Okay yes. The Bose system was/is nice. However, I have NO use for the tape deck and the CD player in mine finally stopped working.
So what to do? Time to replace it all.
I will be documenting the ENTIRE project here. I already have a few tips for those of you that want to do this on your own. I can say, if you take this to an audio place, you will spend at least $1000 in labor alone. SCREW THAT!
I have already done some and will post pics as soon as I can.
First let me say. I LOVE THIS little caddy. SUCH a nice ride, nice features. So I have no issues putting a fine "Audio Bumper" in it.
AMP and speakers.
I went with a JBL GTO‑5EZ 5-Channel Amp. Why you ask? Well, I had never heard it until I installed one in a Honda for a friend. WOW! it was nice. Now look, I do not plan to enter any contests, I just want nice sound and this will MORE than accommodate. One amp does it all. If you Audio freaks want more, you are more than welcome. This build out is for the regular guy/gal who wants a nice system with absolute minimum modifications.
Front Doors - I have two options here. I CURRENTLY have these speakers by JBL for the Front: GTO509C
These are 5 1/4. However, I am told 6.5" will work too. I chose the smaller ones because these will sound great and will provide me better install options. These are deep speakers and will require a special spacer to mount. I am hoping to be able to build a spacer which will prevent me cutting the door and still maintain the look of the door panel. We will see. I will keep you posted and post pics as I get everything done.
The TWEETER in the front door: As you know, the tweeter is mounted in the Upper corner, little black triangle. It is easy to remove. Simply use a door panel removal tool, (NOT A SCREWDRIVER!) and with the blade inserted between the tweeter and the door, rotate your hand back and forth until it pops loose. DO NOT REMOVE the little black tweeter screen. I did that and now I have to glue it back (Dangit!) The JBL tweeters fit best. Now, you will also have to BREAK the stock tabs off that hold the current bose tweeter. Big deal, just do it! Use flat tip plyers or equivalent. The Rockford Fosgate Prime's are TOO BIG. I suppose you can make them fit if you modify the foam pad behind the tweeter, but I chose to mount those (Rockford Fosgate Prime) in the rear doors.
Rear Doors and Tweeters: Currently there are cute little 3.5" speakers mounted to a 3-screw adapter. You have to remove the adapter. The speaker is attached to it, so once you remove the adapter, the speaker will come with it. bear in mind, there is rather sticky foam behind the spacer, so you have to use firm prying action to remove it.
Here is a tip. SOME Catera's came with a tweeter in the back door too (mine did not), as a result, mounting a tweeter is perfect. Even the door panel is set for it. Again, BREAK the tabs on the door panel where the speakers are. (I assume you have already removed the door panel. I WILL NOT tell you have to remove the door panel. You should already know how to do it.) I will connect these to the rear channel of my Head Unit since all of my amp channels will be used.
Because I used the Rockford Fosgate tweeters I had to user an Air-powered grinder to widen already drilled tweeter hole. If I had another set of JBL's, the tweeter would easily screw into the door with the supplied adapters. Oh well. No big deal. These will be fine too. Again, When I take more pics, I will post them up.
Again, I have to fabricate some sort of angled mounting spacer to get the 5" speaker in the door. Not sure how I am going to do this yet. No! I do not want to use Fiberglass. I will most likely build it form dense particle board. The whole idea is to make it look as stock as possible.
Rear Deck - This is where it will get fun. I can mount a set of 6.5" with little or no issue, or I can get creative and mount 6x9's. Really not sure yet until I tear it apart and look. To do a proper job, you have to remove the entire rear deck. I have the actual service manuals, so this will not be a tough task.
Trunk - for the trunk, check this out. I have this one: GT5-1202BR by JBL. It is a 12" Ported sub, that slides RIGHT underneath the current amp without issue. The way to place is speaker towards the back. This allows for the angle of the seat back. You mount the amp directly on to the back of the woofer box. This provides you quick access to the crossover controls simply by dropping the seat back. I will most likely use the current AMP rack as a place to run central wires and mount the front speaker crossovers. COOL, HUH!? So I can say with confidence. You can slide a nice woofer in there and STILL have tons of trunk space.
I will also devise a cool way to mount it securely. I have not figured it out just yet.
The whole idea is for me to install this system without trashing the current door panels or back deck.
The Stereo itself. I purchased a Sony CDX-GT700HD because it had the best price and best features. Sure, pick out any deck you want. I picked this specifically for the USB, 24-Bit, and 6-Preouts and 1 Preamp in. YOU MUST GET A DECK with 6 RCA outputs (Sub, Rear, Front). It just makes for cleaner installs and better sound. I saved this for last as THIS was a PAIN IN THE A$$. Oh man, I cannot even begin to tell you. You will need patience and time. You will also have to be ready and willing to drive your car around with no stereo in it and stuff hanging out until you have time to get back to it.
Really gang, it was a PAIN, but I have the stereo mounted and it looks great. No, it is not hooked up, but this the hardest part and it is all ready for wiring.
The Deck mods: Jeez, where do I begin? Well. The install kit you see being sold is only good for ONE thing. Making it look nice on the front. THERE IS NO way you can slide the deck-sleeve in, push the tabs to support it, then load your deck. There are MANY mods to do.
Since I have to pull my deck again to complete the wiring, I will update the images and show you want I did. In short, I had to bust off the "supplied" mounting Tabs on the install dash kit. I also have to cut the BACK of the stock car deck tray to allow for the size of the head unit. TIP, get a shallow deck if you do not want to cut it. I cut it and it was not big deal and my deck fit fine.
You also have to notch the dash kit on both sides about 3mm. ( I will take a pic - you will see it).
I also had to purchase a little spacer, washer- screw-combination set I developed to make it mount perfectly. And it did. It worked great. (Pics coming)
So...without further waiting, here is my first pic. It looks like this because I still have to pull the deck to complete the wiring. I just want you to see how clean it is. It is tight and really sweet.
I will take any questions and suggestions.
More to come.