This section is an aftermarket car stereo installation guide. There is no standard that works 100% of the time. We will touch on several areas, car stereo size, kits, wire harnesses, antenna adaptors and installation. Some troubleshooting tips and notes.
Car Stereo Sizes
Single Din - dimensions for front face approx. 2" x 7"
Din and One Half - This size stereo is commonly found in Chrysler, Dodge, GM and Jeep
Double Din - dimensions for front face approx. 4" x 7".
Car Stereo Kits
Physically fit the factory car stereo opening
Mount to the factory car stereo bolt pattern
House a single or double din car stereo.
Car Stereo Wire Harnesses
Mate to the original car stereo wire harness
Aftermarket wire harness colors match most aftermarket car stereo wire colors
Saves you the headache of cutting the factory wire harness and figuring out the colors.
Car Stereo Antenna Adaptors
Many factory antenna connectors are not universal to mate aftermarket car stereo
Mate to factory non-universal antenna lead
Saves you the headache of cutting and splicing the fatory antenns lead.
Installing an Aftermarket Car Stereo
If the original factory car stereo opening is single din, in most case an aftermarket installtion kit is not needed. However, purchase the correct aftermarket wire harness and antenna adaptor if needed.
All other aftermarket car stereo installions will require a kit, wireharnes and antenna adaptor if needed.
Intalling an Aftermarket Wireharness
Aftermarket wireharness mates color for color to aftermarket car stereo wire harness
Splice same color wires together, careful to mate colored wires with stripes correctly
Splice aftermarket wire harness and aftermarket car stereo mate to factory wire harness.
Installing Aftermarket Antenna Adaptor
Antenna adaptor mates to aftermarket car stereo
Antenna adaptor mates to factory antenna lead.
Mounting an Aftermarket Car Stereo into Mounting Kit
Many kits do not allow flip face stereos to operate properly - filing of the kit will be needed
Aftermarket car stereos mount to kits in two different fasions,
1) The aftermarket car stereo mounting "Sleeve" attaches to the kit and car stereo slides into sleeve
to lock into place
2) The aftermarket car stereo mounts to the installation kit.
Installing Mounting Kit and Aftermarket Car Stereo
Attach aftermarket wireharness to factory wireharness
Tuck wireharness and bundle into car stereo opening
Place kit and car stereo into place
Mount kit and car stereo into place.
Aftermarket Wireharness Universal Color Code
Yellow - Constant +12 volts
Red - Swithched +12 volts from ignition
Black - Ground
Blue and Blue with White Stripe - Amplifier and Antenna Triggers
Orange and Orange with White Stripe - Illumination and Dimmer for Back Lights on Car Stereo
White - Front Left (+) Positive White with Black Stripe - Front Left (-) Negative
Gray - Front Right (+) Positive Gray with Black Stripe - Front Right (-) Negative
Green - Rear Left (+) Positive Green with Black Stripe - Rear Left (-) Negative
Violet - Rear Right (+) Positive
Violet with Black Stripe - Rear Right (-) Negative.
Each speaker has a (+) positive and (-) negative terminal. Placing the (+) positive speaker terminal to the solid color wire and the (-) negative speaker terminal to the stripped wire is very important. Connecting these wires correctly is called "In Phase". Placing just one set of speaker wires backwards causes "Out of Phase" speakers.
What is the symptom of "Out of Phase" speakers? Lose of bass!
How do you test for "Out of Phase" speakers? There are two tests!
Listen to the audio - Place the bass at the highest setting, turn the volume to a moderate level, adjust balance and fade to one speaker. Listen to the bass, balance to the opposite speaker. If speakers are out of phase, you will loose bass response as you balance through the center detent and bass will return when one speaker is on. Then fade to one speaker, listening to the bass. Balance to final speaker listening to the bass.
If you have access to the speakers - Place a "Flash Light" batter across the speaker contacts, the speaker cone will jump forward away from the magnet or in toward the magnet on the speaker. When the speaker cone jumps away from the magnet, recongize which terminal is attached to the (+) positive side of the battery, this is the (-) positive terminal of the speaker.
Many factory audio systems have an amplifier seperate from the stereo. If you have no audio, you need to connect the "Blue" Amplifier trigger from the aftermarket stereo to the "Blue" wire of the aftermarket wire harness. However, there may be audio level problems when using an aftermarket stereo in an amplified factory system. An amplifier bypass cable or in-line "Hi/Low Level" adaptor may be needed for matching the aftermarket stereo output level to the factory amplifier.
My car stereo reception is poor?
Did you hook up the antenna to the car stereo?
Did you use the correct antenna adaptor if needed?
Many vehicles have an antenna amplifier to increase reception.