E36 -> E46 Wiring amp / sub / HU - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 09:19 PM
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So, as the story goes, my dad has taken over the E36 for good now, and he let me take the system out since he doesn't like anything loud.

There are a few questions i have though. The E36 is setup like: (sizes may be off) tweeter and 4" in the door, also has a 5.25 kick panel down in the floorboard. The E46 on the other hand has the tweeters in the door frame up by the windshield, then the 4" and 5.25 are in the door down lower.

Question 1: Im assuming for now the speakers are the same size in both models, just located differantly. Is this true? If not, what are the sizes in the E46?

So, as i was taking everything out of the old car, I got the the HU and pulled that out of the dash to discover that they had cut off the plug for the factory radio and wired in a new plug to fit my HU.

Question 2: Will this wiring be the same for the E46 as is the E36? ie: will the colors match up the same for wiring in the new HU to the E46?

Also. I had to take the amp out of the E36 .. As I did I noticed the lazy bums at hifi-buys took the wires out of the factory amp and just moved them to the JL i have .. completely bypassing haveing to rewire anything, they just cut the old speakers off and heat wrapped the new ones in place of them .. this has also caused a problem because the wires from the factory speakers need some sort of plug to attach back to the factory amp.

Question 3: Can I order a plug to fit the wires back into the factory amp as to get sound back in the factory speakers? or will I need to have a completly new wiring job down?

Almost done now. The factory HU in the E46 is oversized, and i know i can't just dreml away to fit the HU i have for it.

Question 4: Is there a site I can order a mounting face or whatever I need to make the new HU fit in the oversized slot?

So anyways. The new setup will be like this.

Neo 3R Tweeters from Boston Acoustics.
FX5 Components also Boston Acoustics
2 - 12" JL W3v2 Subwoofers
JL 500/5 Amplifer
Alpine CDA-9827

I had woofers in the back, but I blew one of thoes so im keeping the stock in or, as El Pres reccomends, "Fuck imageing" and just not hook them up again.

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#2 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 09:56 PM
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when'd i say that?

Anyway, this gives me a bit more info than your IM.

1. Not positiv, but almost certain the seizes in the e46 are 6.5s in the door and 4s. The e36 uses a 3.5 in the door. A simple fitment guide from crutchfield or sounddomian should tell you.

2. No, wires will more than likely be different colors.

3. Check www.installer.com for a harness.

4. They should also have mounting adapters for the e46 HU.

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#3 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by El Presidente@Sep 19 2004, 10:36 PM
when'd i say that?
umm. when we were over talking about komodo's speaker install, at your house. explaining why you didn't hook up his rear speakers.

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#4 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 06:59 PM
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alright, got the HU out and as expected the wiring is much differant from the E36.

does anyone know, or know where to find a wiring guide as to which wire from the factory would attach to which wire to my alpine HU?

i'll spend a while more looking but i havn't had any luck yet.

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#5 (permalink) Old 09-21-2004, 02:08 PM
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This isn't the easiest thing to read but the best I've found: Wiring Diagram


Question 1: The door speakers are approx 3/4" tweet, 2.5" upper bass, and 6" midbass. They are all non-standard sizes so expect to have a fun time getting anything to fit. You might not have too much trouble with the tweeter if yours is small enough (I'm going to have to fabricate new covers to replace the mesh because my 1" tweets stick out too far). The mids are another story--neither 5.25's or 6.5's will fit properly...expect to spend some time creating a mount and be aware that the stock magnets are small and you will probably have mounting-depth challenges unless your aftermarket mids are low-profile.

Question 2: Almost...the wire colors for the left channel are different but quite a few of the others are the same.

Question 3: You could always ask a dealer about ordering the connectors but I can't imagine that it'd be cheap. You could troll some of the BMW boards and find somebody that might have cut theirs off to install their aftermarket system. I've been in similar situations with other cars and ended up installing an inexpensive aftermarket system instead...if Dad isn't picky put together a $250 system for him.

Question 4: Crutchfield has one.
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#6 (permalink) Old 09-23-2004, 09:38 PM
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ok. i've been working on wiring my car up for almost a week now and heres what i've got done.

- ran the remote and rca cables from the HU mount to the trunk.
- hooked up the amp to the battery and have a ghetto ground wire for now.
- i've disected the 10 speakers and have found that i can not have tweeters in the front, only mids and woofers.
- i've wired the 4 speakers i want working from the factory amp to my amp.
- i've installed 1 of 4 new speakers.

and here is what is still left to do.

- mount the amp.
- fix a stripped screw on the amp to properly attatch a speaker wire.
- properly ground the amp.
- buy and install a cap.
- install the 3 other speakers in the doors, replacing the wires to go with them.
- fix the HU mount so it will coorectly fit all the way back and not look ghetto.
- decide if i want to buy a 2 channel amp and add rear sound to the car.
- make a CORRECT speaker wire guide.
- place subs in the trunk and mount.

i do not understand how an audio place says they can install a full system in 4 hours on my car. i've spent nearly 20 hours on it already and i'm maybe half done. even if i knew what i was doing from the start, i think it would take 6 - 8 to do.

anyways, at least i have sound and all now. i'm happy for that.

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#7 (permalink) Old 09-23-2004, 10:37 PM
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they can do it in 4 hour if they do a really shoddy job or have more than one person working on it.

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#8 (permalink) Old 09-24-2004, 10:45 AM
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Most audio shops do a lousy job. After installing systems in 3 cars I always laugh when someone complains about the cost of a custom install--they clearly have no clue how much work it is. My system is 80% done and I should finish all but new speaker covers on Saturday--a set of CDT tweeters arrived for the back doors and a power-line filter for the alternator whine (Navone Engineering).

My back channel only has tweeters--no mids at all...seemed odd to me but maybe that's normal for the E46 standard sound system. That's just as well, though...I hate the way mids in the rear deck sound (the trunk is too big and it'll just compete with the sub anyway). Luckily my CDT crossovers are designed to run two sets of tweets off of the front channel--they come with an attenuator to adjust the level. You could look into them if you just want a little treble fill for the back--CDT calls it the "Upstage System."

I didn't replace my head unit, but I spent a heck of a lot of time ohming out all of the speaker wires before I figured out that my Internet-provided guide was wrong. Of course I also broke a number of those door panel stand-offs as well...I think previous service techs had them in bad shape already.
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