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Old 10-03-2004, 08:04 PM   #1
Peloquin
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Texas
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2003 Baja
Regatta Red/Silver Stone

Question In-Dash Reciever Question - I'm kind of a moron

I have never done a reciever upgrade before on any car I've ever owned so I'm really new to this. I want to replace my stereo so that I can use my Creative Nomad (like and iPod) on the road. That means I either need a cassette adapter or a front Aux port.

I've been looking at this: Aiwa CDC-X144

but both the Circuit City website and the Best Buy website say it won't fit. I was under the impression you could install pretty much any single, double, or even tripple Din unit in there. What don't I understand and what can I put in there.

Also, my alternate solution is to get an OEM CD+Cassette reciever that someone else has pulled. Anyone trying to get rid of one? I'll buy it off of you cheap.
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Old 10-03-2004, 10:00 PM   #2
fdg008
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I had a similar problem with my XM Radio when I got my Baja with a 6 Disc changer... no cassette for the supplier adaptor...

Instead of replacing the head unit (not that the factory unit is so great or anything), you could go with an FM Modulator...

A FM Modulator acts as a wee radio station and rebroadcasts from your MP3 player, XM Radio, or anything else with a mini-plug headphone jack...

Some low-end units ($20-$30) have crappy sound or poor performance, but are cheap... I'd say they offer similar to Cassette Adaptor quality of sound...

But some higher-end units ($50-$100) plug inline with the factory antenna cable and broadcast a very clear sound... better sounding than Cassette Adaptor...

You might also check with Crutchfield or a good A/V store in your area (SoundTrack, etc.)...

Good luck...
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Old 10-03-2004, 10:13 PM   #3
Pursuit
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Rumor at my dealer has it that the later 05 turbos will be coming with mp3 head units.
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Old 10-04-2004, 08:15 AM   #4
Peloquin
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well, I already have the MP3 player, I just need to connect it to my system somehow. The Aiwa unit would be perfect as it has an 1/8" input jack on the front, but as I said, both Circuit City and Best Buy say it won't fit the Baja.

Can anyone tell me if this is true or are they both full of it.
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Old 10-04-2004, 02:03 PM   #5
mjalex007
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Go to Crutchfield.com and use their "will it fit?" feature.
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Old 10-04-2004, 02:08 PM   #6
Peloquin
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Crutchfield also says it will NOT fit. I wish at least one place would say WHY it won't fit. At least Car Toys tells me that there are a ton that will fit with a special harness. But unfortunately, Car Toys does not carry Aiwa.
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Old 10-04-2004, 05:20 PM   #7
BajaNut
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a thought might be that the aiwa HU is too deap so it won't align up with the mounting holes and stick out a little ways.
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Old 10-04-2004, 06:50 PM   #8
2003Baja
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It is really easy to do a head unit upgrade. It looks like it will fit. If it is too long, drill some new holes on the mounting plate. the plate is thin enough to drill new holes. Everything is clips. start prying with a screwdriver. the center console trim is held on with 2 screws under the ashtray, and everything else is clips.

here you can see the plate holding the radio



Important notes





finished




Reminders other than the ones in the pics: There are (if I remember right) 8 screws holding in the mounting plate for the HVAC/radio/and holding trays. Once you remove these everything will come out together. DISCONNECT THE HVAC CABLE!!! it is under the passanger side. just slide it off the whole white piece. Other than that, a couple wireing disconnections and your head unit should be out. Slap in the new one with the wireing adapter and put it all together. Enjoy your new sound ....And then once you get a HU upgrade it is easy to put in a sub. I'm soon getting a brahma 15 incher and redoing the whole rear...just gotta wait for my parents to pay off some of my other goodies.


Last edited by 2003Baja; 10-04-2004 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 10-05-2004, 10:55 AM   #9
Peloquin
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nice pics. very encouraging... I'm going to put more effort into finding that Aiwa system than looking for the OEM Subaru unit I had been looking for.

I was seeing the Aiwa unit for cheaper anyway.
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Old 10-11-2004, 11:37 AM   #10
Pursuit
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Check this out from the Texas board...

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=644377
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Old 10-26-2004, 07:44 PM   #11
Pow
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Peloquin, still looking for info on installing that head unit? I've got some pics I've taken of my factory replacement, plus how the factory unit is designed. Might give you an idea as to where you could run into problems. I can try and post them this week if you (or anyone else in the forum) would want a look-see. I put in a Kenwood KDC-MP919 and the only drawback is that the install looks a little recessed. (pics would explain.) The Kenwood manual lists the unit as being 6-3/8" deep, the Awia you're looking at specs out at 6-1/8"... depth, the most common issue I've run into in the past, should not be a problem. My hunch is that the trim around the face could be the problem due to a recessed rather than surface mount.

Also, for some good directions on pulling open the dash (since 2003baja's pics have poof'd) check out the guides at SubaruParts.com. Actual Subaru install manuals in PDF format. The security system and subwoofer guides should provide you with enough reference to get to the factory unit without busting anything.

-Pow
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Old 10-26-2004, 10:25 PM   #12
Peloquin
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wow, that's super informative.

I seem to recall reading somehwere where someone found a way to pull the head unit forward by drilling new mounting holes. I'm not sure I want to do that, but I do think I read that it was possible somewhere.

I'd love to see some pics, but with money issues the way they are right now, there's no rush.
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Old 10-28-2004, 01:46 AM   #13
Pow
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Yeah, 2003baja said it should be possible and I'm in agreement. Might be tricky to figure out just how far you need to shift the mount holes to get it to look right tho. It would just be putting 4 holes into the metal "box" that the receiver, storage bins below it and the HVAC controls above it all bolt into. If you goofed them or didn't wind out using them it shouldn't hurt anything.

So I've got the pics online, let's see if I can make this work first try...


This is my Kenwood in the powered off state. It's a D-Mask unit that flips around to conceal itself. No more having to take the faceplate with me whenever I leave the car! (Only drawback, the cable connecting the rotating portion to the main body will fail over time. Had the unit for 2 years, have already replaced it once.) You can see how sunk in it appears beneath the environment controls and above the storage pocket.


This is the stereo in the powered state. I have two angle options, flat or as pictured here. Having it flat keeps that "sunk in" look and just doesn't seem right. Having it at the angle does both provide me a better view of the controls and it brings the face out further, creating better lines with the dash.


As I said, the problem I've encountered most often with replacing a stereo is the depth. Here is my removed factory unit that logged all of a couple hours of use. Depth is roughly 6-3/8", so this should definately not be the problem with the Awia. The thing to note here is how much smaller than the main body the face trim is. This is where I think you will encounter problems, as many aftermarket stereos come with a piece of trim to cover up the installation, but the assumption is that the portion of the stereo that is at the end of the ruler in my pic will be flush with the surface of the dash. In the case with our Bajas (and other Subies I imagine) this is not true. Take a look at that Awia and you should be able to recognize the frame that is the piece I'm talking about. If Awia doesn't include a piece of trim for recessed mounts you could have an ugly looking edge around your stereo.


Finally, this is a close up of the factory bezel. You can see that it exteds out 1/2", and from here the actual surface is flush with the dash trim. You can again tell that the front plastics have smaller dimensions than the body.

Hope this can help prepare you for a future replacement.

-Pow
Oh yeah, whoo hoo Red Sox! I may be in PA now, but was born and raised for 21 years in Millis, MA!
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Old 10-28-2004, 08:53 AM   #14
Peloquin
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Holy crap, zang!

Thanks a lot, now when the money starts moving again, I'll be a lot more confident with any decision I make.
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Old 10-28-2004, 04:55 PM   #15
Pow
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Maybe you could even convice a retailer carrying whatever unit you're considering to open a box and let you look at how it is installed. My Kenwood came with two trim pieces, a very thin piece that is the same size as or maybe slightly larger than the body (which I used) and a larger ring for a "surface mount" application. If the head unit you want to buy has both options you will probably be fine. Good luck!

-Pow
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