E46Fanatics - View Single Post - Aftermarket Head with PAC OEM-2 Install Problems
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:20 AM   #5
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 110
My Ride: 2001 330i
Ok, here's a quick pic I took with an iphone this morning. Quality's not great but you get the idea.

Here's my insta-review after having owned it for a day:

- You can switch the LED/BG display from blue to red. The red doesn't match the BMW orange, but it looks better than the blue and doesn't stand out TOO much.
- The sound is great. I did not have to use the OEM-2 line adapter. Radio sounds a bit better thanks to a better EQ in the Alpine. iPod sounds a hundred times better, but I was using a tape adapter before. I do have HK in my 330.
- The face detaches just fine. This is an issue with some head units because of the curvature of the console.

I bought it through Crutchfield, and they provided the fascia, BMW harness adapter, and antenna adapter automatically and for free. The service there was really outstanding. They also recommend the PAC OEM-2, but you don't need that. I also tried the PAC SWI_JACK steering wheel adapter but didn't get it to work, so I'm returning it.

I'm using both a 60g iPod Video (sits in my car most of the time and has all my music) and an iPhone 3G. Both work just fine, and the 3G charges (which is an issue with some older auto units because the 3G lost the ability to charge by firewire).

The major hiccups I ran into:

- Initially I got sound from the radio but not from either ipod. This was because I'd attached the blue wire from the harness to the blue wire in the head. I needed to attach the blue from the harness to the blue/white in the head. This was solved by a <1 minute phone call to Crutchfield support.

- As I've stated repeatedly, trying to fit the head unit in the dash along with the OEM-2 was a nightmare. I'm sure a more experienced installer coudl have managed it, but this was my first car stereo install and I failed. Thankfully, it wasn't necessary. It's still a tight fit. My hands are scratched and bloody from all the work yesterday

- As we all know, the ducts on the right hand side mean by default you're going to have a left-aligned stereo. This bothers some people, but frankly, I think it looks fine. Well, maybe not *fine*, but I don't think a single DIN stereo looks very good centered, either. The left-alignment isn't a big deal to me. Once you accept that it's not going to look nearly as good as the OEM unit, centered or left doesn't make much difference.

- The fascia that Crutchfield supplies for free is plastic. It looks ok, but a metal one would look a bit better.

Here's a pic of mine installed:

Last edited by CHFBrian; 11-16-2009 at 11:36 AM.
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