Upgrading the stereo in an old car can enhance your driving experience significantly. However, installing a new stereo in an old car may seem intimidating because of the seemily vast differences between new and older stereo systems.
In most cases, you can install a new streo in an old car with little to no trouble. All you need is some basic tools and our step-by-step guide. In this guide we’ll walk through everything needed from gathering the tools all the way to testing to ensure everything’s works properly.
Please however note that the process depends on both the make and model of the car as well as what type of stereo you desire to install.
Here is a step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Gather the Tools and Materials
Before starting the installation process, you need to gather all the necessary tools and materials. Here are some of the essential items you’ll need:
- New stereo
- Wiring harness adapter
- Crimping tool
- Wire stripper
- Electrical tape
- Electrical tester
Step 2: Find a Power Source
Take a feed from a power source that is ignition-switched and run a wire of suitable amperage to your intended location.
Fit an inline fuse close to the power source on this wire; the size is determined by the maximum power requirements of the unit. Never use a fuse rated higher than the unit or its wiring.
Step 3: Power Back Up Wire
Take a wire from a permanent feed, such as a battery terminal, so your radio retains your preset stations.
Fit another inline fuse close to the take-off point.
Finally, run an earth cable from a suitable point on the chassis/body. This will be connected to the stereo’s black earth wire
Step 4: Disconnect the Battery
To prevent electrical damage during installation, first, disconnect your battery. Locate it and detach its negative cable.
Step 5: Remove the Old Stereo
Unscrew all screws holding onto it or use a pry tool to take out it before disconnecting any cables connected to it.
Step 6: Connect a Wiring Harness Adapter
Use a wiring harness adapter to connect the new stereo system with the car’s wiring system; use a crimping tool to secure wire connections.
Step 7: Connect Your New Stereo
To set up the stereo, connect a wiring harness adapter. Each adapter should include instructions as to which wires should connect where. Use a crimping tool to securely joining them together.
Step 8: Test the Stereo
Before installing the stereo, test its operation thoroughly to make sure everything works as intended. Connect the negative cable from the battery back and turn on your car; check that everything appears normal before turning it back off again to see if your stereo works as promised.
Step 9: Secure Your Stereo
Once your new stereo has been tested and is operating as expected, secure it to the dash using its mounting screws. Make sure it remains securely fastened so as to provide an optimal audio experience in every drive.
Step 10: Test The Stereo Once Again
After installing your stereo system in your car, test its functionality again by turning on your engine and making sure everything works smoothly. Inspect your wiring to see whether everything looks tidy.
Step 11: Conceal Wiring for Safety and Convenience
Once everything is working perfectly, clean up the wiring using electrical tape to wrap and protect each wire and prevent shorts.
Step 12: Reconnect Battery
Finally, reconnect the negative cable of the battery pack before restarting your car and testing out your stereo unit one final time.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Not disconnecting the battery before starting the installation process.
- Not using a wiring harness adapter.
- Not testing the stereo before securing it in place.
- Not tidying up the wiring after installation.
Wiring a stereo in an old car might seem daunting at first, but with the appropriate tools and knowledge, it can become simple. First research and purchase an appropriate wiring harness and mounting kit tailored specifically for your model car; next read both your stereo manual as well as car’s owner’s manual carefully, noting each wire’s purpose before making connections; lastly cut and strip wires carefully while testing before reassembling dashboard; by taking these steps you’ll enjoy both modern sound system while keeping the vintage charm of old vehicle alive!
Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics.