I am so interested in learning about cars and how they work but I know absolutely nothing about them. So the best way to learn something is to do it, right? Yesterday I spent all morning watching videos about replacing your own car stereo. It was a little intimidating to watch because of all the wiring, but after watching many, I found one that explained how to connect all the wires without having to solder anything.

Then I went to Best Buy and bought a Kenwood stereo, a mounting kit so it fits in my car, wire harnesses, crimpers/strippers and wire connectors. The whole trip cost me $150, which I consider cheap for a stereo upgrade! 

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After figuring out how to pop off the dashboard piece I was pretty proud, but little did I know, that was the easiest part. Here’s a picture of the Jeep with the old stereo already removed. Those wire harnesses coming out of the car have to be connected to new ones that have wires sticking out of them, which in turn have to be connected to ones coming out of the new stereo.

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Look at all these wires! Each of the red cylinders is a connection I made between wires.

One of the hardest parts was figuring out what to do with the wires that didn’t match up. You’re supposed to connect them corresponding to color, but several didn’t have a pair. Luckily, most of those wires were for features my car doesn’t support anyways, like a power antenna or phone mute for bluetooth. So I just taped them up with some electrical tape and left them disconnected.

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We also had a little trouble figuring out how to mount it in the car because Jeep Cherokees don’t have a normal-sized hole for the stereo. This stereo is 1 DIN, which is the standard size, but my Jeep has a 1.5 DIN hole. So the mounting kit was used, but it still felt a little wiggly. We just had to pop it in really good and trust that once the dash was back on, it would provide a little more support. And it did!

I’m so happy with this look. Now I have auxiliary capabilities, which I didn’t have before. And the whole display changes colors!

Next Jeep project: fix the speaker wires in the driver door 🙂

What type of car do you have? Ever been brave and tried a DIY project on it? Share!

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