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DB7 - Radio install on the teg

I absolutely love the face that Leslie has a stock acura CD stereo in her. However, the lack of aux port has me bummed. No one really listens to CDs anymore. I'm tired of listening to the few I have over and over.

So what are our options? The stock stereo has a CD changer out control on it. I'm certain that you can buy an adapter for an aux in or iPod control for that. However, that does not front me RCAs for my boom boom. There are line level converters for that but, that is not where I want to go.

Since the guys over at Parts European are cool people, they let me scoop up a nice Kenwood head unit from one of the part cars. For the total cost involved on my end, swapping the head unit is where I'm going.

The Integra actually has accommodation for a double din, or two stereo tall, head unit. That isn't something I'm interested in but, you can mount navigation units, touch screens ect. Unlike my other cars of the past, this installation is a bit different. I'd say more complicated in one way for sure due to the lack of any mounting behind the stereo and dash pocket.

The factory stereo has a small bracket on the back of it that bolts directly to a support. This holds the stereo and dash pocket perfectly. The aftermarket head unit is smaller in size and does not accomdate the hooks for the stock dash pocket. We all know what that means? Tacky plastic install kit y'all! Oh yes!

What's Needed: 
Head unit, Wiring harness adapter, Stereo Installation kit, patience

Tools for the Job:

#2 Phillips Head Screwdriver, 8mm socket driver, Pliers, Some variation of Dremel Tool with a medium grit sanding bit, soldering iron, a wiring splicing tool, and Interior Trim Tools (optional)

Stereo Removal:
So the stock head unit is held in place be two 8mm bolts at the back of it. They bolt in from the bottom facing up towards the dash. Because of this we need to remove the center console to have access to them.

Remove the two Phillips heads screws at the back of the center console.

Remove the two screws under the e-brake handle snap cover.

Remove the two screws on either side of the front of the center console.

Pull the ash tray out then, press the silver flap down into the ash tray. Now pull it out all the way. There are two screws behind this.

We can now remove the entire cup holder assembly, ash tray, and cigarette lighter. There are several clips here.

There are two more screws just behind that, right under the stereo. Once removed the entire front section of the center console can be removed.

Once that is out we now have access to those two 8mm bolts.

After those are out the stereo should come out. The lower dash tray is connected to it.

Info before installation:

Now we see why you need the aftermarket stereo installation kit. We basically have an open hole in the dash with no mounting points on either side, just the back. I'm sure with some modification and skill that can be corrected however, for the cost of a $10 install kit, that's what is going in.

Here is a comparison of the stock stereo (bottom) with the dash tray attached and the aftermarket Kenwood I'm putting in. Those small screws on the tray clip in to the stock stereo. The overall diameter of the stock unit is also larger so, it fills the entire space correctly. 

The dash kit comes with some fairly decent instructions. The kit is a two part system consisting of the lower dash bin and the stereo mount. Be careful with the head unit opening as the plastic here is flimsy. Ask how I know...

My first go around was a whoopsie daisy. 

Figure A
Figure B
The instructions recommend sanding/grinding off the excess plastic around the outside mounting points that are snapped off. I did not have to do anything of the sort with the "Dash Assembly" section shown in Figure B. However, I did need to pull out the Dremel tool to clean up the tabs from Section A.

I can't tell you how much money I've spent on butt connectors over the years. I'm not sure why when I could have just soldered and applied heat shrink to them. So this is where the soldering iron comes in. There is one in there with E-Tape on it because, of course, I forgot to put the heat shrink on before I soldered the wires together. Could have taken them apart again but, where's the fun in that?

Now that I've got the wiring ready to go, time to prep the new head unit.

All the pieces are clearly labeled. Here is a line up, left, right, and center.

The side plates snap in to the face. Again this plastic on the trim ring is flimsy so be careful.

This is the back side of the same piece above, 

The cage assembled and ready for the head unit to be dropped in.

The back side is secured with screws attaching the outer sides to the back of the bottom tray.

The sides are attached with the screws provided.

There we have it. An assembled unit if you will. Now let's slide this guy in the dash. 

This kit fits very tightly on the left and right. I used my flat plastic pry tool to spread the dash as I inserted the unit into the large opening. Once you get past the first cap screw on for the mounting of the head unit on the sides it slides in easier.

Please note: Keep an eye on your harness, RCAs, and Antenna wire. Once this thing is in, it is in. Again ask me how I know. The edges on the surrounding metal brackets behind the stereo are sharp. They can and will cut your harness or RCA cables if you jam this in there and they get stuck on that ledge. Just take a peek after you slide it past the first cap screw. It is easier to take a moment to look than try getting this back out.  

And boom! You should have an installed head unit. At this point I stopped to verify that this thing was functional before putting the rest of the console back in. 

Installation of the center console is just the reverse of dis-assembly. Take your time and reinstall everything properly. Or just leave it all out for that dope race car look!


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