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Moment of victory for my i30 radio repair

Infiniti I30/I35 Similar to a Maxima, yet not really a Maxima. Discussion forum on Nissan's luxury model, the Infiniti I30/I35

Moment of victory for my i30 radio repair

Old 03-10-2018, 02:26 PM
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Location: Vancouver, Washington
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Moment of victory for my i30 radio repair

Hey all,
So I have been having issues with my I30's radio for almost a year now. As you all probably know the BOSE/Clarion units can be unreliable and finicky, but I finally fixed it for good this morning and it sounds awesome. Here are all the trial and error things I did.
First I replaced the stock radio with another stock and the new one failed to work. this made me buy a new Kenwood radio (I forget the model) but that had its own issues due to the Bose speakers being 1olm, so it never sounded good. I returned that and kept my stock radio in the car. (it had a broken tape drive and CDs skipped).
Then I found another Bose unit from the junkyard, this one was out of a 97 Q45 and it had a bad display, but I knew the old radio's display worked so I swapped them. This worked! However, the issue now was that only the back speakers worked and the fronts were far too quiet. I don't know too much about audio, but I suspected that the front ones were maybe worn out or blown, I found some Bose speakers from a junkyard I30 and those too did the same thing. I had no idea what was going on until about 3 months later I looked into the issue deeper. I remembered that with the original stereo the audio played through all the speakers. So I began to troubleshoot and I found out it was something to do with the faceplates on the Bose unit. I swapped it again with another junkyard one and now the front speakers worked but the backs didn't. This is when I knew the face plates were the issue. I went today to source another Bose faceplate and found one out of a trashed 97 I30. After the install, the radio worked! All the speakers sound balanced and the tape deck and CD player work every time. I couldn't be more pleased when I heard all the speakers work. I found it interesting that the faceplates were the issue. I tried three different ones; maybe the solder joints were pad so the connections to the main board were not making good contact, who knows.

Now my 1997 I30's audio sounds great, after so many disassemblies of the radio I can finally call it on this repair for my car. The only thing left is to fix the antenna.

Well, guys and gals I hope all is well and keep driving those A32 Nissans/Infinitis. \
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Old 03-12-2018, 07:23 PM
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I'm glad you got you radio problems worked out. There is a learning curve involved with everything.

When you were swapping face plates, I cringed. What you weren't aware of is that the internal design of the Clarion radios change almost yearly, making part swapping a very questionable task. You found this out.

Another thing is when you tried to put in a non-Bose radio. In order to do this and have it power the speakers correctly, you need to use a line level adaptor such as the PAC Roem NIS-1 so you don't over-drive the 1 ohm Bose speakers.

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Old 03-12-2018, 07:31 PM
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I found that out very quickly with the faceplates, I was using the same year faceplates but it didn't matter.

When I installed the Kenwood I bought all the correct adapters and things but I didn't like the sound. It worked but it was just not good enough. I also like the stock look with the Clarion radio, but that is just preference.

If this faceplate radio combo dies anytime soon I will be ripping out everything and installing new speakers and wires with a new head unit, but I don't want to spend that kind of money yet, as I am a student and money is tight.

Anyway thanks for the reply.
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Old 03-29-2018, 05:04 AM
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Car audio gear decays with age, and a 20-ish year old car audio system is going to sound like poopoo compared to when it was new. Replacing all of it will be the best solution. Today's car audio gear has so many new and useful features, much improved sound quality and much better value than earlier technology. Bose gear is also just well advertised garbage. Get rid of that crap and start with new gear.

I just ditched my whole Blose system in my 2k i30t with new gear and spent only about $700. That includes a pair of 6.5 components for the front, 5.25" rear door coaxials, a 12" subwoofer in a vented box and a 5 channel amp with a total output of about 1500 watts. (the Blose system had a total of about 130 watts). The new setup absolutely annihilates the Blose garbage and offers current features like Bluetooth, MP3 play, Android, navigation, backup camera, and much more.

You may be thinking "What about resale value? I want to keep it stock to preserve the cars value!"....horsepuckey! Your 20 year old car has almost no resale value. My i30t is in wonderful shape, drives like a dream and looks fantastic...but it's market value is almost nothing because of it's age. Seriously, if you want a good sounding audio system, you aren't going to get it with that Blose junk.
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Old 03-29-2018, 05:13 AM
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Nobody in the industry; e.g. salespeople, installers, engineers, shop owners etc...likes Bose...because it is overpriced crap. The only reason why they would like it is because it would make them lots of money. When I used to sell home audio gear, I hated selling the stuff because it was junk compared to similarly priced gear from other manufacturers. For example, a very simple Bose home audio setup, consisting of a plastic-boxed 8" subwoofer with about 100 watts of power and 5 of those little satellites that had 2x 3" dirt cheap drivers cost $3500 (circa 2001). For the same money, we could have put together something that had 10x the power and sounded 10x better..and I don't mean just louder! You could go to Wallyworld right now and spend $200 and get something better than that $3500 Blose system. All you get with Bose is the name...and bragging rights that will only impress the fools who don't know any better.
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Old 03-29-2018, 05:19 AM
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Plus, you will never get rid of the rattling on the rear deck that has that crap 8" free-air sub in it. Such a stupid idea to put that speaker there! Before I bought the new gear, I tried everything to sound dampen that rear deck to end the rattling and only got slight improvements. The sub itself doesn't have the right frequency response to function well in that location.
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Old 03-31-2018, 05:33 AM
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That was a lot of work to do to keep your factory system. My 01 I30t has been in my family since new. The head unit was fine ( cassette didn't work)but I needed Bluetooth capability as it is my backup car now and to be my daughters car when she gets her license. I went to a sound system place and had them swap in a Pioneer head unit. Didn't cost much and it seems like it pairs well with the Bose speakers. It actually sounds better plus I have Bluetooth and if needed can add a rear camera too. Looks like a factory install with faceplates that match the interior.
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