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Discussion Starter #1
So, i'm working on this project, and I figured i'd outline it here just in case anyone else wants to try it... but apparently i missed the Projects board! Can someone move it there?

Project: 2002-2004 WRX radio install on my '94 Miata.

Purpose: "Why didn't I just install a Ford CD6?" I've gotten this question from a few people here and elsewhere, and the reason is two-fold.
1: CD6'es seem to be going for over 120 bucks on eBay, and the new ones seem to be a non-din shape, plus you never know what you're getting on eBay. I got this from a guy i know locally.
2: I have used the Subaru unit before, and I like the functionality, plus I thought it would bolt in easier than it looks like it will. ;)

The other question i've been getting is "Why aren't you going aftermarket?" I can't get a changer for this little money, the car is loud enough that the quality of an aftermarket unit won't shine through, and I'm tired of getting things stolen out of this car, so I want something that won't draw attention. The Subaru unit seems like a perfect fit on all counts.

Costs:
So far, dirt cheap.
Subaru headunit: $50.00. Got it used on www.nasioc.com.
Subaru Reverse Harness: $14.00 http://www.geocities.com/svxdc/WRXharness.htm
Miata adapter harness to aftermarket stereo: Free, as I had one laying around from my Clarion that died. (Normally about 12.00)
Metra Mazda universal kit, model 99-7501: $17.00
Metra Universal Faceplate kit, model 99-9999: $17.00
Total investment so far: 98.00

98.00 for a 6 disc changer, with cassette, that lights green and looks good? I think i'm on a good path so far.

At this point, I've got almost all my parts. I'm waiting on the reverse harness to show up, and i'm hoping to wrap it up this weekend. As it goes, i'll get pics and whatnot to complete this log, but it should go pretty painlessly.
 

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I want to see this. does the subaru changer have mp3 cd capability? Thats the one thing holding me back from going to another oem stereo, I need the mp3 capability.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
AMMendes, that install is what originally put the idea of another OEM unit in the car in my head. I just can't afford one of those VW units, or it'd be in already.

Boogie, no, no MP3 capability, but people have modified the boards to support Aux In, and since i got sattelite, I hardly ever play MP3s in the car, i've removed/broken the MP3 compatible head units in each of my cars, and don't miss it really. I'll aux-in my iPod later once I fix it one of these days (headcrashed the HD).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So my harness showed up tonight!

I sat down and soldered it up, and all but 2 wires match up.

Between the Metra and the SVXDC harness, everything lines up, except these two wires. One's orange, one's black.

The orange one needs to be run to dimmer (I need to find dimmer source tonight). The other one is Black. That one will get a spade connector to mate to the one in the car with a female connector that clips to the back of the head unit. Should be a fully plug-and-play install.

...of course my camera is still 200 miles away, so it's tough to get pics of the process :grr:.
 

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When I was never able to get the dimmer function to work on my Alpine even though I was properly connected to the dimmer circuit. Good luck getting it to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, I could do that with the ground, but I already have a groundwire with a female connector just waiting for the wire. Tidier in my eyes.

As for the dimmer, it should be a matter of having 2 dimmer wires to complete the circuit. The Subaru (and I don't think the Miata does this) uses a variable ground system (i.e., retarded).
It gets 12V from the dimmer circuit (worst case, i'll just put it on switched 12v and have it light all day)

then there's a 2nd wire (the illum wire from the Mazda harness) that should give a variable voltage when you dim it.

I might have the wires backwards right now and need to reverse them later, but it seems like if I do it right, i end up with 2 powers, no ground into the radio to cover lighting, instead of one variable power and a ground.

It hurts my head to think about it, but after my roommates and I built a car we call Neopreza and had to integrate the Subie postive ground with negative ground Dodge wiring, i almost get it.
 

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I´m not sure but i think the dimmer wire was on the original arness of my miata NA.
 

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I never bother with the dimmer wire. Most installers don't either. There are plenty of stories around that display the dangers of conecting them wrong; fried headunits, scrambled OE electrical components, etc.

IMO, it's not worth the slightly less bright screen to have to worry about something like that happenenig. Besides, I like it being bright at night since it serves as my clock and also illuminates the interior rather well without detroying my vision.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The reason I want the dimmer hooked up properly is so the head unit actually lights at the right time. However, I'm fighting another problem in the car right now, and it's not really related to the Subaru headunit, which is in, works and sounds like it's got 2x the wattage.


When my stereo got stolen out of the Miata last year, they cut the wires on the car side. I mated my 94 wiring with a pigtail and stock headunit from a 1996 Miata.

When I turned it on, with the car lights off, the Miata stereo lit up. When I turn the car lights on, the stereo lights turn off. I figured that when I put the subie unit in, i'd doublecheck the wires and fix whatever I got wrong... but they all match up properly.

... and now the Subaru stereo still suffers the exact same inversion of lighting that the Miata one did! I might need to run some sort of an inverter circuit (I already tried swapping the dim/illum wires with 0 change in behavior), but for now, it works.

I might have to build this, but I don't think this is quite my problem, as the stereo doesn't dim at all, only reverses the lighting situation. http://www.scoobymods.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=3115

Regardless, here's what I did today.

On the Metra 7501 Bracket kit, i used the Din Cage sides marked "1", and clipped the din seperator as well as all the side posts not marked "B". I then screwed it down to the Subaru radio and went back to my wiring.


For my wiring:
After I left off soldering earlier this week, I had 2 wires left. 12v Illum (Not dim) and ground. I spaded both of these, and ran them to the ground wire in the car's radio cage and T-tapped off of the RED wire on the hazard switch. According to the wiring diagrams, this should complete the dimmer circuit. I then hooked in my FM modulator booster for my Sirius, and closed the dash up after screwing in the head unit to the speed nuts built into the dash.

Because I still need to figure out my inverted lighting situation, I haven't built the dash block-off, and likely won't until i'm done figuring that out. For now though, I have a working 6-disc changer with cassette, AM/FM, lots of presets, and nearly no money laid out. I'll take pics when my friend brings my camera up tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So yeah. Update to the project log!

I just swapped out the Subaru 2002 headunit... and plugged in a 2007. Gave me the following goodies over the old one.

-MP3
-WMA
-Sirius through the headunit instead of my PnP.

Time to install? Less than an hour. Plug and play. Sounds better, it's a Clarion instead of a Panasonic for MY07.

Before:


After:


Doesn't match as nice as the old one, but has WAY better features, and doesn't look any worse than an MSSS setup. Oh, and there's no Subaru logo on it!

Total cost? 30.00 on Craigslist.
 

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How funny, I didn't think I would see such a post because I have been running a 04 WRX radio in my car for a while. In addition, I'm in the process of hooking up the WRX factory subwoofer in my NA as well. The Subaru factory sub is nice and compact. Its supposed to mount under the seat in the WRX but I think I'll mount it in back of the seat in my NA. Hopefully its a significant improvement in bass for the money. I went with Subaru compnents because I have an STI and loved the factory radio's functionality. I might have to step it up and get a later model Subaru radio for its Mp3 capabilty.
 

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I sat in Timeless' NA with Subie factory sub. What a big difference!! Very nice non flashy set up! Now when will my harness arrive!?
 
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