- 250mm Shifter
- Small & Medium Sized Flat Head Screwdriver
- Medium Sized Philips Head Screwdriver
- Wire Cutters
- Crimping Tool
Other Material/s Needed
- Bullet/Spade Connectors both male and female
- Electrical Tape
- Soldering Iron and Solder (If you are going to solder all connections)
Installing a head unit into a Commodore is easier than you think, wiring can be a bit tricky but I have put together a spreadsheet with all the wiring colours for all Commodores with the original Eurovox stereos which should save a fair bit of time. The wiring colour spreadsheet can be found here in the Car Audio section.
Here is how to go about the removal/installation of a head unit:
Before going any further Disconnect the battery! This is Very important! If you fail to do this you could damage the old head unit or damage the new head unit during the installation which could result in a useless piece of metal.
- Pull out the ashtray.
- Pull out the plastic surrounding cigarette lighter and transmission gear selector. You will find it only comes out a little way, slide your hand underneath and remove the connections attached to the cigarette lighter. To make this process a little easier I tend to put the transmission into 1 meaning it is right down the bottom which gives you maximum room, keep in mind it is very wise to have the handbrake on if the transmission is out of park for obvious reasons.
- Undo the 3 screws at the base of the plastic surround which fits neatly around the existing head unit and speed controller/temperature control unit.
- Gently pull towards the rear of the car as there are clips which should let go with a bit of force. Once this is free disconnect the blue plug from the A/C switch. On the right hand side where the temperature control you will find 1 philips head screw about half way down on the left hand side, remove this and then pull the fan speed controller out a little bit to disconnect the 3 connectors or 2 if climate control is installed and pop it out of harms way.
- Look behind the plastic cover which sits just in front of the firewall on the drivers side and you will see a metal rod with a thread on it attached to a plastic clip holding the rod, place a small flathead screwdriver at the top and prise plastic tab towards the right of the car which should enable you to remove the rod with ease. Also keep in mind there is a copper pipe there, if the car has been running this will be hot and believe me it does burn as I have found out a number of times.
- If the head unit is original or has similar brackets you will find 2 screws, 1 located on either side of the stereo which holds the head unit in place, remove these using a philips head screwdriver and the head unit will slide out toward the rear of the car. Once the head unit is out enough for you to get to the back remove any cabling including the aerial connection and/or RCA leads from the rear of the head unit ensuring you have some idea where they came from. It may pay at this point before taking them out to use a bit of masking tape and label each one. Don't throw away the stereo unit just yet as you will be needing it shortly.
- To enable easy access to any brackets which may need changed it is best to remove the complete surround around the temperature control. Open the glove box and leave it there, you will see directly in front 3 philips head screws which need to be removed. On the right hand side where the drop tray is you will need to use a flathead screwdriver to rotate the plastic screws 90 degrees which will allow it to drop down and it shouldn't get in the way.
Removing the surround can be a little frustrating and may appear to get caught as there are lugs which hold it firmly in place on the centre console but a bit of persuasion and patience it will come out.
- If for some reason you do need to remove the glove box and drop tray here is how you go about it
Glove box - On the right hand side looking at it you will find a black pin which can be prised out with a small flathead screwdriver.
Drop Tray - On the left hand side looking at the tray you will find a black pin (same as the glove box) which can be prised out with a small flathead screwdriver.
- Since the head unit is now out of the car, you can now remove the mounting brackets from the head unit, this will vary from make to make but generally philips head screws are used.
- Screw the brackets you just took off onto the new head unit assuming they fit otherwise go to your nearest audio stockist and see whether they have one or simply make one yourself if you have the appropriate tools and know how.
- Now for the fun bit - wiring. Basically match up the colours on the colour chart available from the downloads section with the new wiring loom on the new head unit, if in doubt with the new wiring loom refer to the wiring diagram that came with it. For all connections I like to use the bullet or spade type connectors and then some electrical tape around the connections to make sure they touch. Alternatively twitch the connections together, solder them up and use some electrical tape around them or heat shrink.
- Once the above is done plug in the wiring loom into the new head unit, replace the battery terminal and switch on the ignition just to see whether everything works as it should, if it does good job and its time to put everything back together otherwise just go back over the wiring and ensure everything is connected correctly. If things still aren't good I would start looking at whether the head unit is buggered up.
- To put everything back together do everything in reverse, making sure that wires are nicely taped up together and aren't going to get crushed to pieces when the head unit is screwed back into position.
When putting the screws back in you may want to consider getting some torx screws making it that little bit harder for thieves to take your stereo if they have the urge. Lets face it if they want it they'll get it no matter what but hey why not make it that little bit harder. If you decide this option you will need the driver to go with it, the best place to get these is Dick Smiths, Tandy's or Jaycar.
Well there you have it, there are many different ways to go about installing a head unit, this is the way I have done it a number of times and it has worked for me on each occasion. If you do have an easier way please drop me a email and I'll put up your recommendation along with credit where it is due.
thanks for this mate, it was my hbible when i was installing my mp3 HU. thanks again ViperVp..
Great post, I was just about to attack my son's newly bought VP (installing new CD player) when I found this forum. It's been a great help
great help thanks
disconnect heater control rod next to where your left ankle would sit on drivers side , little white clip on swing arm
drop panel below steering column ,3 clips twist 90 degrees
3 screws down driver side of dash facia
drop glove box 1 clip in box at rear right , slide clip out towards passenger side
3 screws down passenger side of dash facia
remove panel around shifter clipped in only and slide back
3 screws along bottom of center facia panel
unclip facia panel carefully
Unplug the LED for immobiliser (this sux)
4 screw hold dash facia and 1 in AC controls
2 plugs in rear of AC controls + 1 hose cluster
undo 2 Large chrome screws going straight down and console will drop
remove dash facia
2 screws holding deck in
Orange = constant 12V
yellow = accesories
Black = earth
Brown/white = illumination
yellow/red = elec aerial
dark green & light green = front right (DG-)
tan & grey = front left (G-)
dark/black & blue red = rear right (DB-)
brown/black & yellow/blue = rear left (YB-)
There is 3 screws holding the brackets to the deck , if you drill a new hole between the 2 screws that are towards the front of the bracket it will line up with most after market decks and will screw straight in and look stock again.
Need to drill on the white dots.
Right click save as . .
I have attempted to change head units in my VN until i got to taking the current unit out. There are 2 screws facing the other way on the bracket... I don't know how to get them out so any help will be greatttly appreciated ))
Very small 8mm spanner and patience , once you crack the thread you can actually undo them by fingers.
Or alternatively use long nose pliers.
Right click save as . .
to get to them screws remove the 2 big black plastic vent/pipe things which are only held in by a screw then you have easy access to them 2 screws.. just did it before and was able to remove the screws easilyOriginally Posted by sk1p
is there any way of connecting the steering wheel controls to a new head unit or is it to much trouble to try.
This would be interesting to know... I believe you can buy an aftermarket module to allow this... not to sure about ti all tho...Originally Posted by 97stata
hey i have a issue,
i have a 89 VN calais
the calais and exec headunit are quite diffrent,
i followed this instruction to the exact word, except i got lost around
disconnect heater control rod next to where your left ankle would sit on drivers side , little white clip on swing arm
Im gonna have another crack at it tommorrow
the tutorial is also incomplete in the fact that it isnt as easy as removing 2 screws and pulling it out.. (with my calais anyway)
ohwell if anyway can take a photo of the heater control rod i would be greatful as i have no idea what it looks like but i will look again tommorrow
i also have the issue of i cant get the console plastic cover off.. i read a review that said to take the gear cover off... when we did my bros VN exec i remember never taking that off, or taking the glove box out... ( i had someone with me who had done it before tho ) maby i cant find the heater control rod because its shielded by the cover ( all teh screws are undone)
Your Calais has climate control, so you don't have heater control rod. (The heater control rod is connected to the temperature knob on the console of lower spec models). So I believe you can ignore this step. The gear cover needs to come off, or at least be lifted up, so you can get to the screws at the bottom of the centre dash fascia.
thanks, mm however i have attempted to remove the cover but it wont come off, there is 3 srews each side and and 3 at the bottom ? (more holding the cover for the rack, ill take photos if im more confused..) im scared to force it out as i dont want to break it..
is there any screws/ clips i missed? the old head unit is being held in by some kind of mounting bracket on the right side of the headunit, this is the only thing from stopping me removing the old head unit.
I haven't looked at a VR/VS properly for a while, but from memory once you undo the 3 screws at the bottom, the surround is only held in by spring clips, from which the surround should just pull straight out of.
When removing the headunit (again from memory) you undo the brackets from the dash frame and pull the headunit and brackets out together, once the headunit is out then remove the brackets from it.
The instructions at the start of this thread are very good, if you follow it step by step you should be fine. Good luck!
The link to the wiring colour spreadsheet is not working at the moment. Is it still available or has it been taken down?Originally Posted by Darren
Thanks Darren, your detailed tutorial and wiring diagram were very helpful, I have just finished my first install of a JVC KD-615 in my 1991 Commodore VN. It was a pretty big job (for me, having never done it before...more arkward than anything..)
I had a couple of wiring problems, and just wanted to share with other users incase they come accross it. According to darren's wiring spreadsheet the orange/white cable is Battery 12V, and the red/yellow is the constant 12V. In my car the Red/yellow had no voltage on it, i tested it with the light switch and dimmer control and ignition. So i dunno but no voltage, whereas the orange/white had a constant 12V, so i used that for my constant. Everything else seemed right. I was freaking out a bit there because i was getting no power. I also could not find a dimmer cable in mine, I had no brown/white cable. And what could the yellow/red be for? perhaps it is disconneted somewhere along the line. Anyway it is all working now! hope this helps someone as it would have me!
there are some...half of the time they dont work though. another way is opening your cd player and wiring the leads onto the board in all the right places, not something I would suggest for anyone who isn't an electronics technician. Please also bear in mind the fact that this destroys the warrranty on your HU. I have done several of these and always takes me hours.
I was in super cheap auto the other day and noticed they now have adaptor loom assemblys to suit most popular models of Australian cars to fit any head unit with iso connectors.This would save a lot of hassle .Has anyone used or know of anyone who has used one.
(Edit) - Never mind, found it.
Does this wiring key apply to VH's also? Can't find a wiring code for my VH commodore.Originally Posted by KAL SPL
a car stereo place here in perth told me they could do it for my alpine HU for about $200. I think it is a stinger unit/module thing. i was gonna get it done then they said i also had to get newer buttons as the '94 VR ones were a different style ($100) so i never bothered - i have a remote ... i do miss the buttons tho..
i was wondering how to go about installing 6" speakers in the front door of my VN Berlina. also are there any wires to do with power windows or central locking that i might cut during installation. any help would be greatly appreciated.
Do you remove the whole air conditioning unit? I have it unscrewed but i dont no about the wires etc. If i could get it disconnected then i should be able to get the whole surrond of the tape deck out (at the moment the airconditing unit stops it. How do i remove it? I cant seem to get my ahnd around to disconnected. Any help? If i could get it out then i would be able to get better view of the tape deck and what is holding it in, as at the moment i have already removed about 10 screws and it still isnt coming out. Thanks
Was gonna do an install this weekend and the Wiring spreadsheet that Darren mentions would be handy but the link seems dead. Can anyone repost the spreadsheet.