BMW E36 Blog

Harmon Kardon Speakers

30th June 2008

Harmon Kardon Speakers


I wrote about the BMW E36 Harmon Kardon Audio System and it seems there is a lot of confusion about the number and locations of the speakers in that system. Today, I found a photo that will show the exact locations of the 10-speakers in that audio system. Take a look:

Also, pay attention to the location of the amplifier in the trunk.

After I saw this picture, I think there are two speakers in the footwell of the BMW E36, but I’m not sure if they’re working in my car or not. I know that my BMW E30 used to have 2 speakers in the footwell (left and right) and 2 speakers in the back. In the BMW E36, I just thought that the speakers inside the doors are just a replacement for the front speakers in the BMW E30. I should’ve checked these speakers in the footwell to verify their existence when I saw them, but it’s never too late. I’ve checked them today and they’re working fine. It’s cool to discover that there are actually 6 speakers inside the non HK systems.

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posted in Audio, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

9th May 2008

Professional Car Audio Upgrade Translated


Thanks to Valery for the translation of the Professional Car Audio Upgrade. He is so kind and has translated the whole DIY for us. I’m still confused a little bit about some parts of this DIY because I don’t have much knowledge about fiberglass, but I think the result is awesome! Now, you can understand the procedure easily. Thanks again Valery.

Disclaimer: Use this info at your own risk!! I’m not responsible if this didn’t work for you :-).

Hi everyone, I’m 19 and I own a E36 325TDS with a lot of extra parts for it so that I modify inside and out a little bit. I installed a Oxygen Alium 5, 13cm diameter Kit and a 20cm Speaker Oxy Alium 203.

First, I removed the vinyl, and then cut the panel

Next, I cut a piece of MDF (Medium Density Foam) of 19mm thick

A little bit of fiber to maintain the MDF. Check out the door:

Here is what I used, you’ll tell me “It is not wow” but I couldn’t afford better, these speakers are really good for the price.

Setting the canvas, this is not some cheap fabric :p this is lycra 😉 I know I know 😉 back to work, major advantage of the lycra is its scalability.

Application of resin (What is that? Ken can you help ?):

Once the resin is dry on the fabric, cut a piece of glass fiber as so:

What you get once resin applied:

Now the most annoying part of the project 🙁 smooth all of it :s:  I hate doing it lol Here is what you get when installed:

The installation progressed a bit, I replaced my previous kit by a MAC Audio Diamonds 2.13Here are the pics 🙂

So, It’s been a while since I’ve done it, I will soon replace them by a Focal Utopia 136W kit.

My latest project:
Here is the idea, as you might remember I’ve installed new speakers in my doors, I then realized that I couldn’t open my glovebox anymore lol Anyway, I decided to fit a subwoofer instead of the glovebox.The subwoofer is a Focal 27A, here we go, pictures !

First, build the box in medium 19mm, I reached a volume of 15L. I had to take out the fan system to gain space and pack everything to fit it in.

Fixing plate to hold it

What It looks like after the Subwoofer is inserted.:

Application of the canvas to get a good shape.

I then used foil to unmould the shape I got, made of fiber.

What you get with 3 layers of fiber. Where I am right now.

Smooth the whole thing and black vinyl, with golden screws. Check out the result


Are you looking for more do it yourself procedures (DIY) ? I recommend the Bentley BMW 3 series service manual for you. I got it and I think it’s a gold mine for us -BMW E36 Owners-. If you didn’t grab your copy yet, get it right now! I’m sure you’ll find this book worth every penny you’ve paid for. Get the Bentley BMW 3 series service manual

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posted in Audio, Do It Yourself, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

8th May 2008

Professional Car Audio Upgrade



Hicham was so kind to send me a link which contains a description of how to upgrade your BMW E36 car audio in a very professional way. You can check the thread here. Unfortunately, it’s in French and because I don’t know French, I had to figure this thread out using the pictures included. I’m confident you’re going to like this very much. I included here some photos that may explain the procedure, but for those of you who understand French, you can refer to the thread I pointed out. Also, it would be great if you can translate some of the text there and post it here as a comment. That would help us understand this more. Thanks Hicham for the link.

Take a look:



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posted in Audio, Photos, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

29th April 2008

BMW Harmon Kardon Audio System


Hi Guys,

I presented some Great BMW E36 Internal Lights photos in a post couple days ago. One of the things that I didn’t even know they existed in BMW E36 cars is the Harmon Kardon audio system. The cars with this optional audio system has a switch that is labeled "HIFI". In that post, I asked you about this switch and if anyone has it, so I got a reply from Seth and he was so kind to provide extra information about this option. You can read the description in his words below:

First off, it has 10 speakers (supposedly) although I have only seen 8 discussed in the forum I belong to. Maybe I was wrong about the subwoofer, because no one had mentioned it. It sure sounds like there’s one, though! (Tony: Valery, can you help?) The only major difference I remember from my first M3 without the upgrade, is the speakers in the front kick panels (granted it’s been 2 and a half years since that car, but I don’t remember any speakers down there), the HIFI switch that turns on an amplifier located in the left side of the trunk, next to the shock tower, and the different speakers with Harmon Kardon (HK) on the speaker shield.

The biggest problem with them is that the mid-range speakers in the front doors are prone to self-destruction at relatively low volume levels. The largest contributing factor is the automatic volume adjustment as the car gains speed (Tony: Wow! that’s a cool feature, isn’t it?). I blew my own that way! Adjust the volume level in the driveway, make it onto the freeway, and KA-POP!

BTW, if you have that annoying feature, I just learned how to fix it while I was researching the Harmon Kardon (HK) stereo. First, you start with the stereo off. Turn it on, and hold the "m" button for approx. 10 sec. The serial # of the radio should appear on the screen. Once it does, use the + and – buttons until you see GAL 1-6 . Then use the < and > buttons to adjust it up or down. 1 is the lowest change, and 6 vice versa. I believe that should also work on British BMW’s as well, even though it was explained for an American M3.

These are some photos of the Harmon Kardon audio system:


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posted in Audio, Technical Info, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

20th December 2006

Michael’s E36 bimmer … Nice one!

Hi Guys,


I saw this car on the CarDomain website and I thought it really deserves being featured on my website as a model. The car has some nice modifications the I’m listing below.


: 18″ Linea Corse Strasse Magwheels
: H7 Phillips Diamond Vision (Low Beam)
: H1 Phillips Diamond Vision (Fog Lights)
: CCFL Angel Eyes (7000K)
: AC Schnitzer Front Chin
: AC Schnitzer Badge
: AC Schnitzer Muffler Tip
: M-Sport Lip Spoiler
: M-Sport Red / White Tail-lights
: European Plates
: European Plate Covers
: Painted Flat Black Grill
: Painted Body Color Bumpers
: Hella Fog Lamps
: Clear Signal Lights






: Sparco Racing Shiftknob
: Sparco Stripe Pedals
: Gray Face Gauge
: Chrome Cluster Rings
: Custom Red Needles



: Kicker ES525 coaxials (front)
: Kicker ES60 coaxials (rear)
: JVC KD-G425 cd/mp3/iPOD player
: JVC KS-PD100 iPOD adapter
: Blaupunkt GTA 12″ subwoofer
: Blaupunkt GTA 270 amplifier



Engine and Performance
: K&N Air Filter
: Custom Euro Exhaust
: Bilstein Race Lowering Springs




Wait for more!


best regards,

Tony Sticks


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posted in Models, Uncategorized, Videos | Comments Off on Michael’s E36 bimmer … Nice one!