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[HOW-TO][INTERIOR][2001-2003] Double-DIN Dash Modification

46067 Views 49 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  C-Dub
First off, I am a huge music fan, not a big fan of radio for various reasons –
I prefer to use a device that houses all of my favorites. I originally connected my Ipod directly to my factory deck, but soon realized that in order to browse my music, I needed to navigate from the Ipod itself, which is not legal in this province.

In looking for a new head unit, I wanted 4 things:

  1. Ipod Sync
  2. Bluetooth
  3. Double DIN
  4. Concealed Connections (no jacks on the face)

I wanted a double din and knew going in that it would need to be a custom install. After watching many Youtube videos, I decided this was something I may be able to do myself.

Please note: I am not a mechanic or an electrical guru. I removed and installed things that you may not want to do. This is written only from my own experience – this is not intended to be taken as the “right” way to do the install so please read this walkthrough first. I assume no responsibility for any damage you may cause to your vehicle.

Materials Required:

  • New Double-DIN Head unit
  • Antenna adapter – required for older vehicles
  • Vehicle Specific Wiring Harness
  • Bondo body filler
  • Adhesive/ Epoxy
  • Primer
  • Plastic Paint
  • Sand Paper 80 – 220 – 320 Grit
  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • Masking Tape
  • Heat shrink Tubing
  • Dremel Tool
  • Metal cutting saw
  • Drill bits
  • Safety glasses
  • Ventilated work area
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Lets Begin!


1. First thing first – disconnect your negative battery cable.

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2. Now remove the dash bezel that encloses your instrument cluster and factory head unit

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3. When you have the bezel free of the mounted area, disconnect the headlight switch, The 4x4 selector (4wheel drive), and the 2 connections to the heater control

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This will expose the 4 screws which hold the factory unit in place
4. Remove the 4 screws, disconnect the deck’s wiring connector and the antenna

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Side note: Since this took me a long time to complete, you may want to reconnect the items above so your truck is still usable while you are completing the job
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Making Space For New Head Unit

So here is where you decide if you have the stomach for this or not. There are many feelings on this one, all of which I pondered.
I am not a structural engineer nor do I know if removing something or cutting it out is going to comprimise the integrity of the dash or the vehicle itself. I cut and removed material under the feeling that; it’s an older truck - It’s not a show truck - I can conceal the damage if I have to and
I accept the consequences.

5. Take your dremel tool - masking tape – hacksaw – reciprocating saw – marker – glasses and whatever else you think you will need. It’s time to make your truck lighter.
The pictures show what I cut and removed to make room for the double din unit, only cut what you need to make the new unit fit.

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Here you need the vehicle specific wiring harness and the new head unit wiring harness. The Harness in the link is specific for trucks with an Infinity System.

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Both harnesses should have all the same colored wires – verify using the instructions of both the new head unit and the new vehicle specific wiring harness

6. Connect all the wires using your solder gun and solder (I do not have “soldering” pics so if you need direction for this part, there are many How-To videos on Youtube.

Please note: if you do not have steering wheel controls – you will have a wire left unused – as well one for a power antenna

7. Slide heat shrink tubes over connections and heat them until the shrink tightly over connections

8. Next I wrapped each wire connection with black electrical tape and then use twist ties to bring all the wires together

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9. Once this is done, connect new wiring harness to the factory harness and to the new deck, along with the new antenna adapter

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Test to see if all is function properly
Below is a description of the plug ins at the rear of the JVC unit.

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Modding the Bezel

10. Cut the bezel to accommodate the new faceplate

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11. Once I had it placed where I wanted it, I used epoxy to secure it to the bezel. I used popsicle sticks in the back to help hold the face plate in place as well as to help fill in the gaps on the sides

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12. Once your epoxy is set, you can start applying the bondo to fill in the openings – I have seen where some have used fibreglass – I just used the body fill. To help protect the rest of the bezel I taped off and covered the area

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13. During this process, do a test fit of the head unit into the bezel to make sure there are no obstacles to keep it from fitting properly
14. Continue to sand and fill until you are satisfied with the surface of the bezel

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Primer and Paint

Once you have finished priming and you are satisfied with the contour of the new section of the bezel, you are ready to paint.

15. I used Krylon Fusion products – primer and 2 paints – One was black textured paint, the other was a flat black

16. I used 220 grit sandpaper before priming.

17. After sanding, clean the surface – I used damp cloth and a tack cloth

18. Apply Primer

19. When prime is dry, fill in any imperfections, sand again (I used 320 here) and reclean and respray primer

20. If you are satisfied with the surface go to next step – if not – repeat steps 16 – 18 until satisfied

21. Here I used a 400 Grit; very lightly sand – do not apply a lot of pressure. Clean Surface

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22. I applied the textured paint first – 2 coats. It dries fast so I sprayed 2nd coat after 10 minutes

23. Next I applied the flat black – 2 coats

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Final Install

This is where I had trouble in determining how to position the mount and head unit into the dash –
How far out of the dash –
How to attach the mount to the dash, alignment etc

What I ended up doing was to measure the depth of the factory unit – from the mounting area to where the face came in contact with the bezel

24. What I ended up doing was to measure the depth of the factory unit – from the mounting area to where the face came in contact with the bezel. The measurement was 3/4"

25. I fabricated a couple of angle brackets (using drywall corner bead) ensuring that when I mounted them to the factory mount holes, the front facia of the new head unit came out to ¾ of an inch.

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26. I drilled holes to attach the angle brackets to the new unit’s mounting bracket, as well as holes to line up with the factory mounting holes

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27. All that's left is to mount the deck and reinstall the dash bezel!

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On this project, I ran a USB cable from the rear jack of the unit into my glove box. That is where I connected my Ipod. This serves two purposes - 1 - the Ipod is not out in the open and I can lock the glove box. 2- No cables coming out of the front of the deck. I have the tiny bluetooth adapter plugged into the front USB jack, and I routed the mic to the steering column but may relocate it.
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Reactions: 1
awesome job man, I was just looking how to hook up an iPod to my stock head unit and i stumbled upon this. I just think its awesome how it looks like it fits right in there. thats the reason I keep mine stock, I'm too lazy to do all the work you just did and i refuse to have something looking completely out of place on my dash
Thanks Jester,
trust me, if I could pull this off, anyone can. I have never installed a head unit before - or done any wiring in a car and I have never attempted to mod a dash before. Do what I did - get a second hand bezel and you can have a go of it. If you don't like it, you can slip in the old bezel and factory head unit.

BTW - Futureshop wanted $400.00 to $500 to install it. I did it for less than $100.00
for all that work id get a touch screen video double din!!! sweet job though really want to do this but its a bit different with the 98 bezle and the air vents above it
Where there's a will - there's a way. Two reasons I didn't get the touchscreen - (1) - $$$s (2) I didn't look for one!:forehead:

I have a BB Playbook though and I have been tossing around an idea to install that into the mix. I am kinda thinking of a motorized dock that would slide the playbook into a hidden position and slide up just underneath the heater controls - there is a big ole opening there. We are only limited by our imagination...
No I understand what you are explaining. In the off or closed position I envision it is underneath the heater controls portion of the console. When powered up, it would slide out and up - maybe in front of the heater controls. I think the trick would be finding a motorized tray that would slide in a "L" shape format and not just up or down.
Ya Lost Me. I think I know what you mean. You could even do a roof console type affair - good for non drivers as a video player or something.
Yes you have options. There is a thread here that someone has pictures of modified dash bezels one of which is the wood grain the guy makes and sells them. They accommodate the double din. In terms of the 1.5 din I believe that you can get one where the screen flips up.
Awesome! Yes the "refinished " dash is quite delicate on the reinstall, not sure if I admitted this but I damaged mine on the first attempt. I had to repair and adjust the head unit. Yours looks great - glad you were able to use my project as a guide.
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