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Thread: DIY head unit install for under $200

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    DIY head unit install for under $200

    I recently replaced my factory radio on my 2015 DE with this head unit. I've only had it for a week so its reliability is questionable, but so far it has been great. There are several threads already on this subject, but I want to make a step-by-step guide on how you can do this yourself with $200 and a few hours to spare. This guide does not permanently modify anything, unless you install the backup camera which then you have to tap into the reverse lights wire.

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    What you need:

    -Phillips screwdriver

    -Head unit (take note of display size dimensions - 100mm x 178mm for this one) -$130

    -Metra 70-7005 Radio Wiring Harness -$8

    -Trim piece, depending on the display dimensions of your head unit -$16~$60

    Note: Apparently 100mm x 178mm is a non-standard size head unit, so I had to sand and file my Metra trim piece to fit it. If you go with a head unit of this size, I would recommend buying a trim piece from eBay instead, where many sellers offer a piece to fit this size head unit without sanding. Example

    Recommended:

    -Trim removal tools -$4

    -Soldering supplies or butt connectors

    Okay, with that you should be ready to go!

    Step 1: Start off by taking the Metra harness you bought and connecting it to the harness of your head unit. The head unit's harness has little sticker labels for each wire, and the Metra harness has a color coded guide on the back of the package. Match up the colors and labels, and put electrical tape around the unused ones.

    Below: The finished harness.
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    Below: Metra harness wiring guide.
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    Step 2: Remove the stock radio. I followed this thread; you just push in the sides of the glove box and drop it down, and then reach behind the radio and push the clips to release it (see photos). There are 2 large screws that need to be removed, and then the radio should slide right out.

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    Step 3: Attach brackets to head unit. The brackets that came with the Metra kit worked perfectly. Unfortunately I don't have any photos for this step. If you plan on using the unit's DVD player, take the wire labeled "Parking" on the head unit's harness and connect it to one of the screws on the brackets to ground it. If you skip this step, the unit will refuse to play video as it thinks the car is moving.

    Step 4: Connect the harness, GPS antenna, and radio antenna to the back of the unit. Then slide it back into place and put in the 2 screws that you took out earlier.

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    Step 5: Fit your trim piece around the unit. The Metra kit says to screw the trim piece to the brackets and then put the brackets on the head unit. Don't do this, it won't fit. You don't have to screw the trim piece and brackets together. Just put the 4 white plastic clips on the trim piece, and snap it into place (or, sand and file it for an hour first if you bought the wrong size trim piece)

    This took me a bit longer than I'd like to admit, but if you just buy the right size trim piece from the start, this really isn't difficult to do.

    Edit 1: It's been almost a year now and I have 2 updates to give on the head unit. I'll edit this later when I have time with a more detailed review, but for now just the 2 problems I've had so far:

    1- GPS card reader failed after a few months. I'm not sure if it's something I did or if it failed on its own. Anyways, the seller sent me a free replacement board and it took about a half hour to replace. It's been fine since then.

    2- Maybe 1/10 or 1/15 times when I turn it on, there is no sound from the FM radio unless I turn it off and on again. It's only a minor annoyance when it happens and there is no indication of it "getting worse."

    So if you want a 100% problem free experience and have the cash, you should go for a name brand with a long warranty. If you don't mind taking a gamble and dealing with a few quirks here or there, this is a great value for the money. If I could go back I would buy it again.


    Last edited by anog; 04-19-2017 at 11:25 PM. Reason: year update

  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to anog For This Useful Post:

    Daox (Yesterday),Eggman (07-16-2016),inuvik (07-16-2016),R01k (07-17-2016),Top_Fuel (07-17-2016)

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    Nice write up - thanks!

    What of your old radio? Did it include the JCI Bluetooth module & USB cable?

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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 49.3 mpg (US) ... 21.0 km/L ... 4.8 L/100 km ... 59.2 mpg (Imp)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggman View Post
    Nice write up - thanks!

    What of your old radio? Did it include the JCI Bluetooth module & USB cable?
    My old radio did have the USB cable but no bluetooth. That factory USB cable is now useless, however the new unit has a USB input in the back and one in the front. It also has bluetooth, but no handsfree voice commands or anything like that.

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    Thanks for the write-up!!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by anog View Post
    If you plan on using the unit's DVD player, take the wire labeled "Parking" on the head unit's harness and connect it to one of the screws on the brackets to ground it. If you skip this step, the unit will refuse to play video as it thinks the car is moving.
    OK...I know some of you guys already know his, but I'll explain it for those who don't. I didn't know this myself until I started shopping for head units.

    As a safety feature, units that can play DVDs are set up so they won't play video on the screen unless the vehicle's parking brake is set.

    The "Parking" wire is supposed to go the car's parking brake switch so the player knows when the parking brake is on. The parking brake switch is just a ground...so grounding the "Parking" wire will defeat this safety feature in many cases. But not always. Some manufacturers have caught on that this feature is easily bypassed, so they have made it a little harder.

    Go an Amazon and search for "parking brake bypass" and you'll see a bunch of devices for over-riding the parking brake requirement when grounding the Parking wire doesn't work. You probably want to test it before you put everything back together in your dash.

    Here's a decent video where a guy explains all of this parking brake stuff:
    How to do an In Dash DVD GPS stereo Parking Brake Bypass

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 51.6 mpg (US) ... 21.9 km/L ... 4.6 L/100 km ... 62.0 mpg (Imp)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Fuel View Post
    You probably want to test it before you put everything back together in your dash.
    Good advice all around there. I tested my backup camera before installing it and it worked, so I got excited and put it in and buttoned everything up without testing it again. Sure enough, it didn't work after that. Had to take everything apart again. Check, double check and then check again before putting everything back together.

    Also thanks for the info on the parking brake bypass. Luckily my unit was cheap enough that they didn't bother with any extra security measures.

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    @anog, may I know if you use any adapter to make the backup camera to work with the head unit? Do you have any pics or links?

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by shadir41 View Post
    @anog, may I know if you use any adapter to make the backup camera to work with the head unit? Do you have any pics or links?

    Thanks!
    Sorry for the late response. No, there is no adapter for the camera, it uses a RCA cable to hook up to the back of the head unit. This cable should come with the backup camera, and it has a yellow end which plugs into the unit as pictured above. You will also have to tap into the reverse lights power so that the camera activates when you put the car in reverse. Let me know if you need any further clarification.

    Also, another update, I've had no issues with the unit since replacing the board as mentioned earlier in the post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anog View Post
    Sorry for the late response. No, there is no adapter for the camera, it uses a RCA cable to hook up to the back of the head unit. This cable should come with the backup camera, and it has a yellow end which plugs into the unit as pictured above. You will also have to tap into the reverse lights power so that the camera activates when you put the car in reverse. Let me know if you need any further clarification.

    Also, another update, I've had no issues with the unit since replacing the board as mentioned earlier in the post.
    Oh, sorry I meant the stock backup camera.. can I still use it and connect to the head unit?

    Btw, can you please help which one will fit? I am unsure which one to order

    Joying:
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Joyin...651614664.html
    https://www.aliexpress.com/store/pro...5ce5139e5y0M0l

    Ownice:
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Ownic...376965294.html

    Unbranded:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3G-4...762012515.html

    I appreciate all your answers, thank you!

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    I'm not sure about the stock camera working since I didn't have it on my car. My guess is that unless the stock camera connects to the stock unit with RCA cables, it probably won't work with the aftermarket unit. You would have to see what kind of connector the stock camera has.

    As far as size, all of the ones you listed are the same size as mine. So you can either get the Metra trim piece and sand it like I did, or pay a little extra for the 178 x 102 mm trim piece from eBay.

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    Hi @anog, thank you for answering

    I'd probably get the one with free backup camera so I can swap it out if my stock didn't work.

    Btw, do I still need a trim piece even if I already it on stock?

    Here's what my headunit looks like;


    Will try to do this DIY, that's why I have so many questions Thanks again!



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