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Alpine headunit, rattling buttons

  BMW 120i Sport

Thinking I was buying a piece of well built kit, got the Alping 9851R headunit and stalk/display adaptors fitted this afternoon. Was a quick job, fits the dash perfectly, amber illumination looks brilliant in the dark.

I took the car for a spin and to my sheer frustration, I found the buttons (the four buttons on the left) on the head unit panel rattle and buzz under acceleration like you wouldnt believe. This isnt a huge problem when the music is loud, but tootling about it annoys me enough to take the panel off (bumps and rough roads also make them buzz/rattle).

Has anyone else found this, or have I got a wonky one? If anyone has a fix or rememdy for it, let me know!
  Clio 1.6 16v 2003

nope mine do too exactly the same and it pisses me off, not so bad in normal position but on tilt its a mare.

never used to then suddenly it started. going to take it in to my alpine dealer, trouble is i dont want to got without tunes.
  BMW 120i Sport

Sheesh, not even the great and self-proclaiming best in car audio can make a rattle free product.

Im thinking if i can get in behind the buttons that i might be able to put a little dod of silicon sealant that will stay soft and (hopefully) kill any vibrations.
  Polo + Micra

ive never had a problem with my 9815.

maybe you could use somethink like vaselene instead of silicone as it will be alot softer and should stop the rattle too
  BMW 120i Sport

Quote: Originally posted by Tom on 18 March 2005
Mine did it.Simple solution was a bit of fabric tape on the back of the face plate.

As to dampen or to soften the contact between the faceplate and the actual headunit?

Ill give that a try.
  BMW 120i Sport

Tried a bit of vibration absorbing foam between the headunit and the faceplate - no joy, the buttons still vibrate. Im considering dismantling the headunit to see if it can be fixed.

Quote: Originally posted by Big G on 19 March 2005

Tried a bit of vibration absorbing foam between the headunit and the faceplate - no joy, the buttons still vibrate. Im considering dismantling the headunit to see if it can be fixed.
Wow a bit extreme matey, if you do that youll void the warranty on the head unit, just get an exhaust or play your music at a decent level?
  BMW 120i Sport

Probably a bit extreme mate, but ive had it two days and its driving me crazy already. I mean dismantle the face plate, not the headunit.
  Clio 1.6 16v 2003

i got so far as unscrewing mine, then i had a flashback to previous attempts at fixing things so put the screws back in.

will pop down to the alpine dealer today and see if they can do it for me, i like to have mine on tilt, so the fabric tape wouldnt work.
  BMW 120i Sport


Got hold of a very slim piece os black vibration absorbent foam that runs from top to bottom between the buttons. This was enough to kill any resonant vibrations from the buttons and im now all happy again. You can barely see it in the light and at night its invisible.

Ill put pics up soon.
  BMW 120i Sport

I will get pics up tomorrow, ive been tweaking the vibra-killer this evening and ive changed the material im using.

I was using a porous foam used for dampening vibrations, but it didnt look too great so I changed it for, which is used in the audio industry for killing vibrations and absorbing energy. As you can see, its not cheap, but you can use it for killing buzzes/vibrations/rattles between items on other areas of the car.

Apparently, you can drop an egg on a sheet of sorbothane and it doesnt break.

Quote: Its worth to Hi-fi users has been demonstrated many times because it possesses unique vibration absorption properties

Yeh we need some pictures!!

Mine is well annoying too, have a 9835 and it rattles like mad when in tilt mode, never used to but I think it is just wear. I am thinking that I need some of this foam between the face place and the face plate mounting plate.

Could anyone post here also if they have spokent oan Alpine dealer/support line and what they say?
  BMW 120i Sport

Ok here are the pics. Apologies for the slight blurryness, but the macro function isnt the best on that camera (and i wasnt digging out the tripod to take em!).

In the second pic, ive left the scalpel and sorbothane in the shot.

As you can see from the close up pic, ive put a thin sliver running top to bottom between the buttons which you can barely see during the day and not at all in the dark. This kills any rattle from the buttons. You dont have to run it the full length, two small cubes will probably do the trick.

It looks more noticeable than it actually is because its a very close up pic and theres a very bright light shining onto it.

You seem to have used a lot of that foam, where has the rest of it been used?

Do you get any rattling between the face plate and the plate it attatchs onto behind? I think that is where most of mine comes from so am thinking of puttig some between the two.

Nice job though!

Just been out in my car, and looking at it, and then taking the HU off and giving the buttons a wobble, I now think that it is the same prob with mine.

Big G, I take it the foam is just the right thickness for between the buttons? May order some next week.

Also, just noticed that they are self-adhesive. Did you keep the cover on the sticky side or did you actually stick one side to something (Im assuming that is you stuck it the buttons side them the button would not depress?)

Cheers for the advice!
  BMW 120i Sport


Ive used that sorbothane (its not foam) for other applications too (not just the HU). I only kept it in shot for info.

I dont get rattling between the faceplate and HU. The sorbothane will be too thick and youll need to trim it long ways for it to fit properly.

That particular sheet is slightly too thick, so you need to cut your thin sliver for between the buttons and then cut it in half width wise so it sits below the top of the buttons. The sorbothane i have is more tacky than adhesive; the selophane you see is just to stop dirt/dust sticking to it. I left the tacky side down.

Remember, all that little sliver does is sit between the buttons - thats all it takes to kill any button rattle.