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.