Car Audio And Stereo: How To Install A Trunk Cd Changer

A beginners guide to installing a trunk-mounted CD changer and connecting it to your existing stereo system.

Installing a trunk-mounted CD changer is an easy car stereo modification that virtually anyone can do with a little bit of knowledge. This article will cover the details of the process and keep you from running into common problems with the installation.

It is important that you do some research before actually purchasing the unit, as every brand of head unit has different plugs. Consequently, only a CD changer of the same brand will work with your stereo. Any salesman at an electronics store should be able to help you find the right unit to fit your particular deck. The changer should come with all the wires and mounting brackets you will need to hook up the unit.

Once you have the changer, the first thing to do is to find a place to mount it. The best place to mount it is probably in the trunk, either attached from the cargo deck floor panel, on the side wall of the trunk space, or on the bottom of the partition between the rear headrests and the trunk space. It will be easiest to mount it horizontally, but most changers can be mounted at an angle if necessary. Think about how often you plan to be changing the CD's in it; if you're only going to change them once or twice a month it is probably best to mount it somewhere out of the way, like beneath the cargo floor. On the other hand, if you plan to be changing a lot of CD's you might be better off putting it in easy reach. In either case, be absolutely sure that wherever you mount the changer it will not be bumped, crushed, or even smashed by whatever it is you put in the trunk. To mount it, use the included brackets and bolts to screw it into something solid. Just make sure it's right side up.



The unit should come with two sets of wires: an RCA cable with two plugs on each end, and the changer control cord, which should vaguely resemble a computer cable. Plug both cords into the back of the changer and begin running them up toward the head unit. You want to make the installation invisible from the inside of the car. This can be a tricky business. Your best bet is to run the cords beneath the rear cargo floor/carpet, under or around the rear seat and under the carpet in the cabin. From there, keep going under the passenger seat and up to the dash. If you decide to run along the driver's side, be very careful to avoid the pedals. Once you have the cables somewhere near the dash, you will probably have to remove some of the dash pieces. You can choose to bring the cords up through the center console or up inside the dash somewhere near either front door. Again, if you choose the driver's side use caution and avoid placing the cables near anything mechanical. When the cords are somewhere inside the dash, remove the head unit and reach into the empty slot to grab the cords. You may need to have a helper gently tugging on the wires so that you know which ones to grab. When you find them, pull them through the slot, plug them into the back of the deck, and replace the head unit.

Now, before you put back the trim panels you removed, gently pull the cords at the changer end, drawing any slack back into the trunk where it is easily hidden. Then put the trim back together.

Find the magazine, which is the box built to hold the CDs in the changer. Load it with CDs and put it in the changer. On certain head units the CD changer option must be activated using the main menu of the unit. The manual for the stereo should tell you how to do this. Finally, turn on the stereo and enjoy the tunes.

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