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Unnecessary switch delete

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by az3579, Jan 1, 2009.

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    az3579

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    Browsing around eBay to see what gems I could find (E30s of course), I noticed that the later year E30's don't have certain switches that mine does. For example, above the radio, are these blanking plates for whatever switches are missing. On my car, I have all four spots occupied, and this annoys me, as I noticed the later year cars don't need two of the switches that I have.

    Currently, I have a switch for what side the speakers should project sound on (left or right), a switch for the circuit breaker for the windows, the rear defroster, and the hazard lights. I noticed that the models 88 and newer don't have the speaker fade left/right switch on the center console above the radio and that most of them that have the circuit breaker switch have it located next to the gear lever.

    My question is this: is it possible to do a switch delete on the fade and breaker switches and still have these items work?
    I noticed that if I disconnect the fader switch, the audio doesn't work, and the breaker causes the windows to not work (at least I'm told it's a breaker switch).
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    mooseheadm5

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    No, you cannot remove the switches and still have the stock stuff work. I delete the fader whenever I install an aftermarket radio. The later ones have the fader in the radio, IIRC. The ones you see with the window breaker switch in the console are usually 4 doors (maybe always, I think, I'll check next time I go to the shop.)
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    az3579

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    I've seen the breaker switch at the shift lever on coupes and convertibles as well. I think they all had it just had it relocated.


    The point is, I need one of those plates so I could stick my iPod cable through there. I have an aftermarket radio (Alpine iDA-x300) yet my audio still doesn't work if I disconnect the fader...

    How did you delete the fader when you installed an aftermarket radio?
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    mooseheadm5

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    You run new speaker wires to the speakers directly from the head unit. This is the best way anyhow, since the stock system uses a common ground which causes noise issues and fading issues (if you do it through the head unit.) Also, with the fader, you are using the head unit as a 2 channel stereo and cannot use the advanced DSP features that allow you to change the sound profile. It is a bit of work, but worth it.
    The breaker is relocated on convertibles because they have 4 power windows like the 4drs. Still not sure about the coupes. Realoem shows the above radio switch for the coupes.
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    Elkoholic

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    I have a breaker up high on the console like yours, FWIW...

    I've thought about getting an iPod hookup, too--there's a gap b/t the dash panel and whatever mechanicals by the heater controls, right above the console tray...I'm gonna investigate and see if that works...
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    az3579

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    I didn't have to rewire anything other than the head unit. I just took the old one out, connected the factory wires to the head unit, and done. I have no issues with anything that you mentioned and it works perfectly, with the exception of my antenna causing issues intermittently. Otherwise, everything's fine, but I'm really annoyed that my iPod cable for my radio has nowhere to stick out of, and currently have the rear window defroster hanging out of its socket so I could stick my iPod cable through there. It looks messy and quite ridiculous.

    I would modify the dash somehow to relocate the breaker switch, but I'm no good at determining the correct size to cut and how to even do it.

    I have so many plans for the car but am afraid to do anything.
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    mooseheadm5

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    Have you tried fading the stereo using the head unit instead of the switch? Have you ever tried tuning the sound profile so you can get more bass from the rear and highs from the front? I have gotten a couple of good stereos (Crutchfield is local and has a great outlet) that let me tune the sound just so, but only if I run all 4 channels.
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    MGarrison

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    Have you considered alternate locales, a'la ol' Brian here? http://bmwcca.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=161&ppuser=147

    I'd have to take a look at my old stereo & wiring to recall completely, but to bypass the fader, you'd have to tap your stereo to the speaker wires aft of the fader (that's if you want to use the stock wires, w/out running new wires to the speakers - Paul's right though, the stock grounding/wiring schema is less than ideal, if you want to be more of a purist about sound quality).

    The underside of the dash below the hvac controls is open, I imagine you could run your cable through that.

    The center console is easily removed, as is the ashtray & ashtray surround. I've removed the metal cigarette-extinguisher thingy (hey, it's a technical term :rolleyes:) to use the ashtray as a change/stuff holder. If you don't smoke or use the ashtray for something else, I imagine you could pretty easily thread your cable to the ashtray area, cut/drill the necessary hole in the ashtray, and have it in a spot that would be out of view when not in use by flipping closed the ashtray lid.

    Perhaps the front edge of the ashtray surround, if the cable can be accommodated around the ashtray - if nothing stuck out, it wouldn't be very visible - but, if it's a multi-pin plug, it might be too difficult to plug in easily without direct visual orientation. The ashtray surround plastic is thinner than the ashtray itself - might be harder to drill/cut/modify it without breaking it, compared to doing something similar to the ashtray.

    The center console is basically hard foam - easily drilled/modified - you could run it to that if you don't mind modifying the console, and assuming the cable can be accommodated in whatever space is available behind the console.

    Possible to do things in the glovebox too.

    Just some suggestions, use 'em if you like 'em, don't if you don't.
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    az3579

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    As clever as his solution is, it doesn't match the setup I have. I'm completely satisfied with my speaker setup, and my head unit already has an iPod cable (iPod ready), so there's no need for me to set up auxiliary this or that.

    Please explain; where is it open? I'm not fully picturing this method...

    I very much like this idea. Perfect stealth integration by putting the ashtray to good use. Perhaps I could section it off and use one side for the iPod connector and the other for loose change... hmm.

    I was thinking of possibly routing the iPod cable behind the dash and under the center console and have it kind of stick out near one of the window switches, or perhaps in the little cubby near the handbrake so I could just stick my iPod there, out of sight (at least out of my sight). There is a clear passage from the center of the dash all the way through and below the center console; is this what you meant?

    What do you mean? Put the iPod in there and have the cable run through to there? Once again, is there a clear route from the center of the dash for the cable to run to the glovebox? If so, this would be probably the easiest route as there would be no modification necessary...

    ecvchamp guest

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    I have an 89 coupe and the breaker for the windows is located just above the passenger side window switch in the console.

    Two of the four spots above the stereo have filler plates in them. What I have done is removed one of them and purchased a defrost switch that I use to kill the power to the power antenna. I have a aftermarket stereo and i plug my Zune into it and very rarely use the old fashoined radio. That way I do not have the ant. going up and down every time I start the car wearing it out prematurly.
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    Elkoholic

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    Right underneath the cutoff of the dashboard, just below the hvac controls, if you feel around under the part that juts out over the little storage tray in front of the ash tray, you'll see (or at least feel) that there is an open space, with some insulating foam stuffed in there. Your cable could hang down from that space after you route it from the head unit through the hvac controls, and you can rest the iPod in the little tray while driving. Pretty much no modification required. But I do really like the stealth ashtray idea...slick!
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    MGarrison

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    place your hand, palm side up, over your ashtray, and move your hand up until you're touching the bottomside of the console where the hvac sliders are, you'll feel that the dash doesn't have a continuous panel running forward to the top of the center console's forwardmost vertical, ie, the forwardmost wall of the storage cubby area ahead of the ashtray. You'll probably being feeling the bottomside of the hvac slider unit, but there may be room there to snake a cable through somehow/where.

    Generally, yes, plenty of room there to snake cables - I was talking about mounting it into the center console frontmost vertical (again, the panel ahead of the ashtray/storage cubby). The vertical part is adjacent to the a/c evaporator, but it's not dead flush against it, so depending on the plug, it might mount most anywhere there easily, but if the plug is too long, you'd have to mount it where it would fit.

    I think there's plenty of space to snake a cable into the glovebox - you might or might not need to pull the center console and/or glovebox cover panel to do that. I don't know where you need to place your ipod. If you only need to plug it in and don't need to access it otherwise, then presumably the glovebox would be ok.

    If you do pull the center console, be careful w/ it, since it's hard foam, it's only so flexible.
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    az3579

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    The iPod is controlled from the head unit, so technically, I don't need access to it. If I could snake that cable through the glovebox, then I guess that will suffice.

    I have never noticed an opening above the ashtray area. I will look at it tomorrow when there's daylight out, but it sounds promising. If you've ever seen the connector, it's a thin connector that's about an inch wide, so it should have an easy time fitting between spaces. I'll probably pull the radio to see if I could get enough cable length to run it to the glovebox, though that shouldn't be an issue.


    Thanks for the insight. I'll take a look-see tomorrow and if all's right, snake the cable through the globebox or the bottom of the HVAC control section.
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    John in VA

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    Couldn't you just pull the switch you need least out from the front of the dash, unplug it, then feed it behind the dash and plug it back in, freeing up the spot it used to occupy?
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    az3579

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    I could, but how would I put the switch behind the dash? I have to find an opening large enough to allow me to stick my hand through it so I could use the other hand to kind of connect it, which would be pretty hard to do seeing as my other hand would only be able to do that via the opening for the switch.

    I have to see tomorrow how big the openings are so I could determine how I want to do this. Perhaps it can be done with the radio pulled out, but once again, we'll find out tomorrow.
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    John in VA

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    As you stated, after removing the radio you'll have all kinds of room to do this or snake your cable down near the ashtray.
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    az3579

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    Resolved. Thank you all for your responses. I've decided to go with the easiest route and routed the cable through into the glovebox. The glovebox has a nice little cubby section on the very left side that seems like a natural fit for an iPod, so it all worked out perfectly. I can finally put my switches back into their spots and have it not look like a thief had his way with it.


    I don't think outside the box, which unfortunately is a natural limitation to my brain. Thanks for opening my eyes to the glovebox, Marshall. Looks like you're good for something other than moral support too. lol

    Just kidding. :D
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    MGarrison

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    The opening on the left side of the glovebox is where the oem rechargeable flashlight would plug in. I don't know if the ipod case is metal or can conduct electricity, but if you have the leads in there for the flashlight, you might want to see if you can unplug the wire, or unhook it in some fashion or another, to avoid potential for a short.
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    az3579

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    I haven't put the iPod there yet, but I know I have the connections for the flashlight. The iPod casing is not conductive. They'd be pretty stupid to make it so.

    Besides, I have the Invisible Shield on it, which covers it entirely, so it's got insulation as an added layer.

    desertVert guest

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    I know you got it solved, but...

    I'm going to use one of the blank switches above my radio for a stealth garage door opener button. I hate driving down the road with the top down having what basically amounts to a key to my house clipped to my sun visor.

    Of course, now I've posted it on the internet...:rolleyes:

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