Thursday, December 06, 2007


New Car Stereo is pretty cool

Last Thursday, I ordered a new car stereo. I went with the Sony CDX-GT81UW from I went for this one because I have a Sony credit card and I have enough points to cover the entire cost including the iPod connection. I went with Crutchfied for their awesome technical service and they include all you need for the installation including wiring harness, antennae connection and the faceplate for your car. This was important as a local installer told me that they don't make the faceplate for my Subaru Legacy. Wrong! I've installed a stereo before and I was confident I could get this one in.
What did I do well with the installation?
1) I started the work on Friday night and got well into the taking out of the old stereo. I did some reading to get ready for the installation. The toughest part was the part that said I had to disconnect the temperature cable. I saved that for Saturday.
2) I took my time understanding how the stereo would fit. There's a cage around the new stereo that's not apparent at first. You have to take this off and install it into the faceplate and then slide the stereo in. Then, you get a nice tight fit.
3) I didn't totally trust the instructions and went to the internet for the real story. When I struggled to get the temperature cable disconnected, I found a tech article in a Subaru Legacy forum that explained that you could remove the outside screws and get the temperature housing out. It worked! Thank God for the Internet.

What did I screw up?
1) I nicked up my faceplate a bit trying remove it and putting back I scratched it a bit on the shifter.
2) I did't crimp the wire harness for all the wires as tight as I could have. They came loose during the installation and I had to pull out and tighten. The crimps I used were kind of junky.
3) The hazard lights not working now. I must have forgot to reconnect. (This Saturday's job)

Stereo looks and sounds great for the money. I like the variety of sound effects and the increased volume. Factory speakers sound pretty good. I suppose the next upgrade could be speakers. Actually, I thinking about a Bazooka powered subwoofer would be a nice addition. The unit has a lot of options for inputs. There's an aux. in for my Sirius radio so not I'm direct input. There's a USB input for a thumb drive to play mp3's and a cd player. The Sony iPod connector is so-so. It's nice to be connected for the power but the controls are slow and difficult to navigate. I'm using it but I usually figure out first what I want to listen to and let it go.
Overall, I'm real excited about it and enjoying the ride!

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