('14+) Stereo trim panel removal - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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Stereo trim panel removal

Donīt know if I should start a new thread for this, but I try here first.

Does anyone know how you remove the trim panel around the stereo in the XT?

Normally you just use a panel safe tool and pry it loose, but I have tried with no success so far. A bit worried that I will crack something if I pry to hard.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Simpan View Post
Donīt know if I should start a new thread for this, but I try here first.

Does anyone know how you remove the trim panel around the stereo in the XT?

Normally you just use a panel safe tool and pry it loose, but I have tried with no success so far. A bit worried that I will crack something if I pry to hard.
Pretty sure the dash on the SJ Forester is the same/similar enough to the 2012+ standard Imprezas. Found this on NASIOC: 2012 Impreza stereo replacement - NASIOC

Hopefully that helps.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Pretty sure the dash on the SJ Forester is the same/similar enough to the 2012+ standard Imprezas. Found this on NASIOC: 2012 Impreza stereo replacement - NASIOC

Hopefully that helps.
Thanks a lot! It looks as it is the same, so Iīll have a go at it later tonight. Iīll let you know if it ended in tears or cheers!!!

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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It all ended well, floorwell lighting installed!
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Simpan View Post
Does anyone know how you remove the trim panel around the stereo in the XT? Normally you just use a panel safe tool and pry it loose, but I have tried with no success so far. A bit worried that I will crack something if I pry to hard.
I looked at the NASIOC thread mentioned by another responder. Removing the trim in 2014 looks a lot like removing the trim in 2005 or 2006. So, if you go to this thread How To: Install JVC KR-XW610 head unit in a 2005 Subaru Forester - Parts 1&2 there are a series of pictures and instructions on how to do this circa 2005.

Two more thoughts: older (and maybe newer) Foresters had two basic types of HVAC controls - mechanical and electronic (the latter being sometimes referred to as 'climate control'). The link above refers to a vehicle with mechanical control linkage. If you have climate control, it's much easier - just unplug the single electrical connector behind the HVAC panel and forget about the mechanical push wires.

Second: In 2005-2006, basically, the trim 'snapped' out. But, there are two screws at the very bottom that you must remove for this to happen. You have to remove the trim around the shifter first (easy) to get access to the screws. Once the screws are removed, it's snaps-ville from that point on. And, it is probably best to unsnap this trim panel from the bottom up.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Dave! There are no screws on the -14. I found this http://techinfo.subaru.com/proxy/697...tteLighter.pdf and on page 4 they show a more brutal approach from the right side. I will try that when I get my iPhone holder from ProClip/Brodit on monday. Today I only needed to remove the parts around the cigarette lighter to get some juice for the lighting, but for the iPhone I need to route the cables in some manner behind the stereo trim.

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Last edited by Simpan; 03-15-2013 at 02:49 PM.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 06:02 PM
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Glad it worked out!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Dave! There are no screws on the -14. I found this http://techinfo.subaru.com/proxy/697...tteLighter.pdf and on page 4 they show a more brutal approach from the right side. I will try that when I get my iPhone holder from ProClip/Brodit on monday. Today I only needed to remove the parts around the cigarette lighter to get some juice for the lighting, but for the iPhone I need to route the cables in some manner behind the stereo trim.
Now it's confirmed, this is the way to go!

1. Enter from the right hand side with two trim removal tools, go really deep before you start the prying motion. Since the new dashboard is like rubber and therefore more flexible you will even be able to look into the gap and see when you are deep enough to get some grip.

2. Pry gently and the right side will pop loose. Continue by angling the trim panel to the left and up and the whole thing will come loose.

3. Unclip the harness for the hazard switch and the AC and you are done!

The whole procedure was so easy and fast I didn't even get any pics of it!

I now have installed a permanent charger/mount for the iPhone. As soon as I get my hands on a mount for the GPS it will be installed the same way!

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Simpan View Post
Now it's confirmed, this is the way to go!

1. Enter from the right hand side with two trim removal tools, go really deep before you start the prying motion. Since the new dashboard is like rubber and therefore more flexible you will even be able to look into the gap and see when you are deep enough to get some grip.

2. Pry gently and the right side will pop loose. Continue by angling the trim panel to the left and up and the whole thing will come loose.

3. Unclip the harness for the hazard switch and the AC and you are done!

The whole procedure was so easy and fast I didn't even get any pics of it!

I now have installed a permanent charger/mount for the iPhone. As soon as I get my hands on a mount for the GPS it will be installed the same way!
I am very interested in seeing an end result pic.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 03:56 PM
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What am I missing? I got the trim panel loose but something seems to be holding it in the A/C area. Do I need to release those cables they talk about for the manual A/C models?

OK, I'm guessing "yes" by the looks of it.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 04:05 PM
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What am I missing? I got the trim panel loose but something seems to be holding it in the A/C area. Do I need to release those cables they talk about for the manual A/C models?
OK, I'm guessing "yes" by the looks of it.
Do you have automatic climate control? Or, do you have mechanical linkage for heat and vent position (the left and right knobs)

If the latter, then stand on your head and start removing the linkage. Follow the thread up above which has a series of pictures on linkage removal. With the cables connected, you can pull the trim panel out an inch or so, but not enough to be really useful. On the bright side, once you get into the zen of how to release the cable linkage, it's pretty easy to do.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 05:38 PM
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Got it out, thanks. It is the manual version and I had my son stand on his head to pop the cables :)

May all be for naught. My intention was to replace the factory "B" radio with the NAV from a 2013 BRZ that I picked up cheap. It came with the amp, gps antenna/cable and the maps but not the harness. My car is a 14 Premium so NAV was an option but I'm obviously missing something. Anyone have any ideas?

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 03:32 AM
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It took awhile for me to do but my friend got me a trim remover and made my job a lot easier.

I was using a screwdriver to the top trim lol.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 10:55 AM
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It took awhile for me to do but my friend got me a trim remover and made my job a lot easier. I was using a screwdriver to the top trim lol.
Trim tools make the job a LOT EASIER. Ciminy, there are so many tasks around a Forester (or any modern vehicle, for that matter) that require pulling off some snapped-on plastic trim panel - dash, console, doors, rear hatch - the list is endless. Bite the bullet and buy some relatively inexpensive trim tools. You won't regret it and you will greatly reduce the risk of breaking/denting/gouging some expensive trim panel.

Here are a few el-cheapo tools you can find on eBay or Amazon - worth their weight in gold. BTW, the plastic tools work fine. The metal gizmo seemed like a good idea when I bought it, but I have rarely used it.

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