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Old 08-03-2016, 12:53 PM   #1
iron_swan
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Retrofitting HK Speakers into Non-HK e46

Hi all! Before you tell me to look it up, I have already. I have a 1999 323i with non-HK sound, so HK speakers are not supposed to be compatible with my car without a new wiring loom and amplifier.

Anyway, I picked up an HK midrange speaker (the 2.5" on the front doors) from a scrapyard. I was just going to use the plastic faceplate as mine was broken, but noticed that the plug looked the same for both speakers, so I just plugged in the HK one. I put on some music and it worked and seemed to be playing at the correct volume.

I'm considering going back and getting more speakers from the yard as the other connections look the same as well. Is there something I'm missing here? This isn't supposed to work...

Edit: Possibly relevant info: old speaker was 2ohm, new speaker is 8ohm.

Last edited by iron_swan; 08-03-2016 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:07 PM   #2
iron_swan
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:13 PM   #3
lingon300k
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The speakers will obviously work if you hook them up. The difference in impedance is because they're meant to be fed by different amplifiers.

I don't know anything about the difference between the standard stereo and the H&K system. I would imagine the H&K is just more powerful with stronger speakers with bigger magnets. I've also heard something about a closed box under the rear speakers so that they behave like a subwoofer?

You should be able to just pull all the audio components out of that car and put them on yours. Unless there's some huge structural difference I don't know about.
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:26 PM   #4
iron_swan
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Thanks, ligon300k. I'm tempted to just plug them in and see what happens. Do you know if there might be a risk of blowing out my amlifier?
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:45 PM   #5
lingon300k
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I meant all the audio components. There's no point at all in just removing the speakers. If you remove the amps, the speakers, and whatever else goes aong with them, they should fit.

I believe that running 2 ohm speaker off an 8 ohm amplifier will cause it to run hotter and put out fewer watts, but I'm not positive. I haven't touched a car stereo in years.

Last edited by lingon300k; 08-03-2016 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:55 PM   #6
iron_swan
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Ok... Why wouldn't it be worth it to just swap the speakers out only? Aren't they better speakers?
Also, my question about the amp was would there be a problem using my current amp to power 8ohm speakers?

Thanks again
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:24 PM   #7
Commando
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I'm uncertain which BMW sound system you have in your vehicle apart from being non-HK.
Generally speaking there is little risk of damaging your existing amplifier if the speakers you substitute are >= to the impedance of the speaker you are replacing.
For example replacing a 2 Ohm speaker with an 8 Ohm speaker will be quite safe. There is a downside however in that your amplifier will be unable to deliver as much power into the speaker. This may result in inadequate volume. There is not a great deal of difference in the sound from HK and non-HK BMW speakers.
I have added the HK sub coupled to a 125W Soundstream amp. This improved things a lot more than the HK drivers.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:37 PM   #8
lingon300k
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iron_swan View Post
Ok... Why wouldn't it be worth it to just swap the speakers out only? Aren't they better speakers?
Also, my question about the amp was would there be a problem using my current amp to power 8ohm speakers?

Thanks again
They're probably better speakers in that they could handle a more powerful amplifier better than the current speakers but, as Commando said, they'll probably put out less volume. In other words, it would either be the same as before, or a downgrade.

In the past I had a Infinity Kappa speakers in a car. They were run directly off the head unit. They were better than the original speakers because the woofers were deeper and more rigid, and there was more rubber around the speakers giving them more room to move. The magnets were also huge. Incredibly huge. 5-6 times bigger than what was in there before. These sounded much better than the speakers that had been in the car.

But those were actually good speakers. Car companies rarely put good speakers in their cars. They just match them to the amps.

Last edited by lingon300k; 08-03-2016 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 08-04-2016, 06:53 AM   #9
czz
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So my situation is a little different. I have a wrecked '04 M3 and a '02 Touring as project cars. As a few others have done, I'm slowly transplanting the M3 drivetrain into the wagon. With respect to sound systems, the M3 has HK upgraded audio and the Touring does not. The "M3iT" is no where close to back on the road, but I'd be very interested in hearing anyone's experience with retrofitting head units, amplifiers, and speakers. Any information appreciated - thanks.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:19 AM   #10
bmray
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this swap isn't that bad, the most time consuming part was retrofitting the subwoofers under the rear decklid. even that wasn't bad, just some wiring work.

followed the following retrofit: http://www.mindspring.com/~pmbenn/hk_retrofit.htm
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Old 09-13-2016, 02:00 PM   #11
sanagnostaras1
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The hk speakers are garbage anyway
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