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Old 01-04-2005, 12:01 PM   #21
gusman
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If you hate to knock, then DON"T...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.... One man's trash is another man's treasure... and a latin poet once said: My wine may be bitter, but it is MY WINE.

Good Job and thanks for showing others some of the available alternatives. One quick question. Did you have to modify the AC ducts in the back of the bottom unit?

Cheers....



Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW DZYN
Ok,

I hate to knock, BUT,

THat is a travesty to your interior. I mean the install seems like it might have been hard , so kudos on that, and hell you even got them to fit nice and snug....

but come on, those things look horrible in the otherwise gorgeous super clean black interior.

Agian I appologize for the negativity...but damn

ANd whats wrong with you guys incuraging him? Maybe he can still return it and get his money back?

I know the first thing everyone thoght when they saw that installed was, "Man what an eye soar..."

Hes a big boy and ask for honest opinions...

Anyway, bro, if you can get your money back, go with a tough screen....
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Old 01-04-2005, 12:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gusman
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.... One man's trash is another man's treasure... and a latin poet once said: My wine may be bitter, but it is MY WINE.

Good Job and thanks for showing others some of the available alternatives. One quick question. Did you have to modify the AC ducts in the back of the bottom unit?

Cheers....
no, I didn't modify anything permanently (at least that is not easily replaced). The faceplate on the H700 is just that - - a faceplate. It has a bracket used for mounting that I had to cut up a bit, but it's not a full depth din unit.

I'm not too worried about one or two negative opinions. Out of all the responses I've gotten on this project - at least 90% have been positive. Whenever you share a project like this, you open yourself up to criticism, but it's the only way others learn. It took a lot of threads like this for me to learn some techniques and to get the balls to try something like this, so it can only help others out.
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Old 01-04-2005, 01:29 PM   #23
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I like the way the trim came out for sure, and is what I want to do w/my dash, I've got the kenwood touchscreen.. Question...did you order new pieces from the dealer or modify your own to put that together? If you can order new ones, do you have the part #s?
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Old 01-04-2005, 02:32 PM   #24
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new parts from the dealer:

65-12-8-229-147 - $4.25 - Radio Blind -- x 1
64-11-6-904-311 - $40.20 - Manual Climate Control Panel -- x 1

I don't have the PN for the carrier for the HVAC to relocate it - just be sure it's for an M3, the regular 3 series part number is different. I use either circle or pacific bmw for my part ordering - either are very helpful with mail order purchases and will help you get the right numbers. The prices above are approximate.
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Old 01-04-2005, 02:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcurley55
new parts from the dealer:

65-12-8-229-147 - $4.25 - Radio Blind -- x 1
64-11-6-904-311 - $40.20 - Manual Climate Control Panel -- x 1

I don't have the PN for the carrier for the HVAC to relocate it - just be sure it's for an M3, the regular 3 series part number is different. I use either circle or pacific bmw for my part ordering - either are very helpful with mail order purchases and will help you get the right numbers. The prices above are approximate.

That's great, thanks a lot. What a big price difference though! I've already got my hvac relocated so that's cool too.
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Old 01-05-2005, 02:47 PM   #26
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maybe I just dont know anything about car audio, but why two? what advantages does this offer? the install is clean, but i'm just not a fan of many aftermarket head units in our cars. i like the HVAC controls were you put them though.
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Old 01-05-2005, 03:21 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by KritonD
maybe I just dont know anything about car audio, but why two? what advantages does this offer? the install is clean, but i'm just not a fan of many aftermarket head units in our cars. i like the HVAC controls were you put them though.
Well, the top unit is just a headunit - so it's CD, MP3, Tuner, etc. It has a certain level of features like an EQ, crossover, etc.

The unit below it is the display for Alpine's PXA-H700. This is a signal processor. It's has similar features as the EQ, x-over, etc in the headunit, but a ton more options, and a lot more versatility. It's one of the best signal processors on the market, hands down, and to make the processor easy to adjust, you should mount the display up in teh front of the car.

So, advantages, without getting too technical, is more flexibility with your setup and your sound. This setup is overkill for 95% or more of the population out there.

I agree that aftermarket headunits don't look that good in our cars, but when your goal is soundquality, the factory stuff just doesn't cut it, so you have to look at the next best alternatives. For me that was these two pieces that are cosmetic matches and I felt that this was the cleanest way to install the pair in this car.

In hindsight, I kinda wish I did the P9 combo - it's only a single din setup, but I bought the H700 with a horn setup planned, and the P9's processor is not as flexible as that in the H700 - so it was a tradeoff that I'm happy with.
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Old 01-05-2005, 06:28 PM   #28
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Well, I do like the stock look in these cars, but if I was to go with aftermarket this would be exactly the way I'd like it. It looks very professional and clean. Problem is the E46 radio area is so asymetrical that it is really tough to get an aftermarket deck to look good and "flow", but man you pulled it off. I love the finish too.

Good work!

Mark
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Old 01-06-2005, 01:05 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck328i
Well, I do like the stock look in these cars, but if I was to go with aftermarket this would be exactly the way I'd like it. It looks very professional and clean. Problem is the E46 radio area is so asymetrical that it is really tough to get an aftermarket deck to look good and "flow", but man you pulled it off. I love the finish too.

Good work!

Mark
I agree - it's so hard to get any aftermarket head to flow - primarily becuase of the width of the factory unit. I think that a standard head with the factory HVAC looks even further out of porportion.

BMW screwed us on the wacky headunit and on the door locations - but past that it's been a pretty easy car to install on. My only other grip would be the lack of mounting points for horns on the passenger side of the car, but that's a stretch.

Thanks for the compliment.

Rob
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Old 01-07-2005, 09:49 AM   #30
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I don't know if anyone is interested in this thing anymore, but I got some night pics:





They don't look like a perfect match in the photos - I think it's because the alpines are a touch brighter then the factory BMW lights, so they come out a different color in the photos - in person, they match great!

Also, here's a quick shot of the tweeter pods for the a-pillars....


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Old 01-09-2005, 10:41 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW DZYN
ANd whats wrong with you guys incuraging him?
ermp its spelled, encouraging
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Old 01-09-2005, 07:23 PM   #32
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What are those two part numbers for again? I thought that was one piece you modified? I assume i could use these two to make a custom video monitor too, correct?
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Old 01-09-2005, 09:56 PM   #33
rcurley55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerDoc
What are those two part numbers for again?
The part numbers are listed above

Quote:
I thought that was one piece you modified?
No, I used two pieces glued together

Quote:
I assume i could use these two to make a custom video monitor too, correct?
Don't see why not, pretty much the same process...
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Old 01-09-2005, 10:27 PM   #34
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Nice job

What's your cardomain site address?







.
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Old 01-09-2005, 10:38 PM   #35
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Kudos on the courage, but what about the screws exposed in the dash? is there anyway you could hide that?
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Old 01-10-2005, 12:21 PM   #36
rcurley55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tweetermanager
Nice job

What's your cardomain site address?







.
www.sounddomain.com/id/sq_e46_m3

Thanks! I had an install more like yours planned for my old civic, but ran out of steam and just wanted a usable truck, so I wussed out a bit - it will show in the final install. I would have liked to do all the painted fiberglass, but time and priorities took over. I really like some of the things you did with your car - it's impressive
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Old 01-10-2005, 12:22 PM   #37
rcurley55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doncmleon
Kudos on the courage, but what about the screws exposed in the dash? is there anyway you could hide that?
There are no exposed screws in the dash - some of those pics in the original post were in the middle of assembly - if you look at the last one, you will see that the factory trim is back in, and there are no exposed screws.
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Old 01-10-2005, 02:53 PM   #38
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I posted a short diy on another board - thought some here may be interested, and this should wrap up this thread unless there are any more questions - if anyone searches to find this (and there's another REALLY helpful thread out there somewhere that got me started) it should be enough to try to replicate this:

I can't at this time provide a full write-up, but a search at e46fanatics.com and my website www.sounddomain.com/id/sq_e46_m3 and some basic fabrication knowledge should get you there.

Here's a brief over view of the steps.

1. remove factory head and hvac
2. remove carrier for factory head and hvac
3. fab brackets to mount desired units - I would suggest you take special care at this point to center the units both vertically and horizontally
4. glue the two above pieces togeter - strip the manual hvac of all parts - I use CA glue (see partsexpress.com for more info) - now called "blind"
5. cut the hole in the blind to accomodate the pieces
6. test fit the blind and units in the dash

The next part is personal opinion/application specific - becuause I used two alpine units, I had the outside trim rings - I hacked them up and glued them together to make a frame around the two alpine pieces (the beauty ring that clips in).

7. With the alpine units mounted in the dash (faceplates removed) I attached the composite beauty ring.
8. I used some scrap MDF and hot glue to attach the beauty ring to the blind
9. Remove blind w/ ring attached
10. built temp supports for the ring from behind, again using mdf and glue - this gives you access to the front of the new trim piece
11. Cut and shaped wood to use as sides and the bottom (that builds the flat parts that join the blind to the beauty ring
12. The rest is just standard body work/finishing work - I used a combo of dynaglas, bondo ultimate and "icing" to shape the part how I wanted
13. Primer and paint

That should do it - I know that's a sparce write-up, but I didn't take pics of every step along the way. With some experimentation and some basic fabrication knowledge, you should beable to get your project going. The most difficult part is probably devising a way to mount the two units in the factory carrier while still allowing it to slide in and out easily and not bind.

Also, beware - a true double din WILL NOT fit using the method I have described!!! I can't stress this enough. Major surgery would be required IMO to locate a true double din in the dash.

The method for a touch screen should be about the same - it's probably easier in fact because there would be less fabrication involved. Regardless it's the finishing part that is the most time consuming.

Good luck - I hope that's helpful.

Let me state that this is just how I completed this project, and there's always a few ways to skin a cat.
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Old 01-10-2005, 02:57 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcurley55
Well, I finally got around to getting my DVA-7996 and PXA-H700 installed. Here are some pics for you....

Before:


After:





all in all, I'd say I'm very pleased - the texture and color of the trim piece matches very well with the factory plastic.

comments?
It's cool but don't you think stock looks much cleaner???
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Old 01-10-2005, 03:00 PM   #40
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It's cool but don't you think stock looks much cleaner???
Of course it does, but I'm not concerned with what "looks" cleaner, I'm concerned with what sounds better.....this isn't a modification that was done for a *bling* *bling* effect - it was done purely for sonic purposes

with this setup, I get substantially increased sonic benefits in a package that I think looks pretty damn cool in that dash
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