Tagged: installation

When it comes to the quality of your installation, it’s not the best decision to take any shortcuts. When you are installing your own equipment, there are many things to consider. I’m going to list some things that are essential in my opinion to use, or at least have around when doing an installation. I, myself keep all of these items in my installation bag at all times.

Sound Deadening Material

Known to many as dampening material, this stuff is the equivalent of jumping out of an airplane and landing on a cloud. A cloud made of Butyl rubber, that is. Buy a bunch of deadening material and load your car up. You’ll feel like you’re in a Lexus in no time.

Bass Blockers

For when your speakers can’t take a beating, there are bass blockers. Throw these in line with your positive connection to each speaker or tweeter, and never again will you need to worry about nasty distortion blaring through your beautiful jazz.

Heat Shrink Material

Guaranteed to make you look like a pro. Next time you’re wiring your friend’s stereo up, slap a piece of this over each connection and torch it with a lighter. Next, watch in awe as people start blowing your phone up with phone calls from your friend’s friends.

Butt Connectors

The next best thing to soldering. When you’ve run out of electricity and you just can’t seem to find the blowtorch Dad stashed somewhere short after Christmas, save some time and just use butt connectors. They’re quick and they hold a wire connection for a lifetime.

Zip Ties

Use these often. Tie your wires in bundles and run them parallel to one another for a clean installation that won’t be a mess if you need to get back into it later. Nothing is worse than becoming unorganized during your install and wasting precious beer drinking time.

Self-Tapping Screws

You may not need these for every install, but I swear they come in handy more often than you would think. Mounting an amp? Mounting some speakers? Attaching a double DIN cage to your new receiver? You’ll probably need some of these screws.


Single pole double throw relays. My longtime friends. I use these in every installation that requires more than one accessory to be triggered off a head-unit. Your decks remote wire will only put out a few volts, which isn’t enough when trying to run multiple amps, processors, etc. Throw a relay in the mix and shoot a wire straight to the battery connection, and you’ve got one strong signal.

Be Prepared for Any Install

Low and behold, there it is. The 7 essential accessories that you mustn’t find yourself without. You can find almost all of this stuff at your local hardware store. Your installation will be of much better quality and build if you use these key ingredients.

You’re interested in upgrading the factory stereo in your car to something that sounds better. The problem is, you don’t know how to install it! It’s actually a lot simpler than you may think. With a few tools and an hour or two of your time, you will have a new car receiver in your dash in no time.

1. Out With the Old

Let’s begin by disconnecting the negative ground wire from your battery to eliminate the chance of a short circuit during the installation. Depending on your car or truck, you may need to remove a trim piece or two that surrounds the stereo using a panel removal tool; I suggest you research the best way to do so for your vehicle. If your factory receiver has small holes on the left and right sides, you will use stereo removal keys to unlatch the stereo from its chassis and pull the receiver out. If your factory stereo does not utilize these removal keys, you may gently angle a flat head screwdriver behind the deck and force it in an outward direction. Disconnect any harnesses or plugs on the back of the unit.

2. Wire It Up

This is the fun part. You will need the stereo wiring harness that came with your receiver, along with a vehicle wiring harness that is compatible with your car or truck. Each wire is color coordinated and has a purpose. Find wires of the same color on each harness and use a wire stripper to remove an eighth inch of wire insulation from the end. Use a butt connector to connect the two wires together and crimp each end tightly. Proceed with each wire on the harnesses, then use either electrical tape or zip ties to bundle the wires together to strengthen the connections.

3. In With the New

Now that your harness is all set to go, it’s time to hook everything up. Find the male plug that was originally connected to your old stereo and plug it into the female end of your new harness. Use the remaining available side of the harness to plug into the new receiver. If you did everything correctly it should power right up! If everything is in working order use a dash kit to fit the new stereo and secure it into the stereo housing. The dash kit should come with instructions on how to do so.

Give It a Shot

You can find most of the tools and connectors you need at your local hardware store, and vehicle specific dash kits and wiring harnesses are available at very reasonable prices online or through popular audio stores. It’s really quite simple to get a new stereo in your car, you just need to clear up a day and dedicate some time to the project. If you’ve enjoyed this guide and found it helpful, or if you have some tips of your own, please leave us a comment. We would love to hear from you.

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