2011 WRX DVD/Nav Install???
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This is a discussion on 2011 WRX DVD/Nav Install??? within the Electronics/Car Audio forums, part of the Interior Mods category; Anybody have any advice on a DVD/Nav install in a 2011 WRX? I don't have much experience in car audio ...

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    2011 WRX DVD/Nav Install???

    Anybody have any advice on a DVD/Nav install in a 2011 WRX? I don't have much experience in car audio but would like to save a few hundred bucks by doing it myself. I'm pretty mechanical and can usually figure stuff out with a good set of instructions. But I don't want to get the whole thing apart and then realize I bit off more than I could chew.

    Crutchfield doesn't have the 2011 WRXs in their "outfit your car" feature. I want to install a Pioneer AVIC-X920BT, Sirius, and the steering wheel control interface. I called and talked to them and they don't know if the audio system is different or not. Anybody have any idea?

    Is that a DIY job for a novice or am I better off dishing out the cash for a professional install? Thanks!
    Last edited by ksto; 08-28-2010 at 08:31 AM.

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    Registered User dbya rx's Avatar
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    i would get it professionaly installed. its a brand new car, and its not like you're installing a tape deck...

    the install is pretty difficult. there are some tutorials ive seen on youtube. you have to take apart the edge of the dashboard on the passenger side, pull the silver moudling that goes across the mid part of the dash, then pull the bezel around the entire center stack to even gain access to where the head unit is. i mean if you up for it go for it, but for a brand new car, i would want a professional installation. i dont know where you live, but best buy only charges like $100 for installation of that kind of stuff

    good luck
    Stink-eye Mob #814004
    2010 WRX Limited Hatch - spt short throw...for now

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    Yeah, it's worth the cash I guess. Plus it would be pretty embarrassing to bring my car in pieces to a professional and ask him to fix it. Good call.

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    Makes me wonder if it's even worth going after market at all.

    I'd feel like it would be a waste to get the brand new car with a brand new factory stereo just to switch it out with an aftermarket DVD/Nav unit and put the other one in a closet. Should I just fork out the cash now and get the Subaru DVD/Nav installed or are they not that great?

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    Registered User dbya rx's Avatar
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    the stock dvd/nav is a nice unit, but it is still a stock unit. no increase in sound performance or anything. it will save you the headache of having to purchase/install the steering wheel controls for the am unit

    here is my opinion: the aftermarket unit is def cooler, probably a little better sound that the stock dvd/nav unit, but how much attention to you want to draw to the interior of the car. i have heard enough stories about car breakins that it is not worth to draw any attention to the interior of your car.

    the huge increase in sound quality is going to come from getting new door speakers/tweeters and powering them with an amp or two.
    Stink-eye Mob #814004
    2010 WRX Limited Hatch - spt short throw...for now

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbya rx View Post
    the stock dvd/nav is a nice unit, but it is still a stock unit. no increase in sound performance or anything. it will save you the headache of having to purchase/install the steering wheel controls for the am unit

    here is my opinion: the aftermarket unit is def cooler, probably a little better sound that the stock dvd/nav unit, but how much attention to you want to draw to the interior of the car. i have heard enough stories about car breakins that it is not worth to draw any attention to the interior of your car.

    the huge increase in sound quality is going to come from getting new door speakers/tweeters and powering them with an amp or two.
    Yeah, that's a good point. I already own an external GPS and I really can't think of a situation where I'd want to sit in my car and watch a DVD. Might as well just get Sirius installed and upgrade some of the hidden components.

    What do you recommend for a noticeable upgrade? I don't want to put in a sub box or anything but I like to listen to music so an under the seat sub and amp or something would be nice. Mine comes with the 10 speaker audio system so that would be a lot of speakers to upgrade.

    What do you think?

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    Registered User dbya rx's Avatar
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    tough to say. if you dont have a budget to outfit the entire deal at once, which i would say most people dont, you have to do it in parts. obviously most of the sound you hear if you are driving is coming from the front speakers, so replace the speakers and tweeters in the front doors and get an amp to power them. then, when you have the money and if you feel the need, go for the rears. or any combination of that.

    i had a toyota tacoma that i did some heavy stealth stereo mods, and i never actually ever replaced the stock tweeters, just replaced all the speakers in the doors and amp powered them all w 2 amps.

    if you are serious about this, dont buy the stuff at a big store. find a stereo store near you that you can trust and that will work with you on the price. the guys at best buy are good at installing head units, but i would rather have a real stereo shop laying wires and running amp power
    Stink-eye Mob #814004
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    Registered User SVXdc's Avatar
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    For what you would spend on the OEM Sirius and sub add-ons, you could be well on your way to a new head unit. I'd do that first, then come back and replace the speakers later (possibly adding an amp).

    Installing just a HU is not that hard. The parts and procedure for a 2011 is mostly the same as 2008-2010.

    See this post for info on dash kits and harness.

    ksto- do you have the base radio or the premium model with Bluetooth? Who told you you have 10 speakers? I think it's only 6 -- 4 doors plus 2 tweeters.

    It's actually possible to remove the fascia that surrounds the radio without having to remove the long trim piece that goes out to the passenger door. See pictures in post here (#180 in that thread) and here (#2 in that thread). The main thing is to protect all of the pieces with thick padding / masking tape where you'll be prying.

    Many HUs want to connect to the parking brake line to block certain functions while you're driving (playing DVDs, entering navigation destination), but on most it's fairly easy to bypass that so you don't have to dig up the actually parking brake wire.

    Some nav units want a vehicle speed / tach signal to improve location tracking when you have poor GPS reception, but they'll usually work without it. You can come back and add that later once you find a good guide showing where to tap the wire in your car. Same with connection to reverse gear signal (although that's also used to display a rear view camera image).

    I figured out how to make an adapter to retain the OEM aux jack. Just need to get the plastic connector shells.

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    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbya rx View Post
    i would get it professionaly installed. its a brand new car, and its not like you're installing a tape deck...

    the install is pretty difficult. there are some tutorials ive seen on youtube. you have to take apart the edge of the dashboard on the passenger side, pull the silver moudling that goes across the mid part of the dash, then pull the bezel around the entire center stack to even gain access to where the head unit is. i mean if you up for it go for it, but for a brand new car, i would want a professional installation. i dont know where you live, but best buy only charges like $100 for installation of that kind of stuff

    good luck
    woah woah waoh..

    nah man, dont have to take all that apart. Or have a pro do it. Installing a nice head unit in a new car isn't any different than it was 10 years ago putting new tape deck into the ol jeep. I'm serious.. its not. Dont fear the equipment.. learn and be patient and you will have the results you want.

    Just the trim piece around the radio has to be removed. Its a ***** (fits really tight) but with a very thin putty knife and being really ginger with mine I worked it loose and popped it off the dash.. then 4 screws that hold the radio in, disconnect the harness and the radio is out.

    The scary part is that the radios in our cars can be stolen by an idiot in less than 3 minutes (Took me less than five being careful to get the sucker out when I installed my Pioneer)

    I'm all about doing a better head unit for various reasons. More features, better output.. etc.

    Granted,OP; if you're getting the premium pack I'm hearing the new radios are supposed to have more features including bluetooth (big one for me personally) .. so amping first may be an Idea. If you're about getting the head unit first.. by all means its not tough install at all. I doubt the wiring has changed between my10 and my11 .. including steering wheel controls and all. I'm still on factory speakers and a AVIC F700BT and its sounds quite good. I'm still dragging feet on my sub install.. I just haven't had the time.. however that being said if the x-over on the deck is set correctly you can really hammer on the factory speakers and they'll produce. Not sure how long they'll last that way.. my car isn't a year old yet and I've not had any crackling. Just vibrating panels.

    Dont need a pro install. Why pay a hundred bucks+ to have a guy spend 20min on your car and not care if he jacks it up? .. I've seen some so called "pro" installs look like a 5 yr old with some butt connectors and electrical tape had at it. Not what I'd call "professional" by any means. Remember once the radio is in you cant see their mess.. and they know that.

    Do it yourself and that way you know it'll be done right.

    you'll need. Scosche makes both.

    -Install kit (yes despite what 3 different shops told me.. I needed one.. the 08+ are NOT the same as the older wrx)

    -Wiring harness adapter (dont be scared it says nissan.. its the right one

    -dull edge flat prying object (gotta get that trim panel off somehow)

    -Phillips head screwdriver (factory radio screws are cross tip)

    -Time .. if you go with a nav head unit that has a gps antenna and mic and sat antenna.. you want to take your time and make sure they're mounted correctly and cleanly. Patience pays off here.
    OBP 2010 5dr *traded*
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    I just checked out some pics that show taking that trim piece off around the actual HU and it doesn't really look that complicated. But if i want to do a dvd/nav unit and sirius how much trouble am I looking at? I also want to maintain bluetooth, the steering wheel controls, and the ipod interface. I'm not very experienced with car audio so this will be my first attempt.

    Like I wouldn't even know where to install the sirius tuner, or route gps wire and stuff that would seem pretty simple to somebody with more experience.

    I'm all about saving money and if I can do it then I will, just not sure how much trouble that stuff is when you actually get everything taken apart and start the work.

  12. #11
    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    There are mountains of info out there on routing the accessories and antenna's. The bluetooth interface you wont have to mess with (antenna's are internal) as for the ipod link.. depending on what deck you choose.. that will differ slightly. Most just connect via usb cable or cable type adapter. You need to narrow down what features you would want out of a after market deck.. then find one you want within your price range and then we'll be better able to help you with the exact details.

    Keep searching on here too. I know I've personally posted links and pics in probably 5 if not more threads related to the topic. The my 11 cars are likely very similar to the 9-10 cars. I doubt anything much would have changed (cheaper for oem to add features that dont require re-tooling or addition of components). So, once you get specifics.. let us know and we'll get crackin on hookin you up. In the mean time.. do you have the car yet? Get it home and play with it a bit if you dont.. see if the factory deck is what you want. If it is, then there's no need to change it. If thats the case we'll look into other options. Again, lots of info out there.. just look for 09 or 10my stuff and that'll get you as close as you can to the 11's.
    OBP 2010 5dr *traded*
    SWP 2013 FRS
    My name is Shawn, I'm a Devout Practicalist and I'm addicted to flat4's
    This page has had 1,666 visits
    SUCH IS MANGO!

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    Appreciate the help man. I've been looking at the Pioneer AVIC Z920BT. Only other things to add will be the Sirius. Just seems like I can save about $500 from not getting the factory NAV. Even if I buy all the stuff and take it to a car audio place to get it installed I'm still saving several hundred dollars by not getting the factory unit. I'll take your advice and try the stereo out and if it works for me then I won't even mess with it.

    Did you install Sirius? I'm not sure if all I need is the Sirius tuner or if I will need an additional interface module or something.

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    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    most sat radio you need a external module to tie in. I'm not sure about the model pioneer you're looking at but I know for sure the F700bt that I have requires a external module. There's a surprising amount of room in the dash to mount one. I just haven't had the motivation or time to purchase and install. After the sub, that will likely be my next addition to the wrx sound system.
    OBP 2010 5dr *traded*
    SWP 2013 FRS
    My name is Shawn, I'm a Devout Practicalist and I'm addicted to flat4's
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    SUCH IS MANGO!

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    Registered User economatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mangostick View Post
    woah woah waoh..

    nah man, dont have to take all that apart. Or have a pro do it. Installing a nice head unit in a new car isn't any different than it was 10 years ago putting new tape deck into the ol jeep. I'm serious.. its not. Dont fear the equipment.. learn and be patient and you will have the results you want.

    Just the trim piece around the radio has to be removed. Its a ***** (fits really tight) but with a very thin putty knife and being really ginger with mine I worked it loose and popped it off the dash.. then 4 screws that hold the radio in, disconnect the harness and the radio is out.

    The scary part is that the radios in our cars can be stolen by an idiot in less than 3 minutes (Took me less than five being careful to get the sucker out when I installed my Pioneer)

    I'm all about doing a better head unit for various reasons. More features, better output.. etc.

    Granted,OP; if you're getting the premium pack I'm hearing the new radios are supposed to have more features including bluetooth (big one for me personally) .. so amping first may be an Idea. If you're about getting the head unit first.. by all means its not tough install at all. I doubt the wiring has changed between my10 and my11 .. including steering wheel controls and all. I'm still on factory speakers and a AVIC F700BT and its sounds quite good. I'm still dragging feet on my sub install.. I just haven't had the time.. however that being said if the x-over on the deck is set correctly you can really hammer on the factory speakers and they'll produce. Not sure how long they'll last that way.. my car isn't a year old yet and I've not had any crackling. Just vibrating panels.

    Dont need a pro install. Why pay a hundred bucks+ to have a guy spend 20min on your car and not care if he jacks it up? .. I've seen some so called "pro" installs look like a 5 yr old with some butt connectors and electrical tape had at it. Not what I'd call "professional" by any means. Remember once the radio is in you cant see their mess.. and they know that.

    Do it yourself and that way you know it'll be done right.

    you'll need. Scosche makes both.

    -Install kit (yes despite what 3 different shops told me.. I needed one.. the 08+ are NOT the same as the older wrx)

    -Wiring harness adapter (dont be scared it says nissan.. its the right one

    -dull edge flat prying object (gotta get that trim panel off somehow)

    -Phillips head screwdriver (factory radio screws are cross tip)

    -Time .. if you go with a nav head unit that has a gps antenna and mic and sat antenna.. you want to take your time and make sure they're mounted correctly and cleanly. Patience pays off here.
    The only thing I would add to this is regarding the steering wheel controls. You'll need an extra adapter to tap into the wiring harness, hook to the HU, and then program it. It really wasn't that difficult on my '09 but I was also expecting it to be challenging. I did one in a 2005 Frontier I owned and had to solder a few capacitors and tap quite a few wires and struggle with a nonsensical programming procedure. The newer ones are much easier--I had my WRX done in about 20 minutes. I think the full installation took a couple hours but I had to fabricate the plate that surrounds the head unit as I was mounting a double din detachable face. Other than that it was only 4 screws and wiring.

    Overall, an installation in our cars is uber easy. Just take the time to understand everything before you start and you'll be fine.
    Last edited by economatic; 09-12-2010 at 09:27 PM.

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    I might just hold off on an HU upgrade for now and put in the Sirius. Do you know what hardware I need to install the Sirius on the factory radio? I understand that the factory radios are made by Clarion so will I just need the regular Clarion Sirius adapter?

    Also, has anybody installed the Sirius antenna on a hatchback? I'm not sure what the best placement for the antenna is and also the best way to route it both to get it inside the car from the roof and also the best way to route it through the car to get it to the HU.

    Thanks for the info, this has been really helpful.
    Last edited by ksto; 09-13-2010 at 05:47 PM.

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