Use the face of your old car's stock car stereo to make a fake-out faceplate hiding your new stereo.
This Instructable was inspired by the "Fake-out Stolen Car Stereo" by sfgabe. https://www.instructables.com/id/Fake-out-Stolen-Stereo/
I drove my Chevrolet S-10 for almost ten years before finally replacing the stereo. In 1999 it seemed perfectly acceptable to have a cassette tape player. Today it's practically an obsolete piece of car audio. I had used a cassette tape adapter for my MP3 players, but when the cassette tape player broke, I had no way to enjoy my Zune in my truck. FM modulators never worked well for me.
Finally I took the plunge and got an HD Radio/CD/CD-ROM MP3 player with a auxiliary line-in port for direct connect for my Zune. The new stereo has a removable faceplate, and while the stereo itself isn't particularly expensive, I don't want someone breaking into truck and stealing the stereo just because it's not a stock radio.
I saw sfgabe's cool "Fake-out Stolen Car Stereo" Instructable and it gave me the idea to make a fake faceplate for my truck's new stereo. This faceplate is made using the original Delco radio/cassette tape player that came with the truck, some Velcro, and a lot of epoxy glue. I left half of a cassette sticking out of the tape player for added effect.
Follow along with this Instructable to see how I made my own fake-out face plate. Every car stereo will be different, but this Instructable will give you the general idea.
Please leave your comments and feedback, and be sure to share any pictures of similar projects.
Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Supplies
I used the following tools and supplies:
Stock Delco car stereo
your coolest cassette tape (Christmas with the Brady Bunch)
Velcro (or other brand) hook and loop fastener. I used the kind made for sewing onto fabric.
socket wrench set
Step 2: Remove the Faceplate From the Stock Stereo
Using a nut driver and wire cutters, remove any screws, nuts or wires holding the faceplate to the radio body. Be careful not to crack or break the plate.
Step 3: Remove the LED Display
Use a nutdriver and wire cutters to remove the LED display. The LED display behind the faceplate will add touch of realism to the finished product.
Be careful around the LED display. Mine was sandwiched between to tiny sheets of glass. I broke it in a couple of places, but was able to repair it using a little epoxy.
Step 4: Glue the Knobs and LED Back on to the Faceplate
Use epoxy glue to reattach the knobs to the front of the faceplace. Glue the LED display on the back of the faceplate, behind the lens.
Step 5: Trim the Back of the Faceplate to Reduce Its Profile
Using wire cutters or a knife, trim any protruding tabs from the back of the faceplate to reduce its profile.
Step 6: Determine How the Faceplate Will Fit Over the Stereo
My first idea was to try to trim the edges and round off the corners of the old faceplate to achieve a custom fit. I took the lazy approach and decided to leave the edges square and let it fit on the outside of the opening.
Someone experienced with car stereo installations will notice that the faceplate is on the outside of the dash opening, rather than behind it. However, the cassette hanging out of the tape deck adds to the illusion that a undesirable stock radio is in the dash.
Step 7: Add a Cassette Tape to the Deck
Using a hacksaw, cut a third of the cassette tape off. Glue the tape into the deck using a liberal amount of epoxy. After the glue sets, apply even more epoxy to make a strong bond between the tape and the deck opening.
Step 8: Apply Velcro to the Dash
I am not a fan of exposed Velcro, but I was able to slip the Velcro underneath the dash opening and make it look neat. I ran the Velcro (hook side) along the entire top of the new stereo. It turned out looking much better than I had expected.
Running the Velcro along the entire top of the stereo looks better than just putting a couple of patches.
Dry fit the Velcro to make sure it fits where you want it.
Apply a film of epoxy on the top of the stereo and slip in the Velcro, applying pressure to the Velcro to ensure a good bond.
Step 9: Apply Velcro to the Fake-out Faceplate
Cut a couple of patches of the loop side of the Velcro and glue it to the back of the faceplate. I had to build out the patches a bit to get a good fit against the hook side of the Velcro on the stereo.
Step 10: Attach the Fake-out Faceplate Over Your Car Stereo
Remove the real faceplate and attach fake-out faceplate over the car stereo.