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E46 Convertible
The E46 vert forum. Talk about dropping your E46 top here.

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Old 12-04-2012, 12:18 PM   #1
BMW_cab_2001
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Retracting antenna

Hi,

I want to retract my antenna on my BMW 325ci 2001 convertible so that I can put a car cover on it. Is there any way to do that?

I checked the manual and there is no mention of it.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:49 PM   #2
djantlive
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it unscrews by hand. i don't even put it on anymore since i cover the car. radio is not affected without the antennae for me.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:50 PM   #3
Poncho@home
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you can simply un screw it. The antenna does not "retract".

http://bit.ly/THftjn
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:44 PM   #4
hagsdg7
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careful when you try and unscrew it for the first time- since it's an older car and may not have (ever) had the antenna taken off, it might be seized. if you're too aggressive with it, the nut will shear off flush with the housing... ask me how I know... but on a positive note, it was an excuse to pick up a stubby antenna =)
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:52 PM   #5
cityjohn
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You could put a hole in the cover, or you could drill a hole and install a power antenna (not advised); or just unscrew the stock antenna when covering the car as suggested here. If it breaks, then you needed a new one anyway.

* or use a stubby and just leave it on under the cover
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:52 AM   #6
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I'm late to this but I'd say use a stubby antenna. They look btr IMHO.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:51 PM   #7
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just replaced the antenna base on mine today after snapping off the original antenna in the base (as mentioned above)- picked up a stubby from Cravenspeed and it looks great- interesting replacement process for the base, though... there's definitely an easy way and a hard way to do it, and the time involved is a pretty drastic swing depending on which way you go. All in with the new antenna and base, it was less than 50 bucks. And now it'll fit under the BMW factory car cover without removing it.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:12 PM   #8
dknightd
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Tell us what is involved to replace the base.

Mine would not unscrew. I didn't want to force and maybe break. I just cut a small hole in the cover.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:52 PM   #9
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FWIW....the antenna for the BMW bluetooth is wrapped around the standard antenna. Not sure is the stubby has that built in or not. No big deal if you don't use the bluetooth, not sure what effect it has if you do. Just sayin'
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:44 AM   #10
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I thought the wrap was the antenna. I didn't even know my car has bluetooth (maybe it just has an antenna?)
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:57 AM   #11
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@dknightd...I don't know if your car has bluetooth or not cause I think all convertible antenna's have the "wrapped" wire around it; However, I found in the E46 Bentley manual that on the convertible, the blue tooth antenna is "wrapped" on the rear antenna. You can go to the link below and put your last 7 vin digits in & it will show you every option in you car. Look for "code #S8SPA Control unit COP" I believe this is one of the telephone/bluetooth component. It's mounted in the trunk, driver side, under the rear parcel deck, behind the carpet trim, against the back of the rear seat. Unpluged and phone doesn't work, connected it does.
http://www.bmwvin.com/
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmernut3 View Post
@dknightd...I don't know if your car has bluetooth or not cause I think all convertible antenna's have the "wrapped" wire around it; However, I found in the E46 Bentley manual that on the convertible, the blue tooth antenna is "wrapped" on the rear antenna. You can go to the link below and put your last 7 vin digits in & it will show you every option in you car. Look for "code #S8SPA Control unit COP" I believe this is one of the telephone/bluetooth component. It's mounted in the trunk, driver side, under the rear parcel deck, behind the carpet trim, against the back of the rear seat. Unpluged and phone doesn't work, connected it does.
http://www.bmwvin.com/
I have a 2005 330ci (like you) and I don't have bluetooth - but I have the wrapped wire around the antenna. BTW, I tried the site you referred to, and it says it cannot find my VIN. Strange!
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:09 PM   #13
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Hmmm, mine just unscrewed, screwed the new one in. (no bluetooth).
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:24 PM   #14
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Why would the bluetooth antenna be there? It makes more sense that it would be inside the passenger compartment. Just wondering out loud.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:10 PM   #15
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I took apart a VW antenna once (basically the same as BMW vert antenna; about 15 inches). The wavy appearance comes from a wire wound around a fiberglass rod and covered by rubber.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:55 PM   #16
bimmernut3
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WOW this post is going wild......

@pauljcl.....Give me your vin & I'll check it for you.

@johnrando...They all "just screw in & out". All I meant was that the 'swirl' you see wrapped around the antenna is ALSO used for the Telephone antenna. I just don't know if the "STUBBY" has this feature. SO, IF you did have a Bluetooth telephone system, the STUBBY might impale the phone reception. You would need to contact the manuf. of this unit & see if they did something to allow for it. Just guessing on this one....

@Poncho@home....WHY...you'll need to take that up with the German telephone engineer. Keep in mind, on ALL other models are "In roof under rear window". Again, this is for the telephone NOT bluetooth connect.

@cityjohn....YEP, that 'wire' is the antenna in question.

You can find this on page 610-15, 4th row under :Antenna...Convertible.."Wound around mast antenna"
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:12 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by bimmernut3 View Post
WOW this post is going wild......

@pauljcl.....Give me your vin & I'll check it for you.

@johnrando...They all "just screw in & out". All I meant was that the 'swirl' you see wrapped around the antenna is ALSO used for the Telephone antenna. I just don't know if the "STUBBY" has this feature. SO, IF you did have a Bluetooth telephone system, the STUBBY might impale the phone reception. You would need to contact the manuf. of this unit & see if they did something to allow for it. Just guessing on this one....

@Poncho@home....WHY...you'll need to take that up with the German telephone engineer. Keep in mind, on ALL other models are "In roof under rear window". Again, this is for the telephone NOT bluetooth connect.

@cityjohn....YEP, that 'wire' is the antenna in question.

You can find this on page 610-15, 4th row under :Antenna...Convertible.."Wound around mast antenna"
Thank you, bimmernut3. My VIN is WBABW5G455PL49489 (last seven are PL49489). Kind of you to check.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Thank you, bimmernut3. My VIN is WBABW5G455PL49489 (last seven are PL49489). Kind of you to check.
Paul (pauljcl)
Paul....not sure why you had the problem but here goes (copied n' paste):
I think you have the bluetooth interface; do you have the SOS on your rearview mirror?

you have a E46 CABRIO auto w/M54 330 engine; build date 2004-11-08
SILBERGRAU METALLIC (A08) STANDARDLEDER/GRAU (N6TT)

Type Value
VIN WBABW53455PL49489
Type code BW53
Type 330CI (USA)
E series E46 (CFL)
Series 3
Type CABRIO
Steering LL
Doors 2
Engine M54
Displacement 3.00
Power 170
Drive HECK
Transmission AUT
Colour SILBERGRAU METALLIC (A08)
Upholstery STANDARDLEDER/GRAU (N6TT)
Prod.date 2004-11-08

Code Description (interface) Description (EPC)
S1CAA SELEKTION COP RELEVANTER FAHRZEUGE Selection of COP relevant vehicles
S205A AUTOMATIC GETRIEBE Automatic transmission
S388A VERDECK SCHWARZ Softtop, black
S431A INNENSPIEGEL,AUTOMATISCH ABBLENDEND Interior mirror with automatic-dip
S438A EDELHOLZAUSFUEHRUNG Fine wood trim
S441A RAUCHERPAKET Smoker package
S459A SITZVERSTELLUNG, ELEKTR.MIT MEMORY Seat adjuster, electric, with memory
S488A LORDOSENSTUETZE FAHRER/BEIFAHRER Lumbar support, driver and passenger
S494A SITZHEIZUNG FUER FAHRER/BEIFAHRER Seat heating driver/passenger
S521A REGENSENSOR Rain sensor
S522A XENON-LICHT Xenon Light
S524A ADAPTIVES KURVENLICHT Adaptive Headlights
S534A KLIMAAUTOMATIK Automatic air conditioning
S639A KOMPLETTVORB. HANDY USA/CDN Preparation f mobile phone cpl. USA/CDN
S650A CD-LAUFWERK CD player
Code Description (interface) Description (EPC)
S674A HIFI-SYSTEM HARMAN/KARDON Hi-Fi System Harman Kardon
S692A CD WECHSLER I-BUS VORBEREITUNG Preparation, BMW 6-CD changer I-bus
S818A BATTERIEHAUPTSCHALTER Battery master switch
S8SPA COP STEUERUNG Control unit COP
S925A VERSANDSCHUTZPAKET Transport protection package
S210A DYNAMISCHE STAB. CONTROL (DSC) Dynamic stability control
S249A MULITFUNKTION FUER LENKRAD Multifunction f steering wheel
S251A REIFEN PANNEN ANZEIGE Runflat indicator
S255A SPORT-LEDERLENKRAD Sports leather steering wheel
S354A GRUENKEIL-FRONTSCHEIBE Green windscreen, green shade band
S399A VERDECKBETAETIGUNG VOLLAUTOMATISCH Softtop, electromech. all-autom.
S473A ARMAUFLAGE VORN Armrest front
S520A NEBELSCHEINWERFER Fog lights
S550A BORDCOMPUTER On-board computer
S645A RADIO-STEUERUNG US BMW US Radio
S661A RADIO BMW BUSINESS Radio BMW Business (C43)
S785A WEISSE BLINKLEUCHTEN White direction indicator lights
S823A HEISSLAND-AUSFUEHRUNG Hot-climate version
S832A BATTERIE IM KOFFERRAUM Battery in luggage compartment
S845A AKUSTISCHE GURTWARNUNG Acoustic belt warning
S853A SPRACHVERSION ENGLISCH Language version English
S876A FUNKFREQUENZ 315 MHZ Radio frequency 315 MHz
S992A STEUERUNG KENNZEICHENBEFESTIGUNG Control of number-plate attachment


http://www.bmwvin.com/?vin=PL49489
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:59 PM   #19
hagsdg7
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Wow, this one did pick up- in response to a few of the items above, here are my observations from my experience changing out the base yesterday:

You need to remove the left rear trunk carpeting to access the area underneath the antenna- there are two plastic pop clips holding it in place- it's also helpful to remove the black hard plastic storage areas towards the bottom left (held down with two more clips) and the storage compartment towards the top left (where your disc changer would be if you have one- I don't).

With some wrangling, you can carefully peel back the carpeting without damaging the molded in shape of the thing a foot or so to allow access to the underside of the antenna mount. First thing you immediately notice is a pretty beefy bracket directly beneath the antenna base you need to change (dammit... so I thought).

The bracket is on with three 13mm bolts, and it's pretty quick to remove- but there's a rats nest of wiring around it and attached to it, so you can't movie it much out of the way to get at the area you need to access. Here's where the "easy" way do to this comes in...

Grab a small hand mirror or makeup mirror and look at the bottom of the antenna base, and the bracket in the way... there's actually an access "hole" in the bracket that (when the bracket is bolted back up) aligns with the threaded bolt on the bottom of the antenna base- so realistically, all you need is something long and skinny to reach up and through to the base of the thing.

I'd take pictures, but I already put the trunk back together and don't really have it in me to take it apart again. Basically, you need to get a 2.5mm hex key bit to hook up with the bottom of the threaded bolt that holds the base on.

I did this with: screwdriver w/ 1/4" sq socket head + 6" long 1/4" socket extender + sq socket to hex socket adapter + 2.5mm hex bit.

Doing this by feel, it took me 5 or so attempts before I seated the bit in the base of the bolt. Once I did, I loosened it enough to see the antenna base come loose from the rear quarter, and then carefully (and slowly) unscrewed the bolt until it was free of the old base. Keeping pressure on the bolt (so I didn't have to remove it and try to thread it back up in there), I grabbed the new base and threaded it on, tightened it down, and it was good to go.

All told, it took around a half hour. And to answer the questions about the phone b/t antenna, the hookup for the phone and the radio unit plug into a sender about the size of a playing card that's integral to the portion of the antenna base inside the trunk, so I'd assume that the b/t reception might get a little squirrely, but can't be sure since my car isn't equipped with it (early 04 model).

Hope this helps anyone who ended up snapping the bee stinger off like I did!
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:25 PM   #20
Poncho@home
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I have that same option listd for my car, but I don't seem to have Bluetooth phone function. I also have NAV

http://www.bmwvin.com/?vin=PJ94988
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