Repairing One Man's Disaster

posted Jan 30, 2012, 7:27 PM by Jonathan Imberi
The previous owner performed a real hack job when it came to installing his aftermarket radio. I have never seen such a poor wiring job. Not only did he manage to break or damage most of the console and trim pieces, but he left unused hot wires exposed behind the radio. I am just lucky these did not short out on the drive home...or did they? The mysterious headlight behavior when I first got the car back into town suddenly has a possible cause. Here is a before shot of the wiring mess.


I wanted to find a good CD receiver that had Bluetooth capabilities and an auxiliary input jack. I decided on the feature packed yet reasonably priced Pioneer DEH-6400BT.

Here are some of the highlights of this receiver:

General features:
  • CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
  • built-in MOSFET amplifier (14 watts RMS CEA-2006/50 peak x 4 channels)
  • built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
  • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs, including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA files (except rights-protected files)
  • detachable face with dot matrix LCD display, plus customizable display and key colors
  • remote control
Audio features:
  • Advanced Sound Retriever (ASR) for improved sound quality from compressed music files
  • Easy EQ 3-band equalizer with six preset tone settings
  • 3-level loudness
  • low-pass filter on preamp outputs
  • subwoofer level control
Expandability:
  • built in iPod control — no adapter necessary, but adding Pioneer's optional connecting cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
  • App Mode offers limited control of music apps through iPhone connection
  • inputs: front panel auxiliary and USB inputs
  • outputs: 4-channel preamp outputs (2-volt front, rear/subwoofer)
  • compatible with most factory steering wheel audio controls (adapter required)


The receiver is installed and functional, and the wiring has been safely cleaned up for now. I am planning to do a full overhaul of the wiring when I start on the interior restoration. The console  face plate trim still needs some work as it is binding. However, at this point I am not too concerned about the overall fit and finish as the trim and console pieces will end up being replaced with non-damaged ones when I start on the interior. The speakers surprisingly still sound really good and judging by the pristine condition of the rear cones I suspect they were replaced at some point with OEM equivalents. I plan to confirm this when I redo the interior wiring.