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#15482 - 25/08/2000 19:11 99 Subaru Forrester
Ezekiel
pooh-bah

Registered: 25/08/2000
Posts: 2413
Loc: NH USA
Step by step for a Subaru Forrester (mine's a '99) for posterity & others who may have this car.

This does involve cutting away at your dash unless you: a) want the dashboard in pieces all the time or b)never want the empeg to leave the dash because you're a hot [censored] and have a wireless ethernet and have figured out how to set it up in your car in which case you probably don't need to listen to me ramble on like everyone out there is a moron and couldn't figure this stuff out themselves...

Reqired tools: Stripper Crimper, Phillips Head screwdriver, continuity tester (I really prefer the ones that beep when a circuit's made) a dremel tool (or possibly the roto-zip!) with one of those bladed steel side-endmill looking bits, a flashlight (if you like to start projects at 4 and work past dark or to find the damn screw under the seat), about 2 feet of 12 gage solid copper wire stripped of insulator (you know, Romex or the like for wiring houses) and a pair of pliers, preferably needle-nose.

Step by step:
1. Disassemble the dash. The dash comes apart without any screws. I have a manual shift. There is a piece of plastic around the shift boot and one in the center console behind (towards the back of the car) the shifter. Just pull up here and both pieces will pop up. Remove the ash tray. Pull the plastic that surrounds the stereo & environmental controls. It's held in with two metal snaps on top and plastic snaps on the side/bottom. Be persistent, wiggle and keep it fairly vertical and twist from side to side & it'll come out. Unclip the lighter connections & ashtray lamp cord, these have locking tabs you have to depress when you pull them apart. This exposes the 4 screws that hold in the radio and/or CD player.

Step 2: Remove the stereo. Remove these 4 screws and the whole thing pulls right out. Unclip the Subaru connection to the stereo & disconnect the CD (if you have one). The CD is a funky 9 pin DIN connector with a ring you have to pull up on (I'm getting ahead of myself here, you won't have to do this until the thing is all the way out).

Step 3: Go to your local car stereo place with the whole stereo assembly, plop it on the counter and say "Got anything that'll fit for this harness? It's a big white thing with a slew of (hopefully, depending on brand) labeled wires. Be sure you get a little bagfull of the crimpy connectors (tubes you squish over bare wires - solder sucks). 30-40 should do the trick.

Step 4: Buy an amp unless you have a head unit with line/aux inputs. The OEM head unit does not offer any easy way in, and I'm not patient enough to try the 9 din wires one by one & then cobble same (although if somebody has a pinout diagram I'd love it). If you want to use the OEM as a source (radio & tape as the CD is a separate & quite useless unit b/c of the DIN connector) go to Crutchfield or the like and order a Speaker to Line voltage converter such as the AudioLink one from Crutchfield (www.crutchfield.com) p/n 101PL2 for about $30.

Step 5: Quality time with the crimper. Crimp the connector you bought in step 3 onto the one supplied with your empeg. Test each crimp with a continuity tester as you go & save yourself a hassle. You will have to make your own arrangements for the speaker connections from your amp or headunit/amp or whatever. Not too hard, just continuity test every chance you get.

Step 6: The tricky bit, mating the EMPEG sleeve to the two metal side plates. The Subarus have metal side plates that hold the stereo components in with M5 screws. I suppose you could drill, tap & mount it properly, but I'm WAY to lazy to do all that. Here's where the 2' of 12 gage solid wire comes in (I knew you were wondering). Leave one of the components attached in the upper position between the two side plates. Place the empeg sleeve underneath. You'll see a narrow triangular opening on the side plates just below the empeg sleeve. Feed you 12 gage through both of these slots (ie: slot, across sleeve, through other slot) and get it centered. Bend two free ends back across towards the center of the slot. Position the sleeve where you want it fore/aft and then squeeze (needlenose)the 3/8" between your two wires (now wrapping around side plate) just next to the side plates. This clamps the sleeve in place. Loosely wrap the remaining free 5" of the wire around itself. Voila, sleeve in place, NO TAPPING REQUIRED. This holds the sleeve quite firmly as the sleeve is braced on its upper surface with the remaining OEM component.

Step 7: Mount radio/sleeve combination in your car. Make whatever remaining connections you need to (remote amp on, speaker wire etc). Slide in your empeg and fire it up. Now do one of the following: a)beam radiantly in the glow of the killer visuals and pumping sound of your new system (assuming you loaded a song or two) or b)scowl and say GODDAMNIT which $(*&($*%&^^ crimp did I miss? If b) go back to step 5 and make friends with your Ohm meter. When I did it, I managed to blow a fuse for the overhead lights/clock which is also the amp power line so I had visuals but no sound. Don't ask me how I did that I have no idea. If you do the same thing the fuse for it is under the hood, not in the passenger compartment -15A-.

Step 8: Modify the dash opening. You want to be well rested for this one as it involves some demanding time with your dremel & is not forgiving of ****-ups. You do not want to know how much that big ole piece of ABS/Styrene plastic costs from your dealer. That being said, with your empeg in place in the dash line up the trim piece as best you can and mark the seam where the empeg and your other component meet. You'll be using this as a trim line. You will need to remove almost 3/8" (about 9.5mm for everyone else out there) from the three sides which abut your player. Mark straight lines with a straightedge & sharp object & cut to these lines. You cannot eyeball this. Stick to the lines & remember it's very easy to cut more material, but damn hard to put it back on. Power up your dremel and start making chips. Move slowly, you'll get nicer chips & not asphyxiate yourself with nasty smoke. Cut until you think you have it right, then fit it up & find out where you're wrong. Repeat this until you can get the empeg into & out of the sleeve easily. Once finished you can wipe a little paint thinner on your cut surfaces to give them a smoother finish. Try not to get it on the outer surfaces. Let it gel for a minute & wipe it dry.

Step 9: Snap the sucker in place and go impress your friends. You deserve it.

I hope this was helpful. I don't know if other Japanese brands use the same side plates, but the 12 gage wire trick really takes this from a godawful job to one that's big enough to be satisfying but not impossible. Just try not to cut plastic in poor light or when really tired.

Sorry for the long post.


just say you weren't paying much attention...


Attachments
6-14533-forrester_install.jpg (202 downloads)

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#15483 - 26/08/2000 08:27 Re: 99 Subaru Forrester [Re: Ezekiel]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31149
Loc: Seattle, WA
Thanks for the information and the photo, that was a nice post!

Nifty trick with the wire and the sleeve.

___________
Tony Fabris
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Tony Fabris

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#15484 - 27/08/2000 12:16 Re: 99 Subaru Forrester [Re: tfabris]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have a '98 Forrester, and just dropped a Mark2 unit into it.

The Subaru factory head unit was a Clarion unit, with a 13-pin DIN
connector at the back for expansion (CD changer, etc..).

I deciphered the pin-out of this DIN plug, but it was of no use..
one of the pins is a 2-way intelligent "logic" bus, which basically
prevents use of the expansion connector with non-Clarion components.

So I set off in search of a new head unit, but discovered that nearly all
current ones on the market (Canada) also have proprietary expansion
"capabilities". Found one exception (so far): JVC KD-SX850 radio/CD
head unit has generic "Line-In" RCA jacks on the rear. Whew!

I promptly purchased the JVC, which fits neatly into the same slot as
the original Clarion unit, and then installed the Empeg Mk2 below it.
The Empeg is wider than the original mounting "cage", but this did not
present any problems -- the cage metal is easily flexed/bent by hand
to accomodate.

I used a strip of sheet metal wrapped under the Empeg to secure it
to the underside of the new head unit within the cage.. friction fit,
but it won't budge now!

Rather than a Dremel tool for cutting the dash trim piece,
I used a combination of an electric scroll saw and a sharp
knife for most trimming. Looks Great!

-ml


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#15485 - 27/08/2000 19:12 Re: 99 Subaru Forrester
Ezekiel
pooh-bah

Registered: 25/08/2000
Posts: 2413
Loc: NH USA
You're more stubborn than I am to try and decipher that DIN connector. Good to know I can safely shelve the OEM for now & get it out of my kitchen (for when I sell the car). I'm ordering a new head unit too (just want radio now & CD for friends' music), but as an input into the empeg (had an old amp lying around). Sheet metal is probably a bit more snug (more area) but I haven't got any lying around.

Does anyone know what the impending empeg's FM sensitivity will be (dbF)? It's hilly where I live & this makes a HUGE difference. Also, the head unit I ordered (Kenwood KDC-215s) has a 1.8V output, will I fry the 1V input? I didn't see any head units with a 1V preamp out at Crutchfield. They were all between 1.8V and 4V.

-Zeke

just say you weren't paying much attention...
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#15486 - 27/08/2000 21:02 Re: 99 Subaru Forrester [Re: Ezekiel]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31149
Loc: Seattle, WA
Does anyone know what the impending empeg's FM sensitivity will be (dbF)?

Good question. I don't think even the Empeg guys know the answer to that one yet, since everything's still in the prototype stage. Hey, did we even know the sensitivity of the Mk1 tuner? How do you test something like that?

Also, the head unit I ordered (Kenwood KDC-215s) has a 1.8V output, will I fry the 1V input?

No, that'll be just fine, don't worry about it. The input can handle a range of different voltages, some will just be louder than others.

___________
Tony Fabris
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#15487 - 28/08/2000 18:19 Re: 99 Subaru Forrester [Re: tfabris]
Ezekiel
pooh-bah

Registered: 25/08/2000
Posts: 2413
Loc: NH USA
Thanks. Looks like it's due to arrive Wednesday. I'll probably get the EMPEG tuner when it comes out to compare & play with the RDS stuff. I could give a side by side, but how do you split an antenna lead? I hate to cut them, they always get noisy after you do.

-Zeke

just say you weren't paying much attention...
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#15488 - 06/09/2000 20:15 Re: 99 Subaru Forrester [Re: Ezekiel]
PeterH
new poster

Registered: 12/01/2000
Posts: 20
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Well I have finally tidied up my Forester install. the electrical side was relatively simple, i just re-ran all the cableing, with power direct to battery. I used the original ignition switched +12v and and antennae power control by spliceing another connector into them (solder and heatshrink, the only way to fly...) My Subaru had an Alpine as a head unit mounted in the top DIN slot, and a plastic pocket in the lower slot. I have taken out the Alpine and moved the pocket up to the top and mounted the empeg in the lower one to facilitate the installation of my Mobile phone car kit. I have installed and Alpine V12 4 channel amp under the drivers seat (RHD here in Australia) and sent the Sub out to another 2 channel V12 in bridge mode under the passenger seat. The original front and rear door speakers have been replaced with Alpine 6" mids (buit in Xover) and the front door tweeters have been replaced with Alpine tweeters run from the door xover outputs. I have a 2x 10" sub box facing backwards in the cargo area directly behind the rear seat (180 degree phase change required). All was done over the last couple of months as time permitted, about 8 hours real work. But the thing that caused me the real grief was the bloody dashboard fascia. It took me 4 1/2 hour straight with a Dremmel Moto-tool to make a (half)decent job of it. It really is a pity the empeg is not DIN standard in size. well the empeg itself is, but the mounting cradle that is the physical piece to be fitted, is larger and the front panel is much wider. Still it is a marvel of modern technology, and I wouldn't be without it. Now if I can get PPP running over the USB.....Hmmm and USB running on my Linux Box at home.....

PeterH
" 'tis better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt"
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PeterH " 'tis better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt"

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#15489 - 06/09/2000 20:30 Re: 99 Subaru Forrester [Re: PeterH]
Ezekiel
pooh-bah

Registered: 25/08/2000
Posts: 2413
Loc: NH USA
Can you post some specs on those alpine tweeters for the door uppers? I've still got the factory ones in there, and they're lagging even the mediocre Polk & Kenwoods I put in rear & front lower door panels. I'd love to see some pix of your setup, been thinking about the sub under the passenger seat, but where to put the snow & ice brush...

-Zeke

just say you weren't paying much attention...
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#15490 - 06/09/2000 20:44 Re: 99 Subaru Forrester [Re: PeterH]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31149
Loc: Seattle, WA
It really is a pity the empeg is not DIN standard in size.

Funny, I would have said it just the other way: that it's a pity the Forrester isn't DIN standard.

For what it's worth, I still have a perfectly good Sony pull-out CD player that's a DIN standard, and it's the exact same dimensions as the Empeg. The Forrester would have had the same trouble with that as it did the Empeg.

___________
Tony Fabris
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#15491 - 07/09/2000 15:58 Re: 99 Subaru Forrester [Re: PeterH]
rob
carpal tunnel

Registered: 21/05/1999
Posts: 5316
Loc: Cambridge UK
It really is a pity the empeg is not DIN standard in size. well the empeg itself is, but the mounting cradle that is the physical piece to be fitted, is larger and the front panel is much wider

Nope, we made up our own dimensions for the player - but the car mount complies with the DIN standard. If it doesn't fit your car, then your car has strayed from the standard. Take a look at the photos that have been posted of various installs - you'll notice that the mount is exactly the right size to fit the appertures.

One or two car manufacturers may have decided that nobody will ever want to fit a pull-out head unit, but that's their mistake, and they're the ones that have broken the standard. That's why the car player fits perfectly in the other 99% of vehicle models with DIN bays.

Rob



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#15492 - 07/09/2000 21:28 Re: 99 Subaru Forrester [Re: rob]
Ezekiel
pooh-bah

Registered: 25/08/2000
Posts: 2413
Loc: NH USA
Unless you really look, the cutout job isn't noticable. I'm just glad I have lots of room behind the unit & dash assembly/disassembly is a snap. All OEM's have tons of reasons for every decision they make, especially when they break with the standards. You want non standard look at the oval cutouts on Fords, or the crazy stuff GM does. At least I don't have a dash designed for an old 2-knob thing (like my '70 Valiant had). From what I saw about the SAABs I count my blessings. Besides, to quote Billy Crystal empeg 'looohks mahvelous!'.
-Zeke

just say you weren't paying much attention...
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#15493 - 08/09/2000 03:33 Re: 99 Subaru Forrester [Re: Ezekiel]
rob
carpal tunnel

Registered: 21/05/1999
Posts: 5316
Loc: Cambridge UK
Curvey panels on Ford, Peugeot etc are designed for curvey OEM stereos - but if you remove the stereo you can get a convertor very easily to turn it into a standard bay. Our Ford Ka exhibition dashboard is proof of this.

That's a bit more convenient than having to cut up your dash.

Rob



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#15494 - 09/09/2000 02:32 Re: 99 Subaru Forrester [Re: tfabris]
PeterH
new poster

Registered: 12/01/2000
Posts: 20
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Sorry Tony, (and Rob) I guess my signature line just bit me on the arse.
I agree that the problem was really the Forester facia cover being slightly curved. I was trying to flush mount the empeg as I felt having the the front panel protruding was unsightly. Anyway, for a first timer my "dremmelising" of the fasia cover wasn't too bad. It is good to have the empeg firmly mounted and neat and tidy at last. Some pictures are available here.

In order of appearance my car audio is :
The empeg; green MK I 6GB
The Amps; Alpine V12 MRVF305 for front and rear doors
Alpine V12 MRVF501 in bridge mode for the rear sub box
The speakers; Alpine SPR175A in front and rear doors
JL Audio CS212R Sub box in the cargo area (2x 12")



PeterH
" 'tis better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt"
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PeterH " 'tis better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt"

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#15495 - 09/09/2000 09:36 Re: 99 Subaru Forrester [Re: PeterH]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31149
Loc: Seattle, WA
Great pictures, thanks! I think the Empeg looks really good with the dremel work done on the sides like that.

___________
Tony Fabris
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Tony Fabris

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#15496 - 09/09/2000 10:05 Re: 99 Subaru Forrester [Re: Ezekiel]
PeterH
new poster

Registered: 12/01/2000
Posts: 20
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Snow and Ice? Yikes, it's winter here and it was 22 degrees celsius today. I have a sun screen for the front window under my seat.
Everyone thinks I am mad having a black car over here as it gets to 40 odd degrees quite often in summer (100 degrees in the old scale). Alpine's website has all the specs, the list of equipment is in my other post.

PeterH
" 'tis better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt"
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PeterH " 'tis better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt"

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