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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 12-27-2008, 08:20 AM
Xyphion Xyphion is offline
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Aftermarket stereo head units

Hey everyone. Yesterday I just picked up an 04 325xi 5spd manual with 57k. I always modify my stereo systems, it's usually the first thing I do. I'm impressed with the Harmon Kardon speakers, so those are staying. I do however want to change the actual head unit (cd player). It appears that it may be attached to the heating system right below it. Is there a special custom head unit bracket I need to buy for the car, and where should I start looking for removal of the stock unit.

thanks!
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2008, 09:37 AM
sonspot sonspot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xyphion View Post
Hey everyone. Yesterday I just picked up an 04 325xi 5spd manual with 57k. I always modify my stereo systems, it's usually the first thing I do. I'm impressed with the Harmon Kardon speakers, so those are staying. I do however want to change the actual head unit (cd player). It appears that it may be attached to the heating system right below it. Is there a special custom head unit bracket I need to buy for the car, and where should I start looking for removal of the stock unit.

thanks!
buy a kit from ebay for your e46, your new head unit will slid right in, remove the trims on the sides of the unit, they just pull right out( be gentle, they should pop out) , two screws to remove the unit.

i always change out my HU too, the stock HU dont play mp3 so that was a no no. some people think anything other than the stock HU in a bmw is ugly and travesty.

this is what have now, no cd just the radio, usb and ipod, the ipod is in the glove box out of sight,..



thanks
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Last edited by sonspot; 12-27-2008 at 10:45 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2008, 10:00 AM
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Mo.licious Mo.licious is offline
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Here is a DIY that I used when installing an AUX cable to the back of my head unit. The first part of the DIY will show you how to remove only the head unit and not the climate control function, it's pretty easy to do.

What stereo are you thinking of installing by the way?

http://my330i.com/mod26.php
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  #4  
Old 12-27-2008, 10:05 AM
Xyphion Xyphion is offline
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Thanks for the replies, I appreciate it.

As of right now, I'm not sure what head unit I'm going to get. I have a Sony head unit I bought a few years ago that was pretty advanced for its time. It's a super nice HU, just want something new. I'll be running 2 10" JL subwoofers from this HU. Any suggestions?
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2008, 11:24 AM
sonspot sonspot is offline
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i need my trank space for when i go to the inlaw so i never looked at subs

thanks
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2008, 11:35 AM
madmat3 madmat3 is offline
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In my previous car, I ran a Premier (high end Pioneer) head unit + 2 JL Amps + 1 - 10 inch sub and six speakers. The Premier HUs are very well designed and durable. I would highly recommend them.
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2008, 12:23 PM
eelite7 eelite7 is offline
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What is the model of your Pioneer head unit? Thanks.
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  #8  
Old 12-27-2008, 12:27 PM
a572mike a572mike is offline
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Mein Auto: e46 coupe, F-150
That looks good Sonspot, are you still able to use the steering wheel controls with that Alpine?
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2008, 02:15 PM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xyphion View Post
Hey everyone. Yesterday I just picked up an 04 325xi 5spd manual with 57k. I always modify my stereo systems, it's usually the first thing I do. I'm impressed with the Harmon Kardon speakers, so those are staying. I do however want to change the actual head unit (cd player). It appears that it may be attached to the heating system right below it. Is there a special custom head unit bracket I need to buy for the car, and where should I start looking for removal of the stock unit.

thanks!
Actually it's the other way around. The head unit on these cars is not too bad, it's the speakers that s*ck. If you replace the head unit with aftermarket you will quickly overpower the stock speakers which are in my opinion the weak link. They are just cheap paper junk. The link below will take you to Bavarian soundwerks so you can get an idea as to whats available. I would also think about replacing the factory sub as it isn't much better. Once you replace the factory speakers, you can go from there. This is all just my opinion, however I have done a couple of high end installs on my previous cars. I just hate to destroy the factory look on this car. IMHO it looks rough and will def reduce the resale if that is important to you.

http://www.bavariansoundwerks.com/?c...FQu-GgodkVhxDw

you can also check the audio forum here to see what others have done:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=53
I plan on installing their speaker kit as soon as the market gives me some of my money back. Good luck
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  #10  
Old 12-27-2008, 05:21 PM
sonspot sonspot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a572mike View Post
That looks good Sonspot, are you still able to use the steering wheel controls with that Alpine?
no it does not work but you can get a adapter for it, i rarely use it so i never bothered with installing one. the alpine i have really looks good with the dash/cluster lighting..

am thinking of doing a db unit install, but am not that bored yet or if i can find a usb fm tuner i'll install a 7'' screen and use my eeepc laptop,..


thanks
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  #11  
Old 12-27-2008, 05:48 PM
Xyphion Xyphion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJBimmer View Post
Actually it's the other way around. The head unit on these cars is not too bad, it's the speakers that s*ck. If you replace the head unit with aftermarket you will quickly overpower the stock speakers which are in my opinion the weak link. They are just cheap paper junk. The link below will take you to Bavarian soundwerks so you can get an idea as to whats available. I would also think about replacing the factory sub as it isn't much better. Once you replace the factory speakers, you can go from there. This is all just my opinion, however I have done a couple of high end installs on my previous cars. I just hate to destroy the factory look on this car. IMHO it looks rough and will def reduce the resale if that is important to you.

http://www.bavariansoundwerks.com/?c...FQu-GgodkVhxDw

you can also check the audio forum here to see what others have done:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=53
I plan on installing their speaker kit as soon as the market gives me some of my money back. Good luck
So the Harmen/Kardon speakers aren't any good? From what I've read elsewhere they're pretty decent. As far as replacing the sub, I already mentioned that I was putting in two 10" JL subwoofers, the stock one is less than sub par.
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2008, 05:59 PM
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jvr826 jvr826 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xyphion View Post
So the Harmen/Kardon speakers aren't any good? From what I've read elsewhere they're pretty decent.
Forget what other people think, what do YOU think about them?

I thought the H/K was decent until I replaced the amp, speakers, and added a 12" sub. Then I realized how not-so-decent it really is.

IMO, the amp and speakers are the weak links.
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  #13  
Old 01-28-2009, 03:24 PM
HPMotors HPMotors is offline
Henry Payne
Location: near Clemson, SC
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Mein Auto: 87 325is
I've been following this and other threads regarding pulling the stock radio out of the dash. Every says "just pull out the trim piece". Well I've "pulled with a large variety of plastic trim removal tools, and it does not want to come out with what I think is reasonable force. I don't know if the trim on my 2001 330i is plastic or wood - it is supposed to be wood but it looks just like the stuff on my F350

I've worked on cars for years, and this stupid piece of trim has me stumped as I am very paranoid about cracking the thing as I am sure BMW wants a chunk for it. I've already gotten a small chip in it. While it is in two pieces, it appears that the large section over the glove box has to be removed first as the end is on top of the smaller piece over the radio.

Did anyone take any pictures of exactly where the pins that hold this thing on are? I've looked at the BMW TIS manual - and under the section for the radio removal it has pictures of the door trim pieces - go figure.

Anyhow, all I am trying to do is to get to the back of the dang thing to get to the AUX input.

Any tips, pics etc appreciated.

Henry
2001 330i
1987 325is - Spec E30 at some point
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