Instructions on a Car Stereo Installation With a Separate Equalizer


Before doing any stereo repairs or replacement, you must first disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery's negative lead post. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver or 10 mm wrench (depending on the vehicle) to loosen the cable's clamp. Remove the clamp from the negative lead post and leave it disconnected until your work is completed.

Failure to disconnect the negative battery cable before disconnecting any electrical component could lead to damage of the components or their connecting wires.

Installing the Stereo

Remove the factory stereo as explained in the vehicle owner's manual. Insert a faceplate adapter into the opening left by the removed factory deck. Connect the vehicle's stereo wiring to a wiring harness adapter. Feed the wiring harness adapter leads through the back of the faceplate adapter. Connect the wiring groups of the wiring harness adapter to the outlets in the back of the new stereo. Connect the patch cables and turn-on lead (for the equalizer) to the appropriate leads on the wiring harness adapter. Route the cables to the location of the equalizer, ideally in the trunk of the vehicle.

The faceplate adapter will provide a uniform platform to install the new aftermarket stereo. Not every deck will fit into the mounting bracket of every vehicle.

The wiring harness adapter, much like the faceplate adapter, will standardize the connections. Any stereo can be connected to any vehicle provided that a wiring harness adapter is used.

Use a trim panel removal tool to remove the paneling at the door openings that secure the carpeting to the floor of the vehicle. Lay the wiring from the stereo beneath the carpeting and secure the trim panels by hand.

If there is an amplifier connected to the stereo, run the patch cables on the opposite side of the vehicle as the amplifier's power cable. If laid on the same side as the patch cables, the power cable will emit a frequency that will cause interference.

Mounting the Equalizer

The equalizer is used to establish the levels for the various sound frequencies. It is not necessary to constantly adjust the levels throughout the life of the stereo. Because of this, the equalizer can be mounted in a location that does not allow the driver to access it while driving. The most common location to mount the equalizer is in the trunk of the vehicle.

Run the patch cables and the turn-on lead to the equalizer and connect them to the appropriate outlets. Most times you can use the path used by the rear speaker's wires. If you need to drill an opening to route the wires to the trunk, place rubber grommets in the new openings to protect the wiring.

Completing the Installation

After the equalizer is mounted and the stereo installed, make sure that all of the cables are stowed properly. The patch cables should be tucked beneath the carpeting near the doors. The stereo should be inserted into the faceplate adapter, and the trim paneling on the dash should be replaced.

Reconnect the negative battery cable to the negative battery lead post. Tighten the cable's clamp with a Phillips-head screwdriver or 10 mm wrench. The clamp needs to be tightened just enough so that the clamp cannot be moved around the lead by hand. Do not tighten the clamp to a point that will make future removals difficult. Car stereo enthusiasts crave power, adaptability and control from their audio system. To provide power you need a quality stereo deck, high-capacity speakers and an amplifier. For adaptability, you might choose a stereo unit that allows you to play CDs, multidisc players, satellite radio and MP3 players. Nothing provides the level of control that stereo owners desire more than an equalizer. You can have a stereo and equalizer installed by an audio professional, or you can install them yourself for a fraction of the cost.