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Help with wiring an aftermarket stereo

Old 10-30-2012, 06:56 PM
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Help with wiring an aftermarket stereo

I have searched my brains out but I cannot find the answer to what I'm looking for. I will be replacing the stereo in my 04 and I'm not too sure about how everything is supposed to connect. I know which metra kit I need, and which radio I'm going to get, but I'm unsure how everything will come together. What does the metra kit connect to, and since I'm getting the metra kit, does it come with the necessary harnesses/connections to make my aftermarket stereo work? Or is the metra just for A/C and clock and I need to purchase another harness for the radio itself (like the ones in the sticky)? It confuses me because it says "there are no specific harnesses for the RX-8 besides the one in the metra kit"....I realize that it later says to use any J-01 harness, but is that still necessary if I'm getting the metra kit?

btw, here's the radio
Amazon.com: Blaupunkt Toronto 420 BT World AM/FM/MW/RDS CD Receiver with iPod/iPhone Direct Control and Built-in Bluetooth: Car Electronics Amazon.com: Blaupunkt Toronto 420 BT World AM/FM/MW/RDS CD Receiver with iPod/iPhone Direct Control and Built-in Bluetooth: Car Electronics

Thanks!
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:06 PM
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The other harnesses mentioned were all written in well before Metra's kit was even a glimmer in Metra's eye. They were to help those people doing heavy fab jobs to replace the factory radio back when there was no kit. Now, the Metra kit includes everything you need to replace the factory headunit with whatever you want. I can see how you might get confused though. Maybe I should just delete that whole section out of the sticky... (thoughts anybody?)

Unless you have quite a bit of experience in car audio, I recommend taking it to a professional for installation. It's not as simple as crimping a couple wires together and slapping it in. It's probably one of the hardest headunit replacements out there. The kit has been known to be a little buggy too. That said, it's obviously not impossible. With a single din non-navi headunit, you should be able to do all your wire soldering outside the car on a work bench. I've just seen my share of horror stories with installs and I don't want anyone destroying their 8.

Also note the differences in installs for a Bose system. The resistor padding method linked in the FAQ is reported to give the best results.

Thank you for reading the sticky BTW. It did not go unnoticed.

Last edited by firebirdude; 10-30-2012 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by firebirdude View Post
The other harnesses mentioned were all written in well before Metra's kit was even a glimmer in Metra's eye. They were to help those people doing heavy fab jobs to replace the factory radio back when there was no kit. Now, the Metra kit includes everything you need to replace the factory headunit with whatever you want. I can see how you might get confused though. Maybe I should just delete that whole section out of the sticky... (thoughts anybody?)

Unless you have quite a bit of experience in car audio, I recommend taking it to a professional for installation. It's not as simple as crimping a couple wires together and slapping it in. It's probably one of the hardest headunit replacements out there. The kit has been known to be a little buggy too. That said, it's obviously not impossible. With a single din non-navi headunit, you should be able to do all your wire soldering outside the car on a work bench. I've just seen my share of horror stories with installs and I don't want anyone destroying their 8.

Also note the differences in installs for a Bose system. The resistor padding method linked in the FAQ is reported to give the best results.

Thank you for reading the sticky BTW. It did not go unnoticed.
I definitely understand where you're coming from. The problem is, none of the shops I called wanted to deal with it. They didn't know any more about how the metra kit would work than I do. Best Buy even told me that the climate controls would still work correctly without the metra kit . After this, I feel like I know about as much as anybody (around here anyway!), pertaining to a radio install on an 8.

I'm just trying to better understand what I'm up against so I can decide whether I should just chance it with someone and hope they do it right or try it myself.

Does the metra kit solder to the factory wiring harness or plug into it and then solder to the wires coming from the stereo harness? I'm great at this kind of thing and feel that I can do it with good instructions (which apparently are provided with the kit).

Thanks again
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:01 PM
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That sucks that you seem to have nobody worth a damn around you. It's one thing for an installer to just not be familiar with the small idiosyncrasies of our particular vehicle (after all, they work on a lot of friggin cars). But it's another for them to be too scared to even attempt it with the Metra kit. Metra is, by far, the number one manufacturer of dash kits/integration kits. These kits are designed to be all inclusive and the simple solution to headunit replacement.

The included instructions aren't very good at all.

*gotta run. i'll post more later.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by firebirdude View Post
That sucks that you seem to have nobody worth a damn around you. It's one thing for an installer to just not be familiar with the small idiosyncrasies of our particular vehicle (after all, they work on a lot of friggin cars). But it's another for them to be too scared to even attempt it with the Metra kit. Metra is, by far, the number one manufacturer of dash kits/integration kits. These kits are designed to be all inclusive and the simple solution to headunit replacement.

The included instructions aren't very good at all.

*gotta run. i'll post more later.
Ok thanks I appreciate it, please do.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:41 AM
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The included instructions aren't very good at all. The Metra kit will include a harness that plugs into the factory harness. So you'll want to do as much prep work outside the vehicle as you can. Solder up all your connections, then once inside the car, you can just snap the harnesses together. It will be color to color for the most part. Get some small heatshrink or some quality 3M 33+ tape for your connections. An antenna extension wouldn't hurt either (sometimes 12" makes all the difference).

Lastly, keep in mind you'll need another adapter if you want to retain your steering wheel controls. And if I remember correctly, the Metra harness doesn't have a wire installed in its harness for that. You'll actually need to tap that wire directly into the factory harness in the car. (Should all be in the FAQ)

Not really much else I can help you with. Some of the factory controls must be disassembled and installed on the new Metra faceplate (A/C controls, hazard light switch,etc). But that should all be covered in the installation manual.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by firebirdude View Post
The included instructions aren't very good at all. The Metra kit will include a harness that plugs into the factory harness. So you'll want to do as much prep work outside the vehicle as you can. Solder up all your connections, then once inside the car, you can just snap the harnesses together. It will be color to color for the most part. Get some small heatshrink or some quality 3M 33+ tape for your connections. An antenna extension wouldn't hurt either (sometimes 12" makes all the difference).

Lastly, keep in mind you'll need another adapter if you want to retain your steering wheel controls. And if I remember correctly, the Metra harness doesn't have a wire installed in its harness for that. You'll actually need to tap that wire directly into the factory harness in the car. (Should all be in the FAQ)

Not really much else I can help you with. Some of the factory controls must be disassembled and installed on the new Metra faceplate (A/C controls, hazard light switch,etc). But that should all be covered in the installation manual.
Thanks for all the explanation! I may bring a friend of mine in on this who has a bit more experience with this kind of thing (then I wouldn't have to buy a soldering iron). From what I understand, the metra harness plugs into the stock harness, then the radio harness wires get soldered to the matching wires on the metra harness? Then there are some other connections for the climate controls and hazards that get connected as well. I have already located a steering wheel control harness through Blaupunkt since they have different ones for their stereos
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:50 PM
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Yep. Not sure which steering wheel interface you're talking about, but PAC makes one for virtually every headunit manufacturer. SWI-JACK for the Blaupunkt. But at any rate, any of the interfaces will require you to splice into the factory harness to send signal through the factory wiring to the steering wheel controls (as I'm pretty sure the Metra harness just doesn't have pins/wires in those locations). Wire everything up color to color (including steering wheel interface power and ground) on your work bench, then move over to the car, plug in the Metra harness, splice in the one wire or two as required by the steering wheel control interface, plug in the Axxess box (comes with Metra kit), plug in all the fan/ac header plugs paying special attention to which goes where (as I think they made them the same shape/size...idiots), construct the face plate with factory pieces....and you're ready to squeeze it all in the dash cavity.

Got the Bose system?
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by firebirdude View Post
Yep. Not sure which steering wheel interface you're talking about, but PAC makes one for virtually every headunit manufacturer. SWI-JACK for the Blaupunkt. But at any rate, any of the interfaces will require you to splice into the factory harness to send signal through the factory wiring to the steering wheel controls (as I'm pretty sure the Metra harness just doesn't have pins/wires in those locations). Wire everything up color to color (including steering wheel interface power and ground) on your work bench, then move over to the car, plug in the Metra harness, splice in the one wire or two as required by the steering wheel control interface, plug in the Axxess box (comes with Metra kit), plug in all the fan/ac header plugs paying special attention to which goes where (as I think they made them the same shape/size...idiots), construct the face plate with factory pieces....and you're ready to squeeze it all in the dash cavity.

Got the Bose system?
That definitely clears things up. No, I have the base audio system. The previous owner already replaced the front and rear speakers with some nice Polk Audios, so it actually sounds pretty good and has a pretty decent amount of bass. I feel like it will still sound better with a new HU though...plus I want iPod capability...and my current HU has the wrong software version :/ I'll take a look at those sites you mentioned, they probably have something better than what I was looking at.

Last edited by Cliffjumper126; 10-31-2012 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:06 PM
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Do you need to get an aftermarket antenna adapter??
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Cliffjumper126 View Post
I have the base audio system.
With the Base system, you can repurpose the Blue and Blue/White wires in the metra harness at position H and J (used for Bose amp control) for use with the steering wheel control. (remove the pins from the harness and replace them at position N and P).

For those with a bose system, go to a scrapyard and get the radio harness from an early 2000's Protoge, Miata, Millenia or MPV and extract the pins needed for the SWC. (The connectors may be different, but the wire/pin sizes are the same)


Originally Posted by John Finney View Post
Do you need to get an aftermarket antenna adapter??
An antenna adapter is NOT required, as the RX-8 uses a standard motorola plug. However, an extension is HIGHLY recommended. The stock radio has the antenna port on the left rear of the radio, and most aftermarket units have the port on the right rear. This makes it extreamely difficult to connect the cable. The extension allows the connection without issue.

P.S.: If you have the misfortune of having the antenna plug break when you remove it from the radio, you will need to get a 6ft male to male motorola extension cable( or 6ft extension and a male to male adapter), and run the cable from the dash opening to the antenna feed cable located in the driver side kickpanel.

Last edited by cybrmage; 02-15-2013 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 04-03-2019, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by firebirdude View Post
The other harnesses mentioned were all written in well before Metra's kit was even a glimmer in Metra's eye. They were to help those people doing heavy fab jobs to replace the factory radio back when there was no kit. Now, the Metra kit includes everything you need to replace the factory headunit with whatever you want. I can see how you might get confused though. Maybe I should just delete that whole section out of the sticky... (thoughts anybody?)

Unless you have quite a bit of experience in car audio, I recommend taking it to a professional for installation. It's not as simple as crimping a couple wires together and slapping it in. It's probably one of the hardest headunit replacements out there. The kit has been known to be a little buggy too. That said, it's obviously not impossible. With a single din non-navi headunit, you should be able to do all your wire soldering outside the car on a work bench. I've just seen my share of horror stories with installs and I don't want anyone destroying their 8.

Also note the differences in installs for a Bose system. The resistor padding method linked in the FAQ is reported to give the best results.

Thank you for reading the sticky BTW. It did not go unnoticed.
If I wanted to fit one without a metra kit how would I do so
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