Installation Tools

There are many different tools that professional car electronic installers use in the car. We recommend specific tools, because they perform a task and it will prevent damage to your car. The most important tool usually is some short of hook tool, to tuck wires and to pull wires in hard to reach places.

Taking apart the dash is in most steps of working in a car. You need SOFT plastic tools which will not mar your dash. There are name brand ones, and generic types. The more expensive type ones will be made of better plastic and materials. You do not want to ruin your car with a nick or scar to any panels.

Sometimes you need to take apart the radio. There are very specific tools to do this. Look for the openings on the radio, to see if your radio needs these tools.

Ford:

VW, AUDI, Mercedes and some European cars

Pontiac GTO Tools

To Run wires, you can use a grasper tool

The sizes of bolts and screws in cars are usually standard size. Most are 10mm in Non Domestic cars and even in some domestic cars. GM vehicles are usually 7mm. Ford is usually 8mm. They use 13mm for larger bolts and sizes in between. We recommend that you get a nutholder which is magnetic so the bolts do not drop into the dash.

If you are doing anything with electronics in the car, you will need to connect wires together. The simplest way to do this is to strip two wires back, and then connect them together with a connector and then crimp down on the connector. It will insulate it and also make the connection. To give an example, to wire a radio, there are at least 4 speakers. A positive and negative for each speaker, thats 8 wires just for speakers, plus power, ground, lights. Thats at least 10 connections just to wire a radio. Be sure to buy enough product for your installation so you will not get stuck.

You will need a wire stripper and a crimping tool:

In addition to the crimpers, you will need the connectors. Usually called butt connectors.

It is very important to remember, in the car — all wires are STRANDED. In the home, all wires are usually solid core. There is a difference, and you should use what is made for the car.

When you are finished with the crimping or any connection, you should seal it with good electrical tape. Better electrical tape will be thicker and will hold better in hot temperatures. We recommend 3M tape, 1700 or 33+ for the best installs.

For some alarm installations (remote starts) or for installation involving very thin wires, it is advisable to solder the wires. You should use a portable soldering iron (with the heat away from any sensitive equipment), so you can work in the car, good solder and then seal it with good electrical tape. There are name brand butane soldering irons, some recommended below

And you should use name brand solder

Instead of electrical tape, if you want a super good insulated finish, you can use heatshrink. You will need to buy heatshrink in the right size since they come in different diameters. Like tape, 3M is our recommended go to for Heatshrink.

If you are doing any type of testing in the car, you should do it with a digital multi meter. Do not use a test light. Most newer cars are highly sensitive and if you use a regular test light, even an LED one, it will back feed and damage circuits. There are many DMM digital multi meters. You will need one that is good for the car, DC usually– and functions that work for a car instead of buying DMMs which are designed for other purposes-such as HVAC, home installs, etc

Fluke is one of the best brands on the market at the moment.

A lot of screws in European cars, and even in some domestic cars are in TORX. You need to pick up a set of TORX bits, to make sure you are able to remove a screw .. and not get stuck.

Some cars such as Porsche, and other vehicles will have a HEX bolt on the radio location. You need a good set of right angle HEX or HEX bits

If you are working in tight spaces, need to screw in something in a glove for example or underneath the dash, you will need a right angle bit holder for your drill

You should get a magnetic bit holder for your bits, so anything you remove will not fall and disappear into the dash when the screw is removed. If you have an impact drill, make sure you get an impact holder.

 

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Car Speakers

Why should you upgrade the speakers in your car and why:

There are many reasons why you should consider changing the speakers in your car. If it is an older car, and you do not have tint, the speakers probably took a lot of UV damage from the sun and has deteriorated. Older speakers are also single cone speakers, made out of paper and are not coaxial. Coaxial speakers will have an extra tweeter or midrange on top of the main woofer to give you more highs (voices, and instruments)

Speakers come in different sizes, and come in standard sizes. They start from 3.5 inch on up.
Below is an example of 3.5 inch speakers:

The most common speaker sizes in cars are 5.25 speakers (smaller)

and 6.5 inch speakers

and 6×9 speakers which are in the rear of cars

Most Fords will use 6×8 speakers. 5×7 speakers and 6×8 speakers are interchangeable. Do not mistake 6×8 speakers for 6×9 speakers.

Speakers can also come larger than 8 inches. These are still car speakers, but typically are called subwoofers or car subwoofers. They range from 8 inches to 12 to as big as 15 inches. The larger the subwoofer, the deeper the bass.

Sometimes the subwoofers come in boxes. Which means you do not have to make your own box for it, and it is tuned to the subwoofer. This makes things a lot easier

Speaker adapters are available for some cars to make them fit. For example, a 6.75 adapter to make 6.5 speakers fit in a 6.5 opening.

 

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Car Radios

Car radios , when to upgrade and what is needed:

You should consider upgrading your car radio when it is missing a feature you need. For example, you need to add Bluetooth for calls and streaming, Navigation GPS, DVD player, aux in, CD player, Mp3 capabilities or you want to add more power to the existing radio.

Here is an example of a Double DIN Pioneer radio, which would add a ton of features to your car, along with navigation GPS.

Along with the radio, you will need a dash kit to make it fit into your car if it is not a standard din or double din size. Din size openings are 7 x 2 high and double din openings are 7 x 4 high. If you have these standard sizes, you can just buy any standard din or double din radio.

Some examples of DIN size radios below

Some examples of Double DIN size radios are below

A dash kit is usually needed to fit any radio into NON standard openings. These kits are specific to make, models and years. Be sure to pick the right one and check for compatibility. They come in all shape and sizes.

There are also less expensive dash kits which will cover a wide range of vehicles. (for example, a honda kit which will cover the majority of Hondas). Since these kits are so universal, it is also less money.

If you have steering wheel controls in your car, find a radio with steering wheel controls and then you will need a steering wheel interface to retain it also. This is optional

 

Remote Starts

What is the purpose of Remote Starts and why do you need it?
Remote starts allow you to start your car remotely. In the comfort of your home or work. It will warm up your car in the winter, or it will cool your interior in the summer. Never get into a cold or hot car again. Also, if your car has ice on the windows, you can remote start the car with the heater on and after the car warms up, you can simply push the ice off the windows (no more scrapping!)

Most new cars will have immobilizer bypasses, you will need to bypass this security feature to install a remote start. There are modules to do this. This is required for almost all cars built in the last 10 years or so. Be prepared for this and the added cost. Some work on data, and can simply plug into the remote start. Using data, you can save the time and avoid additional wiring.

Some of these bypass modules will require a programmer, since they come blank

However, there are universal type bypasses which will cover one manufacturer and should cover most cars, (for example, one for honda, etc) - and those do not require the purchase of a separate programmer.

Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, Toyota and related models 2001 to date. The ADS-KO covers most older cars in that group.

 

 

 

There are also units which are plug and play for many type of vehicles. They are more expensive, but they come with a plug and play harness which is great for novices or beginners. The majority or all of the installation simply "Y" and plugs into existing harnesses. Be sure to check model and compatibility before choosing an unit.

If the main remote start is capable, remote starts can be programmed to start by a cellular phone app. This allows you to send a remote start command when you are in a concrete building, on an airplane, underground in the subway or anywhere as long as you have a wifi or cell connection to your phone. If the system has an alarm, it will also page your phone when your car alarm goes off.

 

 

 
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