Author Topic: After market head unit install pics  (Read 583 times)

TATurbo

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After market head unit install pics
« on: January 13, 2019, 11:19:11 PM »
I've started to research installing a stereo in my 1981 TA project.
I was hoping someone might have pics of and suggestions/tips for the head unit installation.

I intend on installing a 'digital' head unit, one without knobs.  In part because the cut-outs in my dash for the stereo/knobs were all but completely broken out by a group of thieves back in the day....
P6280022 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

How would the head unit be held in place/supported?  What have you used to install a head unit...Like this one (For example)?
https://www.kenwood.com/usa/car/receiver/kmm-bt322u/

Thanks in advance for your time!

-Tom
King of Prussia, PA
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

Grand73Am

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Re: After market head unit install pics
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 08:53:32 AM »
Below are pics of what I did. I used the cage that comes with the new radio as a template for cutting the hole in the dash. Of course you have to center it up with the dash hole so it's evenly spaced from side to side and top to bottom. I used a small cutting wheel on a Dremel tool for the cutting. Cutting the hole on the small side to begin with is probably a good idea, since you can test fit the cage and if too tight, you can always gradually sand and trim away some material where you need to for a good fit. The cage is what will support the radio. It has tabs to bend over the back side of the dash hole to hold it in.

I had all my original dash hole still there, so I had original material to work with. Since yours has too much material missing, it will be more difficult. In your case, I would probably trim the ragged edges of the hole so it's neater first. Then I'd cut a piece of sheet metal to the size of the hole and epoxy glue it into the hole, making sure it is in the same plane as the original face of the hole was. I'd probably glue it from behind so there wouldn't be glue on the front side. Then you would have support for the radio, and you can cut your hole for the cage. You might even be able to accurately measure and cut the hole in the sheet metal before gluing the sheet metal into the hole, which would be easier than cutting the hole while it's in the dash.

The next step is to cut another hole in an original radio bezel. Like the hole in the dash, the bezel hole needs to be the same size as the cage, and line up with the hole in the dash when installed. I used an original radio delete bezel that has no hole in it to start with. But, you can also use the radio bezel with the holes in it too. The DIN hole will take out the original holes in the bezel. Once you have the bezel cut and lined up with the hole in your dash, you can slide the cage through the bezel and the dash holes and bend the tabs over, and you'll be ready to slide in the radio. The bezel will also cover up your repaired dash hole. So, with the original bezel around your new radio, it makes it look like a factory install.

Prior to sliding in the radio, I suggest connecting your radio wiring under the dash. And make sure your antenna cable is accessible. Then you'll already have your wires connected and you'll have the radio connector plug and antenna plug ready to plug into the back of the radio when you're ready to slide the radio in.

Also, once the radio is installed, on the back side behind the dash, there will be a space between the bottom of the radio and the top of the ashtray cage. If you'd like more support for the radio, you can wedge something like a block of foam rubber or styrofoam between the bottom of the radio and the ashtray cage. That would support and cushion it.

The Kenwood you linked to looks good and has all the features I like. I don't see a remote control though, so I'd check on that, since that's something I like to have. Mine's an Alpine, and it has all those features too, but not as much power as that Kenwood. I could add an amp, but it still plays loud enough for me. 

003 by grand73am, on Flickr
002 by grand73am, on Flickr
35 by grand73am, on Flickr
Steve F.

TATurbo

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Re: After market head unit install pics
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2019, 09:09:59 PM »
Awesome! Thanks so much Grand73!
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

Grand73Am

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Re: After market head unit install pics
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 09:30:34 PM »
You're welcome :) . Hope you'll show us a pic of yours when you get it done.
Steve F.

Aus78Formula

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Re: After market head unit install pics
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2019, 10:08:45 PM »
The stock surround always makes the hole look tidy, regardless of what is mounted there.

Re: After market head unit install pics
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2019, 10:08:45 PM »

TATurbo

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Re: After market head unit install pics
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2019, 08:39:16 PM »
Received stereo and amp and came back to check on your pics Grand73...I don't know if your Alpine reference stuck subliminally, but I ended up with pretty much the same stereo as you have.  I can't tell the exact model of yours, but after searching around online I ended up ordering an Alpine CDE-172BT and this Rockford Fosgate amp: 
 https://www.crutchfield.com/p_575R150X2/Rockford-Fosgate-Prime-R150X2.html

I'll post pics and my impression of the combination once I get it installed.  I still don't get how the little tabs on that cage hold everything in...but I'm not engineer.
Thanks again for sharing your experience and suggestions!

Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

Grand73Am

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Re: After market head unit install pics
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2019, 09:51:12 AM »
Yes, your choice of stereo does look very similar to mine. I like the looks of those Alpines, and I really like that they have the variable color illumination so you can make it the colors you want.

Mine's a UTE-62BT, which is a couple years old, so now the latest version looks to be a UTE-73BT. The main difference between your stereo and mine is that yours has a CD player. Mine doesn't. I'm no longer using CD's, so didn't need the player. I just play music that I have on my iPhone through it. And I have some music on a thumb drive that I could play through it using the USB slot.

I notice that the amp you bought is a 2 channel amp. So, it only controls 2 speakers. Since your stereo has 4 channels for 4 speakers, was there a reason you only got the 2 channel amp?

You'll figure out the tabs on the cage when you're installing it  :-) .
Steve F.

Re: After market head unit install pics
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2019, 09:51:12 AM »
You can help support TAC!