[How To] e46 Install of Amp, Subs, Cap (on my 330xi) - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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Old 07-08-2013, 04:28 PM
UltimatePeter UltimatePeter is offline
IT Manager
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 57
Mein Auto: BMW 330xi
Arrow [How To] e46 Install of Amp, Subs, Cap (on my 330xi)

Here is a video I just made for helping people out with installing Amplifier, Subwoofers, Capacitor on a BMW e46 body with the Harman Kardon Sound System.

Complete walkthrough of installing an Amp with two 12-inch Subs and a Capacitor on BMW e46 body. This will be the same for all e46 cars with the Harmon Kardon factory system included with many BMW 3 Series Models.

I believe the following are included in this group:
BMW 316 (316i, 316ti)
BMW 318 (318i, 318ci, 318ti)
BMW 320 (320i, 320ci)
BMW 323 (323i, 323ci)
BMW 325 (325i, 325xi, 325ci, 325ti)
BMW 328 (328i, 328ci)
BMW 330 (330i, 330xi, 330ci)
and BMW M3

I am performing the install on my own BMW 330xi, but as far as I am led to believe, it should be very similar or same on any e46 (correct me if I'm wrong).
I saw one other install video on Youtube for this, but it seemed to me that he rushed through it and didn't really get in depth. So, I wanted to go ahead and lay it out from A to Z.

1- Take out trunk mat, then Un-peg tray in interior left floor of trunk. Also remove two pegs from the above interior upholstery.

2- Setting up your remote wire:
-Locate Harman Kardon trunk amplifier in left of trunk, push button on bracket and pull wiring harness lever to remove massive wiring harness. (Ignore extra bundle of wires, no leads there)
-Slide two wiring harnesses (black and gray) out of bracket.
-Isolate gray wiring harness and find the fourth wire (of the small wires) which is white.
-Tap Splice the white wire with your amplifier remote wire (I think I used 16 guage tap splices).
-Feed remote wire out under upholstery and reassemble bracket/harness/upholstery/tray.

3- Connecting Line Output Converter:
-Locate secondary Harman Kardon hardware on roof of trunk.
-Slip wire bracket to the left in order to get it to come off.
-Locate wires that match colors with the wires running into opposing side speaker.
-Tap Splice those two wires as well as the ones running into the near speaker. (these should be spliced with the positive and negative for each side according to the colors for your output converter)
-Ground your output converter.
-Tuck and zip tie.

4- Hook up the Battery:
-Run Battery Positive (+) to your fuse (don't put fuse in until completely finished!)
-Run fuse to Cap Positive (+).
-Run Cap Positive to Amplifier Positive (+).
-Run Cap Negative to ground or Battery Negative (-).
-Run Amp Negative to ground or Battery Negative (-).
-Hook in remote wire (first wire we tackled on Harman Kardon Amp) to your amp.
-Run RCA cables from Output Converter to amp.
-Run speaker wire from amp to your sub/subs.
-Put fuse back in.

Note: My subs were dual voice-coil and I ran them in daisy chain, so I could run the amp bridged and then get my Ohms split in half.
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:31 AM
UltimatePeter UltimatePeter is offline
IT Manager
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 57
Mein Auto: BMW 330xi
Cool Update:

Hey guys,
I was getting some feedback on my video in another post about how it is not good practice to tap into the wires after the HK amp.
I really do appreciate the feedback, because I want to do this right!
So, I had plans to probably switch the Output Converter to Pre-amp...

But now my stereo tinkering is moving into phase II...

I pulled the dash and was working on putting in the AUX cable for my phone because I can't very well continue to lug around a case of CDs like this is 1997! Lol.
I pulled my head unit out, and found that I don't even have an Aux hookup, doh!
So, I bought a pioneer head that has bluetooth and can be set for amber LED glow.
Now I'm just waiting for the Fit-Kit and wiring harness. Have read that I just need to make sure to hook the remote wire to the power antenna cable... and sometime in the future I will plan on getting the retrofit for the steering wheel controls.
Anyway, this head will allow me to run the straight RCAs from the front, and I can also split frequencies.... Planning to run everything below 80hz to the sub and everything above to the harman kardon, hope it works well. I will probably video some of it, and give updates.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:45 AM
UltimatePeter UltimatePeter is offline
IT Manager
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 57
Mein Auto: BMW 330xi
Thumbs up Update: (Installed Head Unit and now hooked Amp Correctly)

Hi folks, just updating my BMW 330 Car Audio Journey:

I have installed the Pioneer Head Unit and will say that it is so much better now!

I have also changed the way I hooked up the amp in the trunk (while also putting in a different amp and sub)
I have removed the Cap, because this Amp from Hifonics is super efficient and I no longer have Headlight Dim (I am also installing a 200 amp Alternator).

Here is a video update on how to correctly install an amp by wiring your output converter before the HK Factory Amp:

I ran RCA's from the head unit, but the problem is, your signal is then too quiet. Because of the HK boosting signal to all other speakers in the car, the RCA pre-out on the Head Unit is too quiet. The RCA pre-out is set to match the other speaker outs from the Head. So, I went back to the Converter and it is working pretty good.

Visit: http://ultimatepeter.com

Last edited by UltimatePeter; 09-10-2013 at 08:47 AM.
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