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Old 10-14-2009, 11:57 AM   #511 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tuned200 View Post
^LOL. I have several big write ups to do as well but im lazy. I mowed the yard yesterday, and my grass looks better now than it has all year.
I had to get mine mowed before the storm rolled in on Tuesday, plus my lawn service was scheduled for the fall treatment.

Now I'm heading back out to finish cleaning my covered 20'x20' patio... lumber yard!

Bobby...

The Table of Contents for my Member Journal can be found here. (post #124)
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:32 AM   #512 (permalink)
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Default Audio Upgrade - Part 4

It's way too rainy to be outside today, so I figured it would be the perfect day to do the write up & post Part 4, the final part of my Audio Upgrade!

Part 4 will cover the removal of the double DIN factory/OEM head unit, installing the new Sony aftermarket single DIN head unit with an factory/OEM storage pocket. In addition, I'll be installing an add-on HD Radio, with the display unit mounted on a Subtle ashtray gauge bezel.

The preparation of the Sony head unit wiring harness can be viewed here.

Keep in mind the plastic dash material is VERY easy to scratch & very expensive to replace, so protect it with masking tape or with a cloth covering if there is any chance it can be damaged. It's better to take a little bit more time now, than having to live with an ugly scratch!

Bobby...

The parts list:
  • Sony CDX-GT610Ui head unit which has a USB port & hardwired iPOD cable to directly control an iPOD thru the head unit. These are no longer in production, but of all the head units I've used, this one is my favorite. As is the norm, it can still be found on e Bay! More details & pictures here.
  • Single DIN storage pocket, Subaru part# 66128SA040.
  • Directed Electronics DMHD1000 HD Radio. More details & pictures here.
  • Subtle Solutions ashtray gauge bezel. You can get more information here.
This picture show the removal of the AT shift lever trim, which includes the ashtray. No tools are required to remove this trim. Start at the bottom, gently lift up with your fingers & it will pop up. Once you get it up high enough, you can unplug the power connect on the 12V outlet. Once that's done, you can lift off the entire assembly. The shift lever needs to be where it's shown for the trim to pull off. Some prefer to unscrew the shift lever knob, but I don't think it's necessary, especially if you position the selector as shown in the picture. Keep in mind, if you disconnect the battery, you won't be able to move the shift lever from P (park), unless you manually override the shift lever lock. This requires prying off the access cover on the shift lever trim & pressing a screwdriver into the hole, then the shift lever can be moved from P (park). In addition, if you plan on taking more than a day to complete the project, don't unlock all the doors with the remote, since the hatch can't be locked with the battery disconnected.

This picture shows the shift lever trim removed, after the wire connectors were unplugged.

These pictures show the removal of the climate control panel. First remove the 2 screws that secure the bottom of the panel. Using a flat trim removal tool, pop the panel out. You'll need to work your way up on both sides. This can be difficult if this is the first time the panel has been removed. Work slowly & don't force anything. When you pry on the right location, the panel will pop out.

I can't stress how easy it is to remove this panel, compared to the manual controls, which require cables to be released under the dash! If you have manual climate controls, see the Crutchfield PDF that I posted here. With the automatic climate control, all you need to do is to unplug 2 wire plugs shown & of course the wire plug on the hazard switch. It's very easy to forget to reconnect the hazard switch, so if your turn signals don't works after installing your new head unit, you know where to look! The blue trim tool on the right picture is being used to hold the panel out so the picture could be taken.


This picture shows the head unit released (4 screws) & the wire plugs being removed.

This picture shows the mounts being removed so it can be transferred to the new head unit.

The upper picture shows the Sony head unit with the mounting brackets installed. You will use the hardware that comes with the aftermarket head unit to attach the brackets.

This picture shows the factory/OEM single DIN storage pocket about to be secured to the mounting bracket.

These pictures show the Sony head unit & storage pocket reinstalled in the vechicle. I prefer a head unit with a removable faceplate. When it's removed, it doesn't make a tempting target for thieves.

This upper picture shows the display panel for the HD Radio. I used the Subtle ashtray gauge bezel to mount it on. Instead of painting the bezel, I used black industrial plastic overlay. It's much more durable than paint & really wasn't that difficuilt to install.

** Update **
The HD Radio display panel has been reloacted to vacate that location for another MOD. The detailed write up starts here.


This picture shows the HD Radio, which I wedge mounted using a piece of blue foam.

Here's the finished audio upgrade. Of course you'd have to view Part 1 thru 4 to see everything that went into this project. Links to Part 1 thru 4 are on the bottom of this post.




Here's one last picture showing the mess I had when everything was torn apart during the installation.

Related posts.The Table of Contents for my Member Journal can be found here. (post #124)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf CrutchfieldPDF-0000500021.pdf (499.1 KB, 224 views)
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:38 AM   #513 (permalink)
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Wow... didn't realise it came apart quite that easily!
Now I kind of want to install the setup identical to the one in my Skyline... and install some gauges in my aux panel.
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:48 AM   #514 (permalink)
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Bobby,

Great images!! I will use this for whenever I step up to an audio upgrade!!!

Thanks for posting!!

dm

Is the pocket the same one thats been for foresters for a while?? I have one in my wrx.
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:56 AM   #515 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Duderotomy View Post
Wow... didn't realise it came apart quite that easily!
Now I kind of want to install the setup identical to the one in my Skyline... and install some gauges in my aux panel.
Yes, it's really not difficuilt at all. You just need to go step-by-step & everything will come off easily.

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Bobby,

Great images!! I will use this for whenever I step up to an audio upgrade!!!

Thanks for posting!!

dm

Is the pocket the same one thats been for foresters for a while?? I have one in my wrx.
Thanks for the feedback!

Yes, the single pocket was standard on my '03X Forester. It costs around $20 from Jackie/SubaruPartsGirl here on the forum. I store my burned MP3 CD's in there.
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:37 AM   #516 (permalink)
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Hey, that 6 Disc changer looks oddly familiar.

Funny to see it in the pics, and see it sitting on my desk at the same time.


Love the clean install with the Subtle panel. Very nice.
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:02 PM   #517 (permalink)
 
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Nice work as usual Bobby. When I finally upgrade, I hope to go double din navi/dvd.
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:39 PM   #518 (permalink)
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Nice work.

I would give you a rep but ....well...you know.
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:52 PM   #519 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MudRunner View Post
Hey, that 6 Disc changer looks oddly familiar.

Funny to see it in the pics, and see it sitting on my desk at the same time.

Love the clean install with the Subtle panel. Very nice.
Thanks! I'm glad the '07 head unit will get reused & not sit around here in my "might need it" box:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuned200 View Post
Nice work as usual Bobby. When I finally upgrade, I hope to go double din navi/dvd.
Before you go with an in dash navi, try one that you can mount higher up. I have a Garmin, which I stick on the dash. It's much safer to have it where you can look at it without taking your eyes off the road (traffic).

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Nice work.

I would give you a rep but ....well...you know.
Thanks for the compliment!

Yes, I know what you mean by REP. They can take REP away, but not our skills.

Bobby...
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:56 PM   #520 (permalink)
 
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Thanks! I'm glad the '07 head unit will get reused & not sit around here in my "might need it" box:



Before you go with an in dash navi, try one that you can mount higher up. I have a Garmin, which I stick on the dash. It's much safer to have it where you can look at it without taking your eyes off the road (traffic).



Thanks for the compliment!

Yes, I know what you mean by REP. They can take REP away, but not our skills.

Bobby...

Good idea about the high up mounting. I will look for the dash top kit and do it that way when I finally get around to it.

Nice work again, and have you tohught about going blacked out like everyone else?
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:29 PM   #521 (permalink)
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No, I kinda like the light color, not that black doesn't look good... its just not for me.

Bobby...
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:21 PM   #522 (permalink)
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Default COBB 25mm front sway bar installed!

I installed a COBB 25mm lightweight tubular adjustable rear sway previously thinking it would be enough, but I was wrong! Even with performance tires, the handling was poor with way too much oversteering & the body roll was unacceptable! My MODded '03 X handles way better! I decided the only way to make this right was to install a matching COBB 25mm lightweight tubular front sway bar (912220).

After the installation, I took my '07 FSXT on the same twisty mountain road to see if adding the COBB 25mm lightweight tubular front sway bar made a difference. WOW! The handling on diving sharp turns was completely predictable & the body roll was greatly reduced. No doubt about it, I should have installed the front & rear sway bars together! Now my '07 FSXT handles like the '03 X & I love it!

In addition, the road tracking feels more precise, with much less wandering on bumpy or rutted roads.

I removed the plastic engine undercover, so its removal is not covered in this write up.

You may notice that I reuse the factory endlinks. They look stout enough to me. I figure if they fail, I'll replace them with something heavier.

I did the installation with the Forester on ramps. The COBB instructions say to lift the vehicle, but it isn't necessary & IMO, ramps are the way to go!

Bobby...

Update - October 17, 2013
While I was under the Forester doing an engine oil & filter change, my undercarriage inspection spotted a failed endlink! More details can be viewed on this journal post: Front passenger side endlink failure!


This is what you get with the COBB 25mm lightweight tubular front sway bar kit. The sway bar, bushings & special "sticky" bushing grease.

These pictures show the 2 12mm nuts/bolts & 2 12mm bolts being removed so the center subframe brace (jack plates) can be removed. I need to note here that the bolts were a PIA to loosen! I had to use a rubber mallet to hit my ratchet, which finally broke them free! The 2 12mm nuts/bolts on the front side was not a problem.

The upper picture shows the one of the two subframe connectors being removed. Start by removing the plastic pop clips on the wheel well on either side. Next remove the plastic cover on the end, which will expose a bolt. Loosen, but don't remove this bolt. The subframe connector will slide off this bolt when the other 6 bolts (both sides) are removed. There will be 12mm & 14mm blots. I didn't have any problems removing any of these bolts. The lower picture shows what has to be remove. It's really not as difficult as it may look.

The upper picture shows the factory sway bar being removed. A 5mm allen (HEX) wrench will need to be used to prevent the endlink stud from spinning when the 14mm nut is removed. The lower picture shows the COBB sway bar installed. The COBB bushing is lubed with the provided grease & the factory bushing bracket is reused.

The upper picture shows the other side installed. The lower picture shows the subframe connector reinstalled.

This final picture shows the the COBB 25mm lightweight tubular front sway bar with the solid factory sway bar that it replaced. The COBB 25mm lightweight tubular front sway bar is not adjustable & is set at 90% stiffer than the stock sway bar.

Related posts:The Table of Contents for my Member Journal can be found here. (post #124)
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Old 10-31-2009, 07:00 AM   #523 (permalink)
 
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Thats awesome Bobby. I might look into a front bar for my fxt. I am just rolling a sti rsb now, and it rolls and pushed in the turns bad!
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:07 AM   #524 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tuned200 View Post
Thats awesome Bobby. I might look into a front bar for my fxt. I am just rolling a sti rsb now, and it rolls and pushed in the turns bad!
Thanks as always for your feedback!

IMO, adding just the rear sway bar did very little, but adding the two together made a world of difference, as in "night & day"! Now when I make sharp turns I have very little body roll & the steering feels more responsive & precise. I'm loving it!

Bobby...
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:46 AM   #525 (permalink)
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Are you going to add some solid endlinks? The factory endlinks move A LOT before the sway bar comes into play.
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