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
- 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
- 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!
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
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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