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Old 07-20-2003, 05:05 PM   #1
Triple S
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'04 STI
Silver on Silver

Default LEAST expensive STI stock stereo install (EVER)!!!

First, let me say that I am not proud of my installation. I certainly would not call myself a stereo installer, but I have had some experience with some professional sound systems. However, because I pillaged and plundered for every last dollar to buy my STI and my Valentine 1 detector, oh, and my STI fog lights, I was left with no more money to install a stereo.

Duh! Engine noise can wear you down if the STI is your daily driver like it is mine. A radio, almost any radio, would do. After two weeks of using my MP3 player and a single ear piece, I got fed up.

I headed straight to eBay and bought a factory 6 disc take-off head unit for $130, a sub for $130, and tweeters with brackets for $25. Installation of the factory unit went relatively smoothly. The install involved plugging in the factory harness (and yes it directly plugs in with no modification) and the antenna.

Great, I then pulled off the passenger side door panel and discovered that the STI's prewiring allowed me to directly connect the tweeter to the factory harness with no problem. With only volume coming from the tweeter, I actually could perceive what song was playing on the radio or a CD. I had to stop there until I could get additional speakers.

In the meantime, I cruise over to Jack(LA)'s house to show him my new STI fog lights and he thinks I am crazy when he sees that I am driving around with my driver's side door panel off with a tweeter simply hanging (it was not even mounted) until I could locate some door speakers. As it turns out, he had a set of WRX speakers laying around so he suggests that we install them: AND FOLKS, WE GOT A PROJECT!

We roll the tools out, remove all the door panels, and begin our work. First problem: no speaker plate to bolt to the door to mount the speaker. Only a speaker hole. Solution: ZIP TIES. We zip tied every door speaker with the exception of placing one screw in the driver's side door speaker. We secured everything tightly to make sure that there would be no rattles and install the door panels.

At this point, I was really excited except that this excitement only lasted a minute until we lowered the windows and they slid into the speaker magnets. Solution: Rubber spacers that push the speakers out an additional 1/4" to clear the window's path.

We placed the front door panels back on, checked for window clearance, and voila, we were done. The most inexpensive stereo install I have done in my life. Not the cleanest, not the one I am most proud of, but certainly the most inexpensive. Most importantly, I have NO rattles or random clanks. And it sounds as good as any other stock system that I have heard to date.

Of course, this is only temporary until I can get enough money to buy the new Alpine Multmedia DVD player with 1.2 million pixels and Alpine's new navigation, an Alpine EQ, (maybe a dolby digital processor, JL audio speakers, etc. But that may not be for some time.

Let's see $25 for tweets, $130 for HU, assume $20-40 for other speakers, and that is less than $200 for a stereo. Not bad if you just want tunes to enjoy until you can afford some more high end equiptment.

As for the sub, I need to locate a wiring harness, so I can't verify the level of difficulty for installation of that piece. If you have one that you want to sell, please let me know.

I wanted to share this experience with all of you since I have been reading more than posting.

Triple S
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Last edited by Triple S; 07-20-2003 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 07-20-2003, 05:20 PM   #2
Tanman
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Hey congrats on the stereo install. Personally I like the sound of the engine since I'm not used to high-revving turbo'd cars.

Was it easy to remove the foglight covers for the foglight install? I'm concerned someone will yank them since I have to park in an open lot at my apartment complex. I guess it wouldn't be a big deal since I plan to install the foglights, but it's the principle of the matter. I don't like getting stolen from.
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Old 07-20-2003, 05:35 PM   #3
Triple S
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See below
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Old 07-20-2003, 05:35 PM   #4
Triple S
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I love the way the engine sounds too! But I like to enjoy those sounds when I am driving the canyons and winding the car out, worrying less about cops and more about the total driving experience in my STI. For everyday street driving, however, I need some form of entertainment. If I drove the car and tried to enjoy those same high-reving, music to my ear, sounds on city streets, I would probably be thrown in jail faster than you could do 60 in your STI.

As for the STI Fog lights, them seem very secure with bolts from the bottom that cannot be accessed without spending some time removing some pieces from the car, which is not easy if you park your car in public places. I can't imagine many thieves wasting their time on such a small ticket item since it would be much easier to steal your wheel or something of greater value that can be more easily stolen without the same time commitment.

The fog light facia, however, is just as easy to remove as the existing fog light cover. So the risk of theft should not be a factor in your decision since you are just as likely to get your fog light cover stolen as you are the facia.

The install is relatively easy and should not take more than an hour. It comes completely prewired. All you do is install the light, connect the factory harness to the light, insert a relay under the dash, and slide a blank switch plate out and the new switch in, and you have fog light.

These are fairly easy to adjust with a screwdriver without having to modify the mounts since the light comes with its own adjustment screw to tilt the lights up or down.

Last edited by Triple S; 07-20-2003 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 07-20-2003, 09:22 PM   #5
euroauto
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Not the cheapest, I got mine from this forum. A 03 WRX take out 6 pack head unit front, rear speakers, tweeters and sub with harness for $150.00!!! How do you say Score?
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Old 07-20-2003, 10:06 PM   #6
dsmperformance
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2004 WRX STi
1991 TSi

Default Re: LEAST expensive STI stock stereo install (EVER)!!!

Quote:
Originally posted by Triple S
Solution: ZIP TIES. We zip tied every door speaker with the exception of placing one screw in the driver's side door speaker.
Its temporary, right?
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Old 07-21-2003, 12:17 AM   #7
Triple S
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Silver on Silver

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What part of my post was not clear?
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Old 07-21-2003, 01:39 AM   #8
digidelia
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nice story... there comes a great sense of accomplishment with a ghetto-mod. few people understand it *thumbs up*

scott
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Old 07-21-2003, 02:18 AM   #9
monovich
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Thumbs up

I am proud of you. Nice mod.

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Old 07-21-2003, 03:10 AM   #10
dsmperformance
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1991 TSi

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Quote:
Originally posted by Triple S
What part of my post was not clear?
Just messin with ya...
Zip ties are a life saver!
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Old 07-21-2003, 07:04 AM   #11
Sula
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Triple S:

Thanks for the stereo story...that's my 2nd planned adder after wheels & tires. You mentioned the Valentine...I just got mine last week and was wondering where you mount the Valentine and tap power. So far I'm using the cups and mounting about 5" from the top of the dash. With the Valentine you want a clear view backwards too. I have the auto dimming mirror so I'm considering getting power from that. How are you using it?

FYI with the bogie counter I've found a favorite hiding place for our boys in blue using the cover of the local grocery store. They use the false alarms for cover.

Regards...Dan
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Old 07-21-2003, 08:09 AM   #12
Turbomb
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Silver

Thumbs up Hey tripple S - did the EXACT same thing a month ago!!

picked up all speakers and headunit for about $200 bucks, then wired it with zip-ties exactly as you said, for spacers I used "pre-owned" rubber land-rover air-suspension compressor mounts!

works great -and as you said - no rattles!

Great minds must think alike (especially when funds are low!)
Cheers,
Sean
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Old 07-21-2003, 11:29 AM   #13
Triple S
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Silver on Silver

Thumbs up

Valentine 1 - not installed yet but I believe you can tap the power from within the overhead light area. If you do a search, several others have provided guidance on how to install your V1 in that location.

As for zip ties, I never thought that I would actually use them to mount a stereo. Just watch, some car company will catch on and use them to save costs. Oh wait, these companies have gone even further than that to save costs, they do not offer you a stereo to begin with.

Kevin
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Old 07-21-2003, 03:29 PM   #14
h2o
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I have my old wrx 6 disc changer and my friend give me his speakers and tweeters. Free!!!
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Old 07-21-2003, 04:11 PM   #15
Triple S
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Silver on Silver

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That rocks, enjoy inexpensive tunes.
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Old 07-21-2003, 05:51 PM   #16
filbert
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07 OBP FXTS

Default Re: LEAST expensive STI stock stereo install (EVER)!!!

Quote:
Originally posted by Triple S
I was really excited except that this excitement only lasted a minute until we lowered the windows and they slid into the speaker magnets.
Sorry, but I just cracked up when I read this!

Oh, and if you guys are REALLY cheap and don't want to buy zip ties, you can tell them you want to seal your bag and just grab a handful at the airport...
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Old 07-21-2003, 05:52 PM   #17
Mister Toro
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Talking

I was just about to post a 'not even close' response when I noticed that you specified least expensive stock stereo. So this isn't stock, but it is cheaper. And you can easily chuck it out with your jack and spare at the track to save weight.



And for the two years of driving my WRX, I thought the little symbol on the front of that sliding tray was a drink cup -- it's actually the japanese symbol for radio. Who knew?
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Old 07-21-2003, 06:32 PM   #18
Triple S
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Silver on Silver

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You would have won since your radio install was cleaner, cheaper, and lighter, but I still had my MP3 player before...
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Old 07-21-2003, 11:39 PM   #19
Hummer
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Nice job!
My freaking dynamat cost more!
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Old 07-24-2003, 02:23 AM   #20
Triple S
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How much was your dynomat?
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