Like many others on this forum, I had the desire to be able to listen to my mp3 player or be able to play friend's players though the factory radio while in my Honda. When I had the project in mind, I had two considerations 1) I wanted to be able to be able to use a multitude of mp3 players and didn't want to be limited to just an Ipod and 2) I wanted a clean looking installation, most other installs that I had looked at while researching a bit typically had a 3.5mm wire running out of the dash/console somewhere that was then plugged into the player. I really didn't want this because I didn't think it look very clean. So here's how I went about it:
The first thing I did was gather all the parts I would need. I was able to get everything from Crutchfield, West Marine, Walmart, and from my little sister. More on that later.
This is the input jack that I was able to find after considerable searching. It's made by Clarion Audio and I found it a few places like Amazon and for some odd reason, West Marine, a popular boating retailer carried it as well.
It ran me $24.99 and I think I took advantage of some free shipping offer they happened to be running at the time
I wanted something exactly like this so I could have a port in my dash and not have to run a cord out in some weird location, so this fit the bill perfectly.
3.5mm Female jack on one end and male RCA on the other to get plugged into the auxiliary input adapter.
Next was the auxiliary adapter that I found at Crutchfield. These are sold by quite a few companies, but since I had a $75 giftcard laying around from Crutchfield, I ordered through them.
This ran $79.99 plus shipping, but with my giftcard, it was considerable cheaper for me.
It comes with a wiring harness that is vehicle specific, so the setup was 100% plug and play.
Next was a 3.5mm male to male audio cable that I picked up from Walmart for around $14.
One end will go to the female jack and the other to the mp3 player headphone jack.
What I thought would be the required tools...
utility knife, #2 phillips, drill, and drill bits.
Now I had to decide where I was going to place the jack so it was convenient as well as would be out of the way and not look horrible. I considered placing it near the cup holders, in the center console near the 12v outlet, and in the storage compartment in from of the gear selector.
Ultimately, I chose the storage compartment, mainly due to it being out of the way and I could also place my mp3 player in the compartment when I left the vehicle and store the cord in there as well. Additionally with the wiring I had, it was the closest place to where the auxiliary adapter box would be installed.
BEFORE YOU START ANYTHING, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE FACTORY RADIO CODE!!! There is a security feature on these cars that disable the radio and the radio won't function if you remove the negative from the battery until you enter the code into the radio.
The interior of my 2007 Accord SE
The first step is to remove the trim panel around the gear selector. I've had to take the center console out previously, so I was somewhat familiar with the operation. If you elect to do this please be cautious. Interior trim can be a real pain in the butt with all the hidden clips and whatnot.
To do this, you first need to pop open the small doors in front of the panel to give you room to pry up on the trim panel.
Then give the panel a few good yanks around the perimeter and it should come lose.
Once loose, it'll lift right off around the gear selector.
The Next thing you need to due is put the parking break on, put you key in the ignition and turn it to run, depress the brake, and move the shifter the whole way back to first gear. This will be helpful later when you need room to take out the main storage compartment underneath the radio.
Next, is to remove the little coin tray. It took me a good while to figure out how to take it out the first time I had my dash apart. The actual rubber lined tray will pop out separately from the door, so don't go yanking on the door. If you put your fingers in the tray and pull upward on it, it should pop out.
After it comes out, it will expose two screws.
If these need to be removed.
And then the whole tray and 12v outlet assembly will come out.
You then need to unplug the 12v outlet so the assembly can be fully removed.
This exposes two move screws that need removed.
After taking out those two screws, give the compartment a tug to pop it lose.
After that, close the door on the front of it to allow it to be removed from the dash.
So now you have a pretty decent size hole in what used to be your dash.
If you look up in the hole at the bottom of the radio, you can see the port that you are looking for to connect the auxiliary input adapter to. This may vary depending on your model/year and whether you have navigation or remote CD changer.
At this point I wanted to make sure that all the parts and pieces would function before I went crazy drilling holes in my dash.
I took the supplied harness that came with the adapter box and plugged it into the port on the bottom of the radio.
Obviously the ends are different, so it'll only fit in one way.
Once that was plugged into, I hooked all the other pieces together and the mp3 player that I stole from my little sister for the day and tested it.
And of course it didn't work. I really had no idea why, then I remember reading somewhere that the radio needed to be reset in order for it to recognize the adapter. I really didn't want to do this because I didn't have the radio unlock code because I bought the car used. You can obtain the code by locating a certain number on the radio and calling the dealership and I believe they will give it to you free of charge. Since it was a Saturday, I didn't think the local dealership garage was open. Luckily though, all I had to do was turn off the ignition (remember it was turned on to put the car in 1st gear) and when I turned it back on everything worked as it was supposed to.
So since everything was working as I wanted to, now came the time to drill a hole. I wasn't think ahead and realized that I didn't have a 3/4" drill bit required for to make a hole for the input jack. So I had to take a quick trip to Lowe's to get the proper bit.
I prefer this style of bit when drill plastic because it'll cut the outside of the hole first and not screw up the plastic big time. The bit ran me something like $4.22 with tax.
I decided I wanted the hole in the lower left corner of the compartment, why, I really have no idea. Personal preference I suppose.
I drilled it out from the inside because of the reinforcement ribbing on the backside.
Hole from the backside. I did take the time to trim up the insulation on the back of the compartment with some scissors to make it look a little better and not interfere with the port.
The ribbing that I mentioned earlier needed to be trimmer down a little to allow the nut to be tightened down on the back side of the port to hold it in place. I wasn't too concerned with how it looked because no one was ever going to see it.
After all this, I just plugged the aux jack into the RCA terminals on the adapter box, put everything back together and then I was able to listen to my mp3 player anytime I wanted and maintain a clean looking interior.
All and all it took me about an hour and half to complete the project, though that does include the trip to Lowe's, a beer break with my dad, and a bit of searching on the internet for how to retrieve the radio code if necessary.
I'm pretty pleased with the setup, though I will warn, that it can be a a little bit more quiet than the factory radio so you do have to turn up the wolume slightly. You have to be a bit careful when switching back from a mp3 player to the radio and remember to turn the volume down if you want your eardrums to remain intact.