Moved from Electrical since it is a How-to and Updated: 11-02-06
I did this with all parts I had laying around the garage, I only had to buy the Converter Harness to go from factory plugs to wires for Head Unit.
Start to finish for experience installer is about 8 hours, Cost was less than Factory RF Option. Bonus was name brand you choose components! Or dig out of stock heh heh! Plus change Head Unit anytime. Most time was spent making the sub.
I have an S Trim 2005 Xterra, objective 1580 Watts, 1 x 10" Sub in RR, Double Din Head Unit, Amps in floor in back, upgrade Speakers, maintain factory look and inconspicuous appearance so thieves don't gank my ship, And bolt it down with all security screws so if they do try to steal it, it won't be worth anything to them either. I'm maintaining a conservative look. But I can feel the music! It sounds much better than factory RF System, (sorry Guys).
Get the Head Unit out. The tray above it pulls straight up, clips are on the sides, use a very small Flat Screwdriver...Best to start at FR side as you sit in vehicle. Push on the clip like down and in and pressure up. This picture should help you plan to get that out.
There is one screw in center just below it. Remove.
Now the whole Center Panel comes out. Just carefully pull straight back.
Undo all the wires because if ya let it hang a clip will scratch the dash at bottom left. I suggest tape the area 1st.
Stereo is held in with 4 very visible screws. Brackets on stereo easily transfer to a new Double Din Unit and likewise probably a single din.
Speaker wires can be used for an aftermarket install saving you the hassle of running new ones, Use a battery to test the leads before you unhook old speakers. You can obtain aftermarket wire harness converter that keeps all factory plugs unharmed. The colors are different from radio end to speaker end so you have to test them out.
Door Panels are all the same. Proceed as follows.
On either side of the handle that you pull on are small panels. These lift straight up and off. I used a sturdy Putty Knife, and a Small Flat Driver.
At the Handle (Latch) that you use to open the door, the chrome one, each side of that circular part pulls straight out, I used a Small Flat Screwdriver.
Once you have these 4 parts out, Also lift out and unplug Power Window Panel. then you will see screws 10 mm or cross or flat takes them out.
Now use a Putty Knife and get under Panel at bottom, (In case you scratch no one sees it), put Knife in and pull towards you to dislodge the clips, once you get em started you can do it by hand. Panel lifts directly up up up. Use no outward pressure. Your Speakers are now exposed. 6X9 in front and an integrated 6.5 in the rear.
Front is a direct replacement. I had to have an Adapter Plate to install the rear since it was some sort of wierdo factory deal. There is room in there for 6X9's also if someone wants to do some fab, it can be done. I just wired regular Speaker leads into factory wires so as not to ruin the Clip in case I return the system to factory. Install Panels in reverse order. Actually pretty easy, but note that the Clips are very strong, it almost feels like you are going to break them when you are taking them out. Be easy, use broad tools when you can. If you are chicken mask off where you pry.
I used the rear floor compartment for both Amps. (barely fit) I can install a Fan, but I am listening to my unit, not playing it for the people 9 cars over ....just 4. So Heat should not be an issue. If it is, I have a 12V Fan ready to cool things down. After testing I know no fan will be needed. I'm cool. Notice in Pic one slants, allows extra air circulation.
The Sub is a Custom Box in RR area, Dealer said OK to use it, just leave room for air to pass to the area when heater is on recalculate it draws air through that Panel. Let it breath. I maintain ability for the roller cover to be drawn over everything so when parked I can hide the sub. Some aftermarket Subs were available. But I did not like the location. You hardly notice it where it is at. It is also covered in Vinyl so as to keep with the Xterra theme..... Everything you need, nothing you don't.
After all this it's just a matter of run the wires hook them up and tune it all.
Manual points out don't connect directly to Battery because Alt will not "Read" the Load and thus not keep the Batt fully charged. They give you plenty of places at the Battery to hook Positive after the Fuse, do that and Ground to nearby frame location.
My wires to rear Amps are run from Battery, Back to Firewall over to Driver side and in at the Boot behind and below Brake Reservoir. Then they follow the natural path of under the Kick Panels and Carpet on the Driver side to the Rear Cargo area. Speaker wires from Amps were run on Pass side to back of Head Unit.
All I had left over was 4 Speakers intact and a Head Unit. On the shelf!
Sub in Rear Vinyl finish, Sounds great! Notice cover still functions. No Cheap blk/gry Carpet look, wipes clean.
This is a Panel that slides into CD Slot hides Head Unit. Easy to make with a $1 Plastic Notebook cut and cover. Leave corner at bend, slides into slot above Radio.
These are the Amps, 1 1000 1 400 Head Unit is 180, (on tap)
Programable, Cool eh? Notice plays CD, Cassette, and has Aux in to play anything with a Headphone Jack! DVD plugs in.
A lot of people seem to get lost as to how and where to connect the power for the Amps. Use caution and sense, here is your picture.
And a few months later I needed a Carbon Fiber Dash Kit!
If after the install your Air Bag Light Blinks that is because you removed the plug for the Pass Air Bag Indicator. There is a 'How-to' on fixing that issue.
And... Lostboy used these directions and got more detailed and better pictures, so good in fact, we have to include it in this thread so you can see you can do this one yourself. He has some tricks I should have used, like the tape.
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Here is my Stereo 'How-to'. MC please feel free to use any of these pictures.
First I taped of the X to remove the tray - Yes I wusssed out;
After popping up the tray remove the screw in the middle;
Next, remove the Dash, just pull it straight back and out and it will come easily;
I put a shirt down and left the unit plugged in and just rested it on the Center Console;
Next remove the 4 screws holding the Stereo in, once it is removed you will see these screws in the Brackets remove them;
Next I wired up the Harness, match the wires;
I bought a Pioneer 4900IB, so on this I had to remove the extra Sleeve;
I then drilled a 1-inch hole in the back of the pocket from Crutchfield to allow my iPod Cable to come through;
Now take the factory Brackets and attach the top two screw holes to the new Stereo, and the bottom two to the pocket.
Next take the plug and plug it into the new unit.
Now take the Stereo to the X plug in the plugs, Ground the Ground and plug in the Antenna Wire.
Now reverse removal, screw in 4 screws on Brackets to hold deck in place, pop Dash back in, put one screw in, and pop little tray back in.
This is what it will look like;
Here you can see the gap in the pocket, not to bad at all in my opinion;
Next I installed an Amp under the seat and a Sub in the back.
I hooked the Power Cable to the Battery ran it across the Firewall and into the Rubber Plug on the Drivers side next to the Fender.
I then ran the Cable to the front of the Dash tucked it under and ran it to the center area. There I just started tucking it under the center area and worked my way back the Cup Holder. I used MC Secret Hiding Place Tip and removed the Cup Holder and ran the Power Wire to the Passenger side. You can see on both sides there are a little almost cut outs that you can easily get a wire through. From there i ran it under the Seat Bracket again enough room to get it under.
Next I ran the RCA Cable down through the Dash to the Passenger side. I used my long arms and reached around until I could touch each other and that was my path for the RCA and Remote Power Wire. From there I snaked them back on the Passenger side by tucking them under, (I didn't remove anything), next I ran it under the Seat and hooked it to the Amp;
I took the Speaker Wire under the Floormat, under the Rear Seat and up in the Cargo area. It's not hidden in the Cargo area but it works for me;
With Front Seat all the way forward;
Pictures of Sub;
Here is also a Crutchfield Link with an explanation. It's a PDF File.
OK - I am done! (lostboy)