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Thread: Replacing car stereo

  1. #1
    HEXUS.social member finlay666's Avatar
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    Replacing car stereo

    Well for the first time in a fair few years of owning older cars my stereo has given up the ghost (lights up but that is it, blank display and is probably going to cost more to fix than replace) so I'm looking to replace my stock head unit with a new one and get some extra features (then sell the cd changer in the boot as that worked )

    No idea what I actually need to do this however! I'm not fussed about rear speakers being hooked up straight away (I think one speaker is missing at the back in fact so will probably replace those if possible) but I assume I'll need:
    Stereo (duh!)
    Wiring kit (as it's an old Audi Concert cassette stereo they aren't ISO connectors AFAIK)
    Fascia surround (or can I just remove the one that is there? Its a single DIN and looks like it takes up the whole space)
    Keys to remove the old one (do some new stereos come with these?)

    Also looking for suggestions on what to go for in brands/models etc, no control stalk on the wheel so no need for fancy remotes, usb or SD would be nice as I rarely use my ipod any more, but if I could house the ipod in it and out of sight it would be an option
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    radix lecti dave87's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing car stereo

    Alpine are still the daddy from what I understand - local car audio place will likely have the ISO lead you need in stock. You haven't got Bose or anything like that, have you? That causes a world of pain!

    Then find the correct sized speakers for your rears, and replace the stock ones. Might even be worth doing the fronts at the same time - anything from a decent make is likely to be better than the OEM stuff.

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    HEXUS.social member finlay666's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing car stereo

    Yeah there is a local specialist I might pop in to have a word with, but they charge crazy money as they are very high end (and don't stock the ISO lead), Halfrauds have the ISO lead but I want to know what I can actually do with what I have

    Normal speakers, rear ones need an amp which I think fell off a while ago so will need to hunt out as it'll be why they don't work

    I'll probably do the speakers at a later date, would rather have some music to start with before upgrading everything!
    Last edited by finlay666; 08-10-2013 at 11:11 PM.
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    HEXUS.social member finlay666's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing car stereo

    Ordered some removal keys, will see what I'm working with (and if its just a fuse/wiring issue that I can fix for now) this weekend hopefully
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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing car stereo

    You might be surprised, my 1995 Alfa 164 had ISO standard connectors in there. I plugged a JVC head straight in there, it drive all the speakers.

    Erm, have you checked the fuse? There should be two power feeds into the stereo, one switched by the ignition and one direct feed. I think if the direct feed fuse is blown then if could behave as you say. If it is blown, is it because the unit died or because, eg, you have a flaky rear speaker which short circuited? I would have a poke around the wiring before getting a replacement.

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    HEXUS.social member finlay666's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing car stereo

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Erm, have you checked the fuse? There should be two power feeds into the stereo, one switched by the ignition and one direct feed. I think if the direct feed fuse is blown then if could behave as you say. If it is blown, is it because the unit died or because, eg, you have a flaky rear speaker which short circuited? I would have a poke around the wiring before getting a replacement.
    It's why I've ordered the removal keys, there is one fuse by the drivers side that is fine (removing it kills the illumination to the radio completely) and the other is in the back of the unit which I can't see until I remove it. As I should get the keys this weekend I can have an idea of what I'll need first.

    It's been progressively worse at turning on for the past couple of months (sometimes wont turn on first time, or second, third etc) so I think it's a fault in the unit more than anything else but not discounting a fuse as it's cheap and easy to both identify and fix

    As for the ISO connections, from 97 onwards they stopped doing them apparently, was looking at diagrams of the different head units last night
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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing car stereo

    Well in some ways that sounds hopeful. What you don't want is to buy a new head unit, then find it also shuts itself down thanks to some short circuit.
    Limping then dying sounds like some sort of component failure in the head unit.

    I notice my latest car is some mini iso connector. Can't leave standards alone can they

  8. #8
    HEXUS.social member finlay666's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing car stereo

    Well I went cheap as the rear speakers are apparently a pain to rewire for an amp being partially amped

    https://www.aldi.co.uk/en/specialbuy...th-car-stereo/

    £40 for bluetooth (a2dp and handsfree), usb and sd card slots and a line in for anything else, not massively powerful but I don't listen to stuff that loud anyway. Also has a remote (for caravanners I guess) and some wiring buts but aside from the aerial change from DIN to ISO I think it's fine (rear speakers seem to not work anyway so not going to bother amping/wiring them unless I have to)
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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing car stereo

    Cheap, but that actually looks quite decent.

    I wouldn't want to lose my steering wheel controls, so sadly think I need to pay more than that.

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    HEXUS.social member finlay666's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing car stereo

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Cheap, but that actually looks quite decent.

    I wouldn't want to lose my steering wheel controls, so sadly think I need to pay more than that.
    It was cheap, but it's a relatively cheap car

    The fascia surround feels a bit flimsy but the unit itself is surprisingly decent and the buttons are quite firm, it's very shallow too at about 2-3 inches deep, benefit of not needing space for cassette/cd mechanisms I guess

    I dont have any to start so had nothing to lose, the higher end ones you can get adapters to use with the unit. I think Sony do one and there was an ever so slightly more expensive unit for £50 in Halfords that was also deckless (and had a hidden ipod compartment). The ISO wiring kits are manufacturer (car and stereo) dependent I think on top of that

    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/s...egoryId_165474
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE_R5eDXHy0

    Then it's a canbus adapter and a wiring adapter from what I can gather

    Gave it a quick plug in tonight to test it before the fascia and aerial adapter arrives, worked perfectly (first time!) with the built in connections through the front speakers so there is £20 saved on a wiring adapter (didnt test the front usb or hidden SD though as I only had my phone on me)

    I was impressed by how good the A2DP streaming and aux playback was for a cheap unit (even had a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable included). Will have to test out the bluetooth calling (there is a mic on the front as well as answer/reject buttons, I assume sound comes through the speakers)

    Display is nice and uncluttered too, the Sony looked a bit messy when looking at video reviews but it could be how they had set it up
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