Radio head unit not fitting as it should

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RockyDave
Joined: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 08:18
Posts: 45

  Z3 roadster 2.2i

Radio head unit not fitting as it should

Post by RockyDave » Sun 26 Jan, 2014 11:16

Whilst I had the radio out to replace the heater bulbs I have taken the opportunity to investigate why the radio doesn't fit as it should, specifically there is a couple of mm gap around the radio bezel and the dash. This then means that when the radio is fitted it sits too far in the dash.
Investigating further, the cause of the problem is that the hole in the dash is 189x59mm (which is pretty generous considering the standard DIN radio dimensions are 180x50mm). The bezel that fits on the front of the JVC KD-R301 is designed to cover a hole of maximum size 187x57mm. Hence the problem! :(

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Has anyone else had this problem? I seem to recall that when I fitted a radio to my MGB (many years ago) had a plate that fitted under the bezel to cover any gaps.
Ideally, if I could source a chrome bezel that would marry up nicely with the chrome line interior in the car.

Any ideas would be appreciated.
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2002 Z3 2.2i Sport Roadster Titanium Silver
2008 E61 520d Deep Sea Blue
1955 R25/3 motorcycle

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Brian H
Joined: Tue 16 Dec, 2008 19:55
Posts: 2503

  Z3 roadster 3.0i

Re: Radio head unit not fitting as it should

Post by Brian H » Sun 26 Jan, 2014 11:22

Just had a look at your picture, do you have a radio cage? this could be the missing part. it would look something like this: -

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RockyDave
Joined: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 08:18
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  Z3 roadster 2.2i

Re: Radio head unit not fitting as it should

Post by RockyDave » Sun 26 Jan, 2014 11:33

Yes, a radio cage is fitted. Interestingly, I have seen another Z3 sport with the metal dash and an aftermarket radio and the same problem was observed ie the radio sat too far into the dash.
Here is a picture of the radio fitted in my car.

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2002 Z3 2.2i Sport Roadster Titanium Silver
2008 E61 520d Deep Sea Blue
1955 R25/3 motorcycle

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Southernboy
Joined: Thu 07 Oct, 2010 13:39
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  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Johannesburg

Re: Radio head unit not fitting as it should

Post by Southernboy » Sun 26 Jan, 2014 11:53

The common cause of the "too far in" headunit is very simple...the metal "carrier" for the unit you are attempting to fit isn't the carrier for that unit.
To expand ; - I recently (a week ago) removed my Becker from the Z3 which I sold. The Becker doesn't require a carrier as it's casing is specified for a brand of car (BMW /Ferrari / Mercedes / Porche etc)... Having removed the Becker, I had a very good Sony which I wanted to fit, but not having a carrier, I went off to a local audio fitment center...the guys there didn't have a Sony carrier either, but they did have carriesr for JVC / Phillips and others.. They used a JVC carrier, and guess what...the head unit was too far in !!...Since it was free, I took it anyway as it at least kept the headunit in place...But the guy at the fitment center told me that unless I used a Sony carrier, The problem could not be resolved.
Needless to say, I went to another audio fitment center that advertised Sony fitments, and swapped my JVC carrier for a Sony carrier...perfection !!!
So, whatever headunit you have, must either come packed with it's own carrier, or the carrier you have in the car is the incorrect carrier.
The depth to which the headunit will go is determined by pre- cut slots or protruding clips in the carrier which perfectly match protrusions / slots in the sides of the headunit.
If you remove the carrier you have, and slide the headunit into it, you will observe the point where it clips and what clips into what...you will also notice that the front edge of the carrier extends too far forward of the headunit face. If you're able, you may be able to rectify this by one way or another so that the headunit doesn't slide quite as far in, but still clips into the carrier. If it doesn't clip in, you will have the problem of the headunit sliding out under acceleration.
"Normal is overrated"
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RockyDave
Joined: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 08:18
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  Z3 roadster 2.2i

Re: Radio head unit not fitting as it should

Post by RockyDave » Sun 26 Jan, 2014 12:37

Thanks for the comments / thoughts. I am pretty sure the carrier is the one for the job. When I refit the cage I'll make sure it locates the radio at the correct depth. But, I still need to resolve the problem of the JVC plastic faceplate not covering all of the aperture in the dash - I'll still have a ~2mm gap :head:
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2002 Z3 2.2i Sport Roadster Titanium Silver
2008 E61 520d Deep Sea Blue
1955 R25/3 motorcycle

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Southernboy
Joined: Thu 07 Oct, 2010 13:39
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  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Johannesburg

Re: Radio head unit not fitting as it should

Post by Southernboy » Sun 26 Jan, 2014 13:52

The carrier is definitely not the one for the job...it is the carrier which determines the point at which the headunit locks in. You might try adjusting the carrier not to lodge as far into the aperture in the console, but ultimately that is where the depth issue lies. I think you need to take the headunit etc to a professional installer, and ask him to sort the fitting issue as well as the face surround trim...you may get lucky and he will have oddments that can be applied to your problem.
"Normal is overrated"
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Clivebse
Joined: Sun 15 Sep, 2013 23:09
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  M roadster S50
Location: Suffolk

Re: Radio head unit not fitting as it should

Post by Clivebse » Sun 26 Jan, 2014 14:42

Bmw did make a spacer/trim for this job.
It was about 3-4mm trim, used on e36 & e34 but only on certain make & model units.
If you are using the original cage then this is your answer. I'm surprised the radio shop didn't try to sell you a trim. But probably didn't have one & there NLA.

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RockyDave
Joined: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 08:18
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  Z3 roadster 2.2i

Re: Radio head unit not fitting as it should

Post by RockyDave » Sun 26 Jan, 2014 17:23

Thanks for the comments, and I'll double check the cage and either replace it, or more likely make sure that it is fitted to the correct depth. Having said that, I still have the problem that the facia plate will have a 2mm gap around it, the 2-3mm facia trim that clivebse mentions could be the answer, I'll try and find a specialist auto installer to help with this. One thing, I remember seeing, a while ago on eBay, was a German company selling a chrome radio trim for a Zed 3. Trouble is, I have lost the link :dunce:
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2002 Z3 2.2i Sport Roadster Titanium Silver
2008 E61 520d Deep Sea Blue
1955 R25/3 motorcycle

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Southernboy
Joined: Thu 07 Oct, 2010 13:39
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  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Johannesburg

Re: Radio head unit not fitting as it should

Post by Southernboy » Sun 26 Jan, 2014 17:34

try Chromdesign... I think it was them that advertised it...Problem was, it wouldn't fit if you have the chrome bezels around the aircon controls. The gap between the top of the bezels and the edge of the aperture is too small for it to fit...
here's the link...and eu35 plus... :shock:
http://shop.chromdesign.de/product_info ... rome-.html
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wonderloaf
Joined: Mon 02 Aug, 2010 21:55
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  Z3 roadster 2.2i
Location: Basingstoke

Re: Radio head unit not fitting as it should

Post by wonderloaf » Sun 26 Jan, 2014 18:08

I've got a Kenwood HU in my zed and had the same problem as you, the cage (and hence the HU) sat too far into the dash. So I made up a spacer 2~3mm thick to go under the cage (I think) and bring it all forward so it sits nicely.
I got the impression that the HU bezel was not meant to fit over the dash aperture, but rather inside it (as it does) :?: I don't even remember the original BMW HU covering the aperture, but that was 3 years ago and my memory isn't what it used to be!
2001 Titan Silver 2.2 Sport
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RockyDave
Joined: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 08:18
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  Z3 roadster 2.2i

Re: Radio head unit not fitting as it should

Post by RockyDave » Sun 26 Jan, 2014 18:18

Thanks both.
Have just checked and Southernboy is correct there is just a 1mm clearance above the heater control chrome rings so the the Chromdesign bezels are a "no go".
In the original 2002 Zed 3 brochure it shows the business radio covering the aperture so I can only assume that it is just that bit bigger than the bezel supplied with the JVC head unit.

The search goes on....
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2002 Z3 2.2i Sport Roadster Titanium Silver
2008 E61 520d Deep Sea Blue
1955 R25/3 motorcycle

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Robert T
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  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Cheshire

Re: Radio head unit not fitting as it should

Post by Robert T » Sun 26 Jan, 2014 18:21

I've not worked on the console of a facelift Z3, but would I be right in thinking that the aluminium finish is a layer stuck onto plastic backing? If it is, then it is probably a millimetre or two thicker than the standard plastic console. This would explain why the headunits sit too far back and need a spacer to fit properly.

Cheers R.
Arctic Silver '99 Z3 1.9 & Black '59 Frogeye 1275cc
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