Introduction: Installation of an Aftermarket Stereo in a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan
Our vehicle for so many years needed a newer stereo where we could play CDs. I found a good deal on a Sumas® car stereo capable of playing CDs, AM and FM radio and an USB connection to play MP3s music. The stereo came with two connectors with wires that needed to be spliced with a second pair of connectors known as car stereo wire harness. Although some people splice the wires without the second pair of connectors, that would have made very difficult to replace the stereo in the future or troubleshoot it in the event of an electrical problem.
In my case, I needed the new aftermarket radio, the installation kit for Chrysler/Mercury/Dodge vehicles, the car stereo wire harness and, the antenna extension cable. The antenna connector on my new stereo was located on the opposite side of where the original antenna cable is. The antenna cable is not long enough, therefore the extension was needed.
Step 1: Removal of the Bezel
There are four screws that hold the original stereo. Also before the radio can be completely removed you have to disconnect two connectors, the antenna cable and the braided ground wire.
Step 2: Splicing the Connectors
Splicing the two pair of connectors is the most time consuming phase of the project. I used a crimper, solderless wire connectors and heat shrink tubes. I consulted the wiring diagrams of both pair of connectors and carefully matched the wires. Each car speaker has a positive and negative wire. For the most part the wires are color coded but I took precautions. I had three wires that were not needed, a blue and white wire for amp turn-on, black and white for amp ground and, an orange wire for illumination. These did not have a corresponding wire on the new stereo. Once I crimped the solderless connectors and matched each wire, I used heat shrink tubes to insulate every wire. I crimped a round connector to the ground black wire to fasten to the car’s braided ground wire.