Old 08-14-2015, 05:47 AM
KY Z3 KY Z3 is offline
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Location: Louisville, Kentucky
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: '00 Z3 2.3 Titanium Silv.
Z3 Amplifier Upgrade Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklane View Post
The best way to choose the speaker wire pairs is to see what colors are at each speaker position when you install the speaker. The colors at the amp end are the same. Be sure to note the polarity (+ or -) at the speaker, or at least assign the polarity to be the same at each end. In general, a pair will have one "softer" and one "brighter" color trace, such as brown vs red or gray vs blue. The softer color is the (-) side.

According to my Bentley manual for 1996-1998, the speaker wire colors are:
Left Front low: Yel/Red Yel/Brn
Left front high: Yel/Grn Yel/Brn
Left Front mid: Yel/Gray Yel/Blu
Right Front low: Blu/red Blu/Brn
Right Front high: Blu/Brn Blu/Grn
Right Front mid: Yel/red Brn/Orange
Subwoofer left: Yel/Grey Yel/Blu
Subwoofer right: Blu/Vio Blu/Gray
Thanks, Blacklane! I have a 2000 Z3 with non-HK hifi system (only one amplifier). I saw the 96-98 chart elsewhere and it doesn't match up. However, I think I broke the code. In the harness there are two separate plugs with 21 pins (one light gray and one black). I was operating under the assumption that the black plug was all input and the gray plug was all output. Not so! I reworked the diagram that Mpire provided after verifying all of the wire/colors in my harness. I think I have everything identifed correctly except the subwoofer output. I believe it is the light brown wire (pin #1) and the yellow wire (pin#2), but I will have to pull out the toner this weekend to make sure. I will post the updated wiring chart in this forum. Thanks for your help.
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