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Understanding E30 speaker and amp wiring

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  • nando
    replied
    Man, I fee so stupid for hacking up my original wiring and putting in a shitty aftermarket head unit (long since gone - I've had a blank plug in that spot for years now).

    Thinking it might be time to go back to all OE. All of the wiring is still there I think, but I don't remember exactly what I cut and removed. I gave away the stock premium radio for a song too! But it looks like I still have options. I'm pretty sure I left the amp inside the car (I hope!). I actually have a full harness from my '88 ix parts car, but that had been cut a bit as well.

    edit: well, apparently 21 year old me wasn't as dumb as I thought. I did cut a couple wires - but I actually left all of the original harness and plugs there. I remember now - ran separate wires from the stereo to the connector in the trunk, so all of the wires to the speakers, head unit, etc are original and untouched.

    http://www.325ix.com/photos/cache_big/2021/OE%20Stereo/IMG_2133.jpg
    http://www.325ix.com/photos/cache_big/2021/OE%20Stereo/IMG_2134.jpg
    (looks like image linking is broken on this forum now, ugh)

    The bad part is I can't find the amp (it's not in the trunk). I thought I had it somewhere, but I dug through my giant pile of parts and didn't see it. There's a spider infested box I haven't looked at in years, it might be in there, but it's probably water damaged by now anyway.

    At least repairing the original harness should be dead simple! All I have to do is remove the butt connectors and splice the stock wires back together. I'll probably want to pull out those speaker wires I put in, but they aren't hurting anything if I just leave them either.


    Last edited by nando; 05-03-2021, 11:03 AM.

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  • bradnic
    replied
    just received my power amp connector from RyanBelton . It is very well made and documented. Highly recommended.

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  • bradnic
    replied
    Originally posted by bradnic View Post
    ...a class D 4 channel amp could potentially fit in the original amp housing. It’s a lot of work though. You can accomplish the same thing with an amp bypass and wiring in a small commercial class d amp. It does require cutting the harness though. The key issue is sourcing the connector on the amp housing. I haven’t been able to find it yet.
    Originally posted by AndrewBird View Post
    If you can't find the stock amp connector anywhere, you might consider replicating it in CAD and 3D printing it.

    There are lots of places to get high quality 3D prints now a days. Stratasys, Xometry, ProtoLabs to name a few.
    RyanBelton is offering a 3d printed connector that you can use to make an aftermarket amp harness with.
    Click image for larger version

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  • bradnic
    replied
    ave30rudy did you figure it out? info is in the schematics above. if you ended up with one solid yellow and one solid blue wire unconnected, then you have not connected the head unit to the speakers. From your description it sounds like the two wires are at the trunk amp connector.

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  • ave30rudy
    replied
    so I did all the new head unit wiring, all the speaker wires connected to the new speaker wires, and power etc. Then I have one yellow wire and one blue wire, both coming from the power bundle, not the speaker bundle that have no where to connect to. I went ahead and did the whole amp bypass wiring as well. However I still have no sound. My assumption is that my problem is coming from those two wires in the dash. But my question is where do I connect those?

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  • CW325
    replied
    Originally posted by CW325 View Post
    On an early model 2 channel radio only car would I need a “floating ground adapter” or could I just share the front/rear negatives for each side?
    Update: after doing some more research I ran new negatives for the 2 front speakers and left the existing negatives as dedicated rear negatives.

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  • CW325
    replied
    On an early model 2 channel radio only car would I need a “floating ground adapter” or could I just share the front/rear negatives for each side?

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  • bradnic
    replied
    quasi mofo sounds like you are going aftermarket. Just head over to the stickied @stereoinstaller wiring thread in the same audio forum

    that harness adapter is the rear speakers only on cars with premium sound and 4 channel radios.

    you will also have a blue and a yellow wire with a speaker connector on it. Those are the positive leads for the front speakers

    Drop me a PM and I’ll be happy to buy the wiring bits you remove from you

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  • quasi mofo
    replied


    Here is a standalone picture of the 2 to 4 channel adapter, part number 61101388934

    Note that there are no ground wires in that harness.

    Can this adapter be deleted and the in dash speaker wires run directly to the head unit? The PO of my car just the far end "LH" and "RH" labeled cables and used butt connectors to run them to the head unit. The green/black and purple/black negative left and right rear speaker wires connected to this second harness. The positive green and purple wires aren't connected to anything. Currently still only have sound to the right tweeter, left tweeter and left front and rear speakers.

    I still want to use the stock wiring so I don't have to pull apart the interior again, but at this point maybe I should just delete everything and run my own cables.

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  • bradnic
    replied
    I updated the original post with more info, including an example of a two channel radio amp bypass. the 2 channel radio BMW sound system setup has fewer wires going to the power amp connector than the 4 channel setup.

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  • bradnic
    replied
    winterse30 that's a wide open question, very hard to answer. I assume this is a factory radio setup. if you can pull your radio to access the speaker wiring, try swapping the left and right speaker wires. If the working speakers change to the other side then the problem is your radio. if the same speakers still don't work then it's not the radio. You just need to keep isolating stuff until you figure out where the problem is. good luck

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  • winterse30
    replied
    Hey this maybe off topic. I’m new to R3V. Just wondering if I can get some help. My front and rear speaker aren’t working on the drivers side of my e30 sedan. What could the possible issues be? I’m not familiar with wiring etc.

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  • JeffWiley
    replied
    Hi...if you are wiring a car that did not have a factory amp, you'll have 4 twisted pairs that run to or near the head unit location. Sometimes you'll have to cut back the harness wrap a bit to find them. Each pair is a +/- set with the signal wire color as described above and the brown stripe wire the return ground. Wire the speakers as specified by the head unit manufacturer.

    pcb assembly
    Last edited by JeffWiley; 08-22-2019, 09:06 AM.

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  • bradnic
    replied
    I couldn’t disagree more with you George, but to each his own

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  • george graves
    replied
    Originally posted by bradnic View Post
    I’m actually working on an amp bypass kit that uses the existing amp housing.
    Awesome! Let's see some work!


    Originally posted by bradnic View Post
    @dimrun2002 I respect your view, but generally disagree.
    - The E30 headunits were made by Alpine and Pioneer, not BMW.
    - The BMW Sound System speaker drivers are very high quality actually.
    Yhe stock BMW speakers are crap. They are fantastic if you consider 1990's factory car speakers as a baseline. But even driven with a nice amp, they are muddy, with a ton of resonance that make it sound like there is a midget ringing a bell, all the while banging on a Amazon cardboard box in your e30.

    Luke Fisher tried to get us all to go down that rabbit hole.

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