Aftermarket Headunit Install in GR WRX
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This is a discussion on Aftermarket Headunit Install in GR WRX within the Electronics/Car Audio forums, part of the Interior Mods category; This may have been done before so I apologize if I’m being redundant but I didn’t find a great guide ...

  1. #1
    Registered User jfisch822's Avatar
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    Aftermarket Headunit Install in GR WRX

    This may have been done before so I apologize if I’m being redundant but I didn’t find a great guide for installing aftermarket head unit in a GR WRX so I figured I would write one.

    Here’s my write up for install and wiring of an aftermarket stereo unit in my13 WRX Impreza. I would like to start out saying that I detest wiring, it’s a pain in the butt and gives me a headache. Buuut it’s a good skill to have and I have done a bit of it on a few things (cars and otherwise). It took longer than I expected but was actually easier, had less problems and was worth the effort. I’m very happy with the result.

    I opted for the Kenwood DNX692 head unit with HD radio, Bluetooth, apps, SiriusXM, and Garmin GPS navigation. Any unit should follow a similar process. I purchased a Metra wiring harness, a dash kit faceplate adapter, a PAC-audio SWI-RC steering wheel control adapter, and the Kenwood KCA-IP103 iphone6 USB cable. Other tools and items you will need
    • Philips head screw driver
    • Flat head screw driver
    • Wire stripper
    • Wire cutter
    • Wire crimper
    • Your choice of connectors, (I choose jacketed flat plugs)
    • 10mm socket
    And I also recommend you have a flash light, patience, electrical tape, a drill, and a few beers won’t hurt.

    Before you even touch the car, start by prepping the wiring harness connectors. You’re going to need to use an adapter such as the metra harness and wire it to the main plug for your aftermarket stereo. Colors should match but check and read the wires to be sure. I like to use removable connectors instead of soldering so if something is out of place or you want to change systems later it’s much easier. Here’s a picture of me doing the harness, my connectors, wire tool, and the metra harness. It’s best to put all the female connectors on one side and male on the other. Take your time, enjoy a beer.



    Once this is done and you can go ahead plug the connectors together. Now you’re going to either want to use the brackets that come with your dash kit, or you can take them off the stock stereo later. But either way these are needed to mount your unit in the dash. I recommend the aftermarket dash kit because there is a faceplate adapter to make the edges clean.
    Last edited by jfisch822; 06-05-2015 at 05:55 PM.
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  3. #2
    Registered User jfisch822's Avatar
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    Now… to your car.

    The first step before doing anything on your car is to disconnect the negative terminal of your battery so that you don’t short anything while working on your car. Now remove the face plate of your center console using a flat head screwdriver or ideally a plastic trim removal tool. I found it easiest to start at the top and work down. There’s about 10 clips. You can set aside the vent thing that directs air, it’s just resting behind the faceplate. Here’s what it looks like with this removed.



    You’ll see four Philips head screws are holding the OE stereo in place, remove these. You can now carefully remove the stereo and unplug everything from the back side. You will need most but not all of the connectors.



    Now…If you decided to go with a unit with GPS like mine, you’ll need to mount the GPS receiver somewhere with a good line of sight to the sky, like on your dash. This will give you the best and most consistent connection to satellite. I ran mine up the dash so it sits a few inches from the windshield in the middle of the dash. I simple drilled a hole in one side of the circular connector that’s already there so there was room for the wire of the GPS pick up. Anyway here’s what is looks like.



    This unit also has the option to run a USB connector for iPhone, iPod, or android connection, and/or an auxiliary audio cable. I choose to go ahead and get a iPhone lightening cable. But basically the best place I found for this is to have the cable come out of the cubby below the center console. There is conveniently a space in the plastic for accessing a screw which is just large enough to fit a cable through so I ran my iPhone cable through there by reaching behind the venting.

    So with that all done we are finally ready to mount new head unit. Connect all of the harnesses and features. You have the main harness, the USB iPhone/android, GPS, and radio. Carefully place the wires into the dash and line up the head unit. Now reassemble the cover and faceplate in reverse. 4 screws, replace the vent director if you removed it, and clip on the face plate. Reconnect that battery and fire it up. You’re now good to go besides setting up the interface and all that fun stuff.



    Last edited by jfisch822; 06-05-2015 at 05:57 PM.
    My Build Thread - "Scrappy Doo" 2013 Subaru WRX Hatch
    http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/builds...wrx-hatch.html

    "We're far from having too much horsepower...my definition of too much horsepower is when all four wheels are spinning in every gear."

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    what did you do for the bluetooth mic?

    and a lot of your photos from photobucket isnt working. might i suggest imgur?

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    Registered User jfisch822's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrwako View Post
    what did you do for the bluetooth mic?

    and a lot of your photos from photobucket isnt working. might i suggest imgur?
    First I tried to replace the pictures that appeared to not be working. Hopefully it's better now.

    About the mic, sorry I forgot to include that part. I ran the wires through the driver side and mounted it on the steering column. The first thing was to remove the dash side panel that reveals the fuse box. Its the panel shown in my hand. You can remove it with a flat head screw driver starting from the very bottom there a gap under the first clip. Once that side panel is removed there there are two phillips head screws (one near the bottom the other kind of in the middle of the picture) to start removing the under panel. Once you remove those two screws you can work your way across unclipping the rest of the panel. (I did not get a picture of this removed sorry)



    This gives you good access to feed the wire through to the head unit area and then position the mic up through the gap between the telescoping steering column and the gauges. There was a piece of two sided tape on the mount for the mic and i fixed it to the flat top part of the steering column. It picks up sound great and is also barely visible from my seat position.



    I hope this helps.
    My Build Thread - "Scrappy Doo" 2013 Subaru WRX Hatch
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    "We're far from having too much horsepower...my definition of too much horsepower is when all four wheels are spinning in every gear."

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    For External Use Only irickchad's Avatar
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    Looks nice man
    The Anti-N00b. Use "Search", YES, you need a tune. NO, you don't need a BOV. Don't try to make you car shoot fire, and change your freaking oil.

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    Registered User cflip2x's Avatar
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    I ended up ordering my parts from ae64.com - Subaru Radio Wiring Harnesses - Products / Prices I was going to just run my ipod/iphone cable but instead I just opted for the USB adapter as well as a full wiring harness rather then the Metra (I noticed it was missing some wiring for steering wheel controls.

    How To: Install a new Head Unit and Subwoofer - GR Impreza - Perth-WRX.com

    Pioneer AVH-X5500BHS Installed in 2011 WRX - NASIOC

    Stock head unit information -- pin-outs, aux inputs, and more - NASIOC
    Last edited by cflip2x; 06-06-2015 at 07:44 AM.
    2012 WRB 4DR | SPT Exhaust | Cobb Short Throw | Rally Armour | WC Lathe Werks Custom TI Knob | Kartboy Bushings | Stoptech Pads & Brake Lines | JBK Elements DRL | STI HID Retrofit | XB LED Angel Eyes | GrimmSpeed Lightweight Crank Pulley | Perrin Cold Air Intake

    CFLip2x 2012 WRB WRX Build

  8. #7
    Registered User jfisch822's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cflip2x View Post
    I ended up ordering my parts from ae64.com - Subaru Radio Wiring Harnesses - Products / Prices I was going to just run my ipod/iphone cable but instead I just opted for the USB adapter as well as a full wiring harness rather then the Metra (I noticed it was missing some wiring for steering wheel controls.

    How To: Install a new Head Unit and Subwoofer - GR Impreza - Perth-WRX.com

    Pioneer AVH-X5500BHS Installed in 2011 WRX - NASIOC

    Stock head unit information -- pin-outs, aux inputs, and more - NASIOC
    yeah that ae64 harness looks good. much easier than the PAC-audio steering wheel controller I wired in. And thanks for adding those links
    My Build Thread - "Scrappy Doo" 2013 Subaru WRX Hatch
    http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/builds...wrx-hatch.html

    "We're far from having too much horsepower...my definition of too much horsepower is when all four wheels are spinning in every gear."

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    The navigation antenna doesn't need to be ON the dash like that. It will work perfectly fine if it's in the dash as long as there are no large metal pieces over it. Behind the dash cluster is a great spot.

  10. #9
    Registered User jfisch822's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quality_sound View Post
    The navigation antenna doesn't need to be ON the dash like that. It will work perfectly fine if it's in the dash as long as there are no large metal pieces over it. Behind the dash cluster is a great spot.

    Good to know. I had a feeling it would be fine in the dash but I didn't want to worry about it. It's pretty subtle and doesn't bother me there so I'll leave it for now. But thanks for the tip!
    My Build Thread - "Scrappy Doo" 2013 Subaru WRX Hatch
    http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/builds...wrx-hatch.html

    "We're far from having too much horsepower...my definition of too much horsepower is when all four wheels are spinning in every gear."

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    No worries. It was more for anyone doing the install after you since I know routing the wire can be a PITA in that location depending on your car's trim level.

    I didn't get a great look but is the the 692? I'm actually considering the 5902, 492, or 392 since I have a TomTom for navigation but I'm still not 100% sold on their layout and ease of use. When I was in retail, and up until very recently, they were confusing as hell to use and slow to react. But being just about the only one that still uses a knob, I want to at least consider them again.

    The install looks great and I look forward to seeing what else you add.

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