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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I decided to install my new (cheapo) aftermarket stereo in the Forester this morning after the rain finally let up. Thanks to all the great threads and links posted here it went fairly easily. Thursday night I did the connections for the harnesses and that was a piece of cake. So today, I settled in to attack the actual dash. The bezel/trim around the shifter was easy, as I figured it would be based on the comments here. And I was prepared for the worst with the trim around the head unit and vents. I was patient and it was going pretty well until I got stuck at the upper left clip. What the heck do you guys do about the damn steering wheel? I couldn't really get any leverage there and it was more of a problem than I thought it would be. Finally, I dug around with a variety of tools and released the clip but the piece still wouldn't come off (and yes, I did chew up a little of the corner). When it finally released, I realized why. I don't remember anyone mentioning those two little plastic tabs on either side of the top center clip! If I had known they were there I might have been a little more patient.

Once I got the stock unit out, I noticed an additional (8-pin) connector I wasn't prepared for. I came back in the house and quickly hunted around online to see if I could find out what it was for. Still not sure, but I think it might be for a sub-woofer which I don't have. So it's not connected to anything now.

Anyway, mission accomplished. The stereo works fine, the Bluetooth works great, and while I can't say the sound is better than the stock unit, it's certainly no worse. And the fact that I can now put several mp3 audiobooks on one CD rather than having sometimes a dozen CDs for one audiobook is one feature I'm really looking forward to. It also controls the iPod, although we haven't figured out how the head unit will let us use shuffle mode.

Only two casualties as a result of the install. As I mentioned, I did chew up the upper left corner a bit as you can see in the pic. And while I was trying to disconnect the stock headunit harness connector, my fat finger couldn't push the tab in so I used a screwdriver to "help" and it snapped the tab off. It's still connected very firmly to the new harness, so I'm not concerned.

All in all, not too bad:

• Dual XDMA6330BT headunit: $100 at Walmart
• Scosche connector harness: $5.95 shipped (eBay)
• Subaru single DIN pocket: $26.92 (+tax) from the local Subaru dealer
• bag of 100 crimp connectors: $3.79 shipped (eBay)
• info on the install from this place, Scoobymods and NASIOC forums: priceless!

Thanks again.

 

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2004 Forester 4EAT
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Nice job hiding the wire for your bluetooth. Next time when you have to pry against your dash, lay down a thick piece of paper under the screwdriver, or invest in plastic tools made for doing this. I find a business card folded in two gives enough protection.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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292 Posts
Any pix of the back of the bezel to show where the clips are located at ?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Peaty's thread here about a third of the way down the page shows them, but doesn't appear to show my troublesome one. You'll have to register to see the pics, but it's free, and there's a lot of helpful info there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nice job hiding the wire for your bluetooth. Next time when you have to pry against your dash, lay down a thick piece of paper under the screwdriver, or invest in plastic tools made for doing this. I find a business card folded in two gives enough protection.
Thanks. I was a little concerned about hiding the wire, but that trim piece down the windshield was fairly loose so it was pretty easy to get it under there. Getting it to stay there was another thing. And then I just tucked it under the carpeting above the pedals and snaked it up under the dash to the radio.

As for tools, I did use (metal) putty knives because they were thinner than the plastic ones. I also used (and broke) a plastic spatula. Again, I think it might have been easier if I didn't have the darn steering wheel in the way.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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Congratulations on your audio upgrade! :cool:

"Cheapo" Wal-Mart head unit?! Yours cost more than mine! :wink:

I was curious why you were you prying in that corner, but looking on the earlier thread you started, this never came up. If it did, I would have pointed you to my Sony head unit installation thread. :frown:

As to the "extra" connector & subwoofer. So you're saying your '06 doesn't have a subwoofer in the cargo area, on the driver side? :confused:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
That pic in Peaty's thread shows the clip about an inch or so down from the corner, so that's where I was prying. I had a 1.5" putty knife and another forked prying tool, and I think because of the steering wheel I couldn't get the best leverage so probably "drifted" a bit in my poking around. :icon_redface:

If I have a sub-woofer I've never noticed it or been made aware of it. I have the L.L. Bean model and there were no other options on mine according to the sticker. So I guess that's what that connector is for, eh?

(P.S. I didn't see the price in your thread about your head unit, although your info in that thread came in very handy yesterday during the install. You have some very nice and helpful pics there.)
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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I love the Sony head unit, we have the same one in all 3 of our vehicles. They're out of production now, but you can get them on eBay factory refurbished for under $100, even less if you make an offer. :wink:

As to removing the front dash trim. You start from the bottom (easiest place), working your way upward, popping the top off to finish the removal. As I wrote on my installation here, it going to be difficult to remove, it's the first time time. Much easier the next time, since everything will be looser. :smile:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yep, I referred to your pics quite a bit, and I started at the bottom as you suggested. Also, I'm glad I had read that it would be difficult at least the first time, because I was much more patient than I might have been otherwise and I also might have given up more easily. Don't know if there'll be another time, but I'll be ready if there is.

My son is looking for a unit to put in his newly acquired Mazda Tribute. I'll have to tell him about your Sony unit. Thanks.
 
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