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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 11-08-2008, 06:00 PM
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SlimKlim SlimKlim is offline
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How to Install Subwoofers in Your E46

This is a write-up on installing subwoofers and an amplifier in an E46. PLEASE NOTE: There are countless different methods and setups. So this is just a general guide for the first timer DIY'er. I installed 2 12" 400RMS Kenwoods and used a 1000W 2-Channel Amp. I will write out exactly what I installed and how I did it, even though I'm sure there are much better ways.

You will need:
-Your choice of Subs and an Amp
-A Speaker line to RCA line out converter
-An Amp Wiring Kit
-A sub enclosure of your choice

Depending on how you purchase the subs and enclosure you may have to assemble the two, but that is quite self explanatory and you should be able to figure it out. So for the purposes of this guide I will assume you have your subs properly mounted in an enclosure. You will also have to decide where you want to mount your amp, some put it on the back of the rear seats, I chose to mount mine on the top of the enclosure.

Step one:
Take your line out converter out, and give it a looksy, it will probably have female connections on the speaker wire end, you will need to cut these off and twist the two negative wires together and two positive wires together, cap them off with a t-connector. Now get into the trunk and lie on your back looking up where the 6x9's are (you may have to tear out a little section of carpet to see it). Fish around for the two wires that go to said speaker, on the left speaker the colors are dark brown, and light brown, believe it or not. Crimp the other part of the t-connections onto these wires, then connect your RCA converter. Plug your RCA cable into the other end. I guessed that light brown was positive and dark brown was negative and it sounds fine.

Step two:
Now its time for the fun part, wiring the battery. Your positive battery cable will run from the connection next to the positive terminal on the battery, through a little fuse breaker thing, and to the positive connection on the Amp. Most of this is really self explanatory, but here are a few pointers. Disconnect the negative connection on the battery while you are messing around in there avoid personal injury. After you set up your positive cable, LEAVE THE FUSE OUT OF IT. REPEAT, LEAVE THE FUSE OUT, installing that little 80A fuse is the last step of the process. The ground cable can connect right at the same place the battery grounds, and then run to the negative connection at the back of the amp. After you connect both battery cables and have them run, you are ready for

Step three:
Connect the positive cable to the amp, then the negative cable. Wire the speakers into the amp, and connect the RCA wires into the "line in" jacks. Situate your enclosure how you want, I'd pick up some velcro or something that will keep it from moving around in the trunk. Once everything is in place and connected you are allowed to go back over to the battery compartment and stick in that little fuse now that you won't be swinging those wires around. If nothing sparks or explodes, you can go turn the car on and make sure everything works.


My local audio shop warned me against connecting the line out converter directly out of the head unit, some technical jargon about it being the wrong kind of output on a BMW and you have to compensate by cutting the gain wide open on the converter itself, besides this way turned out to be infinitely more simple. I'll try and get some good pictures of each piece of the install tomorrow and post them. Hope this helps.
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2008, 09:28 PM
ThreeTwoFive ThreeTwoFive is offline
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Nice. Tut. I didnt read it though. Lol
You shoudl get some piccs!
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  #3  
Old 11-09-2008, 06:58 AM
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Don't worry I'll have a bunch of juicy pictures on by tonight at the latest
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  #4  
Old 11-09-2008, 10:43 AM
ThreeTwoFive ThreeTwoFive is offline
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sweet..tanks man..
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  #5  
Old 11-09-2008, 12:44 PM
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Glad it went well dude!
How's it sound? Meh I cut my head unit wires and put em in my line out converter seems fine to me Hehe.
Hope I helped enough lol.
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  #6  
Old 11-09-2008, 07:09 PM
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Prepare for audio ******











The taps for the line out converter.





The actual line out converter.





The battery compartment. That black spot in the fuse? Is the reason anyone doing this should leave that fuse out until the very last step. Gave me a bit of a , if you know what I mean.





Back of the Amp, left to right, Positive battery cable, ground, speaker wires, and RCA wires.





Peekaboo!





Of course, not even worth the trouble unless we are talking CD or MP3 quality sound.



And since I had my camera out...








Last edited by SlimKlim; 11-09-2008 at 07:14 PM.
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  #7  
Old 11-10-2008, 09:13 AM
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No one? I thought we liked pictures around here, I see how it is.
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  #8  
Old 11-10-2008, 09:19 AM
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Nice Job!

I don't get too "amp'd up" (get it?) for audio stuff though. You left out a step BTW, you have to get chrome teeth too.....BLING!
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  #9  
Old 11-10-2008, 12:46 PM
ThreeTwoFive ThreeTwoFive is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimKlim View Post
No one? I thought we liked pictures around here, I see how it is.
NicE! I just saw the post
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  #10  
Old 11-11-2008, 02:36 AM
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This is good write-up. Can we sticky this, Kris?
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  #11  
Old 11-11-2008, 08:27 AM
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Can I fly you in for an install? Nice Job!
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  #12  
Old 11-11-2008, 05:23 PM
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Can I fly you in for an install? Nice Job!
YES!! I got family up there. I'll work off a plane ticket by doing that in a heartbeat!!
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  #13  
Old 11-11-2008, 05:23 PM
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This is good write-up. Can we sticky this, Kris?
Oh, sticky it, sticky it!! It'll send my ego into orbit.
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  #14  
Old 11-11-2008, 05:49 PM
darkblue325 darkblue325 is offline
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Great Job. What integration kit did you use for the Ipod?
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:55 PM
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USA-Spec I believe.
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Old 11-11-2008, 07:19 PM
darkblue325 darkblue325 is offline
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How does this kit compare to the DICE Kit or Integration Kit available thru the dealership?
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  #17  
Old 11-11-2008, 07:52 PM
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I couldn't tell you, I had an extremely reputable audio shop install mine, and they didn't know much about DICE, but they knew they trusted USA-Spec.
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:10 PM
darkblue325 darkblue325 is offline
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Thanks, Ive been looking into getting it done. Don't really think I can do it myself.
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:36 AM
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Thanks, Ive been looking into getting it done. Don't really think I can do it myself.
You can do it your self it's insanely easy.

You take the trim off above the head unit, you take out the head unit, plug the Ipod adapter into it, put everything back, your done lol.
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  #20  
Old 11-16-2008, 11:27 PM
lekaj lekaj is offline
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Exclamation Subwoofers in E46

Hi, nice job that you did. I also use the same way to install sub and amp and it work sweet But suddenly I got the problem that my immobiliser dont work, that the doors don`t lock when I start driving and that their are lots of interferences on my radio stations Did I do something wrong or what may cause this?
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:10 AM
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I was re-evaluating your pics this morning. I love the AW (as my car is too) and then it came to me......project low budget heart breaker needs silver gauge rings ($22 from Jlevisw.com) and orange/red needles ($3 sharpie). Notice the before and after on mine below. (just a thought, bored today).....
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  #22  
Old 11-17-2008, 11:07 AM
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1. I wish there were some 8 inch subs that would fit in our rear decklid spots and I wish I knew how to setup an amp and so forth in this car.

2. Do you have a part # for the USA Spec Ipod integration kit?

oh and I really need to do the red needle trick, it really makes them jump out
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  #23  
Old 11-17-2008, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
I was re-evaluating your pics this morning. I love the AW (as my car is too) and then it came to me......project low budget heart breaker needs silver gauge rings ($22 from Jlevisw.com) and orange/red needles ($3 sharpie). Notice the before and after on mine below. (just a thought, bored today).....
I love those gauge rings, consider them added into my JleviSW wish list. So far I'm wishing for LED angel eyes, clear corners, sides and tails, Black Emblem overlays, and an M3 lip spoiler, and now gauge rings. I'm also going to paint my interior trim black. This car is going to be amazing, just give her time...
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimKlim View Post
I love those gauge rings, consider them added into my JleviSW wish list. So far I'm wishing for LED angel eyes, clear corners, sides and tails, Black Emblem overlays, and an M3 lip spoiler, and now gauge rings. I'm also going to paint my interior trim black. This car is going to be amazing, just give her time...
FYI, the gauge rings only cost $22 from Jlevisw.com. Get SILVER not CHROME!
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  #25  
Old 11-18-2008, 02:57 PM
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FYI, the gauge rings only cost $22 from Jlevisw.com. Get SILVER not CHROME!
Yeah, and the emblem overlays are only $25, still doesn't mean i have any money . Besides, I'm liking this plan of doing everything at once. Like christmas but dirtier and more fun.
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