E36 Business tape radio won't work but takes tape - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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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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Old 04-30-2019, 06:55 PM
Laszlo70 Laszlo70 is offline
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E36 Business tape radio won't work but takes tape

So i got a 1996 E36 318i with 82,400miles for my daughter. 4 dr car, manual. She loves it.
The original radio + cd changer works somewhat but no volume adjustment (knob won't do anything) and no screen on a radio except when there is. It has a mind on its own and most of the time its just blank.
So I decided to switch it out as I had a BMW Business radio in my garage.
It fits well and the connector matches up, antenna fit so I was ready to roll. Except it won't work.
The radio gets power as it takes and ejects the tape when offered to it, but won't make a single sound. There are no numbers on it. There is no AM/FM button on it. It seems odd. Was this a tape player only ? Not a radio ?
What a heck is this thing ? It will be thrown out to a garbage very soon as its a dead weight but I'm curious as why is this not working in the E36. Could it be that it needs an another unit in tandem and that is the radio and this is the tape ? I honestly never seen anything like this.

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Last edited by Laszlo70; 04-30-2019 at 06:57 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-30-2019, 07:37 PM
bluptgm3 bluptgm3 is offline
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Is there a amp in the trunk?


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Old 05-01-2019, 08:24 AM
Laszlo70 Laszlo70 is offline
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amp ?

good question. Don't know. The system is very basic and the sound is decent after I replaced the rear melted speakers. Honestly I don't remember seeing an amp in the rear. So this business unit needs an amp ? Dang. Not going to happen, so the hunt is on for a replacement head unit then. I do not want to mess with wiring an aftermarket unit, just a plug-n-play oem unit. I do have 4 older E30 units maybe one of them works.
This business unit then goes to ebay. don't have any need for it. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:33 AM
bluptgm3 bluptgm3 is offline
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E36 Business tape radio won't work but takes tape

Perhaps go to a local car stereo shop and see if they can get either units to work on the bench.

Are there loose unconnected wires in drivers side of trunk where an amp would have been?

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Last edited by bluptgm3; 05-01-2019 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:45 AM
Laszlo70 Laszlo70 is offline
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car isn't here at the moment to check but I don't recall amp or wires. The original radio works, the volume control and display does not work. The BMW business unit is the one that is mute, so it might be defective or needs a special amp.
That is an odd unit.
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