Even with my aftermarket amp setup, there wasn't enough low end for me in this system. So I bought a used BassLink off eBay. I wanted something small that wouldn't take up much trunk space. This was a well talked about unit on the net and, I've been eyeballing one for a few. Finally found a good deal on one so I pulled the trigger.
After some though and research I decided to run RCAs to the BassLink. I chose the center console route instead of the driver side method. Running them in this car has been similar in my experience to every other car. However, since it was all new to me it took me a bit longer to figure out how to get the center console apart. The arm rest is a bit more complicated than the non arm rest models.
This post will not be a full blown how to just the areas that stood out to me. There are several pop covers and hidden screws.
Removing the backseat requires a swift pull up for the bench. The back of the seat requires a swift pull forward towards the front on the car. I used my handy Bojo trim tools to separate the backseat from the upper deck so I could get my hands behind it to pull. Ultimately my plastic pry bar popped the back part of the seat off the clips. It took a good bit of force but, as the Internet told me, the clips are metal. There's no need to worry.
The next piece off is the small plastic trim piece running right next to the drivers side, back door. There are two clips on the underside of this piece where it sits on the door sill and one 10mm nut up at the top. I was unaware of where those clips were, made this a challenge.
The carpeting is well put in this car. It has a think foam backing in most places and is molded very well in to position. To get the RCAs from the bench to the console I used a metal hanger to fish them through. I could pick up both sections of carpet slightly but, the carpet heading up the side of the center of the car was a bit tight. It would have been better if I removed my front driver side seat. I didn't want to create more work than I had already.
The center console
This was the toughest part because I'm a newbie. There are screws:
- Under the emergency flasher button
- Under the cup holder
- Under the back seat cigarette holder/ash try.
- Under back seat flip tray thingy.
To get the arm rest to physically pop out there are three small screws on the underside of the arm rest that have small covers over them.
A normal #2 screw driver is all you need to get them out. Behind that cover, when the arm rest is up, are two little slotted openings.
Applying pressure with a small screw driver. This allows the plastic pins to release leaving the arm rest free to remove.
Screw under the "closest to the arm rest" cup holder.
More screws under the back seat coin purse and ashtray.
So after pulling the center console I gently pushed the wires through a small opening on the left of the shifter. There is a 10mm nut securing the front console section to the floor of the car. Taking that loose allowed for just enough extra room to allow me to push the wires through with little effort. That puts you right at where you need to be. I pulled them up to the stereo din, following the route of the rest of the cabling.
Now the hard part, reassembling all of this.
Mounting the BassLink
The unit comes with mounting brackets for sideways or upright mounting. This made installation very easy. I secured both brackets (after measuring of course) to the left hand raised plastic floor tray. This put the unit nicely off to the side. Still plenty of room for junk in my trunk!
I was having some issue with the unit turning on. When checking the power and ground connections I discovered that my ground wire was to put it nicely, terrible. I had it on the rear shock tower mount bolt. This was a not a good spot in this car, for me. I finally bit the bullet and did it the "good" proper way. True 8 gauge cabling, sanded the paint bare, screwed her down. Now I have nice even voltage from the battery. A proper ground is so important.
This thing also came with a remote bass controller. I ran that with the RCAs. I like my bass heavy and down low. Where it should be however, since this is a family car after all, I wanted to be able to tone it back. This is an awesome way of doing so, makes things nice and easy. I still need to "secure" the remote Bass adjuster but it fits the in the pocket of the dash almost perfectly.
I still need to put the rear drivers carpeting back in as you can see. I just want to be certain that I've got all the amp stuff buttoned up before doing so.
*Note: I still have enough room to get the taillight cover off without pulling this thing out of the car every time. Not that light bulbs fail that often but, they usually do in the worst times. BMW made them quick and easy to access and replace. I want to keep it that way.
Dialing in the Bass
So, there she is, secured, and "dialed" in. If you didn't get an owners manual with yours you can find one here: BassLink Manual via harman.com. Its not deep in its coverage but, it does describe what is necessary to "tune" the sub for the best sound. No rocket science here, just patience, the ability to read, and to listen. I found that dialing in the most bass, by turning the crossover knob towards the lower Hz setting, Then, turning the crossover towards the higher Hz rating, just to the point where the big sounding bass falls off. This gives me the best sounding sub bass for all genres, so far.. Each head unit will offer different results I'm sure. So tune it till you think it sounds good.
- This is not the sub you want if you want to beat down yo block and let all the neighbors hear you.
- If you want clean sounding bass that can fill the cabin, shake the mirrors without the dreaded trunk rattle, this unit is for you.