Aug 1, 2019 update to the BMW 318is project car

Project BMW 318is: Installing a Functioning Radio

We’re now nearly done with the cabin of our BMW 318is, but there’s one last thing our interior needs: A working radio. Sadly, our car came with a non-working stock BMW radio. We know that our engine sounds amazing and it’s the only music we need, but don’t forget that our goal was to keep this as a daily driver. So, we took the car down to our friends at Metra, who helped us install a period-correct Alpine stereo that a fellow staffer had donated to the project. Metra does not normally install stereos, but has a school that teaches this art, as well as a supply house that sells every known connection and all the assorted pieces needed to install radios.

The final touch was to get a set of deluxe factory speakers for an E30 from Al Taylor that had tweeters in the front A-pillars and raised speaker boxes for the rear deck. These optional, raised speaker boxes allow you to neatly install better speakers with larger magnets without cutting the rear deck of your E30. As for the A-pillar tweeters, we carefully heated a knife and cut the glued in tweeters out and replaced them with new Alpine units.

This is what the stock rear speakers on an E30 BMW look like. There is very little space to put better quality speakers with larger magnets into the rear deck without cutting the car up.

As an option, BMW made these raised speaker boxes that easily allow the installation of better speakers. Our buddy Al Taylor had a set of these speakers and sent them to us.

This same deluxe stereo package came with these tweeters in the front door. We cut the old (glued in) tweeters out with a heated knife and then used silicone to glue better tweeters in.

Dave and Colin from Metra made short work of installing our Alpine radio.

The finished installation looks close to period correct, sounds pretty good and we didn’t have to cut up anything to get this radio installed.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more project updates.
Comments
View comments on the GRM forums
Slippery
Slippery SuperDork
8/1/19 9:22 a.m.

Oh man, Cantaloupe is the way to go on an e30. You can bt using the factory radio. 

Cantaloupe

That silver Alpine looks way out of place there. 

Rodulrich
Rodulrich New Reader
8/1/19 5:15 p.m.

Or an old school Blaupunkt!

StuntmanMike
StuntmanMike New Reader
8/5/19 11:11 a.m.

Nice old school speaker pods! I agree with above though, silver face stereo is no bueno. Classic Alpine is always cool but I think an old Blaupunkt would be more appropriate.

FuzzWuzzy
FuzzWuzzy Reader
8/5/19 11:22 a.m.

What, no $20 Walmart stereo?

GeoS
GeoS New Reader
8/7/19 8:24 p.m.

The premium speaker housings are crazy money now! Nice addition.

Have to agree on the  old Blaupunkt...

 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
8/7/19 8:44 p.m.

Not sure how that looks period-correct, really. Don't think there were even CD players in cars back then, and my recollection is that all the Euro cars back then had black Blaupunkt stereos. 

The car looks lovely overall, but I have to be honest - that stereo looks totally out of place. 

Also chuckling a bit at needing two "professional" dudes to do a basic stereo install ;)

For 20 bucks on Amazon, you could have gotten a media receiver "looks" vintage but can still play bluetooth stuff.

https://www.amazon.com/Blaupunkt-Toronto-Media-Receiver-Installation/dp/B07NJQVXDW/ref=asc_df_B07NJQVXDW/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=343230747281&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1330647654118063163&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9008124&hvtargid=pla-729800380981&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=70175538958&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=343230747281&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1330647654118063163&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9008124&hvtargid=pla-729800380981

sfisher71
sfisher71 New Reader
9/8/19 8:49 p.m.

...So is that stock '91 steering wheel equipped with an airbag? Is there something comparable to the (oh-so-nice) resistor-equipped hub for installing a Nardi Classico in the E30?

I kept the Nardi when I sold the Miata that I put it in, but not the hub. I've been looking for the right vehicle to drop the Nardi into, this just might be it. 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
9/8/19 9:56 p.m.
sfisher71 said:

...So is that stock '91 steering wheel equipped with an airbag? Is there something comparable to the (oh-so-nice) resistor-equipped hub for installing a Nardi Classico in the E30?

I kept the Nardi when I sold the Miata that I put it in, but not the hub. I've been looking for the right vehicle to drop the Nardi into, this just might be it. 

Yeah, the '91 has an airbag.

But, of course you can replace it with damn near anything with an aftermarket hub. And anything is an upgrade from the stock e30 school-bus-sized wheel.

Side note, great e30 steering upgrade is to drill out the safety bolts from the column to the steering support and replace them with bolts and washers to space the wheel down so it's not so upward-facing. 

Sponsored by

FCP Euro

Our Preferred Partners
aweJZ9OZ68yOA8xhgginifIuQ82WSsQ63U91MsHIgISz0NB5EWuaRvWYoxyfXqOx