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Just installed my first car stereo!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Kwesi, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. Yay me! Here's the story:

    Unfortunately, about a month ago I wrecked my first car (2001 Hyundai Santa Fei). It wasn't a terrible accident but the damage assessment was about %50 of what the car was purchased for so my parents decided to junk it. Being the selfish and materialistic guy that I am I was most concerned about getting the aftermarket stereo (Pioneer Premier DEH-600UB) that I had Best Buy install, out of the car before it was turned into scrap.

    We went to pickup up the title, registration and insurance check and with various tools including a kitchen knife and a Crutchfield master guide I managed to get it out without damaging it (Score one!). We got the new car a few weeks later (a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fei. Insurance paid for most of it) and I thought installing the stereo myself would be cake because 1) I had taken one out before and 2) the wiring harness was already put together. So I pop out the front panel to find that the sockets connecting the wiring harness of my stereo to the car are completely different :(.

    I basically gave up and spent most of today trying to get in contact with Best Buy for an appointment to get it installed ($50 fee) and when I finally got through, they're installer said he was free until the 26th. I am insanely impatient, which is terrible most of the time but this time it worked out well for me. My impatience overpowered my lack of faith in my wiring skills and took me to Lowe's Home improvement for some wire crimps and a crimp tool.

    I figured I could splice the wiring harness for the stereo with the car's stock connector and It would work out fine. After 2 and a half hours, a few slight hardware modifications, and lots of frustrated grunts resulting from some very strip resistant wires, I finished. I hit the ignition and when I saw the words "Premier" flash across the screen I ran through my house cheering :p.

    My dad was convinced that I was destroy the car but, I figured matching color coded wires couldn't have been that difficult and it paid off. I saved more than $30 bucks and 2 weeks worth of time doing it myself. Better yet, I can hook up my iPod to the car and control it from the deck itself. The stuff on the radio isn't terrible but I'll take my iPod over the stuff any day.

    Yea, so that's my story. Anyone else want to share the first encounter with "serious" electronics :D?
  2. excane

    excane Banned

    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Pics or this thread is useless :)
  3. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    I remember my first serious "install" involved my then would-be Bro in law's Geo Tracker and 4 pairs of radio shack car speakers or varying sizes....he got a 45watt x4 deck (Alpine) and we set out daisy chaining two pairs of speakers to each channel, not paying attention to impedance or any of that tech crap. It worked great, but the speakers all were crap so it was an auditory failure.

    I ended up donating 2 JVC home speakers for the rear channel, and a pair of the better "bass reflex" Radio Shack ones and it suddenly had serious balls...regardless of how cheesy it looked with home boxes.

    The year? 1992.

    I've gotten considerably better, but I still have yet to bury the heavy duty speaker cable correctly, I just fish it under the rug dash-center to back, some times not even that. It's damn near impossible to do right with all that pesky trim work, hahaha. Doesn't accomodate the bigger wire. Well, not without fear of pinching it.

    Congrats on your install man.
  4. Jiggybass


    Nov 15, 2005
    Sudbury, Canada
    My pioneer deck didn't have any sort of harness with it at all, so I spent hours looking for a wiring diagram, and made my own harness.

    Still works great today :)
  5. Alcyon


    Jan 15, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Congrats! Now you know how a real man feels. :p
  6. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Cool, cool. You gonna be the next guy in the Amps forum asking if you can use your car audio 2x10 box with your bass since those stupid bass guitar speakers are so much more expensive than the ones for cars?? :D

  7. I'm going to be installing new speakers and a new stereo interface in my truck when it gets warm and I have money to spend this summer. Should be interesting.
  8. I installed my speakers, but I left the stereo install for Mickey Shorr. I have a Kenwood that allows me to control my iPod. It has a good amount of options for LPF, HPF, and the like.
  9. gtxtom


    Nov 3, 2008
    My story involves a '97 Miata. I bought an Alpine headunit on eBay. I think the car already had an aftermarket headunit in it so I just took that one out, took the harness out and spliced it into the new Alpine one. A few months later, I totaled that car and installed it in my almost identical '97 Miata. It's like nothing ever happened ...

    Mine's like Keith's. It controls my iPod in the glovebox. Works real nice. Here's a picture, since no one's posted one yet.

  10. excane

    excane Banned

    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Mine is the Kenwood KVT-819DVD. Expensive but worth it.

    I researched these for about 2 months before buying and installing....SO worth it. The hideaway GPS is hard-drive based hidden under my back seat. The ipod gets plugged in the glove box and fully controlled with the touchscreeen including all video. At the time I purchased this, none of the competitors units could offer this. I'm not sure if this has changed.

    A feature unique to the Kenwood is everytime a voice direction from the GPS comes on, it automatically mutes either both the front speakers or just the drivers side speaker (user adjustable) then goes back to full volume.


  11. I installed my first car stereo about 1971. It has gotten a lot easier since then. Until a few years ago, there were NO adapter kits - every install meant sorting out all the wires from the car harness and the sterao and making direct connections. A huge pain, and sometimes even the factory manuals didn't document the car's harness accurately.

    Now - you just stop by a car audio store and pick up an adapter that plugs into the existing harness. Then wire that adapter to the harness that comes with your aftermarket stereo...plug the adapter into the car's harness - mount the sterso - an you're done. Much easier to say than do, but hours faster than it used to be.

    Congrats on getting this sorted out. Let me offer this golden rule for installing car stereos: NEVER MAKE ANY MODIFICATION THAT YOU CANNOT REVERSE. When you're done, you should be able to plug the original radio back in and walk away.

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