OK, I spent too many hours here, on clubb5, monsoon, Dr.Install, vw, and many other sites and could find NOWHERE a concise list of instructions and advice on installing to a 2000 VW Passat. So here goes.
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I will update this later with pics, but it's actually not that hard now that I know the basics.
#1.) Figure out how you plan to direct the sound output.
The built-in Monsoon head unit does not have line-level or aux inputs, so you have to choose between getting a new HU, running the empeg as the HU or something more creative. The first two options involve ripping out or extensive rewiring of the system. The monsoon amp is 8 channels and takes speaker-level inputs (weird on both counts, but the system sounds AWESOME).
I chose to avoid that whole problem by installing what's called a Frequency Modulator. The rest of the instructions assume you will do the same Ė Iím not yet ready to replace the HU.
The FM unit plugs inline with your car's antenna and plays through an unused radio channel like 88.7Mhz. This works surprisingly well.
You can find FM Modulators at Crutchfield or on eBay for about $40 (look for XO Vision).
#2.) Get antenna adapters
The VW uses European connectors instead the usual bullet connector found on most stereos (and the FM modulator), so you need to buy converters for both ends (i.e. antenna -> euro-to-bullet connector -> FM Modulator -> bullet-to-euro connector -> Monsoon HU). I got these at Circuit City, but Iím sure Crutchfield has them too. About $35 for both. BTW, the VW has an amplified antenna, which means you tap one of the converters to +12VDC.
#3.) Wire that puppy
There are three connectors into the Monsoon HU, and itís surprisingly difficult to find a complete pinout anywhere. So, I used a volt meter to figure out the wires that matter. The top, wide connector is used to control three external devices: the CD changer, a ďdisplayĒ, and an external amp. The latter two are not used in my car, but Iím sure the ďdisplayĒ is proprietary. The middle connector is speaker outs to the Monsoon amp. The connector that matters is the bottom one. I have attached a pic, but there are only 3 wires that matter: Power (+12V), the dimmer (arguable if itís really needed), and ignition.
NOTE: Donít mess with the K-LN Ė itís the OBD connection, and Iím told the ECU can report weird things if the radio doesnít report back properly. If you install an aftermarket HU, everyone seems to recommend disconnecting that wire altogether.
As for where to locate the sled, I replaced the cubbyhole that sits between the HU and the climate control interface. Thereís plenty of room behind the climate control facia, but youíre going to need every bit of it to squeeze the god-awful mess of wires you now have.
I plan to run the empeg Aux input lines to a mini-jack located in the unused plate just below the passenger seat heater dial. Should be handy for other devices.
Still have figured out how I want to use the Mute function, but I have an idea I will share once I investigate.
The sound quality is surprisingly good, and I havenít even begun to adjust the levels. As time progresses, I will probably dial-in the levels (the FM modulator has an output level adjustment, the empeg has an output level adj., and thereís always the equalizer!). Eventually, I will replace the HU.