Radio with Bluetooth for z3

JAMZILLA321

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British Zeds
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Mar 17, 2023
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Manchester, wythenshawe
I have a bmw z3 from 1999 and want to put the original radio back in because the Sony one I have now looks like it’s from a spaceship - I wanted an original look and I saw that the blaupunkt radios don’t sit flush with the rest of the plastic - I would like to install Bluetooth into the original radio ‘bmw business casette’
I’ve seen people plug in some module but they all had a cd bmw business radio so I’m not sure if it’s the same and also where the module would be as I wouldn’t want it to be hanging outside - any help appreciated!
 

137699

Zorg Legend
Joined
Jan 30, 2020
Points
84
Location
Hampshire
Model of Z
M Coupe 3.2 S50
CD43 + bluetooth module is what you want.
Module plugs into the back of the radio and can be hidden away behind it in the centre console.
 

Knightrider

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British Zeds
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Location
High Wycombe
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M Coupe
I've tried most solutions out there - Dension etc. - essentially if you have the standard BMW tape head unit (usually Philips branded) none of the aftermarket adaptors work. They do work (as per @137699 ) with the CD43 head unit - although these are quite expensive now.

Options are:
- Swap to a CD43
- Aftermarket HU - e.g. Blaupunkt
- FM transmitter
 

Mint

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East Anglian Crew
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...and I saw that the blaupunkt radios don’t sit flush with the rest of the plastic...
You can make them sit where ever you like, depends where you fix the mounting cage relative to the surround. I mounted mine about 6mm forward so the head unit didn't appear to be recessed.
 

Mus Musculus

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I've opted for an MG CD43 with the bluetooth adapter. Not factory "kosher", but good enough at less than half the price of the BMW head unit… The Bluetooth adapter I am using is this:

Bluetooth Music Hands free MP3 adapter Fits BMW E46 Z3 Business radio

My understanding is that all radios from 1996 onwards have an iBus interface, but it seems the C33 (Philips) radio will not work with the bluetooth adapters out there. It seems only the C33 (Alpina) with HK audio would work with the bluetooth adapters, but I haven't found any examples of success...

There are other adapters that claim to work with the following radios:

BMW C43 (even rarer than the CD43)
BMW CD43 (expensive)
BMW Becker BE2450 (even more expensive than the CD43)
BMW Becker BE2455 (hen's teeth)

Bluetooth Music Adapter BMW E36 Z3 C43 CD43 BE2450 BE2455

I am really happy with what I chose to do. To make the radio look a bit nondescript I've used this to paint over the MG and USB logo:

Edding 4040 DECO MARKER FINE 1-2MM NIB - BLACK (SINGLE PEN)
 
Last edited:

Knightrider

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British Zeds
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Points
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High Wycombe
Model of Z
M Coupe
I think some CD43 units are Rover branded as well...

My car has the HK audio but still had the original C33 Phillips unit installed - definitely not compatible with bluetooth solutions.

Many years ago I did have a homemade aux adapter that plugged into the CD changer interface - if you could find one of these, you could connect a bluetooth adapter to that...
 

Knightrider

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British Zeds
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Points
13
Location
High Wycombe
Model of Z
M Coupe
 

Knightrider

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British Zeds
Joined
Dec 21, 2022
Points
13
Location
High Wycombe
Model of Z
M Coupe
Possible cheap solution but I am not 100% convinced...

 

Mus Musculus

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I think some CD43 units are Rover branded as well...
Yes, BMW owned the Rover Group at the time, so the radio units were the same for the three brands. The one thing that puts me off the Rover CD43 is that the LED colour is green.

OT: I used to live in High Wycombe until 2017.
 

137699

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Points
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Location
Hampshire
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M Coupe 3.2 S50
Yes, BMW owned the Rover Group at the time, so the radio units were the same for the three brands. The one thing that puts me off the Rover CD43 is that the LED colour is green.

OT: I used to live in High Wycombe until 2017.
That's not right.
ROVER branded units are red lit - exactly the same as BMW.
LAND ROVER units are green lit & MG units are yellow lit.
 

Mus Musculus

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Ramsey, Huntingdonshire
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1.9 M44
That's not right.
ROVER branded units are red lit - exactly the same as BMW.
LAND ROVER units are green lit & MG units are yellow lit.
Thank you very much. I stand corrected. :sorry:
 
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