I'm planning on upgrading the factory stereo with cassette player to
one with CD player in my '91 Golf. Some questions about wiring and
mounting compatibility before I go shopping.
A. How standard are wiring harnesses and mounting these days? I don't
mind soldering, but prefer to just use plugs. Others in this group talk
about available after-market wiring harness adapters, so I could see
what's available here in western Canada. Also, I also see people
referring to DIN standards. Is this for size or wiring connections too?
B. What's the story on compabitibility for mounting? Any standards yet?
The VW radios have a rubber bumper on the back which fits into a hole
in a bracke at the back of the mounting slot in the dash? Is this VW or
standard? Or will I be fabricating some kind of bracket for a new
C. Any other things I should look for when shopping for a deck? It's
been 15 years since I bought a car stero and it was a VW radio. Seems
somethings have changed like removable face plates for theft security.
I'm just looking for a basic AM/FM radio with CD player (no changer).
No plans for an external amp and I'll just use the stock speakers.
Regarding theft protection (the car doesn't have an alarm or any other
anti-theft security), any advantage of buying a no-name brand to deter
thieves--or is it they don't care? I was safe up to now as no one
wanted a stereo with cassette player.
Thanks for any advice.
Goto a stereo shop, there is probably an adaptor for a Mk2 Golf/Jetta
available, they may have to order it... If you have the "Heidelberg" system,
I believe there are amps in the doors for those speakers, so I don't know if
they would work - don't know if Golf's came with that tho... Our 91 Golf
didn't come with a stereo (base model... had cruise control tho) and it only
had 4 speakers (dash, front doors... no amps). If you have to solder, try
looking up a harness diagram on the net unless the wires are labelled.
When you buy the stereo, but the mounting kit, that's how it will fit in the
DIN standards are for the size of the opening, your Golf is a single DIN - a
double DIN stereo is twice as high... think of the stereo in a late model
Mk4 Jetta/Golf or a current Passat.
Since you aren't planning on upgrading speakers, I can probably safely
assume audio quality isn't the reason you are upgrading, and you just want
to be able to play your CDs without using things like take adaptors or
line-in jacks... Get a decent enough brand (something you recognize), but
don't get anything too expensive... Friend of mine has a plain looking
Blaupunkt headunit in his Tercel (no alarm, you could probably pop the locks
with a screwdriver) and he parks it in a poorly lit college parking lot and
no one has messed with his car... Get something non-flashy that will get the
job done... The Golf does have a very high stereo mounting point, good for
ergonomics, bad because there stereo is in plain site for people walking
by... if it's a shady area, take the faceplate off.
I personally like Alpine headunits - they're not overly tacky and flashy.
Get something with a rotary volume knob, buttons are annoying as hell (don't
say, yah i'll get used to it - everyone I know with buttons hates them).
Thanks for the advice. I'll know to ask about a mounting kit and
wiring adapter when I go shopping. Regarding the speakers, none of the
speakers have their own amplifiers. That should simiplify things. There
are 2 speakers on the outboard top corners of the dash and two on the
sides of the rear deck in the hatch, all stock. It's a pretty basic
car. I ordered it from the factory with just two options: sahara brown
metallic paint and cruise control. No air and no powered anything.
You're right, audio quality/volume isn't high on my list, as long as I
have something to listen to in the car. Good tip on rotary dial, that's
what I grab on the current radio. It's easy to find and easy to adjust
the volume without needing to take my eyes off the road.
When I put a CD player in my '86 Jetta I made my own
wiring harness, mating VW's cable from the radio to
the plug behind the dash to the cable that came with
the CD player. It worked just fine, I even got the
right noises coming out of the right speakers the
first try. Couldn't have done it wthout the wiring
diagram in the Bentley manual (hint, hint).
It's more-or-less standard, and all the aftermarket
units slide right in. Mine did, anyway. They'll need
to know what kind of car you have for the mounting kit.
You don't have (by modern standards) an amazing set of
speakers, so don't spend too much on the CD player. Mine
was a cheapie what-I-could-get-at-Future-Shop-on-a-Saturday-
afternoon special, and it has served me well. It has
a removable front panel which occasionally baffles
passengers who can't figure out where to put CDs in. :-)
Laura Halliday VE7LDH "Que les nuages soient notre
Grid: CN89mg pied a terre..."
ICBM: 49 16.05 N 122 56.92 W - Hospital/Shafte
Thanks for the tips. I ended up getting a Sunday special Kenwood at
A&B Sound, $119. For mounting, I took the rubber bumper off the old
radio and mounted it on the back of the new one and fortunately Kenwood
put a threaded hole right dead centre on the back of the deck, so the
rubber bumper (looks like a rubber test tube stopper) will fit into the
hole in the bracket at the back of the dash opening. That should
support the back of the deck, otherwise it would just be supported by
the plastic dash front. The deck came with a cage and I didn't need any
other mounting hardware.
I used a 1/2 harness that A&B sold, a bit pricey I thought at $15
CDN. But I soldered up the wires to the harness that came with the
deck, matching the wire colours and consulting Bently as I went. I did
a dry run last night. Everything worked, even the speakers lined up
But you're right, those stock speakers are nothing to write about
(hmmm..I just did). Anyways, I was hoping for some higher fidelity,
even with a CD playing. But at least I can play CDs when there is on
radio reception on sections of the highway.
Weird thing is the deck came with a remote control. Not sure what I'll
do with it? Guess I'm old school, reach out, touch the radio. :)
Thanks again. PS. Does the place Kingcome mean anything to you?
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