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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm installing a stereo in my Smart that has, from what I can gather, the most basic radio system there is. I've got the Hyundai/Mobis ZB Radio Base and a speaker in each door. I plan to install in three phases:

1) Aftermarket head unit.

2) Processor, amps, subwoofer.

3) Door speakers, tweeters, treatment.

I'll be detailing the Smart-specific aspects that I run into here, and the system-specific details at DIY Mobile Audio Forum (which is the current best resource for car audio on the Internet that I'm aware of).

Phase 1 - Head Unit

I used this awful video to get the dash apart. It's simple, though. Just pry the hazard buttons panel out, remove the T25 screw behind it, and yank the plastic frame surrounding the radio forward and out:

This is what I picked up to adapt my single-DIN aftermarket head unit:

1) Metra 99-8720B for the physical installation.
2) Metra 40-VW10 antenna adapter.
3) Metra 70-1783 wiring harness adapter.

The wiring harness adapter isn't quite right. The wiring for the head unit of the 451 changes through the years. I believe 2008-2010 are the same, 2011-2012 are slightly different, and 2013+ are slightly different still. The speaker wires all match up, but sometimes the 12v switched power gets moved, and some cars have wires that other cars don't (depending on options). This was the best thread I found about it:

This is what I found in my car:

The wires are as follows:

1) Brown/black - ?
4) (2) Red/blue - Constant power
6) Gray/blue - Illumination
7) Gray/black - Switched power
8) Brown - Ground

On the Metra adapter I had to move the red 12v switched power wire and orange illumination wire to match up to the factory wiring. I did this by using an iPhone SIM card removal tool to push the retaining pin in from the front which allowed me to pull the wire out the back. A paperclip would also work.

The pins are oriented differently in each row, so it helps to check the direction to know which side to stick the paperclip in. The retaining pin is on the same side as the two "humps" of the crimp.

If you push the pin in too far, gently pry it back out a millimeter to get it to stay firmly back in the connector.

After that it was just a case of matching colors to colors. I removed the wires I didn't need from the Metra adapter for cleanliness and wound up with this (the blue/white wire is a remote lead that will eventually go to my amplifiers, and the molex connector is for the speaker wires because I know they'll be coming from an amp in the future...didn't want to cut/solder again):

The way I listen to music is exclusively from a mobile device in the glovebox, so I needed to wire some USB cables from the back of the head unit to the glovebox. The simplest way to do this seemed like popping out the existing USB/aux connectors and just running wires in their place. It can be popped out by taking a flathead screwdriver and pressing on the ears while prying it from the glovebox side. Once you get the near side all the way through, the other side just follows.

Pulling the stock USB/aux wires out was a bit tricky, because the connectors don't fit through the crack at the top, so I had to slide them down the crack to the bottom to get them to fit. It's hard to explain (and photograph):

The USB cables I put in went in without issue.

The Metra adapter comes with a "pocket" to take up space below the head unit, and it has holes in it for some reason. I taped them up to prevent flotsam from disappearing into my dash and rattling around. I wish they'd found a way to retain the nice spring-loaded factory pocket...

The rest was just screwing the Metra adapter to the head unit and screwing it into place.


927 Posts
Thanks for this. I was just mentioning to the missus that the sound quality was pretty terrible with the base radio and speakers, and she agreed it should be upgraded. This was going to be a winter project so any info will be very helpful.

729 Posts
I did similar with the glove box adapter, but I put the radio’s USB port in place of the old stock one so I still have the stock looking trim instead of the hole. Took a pocket knife and a bit of shaving off of the plastic on the USB port but works great and looks stock.

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