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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First DIY, so here goes…After owning our 2003 325i sedan for 10 years, I felt it was time to upgrade the radio to have Bluetooth, USB, and play MP3s. I also needed new front low-range speakers because one of them popped. I’m not familiar with putting in radios or speakers, so I went to Crutchfield. I picked out Polk DB-651s speakers, Kenwood Excelon KDC-X696, and an Axxess ASWC steering wheel control adapter. Crutchfield threw in the adapters for the radio install and the next-to-worthless instructions.

Luckily, I have this site and the rest of the internet. After perusing the Bavarian Soundwerks section, I hit upon these videos for to remove the radio and access the speakers:

Radio Removal: BSW - Dynavin - BMW E46 3 Series Installation - Part 1/2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9Eg7ZXez0c

Speaker Install: BSW - BMW 3 Series (E46) Sed/Wag Speaker Upgrade Install 1/3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8bacCGLqvc

The videos mentioned disconnecting the negative terminal of the battery, so that’s where I started. The radio came out just like the video said with no broken parts. The speakers however…I ended up breaking four of the door trim retaining clips (part #07149158194). I used trim tools and took my time, but it’s like those clips were meant to break. Make sure you have a few extras.



SPEAKERS: Once I got the door panels off, I moved the panel to my workbench. The speakers came out after unscrewing 3 Phillips head screws. The screen on the front does NOT need to be removed. I noticed that BMW uses proprietary clips for their speakers. These are different than what’s on the Polk speakers, so I cut those off. The speaker posts are about 1-5/8” apart. I carefully peeled back the wrap around the speaker wire harness by cutting the wrap (without touching the wire) and crimped .110” and .187” female quick slides onto the ends (Picture in the attachment). I used the guide here to determine what clip connects to what wire.

Driver side: + = Blue/White = .187” female quick slide & - = Blue/Brown = .110” female quick slide

Passenger side: + = Blue/red = .187” female quick slide & - = Blue/Brown = .110” female quick slide

Below is a side-by-side of the speakers. The OEM is 5-1/4”, and the mounting bracket is built into the speaker. The Polk speakers are 6-1/2” and need a separate bracket.



I couldn’t use the foam gaskets that came with the speakers because the Phillips screws for the speaker bracket barely made it to the door mount. With everything lined up, the screws only go in one turn before bending the tabs. After tightening the screws until the speaker no longer moved around, the tabs were bent down 1/4”. Did I do it right? I don’t know because the instructions from Crutchfield said to “fabricate a mount” and “attach speaker using mount.” Like I said earlier, next-to-useless. Then, I put the foam pad from the OEM speaker onto the back of the new speakers and put the door panels back on. The quick slides don’t release as fast as the BMW connections, but they get the job done.

RADIO: Along with the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X696, I got an antenna adaptor, BMW wiring harness adapter, and a trim kit. I wanted to keep using the steering wheel controls, and got the Axxess ASWC. I followed the video from Bavarian Soundwerks all the way to the point where the AC controls are removed. I pulled those out to make it easier to guide the radio in. Then I went to work soldering all the wires together. I chose solder because I wanted low resistance connections. After reading the three different instructions, I came up with the following connection plan:



I started with the Axxess ASWC because it was the simplest. I attached the adapter for the 3.5mm and taped it up to keep it from coming apart. I taped up all the wires except the red, black, pink, and brown.



I did the same for the BMW wiring harness adapter and the radio harness. I noticed that the BMW harness did NOT have a pin 7 to connect the ASWC. I tried a molex connector from a computer, but it was too small. Then I took the pin out of hole 13 and moved it to hole 7. Using a small jeweler’s screwdriver, I inserted the tip into a small slot next to pin 13. This bent the tabs in, and I pulled the wire out. Then I bent the tabs back out and slid it into the hole for pin 7.




Once the BMW harness was modified, I began soldering the wires together (see connection chart) to form a straight connection, and taped them with black electrical tape. Looking back on it, I’d suggest twisting the ends together and soldering them, then taping them. The difference is the way the wires would fold when putting in the radio.




The last bit of prep work involved mounting the microphone and feeding it through the dash. I mounted it on the right side of the instrument panel (1). Then, I took off the trim panel below the steering wheel, fished a stiff wire from the opening (3) to next to the steering wheel (2), taped the end of the microphone cable onto it, and pulled the 3.5mm plug through. Then, I fished the wire from the radio opening (4) to the first opening (3) to get the 3.5mm plug for the microphone into the radio slot. It took a little work, but it was doable. The antenna adapter simply slid into the existing antenna connection.



I put the other harnesses in the radio slot, and it looked like a hot mess.



I connected the microphone, antenna, and radio before connecting the battery to program the ASWC. I followed the instructions of turning on the car and tapping the volume up button on the steering wheel. It successfully programmed on the first try. Then I disconnected the battery again. I tucked the ASWC box to the right of the radio. Then, I had to use a trim tool to pull the wiring harness going through the AC controls in order to position the BMW radio connector.



After that, I fed the wires behind the tab in the back. This is when I wished I’d have soldered the connections differently. This took a lot of patience and cost me some bloody knuckles. I didn’t hear anything crack or pop, so I assumed I didn’t break anything.



To prepare the radio, I had to take off the outside ring around the KDC-X696. It was as simple as lifting it over some tabs. The instructions for the trim adapter said not to push the tabs down on the radio mounting sleeve even though the radio instructions said to do it. I thought this was odd, but went with it. Once I verified the radio slid in all the way, I put the AC controls back in. Then, I slid the radio in the sleeve with the trim adapter on the front. The trim adapter had screw holes in the same place as the OEM radio, so I used the two screws from the removal. Before I put the trim strips back on, I reconnected the battery to test everything. It worked beautifully, so I put the trim pieces back on the door and around the radio.



This thing is like 7 pages in my word program so I hope there’s enough information to help out the next guy. I also attached the pictures in case my image hosting site goes down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is a very nice writeup. Kind of surprised nobody commented yet, but thanks!

It looks like your car is not equipped with the Harman Kardan system?
Thanks. No, it doesn't have the Harman Kardon upgrade. I bought the car when I was stationed in Germany so it made it a little cheaper. I didn't really have the money (or maturity) to spend on the extras...besides heated seats and park distance control. Of course I regret that a little bit now, but the ride has still been very enjoyable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good luck! The only thing I would do differently is the soldering of the wires into the radio connector. I soldered them in-line, but I would change it to align the wires tip-to-tip (kind of like a rat tail splice). I didn't have a lot of room to run the wires and ended up folding them.

Example of what I mean
 

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Kenwood KDC-X696 & Speaker Install DIY

Do your phone controls work? I'm thinking about this install but with a JVC head unit. I did some searching and found nothing. Thanks in advance


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The R/T changes the input between Bluetooth, Aux, USB, etc. The mute button on the steering wheel works though. I don't know if the steering wheels operate the radio differently for phones because I did not have that feature before the new radio.
 

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Great post. I have spent hours trying to figure out what to do here. I just installed a Kenwood unit with the ASWC-1 into a 2001 325i. After I followed the modification steps for the steering wheel controls it worked perfectly. No one's customer service was able to help.

**If you have a 2002 or older vehicle you are probably not going to be able to get clear radio signals because there is no power going back into the antenna amplifier. You need to replace your antenna amplifier (behind the drivers side C pillar with the newer model). This amplifier also controls your keyless entry. There are two different frequencies the amplifier comes in. One is 433 MHZ and the other is 315 MHZ. The frequency is stamped on the part. Once you determine which frequency it is, the two new part numbers are below. I just picked up one on ebay for about $30 with shipping.

433 MHZ 65256906074
315 MHZ 65256906075

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=396343

I will post once it gets installed
 

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I don't know if you are still watching this, but I did mine similar to yours, although I am using an ASWC-1. I soldered it to the same ground that the radio uses, though Axxess recommends connecting to a metal ground instead. It programs and does all the flashing at me, but my radio (Pioneer) will not respond to steering wheel controls. Any ideas?

I used the pink wire as instructed, connected to pin 7 on the harness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't know if you are still watching this, but I did mine similar to yours, although I am using an ASWC-1. I soldered it to the same ground that the radio uses, though Axxess recommends connecting to a metal ground instead. It programs and does all the flashing at me, but my radio (Pioneer) will not respond to steering wheel controls. Any ideas?

I used the pink wire as instructed, connected to pin 7 on the harness.
I'll be here as long as my E46 still lives!

Putting in radios is definitely not my specialty, but I come equipped with strong logic. I'm assuming you have the standard 'Business Radio,' that the steering wheel controls worked before the upgrade, and no navigation. Being a ZHP, I'm not sure if they upgraded that as well to include the Harman Kardon (HK) system. I think the HKs have a different pinout for the speakers/amp, but I don't see why that would have anything to do with the steering wheel controls. I seen a picture of the ZHP steering wheel, and the only difference I seen were the buttons arranged differently. The ground (black wire) should be more than sufficient for the radio.

The only options remaining that I see are:
1. Poor connection between the orange & pink wires (loosened during reinstallation)
2. Pin came loose when reconnected to the BMW harness (flared pins broke or didn't hold when connected)
3. Radio doesn't support steering wheel controls (if this is possible)
4. ASWC bad or needs reset

You might have to pull the radio back out to check. Hope this helps - good luck!
 

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Where did you find chassis ground for the ASWC? I used the radio ground and it successfully finds my car and radio but the controls don't work. I called them and that was their CYA. The radio ground isn't sufficient and I need chassis ground. I won't be able to call back for support until I follow that instruction... I'm thinking of running alligator clips somewhere temporarily just to see if it will work when it gets chassis ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I didn't use a chassis ground. The BMW connector has a ground on it that the radio plugs into, and that's the one I used. Not sure what to tell you.
 

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So this is really frustrating. I gave it a chassis ground too and it still wouldn't work. I called Axxess and the guy had me try several sequences of programming. He said it appeared to be working, but that the radio wouldn't respond. I am installing another Pioneer for my wife and just got it in the mail today. At their recommendation (blaming the radio), I tried her radio. First I was annoyed that the second Pioneer, though it uses the same connector, changes a tab and clip around so I couldn't just plug mine into it. I inserted the wires into the holes carefully and tried to use steering wheel controls on hers. It didn't work. Then I tried to auto program it and it didn't blink 6 times as it should for a Pioneer. It blinked twice, and still didn't work. I didn't try other programming sequences because it was so awkward to try to hold it while keeping the wires from crossing.

I have red to red, yellow to yellow, black to black, and pin 7 to the pink wire. I've done a continuity check on each line, and the unit (by LED indication) is programming correctly but no buttons work. Now I've been driving around with the radio sticking out 4" because I don't want to cram everything in there nicely until this system is working correctly.

Additionally, I feel like the system has much less bass than it did before, and I have to turn the radio up almost all the way (5X out of 6x) to get it decently loud.

Sigh.
 

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Hey there! This is actually my first post on these forums, but I just purchased a 2003 BMW 325 SXI and the first upgrade I'm doing is the head unit (I need my bluetooth music!). I'm installing a Pioneer DEHX6600BT with the Metra 70-8590 wiring harness, Metra 40-EU10 antenna adapter, and the ASWC-1 steering wheel control module.

I've installed head units before, so I know that soldering the Pioneer wiring harness to the Metra harness is as simple as matching the colors and going to town. I'm still trying to figure out the ASWC-1 wiring.

According to your writeup, you relocated the pin from 13 on the Metra harness to the hole for Pin 7 and attached the pink wire to this. What affect does this have on the illumination wire? What does this connection do anyway?

My understanding is thus:

- Match all colors from the head unit to the Metra harness
- Match the red and black wires from the ASWC-1 to the red and black wires from the head unit/harness (3 wires soldered together here)
- Match the pink wire to the wire going into pin 7 on the Metra harness. In your case, you relocated the pin from 13 and soldered the pink to the orange wire (again, 3 wires soldered together here).
- The brown wire is not needed for my head unit, only Kenwood and certain other head units.

Does this all look correct to you?!

Thank you for the great writeup! I've been scouring the internet and this is the best information I've found yet!

EDIT: I'm thinking it would also be possible to splice the pink wire into the BMW OEM harness behind the connector, but I'd really rather not modify any OEM wiring. I've also read that you can buy a second Metra harness and steal a pin instead of relocating one.

EDIT 2: Apparently my head unit doesn't even use the orange wire! So I'll be relocating that one exactly like you did. Again, thanks for the info, this is the only place I've seen mention of that pin not being there and solving my source of confusion.
 
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