Left turn ahead

monitoranimation.gifAfter much wrangling with various ebay merchants, everything I needed to install my new system in my car arrived on Thursday and Friday last week. I had arranged with Ken earlier in the week that we (ha we...HE) would install it on Saturday, as he had the day pretty much free. Well I decided that I would try and chronicle the install. This is going to make for a long post so here's a photo of the final install, and if you want to read the rest of the entry and see all the install photos, follow the link below... monitorsimpsons.jpg

I arrived at Ken's shop at about 10am on Saturday morning, my car filled with boxes. We pulled the car into the bay and went through all the equipment just to make sure we had everything that was needed. We didn't. So off to Radio Shack I went to get some RCA cables. By the time I returned, Ken had laid out all the wires needed for the install. I really should have taken a photo of that because it was quite a sight. Talk about a TON of wire! Most of it would be hacked up and discarded but it made for an impressive site nonetheless. After everything was planned out, the fun part began. First thing was to take the back seat out. backseat.jpg Since the XM and the MP3 jukebox were going to be in the trunk, a significant amount of wire needed to be run from the front to the back of the car; removing the back seat made this process much easier. Next chore was to remove the driver's seat. frontstripped.jpg Again, this was done to aid in the running of the wire from the rear to the front of the car. backviewstripped.jpg I already had the XM receiver stored in the trunk of the car. But since we were adding the mp3 jukebox and also changing the way the xm interfaced with the headunit (change from fm modulation to IP-BUS) we needed to remove the xm unit and strip out the makeshift amp rack. amprackstripped.jpg Then, whilst we were in the trunk, we removed the trunk lining and carpet. trunkstripped.jpg Again, this helps conceal the mass of wire that needed to be run to each of the units. Now that everything was stripped down, the fun began. This is also the part where my involvement ends and I become a mere bystander. Ken dove and and began to work his magic. He first removed my existing headunit and CD player. dashstripped.jpg Then all the wiring was run from the back of the car to the front of the car and behind the dash, where the new headunit would eventually go. The rear components were connected to their respective interface cables and then given power. Then to the front. Ken quickly created a new wiring harness for the monitor and nav unit which were going to fit in the double din opening. Once that was complete, out came the gauge cluster. The reason for this is to allow the nav unit to tap into the Vehicle Speed Sensor cable, so it can accurately represent distance travelled on the map. keninstall.jpg One the VSS cable was tapped and the gauge cluster was replaced, it was time to test fit the components. This is also when we tested to make sure that everything came on properly and functioned properly. I'm told the last thing you want is to get everything wired up and put securely in place, only to find something doesn't work properly. So everything was set loosely in place and powered up. testfit.jpg With the testing complete and successful, we were pretty much done. Just a matter of putting the car back together, and securing the new components in place. completeinstall.jpg amprackfinished.jpg And of course, the ultimate test...can it play the Simpsons? monitorsimpsons.jpg Of course! So how does it work? It seems to work really well. The XM is seamless, the AM/FM works as it should, as does the CD player. The MP3 player is quirky but works, it'll just take some getting used to. The nav is great, contrary to what my wife thinks. We had to leave pretty much as soon as the install was done to arrive on time to a dinner engagement. I didn't have time to play with the nav settings or anything so trying to use it and learn it while driving in the rain was hard. But now I have it figured out and have already found it very, very useful. A worthwhile exercise I would say. Kudos to Ken for his excellent and expeditious install.