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hey all, thanks for making this a great spot for advice. i just got a 97 z3 1.9, getting started on all the fixes and upgrades. any tips on what might be wrong with my radio? it turns on, but the display is a solid block, no sound output at all. possible to repair or should i find a new one?

First image shows the display when the head unit is on, second is off.

Thanks!!

IMG_0110.jpg

IMG_0111.jpg
 

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1998 BMW Z3 2.8L
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395 Posts
Best thing to do is replace the head unit with a modern one with many more features (HD-FM, usb mpeg, bluetooth, etc.) You can get a complete install kit and radio from Crutchfield. It can make installation easier and quicker.
 

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Best thing to do is replace the head unit with a modern one with many more features (HD-FM, usb mpeg, bluetooth, etc.) You can get a complete install kit and radio from Crutchfield. It can make installation easier and quicker.
Agreed. I got an alpine with changeable color so I could match the orange/red dash lights. Plus I can plug in my phone and USB thumb drive with all my music. It's great!
 

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BMW CCA 1405
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My early 1997 1.9's head unit, CD changer and speakers are working OK, and I have hesitated to upgrade because the kits I have seen don't seem to match the car.
There are no speakers behind or between the seats.
The CD changer and the amp in the trunk must be abandoned.
Modern head units have amplifiers that may not be compatible with the old speakers as to power and resistance.
If anyone has a complete and easy solution for an early 1997, I would be interested to hear of it.
 

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The Arkleyologist
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I am not an audio purist or aficionado...but I have installed three aftermarket radios in Z3's using the Crutchfield kit......(Sony or Pioneer with display color adapting feature) I never had a problem (that I was aware of) with the sound or distortion and I never modified or disconnected ancillary amps etc......just saying....perhaps ignorance is bliss...grin...
 

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BMW CCA 1405
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... I have installed three aftermarket radios in Z3's using the Crutchfield kit......(Sony or Pioneer with display color adapting feature)... never modified or disconnected ancillary amps etc...
What year Z3s? You have a 2000 and I have a early 1997 (Oct 96).
Did your aftermarket radios use the original amp and CD changer in the trunk, and the original speakers in the kick panels and upper doors?
From what I see, the aftermarket radios contain amps that are more powerful than the original amp in the trunk. They do not work with the original CD changer. And their ohms are different from the original speakers.
The BavAuto stage one speaker kit for my car includes speakers behind the seat, which I don't have.
 

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The Arkleyologist
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1998 roadster 2.8, 2000 2.8 coupe, 2001 3.0 coupe....two Sonys and one Pioneer. Full disclosure, I did not hook up the ancillary amp cable on any of the three after market radios....never needed it....I had more than adequate volume and sound definition after the install...
 

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BMW CCA 1405
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The one and only amp in the trunk for the original radio does not power the aftermarket radios, which contain their own much more powerful amps. The old amp is abandoned in place. Likewise the CD changer.
I would have less problem upgrading the sound system if I had a newer Z3. The Crutchfield radio kits and BavAuto speaker kits seem to be for cars with console mid-range speakers, which my 10/96 Z3 has in the doors. I think I will just call up Crutchfield and see if they can put together a radio and speaker system that will work.

I have enjoyed this radio thread you started years ago:
https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=881768
 

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Here's a pic of mine. It was important to me that it didn't look too after market. It matches the dash lighting pretty close and it's got a USB that holds all my music. I don't really need the amp or changer anymore even though they're still in place.

 

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Your photo shows a recent Alpine head unit. Even the cheapest one contains an 18W amp.
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_500CDE170/Alpine-CDE-170.html?avf=Y
I believe that is what is powering your speakers.
Actually it's powered into the amp and then to the speakers. It's not ideal but it works for now. My door speakers are shot and I re-suspended the sub-woofer. So I'm running of the back and the sub through the amp. Eventually I'm going to eliminate the amp and harness and just run 4x1 with the head unit. Most harness you see out there are designed to run into the amp regardless of the head unit's power. It's enough to get me by for now but not really ideal in terms of good fidelity.
 
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