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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW Radio Head
Unit Installation

Difficulty Level: 3
Difficulty scale: Adding air to your tires is level one
Rebuilding a BMW Motor is level ten

  This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your BMW 3 Series. The book contains 272 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to timing the camshafts. With more than 650+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any 3 Series owner's collection. The book was released in August 2006, and is available for ordering now. See The Official Book Website for more details.
 
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    One of the first projects new BMW owners perform on their car is to remove and replace their stereo head unit.  I know that if I buy a car that has a weak stereo unit, it's one of the first things to go.  The factory BMW head units (manufactured by Alpine) are best described as barely adequate - the technology is at least 10 years old in most cases, and the units also seem to have a rather high failure rate after many years of use (Figure 1).

     The good news is that the replacement process is relatively easy, providing you have the right information, and the right parts.  First, disconnect the battery.  The radio harness has constant voltage supplied to it, and you don't want to accidentally blow any fuses or damage any electrical components.  Begin by flipping open the small flap on the OEM head unit (Figure 2).  Underneath, you will find a funky 5-sided bolt on the inside (Figure 3).  I guess BMW thought it would be more difficult to remove the stereo if the bolt was a non-standard one.  Well, my standard hex tool fit right in there, and was able to remove it with no effort involved (Figure 4).  If your bolts are more securely tightened, then you may need a specific five-sided tool for the task.  After the bolts are loose, you should be able to simply pull the unit out by hand (Figure 5).

     On the back of the unit, there is a large black connector, and a smaller antenna connector (Figure 6).  Remove the antenna connector by simply tugging on it.  The large black connector has a retaining strap that needs to be released prior to pulling it out of the radio (Figure 7 and Figure 8).  Don't force the connector, or you may break it.

     In order to install your new radio, you will need a BMW cable adapter (Figure 9).  This adapter plugs into the factory connector and has leads on it that you can then connect to the leads or connector on your new radio (Figure 10).  You can cut the OEM connector off and tap directly into the factory harness, but I strongly caution against this - it's best to use the adapter cable.  I put some spade connectors on the ends of the harness adapter, and the connector that plugged into my new radio.  The adapter harness is shown on the left in Figure 10, and the new harness that came with the new radio is shown on the right.

     In general, most wire harnesses are configured according to an industry standards which is shown in the following table:

Color Purpose
Blue Power Antenna
Orange Illumination
Black Chassis Ground
Red 12 Volt Switched Power
Yellow 12 Volt Constant Power
Green Left Rear Speaker Positive
Green/Black Left Rear Speaker Negative
Violet Right Rear Speaker Positive
Violet/Black Right Rear Speaker Negative
White Left Front Speaker Positive
White/Black Left Front Speaker Negative
Gray Right Front Speaker Positive
Gray/Black Right Front Speaker Negative

     Figure 11 shows the back of the new head unit, with connectors for the harness connector included with the unit, connectors for an external amplifier, and an antenna connector.  Plug the harness adapter into the factory connector, and then plug the harness into the back of the head unit and connect all of the spade connectors, as shown in Figure 12.

     On this particular head unit, I found that the antenna jack on the back of the unit was not compatible with the one in the factory harness (Figure 13), so I needed an antenna adapter as well (Figure 14).  Plug the adapter into the back of the unit (Figure 15 & Figure 16), and then you should be able to plug the antenna cable into the unit (Figure 17).  With the new head unit wired up (Figure 18), reconnect the battery, and turn it on to test it (Figure 19).  If all of the speakers, radio, and lights work, then install the radio bracket into the center dashboard.  This is the bracket that comes with your new unit, and typically has tabs that you bend into place once you position the bracket.  When the bracket is secure (Figure 20), simply slide the radio into its spot on the center dashboard.  Be careful though - most of these units are designed to be easy to install, but very difficult to remove, so make sure that everything works before inserting it into the dashboard.

     Well, there you have it - it's really not too difficult at all.  If you would like to see more technical articles like this one, please continue to support Pelican Parts with all your parts needs.  If you like what you see here, then please visit our online BMW catalog and help support the collection and creating of new and informative technical articles like this one.  Your continued support directly affects the expansion and existence of this site and technical articles like this one.  As always, if you have any questions or comments about this helpful article, please drop us a line.

   
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Comments and Suggestions:
Hood1 Comments: Have a quick question on the wiring , to bench test c43 Alpine unit , which wires to connect with 12v to make it display light work ?

Thanx a bunch!
November 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure of the exact wires, but it should be constant power, ignition power and ground.

I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
byrdman13 Comments: Hello everyone i have a 94 BMW 325i and i replaced the radio with a aftermarket head unit and turn the car on the head unit worked but my car wont start it wont even crank do you think its a fuse or relay or did the head unit fry my starter.
November 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: maybe you blew a fuse for the ignition circuit when performing the replacement, but if the radio works, seems unlikey. maybe coincidentally, the starter motor failed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
george Comments: I'm hooking up a stereo in 94 bmw 318i an the battery wire has no power going to it
October 11, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check the radio fuse. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
airportbum Comments: I installed a new head unit in my 1998 318ti but now the AM radio doesn't work. I want to confirm if the antenna amp is getting the necessary voltage. Where is it located? It is not in the back hatch like some pictures show.
September 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: My info says it is attached to the tailgate. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mikey Comments: Just installed a new head unit and 5.25 speakers all around in my 1998 m3 vet. for some reason the front speakers are workign great but as for the rear speakers they seem to be have little sound. I double checked the wiring of the head unit already. Could it be the OEM amp? thanks in advance !
August 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, the amp or the balance fader on the radio. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Hexum Comments: What is the mounting bracket for the receiver itself for a 97 Z3?
August 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
HorchataGucci Comments: *Blue thick cable, the stereo is a pioneer by the way and thanks again!
July 29, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks, got it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
HorchataGucci Comments: Hello so I recently bought a 94 bmw 325is and I noticed the previous owner connected his aftermarket stereo straight into the factory wires inside and didnt use a harness a lot of cut wires its a big mess I bought some kick subwoofers and placed it on the trunk the stereo doesn not turn on at all, even when the car is running there is a blie yhick cable in the trunk the previous owner said he use to connevt it to the battery ? I dont know if I should do that though, does anyone know what I should do ? Help !! Thanks in advance
July 29, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That could be for an aftermarket amplifier. I would take the vehicle to a repair shop and have them look it over. You dont want to cause a short by connecting unknown wires to the battery. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Sageev George Comments: OK. More info. I found a pinout diagram for my BMW that corresponds to the wires going through the harness http://www.unofficialbmw.com/e36/stereo/e36-pinouts-a.gif . And I believe that the following diagram is correct for my Pioneer DEH-150MP http://www.fixya.com/uploads/Howto/8C2892D.gif . The problem that I see is the following:
1. There are two spare wires on the BMW harness: white, and gray-white.
2. There is only one spare wire on the Pioneer harness: a blue wire that has the label "SYSTEM REMOTE CONTROL".

It sounds like some of the people here have connected *some* wire to the another wire to power the amp. From the BMW diagram, it appears that the BMW white wire is connected to Line 16, which says Remote Turn On. So, maybe it should be connected to the Pioneer wire labeled "SYSTEM REMOTE CONTROL". SO, maybe the BMW Harness gray-white wire is the wire for powering the stock amp? If so, which Pioneer or BMW wire should be connected to it?
July 24, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't know what model or stereo you are working on. However, the white wire is usually to the antenna amplifier. I don't see a gray/white on the wiring diagram for the model I looked at. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Sageev Comments: Just bought the BMW cable adapter. However, the colors are not the industry standard. My question: The cable adapter utilizes wiring like "Yellow with a Red Stripe", "Blue with a Red Stripe" and other Yellow with a color and Blue with a color pairs. I believe that these are for the 4 speakers. Is that true? Also, the adapter has 3 heavier gauge wires: 1 Brown; 2 Red-White; 3 I forget. I believe that these are for the 12V Switch, 12 V Constant and the Ground. Is this correct?
Finally, there are 2 remaining wires: a white wire and a grey & white wire. What would these be for?

On a related note, if I connect a 12 V Switch wire to the 12 V Constant contact on the head unit, and visa versa, could I damage the car or the head unit? If I reverse the negative and positive on the speakers, could I cause damage to the car or speaker?
July 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't know what harness this is. Where was it sourced? Manufacturer? Part number?

The battery voltage switch or constant won't cause damage. Connecting a ground to power or vise-versa would cause damage. Switching polarity on the speakers will not damage them. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
ricardo Comments: i just installed a after marked cd player on my 95 530i and for some reason my unit will not turn on. the original owner had spliced the cables and i found a original wiring harness for it put it together. but it didnt work.
June 25, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would start by checking fuses. If they are OK, you'll have to get a wiring diagram and confirm it is connected properly. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
tetter Comments: i have a bmw 3231 1999 e46 , i have changed cassette head unit for aftermarket cd player when i turn up volume on unit above 17bds all the speakers start to crackle after about 5 secs, when i turn it down the sound plays ok can u help plz
June 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may be going over the maximum the speakers can handle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Andy Comments: No the cd/radio power button got stuck a few days ago and cold not play the CD at all. Today I wiggled the power knob and that broke off...So no sound from CD at all : Thanks
May 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would power and ground to the CD player. if good, the player may be faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Andy Comments: No the CD stopped working altogether a few days ago because the power button was depressed on the off position, then I tried to wiggle the knob and knob broke off, and still no cd, Thanks
May 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would power and ground to the CD player. if good, the player may be faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Andy Comments: One more thing...Forgot to mention it's a Business CD harman Kardin Thanks
May 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: got it. thanks - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Andy Comments: Hello everyone! I have a 2003 BMW 325I. I boght the car at a year old and the radio never worked but maybe a month or so. Recently the power button to CD got suck. Trying to wiggle it, I broke it off : the buttom, tred to push on the inside of the power button and nothing. No Lights to tell me what's wrong, just won't turn cd or radio at all now! Any help is GREATLY appreciated! Thanks
May 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: So the CD player worked but not the radio? If the button broke off, I would assume that is your issue. With no power button, how will it turn on? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jess Comments: 1999 bmw 323. I would like to put my new HU in but new harness has a blue solid wire and my pioneer HU only has remote wire
May 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don;t have experience with Pioneer. What does the instruction booklet tell you to do? It must list the wire colors and use. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Pesky07 Comments: I am looking to fit a 2Din head unit,with GPS, to my 1997 E36 coupe.
Any recommendations on a unit that will work well or am I being overly ambitious?
April 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check into the Alpine units. I have seen them used in E36 models. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
GEOF-G Comments: I have a cd43 radio and reciently the cd stopped working, I don't want to force it, IT won't take the cd in or eject it , everything else works fine. THANKS FOR YOUR HELP GEOF
March 24, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The radio may have failed. Is there a CD stuck in the radio? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BT Comments: Just had an aftermarket head unit Pioneer installed into my 97 BMW Z3 using a Metra wiring harness adapter and antenna adapter. When turning the volume to its max, I do hear sound, but it's just barely audible. Any suggestions?
February 2, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the amp ON wire is not connected. Recheck the wiring. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Chinoevil Comments: I just installed a head unit in my 02 325i and the head unit works fine. The only thing is I installed mb quart component speakers and the only one that plays is the mid range. Tweeter has no power. Is there a factory amp or crossover problem? If so should I bypass the amp and crossover and use the crossover supplied with the speakers?
January 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure. I don;t do much with aftermarket components. It could be a capacitor on the tweeters or they are not getting sound. I would check a wiring diagram from the new radio and compare it to the factory radio. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tamara Comments: Our 1988 325 is wiring harness had none of the colors listed. As the radio was stolen prior to our purchase, there is no hint as to where these wires once went. The entire group of wires is held together by a tag with 1 381 718 0 among other numbers. There are two brown/black wires, 1 yellow/black, 1 yellow/red, 1 blue/black, 1 blue/red, 1 grey/violet, 1 grey/red, and 1 white. No wiring diagram I have found lists these as choices. What next?
January 11, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would grab a repair manual. It will have the wiring you need.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/catalog/shopcart/BE36/POR_BE36_TOLbks_pg1.htm #item0- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Marcio Comments: Hi, I have a Blaupunkt CD43 radio in my Z3. It works fine, but it doesn΄t turns the radio buttons light on so in the night I can΄t see them. What could be the problem? What should I check for? Can it be a problem with a fuse?
Thanks for your help.
January 3, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like you don't have the dimmer wire connected. I would recheck the wiring. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
juice_e Comments: i installed an aftermarket deck to my bmw with the Kardon system. I tried everything to get the amp to turn on but only succeeded when i used a PAC SOEM-4 which worked beautifully. Only problem is now i get a POP sond when the factory amp turns on. How can i fix that? Thanks in advance.
December 22, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The sound is being sent to the amp at the same time as the amp power up signal, so you hear the amp turn on. You will have to check the wiring to be sure it is correct. If it is, try adding a relay to the amp power on circuit,, this should slow down amp power up long enough to remove the pop sound. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Pete-aus Comments: Hi Everyone, I thought i'd add some further information on this topic.

I have an Australian delivered 95 model E36 316i compact.

I've installed an aftermarket alpine cbe-143ebt in this car.

This also had almost no AM reception and vauge FM reception.

After research to determine if this car even had an antenna amplifier was undetermined, I looked into this deeper.

This car instead normally uses the blue wire for a speaker with the OEM Eurovox Australia car radio.

There were only two other wires left after connecting all the speakers, 1 speaker uses blue / blue black an orange for illumination and a grey wire.

I used a 1.5v batter to identify the speakers where you get a click when connected

Well once I connected 12v to the grey wire, bingo, AM came alive with perfect reception !

I decided to connect it to the power antenna on the Alpine solid blue on the Alpine to provide power and it works great.

I wanted to add this to assist others that may also strike this Australian oddity!

Thanks to others who posted.
December 21, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
jim Comments: I'm trying to find a BMW Business CD for my 2001 M Roadster E36 square faceplate that plays MP3. I know the big change came I Sept o4 but don't know which BMW radio will fit in my hole. The E46 face is too rounded and larger. I don't want to go aftermarket in less I have to and would rather not put a connector in the trunk for a thumbdrive.
December 20, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We can help you figure this out using your VIn. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
jas91 Comments: i hooked an aftermarket sterao in my 97 bmw 318i and the factory wires dont work. i used speakers i had laying aroud and sound came out but if i hooked the stareo to the wires in the car nothing happened. any advice would be nice
December 11, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is there an amp? Maybe it isn't turning on. You have to connect the on feed from the radio to the amp. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rich Comments: Just received 96 BMW head unit wiring harness old connector, round pin type and notice three were two leads for left front + in positions 1 and right above position 12. Suspect position 1 is the correct lead.

Also since this the head unit is considered a high end pioneer avh-6300bt, will I need to bypass the Lear hi-fi amp to prevent lost of the EQ functionality?
November 7, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the head unit is aftermarket, you'll have to go with their recommendation. I would think you won't want to bypass the amp, sound may be too low in the vehicle if you do. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
andy 1 Comments: bmw e36 328 convertible 1997 ... I tried connecting the power antenna wire to the stereo remote source and can now get 1 station but now have a new problem that the amps now turn on when the ignition is switched on but the stereo is turned off when before the amps would only come on when the stereo was on and went off when the stereo was off
November 7, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like you do not have the amp ON wire connected or have it connected to the antenna. I would grab a wiring diagram. I am pretty sure the antenna amplifier should be a white wire. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
andy 1 Comments: hi I have just fitted a pioneer hu x7500bt everything working fine apart from radio no fm or mw signal what soever the antenna is pluged in the back of the hu the blue wire isn't plug into the harness as im using it for the remote to run 4 amps am I missing something please help
November 3, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What year and model is your car?
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Donny Comments: When using the BMW cable adaptor, do I connect both grounding wires black separately to an unpainted metal piece of the car? Or did I use spade connectors to attach the black wires together. Thank you for your time & help.
October 29, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The ground wires should be connected to a ground point in the car.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Peter Comments: On my 1998 318ti i want to keep the stock head unit but would like to wire in a Bluetooth unit with the stereo. Do you have a female and Male adapter so I don't have to cut wires and retain the stock wiring and headunit.
October 28, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There are adapter kits to install new radios, etc. I am not 100% sure if there is one for bluetooth. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you sort out what you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Kaptinbunny Comments: So here is my question I want to install an eonon into my 98 328i it has a old school navigation radio in it but when I pull it out all that's on the back is a light blue connector with a black lever that flips to get it out no where on the unit does it have that square with the circle or flat prongs on it anyone know what I can do I'll post a pic when I'm on my pc iPad will not let me.
October 15, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is the radio your removing factory? (The flip-lock connectors are on most late model BMWs.) If so, get a wiring diagram for your vehicle, you can work from that.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
La101 Comments: I connected an aftermarket stereo on my 1996 bmw z3 and everything turns on and it works just no sound what could it be
October 13, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There should be a factory amp in the trunk, what did you hook the speaker wires on the new radio up to?
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mike Comments: Hi I have recently bought a BMW Z3 with a harmoon Kardon system installed and would like to upgrade the headset to an Alpine set what would you recomend that would also play an ipod. I understand there may be problems with compatability with the HK amp. Hope you can help Mike
October 10, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You are going to have to wire it a s a stand alone system, speakers and all to get it to function correctly. There are lots of options on head units, check the web and find the one with all of the options you want.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
dallison Comments: Do you have to use the metra 8591 connector with rca connections if you are installing an after market head and keeping the factory amp? In other words can you use the use the aftermarket bmw wiring harness and just go directly into the radio? I'm using the metra 8591 harness with rca connections and my volume is very low and have to turn it up considerable to have much volume. I had read you need some kind of attenuation unit if you don't use the preamp outputs out of radio.

The car is an 95 e34 525 with premium sound system.
October 7, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You might be able to wire it either way. Best bet to check with the manufacturers of the wiring adapters. I have also seen unwired amps cause low volume. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
njm3 Comments: Are the wiring the same for 92-00 bmw 3 series? If I bought a radio with a harness for a 93 e36 would it be plug and play for 98 m3?
September 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, it will not be the same. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ditzy Comments: I brought my BMW 318is 1996 into a shop to replace my starter, and afterwards my speakers stopped working. The battery had been disconnected, and I entered the code that I had, but it still didn't work after that. What could be the problem? I've just been living without radio all this time, but I figured I would ask for some advice now.
September 12, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You could have the wrong code for the radio, remove it and call you BMW dealer, the parts department can look up the code.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
da921car Comments: Pelican come through again! Just changed the radio head in my 94 325ic and it worked but I had no sound. After spending a few minutes on here, and reading El Diablo's post of March 2010, I twisted the extra blue wire on the adaptor to the blue/white wire on the radio and bam, I had sound again.
September 7, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
mike Comments: I have a 96 BMW 328 and just hooked a aftermarket radio up. Its wired correctly and sound in front is fine but I basically have no sound from rear.
September 3, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Depending on the system installed in the car at the factory you could have an amp for the rear speakers, you would have to bypass it,. I would double check all the connections you made and also check the condition of the rear speakers.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
mkressgold Comments: I installed an Alpine HD148bt in my daughters 1997 BMW 318i. I had to connect the HU Blue/White wire to the Metra harness Blue to get the sound to work. The problem I am having is that now there is no AM band reception at all. Everything else works fine. What needs to be done to retsore AM. Does leaving the HU Blue wire "unconnected" stop neccessary power to the antenna.
September 3, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Was AM working before you connected the antenna power wire? If not, you may have a faulty circuit in the AM antenna.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
terry Comments: i have 323i bmw 1999 removed radio for aftermarket replacement sound plays fine for about 10 secs then turns itself down and begins to crackle bad can u explain this plz
August 18, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If volume is going down on its own, the radio is likely overloaded. I would call the manufacturer of the aftermarket radio for help. The wiring may be incorrect. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ATE Comments: TRIED THAT HARNESS DID NOT WORK IS THERE A DIFFERENT HARNESS IF THE CAR HAS AN AMP 1995 525I CASSETTE WITH FACTORY 6 DISC CHANGER
May 21, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help you find the right part. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
citydog Comments: Got JVC X50BT unit installed on my 1997 328i e36 with this harness. No sound until I connect also the harness's Blue wire with stereo unit's Blue/White wire as mentioned by El Diablo. The Blue/White wire was wrapped up and so had to unwrap it.
March 24, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the tip. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dontae' Comments: I have a single din head unit in 325i '92 sedan and everything is in and working but I cant get the damn thing to lock into place am i missing a part to keep it in place because every video i watch and every forum i read it doesn't explain the feature of keeping the aftermarket radio in place. When i drive the radios slides in and out. Please Help
February 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Your aftermarket radio should have came with a metal sleeve with retaining tabs. You need to bend the tabs to lock the sleeve into dashboard. Then slide the radio into sleeve, it should lock into place. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
gatr2000 Comments: Hi thanks for the great posts! 1999 e36 328i convertible... radio..no power...pulled the harness..the red/white wire which is the power on/off for the radio is no good..i jumpered a wire from the battery to the harness then plugged it in and the radio fired up. this radio has been off for a long time..but everything worked when it kicked on..where does this red/white wire actually end? i will first see maybe if i have a simple disconnect but if not would it be safe to just rewire? what guage is recommended..this is a c43 business hk advise please and thx!
November 17, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Without looking at a wiring diagram it is hard to tell, but it probably comes from the radio fuse in the fusebox. You can run power to it but it will have power all of the time and may kill the battery overnight. 16 to 14 gauge wire is probably fine- Nick at Pelican Parts  
madman415 Comments: ok now suppose the previous owner has hacked off the factory plug :
August 27, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Get a wiring diagram for your car and match the wiring - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bryan0501 Comments: I have a 94 740i and im trying to install a kedwood kdcbt42u the previous owner had installed the metra harness via cutting and soldering the factory wires to the adapter wires all correctly bit the acc wire has no power so i used a inline fuse and ran it to the memory wire but the kenwood still doesnt power on whatsoever the harness has all the speaker wires both power wires the ground wire the orange illumi wire and a power control wire darkblue and white the ant control wire med blue and white and steering wheel remote input light blue and of course the brwn mute wire. on the back of the metra theres a dark blue and white wire but its been cut what do i need to do so the unit will work
May 24, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like you have to contact Kenwood and find out which wires have to have power and ground for the unit to turn on - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Doru Comments: Hi. I have a 2003 BMW 530 with the non-dsp system. The OEM amp p/n is 65128374535 as per realoem. I want to install an aftermarket amplifier, and I don't to cut/splice wires, but rather to use an adapter socket/plugs. I'm in Canada, and could not find any plugs/sockets that are mating with the OEM stuff. Where can I get these? A link would be appreciated, so I can order on line a search didn't reveal anything, maybe I use the wrong words?.

Thanks
April 12, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Contact one of our parts specialists at 888 280 7799 and they will let you know if we can provide what you need> - Kerry at Pelican Parts  
Will Comments: Checked countless times on my wiring. everything is connected right. front L/R connected and rear L/R connected. I spliced only the speakers, +constant, +switched and ground. left the other wires connected to block harness. there's this vga type of plug on the block harness and was wondering if that is to an amp or something because I am getting NO sound at all. and the only thing i can think of is that there is something that is switched on for the speakers to work. could this be fixed by simply purchasing the harness adapter?
April 7, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is difficult to answer your question because I do not know if you have the base or premium system. You probably have the premium system and therefore have and amp so use the RCA connectors. - Kerry at Pelican Parts  
BarbsMeanWheels Comments: Hey Wayne...just an update regarding my March 7th comment. With all of this nice weather, I got the car out and started driving it yesterday. My radio reception was really crappy, then all of a sudden the reception was very good, and the CD button and "+" button started working again. Obviously a short or connection. Now what would you recommend? Thankd
March 21, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: From your earlier comment and the info here, it could be a faulty radio. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BarbsMeanWheels Comments: Just purshased a 97 328is with a factory HK stereo with 6 disc changer. I can't seem to get the disc changer to work. There is power to the changer as I can load and unload the mag, but when I press the CD button on the head unit...nothing. AM, FM and WB work. Any ideas?
March 7, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Can you hear the CD changer when you turn the vehicle ON? It should make noise as it powers up. If not the changer could be faulty. If you do hear it, it could be the radio. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Devon Comments: i have a "new to me" e36 '98 323is with a recently replaced Alpine indash for HK system. Only says "CODE WAIT" ...never tried a code, because i cannot!! has an OBC, don't know if this may interfere, but disconnecting power for 3 hours didn't help either. i have the code to enter, just can't try it!! HELP PLEASE.
March 5, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: To get rid of CODE WAIT, you have to leave the key in the ON position for 2 hours, with the engine OFF. Once this clears, you can enter the code. Removing the battery will not help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ricodued Comments: I have an '04 325i and successfully hooked up my Alpine iDA-X305S. Unfortunately, the cable or something seems a bit too bulky to fit the unit all the way in. It sticks out maybe 1.5-2 inches and I can't push it in any further than that.

If I remove the wiring harness, I can push it in there and fit the faceplate, but with the wiring harness it's impossible. Any tips for getting it to fit? I've already shortened the wires in the harness as much as I dare and it's getting pretty annoying not being able to accelerate quickly without having the headunit shoot out and hit my hand on the shifter.
January 13, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you can get to the back of the radio when it is partially installed, try pulling harness down into the dash. If this doesn't help, you will h ave to trim the wiring harness. I would suggest NOT trimming the factory side. Trim the aftermarket side of the harness. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Paco C Comments: i have a 94 BMW 525i and I followed all the steps but when i finished the radio didnt turn on i do not know why
December 8, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check to see if the fuses are OK. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Charlo Comments: Pelican saves me again. Specifically El Diablo w/ the kenwood fix. Couldn't figure it out, bench tested the radio and it worked great, the 10 foot move into the car, nothing from the CD player.

Thanks again.
November 24, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Charlie Comments: Ivan,
I have exactly the same issue that you have. Radio plays fine but the IPod, CD and aux inputs show the music on the equalizer but no sound comes out. Did you solve your problem and if so, what was the solution?
November 14, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Does the radio have a pre-amp? The sound might be too low to be heard. It is also possible it is wired ina way the the sound from these components are bypassing the factory amp 9if you have one). - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BellaMadonna Comments: My daughter has a 1995 318is with a standard cassette player. She purchased a Cassette adapter and plays her mp3 through the system. Now she's getting a message of CODE on the display, and the adapter will not eject. Can you help us with how to fix this?

thanks,
October 24, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: CODE refers to the theft code. You will have to enter the radio code to unlock the radio. This may have happened due to a low battery. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
cutandpaste Comments: Bruce: There were two coaxial cables on my '95 325i hardtop. One of them was the usual hefty black antenna wire that you'll find on any car, along with a much smaller white wire.

The white coax is for the antenna switch which is alleged to automatically select the best combination of the antenna elements in the rear window*. It is, if I recall, an SMB connector.

SMB connectors are very precise little things which are designed to be disconnected by simply pulling on them. Grab onto the connector itself, give it a small amount of tug, and it will be liberated with a slight click.

The larger, black coax connector is similar but far less precise: Just give it a yank, if it hasn't already fallen out by itself...

*: And now that you know this, don't worry about the antenna switch's little feedback coax. The switch itself is a neat gizmo which uses the IF output of the factory head unit to optimize receive strength by using different combinations of antenna elements, which is cool. But I'm not aware of any aftermarket units which supply such an output. The switch does default to a sane antenna configuration by default, so reception is perfectly OK with this coax disconnected.
October 11, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bruce Comments: below the 17 pin connector there is a coaxial cablethe antennae? does this come out before unlocking connector?
it won't budge I'm afraid of breaking it and it won't allow locking connector to pry all the way up
October 9, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Bruce, see this reply from cutandpaste:

Bruce: There were two coaxial cables on my '95 325i hardtop. One of them was the usual hefty black antenna wire that you'll find on any car, along with a much smaller white wire. The white coax is for the antenna switch which is alleged to automatically select the best combination of the antenna elements in the rear window*. It is, if I recall, an SMB connector. SMB connectors are very precise little things which are designed to be disconnected by simply pulling on them. Grab onto the connector itself, give it a small amount of tug, and it will be liberated with a slight click. The larger, black coax connector is similar but far less precise: Just give it a yank, if it hasn't already fallen out by itself... *: And now that you know this, don't worry about the antenna switch's little feedback coax. The switch itself is a neat gizmo which uses the IF output of the factory head unit to optimize receive strength by using different combinations of antenna elements, which is cool. But I'm not aware of any aftermarket units which supply such an output. The switch does default to a sane antenna configuration by default, so reception is perfectly OK with this coax disconnected. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
sys483 Comments: I have a 1995 BMW 325i convertible and I installed a Kenwood KDC-MP245 Head Unit. After soldering the harness and connecting the unit, I ran into the NO SOUND problem. Everything else works, but no sound. Checked the internet, found this Pelican Technical Article and El Diablo's entry from March 2, 2010. This solution WORKED for my car and HU as well! El Diablo, thank you for posting the solution! I was really bummed until I read your post.
September 4, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could it worked out. Kudos to El Diablo. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bui Comments: Hi, i disconnect the battery cable and i don't had a radio code now it not work, i took to dealer but they could't find the matching code, can you help. thank
August 9, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No sorry. The dealer will have to give you a code. they use the serial number on the radio. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Luly Comments: I am looking for the name of the part thatb holds the stereo
August 9, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Mounting bracket? Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Wells_Engineering Comments: I did the installation as described. Everything works, But the volume level is down significantly. Upon further research, it seems the outputs of the original stereo Alpine, in my case are true differential. Meaning the "-" lead of each channel is not ground but is the inverted signal of the "+" lead. So the Harmon/Kardon amp in the trunk is expecting a signal with twice the level you get when one uses the patch cable. I am an engineer specializing in audio and am working on a solution.

Mike Wells
August 5, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it. Let us know how it turns out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ERIC Comments: I finally figured out the problem with my aftermarket head unit and got that to play by hooking up the power antenna remote/power amp wire to the power antenna on the reciever, but now I want to hook up subwoofers, they are all wired correctly but as soon as I hook up the remote line all sound stops but it continues to play the cd without music coming out, please help?
June 26, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could be the load is too high for the radio or it is shorting when you connect it.

Confirm that the remote line is not shorted when connected. if it is 12 volts disconnected, it should be the same when conected. Assuming it is a signal On wire, the voltage should not drop. If it drops, there is a short.- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Pete Comments: I had the same issue as the Bui that posted here on May 31, 2011 "Hi folk, Z3 i installed a new stereo power up but had no sound". His question was Is there a external Amp? In my BMW there is. The answer is he need to connect the blue wire power antenna remote/power amp to the power antenna wire on the receiver. The OEM pre-amp needs to be kicked off, so that is why there is no sound
June 7, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
RoadRider Comments: I have read all the comments and nobody says anything about the fact that if you change the sound system in a Bmw good luck plugging the antenna in. Ive never seen a plug like that nore will it plug into any other radio. Thanks BMW. Nobody talks about a converter is there one. That should be the most important issue. after all whats the point if the antenna wont work
June 1, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is an adapter availavle to convert the antenna to the same plug as an aftermarket radio. Thanks for pointing out it wasn't mentioned. Appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ashlea Comments: i just brought a bmw 318i and there was already an aftermarket cd player in it but i want to swap it for my old cars one. i've tryed everything to get it out but it wont budge and i dont want to snap it or anything how do i get it out. should i take the whole dash off?
May 31, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Most aftermarket radios lock into a steel sleeve. There are locks at both sides. The locks are released using a tool that comes with the radio. I would suggest contacting a few local radio shops, they might let you drop by and use the tool or pop it out for you, for a fee I'm sure. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bui Comments: Hi folk, Z3 i installed a new stereo power up but had no sound, and i try to check the speakers but seem like it not connected, do they have an external power amp in there?, thank
May 31, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See pete's reply to your question:


I had the same issue as the Bui that posted here on May 31, 2011 "Hi folk, Z3 i installed a new stereo power up but had no sound". His question was Is there a external Amp? In my BMW there is. The answer is he need to connect the blue wire power antenna remote/power amp to the power antenna wire on the receiver. The OEM pre-amp needs to be kicked off, so that is why there is no sound


- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
E36beaner Comments: HEY
i just tryed to install my new stereo but theres a problem
NO SOUND .??? i wonder if my speakers are damage or did i connect something wrong .? I never had sound before because my stereo was LOCKED.purchased the car 2mnths ago

well any suggestions.?

I bought the adapters.

cables not connected ORANGE,BLUE,BLACK,CONTROL REMOTE ??

92 bmw 325i sedan
May 26, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would guess that something is miswired. I would get a wiring diagram for your vehicle and check it against the installation you performed.

If you cannot find wiring. You can start over. Connect only the power and ground wires to the radio. Once it powers up, turn up the volume and test the sound outputs. They might be very low, but this will help you get them to the right place. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Chebon Comments: Do you have a parts list and or instructions to install a C43 tape deck into an E30 M3?
May 21, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
touchette_9 Comments: I just recently installed a new radio into my 2007 328xi. I have had a ton of issues doing this. Im now running a 4 channel amp to power the component speakers and completely got rid of the factory amp the car had... the issues that I was having led me to hard wire from the radio harness directly into the wiring harness for the car.. My only issue now is finding somewhere to wire the memory wire into.. Currently Im running as to where I have to turn on and off the radio itself.. very annoying..and it resets every time I turn it off.. please tell me where I can wire the memory wire into.. thks for any help!!
April 6, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There are two wires that typically need to be wired to power in the car - switched and non-switched. The switched power is linked to the ignition switch and turns the radio off when the key is removed. Both of these power lines should have been connected to your old radio, so you can probably tap the harness there. If not, you'll have to find an alternative source for power-on (like the hazard switch for example). - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
vcordova Comments: What type of spade connectors did you use?
March 23, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Just standard ones you can find at any electronics store. I think you can get these at Radio Shack - I got them at an electronics swapmeet. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Bill Comments: What is the best way to install an aftermarket stereo system to a 1995 325i BMW without bypassing the factory amp installed. I read you can use the Metra Integrated harness with the RCA plugs, however the reviews were bad. I do not want to bypass the amp, nor do I want to put another crap BMW OEM radio in my car ever again.
Do I have any other choices here? Please help.
March 8, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm not sure how the factory amps were wired - if they simply have RCA inputs, then you can hook it up to your new stereo quite easily. If they are integrated with the wire harness and plug then it might be a bit more difficult. I haven't had an issue with the Metra harnesses - they have worked well for me in the past. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Stainless Comments: Hi,This is all great.
I recently tried to replace BMW Business CD on my 318i, 2003 model. Everything is working fine except that I cannot get the new stereo to fit within the place of the old one! There seem to be a bracket at the back of the place but I dont want to cut it in case I want to re-install my BMW cd. Any help please?
February 7, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Certain models of stereos may require some additional space, particularly if it's an aftermarket one. I would suggest that you seriously consider whether or not you will want to install the old one back in place. If you just want to try out the new one for a while, then I might make the suggestion of wiring it up and letting it hang out of the dash for a bit, until you're 100% committed to it. At that point, then cut the bracket that's in the way. It won't look too cool, but it will leave your options open. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Lyndon Comments: Hi, I'm about to do this to my 325i. I've noticed you didn't need the orange wire from the wiring harness. Does the new unit illuminate without it? Also, did you connect the grounding wire to anything at all? Thanks a bunch, I think the installation will go smoothly
January 26, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, the new unit didn't need a backlight signal from the car, as it was illuminated well all the time, in day and night. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
mitch Comments: where did you get the antenna adapter in fig 14?
December 27, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Believe it or not, I think I got that one on Walmart.com, but I'm not 100% sure. I think I went back there to try to find another one, and I think they may have stopped carrying it. I'm sure you can find one on Crutchfield.com, but it will probably cost an arm and a leg. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
E39M3 Comments: How can we get the adapter cable in figure 9?
November 30, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm pretty sure I purchased that at Crutchfield.com - they have just about every adapter ever made. They are not cheap, but they have a very complete selection. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Eck Comments: Ended up being that that attenna lead from the car was comprimised when being removed from the original unit causing the lead to be broken. Tech cut end off and wired adtaptor directly and the problem was solved.
November 21, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Eck Comments: Great stuff on here but I have had no luck in getting the car's attenna to work with the new unit. I have a 1998 BMW 318i. I have tried several different new stereo units, even have HD unit now, can't get good reception, especially poor AM talk radio stations. I have had unit swapped out 6 times now, even had another external attenna mounted to windshield, even have taken to another tech which had the same poor results. They had adaptors to hook up to car's atenna, but now I am told that somehow the amplified attenna built in the car isn't being amplified??? Is there some specific adaptor I need or what is going wrong here?
November 20, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Did you happen to install some aftermarket HID lamps? Those interfere with the antenna reception on the radios if you don't install a capacitor-based filter on them. I would bench test the radio - take it out, hook up some speakers and connect the 12V to a battery on your workbench and see if the problem is with the car or the radio itself. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Julian Comments: Can anyone shed some light of how to do this project? i am purchasing a clarion mp3, radio & cd player
October 23, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Use the steps in this article: http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/techarticles/E36-Radio/E36-Radio.htm

Along with the instructions that come with your radio. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Julian Comments: I am about to embark on a task of changing the radio on my old 316 i 1994, i have my doubts , especially after reading all these different problems people have encountered while making this attempt.
October 23, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I wouldn't sweat it - it's actually a pretty easy project if you following the wiring diagrams carefully and take your time. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Jeremy S Comments: My E34 install into my 95 525i went without a hitch, electrically. The local source I bought the harness from said I needed no install "kit", but there is clearly no way the factory setup will hold the radio in. Crutchfield has no direct fit items for my car. How does the radio get secured in the dash? The radio works fine, but is not secured in the dash. There was no bracket included with the radio, not sure if there is supposed to be one. What should I do? Certainly there has to be some sort of bracket to use.
October 23, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm not sure, you'll probably have to fabricate some type of custom bracket out of some sheet metal. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
negroponto Comments: I΄m trying to put this radio on an E30, the plug wire has an orange wire /ilumination dash. I connected all the wires, the radio works, but the orange one is disconnected, Where I have to connect the orange wire?
October 21, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can connect that to one of the wires that power one of the light bulbs behind the dash. That is so that you can see the buttons / dials on the radio at night. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
double m Comments: Hey, I broke the retaining clip getting it off and when I plugged my stock stereo back in it will not power on? the security light flashes but that is it. I dont think the broken retaining clip has anything to do with it? Any ideas about what the problem could be.
October 5, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The retaining clip shoulnd't have anything to do with it. I'm not sure what year you have, but the radio is probably waiting for you to enter the security code into it. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Jeremiah S Comments: How different is this install on an E34 1995 525i?
I don't see the harness listed on your site, will I still need it?
September 26, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It should be very similar. We don't currently sell this harness, but I will look into adding it. You can buy it at a stereo shop like Crutchfield - they have an impressive stock of them. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Rinkle Comments: Hi Wayne, How do you suggest I run an IPOD adapter cable from the back of the unit? Not sure how or where to snake it throught the dash.
August 28, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would simply poke a hole in the storage compartment below (you can see it here: http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/E36-Radio/pic5.jpg). This is what I did recently when installing one on my Boxster. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
kimbo Comments: Wayne super! I know understand perfectly that what I'm doing wrong is that I have been afraid to pull the slider up hard enough for it to disengage. Boy your explanation with the pictures are super and have totally clarified the concept. You are super and a credit to your site and company. Thanks a million there are many others out there with the same problem.
Regards
Kimbo
July 25, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No sweat. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Wayne at Pelican Parts Comments: kimbo, you are over thinking this way too much. See the photo I just attached. The connector has two pieces green arrow is one, yellow arrows show the other that slide in and out together. When unplugged, as shown, the connector piece with the little picture on it can slide up and down freely. You take your screwdriver and you pull up as you have shown with in your own pick - pull on it with some force! The "cams" in the slider piece shown by the yellow arrows have cam followers located in the receptacle on the radio shown by the purple arrows. As you pull up the slider piece, it will force the connector away from the back of the radio. You just need to pull up on that piece, exactly as you have the screwdriver positioned in the photo that you posted. I'm at a loss as to how to make it any clearer?
July 25, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks Wayne. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
kimbo Comments: Wayne take a look at this Pic. Is this the way? I think from looking at this more that you are not supposed to pry up this clip but disengage the two ends on each side of the connector which seem to be holding it to the radio.
sorry could not upload a PDF
July 24, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See my response / photo above. Also, if you pull up and just remove the slider piece, then you can simply yank the connector out of the back of the radio. It might be stuck in there pretty good. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
kimbo Comments: Thanks wayne I will give it another try. But when I pry on the connector there is a clip that moves upward towards the top of the radio but the connector remains solidly attached to the radio. Maybe this clip does not to be pried upwards but the connector itself?
July 24, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Moving the clip up is supposed to push out the connector - it's obviously slipping. Pull up on the clip and then you should be able to pull out the connector. As you have noticed, it's not the greatest design. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
kimbo Comments: I have no idea of what you are saying! The conector has a clip that it instructs you to pry upwards via a diagram on the connector. then the only way out has to be a pull away from the radio since the plug engages in a receptacle on the radio with pins that would not allow any sideway movements to disconnect. Please elaborate or maybe eprovide a diagram from someone who has done it before. I see many users complaining that they also can't get this plug out! Thanks.
July 24, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, that's correct. Pull up on that part of the connector, and then that part will lift up towards the top of the radio. Then, you can pull the connector out of the back of the radio (towards the front of the car, if the radio is mounted in the car). - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
kimbo Comments: can you give more details on how to remove the black connector that has a retaining strap? I have an E46 and the black connector won't budge but I have not found that retaining strap. I can move a clip upward to disclose a fuse but that is all. Maybe you can follow up with a photo. I hate to break this connector like someone already did.
Thanks!
July 24, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Slide the outer retainer left or right, perpendicular to the radio. After playing with it for a little bit, it will be obviously. Don't pull - push and slide. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Ramon Comments: Hi recently my battery disconnect bmw e36 325i and now I have problems with the radio to enter the security code and does nothing can help me I have to do is make some order
July 2, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It's probably the wrong code. Sometimes the radios were replaced at the factory when they were broken. I would pull the radio, get the serial number, and then see if you can get the code from your local BMW dealer. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
JZ Comments: I got a sony CDXGT340 for my 97 BMW Z3. when I put the bracket in the slot on my dash, it feels a little loose, after I bent all the tabs. is this normal? what can I do?
March 23, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It should fit tight. If it doesn't, see if you can use the tabs to secure by bending them toward the radio opening in the dash. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
El Diablo Comments: I have a 99 323IS with the HK Harman Kardon. I was having the same issues of NO SOUND even though it was all wired correctly. Very frustrating. After searching and searching, I figured it out. The Scosche adapter I got leads you to believe that the solid blue wire on their harness is for the power antenna. Wrong. Simply hook this wire to the remote power onblue\white wire on the new headunit to activate the factory amp. Your welcome!!!!!
March 2, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Augusta323is Comments: I have a 99 323IS and pulled the factory unit out, unplugged everything fine. I have a sony head unit i'm putting back in that fits perfectly that I removed from my other car. I got the BWM connecting harness and the plug from my sony that wires into it red, yellow, black and blue/white... connected my 4 wires from each plug and hooked in the 4 RCA jacks for the HK amp I have... turn it on, nothing happens, no power or anything??? No i'm at a loss considering I hooked up the 4 wires and the two connectors. any help would be appreciated :
February 11, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check the radio fuses. You may have blown one during the installation. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
enzo Comments: Ivan - did you ever figure out you issue with the Alpine radio? I just installed an alpine CDA-9886 in my 318TI and SAME THING-only fm comes through the speakeres. When I test it on the bench everything works perfectly though!....
January 9, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Does the radio have a pre-amp? The sound might be too low to be heard. It is also possible it is wired ina way the the sound from these components are bypassing the factory amp (if you have one). - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Abba Comments: In this article, you suggest the use of a bmw calbe adapter figure 9. Where can I get one of those?
January 7, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
marki Comments: hi i have undone the two hex screws and pulled but factory unit will not come out. need help please.
January 4, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the radio is stuck, try levering it out using aplastic prying tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
808e36 Comments: What about a connection to retained acc. power for cars that have it? Where can that be tapped from?
January 2, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You'll have to use a wiring diagram for your vehicle and the radio to see where to connect. Usually retained accessory is the same power feed, it is relay controlled by an electronci module. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JETninja Comments: Ok, this was great but I got the same no sound issue. Installed a JVC HU into my sons E36 318is Turns out the HU had a Blue/White Remote Turn on, the Metra Harness was solid Blue and properly connects to the BMW White Turn on wire on the other side. So I connected the JVC Blue/White to the Harness Blue and it rocking....

This should help anyone...

So, you have just installed your aftermarket radio in your BMW as per the instructions that came with your radio installation harness. Now your radio lights up, but does not make any sound or only makes sound when the tuner is on.

The reason for this is because BMW's use 1 wire to turn on the sound amplifier and the antenna amplifier (usually a white wire in the car's harness).

This wire needs to be powered up whenever the radio is on. To do this, connect the AMPLIFIER REMOTE TURN-ON wire from your head unit to this wire.

Do not use the POWER ANTENNA wire from your head unit. This will only give you sound when the radio is playing AM/FM.

Most radio wire harness adaptors list this connection as "Power Antenna" and is usually a blue or blue/white wire coming out of the adaptor. This is the one you will want to connect to the amplifier remote turn-on wire from the head unit.
Thanks for the Tech article Pelican! Love them!
December 29, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Nick90 Comments: i have a question about picture #6 it has two conectors what happens to the other conector? do you have another harnes that conects to it or is it left blank
December 15, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That connector was blank on my car. I believe that's there for connecting to an external amplifier, which my car did not have. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
hunter Comments: Wayne, thanks for the input. My problem is the 5908 head unit that has a channel out. Since the harness only has +'s and a common ground so how can I hook up a new unit that has + and - leads?
December 15, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Don't know which vehicle you have. Contact the manufacturer of the fatermarket radio. They will likely have you wire allt he grounds together. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Hunter Comments: I have a CM5908 BMW radio that does not have a harness. It only has FR, FL + and RR+ and RL+ and a common grounds attached at the back. it all goes down to a amp in the trunk. The amp works fine, the head unit has a channel out.... How does one hook up a newer head unit to this common ground nightmare?
macdonald.hl@gmail.com
December 10, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm guessing that on your new unit, you figure out which lead for each speaker is the common ground and then run all four together to the amp. But I'm not sure. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Rick Comments: Wayne, I cannot get the U-shaped retaining strap on the large black connector to release. The back of the strap has a diagram showing to pry it up with a screwdriver and then lift the strap off. I pried the strap up to what feels like a release point. There are two pins-and-tracks on each side of the strap. I can slide the strap back and forth on the pins-and-tracks, but only a quarter-inch or so. Something prevents further movement, but I can find no release lever as you mention. What do I need to do?
December 6, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You'll have to send me a picture, maybe the plug on yours is different than the one I'm familiar with. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Chris Comments: Like you said about figure 7 and 8 about not forcing the connector or youll break it.. yeah well i broke it, where can i get a replacement?
December 2, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It's part of the wire harness. I would call a BMW wrecking yard - shouldn't be more than $10, and you can probably remove each pin and replace it into the new connector. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
rickolus Comments: I just bought a new stereo for my 95 325i and the harness that came with the stereo has no orange wire. Also i cant seem to find the cd changer plug-in on the car.
November 27, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I suggest grabbing a wiring diagram for your vehicle. if the wires don't match up, you'll have to fuigure out what is what before you connect it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Pernell325i Comments: I just installed a new stereo on my 325i and everything works but no sound, i checked all the wires and it is all done fine, everything works but i have no sound at all.... anyone can help?
November 2, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It's probably the speakers that are mis-wired, or the stereo is wired up for an amp that is missing. Try taking some speakers from a small stereo in the house and connecting the wires to the back of the car head unit to see if you're getting any sound out direct from the terminals. Sometimes too a new stereo might be set at default from the factory to only power an external amp and not the speaker terminals. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Nick90 Comments: do any of yall know if this could be done when you have the HK system i hate my unit and i want to replace it for a new one thanks
October 20, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, you can replace the HK unit with an aftermarket radio. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Lubey Comments: Ztod I am 100% sure i know what your problem is, as i had the same thing happen to me last night. You need to connect the blue wire from your Harness to the blue wire from the head unit. Try it. My blue wire on the harness said "power antenna" and the blue wire from the head unit was for the Amp or something, but thats the only way my speakers would work. Everything else was working fine but no sound, and this is the solution!
September 23, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
scott Comments: I tried connecting 2 lines to the positive side of the speaker and lines to the negitive side but I got a distorted signel. I also tried different I also tried to connect the second pair but all I got was highs. I'm thinking that only seperates work with this set up and my best option would have been to replace the driver in the factory Nokia speaker.
September 23, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try connecting one, does it still sound distorted? The factory amp should work OK with your set up. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
scott Comments: Do any of the units for 94 e36 have factory crossovers or factory installed external amplifiers? My factory external speakers had leads made especially for tweeters. I have installed new Kenwood rear speakers but they seem to play flat with very little highs. I am still using the factory head unit
September 22, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I do believe there were various sound upgrade options available for the E36 - I think it's in the factory wiring diagrams and there's a spot for them in the trunk. But I haven't owned a car with any of those options, so I'm not 100% sure. If you had four leads per speaker, then I would agree with you that yes, there is a likelihood that there is a crossover / filter installed that may be muffling the highs. Try connecting just the lines for the tweeters, or you might be able to connect both sets of wires together? The amplifier might not like this though... - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
ivan Comments: i installed a new alpine stereo to my e36 318, it plays radio just fine, it reads cd's and ipod but for some reason wont play them through the speakers.
September 22, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No clue on this one, I would suspect it's some type of setting on the Alpine that is sending the CD & iPod signal to an external amplifier that doesn't exist? - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Ztod Comments: I followed this procedure, and hooked up all the wires correctly, head unit powers up and plays cd's but not a sound comes out of the speakers, checked the cars stereo fuses and they are good. What could cause this?
September 19, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm guessing that you have the speakers hooked up incorrectly? First, triple-check the manual that came with the stereo. Then, if that doesn't work - if you have an old stereo speaker from an old house stereo system, attach the wires to the connectors on the back of the plug and see if you can find the right terminals. That's what I would do. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
mstaytru247 Comments: Previous owner 03/94 M3 installed an alpine radio by tapping into the OEM wiring harness. All the speakers are also aftermarket and are connected to an amp with audio cables as well as a remote sensor. What wires on the OEM harness are for the power antenna, Constant power, switched power, ground, illumination. The taps are there I just do not know what to connect to what without buying the BMW adapter harness as well as a new radio harness PO butcherd the current one but the radio did work prior to me unistalling a hard wired Parrot GPS which also ran through an AUX plug on the aftermarket radio.
September 16, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Hi there. The pinouts for this are right here on this page, please scroll up. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Michhael Comments: Is there a wiring hareness that I can purchase that will let me connect and input auxilary jack to my dash so I can plug my iPod into it and use the AUX on my BMW OEM radio? I have a 1996 E36.
September 4, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If your factory radio has the input ability for an AUX source, then you should be able to tap into the wire harness and then tap that into an iPod headphone jack. I can't recall if the stock Alpines in that year BMW had AUX inputs. I'm thinking that they probably did not. There's a company out there that makes a CD-Changer / iPod adapter for these radios that emulates a CD changer and lets you plug in the iPod. I think it's made by a company called DICE Electronics: http://diceelectronics.com/ - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
dsh0687 Comments: I cannot get the adapter to release from the EO unit. It will not budge. Am i doing something wrong? is there a trick to releasing it?
July 13, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There's a little lever you need to pry out and pull down, and the connector will release. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Stixx Comments: Just recently bought a used 325i. I noticed that there are only 2 wires for rear speakers instead of 4. A yellow/black LRear and light blue/brown R rear for my rear speakers. is this common with other 325i's ? I have an aftermarket radio-kenwood
May 20, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, that's typical. You only really need two wires per speaker (four total for the rear of the car). - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

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