How to Upgrade or Replace Your Radio




Introduction: How to Upgrade or Replace Your Radio

I'm going to explain to you how you may easily follow these steps to go from a stock radio to one that will blow your ears out with loud thumping bass. Step 1: Notice the cover around the "radio head unit" These covers will simply pop right off when pulled on. So pop it off!

Step 1: Removing the "Head Unit" Radio

Depending on what brand radio you have this step will require you to use different tools. Now don't worry because they are all very similar and the concept is that of the same. You will need two "radio Keys" if you don't have them no worries go to local car audio store and they will give you some.. You will insert one key in the slot to the right of the radio as shown in picture and one in the left slot.

Step 2: Remote Wire

So now that the Radio has been pulled out of the dash we need to tap into this with another Cable that will run from this Remote wire back to your amp. This is what tells the amp to turn on and off when the radio turns on and off.

Step 3: Connecting the RCA's to Radio

Now the RCA cables are what carry the signal to the amp so the amp knows what frequencies to put out to the subs. The back of your radio will have two holes as seen here one red (left) one white (right) Insert your red RCA end into the red hole and the black RCA end into the white hole. This RCA cable will run to the input RCA connection to your amp as seen in the next slide.

Step 4: Connected the RCA's to Amp

Now this is just like the previous step in that the red end of the RCA's goes in the red hole and the black in the white hole. Now the only important part to this is that you insert them into the LINE INPUT. not the line out.

Step 5: Hooking Up the AMP

Alright now we need to hook the AMP itself up. We will need to connect a power cable, the Remote cable that we connected earlier to the Radio and a ground cable.

Step 6: Power to the AMP

Alright so we have connected the Remote turn on wire to the REM input on the Amp, We have ran the Power cable from the battery to The Power input, and now you need to connect the Ground wire from the Ground input on the amp to a Ground piece of your car. "Somewhere on your car that doesn't conduct a current" Like a bolt the holds down your seat or something like that.

Step 7: Connecting the Subs

Now take your subs that you are installing. "in this case two 12" Kickers" an look at the back of the sub box and find the connections. There will most likely be a "red" positive slot and a "black" negative slot. You need to take speaker wire and insert the positive to the positive and the negitive to the negative. We will then run this speaker back to the amp which will power these subs.

Step 8: Connecting the Subs

Now connect the + to the + on the amp and the - to the - as shown below. Now you have just upgraded your car stereo. Of coarse you need to slide your head unit back into the original slot and decide where you want to put your amp and subs. So hopefully this helped have fun.

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    7 Discussions


    10 years ago on Step 8

    hey, there us really useful, but do you know any way to connect the I-pod directly to an old car radio?


    6 years ago

    oh boy here goes. the remote/antenna wire is for the amplifier to turn on only when the radio is on. this is so it doesnt suck your battery dry. the power and ground wire need to be same thickness. think of a pump. if the hoses are different thicknesses the flow will match the smaller hose. the speaker wires from the radio are ok for a signal input but it is "cleaner" to use the rca's. the amplifier shown has a bridged option and should be used when powering one speaker or one set of speakers wired to one input. the amplifier manual will have the details(or look up wiring options online). the speakers should be powered matching the max power rating if powering subwoofers and match the rms rating if using midrange speakers


    10 years ago on Introduction

    If you are using that gauge of wire to drive subs, they won't be getting enough power, as much as they could get. When you feel the need to get loud, get a five channel amp, new deck, and new speakers. You also need a capacitor for the amp, so your lights don't flash every time the bass hits.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome! I've been looking for something like this for weeks. I've got a few questions though; so the head unit already has a remote wire that you hook the amps remote wire up to? I thought that there was no remote wire on the head and you had to plug the amp into something else, with a harness or something. Also, is there another way to hook the remote wires up that looks more professional? And, How do you connect both subs and speakers to the amp? I read you have to bridge something but, I am not sure. Sorry if this is too much, I've just been researching this for weeks and this is by far the best guide I've found.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    The remote wire is on the car stereo, you can also use the power antenna wire. For using all speakers and subs hooked to an amp you will need a 5 channel amp and 6 RCA cords.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Okay, to start off, for a system with subs and amps and stuff, never use the speaker wires coming from the stereo, use the RCA's, and you used too small of speaker wires for the subs, you need 10-12 gauge wiring.