Business RDS Radio/Cassette speakers and tape playback

Steve61

Regular Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
18
Location
Reading, Berkshire, UK
Model of Z
Z3 2.0
Happy Christmas/New Year everyone.

So I’ve had the Zed for just over 5 weeks now, but with Tier 4 and rubbish weather, not had much chance to get out on any decent drives, just a short weekly spin to keep everything running and the battery in good nick. Roll-on warmer weather and better times!

Anyway, a couple of pre-recorded cassettes for a Xmas present prompted me to get out and have a play with the “music system”. I have the original BMW Business RDS Radio/Cassette and I know what you’re going to say, it’s c**p and I should ditch it immediately for an aftermarket upgrade. However, I quite like it, i want to keep things original, I actually think the FM radio sounds okay, and it’s not my everyday car, so I can live with it.

The radio sound is good from both left and right channels, but the cassette playback on left channel is very quiet, right hand channel is good. I’ve put a tape head cleaner through it several times, but no improvement. I know the tapes are okay as they work fine on another tape deck. Any ideas for fixing? I’ve searched internet and found 3 or 4 businesses around the country who advertise they can fix old car stereos, anyone got experience of using someone, or can recommend someone?

Also, how many speakers does the 2000 2.0l model actually have, I can’t find a definitive answer on the forums? The two speakers in the footwells and two rear speakers behind the seats all work fine, but nothing from the door tweeters. The grills are in the doors, did all models definitely come with speakers behind, and if so any idea why no sound? I guess I need to investigate further by taking off door cards and checking wiring somewhere?

My daughter thought it was amusing to give me a couple of tapes for Christmas to play in my ‘new’ car, so best I try and get it fixed! Final question, who agrees Led Zeppelin are greatest band of all time?

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t-tony

Zorg Expert (II)
Supporter
British Zeds
#ZedShed
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Messages
39,847
Location
Torksey Lock,Lincoln, England
Model of Z
Z4 3.0 Auto
A generic head cleaner doesn't necessarily get rid of all the deposits on the magnetic pick up head. I would try using a long style cotton bud and some brake cleaner. You have to open the cassette "door" and then push the lug which inserting a tape would do using a plastic pen. With the ignition on the mechanism will either lift or drop to allow "play" mode, you can then access the pick up head. Apply some brake cleaner to the cotton bud and wipe the pick up. You will see how much brown crap will wipe off. Make sure it's dry, press eject and the mechanism will return to "Off" position. You can then try a tape (preferably one your not too attached to, just in case).

Tony.

ps. If you're "into" tapes I have a box of 150 for sale.=))
 

D R Oldfield

Zorg Addict
Supporter
British Zeds
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
222
Location
Barrow-in-Furness
Model of Z
2.8 and 1.9
see if you can lay your hands on a tape head demagnetiser when i used to fix tape recorders and cassette players about 30 year a go when ever we had one in for repair we always demagnetised the heads the difference it makes is amazing
 

Steve61

Regular Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
18
Location
Reading, Berkshire, UK
Model of Z
Z3 2.0
A generic head cleaner doesn't necessarily get rid of all the deposits on the magnetic pick up head. I would try using a long style cotton bud and some brake cleaner. You have to open the cassette "door" and then push the lug which inserting a tape would do using a plastic pen. With the ignition on the mechanism will either lift or drop to allow "play" mode, you can then access the pick up head. Apply some brake cleaner to the cotton bud and wipe the pick up. You will see how much brown crap will wipe off. Make sure it's dry, press eject and the mechanism will return to "Off" position. You can then try a tape (preferably one your not too attached to, just in case).

Tony.

ps. If you're "into" tapes I have a box of 150 for sale.=))
Thanks, will give it a go. Wouldn’t say I’m “into” tapes, I now own two, that’s enough for now 😀
 

Steve61

Regular Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
18
Location
Reading, Berkshire, UK
Model of Z
Z3 2.0
see if you can lay your hands on a tape head demagnetiser when i used to fix tape recorders and cassette players about 30 year a go when ever we had one in for repair we always demagnetised the heads the difference it makes is amazing
I got this off eBay which supposedly has a demagnetiser, but it didn’t make any difference. Going to have a better go at cleaning heads as above.
 

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D R Oldfield

Zorg Addict
Supporter
British Zeds
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
222
Location
Barrow-in-Furness
Model of Z
2.8 and 1.9
You need one that you plug in you need to hold it against the tape head for at least 30 secs it produces a high frequency alternating magnetic field which is naturally produced by audio tapes . they normally come with a probe 2/3 inches in lenght which should allow you to gain access through the cassette door they plug into a 13 amp 3 pin plug
 

NZ00Z3

Zorg Guru (III)
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New Zealand Zeds
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
903
Location
Timaru, New Zealand
Model of Z
3.0L, 2.0L Z3 Roadsters
Your Z3 will likely have a box of electronics attached to the back of the left side footwell speaker. I recall that this is an amplifier and crossover for the door tweeters. Have a look at it. The twisted pair wires are the speaker leads. Trace these colour coded wires to see where they go. I couldn't find a wiring diagram for it.

My amplifier died and I did not have music from any speakers. Once it was fixed (replaced power relay) all music returned. I find the stereo to be perfectly adequate for a noisy Z3 roadster.
 

Steve61

Regular Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
18
Location
Reading, Berkshire, UK
Model of Z
Z3 2.0
Your Z3 will likely have a box of electronics attached to the back of the left side footwell speaker. I recall that this is an amplifier and crossover for the door tweeters. Have a look at it. The twisted pair wires are the speaker leads. Trace these colour coded wires to see where they go. I couldn't find a wiring diagram for it.

My amplifier died and I did not have music from any speakers. Once it was fixed (replaced power relay) all music returned. I find the stereo to be perfectly adequate for a noisy Z3 roadster.
Hi, useful info, many thanks.
 

137699

Zorg Addict
Joined
Jan 30, 2020
Messages
141
Sounds to me more like your head is out of alignment. As someone who's owned a lot of home stereo separates over many years the first thing I used to do when getting a new deck was to grab the jewellery screwdrivers and play with the alignment screw to set it up optimally. In a car with so much vibration it's easy to send the head out of alignment so that may be all it needs - you'll have to open the unit up to get to it though - but should be pretty easy to do once you get there.
 

Steve61

Regular Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
18
Location
Reading, Berkshire, UK
Model of Z
Z3 2.0
Sounds to me more like your head is out of alignment. As someone who's owned a lot of home stereo separates over many years the first thing I used to do when getting a new deck was to grab the jewellery screwdrivers and play with the alignment screw to set it up optimally. In a car with so much vibration it's easy to send the head out of alignment so that may be all it needs - you'll have to open the unit up to get to it though - but should be pretty easy to do once you get there.
Thanks, will try that next. I gave the head a good clean today as per Tony’s post, but unfortunately still no better.
 
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