As promised, here's my official thread on how to remove a second generation Legacy's stereo. It may differ slightly from vehicle to vehicle, but all second gens are pretty much the same. The vehicle this was performed on is a 1998 Subaru Legacy Outback.
What you'll NEED
- Phillip's Head Screwdriver
- Plastic/Metal Pry Tool (regular screwdriver works fine, just be careful).
- Your key & remote
- 10mm Wrench
What you'll WANT
- Small Ratchet with 1/4" socket, Hex fit Phillips Head (for hard to reach screws) SEE PICTURE
- Magnet(s) (to put screws on/catch them if they fall)
Before doing anything, disconnect the cable from the negative terminal on your battery using the 10mm.
Step 1: Freeing The Head Unit
Removing the cupholders:
- Push the spring-loaded cupholder assembly into the outward position.
- Remove the two phillips head screws on either side of the assembly.
- Carefully slide the cupholder assembly horizontally toward the rear of the vehicle and slightly toward the passenger's side, set aside.
- Do not replace screws yet.
Removing the ashtray & related screws:
- Put your key into the ignition and turn it to the accessory position. Pull your handbrake all the way up and shift the car into first (automatic) or neutral (manual). The object is to move the shift knob away from the dash.
- Pull the ashtray outward (toward the rear of the vehicle) until it stops.
- Reach into the ashtray and push down the black metal plate above the ashtray. This releases the ashtray.
- While doing this, slide the ashtray completely outward. Set aside.
- Remove the two phillips head screws located along the top rim of the ashtray space. Set aside. Do not replace screws yet. SEE PICTURE
- There are two Phillips head screws behind the hand brake (you need to lift the lid of the center compartment).
- Remove the two screws, set them aside, and slowly pry the back half of the center console up using your pry tool.
- Remove the plate around the shift handle by prying the back forward and lifting the front simultaneously.
- Remove the front half of the center console plate by using the same technique used to remove the back half (using your pry tool). There are no screws.
NOTE: The only reason you are doing this is to free the faceplate. You don't need to move the components any more than 6 inches backward. I DIDN'T remove the center console until I put the dash back together, so any pictures of mine from here on out won't reflect the changes.
Removing the faceplate:
- Use your pry tool to CAREFULLY pry the edges of the faceplate up.
- There are tabs where the cupholer's screws held the faceplate in at the top. Make sure to bring those tabs to the front without damaging the climate control faceplate's tabs. SEE PICTURE
- Disconnect cigarette lighter/DC outlet clips, set faceplate aside.
Step 2: Removing The Head Unit
Screws: There are 6 screws holding the head unit in.
- Remove the 4 screws at each corner of the head unit.
- Get at eye level with the unit and look toward the firewall on either side of the unit. Identify the screws at the far back of the unit.
- Remove the two screws.
- Pull the head unit out until the antenna and wiring harnesses are visible.
- Pull the antenna cable straight out.
- Carefully squeeze the clip release on the wiring harness and gently wiggle it loose.
Step 3: Replacing The Head Unit
Assembling your DIN kit:
- Remove the factory (stock) stereo from the metal harness. Set stereo aside. You will not need it again.
- Using the metal harness and the instructions included with your DIN kit, assemble accordingly. Since there are so many various DIN kits and stereos, I cannot provide any more generalized information on assembling your DIN kit.
NOTE: "New wiring harness" refers to the clip and wires that plug into your STEREO. "Factory wiring harness" refers to the clip and wires that plug into the clip behind the DIN.
A) Vehicle Specific Wiring Harness. If you did NOT buy an additional wiring harness (not included with your purchased head unit), skip to B.
- The harness you bought replaces the factory harness. From now on, it will be referred to as the "factory harness".
- Match the factory harness with the new harness included with your stereo using the colors.
B) Head Unit's Wiring Harness: If you bought a vehicle specific wiring harness in ADDITION to your stereo, go back and read A first.
- Using the directions that came with your head unit, compare the wiring diagram of the new harness with this outline of the factory harness - http://ae64.com/Legacy-pinout.htm
- Match the wires based on the two diagrams.
12v Battery = 12v Memory
12v Ignition Switch = 12v Accessory
- After you have the wiring figured out, solder and heatshrink/electrical tape all of your connections.
- If you have unused connections, cut them off and heatshrink/tape over the ends individually.
Installing the new head unit:
- The DIN kit you used should have allowed you to seat the new stereo into the metal frame that your factory stereo came in.
- Set the metal frame (with the new stereo & DIN kit installed) into the space where the old radio was removed from.
- Make sure the screw holes and faceplate are going to line up correctly.
- Remove the stereo.
- Install the wiring harness between the stereo and the other clip. Slide the stereo back and make sure the harnesses don't have any unnecessary pressure or tension on them.
- Reinstall the six screws taken out in Step 2.
Testing the new head unit:
- Shift into park.
- Reconnect your battery, disable the alarm using your remote.
- Turn your key to the accessory position.
- Test all features using the instruction manual.
- Start your car.
- Retest all of the features the same way.
- Turn your car off, disconnect the negative cable from the battery, and move the shifter away from the dash again.
Things to consider while you test the head unit:
- Do all of the speakers sound the same?
- Do any of the speakers sound distorted?
- Do I get radio reception like I used to?
- Do all of the promised featured work?
Step 4: Replacing The Dash Components
- Reconnect the cigarette lighter's clips
- Clip the faceplate back into the dash CAREFULLY.
- Make sure the tabs at the top are behind the climate control's tabs.
- If your DIN kit came with a faceplate, install it now.
Ashtray and cupholder:
- Replace the two vertical screws in the top of the ashtray's place in the dash.
- Slide the ashtray back into place.
- Replace the cupholder assembly.
- Replace the two screws on either side of the cupholder assembly.
Step 5: Testing (Again)
Reconnect your battery and take the car for a drive. Make sure the lights work and that all of your climate control components are still functional. Also, take this time to give your stereo a good, strict listen. If you hear anything out of the ordinary, contact the place where you bought it and/or the manufacturer to ask them questions.