Discussion in 'ICE, Sat Navs & Dash Cams Forum' started by Mackster, Oct 10, 2003.
Anyone got any suggestions to upgrade this car to a decent sound system ?
Get a 6 under the bonnet?
yeah yeah, i know. but still young and have no no claims so the 4 will have to do for a while. Any useful advice re sounds ? ;-)
hiya to many things to take into account.
i could go on
Ask at a number of installers, also look at speakers which fit original places.
Also do it in stages, rather than cut costs.
A lot depends on what you listen to and what you want.
Go Halfords, have a laugh, and then go to a proper ICE installer where the staff will be over 15 years old, and know what they are talking about.
Then get a couple of new visa cards and spank the credit limit to your hearts content.
Hope this helps.
What sytem have you got in there at the moment?
business with dsp (will have adsp button near the dsc button)
business with amp (little black box under cd changer)
Harman Kardon upgrade
sat nav with dsp or harman etc.
First thing to do is check for the amp in the rear, if it is not there you can upgrade pretty easily.
I would look at adding a pair of Genesis A or P 16's, preferably the A series, alot smooter on the top end.
These will go where the stock speakers sit now and a shallow enough to not have to cut the door panel about.
I would then look at adding an amp to the existing speakers, this is where it is only really worth doing if you dont have the bmw amp.
you will need a 4 channel really or a 2 channel if you just want to improve the fronts. If you dont have an amp you can just add a line level converter to the speaker outputs on the head unit and then add the amp from there.
The speaker upgrade will make a huge difference, the amp will help but try the speakers first. Every ice dealer I spoke to said that teh A16's wouldn't fit and I would be better going for the A13's, ignore them, the 16's fit perfectly, in fact they can be held in place with 3 self tapping screws and you can get it back to factory in under 20mins.
This is all based on you wanting to keep the OEM look of the car and steering wheel controls, speed dependant volume etc.
If you dont mind not having these features then just buy a decent head unit, iso adapter and new speakers
Thanks gizlaroc, Have the standard Business CD front loader, where abouts would the amp be in the rear ?
I have left from my old car, a Rockford Punch 50.2, 40.2 and a 100 x 4 Philips will these fit into anywhere ?
Where the cd changer is, it should be under that behind the panel if you have one.
have a look on
HERE , it is an excellent site with a great forum.
The audi forum is a little us based but will help out alot with locations and sizes etc.
How to remove the door panel
I am sure you will fit them in somehow
Just like to say thanks to Gizlaroc for putting up the above links which I found extremely helpful. I've just installed a 6-disc CD changer (Alpine, bought from 'add-a-cdchanger' for £162, with interface included) in my car (BMW E46 320D SE '02 plate with satellite navigation and professional business radio pre-installed). Fitting was quite cumbersome but got there in the end. For future reference, most E46 cars have the pre-installed CD lead, which consists of two cables, one with 3 pins and another with 6 pins. This is important when choosing the appropriate CD changer. Also, you'll need an interface which is the size of a cigarette packet. For cars with satellite navigation, the brackets are already pre-installed. You'll just need to remove the top pocket above the pocket housing the satellite navigation CD-ROM. As stated, the most difficult bit was getting access to the bracket, which is located on the left rear of the boot (i.e. where the CD-ROM is). The rivets holding the carpets and panels in particular are a pain to remove. I suspect BMW deliberately made it difficult for owners to install CD changers by themselves, for obvious reasons. The dealer quoted me a price of £350 plus £20-30 for additional required accessories for the installation. Doing it yourself will save you in excess of £200, not to mention the Alpine CD player is likely to be of a higher quality than the generic BMW player (which is an Alpine clone anyway). You'll need to refer to the links that Gizlaroc provided above for detailed instructions. Once you get to the brackets, you'll need to expand it slightly (again, quite a painful process!) to enable the player to be inserted (because although the player is much smaller than the bracket, you'll need to fix smaller 'L' brackets on the player - this is provided with the player - to enable fixation onto the brackets on the car). Note that you can control the player using the on-board computer, including the controls on the steering wheel.
Quite hard work, but well worth the effort in the end!
hey reservoir51, thanks for the info, im just about to buy an alpine changer (mp3) and do the same
any tips for a smooth / quick install e.g. how to get the boot carpet off etc (i had a look and was stumped lol)
you usually have to unclip the rear light cluster (watch you dont snap the clip), remove the warning triangle and prise the clip out of the back to remove its holder, there should then only be one trim clip left at the top, again prise this out. You can then pull the back end of the carpet out by lifting it slightly out of the plastic, leaving it attached at the seat end as you'll get plenty of access still.
You'll find the 2 plugs clipped to the back of the metal bracket (as long as its a uk or us spec car). Remove the top tray, 4 x 8mm or 10mm bolts (cant remember which). You'll be able to get the alpine changer in here utilising these bolts if you trim a bit off the alpine brackets.
One thing to bear in mind with the mp3 changer is that you cannot access different folders on an mp3 disc, so you'll have to put all tracks in one folder. Also, you can't usually access above 99 tracks, althoug that still gives you nearly 600 tracks within the changer.
Reassemble carpet and your done
I'm tempted to buy an E46 with the Harmon Kardon upgrade. But i have my own Pioneer Av1cs unit that I would want to connect. What would I need to connect the two. I understand I need the fascia plate but what about the connector as the one's I have seen of the internet all mention the standard and not the Hk one.
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