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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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  #1  
Old 04-22-2013, 01:30 PM
BubbaRichard BubbaRichard is offline
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Location: Houston, Texas
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Mein Auto: Z3, Jeep, 2xHarley
New Antenna cable path from rear to front?

I just picked up a 1998 Z3 with 148,000 miles on it. It's a fixer upper but it's not actually horrible. The radio's volume is burned out so you can't adjust it. It's too load with the top up or when I'm moving slow but almost right when I'm wiping down the highway. I bought a Kenwood radio and everything I need to install it but the antenna was already broken off so I bought an American Antenna, no adapter need for the cable. I figured I would pull of the door sill and see a nest of wires below it. No such luck. It still appears that the current antenna cable goes through the same area.
Before I go fishing, in an almost literal sense, are there any suggestions?

Thanks,
Bubba
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2013, 06:55 AM
rudyrov rudyrov is offline
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Location: Bothell, WA.
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW Z3
I am sorry but I don't understand the question. Do you want to replace the entire antenna cable? Why not just replace the end, its easy to solder in a new connector if that's the case.
My advice is to keep the car as original as possible when it comes to wiring. Use adapters and such to change formats when needed.

What antenna did you get?
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  #3  
Old 04-23-2013, 07:50 AM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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Location: Springfield, Ohio, USA
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster
I agree. You shouldn't have to replace the cable, and you would have to tear apart a lot of stuff to do it. I know it goes through the boot grommet behind the driver (left hand drive), and I don't think it goes down the center console, but I don't know where it goes. Just getting to the boot requires removal of the roll hoops, seat belts, the back of the console, and the entire trim across the back.

The actual antenna that sticks out of the fender is a standard threaded stud. Many have installed aftermarket and even Honda antennas there. Just screw it on.

At the head unit end, it has a standard German connector. Adapters are readily available to connect it to an aftermarket head unit.

Last edited by Blacklane; 04-23-2013 at 07:54 AM.
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  #4  
Old 04-23-2013, 09:57 AM
BubbaRichard BubbaRichard is offline
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Location: Houston, Texas
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Mein Auto: Z3, Jeep, 2xHarley
The original antenna was broken off and the antenna amplifier (I'm guessing) was cracked. Finding an adapter for the front side of the antenna is becoming a problem although I did find one to hook the American antenna (no named aftermarket) up on the back. I did trace the wire bunch to the door sill and was hoping that someone knew of an easy trick to pull the wires through, possible from underneath the car. Guess not. I need 2door panels, front brake copiers, front tie rods, back left tire appears to be leaning inward, clock/mpg calculator doesn't respond, right blinker occasionally works and the wiper pump Moyer leaks.

Did I mention I paid under 6000 for it?

Bubba

Last edited by BubbaRichard; 04-23-2013 at 10:04 AM.
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  #5  
Old 04-23-2013, 10:02 AM
crappyattitude1 crappyattitude1 is offline
YYZED3M Driver
Location: Crappyville, TN
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 159
Mein Auto: '99 ////M Roadster
Good luck...

with your project. I am STILL trying to get decent radio reception. Tried three different antennae. Tried two different adapters. then bought a windshield mount, and put in on the back of the rear console.... That works better than anything else.. still not as good as what I want.....

Crappy : )

(Just outside of Nashville)

Last edited by crappyattitude1; 04-23-2013 at 12:31 PM. Reason: sp
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  #6  
Old 04-23-2013, 11:07 AM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster
I bought a head unit with an IPod interface. Now I never listen to the radio, just my IPod playlist called "Road Tunes," which is hundreds of upbeat, fun songs.

I don't think you can pull the antenna cable out easily. In quite a few places, it's wrapped with black cloth tape to other wires. Just getting it out of the gromet will be a job. Of course, it can be done; it's just not going to be easy.
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  #7  
Old 04-23-2013, 12:35 PM
crappyattitude1 crappyattitude1 is offline
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Location: Crappyville, TN
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 159
Mein Auto: '99 ////M Roadster
Blacklane....

I agree. It will be a booger to remove the original coaxial cable. I just left it... The original antenna got better reception unplugged from a power source.
My Alpine has an iPod plugged into the back and velcro'd to the carpet under the console. "BMW iPod" with about 3500 songs... I'm ready for a LONG trip!

Crappy : )

(Just outside of Nashville)
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  #8  
Old 04-25-2013, 09:48 PM
BubbaRichard BubbaRichard is offline
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Location: Houston, Texas
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Mein Auto: Z3, Jeep, 2xHarley
Ok, I bought the adapters and the radio lights up and picks up stations just like it should. I know this because it shows me what's playing on the HD channels but there is no sound! On the adapter for the speakers I bought there is a blue wire labeled antenna and a orange wire labeled illumination. Since the antenna isn't powered and it's picking up the stations I'm taking that's not it. Someone have a wiring schema for the Z3's radio. I think the adapter has the wires wrong and is possibly more generic.
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  #9  
Old 04-26-2013, 05:58 AM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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Location: Springfield, Ohio, USA
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster
This is a common mistake when installing aftermarket head units in these cars. The amplifier sense wire on these cars is white, not blue.

Look over this thread, near the bottom: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=641635

There are several other threads. If you look near the top of the forum page, on the right, there is a box labeled "Search This Forum." Click that and type "Blue White" and you will find many answers.
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  #10  
Old 04-26-2013, 06:45 AM
rudyrov rudyrov is offline
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Location: Bothell, WA.
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW Z3
Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbaRichard View Post
Ok, I bought the adapters and the radio lights up and picks up stations just like it should. I know this because it shows me what's playing on the HD channels but there is no sound! On the adapter for the speakers I bought there is a blue wire labeled antenna and a orange wire labeled illumination. Since the antenna isn't powered and it's picking up the stations I'm taking that's not it. Someone have a wiring schema for the Z3's radio. I think the adapter has the wires wrong and is possibly more generic.
If you have the Stock BMW or HK amplifier in the trunk, then you need to use the radios blue wire to trigger the amplifier to turn on. Most aftermarket radios have at least one blue wire that can be used to trigger power antennas (electric up & down), powered antennas (those with an amplifier built in to boost signal) and power amplifiers used to power the systems speakers.
Care should be taken not to power too many things from a radios blue wire, check the manual for specs. If needed a simple relay system can be added to provide more "Blue wire power."
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  #11  
Old 04-26-2013, 07:47 AM
BubbaRichard BubbaRichard is offline
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Location: Houston, Texas
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: Z3, Jeep, 2xHarley
All right, thanks everybody, I'll try it tonight
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