My '08 LGT stock setup came with the Kenwood GX206JE. A Panasonic multimedia flat screen nav controller is mounted in the ďcubby holeĒ at the top. Only the audio output of the Panasonic goes to the stereo. It was tuned for the Japanese FM band - so I had to use a frequency shifter to receive some of the local radio stations. The JDM FM band goes from 70 - 90MHz and my shifter brought the local frequency down by 14.2 MHz. Reception on some freq's were good and others were crappy. Plus I wanted bluetooth.
Apologize in advance for some of the crappy phone pics!
I REALLY did not want to pay $300 +++ to get a new fascia in from Japan! So I decided to investigate whether I could replace the stock unit without having to go down that road.
First step was to take apart the stock stereo from the face. Upon doing that I found a small 5 contact ribbon cable connecting the stereo controls to the HVAC controls! Itís that white one to the left of the picture below. I tried researching wiring diagrams etc. to see if I could figure out what that was for. Eventually I just disconnected the damn thing and ran the car without it connected. The A/C continued to work fine Ė so that convinced me that I could go ahead with my plan.
Once I confirmed that the A/C didnít need that connection from the stock stereo, I was able to go ahead and buy a middle of the line touchscreen double DIN (Kenwood DDX 371) from Amazon. My review of it is on Amazon if you want to find out more on that.
I test fitted the Kenwood to see where the mounting depth would fall using the stock brackets. It looked like it would work. See below. Three of the four side screws lined up nicely on the new HU and that was sufficient for me. I even wired in the deck one time and ran the car a week like that! I used the wiring diagram for the í08 Legacy on SVXdcís site to help me out here. Thanks SVXdc! I did not use any new harnesses. Instead I used screw type electrical connection strips. I also have a 5ch amplifier installed. Thatís wired to feed mid and treble to the stock door speakers through the stock wiring, as well as a 10Ē sub in the trunk. The stock speakers actually handle the power surprisingly well at higher volumes. I might upgrade those in the future, or just install a new rear dash and leave the stock door speakers.
I proceeded to have my cousinís husband Chris, who does fibreglass and body fabbing work, to help me out. We took the Kenwoodís face trim to outline where we would need to cut the fascia. Luckily it didnít encroach on the hazard switch! I took off all the HVAC controls and taped off the back section from dust. We used my Dremel to cut the outline that we marked with paintersí tape. There was NO going back to stock from this point on! After the cut was done, we were left with two semi-circular holes where the stock volume and source knobs were. Chris took the upper part of the fascia that was cut out, stencilled the outline of the slot, cut out two pieces to match the stencil outline and platic welded it into the slots using a small soldering iron. In the pics below you can see the left side just sanded down and the right side just completed.
My initial thoughts were to have the fascia painted back to a gloss black finish, but then Chris showed me what he had done to his blue peanut eye WRX using blue carbon fibre sticker. So I decided to do the same with black carbon fibre Ė which he had and gave me a piece of.
I went home and delicately stenciled out the carbon fibre sticker and applied it over the entire fascia including the HVAC controls. I left enough sticker to wrap it over onto the side of the fascia.
I donít have a pic of it, but the sides of the HVAC control back piece has two plastic guide pegs sticking out that is meant to fit into the stock HU bracket. It was designed so that the HU and HVAC would all screw onto the fascia and the brackets would then hold everything together, and the whole unit would then insert into the console. Well, because I had to mount the new HU separately, those two guide pegs had to come off (via Dremel) otherwise, I couldnít insert the fascia with the HVAC in place with the brackets sticking down.
I reconnected the HVAC, screwed in the fascia around the new HU and snapped the deck trim on to the front of it. I then put back on the side trimming panels and voila! Finished product!
I ran the hands-free mic out the dash and stuck it onto the steering column. Thatís good enough for me. The wired USB extension was pulled into the glove box. I donít intend to connect my android phone to that. But I use USB flash drives with various MP3ís there instead. Future additions include a PAC SWI, reverse camera, and wire in the audio from the Panasonic multimedia to the AV IN on the back of the stereo.
I hope this install helps somebody out there!