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I wrote up a more detailed document on how to replace the Head Unit in an Odyssey. This document is for the newbie who has never installed a new radio in a vehicle before. The left side of the page has generic instructions and the right side has the specific instruction on how I installed my Empeg head unit with pictures. I feel it is a good guide for learning how to install.

You can find it at


Premium Member
2,140 Posts
Hey Greg,
Wanted to let you know that your work was not ignored. I read your install notes before, just hadn't gotten time to post some of my own comments... Here ya go!

Overall, great job, I've always been interested in seeing one of those units. I'm not an MP3 fan myself, but it's a cool unit you have....

Having done lots of auto installs, here are some suggestions/comments on your writeup:

Power suggesstions for amps: amp ratings are all over the map b/w manufactures (max, min, RMS, at 12V, 14.4V, 1KHz, full bandwidth, etc..) My advice: quality power from a reputable manufacturer. For mains, 25-40W/Ch is PLENTY. For subs, I recommend 2-4X power over what's used for mains so that balance is maintained.

Next, I've found that speaker upgrades are probably the first thing to really look at if you are look for improvement in SQ (and not necesarily features). This is where the most difference is made.

Your comment on GM cars and externally amp'd speaks (applies to many makes and models of cars): speaker booster amps can be bypassed, allowing you to use the head unit's power, or an outboard amp instead. You can even get wiring harness kits for this purpose.

You used a DIN mounting kit for your radio, but in my experience I've not found this to be necessary. The factory brackets work almost every time in my experience....

One tool to add to your list: a torque wrench. Needed when unbolting seats and the like for re-torquing. Also, I have all kinds of crimping tools, wire strippers, and always a soldering iron, and a gazillion different type of spade/ring/splice whatever type of connectors. Different things for different installs. Heat shrink tubing is a must for me... Small screwdrivers, numerous work lights, etc....

Question: did you use a grommet or a sturdy sleeve to protect your power wire from chaffing on the firewall? Pretty important to do, or poke the wire through the existing rubber. Contact of the wire on the metal chassis, even if the hole is radiused, is a safety hazard.

Fuse holders/circuit breakers: I like to either wire tie them to an existing wire running from the battery, or mount them very low, well below the top plane of the battery, for safety reasons. I also dislike drilling the metal under the hood, so choose plastic such as the air cleaner box, for instance.

I totally agree about separating signal from power when wiring inside the vehicle. I think it's more important however to separate RCA (line level) signal cables from power cables; this is where there is the greatest potential for noise introduction.

Ground points: side rails along the vehicle and large cross members tend to be very good ground locations, and easy to drill without fear of going through the vehicle or hitting a sensitive component.

Power connection: leave the fuse out of the fuse holder until you are at the last step: system test. It's the safest. Also be sure to check your power line for any shorts to ground before putting in the fuse.

Level setting: very important, and I could probably write a book. Suffice it to say, make sure your amp gains are as low as possible. If you have muliple components in a chain, be sure that each has the lowest gain possible. Best for S/N.

Hope this wasn't too long or wordy, and hope I didn't sound critical; you did a nice install. Just point out some things I noticed, and added some on my own insights.

-SJ (former username: shinjohn)
'01 DEP EX, and I'm workin' on it! (slowly)
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