Saturday, May 16, 2009

Basic CD player install guide

Now that you have picked out your CD player it's time to decide whether to install the unit yourself or have it done professionally. If you have never installed one before and you have the extra money, having it done for you would be the best way to do it. If you are doing it yourself then here is a basic overview of what you will need and a simple walk through of the process.

You will need to purchase a few items to make the install easier and more professional. The first thing is a mounting kit, basically this is the kit that’s used to mount an aftermarket CD player into a stock radio location. They come mostly assembled and ready to install directly into the stock radio location, but some kits will require modification. Make sure you purchase the correct kit for your vehicle! You don’t want to try to put a 03 Chevy Cavalier kit in a 03 Ford Focus.

The next thing you want to get is a wiring kit. This is a set of wires and connectors that plugs into your stock connectors allowing you to add aftermarket CD players into your vehicle. Once these are connected to your factory wiring harness they are basically color coded for aftermarket CD players so when installing the CD player just match up the colors. There are some wires that aren’t used though and you will need to be aware of these. Research your particular vehicle for specifications.

In some cases you may also need to purchase an antenna adaptor to hook up the stock to aftermarket. A good example of this is my '03 Ford Focus. I had a European antenna plug and had to get the domestic adaptor for this particular install. Do a little research on your make and model of your vehicle before you start the installation process because there may be something extra you need to purchase.

After you have purchased all the necessary components needed to get the install going time its time to take a little look into some basic tools needed for the install.
- Electrical Tape
- Wire cutters, strippers and crimpers
- Power drill with a Philips and flathead tip
- Allen keys
- Dremil (best tool ever for making modifications)
- Factory CD player removal keys (most common for Ford )
- Assortment of wire connectors
- Test Light
- Multimeter
- Soldering Gun (not in all cases but good to have just incase)

Now that you have your tools and components you are ready to begin your install!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends, family or even your local installer for tips if you run into something unfamiliar during the install. You can even post questions here if you need for general help and expertise. With the right tools, research and advice, installation should be quick and painless.

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