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E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 08-27-2009, 09:26 PM
Jetpilot718 Jetpilot718 is offline
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Radio Issues.. Aftermarket HU help?

Hey all,

I'm new to the car but not new to car audio. Done more installs than I can remember. However, never on anything this old.

So, I remove the old radio since it appears it was broken (all I got out of it was static and popping). What do I find? A mess of wires that make no sense to me. I assume these cars have whats called a "floating ground" system?

Basically, on my new HU I have literally twice the number of speaker wires to connect and coming out of the car is half as many. There are no negatives at all.

I can't tell which wires are the power switch, the battery or the positive and negative.

So any help or maybe a picture from someone who has gone from old to new? I'm contemplating just reworking the entire system.. are the OEM speakers worthless? Should I just rewire everything back into this generation?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2009, 09:32 PM
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noexceptions325 noexceptions325 is offline
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The oem speakers are crap.. i advise rewiring the speakers but u should be able to figure out the Positive and ground just use a volt meter to find the ignition power. good luck
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2009, 09:36 PM
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more installs then you can remember and you ask a noob question ?

premium sound > all
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcsteve View Post
more installs then you can remember and you ask a noob question ?

premium sound > all
LMAO
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  #5  
Old 08-28-2009, 12:22 AM
facotaco facotaco is offline
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download a wiring diagram and look at the radio page. it will really help, it did for me.
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  #6  
Old 08-28-2009, 12:24 AM
facotaco facotaco is offline
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thicker yellow is constant power, red is acc power, black is ground and if i remember right, yellow is left front, yellow black is left rear, blue is right front, blue black is right rear.

Last edited by facotaco; 08-28-2009 at 12:46 AM.
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  #7  
Old 08-28-2009, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcsteve View Post
more installs then you can remember and you ask a noob question ?!
agreed.

you can check to find the power wires by pairing wires together untill you get 12V. label the earth and the this. then connect the earth to the negative terminal on your multi meter and turn the ignition on untill you find the ACC power lead, and lable. then unpug all the speakers and except one and flip the multimeter around to the lowest ohm setting, and find the resistance that is about 4-8 ohms, i forget what the standrad speakers are). lable. repeat for the other speakers. you should then find there is one wire that is left over, and this is the signal lead for the aerial to go up. you can test this by hot wiring it to the power lead you found before.

i fail to see how you could do so many instals and not know how to wire up a stereo. as for what components to use, use the search function on here. this topic has been covered a million times before
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Last edited by _Ethrty-Andy_; 08-28-2009 at 12:29 AM.
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  #8  
Old 08-28-2009, 12:54 AM
Zer0z4 Zer0z4 is offline
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i dont see how u wouldnt know what was what seeing as how most cars have the same wire colors for power and ground. u even said u disconnected the old radio and not even like that could u figure it out. i had no radio when i got my car just a mess of wires and i figured it out in about 15 min, not that hard.
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2009, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zer0z4 View Post
i dont see how u wouldnt know what was what seeing as how most cars have the same wire colors for power and ground. u even said u disconnected the old radio and not even like that could u figure it out. i had no radio when i got my car just a mess of wires and i figured it out in about 15 min, not that hard.
hes done coutless installs. im just as confused as you
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  #10  
Old 08-28-2009, 08:53 AM
Zer0z4 Zer0z4 is offline
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Maybe he thinks connecting a surround sound system at home is the same as a car's
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  #11  
Old 08-28-2009, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetpilot718 View Post
Hey all,

I'm new to the car but not new to car audio. Done more installs than I can remember. However, never on anything this old.

So, I remove the old radio since it appears it was broken (all I got out of it was static and popping). What do I find? A mess of wires that make no sense to me. I assume these cars have whats called a "floating ground" system?

Basically, on my new HU I have literally twice the number of speaker wires to connect and coming out of the car is half as many. There are no negatives at all.

I can't tell which wires are the power switch, the battery or the positive and negative.

So any help or maybe a picture from someone who has gone from old to new? I'm contemplating just reworking the entire system.. are the OEM speakers worthless? Should I just rewire everything back into this generation?

Thanks!
I had an older Alpine (not OEM BMW) in my son's 90 325i convertible that I swapped for a Blaupunkt Melbourne SD27. I read the wiring sticker on the Alpine's case and matched its wires by function to that of the Blaupunkt. I also had to change out the antenna mast as it had been snapped off. Ensure the antenna wire is plugged into the back of the head unit, as my otherwise correct installation had static and popping until I remembered to do that. I've been good to go with the Blaupunkt since December 2008.

See if these help:

http://www.wedophones.com/Manuals/BM...g%20Manual.pdf

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Last edited by romeomike; 08-28-2009 at 09:17 AM.
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  #12  
Old 08-28-2009, 08:01 PM
Jetpilot718 Jetpilot718 is offline
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OK, for those with helpful comments, thank you all very much. Don't worry, the people who chose to flame me will not deter me at all from continuing to post. I was able to bring power to the radio and I will be going the "rewire everything" route with the addition of a set of 4 Alpine speaker/tweeter combo units. Far easier, cost effective, and a better quality of sound led me to this decision.

I've decided to add a schematic to help those who don't feel like getting flamed. (I'm a big boy, I can take it). So it was fully worth it if someone else can benefit from this. Here is the color combos that you SHOULD have in your E30. Disregard the PIN notations, there were useless pictures attached before I cut and pasted this.

This is how MOST E30's should look inside.

FUNCTION
PIN
WIRE COLOR

Accessory 12 Volt
9
VT/GY

Constant 12 Volt
11
RD/GN

Chassis Ground
10
BN/BK

Power Antenna
WT (quick-slide)

Remote



Illumination
12
GY/RD

Dimmer



FUSE VALUE
FUSE LABEL
FUSEBOX LOCATION

7.5 AMP
#12
DRIVER'S SIDE UNDER HOOD

7.5 AMP
#21
DRIVER'S SIDE UNDER HOOD


The WT wire triggers the antenna booster and the amplifier. The factory amp can be used if an aftermarket stereo is installed, but an OEM Amplifier Adapter must be used (see "Receivers" tab).

These colors are for early production models; they change to BN for both wires in late production models (dates unknown). These wires are bolted to the back of the radio with ring terminals.

Left Front Spkr +
1
YW

Left Rear Spkr +
5
YW/BK

Left Common -
YW/BN

Right Front Spkr +
3
BU

Right Rear Spkr +
7
BU/BK

Right Common -
BU/BK




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Amplifier Wiring

INPUT SECTION

FUNCTION
WIRE COLOR

Constant 12 Volt
RD/BK

Amp Remote
WT

Chassis Ground
BN

Left Front + Input
YW/RD

Right Front + Input
BU/RD

Left Rear + Input
YW/BK

Right Rear + Input
BU/BK

Common - Input
BN/OG or BN/BK*


*Early production=BN/OG
Late production=BN/BK
OUTPUT SECTION

FUNCTION
WIRE COLOR

Left Front Spkr +
GY/RD

Left Front Spkr -
GY/VT

Right Front Spkr +
GY/WT

Right Front Spkr -
GY/BN

Left Rear Spkr +
BK/RD

Left Rear Spkr -
BK/VT

Right Rear Spkr +
BK/WT

Right Rear Spkr -
BK/BN



OK, now for Question and Answer time!



Quote:
Originally Posted by fcsteve View Post
more installs then you can remember and you ask a noob question ?

premium sound > all
lol Guess I forgot to mention the whole "budget" thing. A totally reworked bangin stereo would be great of course, but I was weighing my options on keeping stock equipment over upgrading. But your right, I love music. I ended up pulling the trigger and getting a nice set of Alpine speakers. Should be all the sound I need for this little side project!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zer0z4 View Post
i dont see how u wouldnt know what was what seeing as how most cars have the same wire colors for power and ground. u even said u disconnected the old radio and not even like that could u figure it out. i had no radio when i got my car just a mess of wires and i figured it out in about 15 min, not that hard.
Well, that is a good question. One that also has a good answer. The stock HU wasnt working when I bought the car. When I removed it, I found out why. Everything was cut and spliced every which way, someone hacked it to hell and back. Somehow linked it into the aftermarket alarm (which I already ripped out) or something is my guess. So, basically I had the same mess of wires you were probably looking at, minus the two common ground wires which would have probably made things easier had they been there. And most cars DO NOT have the same colors for power and ground. Ground could be black, brown, brown with a black stripe or even green. Mine was black from the radio (new standards) and hooked up to a brown with a black stripe wire (Chassis ground wire from 1989) My power lead (12v) happened to be red and green. Not the standard Yellow of today.

Also I've never worked on anything pre-1994. Also I don't do this for a living. Also I'm used to just ordering an adapter harness and plug-n-playing it. But hey, congrats on figuring yours out in 15 mins, there's probably an award for that somewhere..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethrty View Post
hes done coutless installs. im just as confused as you
Hmm.. confusion. Can't help ya with that. I can suggest reading books? I find people who educate themselves tend to spend more of life less confused.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zer0z4 View Post
Maybe he thinks connecting a surround sound system at home is the same as a car's
Oh god, it's different?! Now you tell me. I had a hell of a time fitting that Yamaha reciever to my dash.


(Awaiting the BS "we were just trying to help" replies..)
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  #13  
Old 08-28-2009, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetpilot718 View Post

lol Guess I forgot to mention the whole "budget" thing. A totally reworked bangin stereo would be great of course, but I was weighing my options on keeping stock equipment over upgrading. But your right, I love music. I ended up pulling the trigger and getting a nice set of Alpine speakers. Should be all the sound I need for this little side project!

BMW premium sound is a fully stock option.
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  #14  
Old 08-28-2009, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetpilot718 View Post
Hmm.. confusion. Can't help ya with that. I can suggest reading books? I find people who educate themselves tend to spend more of life less confused.
Nah. its all good. the implication given when you say countless installs is that they are full installs, not headunit only, which in my opinion doesnt count. you will not gain any better quality sound, as your stereo is only as good as the worst component or linkage. i know someone that did a "full" installation with aftermarket speakers and head unit and wondered why it sounded like ass. i later found out he used the stock wiring, we replaced that with the same gold wiring as in my car and it sounded a million times better. do it once, do it right
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Old 08-28-2009, 08:57 PM
Jetpilot718 Jetpilot718 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethrty View Post
do it once, do it right
Very, very true.
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  #16  
Old 08-28-2009, 09:18 PM
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i had a single door that was louder and had better sq then most cars with full systems

stock systems are more then enough unlesss your a competition car audio enthusiast
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  #17  
Old 08-29-2009, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcsteve View Post
stock systems are more then enough unlesss your a competition car audio enthusiast
a matter of opinion. it depends on what you are used to hearing. i know the stock set up wasnt good enough for me. i dont know if i had the premium package or not mind you, but judging by the rest of the car being low spec when i got it id say it isnt. (maybe you can tell me? it was 5.25" Sony/BMWs, 2way speakers in the front and 3ways in the back)
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Old 08-29-2009, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethrty View Post
a matter of opinion. it depends on what you are used to hearing. i know the stock set up wasnt good enough for me. i dont know if i had the premium package or not mind you, but judging by the rest of the car being low spec when i got it id say it isnt. (maybe you can tell me? it was 5.25" Sony/BMWs, 2way speakers in the front and 3ways in the back)
premium sound looks noticeably different. the rears will have square boxes that are raised from the rear shelf and your front doors will have tweeter pods in them.
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:38 AM
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MB Quart !!! Great speakers.
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Old 08-29-2009, 12:06 PM
Zer0z4 Zer0z4 is offline
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i think i speak for everyone here when i say id like to see pics of the set up.
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  #21  
Old 08-29-2009, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcsteve View Post
premium sound looks noticeably different. the rears will have square boxes that are raised from the rear shelf and your front doors will have tweeter pods in them.
i noticed those speakers in your other thread and assumed they were the premium ones. im going to buy some tweeters and crossovers at some point, so ill probably try and find to import some of those pods.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethrty View Post
i noticed those speakers in your other thread and assumed they were the premium ones. im going to buy some tweeters and crossovers at some point, so ill probably try and find to import some of those pods.
the premium sound system should direct plug into your factory wiring. i know all US cars came equipped with the wiring for it. im not sure about euro cars tho
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:53 PM
Jetpilot718 Jetpilot718 is offline
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Ran the wires today, system tests and checks OK. Waiting on the Alpine's to come in the mail. Tested the setup out on the factory speakers and it does leave a bit to be desired. I have the "premium" sound installed (tweeters in the door) and it for sure could sound better. Can't wait to have it all up and running!
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetpilot718 View Post
Ran the wires today, system tests and checks OK. Waiting on the Alpine's to come in the mail. Tested the setup out on the factory speakers and it does leave a bit to be desired. I have the "premium" sound installed (tweeters in the door) and it for sure could sound better. Can't wait to have it all up and running!
tweeters in the door does not constitute premium sound. you need the rear speakers with the tweeters and mids also. having had multiple sterios of different qualitys in my car i can firmly say factory premium sound is very good.
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcsteve View Post
the premium sound system should direct plug into your factory wiring. i know all US cars came equipped with the wiring for it. im not sure about euro cars tho
mine doesnt have the wiring to the non-existant tweeters, and unless the parcel shelf speakers have built in crossovers or similar, it doesnt have the wiring for them either. i ripped out all the factory stereo wiring and replaced it with gold threaded wiring. its like $30 a meter iirc (is joined together so 1m of +, 1m of return - = 1 meter), so very pricey but it does make a difference for sure when you are replacing the rest of the components
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