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Yesterday I installed the Ipod Integration kit from theRPMstore. After the install, I'm very happy. The sound and functionality are both great. The only thing lacking was, strangely enough, guides for the procedure.

Sure, I know what you are thinking, "what is this guy talking about? We have 6 and half million stickies covering this topic. What does he mean there are no guides".

I apologize, I should have stated that clearer: More detailed guides.

Sure you have pictures and a tools list (which is quite nice), but there are some parts that may be a bit too ambiguous for the beginner. Here are a few:

1. For 2004 models, where are the instructions on how to crack open the HU to access the circuit board that includes the jumper that must be bridged? I found several guides on what to bridge, but most of them simply stated "access this circuit board". Is this some secret?

For those of you that need help with this part, let me try and assist you with a little blind walkthru.

First, after pulling out the head unit (there are many guides on this) and unplugging all of the connectors on the back of the unit, place the HU face down on a work bench that has been covered with a towel or something soft to prevent scratching. Next, remove the four purple (dark pink) screws that hold HU into the faceplate. Unplug the long white connector from the faceplate and remove the HU from the face plate.

Orient yourself on what is top and what is bottom of the HU (the top is a solid panel, the bottom... is the recesses, vented panel). Remove the 3 recessed screws on the side (bottom) of the HU, the small screws on the front (bottom) of the HU, the screws holding HU harness on the side (you will actually need to remove this to access one of the three screws mentioned earlier, and finally, remove the screws around the connectors in the rear (bottom) of the head unit. If you removed all of the screws (and I gave the right instructions) you should now be able to remove the thick metal (heat sink-looking thing) from rear (bottom) of the HU. You should also be able to remove the metal cage that covers the bottom circuit board. After this, simply locate the jumper location and solder across the two points. Don't be scared, if you ever soldered anything, you will be able to solder this.

2. I didn't see this anywhere, but it's a good idea to put the automatic transmission in the neutral position before removing the shifter fascia.

3. Be very careful when removing the cup holder to ensure that you detach the clips holding it to the shifter fascia. If you follow most instructions and simply pull up on the cupholder without regard to shift fascia, you will most likely break the clips that hold the two together. This may not be too important for asthetics, but I enjoy being able to reassemble everything knowing I broke nothing. You can separate the two pieces by only lifting the cupholder out of the console about 1 inch. Then, use a flat head screwdriver (I cover the tip in tape as to not scratch anything) to press the clips attached to the shifter fascia. Once you take care of this, set the cup holder to the side.

4. Most guides only covered manual transmission. These cars do not have illumination wiring running to the shifter. I imagine a beginner would be quite surprised to yank up on the shifter (because most of the guides state that manual and automatic should have the same disassembly instructions) and find they've torn the two wires that provide power to the bulbs for the shifter fascia. My only recommendation: be careful and patient. Once you have the cupholder out of the way (from the previous step) and the transmission in neutral (if the parking brake was disengaged after removing the cupholder, re-engage it) lift the shifter fascia up about 5 inches. You should be able to lift it slightly higher in the front than in the rear. Now, unplug the cigarette lighter power supply (this is not as difficult as the guides would lead you to believe). You will also need to remove the bulb from the back of the ashtray. This is accomplished by gently pushing it one side or the other. The clips holding it in should pop out of the hole. Now you will be able to simply flip the shifter fascia over on to the driver's seat without removing it completely.

5. Protect your stuff! Make sure if you are going to use anything to pry that it is either plastic or covered to preventing marring or scratching. Also be sure to cover replace the shift knob after you remove the shifter fascia. This will prevent you from scratching the front panel of the HU when pulling it out. Just to be extra careful, I covered the area in front of the HU with a towel just to eliminate any possibility of damage.

There it is. That's all my findings. I realize a picture is worth a thousand words (I may have typed that many) but I didn't think about documenting my plight because most of what is needed is covered in the other guides. Maybe this has been covered ad nausem, but I had some real issues locating the more ambiguous information. One recommendation might be to thin down the stickies in this forum.

I appreciate the effort put forth by this board's members in providing guides for this type of thing.
 
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Smearbrick
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