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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #26  
Old 06-13-2011, 10:02 AM
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KevinR KevinR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jalanparker37 View Post
I'm just concerned that connecting my aftermarket tweeters to the midrange wires is going to result in only some of the frequencies I want going to them. Just wondering what the answer/solution is from some of you who have installed aftermarket component speaker sets.

Thanks.
The factory amp has crossovers to tailor the signal to each driver. If you are replacing the amplifier in addition to the speakers, you need not worry. If you are simply replacing the speakers, you may have some difficulties getting the proper sound.
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  #27  
Old 06-13-2011, 10:29 AM
jalanparker37 jalanparker37 is offline
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Thank you KevinR. I am replacing the amp too - it should arrive today.

My concern is that I think the tweeters and midrange ran from the same channel on the stock amp (and enter a crossover somewhere in the car). I've read this in a few places on the Internet - and it seems to be confirmed by my testing with the 9V and multimeter that cannot locate separate tweeter wires from the stock amp. Plus, the wire colors for the stock midranges in the door are different from the (verified) midrange wires in the trunk that were connected to the stock amp.

Am I crazy? I sure hope so, and all I need to do is hook up my aftermarket tweeter to the old midrange wires in the door and the old midrange wires in the trunk that used to be connected to the stock amp.
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  #28  
Old 09-04-2011, 04:49 PM
Epicurean Epicurean is offline
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Now that the Texas weather seems to be heading towards days with temperatures below 90 I'm ready to start planning to tackle the amp install. I have changed my mind about the JL Audio 360/4. Decided to go with a ARC Audio XXD5080. Not being able to use all the existing speakers plus a sub with the 360/4 without adding a separate Sub amp was nagging at me (and I know, Mpire, you're probably right that I wouldn't really miss the rears. But....). It seemed like the ARC Audio 5 Channel option would solve this problem (Posted the 360/4 for sale in the classified section in case anyone is interested.)

In addition I've purchased the Kicker 10cvt654 Sub. I have a friend who is a outstanding wood craftsman (meaning he has tools and knows how to use them) who is going to help me build an enclosure to fit into the existing subwoofer space.

Couple things that I'm still struggling with:

Crossovers - am I still going to need those if I'm going to start out just using the factory speakers?

Wiring - Have to admit that I'm a bit intimidated by the wiring process. The idea of having to cut into the existing wiring has me a bit flummoxed. I recognize that there is a wiring diagram readily available, but even that is not completely 100% clear. I suspect I'm being a bit premature in my concern as I haven't actually done anything yet but look at the mess of wires leading to the factory amp. Guess I'm just a little unsure how to even start asking the right questions :-) Clearly it would GREAT if there was some existing harness that would magically let me complete this installation without having to snip-snip. But I suspect I'm just going to have to be careful, take my time and be patient.
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  #29  
Old 09-04-2011, 05:42 PM
jalanparker37 jalanparker37 is offline
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Hi Epicurean,

Many months ago I upgraded the speakers, amp, and built/installed a sub enclosure. I took out the rears and don't miss them as I've got tons of clean power to power the fronts and the sub provides rear fill.

To answer your questions...

Crossovers - Yes you will need them. The stock amp has them internal, so when the amp goes, so do the crossovers. Now, you could probably get by with just a LP filter on the amp for the rears, but then for splitting sound to the tweeter/midbasses, you'd have to go buy something that probably wouldn't crossover at the ideal point. Not sure what mpire's suggestion is for people who only upgrade the amp.

IMO you are better off buying some speakers with crossovers and installing them. Any aftermarket tweeter is going to sound better than the combo midrange/tweeter pair that comes stock in the car. You really need to reduce the number of speakers in the car and replace them with quality that can handle power.

Wiring - I was a little intimidated at first but went with it. The wiring diagram is accurate. There were two pairs of wires I think that were not accounted for. I think they went to the old tweeters. I just cut through the bundle of wires and then separated and labeled all the wires based on the codes. I can definitely answer any specific questions you may have about this part or the wiring diagram.

FYI, here's what I installed:

JL Audio Slash 300/4 v2
Focal 130 KP midbass/tweeter pairs w/crossovers
Integral Audio sub enclosure (think it's an 8 inch sub)

And I actually had first done the speaker upgrades from BSW. It was definitely an improvement, but didn't quite get me to the point of being able to listen crazy loud on the highway going 80. At some point I will list those for sale on here. But my personal opinion is it is best to spend more money and time and buy new speakers and an amp together. You really don't need the rears at all. My sound is awesome and loud. It is very impressive to my passengers, especially driving on the highway.
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  #30  
Old 09-04-2011, 08:20 PM
Epicurean Epicurean is offline
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Thanks VERY much for the reply jalanparker37. Great info.

Adding to my confession of ignorance - what's an LP Filter.

I see where you're going with the idea of replacing speakers rather than trying to use the existing factory speakers. I'll start researching alternatives.

Now I'm a little conflicted about the JL Audio 360/4 vs the ARC XXD5080. The primary reason for changing my mind on the 360/4 was the desire for a 5 channel solution. Your recommendation would mean I probably didn't need to change gears. On the other hand, the ARC will likely fit more easily in the existing amp location. Hmmmm...

Well - thanks again jalanparker37. I will likely take you up on your offer to answer wiring questions if I get stuck.

Thanks again! So very helpful.
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  #31  
Old 09-04-2011, 09:16 PM
jalanparker37 jalanparker37 is offline
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No problem. Actually, if I can figure out how to private message I'll send you my phone and email so I can help you out easier.

If you're really serious about upgrading the sound, I do think it is worthwhile. Honestly you can probably find a really good component speaker set for ~$200. Too much after that and you are reaching cost ineffective diminishing returns. Also remember that JL Audio is super well regarded in the amp world and that the slash outputs class A/B power. If you are going to the trouble to install that sub woofer, you really might as well upgrade the sound right. Also, you can go ahead and do the speakers and the amp upgrade before the sub install. And your sound will improve tremendously and be extremely listenable. The sub is a luxury upgrade (I do enjoy mine), but not an essential one like the speakers and amp.

LP Filter is a low pass filter. For the rear and front channels on the 300/4 you can set a frequency crossover point and select either low pass filter or high pass filter. So, for the rear going to the sub, you can select something around 80-120 HZ and select low pass and for the front something around 60-120 HZ and select high pass.

Another tip: Get sound deadening (e.g. dynamat or a clone) and put it all over the inside door panels and around the kickpanels where the midbass speakers sit.

Another tip: Get a 4 gauge wiring kit.

Lastly, I took the triangular mount from the old amp and screwed it into a wooden board, then screwed the amp onto the other side and I actually have it mounted in the space for the old amp. I plan on cutting the trunk panelling material around it to accommodate it, but I haven't done that yet, LOL. I don't really care about even leaving off that right side trunk panel. It is out of the way of using the trunk and my car sounds awesome!
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  #32  
Old 09-06-2011, 07:06 AM
Epicurean Epicurean is offline
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Thanks again jalanparker37.

I settled on Polk Audio db5251. Crutchfield had them for $179 but Amazon had them for $97! My son put these same speakers in his '01 VW Passat and they sound quite good. I'm really not going for audiophile at this point. These will clearly be better than the factory speakers.

I'll decide on which amp I end up using once I have them both in hand and all the various pieces have arrived. Still think I'm leaning towards the Arc Audio. It too is highly regarded.

Great tip on the sound deadening. Do you have an opinion on the best source for that type of material? I see it on Amazon. Prices seem to vary wildly. I'd certainly be interested in pursuing alternatives if you have suggestions.

Most of the pieces I need will arrive this week. Have family visiting this upcoming weekend so probably won't get to it until the following. Just want to get all my ducks in a row before I dive in.

By the way - if I'm reading the Bentley manual correctly, it looks like the tweeter grill on the door just pops off. So I should be able to replace those units that way without having to take the entire door panel off, right?
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  #33  
Old 09-06-2011, 10:52 PM
jalanparker37 jalanparker37 is offline
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Sound deadening appears to be something quite mimickable. Don't buy dynamat, buy whatever is cheapest! Check Amazon, I might have bought Auralex?

I did not think that the door grills popped off. Either way, I *think* the door tweeter and midrange are held in by screws that wouldn't be accessible that way. The door panels are pretty easy to remove though:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...5&postcount=58

Put your new tweeter in the old midrange location. Also, you may not have a situation that screws in to the old opening. I didn't. Just ended up using silicone to secure it in.

Lastly, I'm definitely available to help you out. But I will be going to the Alabama v. Penn State game this weekend (Roll Tide Roll!) - so I would def be unavailable to help then. Also, next weekend I'll be tailgaiting and attending the Bama home game on Saturday. My job recently allowed me to work from home, so I'm kinda in my hometown Tuscaloosa for football season before I move to the gulf in Florida. I'd definitely be available to help you out any other time. Like the Friday or Sunday next week especially.
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  #34  
Old 09-16-2011, 10:27 PM
Epicurean Epicurean is offline
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Got the ARC Audio 5080 wiring project started. RCA connection are hanging me up. Ive identified and labeled all the wires. I know which wires are +/- for each channel, but I'm struggling with connecting these +/- to RCA plugs. Thought I did it right but the amp goes into protection mode when the RCAs are plugged in. Without the RCAs in the amp powers on fine.

So I'm assuming I connected the wires to the RCA plugs incorrectly. Definitely have the right wires from the harness. I know that the center post from the RCA is positive and ring is negative. Other than poor job connecting things together is there anything else I need to know to connect the channel wires from the head unit to an amp.

Again, ARC Audio 5080 and Business CD radio.
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  #35  
Old 09-17-2011, 04:26 PM
Epicurean Epicurean is offline
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Let me be more specific as to what I'm confused by: The wiring diagram for the Non-HK set ups lists the low-level Right Front wires as blue w/black stripe as positive and yellow w/brown stripe as negative. So I interpret that to mean that I need to solder the positive (blue/ with black stripe) wire to the center post (positive) of an RCA connector and the negative (yellow w/brown stripe) to the ring (negative) part of the RCA connector. This would then go into the Right Front RCA input on the ARC Audio 5080 amp.

Right? Am I missing something? I would do that with the Left Front as well. If I were going to use the rear channel (which I'm still not sure I will) I would do the same with the Left and Right Rear positive and negative wires.

This is what I have attempted, however, I am not getting sound. In fact, the Amp powers on fine but if I plug a RCA connector into the input the amp shuts off (I'm presuming it's not happy with the connection and protects itself by shutting down).

I've checked and rechecked to be sure I have all of the wires from the previously harnessed wiring to ensure I have identified them correctly from the wiring diagram here http://www.integralaudio.com/bmw_z3_wiring_diagram

I fear I'm either a) missing something obvious or b) I'm in over my head.
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  #36  
Old 09-22-2011, 03:09 PM
Epicurean Epicurean is offline
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Needed Line Out Converters (LOC) for each channel. Got a couple from 12vElectronics. Worked like a champ. Ready for the speaker install phase now.
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  #37  
Old 10-04-2011, 03:10 PM
Mark Thompson Mark Thompson is offline
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stereo upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpire View Post
Just for fun, I threw together some stuff on Sonicelectronics.com. They have good deals sometimes. I am sure you can find better ones.

This would be a major upgrade over the factory system, you could always spend more, you can probably spend less. Its not top of the line, but everything is an improvement over stock.

Here is an example of what you need to buy:

5.25 component speakers $149



6.5 inch sub $79



JL 360w 4 channel amplifier. $239



You will also need a trim ring for the sub: $12



Amp installation kit: $18



You will also need some RCA jacks: $3



Spade connectors: $3



You should also go to home depot and pick up some silicone...

GE Silicone 2.8 oz: $3.89





You can freak out and spend alot more, or you can waste a **** ton of money and pay someone to do it, but for around $500 you can replace everything with good quality, BRAND NEW stuff.

Its not hard. Just dive in.

THIS IS ALL YOU NEED!

Just wondering if you recommend running new speaker wire or is the stock wire sufficent in your opinion?
Thanks
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  #38  
Old 10-04-2011, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Thompson View Post

Just wondering if you recommend running new speaker wire or is the stock wire sufficent in your opinion?
Thanks
Even if you run wire, you have to get it through the door harness, which is more work than its worth.

I would just use the stock wiring for the door speakers, unless you have the special tools to build the BMW harnesses.

I have done it for the door lock LEDs, its way more effort than its worth.
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  #39  
Old 10-04-2011, 03:58 PM
Mark Thompson Mark Thompson is offline
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wires

Thats what I was hoping you would say.
I'm installing 5.25 components and a new amp. Should I eliminate the larger speakers in the doors?Run the mid bass in the kick panel, tweeter in the door and a new sub?
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  #40  
Old 10-04-2011, 04:18 PM
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I eliminated the small ones and put the tweeters where the large ones are.
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  #41  
Old 10-04-2011, 05:44 PM
Mark Thompson Mark Thompson is offline
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crossovers

Do you mean you didn't use the larger speakers in the doors?
Also, Would you place the crossovers in the trunk?
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  #42  
Old 10-04-2011, 05:46 PM
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Defintiely put the crossovers in the trunk. Its super easy to do everything back there and not have to take apart the whole car.
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  #43  
Old 10-04-2011, 05:56 PM
Mark Thompson Mark Thompson is offline
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Sorry for all the questions but I'll ask anyway. I have a 97 roadster, whats the best way to run the RCA cables from the head unit to the amp?
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  #44  
Old 10-04-2011, 05:59 PM
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Pull the carpet in the convertible top well.

There is a large rubber grommet that you can fish the RCAs though right behind the drivers head.
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  #45  
Old 10-04-2011, 06:01 PM
Mark Thompson Mark Thompson is offline
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Do you run them under the console??
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  #46  
Old 10-04-2011, 07:32 PM
Mark Thompson Mark Thompson is offline
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Sub enclosure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Epicurean View Post
Now that the Texas weather seems to be heading towards days with temperatures below 90 I'm ready to start planning to tackle the amp install. I have changed my mind about the JL Audio 360/4. Decided to go with a ARC Audio XXD5080. Not being able to use all the existing speakers plus a sub with the 360/4 without adding a separate Sub amp was nagging at me (and I know, Mpire, you're probably right that I wouldn't really miss the rears. But....). It seemed like the ARC Audio 5 Channel option would solve this problem (Posted the 360/4 for sale in the classified section in case anyone is interested.)

In addition I've purchased the Kicker 10cvt654 Sub. I have a friend who is a outstanding wood craftsman (meaning he has tools and knows how to use them) who is going to help me build an enclosure to fit into the existing subwoofer space.

Couple things that I'm still struggling with:

Crossovers - am I still going to need those if I'm going to start out just using the factory speakers?

Wiring - Have to admit that I'm a bit intimidated by the wiring process. The idea of having to cut into the existing wiring has me a bit flummoxed. I recognize that there is a wiring diagram readily available, but even that is not completely 100% clear. I suspect I'm being a bit premature in my concern as I haven't actually done anything yet but look at the mess of wires leading to the factory amp. Guess I'm just a little unsure how to even start asking the right questions :-) Clearly it would GREAT if there was some existing harness that would magically let me complete this installation without having to snip-snip. But I suspect I'm just going to have to be careful, take my time and be patient.


Did you build that Sub Enclosure yet?
I'm planning on doing the same thing and I'm trying to get some ideas.
I'd like to see a pic of what you built if possible.
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  #47  
Old 01-23-2013, 02:55 PM
bilkar bilkar is offline
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PM'd Ya

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Originally Posted by Mpire View Post
Feel free to ask questions.
As they say, careful what you say...I am just getting started on a steroe upgrade trek and could use a sherpa
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  #48  
Old 01-23-2013, 05:59 PM
coopers coopers is offline
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Sherpa

I am not offering to be a sherpa, but google "Badens car pages." Super detail about how he installed a stereo upgrade. I had been putting off taking on this project for years until I saw Baden's write up. I have no experience but the write up gave the instructions and confidence to pull it off. Just take your time.

Good luck
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  #49  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:56 AM
bilkar bilkar is offline
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Printed Baden's "Journey Map"

Thanks !
I have Baden's pages printed out and had read Stygar's pages as well.

I feel fairly confident about the trip, though the system components I bought
are MUCH larger than I needed - sort of the way I camp I guess...

Going to start on the trip this Saturday morning.
I have both days booked out in the garage.

-Bil
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  #50  
Old 01-30-2013, 05:53 PM
yellowjack yellowjack is offline
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Mein Auto: Z3, 2.3 2000, Passat 1.8
Can any one straighten me out here. I was reading that the bmw head unit output is low level to the amp and it was suggested not to use a third part amp with bwm's headunit. Is that ture. Thanks
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