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Old 04-02-2009, 12:41 PM   #1
sypher0725
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Default Legacy Outback 97 Head Unit Installation

Since I find myself coming for information and help on this site, I thought I'd contribute to help some by making this tutorial since i couldn't find one . Though it might be a bit for noobs, it could help some.
~buy a radio wire harness and solder wires the wires to the new radio and wrap them in electrical tape or heat shrink tubing.
~unplug negative battery cable, make sure it is isolated. you don't want it to ground anywhere.
~unscrew this 2 screws by the e-brake

~now pull the plastic piece from the back like in the pic

~now pull the next piece of trim from the back as well and unscrew the shift knob by turning it counter-clock wise, and everything should come off in one piece

~this piece next to the cig lighter should come off by pulling the big trim piece from the bottom like in the picture

~after the piece is out, theres 2 screws on the top that have to be unscrewed

~take out the tray holder by pressing the gray part on the back side and it comes off. next unscrew the 2 screws on the sides. now pull the metal part that was being hold by the 2 screws
~the big trim piece should now come loose, (there's no need to unplug the cig lighter cables, unless you want to)

~next unscrew this 4 screws

~after that, there's 2 screws that must be take out as well, one on each side. ****THIS IS THE HARDEST PART: GET A MAGNETIC SCREWDRIVER, MAGNETIC PICKUP TOOL OR SOMETHING TO PREVENT IT FROM FALLING DOWN. YOU MUST MAKE SURE THE SCREWS DON'T GO FALL DOWN IN THERE OR ELSE YOU HAVE CREATED MORE WORK FOR YOURSELF*****

~ next pull the whole steel cage and unplug the antenna and radio harness
~now unscrew these 2 screws from each side to take the radio out. Then test where the new head unit needs to be screwed to get it flushed. Then screw in the new head unit.
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Last edited by sypher0725; 04-02-2009 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:41 PM   #2
sypher0725
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Default

~plug in the wire harness on both sides and connect the antenna lead to the radio.

~after everything is connected, connect the negative battery cable and test the radio

~reverse trim removal instructions and your done! (for the hard part that I mentioned, I tightened a piece of nylon to the each of the 2 screws to recover them in case they fell and also to facilitate future installations)
~before and after:


Any suggestion are welcomed. I hope this is of some help to some.
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:47 PM   #3
mechanizeddeath
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Looks good. I've done this a few times in a '95 Outback and twice in a '97 GT.

Fun fact: The two screws in the center console can be removed and their holes drilled out to make an excellent location for small hidden toggle switches. I had two mounted there in my '95, one to switch the subwoofer amp on and off and another to control the interior neons I installed as a joke.
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:54 PM   #4
stufis
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1998 Legacy Outback
Blue

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Great notes...which I followed religiously this past (Easter) weekend...one issue came up regarding the antenna cord...

In pulling out the old head unit on my 98 Legacy wagon, the two-piece antenna cord separated, meaning that I only got hiss from AM and FM after hooking up the new unit.

The good news for me was discovered when following the antenna cord back thru the driver-side knee panel...I discovered that the antenna cord actually is so long (on my unit, at least) that, before heading over thru the knee panel and dash area to the actual antenna in the A pillar, the cord exits the dash area and is curled around down under the driver-side carpet snug up against the center console...this is where the antenna cord attached to a much longer cord that then goes up and thru to the antenna...in my pulling out the original unit, the Motorola-type coupling separated.

Luckily I only had to re-connect these two and not fish thru an entire new antenna and cable.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:21 AM   #5
97SubieLegacyOUTL
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1997 Legacy L Wagon
Glacier white

Question Great

This is a great walk through the steps clear pictures and instructions. I have a 97 subaru legacy outback L and when i bought it the stereo worked fine than driving it home it cut out and died. After opening up the console and everything theyre was coffee all over the wires and radio seemed unharmed and untouched by the coffee, but just in case ive been looking for information on the stereo dimensions just in case i have to buy a new head i was wondering if you knew or how i could find out. Thanks for reading and hope you can help!
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:39 AM   #6
SVXdc
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The AM/FM/tape unit is standard single-DIN size. You can replace with a single-DIN, or omit the OEM pocket below it and fit a double-DIN HU. No other dash kit or trim ring will be needed. Don't use the new HU's mounting sleeve.

You'll want a Subaru wiring harness (Metra 70-8901, Scosche SU03B, or similar) to connect to the factory power/speaker harness. You'll also need an 18" or 24" Motorola antenna extension cable to reach the car's plug.

Last edited by SVXdc; 03-18-2012 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:31 AM   #7
97SubieLegacyOUTL
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Glacier white

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVXdc View Post
The AM/FM/tape unit is standard single-DIN size. You can replace with a single_DIN, or omit the OEM pocket below it and fit a double-DIN HU. No other dash kit or trim ring will be needed. Don't use the new HU's mounting sleeve.

You'll want a Subaru wiring harness (Metra 70-8901, Scosche SU03B, or similar) to connect to the factory power/speaker harness. You'll also need an 18" or 24" Motorola antenna extension cable to reach the car's plug.
well its already double dined i believed im not too good at electrical or stereo its got the radio on top and a black sleeve on the bottom it looks exactly like the pictures just a different radio head the radio in is a factory subaru cd player radio and i think it still works the green lights work just not the display probly cause of the coffee ont he harness but idk i was getting info about the head just in case the radio is dead after the harness and how much would it probly cause to have a mechanic install the wiring harness and antenna extension cable i have absolutly no knowledge with electrical
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:17 PM   #8
maddog39
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The process looks pretty much identical to my OBS when I did that. Nice writeup.
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Old 12-14-2013, 08:36 PM   #9
Fullerch13
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I have a 1995 legacy. I put a kenwood KDC X-996 stereo into my car. All the stereo and speakers work good but the dashboard lights unfortunately do not. I have two illumination wires., one positive and one negative, coming out from my car (the negative is dimmer). Yet the stereo harness only has one wire for illumination control coming of it. Which wire do I connect the stereo to? The positive or negative?
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:11 AM   #10
2subiesinyard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sypher0725 View Post
~plug in the wire harness on both sides and connect the antenna lead to the radio.



Any suggestion are welcomed. I hope this is of some help to some.
OMG you were doing so good until I saw this picture and cringed. That wad of black tape. I HATE black tape. You even said yourself to wrap it in shrink tubing.

Actually one of the nicer tutorials I've seen. I like the use of the green dots on the areas being talked about, and it was very clear. Good job.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:42 PM   #11
Kanchou
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2004 WRX

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fullerch13 View Post
I have a 1995 legacy. I put a kenwood KDC X-996 stereo into my car. All the stereo and speakers work good but the dashboard lights unfortunately do not. I have two illumination wires., one positive and one negative, coming out from my car (the negative is dimmer). Yet the stereo harness only has one wire for illumination control coming of it. Which wire do I connect the stereo to? The positive or negative?
if i remember correctly, cars with two illumination wires in their harness are reading the difference between them, one being a ground connection, in order to determine the dimmer level.

generally, if it can work, it will work by connecting the 'illumination' to the harness and the 'dimmer' to another ground somewhere.
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