You’ll have to forgive me for multiple car-related posts (and there are more of them yet-to-come). . . . I’m trying to get a whole bunch of things fixed and upgraded on the Subaru before a big, long-distance road trip next month. In the last post, I mentioned that I would soon be upgrading the stereo. Well, today was the day.

I removed stock head-unit (and the iPod kit that I installed back in ’08, which was technically meant for an Impreza but was easily hacked into my Outback), and replaced it with a new JVC KW-R800BT double-DIN unit. It comes with hands-free Bluetooth phone support and a USB port for playing music from memory sticks and iPods. One feature that appealed to me was the ability to customize the display and button colors—the last time I installed an aftermarket head-unit, the mis-matched colors of the unit against the rest of the dash really annoyed me.

Like last time, the unit came from Crutchfield and included the dash panel and wire harnesses I needed for a smooth install. I had to make a Home Depot run to get some twist-on wire connectors and electrical tape. I also got hung-up trying to disconnect the Subaru’s climate control temperature cable, per the Crutchfield instructions. After I lost a good hour or so working on it I finally found an alternative method: bending the mounting brackets with brute-force to get the climate control knobs disconnected from the panel. That did the trick.

Anyway, it took longer than I had hoped, but the install was a success and everything works as expected. For my next project, I’ll be replacing a worn-out hood latch, installing new horns, and blacking-out some of the chrome on the grille. Stay tuned.

Scott Bradford has been building web sites and using them to say what he thinks since 1995, which tended to get him in trouble with power-tripping assistant principals at the time. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University, but has spent most of his career (so far) working on public- and private-sector web sites. He is not a member of any political party, and brands himself an ‘independent constitutional conservative.’ In addition to holding down a day job and blogging about challenging subjects like politics, religion, and technology, Scott is also a devout Catholic, gun-owner, bike rider, and music lover with a wife, two cats, and a dog.