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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
okay, i have been around town and every place i go tells me that to install a cd player in my car i need to rewire all the speaker because of course the switch on the dash that controls the balance of the speakers has all the speaker wires running through it, called a common ground for those wires i believe. anyone every replaced the stock tape deck with a cd player? i cannot get an answer for this
 

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bimmerz89 said:
okay, i have been around town and every place i go tells me that to install a cd player in my car i need to rewire all the speaker because of course the switch on the dash that controls the balance of the speakers has all the speaker wires running through it, called a common ground for those wires i believe. anyone every replaced the stock tape deck with a cd player? i cannot get an answer for this
I paid the standard installation fee to Tweeter to put a head unit in my 1991 e30. :dunno:

Alex
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yea i went to just have it installed but i believe because its an older model they can't just put a deck in, the speaker wires all have the same ground wire so they can't be used with a normal wiring harness, at least that is what i was told by several places
 

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Stereo replacement

Don't know if this thread is still active.
About four years ago, tried to replace the stereo in my '86 325es.
Forgot to detach the battery and blew out my dash lights. After fixing that, was able to figure out the common ground thing through trial and error and got a JVC detachable CD/radio working fine except the fader was useless.
Now the JVC is broken and I'm trying to find wiring diagrams to help me install another stereo more easily...
So it is possible to hook up a modern stereo, but if you're a fool like me, not easy.
 

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King of Rear Clunks
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Common ground and "high-power" radios don't mix. There are adapters to make this work, or you can get creative with the stock wiring too. But in my experience on 2 cars with factory 'premium' stereos with the crap amp in the trunk, the only way to make it sound decent is to bypass the amp and not use an adapter.
 

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Just yesterday installed a new deck. I had to rewire everything. The stock wire job will not do. And if you try to ghetto rig it you could end up blowing the output on the deck.

Its not hard to run the wire. Just time consuming. :dunno:
 

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King of Rear Clunks
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Nah, no need to redo everything. The 325is I did, I added a single 4-conductor cable to the trunk, and used the rest of the stock wiring, albeit completely rearranged. The head I put in my M6 is line out only so I added 2 sets of RCAs and used the rest of the stock wiring. At least these old cars have decent sized wires.
 

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radio wiring

i can vouch that using the stock speaker wire w/common ground in an after market deck is a bad idea i did this at first w\a blaupunkt cd and worked cool for a year then about two weeks ago left channel gone (front and back) took a few hours out my saturday and re wired all the speakers and ran new RCA cables ,still no fix took deck to a local shop to test and they confirmed my deck had zero output on the left channel.there went 200 buks!!.............. :banghead::wahwah: :cry:
 

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Why all the problems?

I had zero luck trying to get the OEM unit to workbecause my friend that I got the car from wrote down the anti-theft code, in a code only he understood, .... and then he forgot his own code for figuring out what it really was. The dealer told me I had to pull it out to get the right code and I responded with the logic that IF pulling it was necessary to get it to work, then I`d toss it into my box of spare junk while it was out and opt for an aftermarket 3 CD changer. I went and bought an inexpensive unit for about $140 and in under one hour it was installed and working using only the original speaker wires. I did however run the main stereo power off an un-keyed lead (Cigarette Lighter) so I don`t have to have my whole harness hot just to play the radio.

The fact that it only took a month for someone to break my drivers door glass to brutally rip it from it`s home :mad: is irrelevant to the fact that it DID work just fine with the stock wiring. :dunno:
 

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SWISS said:
i can vouch that using the stock speaker wire w/common ground in an after market deck is a bad idea i did this at first w\a blaupunkt cd and worked cool for a year then about two weeks ago left channel gone (front and back) took a few hours out my saturday and re wired all the speakers and ran new RCA cables ,still no fix took deck to a local shop to test and they confirmed my deck had zero output on the left channel.there went 200 buks!!.............. :banghead::wahwah: :cry:
this happened a year after the install. did the shop tell you that is why it lost the channel? maybe it die of natual causes......??? :dunno:
 

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in my car when i bought it they had it hooked up to the factory wires and worked fine. I inturn rewired the car with monster cable for four new 5 1/4 speakers amp/sub. But it can be done with the stock wires with no issues
 

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When my brother got his he already had an aftermarket hu installed. It died, and I went to install a new one for him, and found that the original was still in the trunk, and had had the connector plug cut and spliced onto the new hu. I ended up using the unprofessional setup they had already made because it worked. I just made sure I soldered all the connections and heat shrunk them, instead of taping them back together. So it is possible, just not alwas pretty.
 

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Inner City Stereo

If you live near an inner-city, go to a stereo shop. I have an 86 325 ES, and was tired of the code trauma associated with the factory install. Anyhow, I pulled into this place, (an independent, ( not a Circuit City or Best Buy type), and the guy says, "Oh yeah, no problem, I've got something for 200 bucks with install, the factory speakers are still in there and good, right?' I said, "Yeah, right," and he put the thing in. It's a Clarion DB or
D8 (my eyes are bad)255. Single CD, AM/FM removable faceplate. I say the inner city, because BMW's are traditionally popular in the hood, and the guys at these shops work on a lot of them.

Hope this helps...
 

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I did my stereo myself, it wasn't that bad. Instead of running all the wires for the speakers, run 2 double cables down the drivers side to the trunk where the amp is. Take the amp out and tie them into the existing speakers wires. Mine's fine. This is a quick fix but if you wanted to do it right I'd rewire all the speakers.
 

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I had the same problem. I got a new cd player. I local shop said they connect it and they did, but it only worked for a few days. After that, there was a grounding problem because of the common groudn, etc. I had to rewire all the speaker wires which was not bad. You learn a lot about your car and if you get a friend, can do it in no time.
 

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As it was said before, it is not very hard to run speaker wires to the back. You just have to take out the back seat, and the driver side sill panel (the main power cable to the trunk mounted battery runs down the passenger side) If you have components up front it is a little bit more of a pain in the arse as you have to run the wires through the door, but just use a clothes hanger and you should have no problem snaking the wires through.
 

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wierd

I'M having a pro install a new stereo/cd/Sirius. I will print these threads for additional information for him to read. I also have a 87 325ic, with the scary radio code that never works. (I really can't stand the word code anymore).

Since I'm spending over $500 (2 much) I will tell him to rewire speakers, that way it is done. I'm also buying a stereo that the display has a lot of display colors to select from, that way I can keep the dash lights looking the same (not that white, blue look display)
blaupunkt makes a syracuse model giving you these display features.
you can look at www.crutchfield.com. or ebay. I thought I would have the installer try not to butcher the existing wires in case another buyer purchases my car and wants to be a BMW realist.
MONTY
 
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