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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 06-29-2009, 06:51 PM
mostmint mostmint is offline
BMW apprentice technician
Location: Wadsworth OH
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 40
Mein Auto: 08 Impala SS
325i radio problem

I just bought this car (1994) and the radio does not work. It had a dead battery which I have replaced. I am obtaining the code from the prior owner. It has a cassette stuck in the player and it shows no signs of life at all when I turn it on. Prior owner indicated he thought the cassette got warped in the Tennessee heat.

Car starts and runs fine with the new battery.

I have checked the fuses and they all look good. I located the two for the radio and removed/reinstalled them to see if there might be a connection problem but that did not help.

1) After replacing the battery, should I get a power light or something when I turn the radio on (key in the run position)?
2) Any idea how to eject the cassette with no power to the unit.
3) Anyone have a problem like this or any suggestions?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2009, 07:49 PM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
BMWCCA 149159
Location: Panhandle of Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,599
Mein Auto: 335 vert//M3/4/ 13Outback
Yes your radio should come on and say CODE
You can pull the radio and take it apart to get to the cassette
I think I saw a thread on bimmerforums.com that had a pictorial on how to do this
Honestly if you like the car just replace the radio. I have two at home that are what yours are C33's a CD43 is a direct replacement and has the CD player in the front instead of the cassette player.
All of these are interchangeable from a 98 E36 to a 99 E36 M3 so you can use many radios.
If you are handy you will get the radio cassette out.
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2009, 09:25 AM
mostmint mostmint is offline
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Location: Wadsworth OH
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Mein Auto: 08 Impala SS
Thanks. I wanted to make sure the cassette was not affecting the radio's ability to reset.

If the display is dead, there should be another LED light somewhere that lights up when I turn the radio on. I see a couple candidates and they are not lighting up.

Looks like a trip to the library to see how to get the radio out.
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  #4  
Old 07-01-2009, 10:12 AM
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merlin310 merlin310 is offline
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Location: Florida Panhandle
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i
I assume you have the CD33 radio, but no matter. The model before that comes out the same way. Below is a link for removal of the older unit, but it's the same for the CD33 as well. I will tell you that once you slide the radio out, there may/may not be a retaining clip (missing in the pictures) on the wiring harness. Pry this up carefully before the harness will slip off.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tech.../E36-Radio.htm

I couldn't find any pics of taking the radio apart, but here goes by memory. There will be 2 screws on the back, and then 2 on the sides close to the faceplate. Removing these will enable the top to lift off. Prying the volume knob off will then allow the faceplate to come off. Work slowly, because you don't want the break the plate. The cassette deck will be exposed. There are 4 screws holding this in the four corners. Once those are out, gently work the cassette deck out. It will feel like it wont come out, but at this point it's only held in by the pin connector. Sorry I couldn't find the pics, but hope this helps.
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  #5  
Old 07-02-2009, 06:48 PM
mostmint mostmint is offline
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Location: Wadsworth OH
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 40
Mein Auto: 08 Impala SS
Thanks for the info - very helpful.

After your link unlocked the magic of the two covers in the faceplate the radio came out quite easily. (I used a right size regular screwdriver in the pentagon shaped retaining bolts.)

The fuse in the back of the radio was blown. For a moment I thought I was in for a cheap fix. Sadly it did not make any difference. Best I can tell there is one wire in the harness that had 12 volts - it was the black wire with white stripe. If there is a continuous low power to retain the presets I did not find it. I did not check the small 8-pin connector for power.

I am now fairly well convinced this radio is dead which means I am in the market for an inexpensive replacement. I'll follow your advice to finish removal of the cassette once I have the replacement in the car and working.
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  #6  
Old 07-02-2009, 07:41 PM
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merlin310 merlin310 is offline
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If you want to stay with stock, check Ebay. That's where I got mine. I know the stock audio is crap, but I just love how it all looks together in the console. Good luck.
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Old 07-03-2009, 04:33 AM
mostmint mostmint is offline
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Location: Wadsworth OH
 
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If you bought a stock radio how did you get the code for it? I have read that you can get them from a dealer
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  #8  
Old 07-03-2009, 10:45 AM
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merlin310 merlin310 is offline
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The one I bought from Ebay came with the code. Just be careful who you're buying from. Also, if you don't have the code, take it to the dealer with proof of purchase. They shouldn't give you any problems getting it for you. You'll just need the serial number from the radio.
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  #9  
Old 07-03-2009, 06:44 PM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
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Location: Panhandle of Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Mein Auto: 335 vert//M3/4/ 13Outback
If you are not in a hurry I can sell you one of my CD33's for a good price. It is out of my M3/4 which is low mileage. I have my CD33 out of my 99 M3 convertible but it is not half the radio that my M3/4 is.

Plug and play but if you do want to have the CD player go for the CD43. In all honesty my CD43 is a lot better then the CD33 but if budget is part of the equation go with the CD33 until you can upgrade. I assume you have the CD player in the trunk?

I am not back in Florida until the 11th of July so I could not get the radio to you until around the 15th or 16th given FEDEX ground.

Of course the code comes with the radio and just check my eBay record as fun2drive.

I would not want anyone to get screwed on a radio and to be honest if you get the cassette out your radio might work fine but don't use the cassette again as it might jam again.
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