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#1 (permalink) Old 03-05-2005, 08:59 PM
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I have a 1997 E36. Recently the OEM radio backlight started going dim once in a while. Eventually it went all dim. The numbers are readable but not as bright as they should be.

I had this same problem with the odometer and I had the dealer repair...........they claimed a "backlight bulb was out". Is there a similar fix for the radio? I removed the radio and opened it up and see no such backlight.

Of course the dealer says that the factory radio has to do back to the BMW authorized reapir faclity for any work and no local sho will look at it.

Can any help?

Lar

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1997 328i
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#2 (permalink) Old 03-05-2005, 09:56 PM
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I replaced my factory radio with an aftermarket one. Except that when I did it the antenna wire was so messed up I cut the end of it and spliced it to an american adapter. So now I have a factory radio with no chance of it ever going back in the car. I am not sure if it will work for you(from a 1994 325is), but I was actually going to put it in the classifieds soon.

Although I would put in an aftermarket unit if I were you anyways. Sound quality is better and they have more features(cd, mp3, etc.).

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#3 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 12:56 PM
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The unit is an ALPINE P/N 65.12-8 364 944. I just took it out again to see if there were bulbs adjacent to the display and I see none.

The reason I still spot the OEM radio and CD changer is that I seem to be a member of the $500 club, everytime I turn around I'm spending $500 on it. The last thing was the radiator neck let go, $534. I still have a leak on the thermostat housing, the real reason it went ot the shop last time, it was coincidental the radiator neck let go on the way to the shop. Therm housing is plastic, replacing with metal.

I have a photo of the radio but its 3Meg so I'm not posting. I dont know if the '94 OEM is the same, doubt it. Will consider replacing with after market. I suppose they make some that fit rather well?

How many miles on your '94? I'm at 130,000 and counting.

Lar

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#4 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Larry Horne@Mar 6 2005, 11:56 AM
The unit is an ALPINE P/N 65.12-8 364 944. I just took it out again to see if there were bulbs adjacent to the display and I see none.

The reason I still spot the OEM radio and CD changer is that I seem to be a member of the $500 club, everytime I turn around I'm spending $500 on it. The last thing was the radiator neck let go, $534. I still have a leak on the thermostat housing, the real reason it went ot the shop last time, it was coincidental the radiator neck let go on the way to the shop. Therm housing is plastic, replacing with metal.

I have a photo of the radio but its 3Meg so I'm not posting. I dont know if the '94 OEM is the same, doubt it. Will consider replacing with after market. I suppose they make some that fit rather well?

How many miles on your '94? I'm at 130,000 and counting.

Lar
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I have 82,000 miles right now. My radio is BMW PN 82 11 1 467 024. I don't think it is the Alpine so it wouldn't work with your changer. I would check out Crutchfield.com and look at the Clarion and Alpine units. They have amazing customer service and I picked up my unit as they were making room for the new models so got it $100 cheaper. I bought a Clarion DXZ645. It is all black(not alot of shiny silver and such) so it matches the bmw interior. It also has a changable color screen. There is a "mandarin" color that matches the BMW amber almost perfect. PLus it plays mp3 and wma files so if you have a computer you can burn files onto a cd and it can read the title and artist. I can fit like 20 "albums/cds" onto one physical cd. That eliminated my need for a cd changer and I took mine out.

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#5 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jshearer@Mar 6 2005, 12:57 PM
I have 82,000 miles right now. My radio is BMW PN 82 11 1 467 024. I don't think it is the Alpine so it wouldn't work with your changer. I would check out Crutchfield.com and look at the Clarion and Alpine units. They have amazing customer service and I picked up my unit as they were making room for the new models so got it $100 cheaper. I bought a Clarion DXZ645. It is all black(not alot of shiny silver and such) so it matches the bmw interior. It also has a changable color screen. There is a "mandarin" color that matches the BMW amber almost perfect. PLus it plays mp3 and wma files so if you have a computer you can burn files onto a cd and it can read the title and artist. I can fit like 20 "albums/cds" onto one physical cd. That eliminated my need for a cd changer and I took mine out.
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Do you have any pictures? I would like to see how it fits in the dash. I am torn between getting an OEM CD changer or getting a new head unit.

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#6 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 11:03 PM
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So has anyone actually responded to tell you whether this is a 'consumer' repairable problem or not? I have the Alpine in a '97 328i 128K. The Radio Back light is out most of the time but on the odd occasion it will light up completely and give me the false hope that it will continue to keep working.


Quote:
Originally posted by Larry Horne@Mar 5 2005, 06:59 PM
I have a 1997 E36. Recently the OEM radio backlight started going dim once in a while. Eventually it went all dim. The numbers are readable but not as bright as they should be.

I had this same problem with the odometer and I had the dealer repair...........they claimed a "backlight bulb was out". Is there a similar fix for the radio? I removed the radio and opened it up and see no such backlight.

Of course the dealer says that the factory radio has to do back to the BMW authorized reapir faclity for any work and no local sho will look at it.

Can any help?

Lar
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#7 (permalink) Old 03-12-2005, 12:00 AM
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My '97 radio had the same problem: the backlight would work intermittantly. I took the thing out, took it apart (including some solder joints holding the front circiut board on) looking for the light, but couldn't find it. I put it back together, thinking all was lost, and it worked! I've had no trouble since. The contacts between circuit boards get dirty, or jiggled loose, and the light goes out.

Try taking it apart. If you can't get it back together again, then you'll REALLY have an excuse to go get an aftermarket one!

MM

1997 328I Sport Package
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#8 (permalink) Old 03-12-2005, 12:48 AM
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Thanks I will take a look.


Quote:
Originally posted by mmendell@Mar 11 2005, 10:00 PM
My '97 radio had the same problem: the backlight would work intermittantly. I took the thing out, took it apart (including some solder joints holding the front circiut board on) looking for the light, but couldn't find it. I put it back together, thinking all was lost, and it worked! I've had no trouble since. The contacts between circuit boards get dirty, or jiggled loose, and the light goes out.

Try taking it apart. If you can't get it back together again, then you'll REALLY have an excuse to go get an aftermarket one!

MM
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#9 (permalink) Old 03-12-2005, 10:17 AM
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Do you have any pictures? I would like to see how it fits in the dash. I am torn between getting an OEM CD changer or getting a new head unit.
[snapback]304964[/snapback]
[/quote]


drz328i,

Jshearer sent me this threat to MrChance's install. Awesome job, looks great. Give it a whirl.

http://www.bmw-forums.com/forum/index.php?...pic=10667&st=20

Lar

Larry
Suffolk, VA
1997 328i
2004 Lexus GX470
1989 Ford F250
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#10 (permalink) Old 03-12-2005, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rhs+Mar 12 2005, 12:48 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(rhs @ Mar 12 2005, 12:48 AM)</div><div class='quotemain'>Thanks I will take a look.


<!--QuoteBegin-mmendell
@Mar 11 2005, 10:00 PM
My '97 radio had the same problem: the backlight would work intermittantly.* I took the thing out, took it apart (including some solder joints holding the front circiut board on) looking for the light, but couldn't find it.* I put it back together, thinking all was lost, and it worked!* I've had no trouble since.* The contacts between circuit boards get dirty, or jiggled loose, and the light goes out.*

Try taking it apart.* If you can't get it back together again, then you'll REALLY have an excuse to go get an aftermarket one!

MM
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[/b][/quote]

MM,

I'll pull the unit again put i've takein it apart twice now. Given you have more curage than I do but you are correct, if I'm considering new HU, what the heck. Mine also started as an intermitant problem then when belly up.

I'll let you know.

Lar

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#11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2005, 12:46 PM
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After you take it apart look for broken solder joints and fix them. I will do that with my radio once I get to it following progressively through my list of priorities in life. The radio reception intermittently goes on and off (i.e., sound getting to the speakers) and the backlight does funky things.

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#12 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 12:01 AM
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Well, the HU is apart. I'll post photos tomorrow. Once I removed the fase plate I discovered that the circuit board that holds contains the buttons and the LED screen is removable just by pushing a few clips, five exactly. Remove the male plug from the on/off switch and the board pulls out nicely. There are 2 sets of pins, each with 10 or 12 pins. I cleaned each pin (sand paper and knife blade), I even bent them slightly trying to make better contact. Installed the board back into the HU and installed it in car. Leaving the metal top cover and face plate off. Road tested.

Initially it did not get bright, removed the board while power was on and it got bright as I pulled it away from HU.

Now I am discovering there is a sweet spot where the connection is perfect and they burn bright. About half of the time now when I cut the car off and then back on they come back dim. Jiggle the board and they go bright. Will readjust tomorrow and road test again.

Gee what I'll go through to save $279 for new unit.

Lar

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#13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 03:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Horne,Mar 12 2005, 09:17 AM
Do you have any pictures? I would like to see how it fits in the dash. I am torn between getting an OEM CD changer or getting a new head unit.
[snapback]304964[/snapback]

drz328i,

Jshearer sent me this threat to MrChance's install. Awesome job, looks great. Give it a whirl.

http://www.bmw-forums.com/forum/index.php?...pic=10667&st=20

Lar
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[/quote]
Thanks dude. Good read

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#14 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Larry Horne@Mar 5 2005, 05:59 PM

I had this same problem with the odometer and I had the dealer repair...........they claimed a "backlight bulb was out". Is there a similar fix for the radio? I removed the radio and opened it up and see no such backlight.

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Sorry, off topic: How much did they charge you for that blacklight blub?
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#15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 07:49 AM
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Wrong forum.. moving...

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