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Old 05-09-2007, 12:25 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 143174
Join Date: Mar 2007
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Kalispell, MT
2005 WRX Wagon

Lightbulb How to Install and Remove stereo 2005 Impreza/WRX

What this is:

This how-to is for anyone wishing to install an aftermarket stereo in a '05 WRX Wagon. The sedan and RS interior pictures look similar to my car so it should work for those too (verify anyone?). It is designed for the technically inexperienced. I have always been awestruck by the ridiculous cost that professional installers charge for a relatively simple task. Do it yourself, learn a little, and save some money.

Yes, I know this has probably already been posted for various models. Great. If theirs is better, use it, if not, here you go. Best of luck. Please let me know if I can improve this in any way. It'd be nice to eventually have a comprehensive install guide for many years/models.

This tutorial assumes that you have a Subaru wiring harness soldered/crimped to your aftermarket deck harness. Following is a link from the12volt.com (an excellent reference for all car audio questions) on wiring harness colors.


Buy yourself a Subaru wiring harness. It will save you an immense amount of time and the install will go far smoother. My personal preference is to solder and shrink-wrap the deck harness to the Subaru wiring harness but crimp connectors or solder/electrical tape work just as well if done properly. The wiring will never be seen by anyone else so whatever floats yer boat, go with it.

For the wiring harness the Metra part number is 70-8901

Do NOT cut the factory connector off; you will regret it (a plague on both your houses or something like that).

Phillips head screwdriver (yep, that's all I used).

Install Time: < 20 Min if your harness is prepped and ready to go (and your deck fits the brackets)

Before you start, eject all of your CDs from the old deck! [SVXdc]

1. Unscrew the stickshift. Pull on back edge; up and back towards cup holders. It should pop off fairly easily.

2. Disconnect cigarette lighter plug shown (depress the release tab and wiggle out) and place the assembly somewhere out of the way.

3. Remove the screws shown below. If you are only replacing the deck (this is for an amp how-to to be posted later), you only need to unscrew the top set of screws.

After these screws are removed, gently pull on the climate control panel until it pops free. Do not force it as you may break the tabs retaining the panel; after a little wiggling it should come free.

Place a small towel over the stickshift rod and lay the climate control over the towel so that it is out of the way. You can remove the connectors altogether but I found it was a bit of a PITA and unnecessary.

4. Remove the 6 screws retaining the factory stereo. Support the stereo so it does not come crashing down. It shouldn't, but I've seen too many things that shouldn't happen, happen.

5. Remove the 3 cables from the deck:
  • Antenna wire: there will be a thick black round cable with a round silver end. I used a pair of pliers with a cloth underneath to gently wiggle this out.
  • Signal/power cable: this is the fat bunch of wires with a white connector. This should come out with some wiggling if you depress the tab fully.
  • Case ground: on the right side of the stereo plate there is a black wire with a black connector, depress the tab and remove.

6. Remove the 8 brass colored screws holding the deck to the retaining plates. Don't lose these screws, or the plates either for that matter. Hell, don't lose anything!

The mounting screws on the sides of the stock deck are sometimes VERY tight - people end up stripping the heads. Be prepared for this, use a screwdriver that exactly fits the screw head, and keep the screwdriver pressed in tightly while you begin to loosen each screw. - [SVXdc]

You may want to test the radio before you even attach the mounting brackets. Test all functions - fade to each speaker individually, test AM/FM, CD, Aux, etc. If you got a defective unit you'll want to know before you go any further with the installation. [SVXdc]

7. Attach the brackets to your new deck. This part is going to differ from person to person depending on which stereo you've chosen to install. Most aftermarket decks will have screw holes that will line up with the stock brackets. I chose to mount mine with cheapo aftermarket pocket. Not too sexy, but it'll work for now (plus my buddy gave it to me for free, and hey, who doesn't like free?).

8. Connect the wiring harness to your deck and the other end to the connector pulled from the stock head unit. Reconnect the antenna (it only fits in one hole***8230;) and the ground wire to the case (right mounting plate.)

9. Now, follow the instructions backwards to install the deck into the car. For those dyslexically challenged:
  • Slide the stereo assembly into the dash making sure the wires aren't snagging or getting crushed and secure it with six screws. (This is a good time to make sure the deck works before you put everything else together).
  • Snap the climate control panel back onto the dash and affix with two screws.
  • Plug the cigarette lighter connector back in and snap the lighter/stickshift cover assembly into place.
  • Screw the stickshift knob back on.
That's it, I think***8230; If I missed anything, please let me know. Really.

Since posting with a lot of pictures is such a PITA, I'm going to try and find somewhere that will host pdf files. They're easier to print too. Lemmi know if any of you know some good spots.

Amplifier install link:

Amplifier Installation: MY05 WRX Wagon

Revised 5/24/07 to include SVXdc's advice
Revised 8/10/07 to include SVXdc's advice
Revised 9/20/07 to include Metra Wiring harness part number
Revised 5/13/08 to include amplifier link.

Last edited by mcdeve8; 05-13-2008 at 01:14 PM.
mcdeve8 is offline   Reply With Quote

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