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09 Forester 2.5X
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711 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Since I couldn't find anything on here, or googling, I decided I would go ahead and document my adventure of installing a CD player. To be honest, I think it is the exact same as the 08' Impreza (thought about that half way though my install). Tip from SVXdc, remove any CDs from the stock radio! Larger pictures of each image can be found here: Flickr: Iamcuddles' Forester CD Player Set Enjoy, hope it helps

Parts:
Metra wire harness 70-7552 - Amazon.com: Metra 70-7552 Radio Wiring Harness for Nissan 07-Up: Electronics
Metra single DIN dash kit 99-8902 - METRA 99-8902 Radio mounting dash kit 4 new stereo 2008 SUBARU IMPREZA/IMPREZA WRX KIT;
So the 1-CD model CP603U1 has a Motorola jack.

The 6-CD model PP643U6 has the proprietary Subaru jack.
Step 1:
Admire your POS factory head unit



Step 2: (This step may be avoided, just be CAREFUL! Here is the link to avoid this step http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/619914-post2.html)
Remove passenger side cover to get access to a single screw that hold together the silver dash part and remove the screw:





Be gentle when pulling apart the dash. Try not to pry any plastic piece, instead use both hands. From here, all the pieces are held in by clips.

Step 3:
Remove front dash part. Do not use one hand like I have pictured.




Step 4:
(4) screws hold in the stock CD player. Remove these screws and take out the stock CD player. The (4) plugs pictured from left side to right are; main harness, ground, dunno (see below for more information) and your antenna plug.
...
But since each plug is unique, it's not too hard to tell them apart -- main harness has 20 pins, ground lug has 1 "pin", aux/sub has 8 pins, and the antenna jack is a standard coax Motorola socket....


More info on plugs:
I don't know what Cuddles did with that wire, but it's a redundant ground. The 20-pin radio harness has another. Only one is needed.

In some other Subarus, this wire attaches to a lug on one of the mounting brackets instead of the rear of the factory radio. So on those cars you could keep it connected that way even with an aftermarket radio.

For Subarus where the ground lug was on the factory radio, if you really wanted to be thorough you could get a male "quick disconnect" terminal, crimp that to a short piece of wire, plug the terminal into the car's ground connector, and attach the other end of the wire to one of the mounting screws on the side of the radio......

The "dunno" harness is the 8-pin connector that has the wires for Aux input. Picture and info in my NASIOC thread here. In some Foresters, that connector also has pins for a line-level subwoofer output.

Your HU will work fine without it connected.

If you would like to connect your car's 3.5mm aux jack to your new HU, you'll need the matching 8-pin connector, wired to either left/right RCA plugs or a 3.5mm stereo plug (whichever your new HU uses for its aux input).

If your Forester has one of the new-style OEM powered subwoofers and your HU has a line-level sub output, you could similarly send the HU's sub out to the OEM sub.....
.....FYI, the center console aux-in runs to the 8-pin secondary connector behind the radio. I found if you buy a second factory radio harness, the 8-pin will actually mate with the middle of the 24-pin connector, no need to tap or cut wires.
I bought a second wiring hardness to add some extra wires so I could tap into the the steering wheel controls.
Step 5:
Remove (4) screws from each side of the CD player so that you can keep and re-use the metal pieces.




Step 6:
Grab a beer, the metra wire harness, your aftermarket CD harness, electrical tape (if you are cheap) or a solder gun. Connect each of the wires to their appropriate color.



Step 7:
Mount the original metal side plates to your after market CD player. I imagine you can either put it on the bottom or top. I chose to put it in on the top part.




Step 8 (if applicable)
Any iPod or USB cables can be routed where ever you chose. I thought going through the glove compartment was pretty easy and the hole is plenty big.




Step 9:
Connect the harnesses and the antenna plug. TEST IT BEFORE GOING ANY FURTHER.



Install the last (4) screws to mount your CD player to the car. Edit- Got the right dash kit now (just follow install instruction included in the kit...should be pretty easy).



Final Step:
Snap together the passenger side dash pieces, screw it in and replace the cover.



The left over screws I put back onto the stock unit so that I could not lose them.



At this point you should have no extra screws laying around (I hate when that happens). Enjoy your new CD player...it sounds soo much better than stock.

Keywords:
2009 , MY09 , CD player , 2010 , MY10 , MYSH
 

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2009 Forester Limited Manual
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117 Posts
Fwiw....

... there are two small slits at the bottom of the radio bezzle, small and hidden. Once you find them, you can use a plastic tool, or carefully use a flat head screwdriver to gently pry it off, trying not to scratch any adjacent plastic.

These two slits make it so you don't have to remove the swooping silver piece on the passengers side.

cheers,
G

The black arrows indicate the slits:
 

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2009 FXT
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202 Posts
This is weird I just installed an aftermarket deck in my 2009 FXT and it has a different antenna connection, and will require an adapter. Wonder why they changed them
 

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2014 2.0XT CVT
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3,078 Posts
Step 9 is very important I must say, ALWAYS test it before you put everything back together, hate when you forget to and realize the antenna isn't plugged in.
 

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09 Forester 2.5X
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711 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the heads up subyeh, I added your post to my walk through. I started to pry stuff, but then I said screw it, I didn't want to scratch anything! Doogle, did you have a premium sound system in it? Can anyone confirm that the XTs are different from the 2.5Xs? hahaha yeah jkop, this was actually one of my few installs that went the fastest and I ran into ZERO problems. Love my subbie
 

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1996 SVX
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473 Posts
Here are a few additional tips:

  • Before you start, eject all CDs from your stock radio!
  • The screws that hold the brackets to the sides of the OEM radio are sometimes VERY tight. Place the HU down on something like wood blocks (to protect the brackets and front panel that extend on the opposite side from the side you're working on). Then use a screwdriver that is exactly the right size for the screw, and press it down forcefully while you get each screw unseized.
  • You can buy a single-DIN pocket (or "cubby"), with or without a door, to fill the empty space below a 1-DIN sized radio.
The "dunno" harness is [definitely] the 8-pin connector that has the wires for Aux input and illumination dimming cancellation [ADDED: illum. pin not present on Foresters]. I may soon have the matching connector available. Picture and info in my NASIOC thread here.

Cuddles — how many wires are there on that plug in your car? Is it 6 out of 8 pin positions?
 

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2014 CVT
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826 Posts
go with crutchfield, they give you everything, and i mean everything, from install guides(with pictures) cover pieces and all that jazz i love em!
 

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2015 Forester Premium CVT
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660 Posts
Crutchfield

go with crutchfield, they give you everything, and i mean everything, from install guides(with pictures) cover pieces and all that jazz i love em!
+1 Very good experience with them.
 

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2009 FXT
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202 Posts
go with crutchfield, they give you everything, and i mean everything, from install guides(with pictures) cover pieces and all that jazz i love em!
Crutchfield doesnt have the install guide for the 2009 forester. Also depending on your radio you might require an additional antenna adapter which is not included with purchase. I had to contact them and they are shipping it out separate
 

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09 Forester 2.5X
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711 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Alright, updated it and got the correct single DIN dash kit. As for the 'dunno' harness, I think it only had 2-3 wires going into it. I also assume it is for the AUX input.
 

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09 Forester X touring
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66 Posts
My 09 X touring model (1 cd no nav or anything) has a 20 pin connector if i remember correctly from when i added a LOC and a lil amp and 12" sub in mine. I found the pinout for the 08 impreza somewhere to aid me, the wire coloring scheme isnt the same between the 08 impreza and the 09 forester but its same position on the pinout. I need a new deck still but its fine for now till i can get some money together. I found the two slits in the bezel at first look so it was pretty quick.
 

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2009 Forester
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7 Posts
Awesome info!

What did you all do with the Ipod connector and the Aux input in the center console? Do they still work?

Thanks!
 

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09 Forester 2.5X
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711 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Awesome info!

What did you all do with the Ipod connector and the Aux input in the center console? Do they still work?

Thanks!
I have not tried the AUX input in the console, but I imagine it doesn't work. I could probably look into that and throw that up in my walk through as well.
 

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2009 2.5X 5spd.
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21 Posts
Truly an inspiring post!
Did changing only the head unit improve the sound? Or did you have to replace the speakers?
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Prem. CVT
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70 Posts
Awesome info!

What did you all do with the Ipod connector and the Aux input in the center console? Do they still work?

Thanks!
I second that question. I've added the iPod interface and would hate to lose that (and the aux outlet's) functionality. If that's the case, I'd be more inclined to add an amp/subwoofer and better speakers, hoping that does the trick.

Thoughts?
 

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09 Forester 2.5X
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711 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Alright, I missed out on checking the car audio stuff (AUX,IPOD interface working) yesterday, Ill get in there this afternoon and see if I can help you guys out. Replacing the stock with the after market CD player made a TON of difference. Im a huge audiophile, however for some reason Im lacking the desire in this car. I feel like if I just had a single 8" sub and some stock tweeters, Id be fine. Granted, you will usually notice a big difference if you upgrade your speakers too. Just remember you get what you pay for, if you go to Wal-Mart expecting to have the best speakers EVAH, you will be in for a surprise. I would, personally, exchange the CD player first then move on to the speakers. I like knowing that I have a different CD player than most of the 09 Foresters on the road :)

Edit:
Was just thinking, to those of you not wanting to put in an aftermarket CD player because you will lose the AUX input/IPOD interface...most new CD players come with both of those features. You can then just route the cable to anywhere you choose...similar to how I routed my USB cable from my CD player.
 

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1996 SVX
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473 Posts
I've added the iPod interface and would hate to lose that (and the aux outlet's) functionality.
... to those of you not wanting to put in an aftermarket CD player because you will lose the AUX input/IPOD interface...most new CD players come with both of those features.
I think Terrainorg is saying he bought the OEM iPod adapter kit.

Unfortunately, that OEM kit is only going to work with a stock radio. But you should be able to unload that to another Subaru owner who doesn't want to remove their factory radio. The improved sound and features you can get from an aftermarket HU will be well worth the effort.

I've recently obtained the correct connector to plug into the car's 8-pin Aux connector. If your Forester has the OEM powered sub in the rear cargo area, this connector has the pins for that too. And I'm also making a 20-pin radio harness that includes the wires for Steering Wheel Controls (harnesses from the aftermarket manufacturers omit those wires). Contact me for more info.
 

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2009 Premium X AT
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866 Posts
Thanks for the info Cuddles! +1 for you! I will be installing a double din Clarion DUZ385SAT receiver this weekend. Will be posting pics!
 
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