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Old 09-16-2020, 08:22 AM   #1
Skyhawk5247
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Head Units

Hello everyone! Im very new to owning my first car, and as new to owning a Subaru BRZ! I've been having fun driving it so far but am not as impressed by the head unit on it. It does not play well with Amazon music. I was wondering if anyone on here has had that issue and what yall have done?

I'm not handy at all but look forward to learning! I think at some point, I might be interested at swapping out the head unit to something more Android friendly. I have a stock 2018 BRZ. Thanks in advance!

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Old 09-16-2020, 08:55 AM   #2
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I'm not handy at all but look forward to learning! I think at some point, I might be interested at swapping out the head unit to something more Android friendly. I have a stock 2018 BRZ. Thanks in advance!
I don't have a specific model recommendation, but if you want to do it yourself, I highly recommend looking at www.crutchfield.com. Their site will tell you exactly what will fit, and what will meet your requirements. They'll also sell you all the bits to make it integrate like an OEM headset. They'll even put the harness together for you for a small charge, and have great customer support after the fact.

I've used them since before the Internet was a thing, for what it's worth.
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:11 AM   #3
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I like what I'm seeing, thank you! This would be my first project ever. Would you say it's pretty easy for a complete newbie?

Also, any recommendations on doing something with the clock located just below the head unit? It looks kind of cheap in my opinion and a new head unit would have a clock on it anyway.

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Old 09-16-2020, 09:22 AM   #4
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I like what I'm seeing, thank you! This would be my first project ever. Would you say it's pretty easy for a complete newbie?

Also, any recommendations on doing something with the clock located just below the head unit? It looks kind of cheap in my opinion and a new head unit would have a clock on it anyway.
You didn't say what year you have, but the 86 is relatively easy to switch out headunits. There is plenty of room behind the 2DIN opening, and it uses a standard radio now so the harnesses are easy to come up with. If you have one without a backup camera and want to add one as part of the install, that is relatively straight forward as well. If you have a model with one already there may be some issues with voltage, but Crutchfield may have a solution for that.

The telephone mic will likely have to be replaced as well.

I updated my 2013 with a 2014 head unit out of an 86 and it was a direct plug and play. Yours will not likely be quite that easy but it isn't difficult. Just one step at a time and read all the instructions in advance.

As far as the clock, I'm not sure. I'm sure there is something out there that would replace it, but I haven't looked at them. Maybe others will have ideas.
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Old 09-16-2020, 10:42 AM   #5
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I've got a 2018 BRZ premium! I'll be looking into all of this tomorrow, thanks so much! Crutchfield looks amazing so far!

What exactly is the harness? Is that the white plastic bit that all the wires connect into?

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Old 09-16-2020, 10:59 AM   #6
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What exactly is the harness? Is that the white plastic bit that all the wires connect into?
Correct, wiring harness. There isn't a standard for them on radios so typically you'll get one with the new headunit that has their plugs on one end and loose ends on the other. In the "old days" you would cut the plug off the one in your car, then wire the dangly wires to the new plug or if you were really good, you'd pull the wires out of the new connector and rewire it directly in your car.

On most these days though, you can get a direct plug that will sit between the new harness and the old harness. You can either wire that directly to the new harness, or in most cases Crutchfield will sell you one already wired up.

You plug one end into your car wiring, and one end into the new radio wiring.
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Old 09-16-2020, 11:15 AM   #7
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IWhat exactly is the harness?
So, it looks likes the below. You would either need to make the connections yourself, or have someone do it for you. On the bottom one, the headunit would come with the part on the right, and you would buy the part on the left that matches your car. You would then have to figure out which wire from the left goes to which wire on the right, and connect them together. It's not a big deal to do yourself, and might take an hour or so if you've never done it before.

Personally, the last couple I've done, I've just paid for the one on the top. The amount charged is a reasonable fee for that.

Without the one on the left for your car, you would have to tap into the wires in the car's harness and wire this up inside your car which is a major pain.

Inside your car, you would plug one connector into your car wiring harness, and one into the new radio.


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Old 09-16-2020, 11:18 AM   #8
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Ahh i see that makes sense! Yeah seems like the top is the best way to go. I look forward to more DIY things! What else have you done to your 86? (Be gentle with the tech terms haha. Assume I know nothing about cars)

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Old 09-16-2020, 10:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dadhawk View Post
You didn't say what year you have, but the 86 is relatively easy to switch out headunits. There is plenty of room behind the 2DIN opening, and it uses a standard radio now so the harnesses are easy to come up with. If you have one without a backup camera and want to add one as part of the install, that is relatively straight forward as well. If you have a model with one already there may be some issues with voltage, but Crutchfield may have a solution for that.

The telephone mic will likely have to be replaced as well.

I updated my 2013 with a 2014 head unit out of an 86 and it was a direct plug and play. Yours will not likely be quite that easy but it isn't difficult. Just one step at a time and read all the instructions in advance.

As far as the clock, I'm not sure. I'm sure there is something out there that would replace it, but I haven't looked at them. Maybe others will have ideas.
literally in your quote of his post (first one) lol
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:28 AM   #10
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Ahh i see that makes sense! Yeah seems like the top is the best way to go. I look forward to more DIY things! What else have you done to your 86? (Be gentle with the tech terms haha. Assume I know nothing about cars)
Honestly, I had big plans, but in reality haven't done much, mostly cosmetic things some which may or may not apply to a later model. It's all documented in my Owner's Journal.

There are a lot of good threads on here for light mods to engine swaps.

Best of luck and welcome to the club!
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Old Yesterday, 11:52 PM   #11
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Correct, wiring harness. There isn't a standard for them on radios so typically you'll get one with the new headunit that has their plugs on one end and loose ends on the other. In the "old days" you would cut the plug off the one in your car, then wire the dangly wires to the new plug or if you were really good, you'd pull the wires out of the new connector and rewire it directly in your car.

On most these days though, you can get a direct plug that will sit between the new harness and the old harness. You can either wire that directly to the new harness, or in most cases Crutchfield will sell you one already wired up.

You plug one end into your car wiring, and one end into the new radio wiring.

I remember the old days Getting an Alpine head unit was exciting stuff. My brother and I messed with so much wiring in my Talon, and it all turned out pretty good! He ended up getting a job at Circuit City doing car installs.


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