Hello, in this guide i shall be explaining how to fit in an after market headunit. Additionaly i shall express some key things that you should take into account when purchasing your new headunit. To begin my guide i shall explain how to fit a headunit into your car, the reason for this, is that you can get a feel for how you will need to fit in any headunit before buying one. For novice in car installation people, i have supplied a glossary at the bottom of the page if you have any problems with some of the termonology.
Part 1 - Installation
PLEASE BE AWARE YOU MUST SWITCH OFF YOUR CAR COMPLETLY AND REMOVE THE KEYS FROM THE SWITCH!
Materials Required -
After Market Headunit
Wiring Loom (optional)
Car Radio Fasica (optional)
To begin you must examine your existing OEM headunit. Every OEM headunit requires special security keys to remove them. You can purchase these from any good car shop (in the UK - Halfords, in the US - Radioshack). Some stores sell the universal keys, these fit most models but in a special case you may find you need to purchase a set of different keys which are specifically made for your car. To indentify the type of keys you need, you must examine the OEM headunit. On either side of the headunit there should be holes, or any indication for some form of hole/indentation (in some cars there is a mask which can be removed using a straight screwdriver, eg BMW's). If the holes or round with a thickness of around 3mm, with the spacing between two vertical holes 30mm then a set of standard universal keys will be fine. Otherwise you must visit a car shop and ask for a set of keys for you model of your car.
The first simple part is finished. The next part is the removal of the OEM headunit. When you place the keys into the slots, you should hear a click, after this SLOWLY pull the headunit out USING the keys. Once the OEM headunit is out around 50mm then you can use your hands to pull out the acual headunit without using the keys anymore.
Following this, YOU MUST BE CAREFUL NOW! At the rear of the OEM headunit there should be a wiring loom with connectors on each end (male and female) they should be connected. Now if you could, get another person to hold the headunit, whilst you disconnect the connectors. These connectors are known as ISO connectors. There should be 2-5 of these, normally there is 2 big ISO blocks, then another few smaller ones and finally the ariel one. Disconnect all of these, so there should be 2 ISO blocks + ariel cable and MAYBE a few small connectors hanging out, and the OEM headunit can be removed because there is nothing connecting it to the car anymore.
The removal of the existing headunit is finished, now onto the fitting of the new headunit.
All after market headunits SHOULD have two ISO blocks hanging out from them (excluding all the other additonal connections). Take a look at the CAR wiring loom (which should be hanging out) if they seem to be able to connect straight into the after market wiring loom then you do not require an additional after market wiring loom. In this paragraph i shall explain how to fit in a headunit which does not require a after market wiring loom. Firstly get another person to raise the AM headunit (AM-after market) up to the slot which the OEM headunit used to be. Connect the female and male ISO cables together, and connect the ariel cable. After this (if the headunit cage is on) push the headunit into the slot. Put car into the ignition position - if the headunit comes on then congratulations, if not then go back over the guide again, or read the additional comments at the bottom of the guide.
If the wiring loom does NOT suit, then you must purchase an after market wiring loom, once again these can be purchased from most car shops. Simply present them with the information for the model of your car and the model of the headunit and they shall give you a new wiring loom. After this you simply connect the male end of the new loom to the wiring loon inside the car, and then the other end (female end) into the headunit. Then (assuming the headunit cage is on) push the headunit into the slot. Finally test the headunit by placing the keys into ignition, if it works then congratulations, if not go back over the guide, or read the additional comments at the botton of this guide.
Now you may run into a few problem in regards to fitting the after market headunit in. In some cases the slot maybe too big, if this is the case you require a fasica - this is changes the size of your slot into a smaller or bigger size for you new headunit to go into.
Another problem is if you have steering wheel controls, these will stop functioning when you put you headunit in UNLESS when you purchase your wiring loom, you purchasing the additional one, which allows you to control the headunit with your steering wheel controls. The wires for this are the additional ones which may have been in your OEM headunit (the small blocks which were ignored).
In most small cars, the OEM headunit does not have a screen, instead the screen is on the dash board. If the problem is that nothing is appearing on that apart from the time. This is not a problem but rather an invitable function that disappears when putting an aftermarket headunit in.
Lastly you may find that the new headunit seems to be very loose inside the slot. If so remove it again... look at the cage and lift up some of the slots, after this push it back inside, and this should elimate this problem.
Part 2 - Things to Consider + Comments
So you would like to upgrade your in car audio system? Now people think that the higher the price the better the headunit, and the better the system? In most cases this is completly WRONG! In this day and age you can purchase perfectly good headunits at low cost. From personal views the best headunit companies are Pioneer, Alpine and Kenwood. Each of them can reproduce outstanding sound quality, each come with most features you would need, and they each can be purchased at low cost. Therefore the first thing you must consider is your budget which is dependent on how far your would like to upgrade your system, and what kind of money you have stashed away for this upgrade. But do not think that the higher the budget the better the system because in most cases this is incorrect.
Next is the size, there are two, DIN and Double DIN. The most frequent and common size is DIN, this size is used for most after market headunits. Double DIN is normally used for in car screen purposes. YOU MUST CONSIDER THE SIZE BEFORE PURCHASING, AND CHECK IF YOUR CAR IS COMPATIBLE WITH IT.
Finally you may be asking yourself... Should i trust this guide? Is it reliable? How does he know this? Well i am an experinced in car audio installation person. I have installed various systems expanding to a full car audio upgrade, in various cars. I do it as a hobby rather than a business, therefore my interest in car audio is high. If you do not trust this guide, i cannot make you trust it, i am simply suppling a simple guide for novice car installation people. Also the reason why i do this, is because i feel people spend huge ammounts on upgrading a system, when it is not needed.
If you require any help in choosing or installing your sytem, contact us through ebay, and i shall be happy to help with any problems.
Soon our new business will be opening - Crystal Audio - Where sound and vision becomes an art of perfection. So keep a look out for the best low & high cost systems chosen by me and past preferences.
Thank you reading my guide, i hope it helps you.