How tough is it to DIY a new stereo head unit in a 2012 WRX?
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This is a discussion on How tough is it to DIY a new stereo head unit in a 2012 WRX? within the Electronics/Car Audio forums, part of the Interior Mods category; The 2012 stereo sucks balls. And that's being nice. My 2002 is better. Anyway, if I wind up picking up ...

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    How tough is it to DIY a new stereo head unit in a 2012 WRX?

    The 2012 stereo sucks balls. And that's being nice. My 2002 is better.

    Anyway, if I wind up picking up a new WRX that's the one thing I want to do with it but I've never wired a car stereo before and I know with the bluetooth and usb hook-ups this won't be simple. So how bad can I screw this up?

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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    Depends on what you are doing.

    Are you doing just the headunit?You will need all the necessary harnesses & adapters.
    T0ny
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    I figured I would just start with the head unit and then later change the speakers if I deem it necessary. I haven't considered the possibility of getting a unit with navigation. Would that be more difficult?

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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    All the navigation unit has is an extra GPS antenna.The rest is the same as with any headunit with bluetooth.
    T0ny
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    Ooh,hang on. That is the throb of a turbocharged flat four engine. A sound which,all over the world,heralds the imminent arrival of a moron - JC.

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    So the bluetooth is part of the head unit?

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    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    the relationship of tough to experience is pretty much a directly proportionate one.

    Head units are pretty simple, takes all of 5 min to remove the old one.. probably a hour total to properly and neatly make all the connections and install a new one.

    Crutchfield is a really good source of information if you're in need.
    OBP 2010 5dr *traded*
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    Registered User Amaterasu's Avatar
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    I apologize for thread jacking, but if you're installing a Double Din do you have to connect the designated wire to the parking brake or can you leave that hanging?

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    The reason I'm asking these questions is I was browsing through here the other day and saw people complaining about having a hard time getting the steering wheel controls to work with an aftermarket head unit.

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    Registered User G8toWRXDave's Avatar
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    The steering wheel controls are one of the easiest parts. But you have to be well prepared. Go to ae64.com and do some reading there, then order the harness and metra axxess steering wheel control adapter from him.

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    I checked out the guy's thread on NASOIC but I wasn't able to find any HU removal information on the techinfo subaru site. Does anyone have information on that?

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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    What do you men by HU removal info?How to take the stock HU off?

    Check out the thread in my signature

    Our very own sjcurtis in action

    Last edited by rage-wrx; 01-14-2012 at 10:32 AM.
    T0ny
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    The Big 2011/2012 Mod Thread


    Ooh,hang on. That is the throb of a turbocharged flat four engine. A sound which,all over the world,heralds the imminent arrival of a moron - JC.

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    Yes, the guy who makes the harnesses, SVXdc, said to look up HU and iPod removal/assembly from the Accessory Install Guide on Subaru's website but it wasn't there. Thanks.

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    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amaterasu View Post
    I apologize for thread jacking, but if you're installing a Double Din do you have to connect the designated wire to the parking brake or can you leave that hanging?
    that depends on the head unit and what functions are controlled/allowed if the E-brake is pulled. Need to find out what unit you have and what mods are out there to get around the parking brake need.

    I wish it was a simple answer but its not. Not trying to be a jerk.. just cant help without more information.
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    Registered User SVXdc's Avatar
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    The physical install for a 2012 Impreza is the same as 2008-2011. Guides for any of those years will be applicable.

    It is possible to remove just the bezel/fascia piece that surrounds the OEM radio (without having to remove that entire long trim piece that goes out to the passenger door). Keep looking through the forums for tips on how to do that.

    On 2011-2012 models, Bluetooth (the wireless transceiver part) is built into the OEM HU. Removing the OEM HU means removing BT functionality. So if you want to keep BT, you would need your aftermarket HU to have that feature.

    The factory microphone is in your map light cluster, but nobody has posted a solution to use it with an aftermarket HU. Plan on using the mic that comes with your new HU.

    The phone/BT buttons on your steering wheel are just buttons. An aftermarket HU doesn't know or care what the labels say. It's up to you to program them to do whatever functions on your new HU that you want. Most aftermarket HUs will require a steering wheel interface module to make that happen.

    See this post for more info (all still applicable to 2012 models, except possibly the 2012 OEM nav HU -- I don't have any details on that yet).

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    Registered User SVXdc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amaterasu View Post
    if you're installing a Double Din do you have to connect the designated wire to the parking brake or can you leave that hanging?
    If a HU has a parking brake lead, you're going to have to connect it to something. On some HUs, you can simply ground it. Others require seeing the brake engage a few moments after the HU is powered on. A few HUs also have a lead for the foot brake, and require you to do a little dance before the menus are unlocked. Google for methods to bypass that lockout for the particular HU model you want to install, or search for threads that show where to find the actual parking brake signal in your car.

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