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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-20-2010, 04:05 PM
theruined theruined is offline
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Thumbs up C43 Cassette/Tape Deck AUX MOD DIY (Lots of Pics!!)

I will preface this by saying it took me over 4 days of tinkering in my spare time to get this right, maybe over the span of 6 hours...I could find nothing online that led me in the right direction, and to my knowledge I am the first to attempt to write up a DIY for this Mod...If I am wrong, I apologize...I searched for weeks to no avail...so here it is (sorry for the crappy pics, best I could do)


Materials Needed:
  • Soldering Iron
  • .032" solder 60/40 with Rosen core (no need for flux)
  • 3 colors of 16 gauge wire of desired length
  • Radio Shack 1/8" 3-Conductor Stereo Phone Jack (Part # 274-0249)
  • Aux Cable of desired length
  • 4.6 or 4.8mm drill bit
  • Phillips head screw driver with swappable heads
  • Angle grinder or bore hole drill attachment approximately 1/2" (hack saw will work too)
  • Needle nose pliers with wire cutter
  • Blank Cassette tape
  • A tiny bit of logic and patience =]
  1. Remove the trim from around the stereo



  2. Notice the stereo has 4 screws positioned around it, 2 on either side, remove the screws and slide the stereo out.


  3. Remove the power harness on the back of the stereo by pulling up, first gently until it pops up a little bit, then real hard until it snaps out -- now this part is standard on most BMW stereo systems...kinda loud and surprising at first pull -- Also remove the radio antenna adapter


  4. Remove the TOP shield by removing the rear 2 screws


  5. Notice the tape deck in the middle surrounded by 4 tiny gold screws, be careful when removing these they have a tendency to get lodged behind front panel where the buttons are.



  6. Once all four screws are removed, apply a bit of force and dislodge the tape deck from the "IDE" connector - I usually pull from the right side where the ribbon is, more solid.

  7. Take a look at the tape deck - this is where I fiddled around and got kinda side-tracked. The back of the tape deck is where the load/eject and gear-pulley system is to play the tape. I tried to bypass having to put a tape inside the tape deck in order to use the AUX inlet, if you choose to contact me, I can walk you through how to bypass it, but it's not easy...takes a lot of patience and an inquisitive mind (my find was completely incidental, there is an easier way I will visit later).






  8. Find the following points on the back of your tape deck - it is important to realize on a C43 tape deck the wiring diagram is much different than the C33 - I could not find anything on this and had a bit of help from J.Crowell on the wiring which led me to figure it all out eventually.








  9. This was essentially the hardest part of the entire project, sitting in my car, trying to figure out what is what by touching wires to each point on the board...doing this I shorted it about 5 times, and found out how to eject the tape two different ways...took me about 3-4 hours thinking I had this down initially...

    Here are some pictures of what I tried...some are clear, some aren't:



    This one was using Pins 1 & 2 which I split and soldered together for the left channel - 3 is the ground which needed to be soldered well to resist interference - 4 & 5 also must be split and soldered together for the right channel...the problem was I had only ONE channel...I tried resoldering many times, to no avail...who knows you can try this it may or may not work for you...



    Pin 1 was Ground, Pin 4 was Left, Pin 5 was Right...again, this produced only one channel, and a lot of interference



    Pin 3 was Ground, Pin 4 was Left, Pin 5 was Right...this reduced interference but only produced mono again



    That's what I ended up with...
  10. Once you've soldered the back of the tape deck, solder the wire to the respective ports on the AUX jack like so



    Red = left Green = Right Black = Ground

  11. Place the tape deck back into the stereo (no need to screw it back in yet), plug the stereo into the power (you don't need to snap the harness all the way back in, just halfway) and test with a blank tape. Cross your fingers you soldered properly and you should have a working AUX jack.


  12. From here on our the instructions are all the same as all the other AUX mods - Drill a hole where you wanna run the wire and place the jack - run the wires through the housing using an angle grinder or drill bit to carve out a small chunk of metal - place the shield back on (I actually hack sawed off one of the corners of the shield where the screw went in and just ran the cables out from that corner...one screw was enough to hold it in place) and slide the stereo back in gently - replace all screws and you're basically done!







Now for the phantom tape trick, all you need to do is remove the little black spring on the metal arm that receives the tape, tape down the arm with electrical tape and make sure you do not get any errors, if you do I can help you out there, I've gotten them all -- xD (also make sure you save the spring!)

An alternate method, if you're gutsy enough -

Notice the black gear wheel on the end with the motor. What you need to do here is roll the gear, thus rotating the gears it is attached to. What you're doing is simulating loading/ejecting a tape. What you need to do is roll the gear all the way so that it thinks there's a tape inserted. THEN you need to remove the bottom shield, but be careful not to sever the ribbon on the PCB. Once this is done, slowly reattach the gears (making sure not to pinch any of the pullys on the opposite side of the space!!) and roll the gear back a bit more - what this does is lock the tape in the "LOADED" position and it will actually play itself as if there is a tape inserted. -- Much more complex and meticulous, but I truly stumbled on this by complete accident -- xD.

Cheers!

Last edited by theruined; 11-20-2010 at 04:43 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2010, 04:17 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Lemme see if I got this right....you went through all this to install a *cassette player* ????????????

You DO know that it`s almost 2011, right ? :-)
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2010, 04:20 PM
theruined theruined is offline
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to mod my cassette player cause I'm 1. Bored 2. Not down to buy and install a new stereo 3. Impressed with the quality of sound that came out of this...so yea...I did all of this for a cassette mod...

thanks!
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2010, 04:41 PM
TerraPhantm TerraPhantm is offline
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I applaud the effort, you don't see many people pulling something like that off. But I do think people are better off buying a 2003+ radio and doing the AUX diy for that. Or better yet, a 2005+ radio just so they can play MP3s.

What does the Dolby button do? It's always bothered me that the LCD on the cd-player has a dolby symbol, but it never lights up because there's no button.
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Last edited by TerraPhantm; 11-20-2010 at 04:44 PM.
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2010, 04:42 PM
theruined theruined is offline
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Yea, was the initial idea but I don't really have the money for that at the moment and this was fun to do...kinda cool to see as well IMO
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2011, 04:49 AM
SteUK SteUK is offline
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Hi,

Superb DIY! Exactly what I want to do. One problem, I have a completely different tape dec :-S

Here are some pics of what I have, hope someone can offer some advice on where I should be poking for the tape L/R out!

Cheers
Ste



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  #7  
Old 02-19-2011, 07:41 PM
theruined theruined is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteUK View Post
Hi,

Superb DIY! Exactly what I want to do. One problem, I have a completely different tape dec :-S

Here are some pics of what I have, hope someone can offer some advice on where I should be poking for the tape L/R out!

Cheers
Ste





You actually may have something similar to a C33 - try this http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=239069

**Edit**

At the time, there was no info on how to mod my deck, all I did was solder the wires onto the AUX input jack and touch each individual wire to the points I thought would be the points for L/R/Ground...

It is a bit risky, but if you're careful enough you won't short circuit your unit...if you do, all you need to remember is that everything will be alright, turn your ignition off then back on...and it should work...if you mess it up - not my fault...good luck! PM me if you have any ?s
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Last edited by theruined; 02-19-2011 at 09:13 PM.
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  #8  
Old 02-19-2011, 09:54 PM
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mrblorry mrblorry is offline
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Next project: Install an Aux input on a Pioneer SuperTuner underdash 8-track!
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2011, 09:45 AM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblorry View Post
Next project: Install an Aux input on a Pioneer SuperTuner underdash 8-track!
Man did I hate 8 tracks! I was an expert at re-spooling the tapes though after they decided to wrap themselves all over the inside of the tape deck.
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2011, 05:32 PM
theruined theruined is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblorry View Post
Next project: Install an Aux input on a Pioneer SuperTuner underdash 8-track!
hey, it CAN be done!!
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  #11  
Old 03-25-2011, 05:34 PM
vood002 vood002 is offline
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tried this...no dice

I have a C43 head unit and tried what you did here...soldering the ground, left right exactly where you had them. I feel pretty good about the soldering job but had no luck, it only came through the right channel and was somewhat distorted when it did.

I didn't have the patience to test all of the different soldering points to try to get it working right...just gave up, I'll probably try the CD changer input hack eventually.

Thanks for posting nonetheless, just wanted other C43 owners to know that this may not work for them.
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  #12  
Old 03-26-2011, 06:10 AM
bmw2001-325ci bmw2001-325ci is offline
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tape? what's a tape? is it something with adhesive on it?
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  #13  
Old 03-26-2011, 06:12 AM
bmw2001-325ci bmw2001-325ci is offline
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my cd deck is a no play so if i can replace with an mp3-capable player, that would be sweet. this s/b helpful. thx op.
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  #14  
Old 12-13-2012, 10:31 AM
mikeetastic mikeetastic is offline
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bump for a great thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by vood002 View Post
I have a C43 head unit and tried what you did here...soldering the ground, left right exactly where you had them. I feel pretty good about the soldering job but had no luck, it only came through the right channel and was somewhat distorted when it did.

I didn't have the patience to test all of the different soldering points to try to get it working right...just gave up, I'll probably try the CD changer input hack eventually.

Thanks for posting nonetheless, just wanted other C43 owners to know that this may not work for them.
this happens to me too on the "final" pins of the OP.. what i ended up using is PIN (3), (4) and (5)..

all god after that..


Quote:


That's what I ended up with...
this didn't work for me.. all i got is RIGHT MONO Audio, distorted audio and a thumping sound from time to time

Quote:


Pin 3 was Ground, Pin 4 was Left, Pin 5 was Right...this reduced interference but only produced mono again
this is the one i used.. LEFT and Right Audio with no distortion or tapping sound..

Quote:
Now for the phantom tape trick, all you need to do is remove the little black spring on the metal arm that receives the tape, tape down the arm with electrical tape and make sure you do not get any errors, if you do I can help you out there, I've gotten them all -- xD (also make sure you save the spring!)

An alternate method, if you're gutsy enough -

Notice the black gear wheel on the end with the motor. What you need to do here is roll the gear, thus rotating the gears it is attached to. What you're doing is simulating loading/ejecting a tape. What you need to do is roll the gear all the way so that it thinks there's a tape inserted. THEN you need to remove the bottom shield, but be careful not to sever the ribbon on the PCB. Once this is done, slowly reattach the gears (making sure not to pinch any of the pullys on the opposite side of the space!!) and roll the gear back a bit more - what this does is lock the tape in the "LOADED" position and it will actually play itself as if there is a tape inserted. -- Much more complex and meticulous, but I truly stumbled on this by complete accident -- xD.
can you give much more details on the phantom trick and the alternative trick?? i tried doing it on a audio tape with removed ribbon but i got a tape error..

this is the little black spring your talking about right?

arrrghh! wish i can just go to a store and buy a blank tape

Thanks for the guide BTW..
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  #15  
Old 12-15-2012, 11:17 AM
mikeetastic mikeetastic is offline
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done

Thanks once again to this old thread.. i know it's 2012 and im still using tape but with this mod it cost me $2.99 to add an Aux.. still hoping to achieve the "phantom tape trick" but i literally tried everything and it doesnt work just tape error..

what i found out is if you dont have a blank tape you can put a piece of paper on the head.. instant blank tape





i call this paper trick

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  #16  
Old 12-18-2012, 10:42 PM
neonphire8604 neonphire8604 is offline
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I Just did this to my E39 and the sound quality is impressive, much better than the tape deck adapter. You can here some background distortion though. Dolby noise canceling mode C seems to take away most of it but its still there. I am pretty sure it comes from the cassette motor back-feeding electrical noise. Have you figured out how to disable the mechanism without disrupting the input signal controls? In other words how can I stop it from running the pulley and gear system completely?
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  #17  
Old 12-18-2012, 10:44 PM
neonphire8604 neonphire8604 is offline
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeetastic View Post
done

Thanks once again to this old thread.. i know it's 2012 and im still using tape but with this mod it cost me $2.99 to add an Aux.. still hoping to achieve the "phantom tape trick" but i literally tried everything and it doesnt work just tape error..

what i found out is if you dont have a blank tape you can put a piece of paper on the head.. instant blank tape





i call this paper trick

What works even better than that is taking apart a tape (mine had screws) and removing all of the internal parts. when you do this it will never switch from side a to side b.
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:03 PM
sandhu sandhu is offline
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C43 radio aux out

I would want to have aux input in my c43 cassette player. Any idea how can i accomplish that? I am tired of using my cassette adapter and the noise it generates. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks guys. I see someone did post diy but some reason pictures won't show on my computers so i wouldn't know if its the same thing i have or not.
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:27 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Try the Electronics Forum....
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:30 PM
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Brucifer325 Brucifer325 is offline
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Might be easier to upgrade the deck with a stock unit that has AUX abilities.
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  #21  
Old 05-04-2013, 03:13 PM
sandhu sandhu is offline
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for theruind

theruind, can u forward the pictures of ur diy please
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  #22  
Old 05-04-2013, 03:49 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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theruind, can u forward the pictures of ur diy please
You`re responding to an old thread....theruind hasn`t been around in three years....
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  #23  
Old 09-23-2013, 02:21 PM
TxUtopian TxUtopian is offline
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The correct pins for Ground-Left-Right...

I just finished this mod over the weekend and had a few clarifications/impressions to offer. First off, it's an awesome mod to do for a few bucks vs. hundreds of bucks! I achieved awesome sound with strong CD-quality output from both the left and right channels.

The biggest question everybody has had (including myself) has been what connections to tap into to get the ground and left and right channels correct. Referring to the pin order given by the OP, pin 3 is ground, pin 4 is left channel, and pin 5 is right channel. I traced the circuits and those are the pins leading to the IDE connector that provides signals to the main circuit board. You could also tap onto the pins for those inputs on the Dolby NR processor chip (HA12161FP), but they're really tiny and you get the same effect by using the 3, 4, and 5 pins on the IDE connector anyway. Good pictures of what I'm talking about are over at BimmerForums here:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...h-C43-headunit

The other thing to be quite careful of is to use a multi-meter to test for lack of continuity between the wires and pins you solder to and their adjacent pins. If there is no continuity between adjacent pins, then you've successfully avoided bridging between those pins. The multi-meter is your friend... I think that folks here who ended up getting mono or right-only channel when trying the 3,4,5 pin combination had a bridge of some sort and that's what made their sound come off bad.

Doesn't hurt to practice on your soldering skills by hooking the wires up to the lugs on the female jack lugs first. Then when you get ready to tap onto the IDE pins, make sure to get a small blob of solder on the end of your wire first and let it cool, then tape the wire into position where it's on top of the pin you want to solder to, and just apply heat to the end of the wire...that little blob will melt and make the connection. No need to have four hands to hold solder, the soldering iron, the wire, and to steady yourself...

Anyway it was fun, and I'm a happy camper!
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  #24  
Old 09-24-2013, 08:00 AM
TxUtopian TxUtopian is offline
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One more thing...the perfect phantom tape solution

I forgot to include an important finishing touch of this mod...the perfect phantom tape solution. If you've already taken the pins 3, 4, and 5 connection route, then if you use this phantom tape approach, you'll also preserve full tape player function as well.

If you don't know this already, you have to find a way to convince the tape deck that it has a tape inserted and playing, so that the main radio circuitry will switch to the tape audio channel inputs (the same ones you've tapped into with your AUX mini-jack) to amplify out the speakers. The simple approach of just putting a blank tape in will work because the AUX IN inputs easily overload whatever hiss the head may generate from reading the tape. BUT, you still will get a brief 1-2 second mute of your AUX inputs whenever the tape reaches its end and switches over to play back the other side. If you're a purist, that is a sucky situation...so what to do?

Take a cassette tape apart (preferably one from TDK because they are screwed together) and remove all the tape from the drive wheels. Then find a rubber band that will fit with a firm tension around both drive wheels...not too loose so that it slips and not too tight so that it pulls the wheels together and out of their tape case holes. What you want is both wheels turning together so that the tape deck mechanism believes a tape is in place with wheels turning correctly and in unison. Otherwise, you'll get the nasty "Tape Error" message. Slap that puppy in and since the drive wheels in the tape case just keep going round and round, you never have an end of tape condition, and thus never encounter the 1-2 second sound mute from a tape side flip. You also have no signal being picked up by the actual tape head to generate any form of hiss.

Now that you have your phantom tape (or AUX tape) in hand, your C43 head unit has full CD changer, AM-FM, cassette tape, and AUX IN capabilities...
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