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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-05-2005, 12:40 PM
cHnKstA cHnKstA is offline
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Question about HU

i have a 97 328i, and it only came with the HU w/a cassette player but it also allows me to hook up an cd changer. what kind of cd changer will i be allowed to hook up to it. and how much will it cost? am i allowed to hook up an aftermarket changer or do i have to go oem? and how long will the install take if i did it compared to a pro?
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2005, 01:29 PM
wavewuver wavewuver is offline
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Since you have a post 1995, you can go aftermarket, if you want.

You can always go OEM. If you go OEM, try Pacific BMW. OEM will run you at least $500, and possibly more.
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2005, 04:37 PM
cHnKstA cHnKstA is offline
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if i go aftermarket, which one is compatible with my HU?
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2005, 05:03 PM
LDV330i LDV330i is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cHnKstA
if i go aftermarket, which one is compatible with my HU?
Any Alpine CD or MP3 player with a Blitzsafe or Soundgate adapter will work. The CD changer with adapter should be in the $250 neighborhood and the MP3 player in the $350's. Alpine is the maker of the OEM changer so the Alpine changer is identical on the outside to OEM. The reason that you need an adapter is that OEM changers speak the I-Bus communications protocol while the Alpine CD speaks the M-Bus communications protocol and MP3 the Ai-Net protocol. Do not worry about these details. Your HU will not know the difference.
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  #5  
Old 08-05-2005, 05:53 PM
Bmwcat Bmwcat is offline
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You might find an Alpine changer on Ebay for a reasonable price. Our cars are pre-wired for the I-bus system. Ive ordered one myself this week, they mount in the trunk where the I-bus cable is located.
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  #6  
Old 08-05-2005, 11:27 PM
cHnKstA cHnKstA is offline
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where is the ibus cable located at? so let me get this right, i could buy any alpine cd changer and connect it to the oem HU? and which one did you get Bmwcat?
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  #7  
Old 08-06-2005, 12:16 AM
LDV330i LDV330i is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cHnKstA
where is the ibus cable located at? so let me get this right, i could buy any alpine cd changer and connect it to the oem HU? and which one did you get Bmwcat?
The changer connector into the I-Bus will be on top of the wheel well on the driver's side behind the trunk liner.

Like I mentioned in my earlier post, Alpine branded changers do not speak I-Bus so you need to buy a translation device, aka adaptor (Blitzsafe or Soundgate), that will go from M-Bus language to I-Bus language. If you buy an Alpine MP3 changer you will need to buy another adapter cable that will translate the AI-net language to M-Bus language. This cable is then connected to the Blitzsafe/Soundgate adapter which in turn is connected to the I-Bus cable. To better visualize this use the "Search" function to find DIY instructions for the Alpine MP3 Changer that contains detailed pictures/instructions.
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Old 08-06-2005, 12:27 AM
Bmwcat Bmwcat is offline
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Ive ordered an OEM (BMW) CD changer that fits our vintage car. I'm not actually sure who makes it. The OEM units will work directly with the I-bus system. Good luck!
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  #9  
Old 08-06-2005, 12:32 AM
LDV330i LDV330i is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwcat
Ive ordered an OEM (BMW) CD changer that fits our vintage car. I'm not actually sure who makes it. The OEM units will work directly with the I-bus system. Good luck!
From earlier post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDV330i
........ Alpine is the maker of the OEM changer so the Alpine changer is identical on the outside to OEM. ....................
This is correct for OEM changers that fit 96 - 2005 BMW's.
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Old 08-08-2005, 01:35 PM
cHnKstA cHnKstA is offline
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for the wires to hook up to the cd changer, where do i find them and how does it look like? one of the post on this thread said that the car is pre wired for a cd changer to be hooked up to the oem cassette player. i'm about to buy the changer that fits the car and they said it has a 3 pin and 6 pin hook up. so i need to know everything before i do this, don't want to be doing this like an idiot.
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  #11  
Old 08-08-2005, 04:50 PM
LDV330i LDV330i is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cHnKstA
for the wires to hook up to the cd changer, where do i find them and how does it look like? one of the post on this thread said that the car is pre wired for a cd changer to be hooked up to the oem cassette player. i'm about to buy the changer that fits the car and they said it has a 3 pin and 6 pin hook up. so i need to know everything before i do this, don't want to be doing this like an idiot.
It should on the left side of you trunk behind the liner. I believe you will also have buy a bracket and cover for your changer.
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  #12  
Old 08-09-2005, 02:56 AM
cHnKstA cHnKstA is offline
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Cover and bracket? don't understand what do you mean. i found a set of wires that are brown but i'm not sure are the right ones that are on the left side under the liner.
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  #13  
Old 08-09-2005, 03:51 AM
cHnKstA cHnKstA is offline
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is there a way to find a picture of how the wires look like? i ripped off the liner in the trunk and seem to only found a black box and that's pretty much about it and a set of brown wires that are just sitting there. unless theres suppose to be another wire there that i have to buy to hook up to the black box or something. this is very confusing on finding the wire to hook up the the cd changer.
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