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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ay ye ye, I've really self-jammed.

The age old story of the iphone adapter cassette into the 1995 original tape deck, doesn't work, won't eject and then when the dang thing is finagled out, the radio is stuck on "TAPE" mode because it still thinks the tape is in, and bam! No radio, no CD.

This is a million more times more devastating than the adapter itself not working (who cares?). No music, of any kind? This is pretty major.

So I've read what feels like hundreds of boards explaining how to pry the thing out, and suggesting to just upgrade the radio because it's beyond repair, but what if all I want to know how to do is to make it play CD's and radio again? There absolutely MUST be some way to make this work again, right? If so, what is the step-by-step on how to do this?

It seems insane that putting an iphone adapter cassette into the tape deck renders a whole radio useless and is irreversible...

Can someone please explain what I would need to do to get it operational again? Tape deck completely unimportant at this point, I don't care if it's torn apart on that end, I just want the radio and CD (changer in trunk) working. I know I'll need to take the whole unit out, but then what? The tape deck holder should pop up, instead of staying down, right? How do I make this happen?

My commute to and from work is heartbreaking without some tunes to get me through.

Help a lady out?

PS
Things I've already tried: putting a regular tape in, and ejecting (eject button doesn't work); held down the eject button (that clearly is broken) while pulling out the tape manually/with needlenose pliers; glaring at the mechanics through the window and prodding every part to try to understand what's broken ...All to no avail.

PPS
Also noticed that aside from saying TAPE, I believe it says "SB MTL" which I'm sure is short for "sonofabitch is driving me mental" :D:cry:
 

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D'oh, You Kids!
1984 633CSi, 1985 635CSi, 1985 325e, 1987 325is, 1993 325is, 1995 318is, 1995 M3, 2003 F150
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The deck in my daughter's 318 did the same thing, except no adaptor involved. It just one day came up with "TAPE" in the display and would do nothing else. A trip to the repair shop accomplished nothing.

You aren't going to like the answer.....It's the same thing that plagues all the other pieces on the E36....plastic deterioration. A tiny part of the mechanism breaks and jams the lot, which leads to more breakage when things are forced. The technician that worked on this one said "find another one, but newer" if we wanted to keep an OEM unit in it, since it can't be fixed. No parts are available. They were considered expendable 20 years ago when they were made. Be glad you got 20 years out of it.
 

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Why do so many e36 owners keep the cassette players in instead of just installing a nice cd player??
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mine already has the CD changer in the trunk, which is just fine. I'd be happy to upgrade if you know of something that has the look of the OEM console. I don't really enjoy the aesthetic of a glowing blue crazy radio that most aftermarkets tend to look like. Know anything subtle, black and OEM-y looking?
 

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D'oh, You Kids!
1984 633CSi, 1985 635CSi, 1985 325e, 1987 325is, 1993 325is, 1995 318is, 1995 M3, 2003 F150
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30,562 Posts
I'd guess because they want the dash to look "original". I'm all for original looking, but I'm also all for function over form. I'd much rather something works than look like it was made 20 years ago.

bmercakes, you can get head units that have selectable backlite colors.
 

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Mine already has the CD changer in the trunk, which is just fine. I'd be happy to upgrade if you know of something that has the look of the OEM console. I don't really enjoy the aesthetic of a glowing blue crazy radio that most aftermarkets tend to look like. Know anything subtle, black and OEM-y looking?
I gotcha. I was just wondering. Makes sense. I was thinking maybe it was difficult to match up the sizing of the deck. I agree with you though. I'm not into the blue crazy laser type cd players either:thumbup:
 

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I'd guess because they want the dash to look "original". I'm all for original looking, but I'm also all for function over form. I'd much rather something works than look like it was made 20 years ago.

bmercakes, you can get head units that have selectable backlite colors.
Gotcha:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's not just the backlight that ruins the aesthetic - it's the bright silver and curved details that don't work visually with the black, boxy feel of what was happening in there in the 90's. Part of what I love is the way my car looks, not just works. And seeing as she had a pretty great radio & CD setup before, there really was no reason to go installing a single CD player up front. In any case. I am open to it if there's something that looks legit.
 
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