BMW E46 M3 Stereo Overhaul

BMW may have made the ultimate driving machine with the BMW M3, but the sound quality of the stereo systems leave a lot to be desired. A returning customer just picked up this outstandingly clean M3 and wanted to upgrade the factory Harmon Kardon BMW stereo system. We removed the factory radio, relocated the factory a/c controls down lower in the dash to make more room for the Kenwood double din touch screen navigation. This requires some extensive modification to the heat & A/C duct work behind the radio to make enough room to fit the larger chassis of the double din radio. It also requires a few parts from BMW to relocate the controls down lower in the dash where the storage compartment is.

We also mounted an auxulliary port and usb port under the arm rest, and ran an Ipod cable into the glove compartment.

Next we moved on to upgrading the front door speakers, this also requires some extensive work to fit the new, larger 6.5″ Hertz component drivers in the doors. And the Hertz tweeters are tucked away discretely behind the factory BMW speaker grills.

The rear deck speakers were upgraded with a pair of Kenwood Excelon 6.5″ coaxial speakers just to add some rear fill. The old Harmon Kardon speakers were dry and sun damaged. This happens to most factory paper cone speakers after time.

Moving on to the rear of the vehicle, we added a 5 channel Kenwood amp to run the entire system. We modified the stock BMW amp bracket to hold the new amp so it is completely hidden from sight tucked away behind the trunk liner trim. While we were back here, we added a reverse camera mounted discretely under the lip of the license plate area.

For some low end bass we added a custom fiberglass subwoofer enclosure which fits nicely on the right side of the trunk minimizing any loss of trunk space. The factory Harmon Kardon “subwoofer” is nothing more than 2 very small 5×7″ speakers mounted in a plastic housing up under the rear deck lid. The new 10″ subwoofer we added is a night and day difference on the low end.

Now this ultimate driving machine has a top quality sound system worthy of mention!


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