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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 12-16-2013, 04:03 PM
kevo409 kevo409 is offline
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Radio Reception

I hope I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel here.

I just purchased a 2003 BMW 325i. The last owner (maybe) had replaced the Business Radio with an after market stereo and it's not getting any stations whatsoever. I have looked online and it appears that this model utilizes some kind of amplifier for the antenna and the antenna actually is the rear window?

I would like to re-fit the original business radio/CD player in it. I would also like to know how the antenna in this model works? I actually purchased a "fin" antenna just in case I couldn't figure anything else out.

If anybody has any ideas for me please let me know.

Thank you,

Kevin Rogers
Boise, ID
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2013, 04:02 PM
vandyboy vandyboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevo409 View Post
I hope I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel here.

I just purchased a 2003 BMW 325i. The last owner (maybe) had replaced the Business Radio with an after market stereo and it's not getting any stations whatsoever. I have looked online and it appears that this model utilizes some kind of amplifier for the antenna and the antenna actually is the rear window?

I would like to re-fit the original business radio/CD player in it. I would also like to know how the antenna in this model works? I actually purchased a "fin" antenna just in case I couldn't figure anything else out.

If anybody has any ideas for me please let me know.

Thank you,

Kevin Rogers
Boise, ID
I suspect the aftermarket radio is not connected to an antenna or antenna amplifier was bypassed (it could be shot.) BTW -there are two different kinds of antenna amps. When you buy a stock head unit, make sure the amp is the right one for it or you'll have to buy install another one. Search the threads - lots of discussions about this.

Last edited by vandyboy; 12-17-2013 at 04:03 PM.
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  #3  
Old 12-17-2013, 09:16 PM
kevo409 kevo409 is offline
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Smile

Thank you. I searched the threads and some kind soul posted step-by-step instructions + photos of each step on how to safely remove the rear pillar molding in order to reveal the R window electrical/audio grid and recommends checking the connections (as you also suggest) and then recommends some kind of glue to reattach them securely. As soon as it warms up a bit I think I can't wait to give it a try! Thanks again!
Now all I have to do is find a Business Radio at a reasonable price!
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  #4  
Old 12-17-2013, 10:36 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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The E46`s window-mount antenna is well-known for it`s mediocre performance. The convertible E46 utilizes a standard fender-mount antenna, which gives far superior reception.
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  #5  
Old 12-18-2013, 10:52 AM
drexellak drexellak is offline
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If you're wanting the oem I say go for it. Don't let others on here sway you. Some seem to be on here for that purpose alone.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:51 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Originally Posted by drexellak View Post
If you're wanting the oem I say go for it. Don't let others on here sway you. Some seem to be on here for that purpose alone.
And some seem to have no purpose at all....
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  #7  
Old 12-18-2013, 01:01 PM
drexellak drexellak is offline
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And some seem to have no purpose at all....
As expected FastBlob.
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  #8  
Old 12-18-2013, 07:13 PM
Wulff Wulff is offline
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Originally Posted by drexellak View Post
If you're wanting the oem I say go for it. Don't let others on here sway you. Some seem to be on here for that purpose alone.
What was that for? I didn't see where anyone tried to 'sway him' it was only mentioned that the window mounted antenna isn't as good as a cowl mount.
That is the reason GM (they used to have them in the windshield but they didn't work well unless you were in a strong signal area).
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2013, 09:34 PM
kevo409 kevo409 is offline
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I appreciate Wulff's, Vandyboy's drexellak's and everybody else's kind advice. I am going to restore it to it's original audio condition and see if I can understand what the BMW engineers had in mind when they came up with this antenna system. I assume that car manufacturers had fender-mounted antennas back in 2003 and BMW could have followed suit? I wonder what they had in mind would be an improvement on the typical cowl-mounted antennas? Oh well, I'll probably learn the hard way (like most everything else I do), I couldn't afford this car when it was new, you see, and my outfitting it like it was when it was new is so I get to imagine what it must have felt, sounded and drove like when it was new. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again.
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2013, 10:15 PM
lgr122 lgr122 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
The E46`s window-mount antenna is well-known for it`s mediocre performance. The convertible E46 utilizes a standard fender-mount antenna, which gives far superior reception.
I guess adopting OEM convertible antenna could be some spare plan then, if original doesn't want to work too well.
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  #11  
Old 12-19-2013, 03:59 AM
drexellak drexellak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wulff View Post
What was that for? I didn't see where anyone tried to 'sway him' it was only mentioned that the window mounted antenna isn't as good as a cowl mount.
That is the reason GM (they used to have them in the windshield but they didn't work well unless you were in a strong signal area).
I'm sure he is. He's also one of the most negative people on this forum.
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  #12  
Old 12-20-2013, 10:27 PM
Wulff Wulff is offline
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Thanks, I myself did a little research into the strange OEM antenna and it said in a BMW service bulletin that the 'computer' turned various antenna 'wires' on and off depending on which direction the received signal was coming from!
Being a HAM radio guy I found that interesting and I wondered if the "computer" BMW is talking about was the ECM main computer or a separate 'box' that some were calling an adapter?
I too like the clean look on my BMW and would try to use the original if possible, if you do have to go with a fender mounted system you could use the motorized kind to have it flush when the radio is turned off.
Good luck, let us know how you come out.
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  #13  
Old 12-21-2013, 09:42 AM
kevo409 kevo409 is offline
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Thank you Wulff! That is VERY interesting for sure! I will enjoy sleuthing that possibility!
Merry Christmas to you and all my new friends!
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