A radio harness may play a decisive role in installing your radio. It will save your time on discovering the function of each wire and make you more convenient in testing the system.
Nevertheless, what if you buy an aftermarket radio that does not have any harness? What are you going to do?
I used to be in that situation about two weeks ago when my dad bought a second-hand car radio to replace his old one. And especially, there was no harness attached to it. Before I could find out the reason why he did that, he asked me to install it for him because he ultimately did not know how. I had no other choice apart from doing it. After all, he already purchased it.
Fortunately, it was not a mess like I imagined it would be. I even felt quite proud because I earned a new experience as well as skill in wiring radios. And after talking with some of my friends about this topic, I realized that various people are still confused about how to wire a radio without harness. Therefore, I am writing this How-to article to show all of you the past-two-week experience. I’m sure you will learn it instantly after reading.
First, you need to prepare some equipment to follow this tutorial at the highest level of efficiency:
Now, let’s come to the action part. Before starting wiring, you need to know the function of each cable to have a smooth process of working.
These take the responsibility of turning your radio on, including the red, yellow, and black one. The yellow wire is constant power, which always keeps the battery at a stable situation. The black wire is ground cable, without which, your radio cannot run. And the red one holds an important position of a power cable which turns the radio on and off.
It is a blue one, and its name is amp turn on wire or power antenna wire car stereo. I think it sounds a little familiar to you. The cable is responsible for connecting to the power antenna of the radio and controlling signals.
There are two oranges cables taking care of this function. One is for illumination and the other with a white stripe is for dimmer. You should check your car if it had these wires to make the best choice when shopping. Some old cars don’t usually have them, so make sure you have a thorough overview before purchasing.
These are quite simple because they lead sound from the radio to each speaker in your car. And they come in pairs, so it would be very convenient to distinguish.
And they are always marked with stripes, so you won’t have to worry about making mistakes. The ones without stripes are connected with positive wires, and the others are negative.
All of the colors I mentioned are all international standardized; therefore, you don’t need to concern if your vehicle had different colors. I’m sure they will be easy to recognize. For more detailed explanation, you can watch this video:
Step 1: Cut the power
This move is always important because it protects you from being electrocuted. And you should do it no matter you are installing a subwoofer or an amp to your car. Make sure that the battery is disconnected by cutting the negative wire.
Step 2: Strip the wire insulation
The insulation can be broken anytime if you are not careful so diplomatic skills are particularly needed in this part. Just remove the insulation of each wire of the radio and your vehicle. And it depends on the length of the wires but usually, I cut the insulation in about one knuckle long. You can do the same thing if you want.
Step 3: Wiring
There are two types of wiring, depending on the structure of every vehicle.
The first type is a vehicle coming with a bunch of wires and no harness, which is just like the wires of the radio desk. If you have a one like this, find the cables with the same colors on the radio and your vehicle. Then, match them with each other by twisting their copper core. Finally, use the black tape to maintain them. Stick it around where two cables are connected with 5 to 6 laps, and you can try turning your radio on.
The second type has a tidier structure than the previous one, which contains only one wire. However, this cable has two heads, one of which is positive and the other is negative. You won’t need to look for the correct colors with this type. Just pay attention to the pairs. The red one will pair up with the yellow one, the black one with the blue one, and other wires already have their pairs. Now, just hook each wire up to the negative and positive cable, and you’ll be done. For example, you can hook the red one to the positive cable and the yellow one to the negative wire. Keep the process until all of the wires are attached to each other. And you will do the same way as the last type, which is twisting them and use the tape. You can watch this video for more instruction:
These steps are not so complicated, aren’t they? Pay attention a little and everything will work out.
One more tip for you is that you can use solder and tube to replace your tape. The tape is great, but solder is much more reliable. Just put the wire through a piece of the tube first, then twist and solder the core. Lastly, cover it with the tube you put in, and you have finished your most important task.
Have you found many useful things in my article?
I’m sure you will have the smoothest wiring process after my writing. So if you like it, do share it. Knowledge is to share, not to keep, right? And if you have any comments or questions, please leave them in these lines. I would be very glad to reply.
Regardless, thank you for reading my how-to article, and I hope to see you in my subsequent writing. Goodbye.
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