Another E39 aftermarket H/U install.....SOS! - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-31-2004, 02:55 AM
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Well, I've search the net all day, & could not find helpful info for my situation.
That's how I came across this forum. I have read some informative stuff.
Hope to have some great discussions in the future.

My situation:
I have a 1997 528i (e39). DSP, no MID info.

I want to install an aftermarket radio, but would like to continue to use my factory amp & speakers at the moment.
I read a lot of post about this, but the answer always drifts away about upgrading the stock speakers & amp first.
I understand the pros & cons & down falls, etc.
I plan to upgrade the whole system in a couple of months. I just purchased my car & it's in the process of getting performance & cosmetic mods, which cost a pretty penny itself...
So....in the meantime, I would just like to enjoy an aftermarket H/U........instead of the big, old looking, stock one.
With the help of other forums & sites, I purchase a full install kit which consist of:

BMW-K500 STEREO TRIM
BWH-470 WIRING HARNESS
VW-6 ANTENNA ADAPTER

The H/U is an Alpine CDA-7897

Figuring the harness was just "plug n play," the install went fine. Unit powered up, great graphics, shut down when ignition was turned off, etc.........but the one major thing........no sound was present.

Am I wasting my time? Or does the stock amp have to be bypassed?
I've read a lot about this but with no straight answer.

Things I noticed during my install:
Factory radio harness has 10 wires, the BWH-470 WIRING HARNESS has 13.
mmmmm. used
There are only 5 wires that I can identify on the factory harness:

purple/white = 12v switched (red on the BWH-470 WIRING HARNESS)
red/green = battery (yellow on the BWH-470 WIRING HARNESS)
brown = ground (black on the BWH-470 WIRING HARNESS)
white = remote turn on (blue on the BWH-470 WIRING HARNESS)
gray/red = illumination (orange on the BWH-470 WIRING HARNESS)

The 5 wires left that have to be identified are:

black/white = ?
white/yellow = ?
white/brown = ?
blue/red = ?
yellow/red = ?

Does anyone know or can direct me in getting the wiring schematic for my vehicle?

Being that there are only 10 wires on the stock harness (5 of them having to do with powering the H/U), are there speaker leads running through the stock radio location?
Is there any use in the small 5 wire factory harness that connects to the mid unit?

Another thing I noticed was that some pins on the BWH-470 WIRING HARNESS do not match the factory harness when connected......well at least the remaining 8 wires, with the exception of the 5 noted above.
Some are pinned that they connect to an empty hole & vise versa........which gives me the thought that I would have to relocate pins on the BWH-470 WIRING HARNESS. used

I am determined to do this, instead of paying some-one mega $$$$ & have my vehicle butchered.
Well, hopefully this story will have a happy ending & I can share my experiences.

Thank you in advance.
All replies are much appreciated!
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-31-2004, 11:07 AM
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DSP is the problem. your deck isn't/doesn't/can't send a signal that your amp will understand to output to the speakers.

most likely gonna have to bypass the factory amp all together.

2008 128i Jetblack
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#3 (permalink) Old 05-31-2004, 02:47 PM
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I was hoping not to get that answer.......lol.
Thanks for the reply

So, it would be easier to run some rca's from the h/u to the rear, add an aftermarket amp, then tap into the speaker wires from there?
Being that the my Apline H/U has a built in amp, is it possible to bypass the amp without running wires from the front to back?

Hopefully there might be other solutions & I can get a hold of the front wiring schematics, so I can find out what those remaining 5 wires are.

Thank you.
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-31-2004, 03:55 PM
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I'm not sure if the 39s are like the 36s.. but all the cross over stuff was done at/in the amp so septrate wires ran for every speaker (highs/mids/lows, even if all in one cluster or pod). if it is not like that you can do any number of things...

put a new amp and tap factory speaker runs.

a converter.

run new wires from the HU to all speakers.

if each speaker has its own signal its a lot more work and can be a good idea just to replace them all with something nice and non factory. then hook to the alpine.

2008 128i Jetblack
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#5 (permalink) Old 05-31-2004, 07:25 PM
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Sounds like i'm in a little over my head... ghead
Shouldn't there be factory speaker wire or some type of out source behind the stock radio, though (harness)?
It's not enough wires back there.

In my previous e36, I had an aftermarket h/u in & ran it with the stock amp. A while later I upgraded to an aftermarket amp & tapped into the speaker leads in the rear & removed the stock amp.
There were factory speaker leads in the h/u (front) location that ran to the rear amp.
Not in this e39...

Thanks for your time...
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-31-2004, 08:45 PM
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With an helpful photo from "jllphan" & photo-shop (I have no skills :P ).....this is the factory harness I am working with:
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#7 (permalink) Old 05-31-2004, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Endangered Beatz@May 31 2004, 05:05 PM
Sounds like i'm in a little over my head... ghead
Shouldn't there be factory speaker wire or some type of out source behind the stock radio, though (harness)?
It's not enough wires back there.

In my previous e36, I had an aftermarket h/u in & ran it with the stock amp. A while later I upgraded to an aftermarket amp & tapped into the speaker leads in the rear & removed the stock amp.
There were factory speaker leads in the h/u (front) location that ran to the rear amp.
Not in this e39...

Thanks for your time...
with DSP the factory unit is pushing a digital signal to the amp which only needs to be 1 wire maybe a pair. the amp does the rest of the work.

2008 128i Jetblack
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