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Thread: My radio is dead...

  1. #1
    DSC Off REG Z8 01's Avatar
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    My radio is dead...

    Yesterday, I took my Z8 for a spin and the radio was simply not functioning. A little red light was on the right side, but that's all. No on/off, stations, lights or sound.

    Has anyone else had this happen? Causes? Fixes?

    Thanks,

    REG Z8 01

  2. #2
    Unfortunately, the radio failure is a rite of passage in Z8 ownership. I unsuccessfully tried to have the original unit repaired and in the end I called Bill Stuart of BMWNA who provided some financial relief for a remanufactured replacement. Others on the board have replaced the OEM unit with a modern aftermarket radio.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  3. #3
    DSC Off REG Z8 01's Avatar
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    Radio

    Thanks for your response. My initial preference would be to keep the car original. I have not had the car refitted for my iPhone either.

    What do you guys think? Is a newer radio and a refit for my iPhone the way you would go? Or would you keep everything original?

    REG Z8 01

  4. #4
    The radio isn't perfect and has been known to have a high failure rate, but it oils be as simple as a fuse or a wire come adrift. There's been a lot written about this on the site, have a look in the problems thread and you'll see several different but similar events, some simple fixes, some not. Personally I'd keep it stock, but I rarely turn mine on.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  5. #5
    The radio isn't perfect and has been known to have a high failure rate, but it may be as simple as a fuse or a wire come adrift. There's been a lot written about this on the site, have a look in the problems thread and you'll see several different but similar events, some simple fixes, some not. Personally I'd keep it stock, but I rarely turn mine on.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  6. #6
    Sport Button On - DSC Off
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    I have no idea if my radio works - I've never turned it on!!

    Regards,

    Phil
    61115 Topaz/Crema

  7. #7
    DSC Off REG Z8 01's Avatar
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    Radio

    I went to a specialist and they are sending my radio out for repair if possible. But I think I'd like to upgrade and be able to use blue tooth, iPhone, etc. I can always keep the radio as stock but since I never plan to sell the car... no big deal.

    They are recommending an Alpine Model CDE HD 149BT. Anyone familiar with this model or have a recommendation for the best upgrade?

    http://www.alpine-usa.com/product/view/cde-hd149bt

    Thanks!

    REG Z8 01

    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    The radio isn't perfect and has been known to have a high failure rate, but it may be as simple as a fuse or a wire come adrift. There's been a lot written about this on the site, have a look in the problems thread and you'll see several different but similar events, some simple fixes, some not. Personally I'd keep it stock, but I rarely turn mine on.

  8. #8
    I changed out my radio for an Alpine with bluetooth telephone connection and iPhone cable. I saved the parts so I can have it restored to "original" or at least give the parts to a new owner some day.
    Greg AH61930 - 2003 - Silver/Black

  9. #9
    DSC Off REG Z8 01's Avatar
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    Z8 Radio

    That's my plan too. Do you recall what model Alpine you had installed? The one I'm getting is CDE HD149BT.

    Does yours look like this one:

    http://www.alpine-usa.com/product/view/cde-hd149bt

    Are you happy with it? Did you get any new speakers?

    REG Z8 01

  10. #10
    Based on the comments etc. on this board and my web research, I went for the IDX-305S with blue tooth. The install was done without trouble. I think they just plug an adaptor into the existing harness. I did not go with new speakers, although I may do so some day. Overall, the sound is fine and the functionality is good. The controls are not all that user friendly, buttons are tiny, and the screen is very hard to see in daylight. So, not perfect, but it plays my iPhone music and I can talk on my phone via blue tooth so it does the job!
    Greg AH61930 - 2003 - Silver/Black

  11. #11
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by REG Z8 01 View Post
    My initial preference would be to keep the car original. I have not had the car refitted for my iPhone either.
    My car is original ( the mobile phone is still working) and I will keep it that way. So I replaced the OEM radio with another one. Here in Europe there are service centers were this radios can be repaired.
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  12. #12
    Z8Mania
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    I find cockpit is so noisy with wind noise BT would not be of much use to me. I say keep it stock. I've never seen an aftermarket radio that looks as good as stock.

  13. #13
    DSC Off REG Z8 01's Avatar
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    Hi Jerry

    I've decided to replace my radio with an Alpine Model CDE HD 149BT.

    http://www.alpine-usa.com/product/view/cde-hd149bt

    But I am also having the stock radio fixed so I will have it as OEM with the car along with the old clam shell cell phone and connector (which I never used).

    Since I will never sell the car, I'd rather have the newer technology. But those items will be there after I'm gone so if my estate decides to sell it to a collector, they can have all the original equipment. Frankly, I hope the car dies before I do.

    Using the great iPhone app WAZE for turn-by-turn directions and accessing my huge library of music on my iPhone with bluetooth is going to be much better than the 12 year old GPS (which I have never used) and the 6 CD player CD unit in my Z8.

    But the fixed OEM radio and clam shell cell phone will be in a box along with other original info. I even have a Z8 badge that I never put on the car. I love it when most people simply don't know what it is.

    Once, two young guys in a beater pulled up next to me and asked "What kind of car is that?". I replied "It's a kit car". They said "That's what we thought".

    I have 46,000+ miles on my Z8 and enjoy driving it in spring and summer but store it from November through March when the weather here in MI gets bad.

    Saw a 2003 Alpina for sale at a BMW dealership with under 7,000 miles on it. They are asking $175,000. Unless you have two, why buy it and not drive it?

    Best,

    REG Z8 01

  14. #14
    Z8Mania
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    Sounds good. I just gave you my opinion. FWIW, I have used all these iPhone apps and I find them annoying to use while driving. I use Waze when I am a passenger. If Waze would change their bluetooth option to allow for only certain kinds of updates then it would be so much better- as it is having it chime every 5 minutes with points updates really bothers me. I also have not heard a BT audio setup where there is not some compression to the sound, which gives me a headache. Again, that's just me. I've put after market radios in cars before and each and every time, I had the same reaction: it sometimes took months but I slowly couldn't help but to realize I ruined the look of the interior. My solution is to keep the OEM headunit so long as its got decent sound output and then use an interface after that for other functions. Its more complicated and costly but it satisfies my "delicate sensibilities"

    As to why buy and not drive- well thats my general rule of thumb- I buy cars I want to drive. But there are others with different opinions- which is kind of like the radio discussion. Variety is the spice of life!

    Good idea to keep the original stuff.

  15. #15
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    You will be happy with the (any) Alpine unit over the original. One looses navigation and temperature by replacing the original, but gains better sound, and it welcomes you to the 21st century. The speakers are fine and don't require changing in my opinion, but there are always better out there. I put my original radios in a box - very easy to re-install if ever sold, but in the meantime I am enjoying bluetooth, I-Pod, USB, sirius XM, and my choice of tunes, not AM/FM or outdated CDs... No chopping, cutting, or slicing, just splicing wires. The original navigation is not very good and no loss! Just my opinion...
    Tom
    Z8LVR

  16. #16
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    Somewhere in one of the threads there was a modern unit that matched the color of the other dash lights...maybe that is the amber in the Alpine. Somehow that seemed to look pretty good. The Z8 is one of the few cars I have driven where setting everything in the middle..bass, treble, etc..is not best. I tweaked it best I could to remove the cloudy, thumpy bass and it sounds ok...better when it is loud and you are driving fast!
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles View Post
    Somewhere in one of the threads there was a modern unit that matched the color of the other dash lights...maybe that is the amber in the Alpine. Somehow that seemed to look pretty good. The Z8 is one of the few cars I have driven where setting everything in the middle..bass, treble, etc..is not best. I tweaked it best I could to remove the cloudy, thumpy bass and it sounds ok...better when it is loud and you are driving fast!
    On many manufacturers (all?) models you can adjust the color palette to perfectly match the colors on your gauges.
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  18. #18
    Z8Mania
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    The problem is every after market radio looks chintzy. I've never had a stock stereo that sounded good in the middle setting. They all come too thumpy.

  19. #19
    DSC Off REG Z8 01's Avatar
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    My new radio

    Had the Alpine unit installed yesterday and will keep the OEM unit in a box. Works great!

    Have access to my entire iTunes library, bluetooth and can use Waze GPS for announced turn by turn directions. Hands free phone with full access to my contact list is great too.

    Glad I made the decision to upgrade from 12 year old technology.

    REG Z8 01

  20. #20
    Z8Mania
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    Very nice!

    Of course you could take that last line and apply it to the vehicle itself...

    J/K!

  21. #21
    DSC Off REG Z8 01's Avatar
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    Wouldn't want to change a thing on my 12 year old Z8. Love it the way it is...

    REG Z8 01

  22. #22
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by REG Z8 01 View Post
    Wouldn't want to change a thing on my 12 year old Z8. Love it the way it is...

    REG Z8 01
    Agreed Reg! I had a new OEM installed ...even my Motorola works via the MIR
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)