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Hey guys. I did a search for this and didn't find anything, but I may have overlooked it.

How difficult is it to install an aftermarket stereo in the S197? I got mine with the base 4 speaker stereo because I knew I wanted something other than factory. I already have the technical printouts for the stereo removal, but sometimes things that look simple on paper become royal pains in the real world.

So, for anyone that's already done this, how much effort am I looking at for a radio install? I'm ordering from Crutchfield, so I'll have all the necessary conversion pieces. Just curious about the center console and dash removal.

Thanks a bunch!

~HA
 

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Registered
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Hey guys. I did a search for this and didn't find anything, but I may have overlooked it.

How difficult is it to install an aftermarket stereo in the S197? I got mine with the base 4 speaker stereo because I knew I wanted something other than factory. I already have the technical printouts for the stereo removal, but sometimes things that look simple on paper become royal pains in the real world.

So, for anyone that's already done this, how much effort am I looking at for a radio install? I'm ordering from Crutchfield, so I'll have all the necessary conversion pieces. Just curious about the center console and dash removal.

Thanks a bunch!

~HA
It is pretty easy to install the radio! In fact, it took me longer to solder/heat shrink all my connections to the Crutchfield supplied harness than it did to install the radio AND rear deck speakers. If you want it to go even faster, check to see if they make a "Master Harness" for whatever radio you intend to purchase. Basically the Master Harness is 2x the cost of a regular harness, BUT, it is simply plug and play with no connections to solder!

The only tricky part I had was removing the connector on the passenger side for the AC switch panel controls. I purchased my car used, and when I flipped the lever up, the radio would not come out. Well, the prior owner must have returned it back to stock because that lever was broken and didn't unlatch the other side (the side I couldn't see). I spent 10 minutes scratching my head over that one before I finally figured it out.
 

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Basically, you open the center console door, and remove the 2 rear screws near the hinge.

Then you pull up in the top part of the center console (2 snaps near the front near the dash).

Once this is up and loose, you can pop off the 2 side panels that are just push-pin connectors as well.

This exposes the screws for the center dash/radio panel. Remove these screws, and pull the center piece forward a little. You will need to reach behind and disconnect the 3 plugs for the A/C controls, and lighter.

Now remove the center piece. This exposes the radio bracket and 4 screws. Remove those, and pull the radio out and disconnect the radio & antenna plugs.

I've done it several times and it takes me about 3-5 minutes to take it apart.
 
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