distraction in action
Posts in category Car :
About a year ago I bought a 2005 Subaru Legacy wagon with an in-dash 6-CD changer. It's proven to be an excellent car, but it has one nagging flaw: there's no way to connect an iPod to the stereo. The usual way this is done for factory stereos without aux-in jacks is to use a kit to convert the CD changer input to an aux-in, but with the changer integrated into the stereo that's not an option. Another option would be to replace the whole stereo with a 3'rd party unit, but the Subie's stereo is integrated with the heating and AC controls
When all else fails, there's the option of using an FM modulator connected directly to the antenna input for the stereo. Amazingly enough, Subaru made even this option painful by using a non-standard antenna cable! Metra now sells the cable you need to make this work, but the sound quality for FM modulators is only marginally acceptable. Oh, and don't even mention those FM transmitters you find at Target–those just sound awful!
However, thanks to a couple of enterprising hardware hackers at legacygt.com my problem has been solved. A fine gentleman known as centerpunch made the whole thing possible, and another called jazzymt made it easy. The install requires you to dismantle the stereo and connect a circuit with an aux-in between the CD changer and the main stereo circuit board. I did the install myself this afternoon and thought I'd share some tips for anybody who wants to try it themselves. But first, the standard disclaimer. These tips are based on my experience with my car. I'm not an expert, and I don't know your car. Maybe they'll work for you, maybe they won't, but don't blame me if you break something trying to follow what I've written here.
There are three pieces of trim that will make your life difficult.
Here are some pictures that I took the first time I took apart the stereo, back in January. I've always found it helps to know the locations of the clips holding the trim in when I'm trying to take something out.