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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently replaced the stock single-CD stereo in my SXT and thought I would share. I know for some of you on here this is child’s play, but this was the first mod I’ve done on any vehicle, so I'll describe the process in painful detail with lots of pictures for anyone else who is in the same boat as me. Many thanks go out to the authors of previous threads who showed me how to go about this! Overall, this was a piece of cake that anyone could do -- save yourself the install fees and turn your new head unit into a fun project instead!

I didn’t need and couldn’t afford a DVD or NAV unit, so I went with the Pioneer DEH-P4100UB based on good reviews and my desire for a rear USB input for the glove box. I bought from crutchfield.com, they included the Caliber mounting bracket and antenna adapter for free. Be aware, the Caliber requires a special wiring harness for any aftermarket stereo -- you will have to purchase this separately. Crutchfield alerted me to this fact at checkout, told me what I needed to buy, and gave me a discount on it. Metra XSVI-6502 Chrysler CAN bus Interface is what I used, originally $70.00, discounted to $35.00.

Confession Time: I didn’t realize that my new stereo required an adaptor to connect the satellite radio to it, and only found that out when I went to plug in everything and found no satellite input jack on the back of my stereo. However, I was planning on axing the satellite radio after my year’s free subscription was up anyway -- very unimpressed with Sirius compared to the XM I had in my previous vehicle -- so I wasn’t that concerned. If you like this feature, you may need to buy the adapter for your stereo.

So here it is...any questions, feel free to ask. :Hey:



View attachment 3641
The first and most critical step is to DISCONNECT THE NEGATIVE TERMINAL ON YOUR BATTERY.


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Now, to get access to the stock stereo, you have to remove the bezel (the plastic molding) from around it. But, in order to get that piece off, you have to remove the bezel from around the gearshift first. In order to get that off, you have to remove the gearshift knob. So…here are those steps:


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Step 1 - remove the gearshift knob by grabbing it and pulling upward hard. It sounds kinda funny, but trust me, it should just pop right off -- and yes, it will pop back on again when you are done!


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Step 2 -- Using a small flathead screwdriver or butter knife, very slowly and carefully remove the gearshift bezel by inserting along the outer edges and prying upward to release the clips beneath. If needed, you can wrap your tool in electrical tape to help prevent scratches, but if you go slow and careful it will be fine. Here’s a picture from the side, showing the clips, and a picture after the gearshift bezel has been removed.


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Step 3 -- Now, repeat the same process to remove the bezel from around the stereo and climate controls. I found that the bezel is particularly stubborn on either side of the stereo, but just keep working gently and you’ll pry it loose all the way around.


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Step 4 -- There are wire connections that attach to the climate controls and the hazard light switch that you need to disconnect in order to fully remove the bezel. The hazard light switch connection easily disconnects at the bezel via a quick-release clip; just simply unplug it. The climate control connection was difficult for me to reach and unplug…it may come loose just as easily but I couldn’t get it to unplug from my vantage point. Instead, I chose to leave it plugged in and unscrew the entire climate control module from the bezel. It’s a bit tricky to get a screwdriver or socket wrench in there but with some finesse it’s easy, just unscrew the 4 screws from the backside of the bezel (2 on the left side, 2 on the right -- see picture).


View attachment 3650
After the climate control module is detached, the entire bezel should be free. Now you should have free access to the stock stereo.


.......................................................continued in Part 2
 
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Discussion Starter #2
Stereo Replacement Instructions - Part 2

..............................continued from part 1


View attachment 3652 View attachment 3653
To remove the stock stereo, unscrew the screw at each of the 4 corners. The unit should easily slide forward and out of the dash.


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Unplug the satellite radio connection, the electrical/speaker connection, and the antenna connection from the back of the stereo, and you have successfully removed the stock stereo.


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Your poor caliber will now look like this…but that’s a good thing!


New Head Unit Install​

Ok, now you need to connect the special wiring harness to the new head unit. There are a lot of wires here, but don’t get too intimidated, just connect like colors together. I highly recommend the crimping method of connecting the wires, since it was fast and secure. Crutchfield hooked me up with a nice crimping tool and 20 crimp caps for $10. I did have to call Crutchfield once during this process because I had one odd wire (orange and white, I think?). They said this was for power antenna, which the Caliber doesn’t have, and to cap it off and disregard. Once you have the wiring harness attached, it should plug right into the caliber wiring in the dash. The antenna adapter plugs in easily to the head unit and into the antenna connection in the dash.

My unit features rear USB input and an extension cable to run into the glove box. I wasn’t sure how to run it into the glove box until I took off the bezel…you can almost stick your hand directly into the lower glove box from inside the dash, so how to run the USB cable into the glove box becomes obvious. I thought about running the cable into the top glove box to make it more accessible, but I couldn’t see a way of doing that without drilling through the plastic, so I decided the bottom glove box was fine enough for me.


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Installing the stereo mounting bracket is simple, just screw it into the dash where the stock stereo was attached, using the same screws. (Ignore the shiny screw in the bottom right of the picture, I lost one original screw and had to replace it from my own stock.)
:doh:

*Note: I found that my new head unit fit VERY tightly into the mounting bracket, even after sliding off the mounting sleeve that came with the head unit. To make things easier, I fit the head unit into the bracket first, then plugged in the connections, then screwed the mounting bracket with the head unit into the dash.


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After the unit is in, the faceplate snaps into place over the mounting bracket. Now would be a good time to reconnect the battery and check to make sure the new stereo works properly before you replace the bezel.


Now you just have to put the dash back together in reverse order of how you took it apart. Reconnect the hazard lights to the bezel and reattach the climate control module to the bezel using the 4 screws. Carefully reattach the main bezel to the dash by starting at the top where it hooks under the dash and firmly pressing it in along the edges, working your way down on each side, until it snaps into place all around. Replace the gearshift bezel in the same fashion and, finally, replace the gearshift knob by FIRMLY pushing it down onto the rod until it clicks into place and won’t move with gentle effort.


View attachment 3657
Here’s the final outcome!
 

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The Italian Admin
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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you much, LYC79!
 

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Great description of how to add a none factory radio... reps for you..
 

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You made a very easy to follow description on them both Dave, it will be a great help to lots of members..;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, Brendy...BTW, not that it bothers me but my name is actually Mark. My signature quote is from Dave Matthews of Dave Matthews Band, but I can see how that's easily confused. :eek:)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
will this work on a 2009?
I'm not aware of any dramatic changes to the dash for the '09s, so I believe the install would be identical...anyone else out there have a confirmation about that?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
When you replace the stock stereo do you still have use of the steering wheel controls?

I don't have steering wheel controls, so I'm not sure how it works. Probably a question for the other, more knowledgeable members. :worshippy: Sorry, wish I could help.
 

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when im looking for a dead unit on crutchfield and i select one they keep telling me that i need a special wiring harness for some reason.
i have a 2009 caliber, if it makes any difference. but what's the difference and why do i need to get a special one?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
when im looking for a dead unit on crutchfield and i select one they keep telling me that i need a special wiring harness for some reason.
i have a 2009 caliber, if it makes any difference. but what's the difference and why do i need to get a special one?

I don't know for sure with the '09s, but you definitely need it for an '08. I'll leave it up to someone else with electrical knowledge to explain why, but I would trust Crutchfield. They gave me a big discount on the harness since I was buying the stereo from them and everything went together very slick.
 

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Great post mate! :)
one of the options for me, cant decide if i want double din or single.. sure thing double looks better without plastic around it but also cost a bit more.. :)
anyway, fantastic work!
I'm curious to know (not like its very important) do you still get cd/track info on your "info monitor" on dashboard or is it just blank now? :)
 

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I'm curious to know (not like its very important) do you still get cd/track info on your "info monitor" on dashboard or is it just blank now? :)
Mine is blank but I don't care. Maybe there is an interface (as for the steering wheels controls) to make it work ... don't know :4-dontknow:

Go for the double din ;) ... just my opinion though
 

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Mine is blank but I don't care. Maybe there is an interface (as for the steering wheels controls) to make it work ... don't know :4-dontknow:

Go for the double din ;) ... just my opinion though
I think you're right Licia :)
2 din is the way to go :)
 

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Dbl din wont fit in your dash without cutting the opening,its only what they call a din and a 1/2,and as far as the "special" wiring harness,you need that in order to maintain all of the electronics in the car,its not like the "old days" where just the radio was effected,now all of the cars electronics are routed through the same harness,i too was shocked at what Crutchfield wanted for the harness
 

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install looks nice! i been thinking about putting my aftermarket head unit in. Thanks for the writeup on the deinstal/reinstall! mad props dude
 

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Dbl din wont fit in your dash without cutting the opening,its only what they call a din and a 1/2,and as far as the "special" wiring harness,you need that in order to maintain all of the electronics in the car,its not like the "old days" where just the radio was effected,now all of the cars electronics are routed through the same harness,i too was shocked at what Crutchfield wanted for the harness
So dbl din won't fit? what about two single units? I have a great single din unit from my previous car, and I want to add a dvd deck like the one that you are showing, so I need to mod the Dash? D'oh!
 
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