Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Charlotte, NC
Thanked 46 Times in 27 Posts
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My new stereo installation
I decided that I finally had all I could take of the factory radio. After coordinating with a local car stereo installation shop, I successfully installed a new Kenwood system. It sounds great and is far FAR * FAR * F A R better than the factory unit.
I apologize for the dark photos. That's what I get for buying a cheapo camera ;)
The XM radio 'puck' antenna is one that I bought off of ebay. It was originally intended to be used in a home installation, however, I found that it's reception performs considerably better than the small black patch antennas that come with the SVX300 receiver. Even with the nose cover put back on the car I have reception in the garage with no repeaters nearby. It was completely no-signal with the black patch antenna.
A brief comment about the factory radio. It's obviously a single-din unit based upon the pod that sticks out from the dash that its mounted in. It's a weird configuration in that both the top set of buttons and the radio at the bottom are both built together as one single unit. I decided that I would not use it again and in order to achieve my radio upgrade, it had to be cut in half. That's exactly what I did! It was an easy task, but it sure seemed creepy cutting the thing in half just to free up the bottom din hole. I left the buttons up top covered by the GPS receiver. I black-painted over them to mask them further against the pod. Unless you're looking, you can hardly notice them. It's as clean as I could make it under the circumstances. Hopefully at some point, Smart Madness or another 3rd party supplier will provide a replacement cover that will completely cover up the top half while freeing up the bottom din hole. For now, it's as good as I could make it with present resources at hand. The performance and quality is so worth killing off the factory junk. As cheap as the Kennwood head unit cost, I will leave it with the car when I trade down the road and buy new again when the time comes (which hopefully will be a good while!)..
I did not change speakers - the factory ones actually sound pretty good. I might elect to change out speakers at some point, but that's a project for another day LOL This was intense enough to last me a while.
Some pics to share if I can make the drag-n-drop work...