This morning I finally got the Subaru FM antenna adapter that I ordered a couple of weeks ago, so I was ready to install my stereo into the car. This is the original stereo installed in the dash:


Here’s the new stereo installed into the plastic bezel I got last week. It’s waiting to be installed.

There was a lot of trim paneling to remove. Everything fits together so tightly in this car. All the plastic panels seem to have vibration and noise-dampening padding attached to them too. Very cool. Clearly this is my first grown-up car. 😐

in progress 1

Here, the factory stereo is just about ready to be removed. All of the surrounding trim has been removed, and so have the six screws holding the whole stereo/climate control assembly in place.

ready to remove

Okay admittedly it was more difficult to remove this assembly than I had anticipated. The many wiring harnesses attached to the back of the various parts were quite short, so there was very little room to manouevre. I had to resort to using the offset screwdriver that I bought last year to remove the hazard button because I couldn’t get the harness detached. It’s the first time I’ve found a use for the offset screwdriver! I’m glad I still had it.
offset screwdriver

Here’s the MP3 deck all wired up and ready to go with the wiring harness connected. After this I’ll need to reconnect the FM antenna, and the climate control module with its wiring harnesses. I’ll also need to re-attach the harness for the hazard button.

wired up

Success! I re-attached the car battery and turned on the stereo to make sure everything was working before putting it back together completely. It sounds so much better than the factory deck.


Here’s the finished installation. The fit of the replacement panel is not absolutely perfect. There are a couple of gaps where I’d prefer not to see gaps. Also, although the color is a perfect match, the original panel had a slightly glossy finish that the replacement panel doesn’t have. It looked better-integrated before, but this definitely sounds better. Given that listening to MP3s is nearly as important as breathing to me, I’ll happily live with it. 🙂