Wiring Harness

We finally got the stereo mostly installed. “Mostly” in this case means the not-quite-clear-what-the-previous-owners-did; in other words, the uncertainties about what happened to the wiring, whether the plug or the factory radio was broken, etc., have been resolved, and the new Sony stereo works.

In the end, I had to order a few more parts, in particular a wiring harness from Crutchfield. The Sony’s plug in the back didn’t fit with the plug from the Honda, and this provided the bridge between the two. I’m sort of vaguely surprised, coming from the computer industry, that the plugs aren’t better standardized, but I guess I shouldn’t be: various cars have weird functions, such as cell phone control, and, perhaps infamously, keyless entry systems build into the radio. Some wiring will be non-standard, and you shouldn’t fool the aftermarket consumer into thinking that if one plug fits into a particular socket, it should be honkey-dorey. This just leads to more tech support calls that may not be easy to troubleshoot.

Truth be told, the wiring harness took less than half an hour to put together, and this was while being distracted by TV on Thursday. Most of the wires do match up color-wise, so it was a no-brainer once I learned to trust the colors and simply crimp. Oh, and stripping the wires was much easier once I realized the crimper from Crutchfield had stripper notches for various gauge wires. In the end, there were only a couple of loose wires from the stereo that didn’t match up with anything on the harness. These had to do with cell phone controls, and something else I don’t remember.

So, the stereo works: we can get radio without the receiver cutting off spontaneously. It plays CDs perfectly well, though I haven’t tried a CD-R of MP3s as of yet (I’d be shocked if that didn’t work). The factory stereo is actually broken, or it’s wiring plug is broken (same difference), and the previous owners didn’t screw up the wiring harness. This is good news; the alternative was to spend half a day tearing out the console and testing wires to see where I had to splice.

I have figure out how to change the time on the stereo so we actually have a clock in the car, but that’s relatively minor. What’s left to be done is actually mounting the stereo in place so it’s not wiggling around: I haven’t put it into the console properly yet. But this shouldn’t take more than fifteen minutes and a screwdriver, as it appears to be a snap in with tabs. Maybe Tuesday, as I’m going to class this evening.

Comments are closed.