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Pelican Technical Article:

Radio Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

****

Tools:

Phillips screwdriver, hook tool

Applicable Models:

Z4 M54 (2003-05)
Z4M S54 (2006-06)
Z4 N52 (2006-06)
M3 (N/A-A)

Parts Required:

Radio

Hot Tip:

Disconnect battery before removing radio

Performance Gain:

Repair faulty amplifier

Complementary Modification:

Install aftermarket radio

Most electrical components on BMW Z4 models require programming using an advanced BMW scan tool when replacing. With that said, don't feel you can't replace these items yourself. You also have the option of swapping out used items, which will at times work with programming. I don't have experience with this method, due to my access to a BMW scan tool, but it is something to consider. I have been told programming of used items isn't always required, so this may be an option, but I cannot vouch for it working 100% of the time. If you have experience with used part installation, please share your experience as it will help the Pelican Parts community.

BMW Z4 models can come equipped with two types of radio systems, depending on options: Stereo / HiFi amplifier and Top HiFi amplifier. The sound frequency output sent to the amplifier from the radio is dependent on the speaker configuration. Only the frequency range that can be effectively reproduced by the connected speaker system will be broadcast. For example if high, mid and low-range speakers / woofers are connected to the amplifier, the frequencies for those components are sent.

Stereo / HiFi amplifier

HiFi amplifiers are amplifiers with active frequency gates. Active frequency gates achieve better acoustic results than passive frequency gates. The HiFi amplifier does not have speed-dependent volume adjustment or speed-dependent equalizing. The function of the HiFi amplifier is only to amplify the low-frequency output.

Top HiFi amplifier

The digital Top HiFi amplifier corresponds to the previous DSP amplifier as already used in other BMW models. The special features on the Z4 are the two high voltage output stages (30 V) for the Carver woofers. The Top-HiFi amplifier has 2 analogue inputs (left and right). In addition, the Top-HiFi amplifier features a digital input for the

Audio System Controller (radio / business radio CD)

The Audio System Controller is integrated in the radio / business CD control unit. The radio manages all audio signals. The differences between the systems are in the control of the amplifiers. The HiFi and Top-HiFi amplifiers do not feature direct control functions.

Amplifiers

The amplifier has a separate power supply. The amplifier is switched on by the RAD_ON signal from the radio (> 8 V = ON / < 6 V = OFF).

The HiFi amplifier is controlled via the radio. The required settings are selected in the radio and output via 4 radio outputs to the amplifier. The amplifier amplifies the settings and distributes them over 10 channels. No variable matching takes place in the HiFi amplifier. Vehicle-specific equalizing is integrated in the HiFi amplifier.

The Top-HiFi amplifier is also controlled via the radio. The Top-HiFi amplifier receives a constant audio signal for the left and right (via the two audio inputs) from the radio. The required settings are transferred via the K-bus and formed in the amplifier.

Remember your car may have been serviced before and parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from those you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

My 2006 Z4M has the Business CD radio CD option (red arrow).
Figure 1

My 2006 Z4M has the Business CD radio CD option (red arrow).

Start by removing the center vent grille (red arrow).
Figure 2

Start by removing the center vent grille (red arrow).

Use a hook tool and pull the sides of the vent out of the instrument panel (red arrow).
Figure 3

Use a hook tool and pull the sides of the vent out of the instrument panel (red arrow).

Next, pull the vent out of the instrument panel and remove.
Figure 4

Next, pull the vent out of the instrument panel and remove.

Remove the two Phillips head screws (red arrows).
Figure 5

Remove the two Phillips head screws (red arrows).

Slide the radio out of the instrument panel.
Figure 6

Slide the radio out of the instrument panel.

Disconnect the coaxial cable (red arrow) by pressing the release tab and pulling it straight off.
Figure 7

Disconnect the coaxial cable (red arrow) by pressing the release tab and pulling it straight off.

Disconnect the main connector by squeezing the clip and pulling the lever (red arrow) out the connector is out of the radio.
Figure 8

Disconnect the main connector by squeezing the clip and pulling the lever (red arrow) out the connector is out of the radio.

Remove the radio from the vehicle.
Figure 9

Remove the radio from the vehicle. You now have access to the 10 amp fuse (red arrow) at the back of the radio. Check that it is in good shape before replacing the radio. This fuse could be your only issue if the radio does not function. If your new radio does not come with a plastic bushing (blue arrow), be sure to unscrew and transfer it over.

When installing, slide the radio in while guiding the wiring harness in on the left side (red arrow), be sure the bushing aligns and fits into the plastic bracket bore (blue arrows).
Figure 10

When installing, slide the radio in while guiding the wiring harness in on the left side (red arrow), be sure the bushing aligns and fits into the plastic bracket bore (blue arrows). Reverse remaining steps to install.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 03:08:12 AM