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Installation

BMW's in general have a bad reputation among professional installers. While there are some things to watch out for, we feel that BMW's are some of the easiest cars to work on. Here are the facts:

First, most older model BMW's on the road have very simple sound systems. Here are some characteristics of these systems:

  • The head unit is a standard size
  • The head unit was manufactured for BMW by Blaupunkt
  • It uses tape cassette media
  • Has front and rear speakers
  • Speakers are standard size
  • Has ample trunk space
  • May have right to left balance control
  • May have a trunk mounted battery

BMW cars with these systems are excellent candidates for upgrade. You can choose from a wide variety of high-quality head units, speakers and amplifiers, and the spacious trunk with the battery inside is an installer's dream. Add a modern head unit, upgrade your speakers, a subwoofer if you desire, and now you can really hear your favorite CD's in your favorite car!

info

That Factory Amp

For the best sound, you may have to remove the factory amp. In many cases, all you need is a screwdriver and a simple wiring diagram.

Many BMW's since the E30 3 Series have factory amplifiers. We'll use the BMW 5 Series E34 model as an example, although the concepts apply to most late model BMW's, including the BMW E36 3 Series. The E65/6 BMW 7 Series with Logic 7 and the BMW Z4 with Carver are notable exceptions.

Here is a picture of the E34 with factory amp, manufactured for BMW by Blaupunkt:


BMW E34 with factory amp

The factory amp is circled in the picture. The amp is located behind the metal bracket. You can remove the amp and bracket with four screws. Disconnect two cables, add some jumpers, and you are done!

Although you may have to fashion a bracket, this is also an excellent place to add a subwoofer amp. BMW engineers have already provided cooling, wiring harnesses and a great place to hang some metal!

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Links

Extensive links to professional installers.

Manufacturers links has links to leading manufacturers of car audio, video and mobile electronics.

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