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Old 08-29-2015, 11:48 PM   #1
Gyuri1
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Where to tap AMP POWER WIRE

Hi guys,

I have a Canadian 2003 BMW 320i with the basic 6 speakers. no amp and the "Business CD" unit.

I would like to install an aftermarket Kenwood AMP and SUB that I salvaged from my previous car.

I've heard that the simplest way to do this is to use a line-out converter and tap into the rear deck speakers. I get it so far but a question still remains...

Where can I tap into to power the AMP? The best idea I got so far was that I should tap into a fuse such as the cigarette lighter's fuse which supposedly gets power only when the ignition is on. I also heard that can be a bad idea though since it can burn the fuse.

Any suggestions?

Could I tap in from somewhere in the trunk wiring?
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Old 08-30-2015, 10:10 AM   #2
markusmarkus
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No!!!! Run an appropriately sized wire from the battery's positive post to the amp. Install a fuse close to the battery. I put the fuse holder on a body re enforcement beam that's above the battery. You'll have to pull the carpet above the battery to see it. Then run a ground wire of the same size as the positive cable from the amp to the car's body. Make sure the metal is absolutely clean and free of paint. There is a body stud above and forward of where U.S. market cars have the oem amp. Use that for the ground. You'll need a "turn on" signal for the amp. You can tap into the wire that runs from the radio to the antenna amp. The amp is in the left "C" pilar. I think it's an off-white wire as the Bentley manual doesn't provide the wire's color. Check the wiring harness that runs through the metal bulkhead behind the rear seats.
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Old 08-30-2015, 10:34 AM   #3
Gyuri1
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I still don't get it. I know about the proper gauge wires for powering the AMP and that's not what I was talking about. I was actually talking about what you are referring to as the "turn on" wire.

You're telling me to tap into the radio's antenna amp? Do you mean the radio's antenna? Keep in mind I don't have any factory amp installed and it never even came with it. I really just need to find somewhere to tap that wire and preferably somewhere in the trunk area if possible. If not I'll take any advice as long as it works well.

Thanks.
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Old 08-30-2015, 02:17 PM   #4
markusmarkus
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Originally Posted by Gyuri1 View Post
I still don't get it. I know about the proper gauge wires for powering the AMP and that's not what I was talking about. I was actually talking about what you are referring to as the "turn on" wire.

You're telling me to tap into the radio's antenna amp? Do you mean the radio's antenna? Keep in mind I don't have any factory amp installed and it never even came with it. I really just need to find somewhere to tap that wire and preferably somewhere in the trunk area if possible. If not I'll take any advice as long as it works well.

Thanks.
I took a second look at the Bentley electrical diagrams. There is no turn on wire from the head unit to the antenna amp. The antenna amp is on all the time as it is part of the keyless entry system. Back to square 0.

Does the sub amp have the ability to sense when there are audio signals on its input wires? I know some do have this feature. If it does not, then you may have to run a wire from the head unit to the amp to provide the amp with a turn on signal. My Bentley manual is for years 2000 and 2001, and does not cover year 2003 cars. But, I bet that there is a pin on the head unit's main connector that has +12VDC when the head unit is on.
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Old 08-30-2015, 07:30 PM   #5
Gyuri1
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Thanks for looking. I think I will try to tap into the cigarette lighter fuse and see how that goes. I'm not to keen on messing with the original wires unless I'm positive what I'm doing.

Would you be able to tell.me which fuse that is?

Thanks so much again.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:17 AM   #6
markusmarkus
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The fuse for the cigar lighter (BMW's term) I'd F47. There should be a card in the fuse box that lists all the dudes. Be aware that the lighter on some cars is always on, while in others it's on only while the ignition switch is NOT in the "off" position AND for the 15 minutes while the car goes to "sleep." Grab a bolt meter and check your car out.
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:48 PM   #7
Gyuri1
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Originally Posted by markusmarkus View Post
The fuse for the cigar lighter (BMW's term) I'd F47. There should be a card in the fuse box that lists all the dudes. Be aware that the lighter on some cars is always on, while in others it's on only while the ignition switch is NOT in the "off" position AND for the 15 minutes while the car goes to "sleep." Grab a bolt meter and check your car out.
Thanks for the heads-up. I already burned my finger testing it. I removed the car key from the ignition and the cigar lighter was still being powered. I'll try later when I get back into my car to see if it's still powered but not with my finger this time.

I also found on Amazon a thing call an Add-a-Circuit Kit consists of a module that can hold the original fuse and it's own fuse and has a 12v cable sticking out of it ti plug whatever needs a switched power source.

Much appreciate. I'm a big newbie after. I just purchased my 2003 320i last week and there's a few things I want to do.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:34 AM   #8
markusmarkus
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I recommend that you sit in the car with the windows open and wait for the car to go to sleep. That takes 15 minutes or so. Then, see if the cigar lighter works by pushing the lighter in. If it doesn't pop out then you can use the power wire as your turn on.

Love Montreal. Wife and spent several days they about 10 years ago. Had a great time.
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Old 09-01-2015, 01:10 PM   #9
Gyuri1
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Originally Posted by markusmarkus View Post
I recommend that you sit in the car with the windows open and wait for the car to go to sleep. That takes 15 minutes or so. Then, see if the cigar lighter works by pushing the lighter in. If it doesn't pop out then you can use the power wire as your turn on.

Love Montreal. Wife and spent several days they about 10 years ago. Had a great time.
Thanks again I'm already loving this community. Montreal is great if you ignore the potholes and not being able to directly turn left on most of our streets.

Again for future reference for those who need it:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Xq1NBkVYL.jpg

This is what the add-a-circuit kit looks like. However it must be made for "medium-sized" fuse specifically.

Hopefully I can get some help next summer on installing brand new HIDs with Angel Eyes. I currently have them installed but I'm sure he opened up the housing to put them in since there's scratches all over inside and the wiring is absolutely messy. It also gives lamp error codes which is bothersome for a perfectionist like me.
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Old 09-15-2015, 01:47 PM   #10
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Opps, deleted!
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Last edited by kgvickers; 09-15-2015 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:31 PM   #11
Gyuri1
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Opps, deleted!
Hehe no worries. The 320i comes with 6 speakers and without an amp :/

In the end I was able to hook up my own amp and sub to the factory sound system.

The previous owner had ran a 12 volt blue wire in the trunk but I did not trace the source it's tapped to.

Experience wise it isn't great. I find the trunk area is very isolated from the rest of the car and the SUB doesn't sound great once I'm sitting in the car. I was thinking of cutting a nice hole in the trunk area but the rear seats would still pretty much deaden most of the sound. I don't have an arm rest in the middle section of my rear seats like some models do.

I'm still in need of better speakers too and I've done some research and it seems I will have to cut into the front doors to fit them.
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Old 09-26-2015, 05:34 PM   #12
Danieltoop
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Red face

I am wondering if everything is okay and if you could send me some pictures on how you wired it into your car because I have a 320i and I would like to install
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Old 09-30-2015, 01:52 PM   #13
Gyuri1
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Originally Posted by Danieltoop View Post
I am wondering if everything is okay and if you could send me some pictures on how you wired it into your car because I have a 320i and I would like to install
Hi there. I'm actually pretty satisfied with the setup after all. The amp and sub are greatly improving the sound of my stock speakers.

I never really had to tap anywhere after all because the previous owner already had a wire in the trunk for the 12v source. I never tracked where it is wired though.

I strongly suggest you do it the way I wanted initially. Use one of these:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Xq1NBkVYL.jpg

(make sure you get the medium size one)

Then tap into your cigar lighter fuse. I can pretty much guaranty you it's a good source. When you're done you can easily test it by looking at the power light on your amp. It should indicate when it's on. This way it's clean and you don't need to cut any of the original wires.

I hope this helps!
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Old 09-30-2015, 02:10 PM   #14
Danieltoop
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Originally Posted by Gyuri1 View Post
Hi there. I'm actually pretty satisfied with the setup after all. The amp and sub are greatly improving the sound of my stock speakers.

I never really had to tap anywhere after all because the previous owner already had a wire in the trunk for the 12v source. I never tracked where it is wired though.

I strongly suggest you do it the way I wanted initially. Use one of these:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Xq1NBkVYL.jpg

(make sure you get the medium size one)

Then tap into your cigar lighter fuse. I can pretty much guaranty you it's a good source. When you're done you can easily test it by looking at the power light on your amp. It should indicate when it's on. This way it's clean and you don't need to cut any of the original wires.

I hope this helps!
By any chance could u take some pictures ?
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Old 09-30-2015, 02:22 PM   #15
Gyuri1
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Originally Posted by Danieltoop View Post
By any chance could u take some pictures ?
Picture of what?

The fuse box is located in the glove compartment and you have a paper diagram that tells you what each fuse is for.
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Old 10-18-2015, 04:26 AM   #16
Commando
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You know MarkusMarkus explained the correct way to wire the power for additional audio amps.
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