From digest.v6.n644 Sat May 10 08:21:40 1997
Date: Fri, 9 May 1997 12:59:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: E36 Aftermarket Stereo FM Fix
For those of you who have upgraded the stereo system in your 3-Series with an
aftermarket head unit and amp, and are getting poor (worse than stock) radio
reception, here's a fix that should help - takes less than an hour -
Remove the rear seat side bolster on the drivers side by pulling from the
top. Remove the driver's side c-pillar cover by also pulling carefully from
the top. The antenna booster module will be visible, mounted to the c-pillar.
Disconnect the wire for the c-pillar light by simply unplugging the
connection. This will get the cover out of your way.
Next, locate the remote-on terminal on your amp in the trunk. There is
usually a blue wire running to it. Hook a 5 or 6 foot length of insulated
wire to the terminal and run it under the trunk lining material and up to the
antenna booster. (It doesn't matter where you run the wire as long as it's
Very carefully, unplug the WHITE wire from the booster. Don't cut the wire,
but strip a quarter-inch section of the isulation. Twist the other end of the
wire you ran from the amp's remote-on terminal to this stripped section and
tape it up good with electrician's tape. Plug the white wire back into the
antenna booster, replace the c-pillar cover (don't forget to hook the light
back up), replace the seat bolster, and you're done. Now the antenna booster
is getting power when your amp is turned on. Your FM and AM reception should
be back to 'normal'.
I think what happens is that some stereo installers (who shall remain
nameless) fail to connect the 'power antenna' lead from the new head unit to
the hidden antenna booster. Without power, the booster is not 'on' and all
you're getting from the antenna in the rear window is a weak, unamplified
Any comments or suggestions from the stereo experts out there?
- -Austin '95 M3 (all Alpine, good FM reception finally!)
P.S. I got this tip from Geoff Kao, fellow M3 owner at Purdue University
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