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Old 22nd August 2013, 11:59 AM   #41
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Neilbm - search for tennis ball mod, will sort all your rattles without removing the HK "sub"
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Old 22nd August 2013, 12:38 PM   #42
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Hahahahahaha love that "mod" will try that later, thanks for the heads up.
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Old 17th October 2013, 06:53 PM   #43
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Just completed this. And well impressed with the results. Thanks DoZZa.
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Old 11th May 2015, 11:05 AM   #44
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HI guys,

Ive just bought a 2006 E46 M3 Convertible with a NAV and a HK system but as you all know it lacks bass especially in a Convertible!!

Anyways great post! I have done 99% of this to upgrade and add a 12" JL audio W12 with a Rockford Fosgate punch 200.

The part I have fallen on is when putting the grey and black plugs back into the plastic chassis before plugging it back into the Harmon Kardon factory amp shown in the pic below:





Basically they will go into the chassis either way and I don't want to blow the KH amp up by putting them in the wrong way!

Like a true giddy fool i forgot to take note of which way they go back in to the KH amp!!

Please HELP!!
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Old 11th May 2015, 11:54 AM   #45
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Hi mate great upgrade I've done this well part way through.but I got rid of the amp completely. The picture above with the plugs next to the holder is the rite way to put em bk in. So the black is in the left. When Looking at it from the bk of the holder. If you get wat I mean mate.
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Old 11th May 2015, 12:48 PM   #46
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Ye i do get what you mean mate!!!

Its been a nightmare to be honest, I only disconnected the battery negative and the started taking the rear apart and removed all the rear door cards etc, tapped into all the wires and then begun putting it back together and when I begun to screw the cage with the amp back to the rear quarter or the body it sparked!! I went to the boot and the neg had touched the body and made a connection!!!

It subsequently had blewn 2 fuses and the HK amp smelt a little like burning

So I had a look and it had cooked a few fuses so I replaced the fuses and checked everything works: NAV, ROOF, HEADUNIT etc all was fine appart from there is no sound from anything, so I have ordered another HK amp to replace the cooked one. (I take it that its the HK amp and not the BM54 that is dead?)

I was also going to ask what your thought were mod wise, what would you recommend to do? Some people say headers and de cats + remap to keep a standard look with max gains, others tell me to leave it standard as the gains are minimal for the and some say just do a cat back system and a remap for decent gains.

I am a bit undecided to be honest any input is welcome
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Old 11th May 2015, 01:10 PM   #47
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Yup I had few hiccups whilst doing this upgrade. I got my wires crossed lol. But no serious damage was caused. Well if you have done everything correctly and you did the pre-outs correctly then you should still get sound mate. Even with the hk amp disconnected. As mine is completely removed.

And on the performance upgrades. I've heard the same as you. That the amount of 's it costs to get a bit of extra power. Is not worth the money. Apart from a CSL intake. Which gives it an amazing roar.

If you wanted power that was more serious than it already is then a supercharger is the way to go. But from what I've seen they are like 5k plus.
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Old 11th May 2015, 02:13 PM   #48
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HI Bud

I just tapped into the wires & didn't cut them for the rear left and right for the Rockford punch 200.2.

However after the sparking nightmare i put it back together to check the roof etc was ok and that I havnt killed that as well, then I ordered another HK amp which will be with me by Wednesday so Ill be trying again on Saturday.

But ye your correct I should get some response from the Sub as the connections were taken before they get to the HK amp, I just took the burnt smell and fried fuses as it was the HK amp that was dead...... Fingers crosses

About the mods ive seen the Carbon airboxs on ebay for about 700 ish and I was thinking about that and a Alpha N tune ecu from from ebay, ive also seen some headers that look ok let ,me know what you think?!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/191577122834?lpid=82

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1116661683...2b233191b&cp=1

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-e46-M3...item25a5a9d843

The ecu mod looks like a great addition as I heard that these guys are the best at remapping M3s?!

Has anyone else done any of these mods......... I just thought that for 1000 ish i should be able to get 20 -30 HP out of mine?
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Old 11th May 2015, 09:05 PM   #49
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Hey pal Soz been a bit mad today. I take it you used scotch clips then. I have no experience with them. I cut mine for a more secure connection. As for the eBay listings they all look good and some cheap mods. But to be honest mine is completely standard on the performance side of things. So ya probably best asking in another section mate.
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Old 12th May 2015, 04:22 PM   #50
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Oh just a thought to you have a hi to low level converter or does your amp already support this. eBay item number 191228346533.
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Old 24th April 2017, 04:52 PM   #51
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Hi, I know this is an old thread but I have this 4ohm kicker Sub in my garage(forgotten about) would it need to be amp like the above or would it run off that HK amp...thanks
https://www.manualslib.com/manual/49...?page=2#manual

Last edited by sharpz44; 27th April 2017 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 26th April 2017, 01:27 PM   #52
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Does anyone have list of what parts I would need for this, Like which amp and converter is required.
I would like to use a active amp & sub to save on space but I can't seem to find out if they're differential balance input or not.
thanks
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Old 26th April 2017, 02:57 PM   #53
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I had the HK system and it wasn't bad but simply upgrading the head unit and adding a sub gives a huge improvement in sound, to the point I don't need to bother doing anything with the speakers now. I went with alpine CarPlay unit ilx-700 and a jl sub plus small amp. Also removed the standard hk sub basket.
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Old 27th April 2017, 04:53 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASONI View Post
I had the HK system and it wasn't bad but simply upgrading the head unit and adding a sub gives a huge improvement in sound, to the point I don't need to bother doing anything with the speakers now. I went with alpine CarPlay unit ilx-700 and a jl sub plus small amp. Also removed the standard hk sub basket.
What sub and amp model did you use please,I've upgraded the head unit and speakers.cheers
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Old 18th April 2018, 08:45 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoZZa View Post
I wanted to post this information on here as I have been researching this for some time now. And I thought it would help others who wanted to do the same.

If you are just looking for the headunit output signal wire information, skip to the end of this post. If not, read on!

After reading many threads on various forums, I have finally found a working solution for upgrading the HK sound system, but keeping the factory headunit/nav, therefore keeping all steering wheel controls, Bluetooth etc.

This information is primarily for upgrading the sub woofer in a convertible E46 with HK. However the wires used are exactly the same in the coupe as the vert. Also, the other speakers can be upgraded in the same way. I will provide details for this also.

I think the most important thing to realise about the HK system is the fact that the headunit outputs whats known as a Differential Balanced output signal. I wont go into the technicalities of this as its not required for you to understand to upgrade the speakers/amp etc.

So as the headunit uses this type of output, we need to find a way to translate this signal into to one which is recognised by normal in-car amplifiers. Most amplifiers will accept Low Level RCA/Phono as an input. But there are amp available that will accept a Differential Balanced input.

So there is a couple of ways that this can be done.

1. Use a Line Out Converter that will accept a Differential Balanced output and convert it to a low level RCA/Phono input, which is what most amps will accept. HERE is an example of a good LOC.

2. Use an amplifier that will accept a Differential Balanced input directly. There are a few that will accept this type of input. Some JL Audio amps, some Kicker amps, and some Rockford Fostgate amps will accept the Differential Balanced input. There maybe more manufacturers that caters for this these days as a lot of factory audio systems are using this type of output. HERE is an example of a JL Audio amp.

From the information I have gathered, using a Line Out Converter (LOC) will work fine, but signal quality will be reduced. Thereofre sound quality will be reduced, so to obtain the best results it is advisable to use option 2 above.

Now I will cover how to get this signal into an Amp that supports Differential Balanced output.

First things first, disconnect the negative terminal of your battery to avoid damaging any electrical systems of your car!

***To avoid damaging your Sat Nav, press the eject button on your Nav's DVD/CD player, wait until the light on the player has gone out and stays out, this means that the nav player is now completely off***


Firstly you will need to find your HK Amp, in the E46 convertible, it is located behind the passenger (UK) side rear quarter panel, where the speaker is.

The HK amp in the coupe is located in the left hand side where the satnav/cd changer is.

There are several threads available providing details on how to access the amps so I wont go into that here, but its fairly straight forward.

Ideally you should locate the new amp somewhere close to the location of the existing HK amp, in the M3, the location of the Mobility Kit is often used as it keeps the amp out of the way. But you will lose your Mobility Kit as there wont be room for both in there!

Once you have found your HK amp, you will want to remove the large harness connector block from the amp.

It looks like this when still connected to the amp


Next you will need to separate the connector as it actually contains two blocks, one black and one grey.

It looks like this.


Now you will need to identify which wires to use to connect to your amp.

The pin locations and wire colours are the same for both the vert and the coupe. However there have been instances where the wire colours have differed across the E46 range. But the pin locations are always the same, so if you do find that your wires are a different colour than the ones provided in this post, simply use the pin locations instead of colour.

Pin numbers are shown on the block connectors, see the image below.


To install an amp to drive a subwoofer you are going to need to use 5 wires in total.

One of the wires is the remote turn on wire for the amp. This simply turns on the amp when the headunit is turned on.

This is a white wire and is found at pin 10 on the Grey connector. Easiest way to tap this wire is to use a scotch clip.

Now you are going to need find the headunit output wires.

The headunit outputs 4 channels.

Front Left, Front Right, Rear Left and Rear Right.

For a subwoofer we are only going to need 2 channels, in this case the rear left and right channels are what we will use.

Grey Connector

Pin 8 = Head unit output Rear Right (+) = Blue with Black Stripe
Pin 16 = Head unit output Rear Right (-) = Brown with Orange Stripe

Black Connector

Pin 29 = Head output Rear Left (-) = Brown with Orange Stripe
Pin 37 = Head output Rear Left (+) = Yellow with Black Stripe

The best way that I have found to get these wires to the amp is to use the following.

A JL Audio RCA to speaker wire plugs, product code XB-CLRAIC2-SW, they look like this.


I could not find anyone in the UK who had these in stock so I made my own, very easy to do, just need some RCA plugs and some speaker wire, you will need to solder the connections put some RCA plugs use grub screws, all can be got from Maplins.

Remember that this way of doing it will only work with amps that will accept a Differential Balanced input, if you want to use a LOC, simply connect the wires as listed above to your LOC, then connect the LOC to the amp using RCA cables.

Now you will need to tap into the wires to make the connection to the amp. Best way to do this is to cut the factory wires, strip back about an inch of the sleeve on each wire, then twist together each wire from the RCA to speaker wire plugs with one side of the cut factory wires. Then use a butt connector to reconnect the wires, this ensures that the signal from the HK amp is not broken and therefore the OEM speakers that are not being upgraded will still function. See the image below for a better understanding.



The white wires in the image are from the RCA to speaker wire plugs.

Once you have successfully completed the connections its time to fit the amp.

Connect the remote turn on wire to the amp, also connect the amp to a power source, the E46 has the battery in the boot so this is easy, use the positive terminal of the battery to get your positive supply, you could use the negative terminal for the negative supply of the amp, but I would prefer to use a chassis ground, there is one located very close to the HK amp which is ideal.

Now plug the RCA plugs into the amp, connect your subwoofer to the amps speakers terminals.

Reconnect your battery and turn the stereo on.

If you have made the connections correctly you should be greeted with the nice deep punch of your new, much better that OEM subwoofer.

I am very sorry if this has been a long winded post, but I felt I had to get down the fundamentals of how this system works for people to understand how to install an amp easily.

Note that a 4 channel amp can be used to run more speakers if the front headunit outputs are used in the same manner as the rear headunit outputs are used as explained above.

Front pin locations and wire colours are provided below.

You can also add more amps if you daisy chain amps together, to do this your amp must have pre-outs. JL Audio amps use full range pre-outs so these are ideal.

Hope this helps you upgrade your HK system.

---------------------------------------------------

The section below is for those who just want the headunit output information and cant be ar$ed to read all of the above!

Front Outputs

Grey Connector

Pin 9 = Head unit output Front Right (+) Blue with Red Stripe
Pin 17 = Head unit output Front Right (-) Brown with Orange Stripe

Black Connector

Pin 30 = Head output Front left (-) Brown with Orange Stripe
Pin 38 = Head output Front Left (+) Yellow with Red Stripe

Rear Outputs

Grey Connector

Pin 8 = Head unit output Rear Right (+) = Blue with Black Stripe
Pin 16 = Head unit output Rear Right (-) = Brown with Orange Stripe

Black Connector

Pin 29 = Head output Rear Left (-) = Brown with Orange Stripe
Pin 37 = Head output Rear Left (+) = Yellow with Black Stripe


Hope this is of help to someone.

Cheers

If I have borrowed anyone's images and it wasn't allowed, I apologise, please contact me and I will remove them on request. Thanks
I know this is an extremely old thread but would like to ask a question,I have e46 with hk, have a Kenwood headunit and gladden speakers install,I want to install an Alpine SWE-815 sub which has a built in amp ,would I need a line out converter I could I just tap in to those wires as described any help would be much appreciated.thanks
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