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Old 09-09-2010, 12:55 PM   #1
werx23
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Touring Owners: Need antenna advice

Hi from a Newbie :: 2000 323i Touring

Trying to figure out the antenna setup on my Touring as AM reception sux.

Unlike sedans/coupes there is an antenna amplifier is located in the left rear cargo panel that connects to a side window antenna. But according to this:
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...37&hg=65&fg=30

it looks like there is a second amplifier under the headliner powering a rear window antenna?

Also just want to confirm that the small antenna coming out of the roof is not a radio antenna, but part of a phone setup.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/partgrp.d...27&hg=84&fg=50

Has anyone ever tried using that antenna for the radio, or replacing it with something like this:
http://www.bimmian.com/46/MNA/
and hooking it up to the radio?

Any advice on getting better reception appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:42 PM   #2
Arsevader
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The older cars used the roof antenna, the facelift cars used it in the rear side window.
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:04 PM   #3
shellback
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Had the car a week now and just realized there was an antena on the roof
Now you have me curious. I checked the rear left access panel and there is a black "device" that looks like it as you describe. But I also have the antena in the rear side window...I'll take photos soon and post.
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:40 PM   #4
billschusteriv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by werx23 View Post
Hi from a Newbie :: 2000 323i Touring

Trying to figure out the antenna setup on my Touring as AM reception sux.

Unlike sedans/coupes there is an antenna amplifier is located in the left rear cargo panel that connects to a side window antenna. But according to this:
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...37&hg=65&fg=30

it looks like there is a second amplifier under the headliner powering a rear window antenna?
According to the Bentley manual, there are actually three antennas found in the Touring. That antenna amplifier under the "headliner", is actually under the spoiler in your rear liftgate/hatch. That one, IIRC, is for the FM2/FMZ antenna and provides reception for your FM channels and your keyless entry system.

There isn't a real good picture of it from realoem, but I did a quick explanation when I was asking if someone had the antenna on a wagon they were parting out on here...

https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...=#post12128539

I'd have to look in the manual to see which antenna provided AM reception, but it could be an issue with the antenna, a connection, or your amplifier.

Oh... and I strongly recommend buying a Bentley manual for your car - they are invaluable! I refer to it all the time for maintenance, repairs, or troubleshooting. I have one for my e30 and one for my e46. The one for the e46 was a bit pricey - however, when it arrived it was more like the size of a textbook than what I was expecting from a car repair manual. Well worth the investment!
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:14 PM   #5
werx23
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Thanks for the info Bill.

Mystery still not solved though as there seems to be at least 3 different POV's

1. AM antenna is in the side window, FM is in the rear window
2. Both AM and FM are in the rear window
https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...enna+amplifier
3. Pre-facelift used the side window antenna, facelift cars uses the rear window

Not sold on #3, as mine is pre-facelift and definitely has a side window antenna and there is definitely a wire running from the amplifier in the rear that goes up the D-pillar toward the roof.

Guess my next step is to take the radio out, and clean the contacts on the head unit and see if that helps, but I'm thinking it is just an inherently bad design.

In regards to the Bentley manual, I opted to buy the Haynes manual for about 1/5 the price. It has more than enough information for the likes of me and whatever isn't in there I can usually get somewhere online and/or if I need more information than is in there, it is time to call my mechanic, not DIY.
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:44 PM   #6
ric4080
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I'm a little confused here, mine is a 04 and I have a roof antenna, so is that am, fm, near-infared(just kidding about the infared)?
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Old 09-11-2010, 05:15 PM   #7
shellback
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shellback View Post
Had the car a week now and just realized there was an antena on the roof
Now you have me curious. I checked the rear left access panel and there is a black "device" that looks like it as you describe. But I also have the antena in the rear side window...I'll take photos soon and post.
This is what I noticed. Left rear window has an antenna - I doubt it is a defrost. And of course, the roof antenna...
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:27 AM   #8
alpine003
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Subscribing as I would like to know too.

I have a telephone button on my rear view mirror but I never fully found out if I have a bluetooth handsfree option installed or not. Since I bought mine used, there was no documentation on this option(if I have it) as well.
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:34 AM   #9
werx23
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If the roof antenna is a short one, then it is for a phone

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/partgrp.d...27&hg=84&fg=50

Looks like there is also rod antenna for radio/phone that doesn't require an amp(?) that is longer and has a wire wrapping around the rod

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...88&hg=65&fg=30

My guess is that one is found mostly in Euro-spec

I think Bill is right in that the FM antenna is located under the rear spoiler
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:06 AM   #10
billschusteriv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by werx23 View Post
Thanks for the info Bill.

Mystery still not solved though as there seems to be at least 3 different POV's

1. AM antenna is in the side window, FM is in the rear window
2. Both AM and FM are in the rear window
https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...enna+amplifier
3. Pre-facelift used the side window antenna, facelift cars uses the rear window

Not sold on #3, as mine is pre-facelift and definitely has a side window antenna and there is definitely a wire running from the amplifier in the rear that goes up the D-pillar toward the roof.

Guess my next step is to take the radio out, and clean the contacts on the head unit and see if that helps, but I'm thinking it is just an inherently bad design.

In regards to the Bentley manual, I opted to buy the Haynes manual for about 1/5 the price. It has more than enough information for the likes of me and whatever isn't in there I can usually get somewhere online and/or if I need more information than is in there, it is time to call my mechanic, not DIY.
You are welcome.

The Bentley manuals are really worth their weight - its probably one of the thickest manuals I've seen since the old Chiltons. I picked mine up on Amazon from someone who was cleaning out their garage for $70. I also have one for my e30 that has helped out a lot. But I don't blame you for going with the Haynes.

If I get a chance later tonight, I will pull out the manual and quote the various sections regarding the antennas - each body style (coupe, sedan, convertible, touring) has a slightly different setup with the main amplifier, FM/AM amplifiers, and FM/AM antennas. So you will probably see conflicting information across any threads dealing with this subject.
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:38 PM   #11
Skippy1999
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So I have a 99 328i.. and the short antenna(1.5 inches long) cracked.. so Im getting this is for a phone? if not, or if so, do you recommend a certain brand replacment? or any ebay one will work?
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