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Old 06-19-2005, 12:49 PM   #1
9/11 RSX-s
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How to Conceal Your Head Unit

A couple of years ago when I replaced the stock speakers and amp, I kept the stock head unit, in part, because I didn't want to invite every flippin' crackhead in the country to break into my car. Say what you want about the Bose HU, but it has one great feature: It won't fit in ANY other car (and it has a security code) so only a complete moron would steal one (okay, so that is not 100% protection).

Anyway, I got the notion that maybe the faceplate of the stock HU could be used as a false faceplate over the top of an aftermarket HU. As it turns out, I was right. This 3-part post explains what I did. Oh, and it can all be undone and set back to stock.

One screw on each side of the HU holds the faceplate on.



(See the existing DIY's, and such, for info on removing the HU, that's what I did.)

The back of the faceplate is a circuit board. The little metal clips on the ends of the plastic studs are why the HU is sort of difficult to remove from the dash. Pull the little bastards off and throw them away (even if you are retaining the stock HU, you don't need them). The plastic studs have a shoulder, then a tip that extends further to which the metal clips are attached. Trim off most of that extension (this allows clearance for what ever trim plate you use around the concealed HU).

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Last edited by 9/11 RSX-s; 06-19-2005 at 02:43 PM..
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Old 06-19-2005, 12:53 PM   #2
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PART-2 Mounting Bracket

The stock HU is held in the dash by the annoying metal clips on the faceplate and by a metal bracket that surrounds the HU like a cage. This bracket has two nuts toward the rear, but since we must mount the concealed HU deeper into the dash than stock, the nuts on the bracket will no longer line up with the bolt holes in the dash structure. In order to mount the bracket and HU deeper in the dash, we must trim some metal off the left, rear, top corner of the bracket.



We must also trim the left, rear, bottom of the bracket. Note, you could cut off several inches and gain some maneuvering room that would be very nice while you are trying to fit trim around the concealed HU, but if you cut off the area that contains the two nuts, you would not be able to use the bracket for a stock depth mounting in the future.

Now add slots to the two holes in the middle of the bracket. This is where our new mounting bolts will go. I would make them a bit longer than I did. You'll need 2 bolts 3/4" long, 2 nuts, 4 washers (and I would use a lock washer of some sort, too).



These two holes in the structure of the dash will align with the slots you cut in the mounting bracket.

Trim back the plastic edge of the dash opening. This will make it easier to fit trim around the concealed HU. But you need to retain some material for the shoulders of the plastic studs on the faceplate to rest on. This is what keeps the faceplate at the correct height.

Note the pretty, pretty yellow foam around the edges of the opening. The "chunks" that are sort of out in the open are already sort of cut out, you just need to persuade them to let go. Once I had the extra chunks off, I went around the foam edge with a black marker. No more yellow.

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Last edited by 9/11 RSX-s; 06-19-2005 at 12:56 PM..
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Old 06-19-2005, 12:59 PM   #3
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PART 3 Installed

My HU came with a mounting kit that included a pocket for under the HU. I cut a hole in the back side of the pocket and ran the Aux line from the HU and the USB from my K-Pro into the pocket.

The green circle marks where I cut the trimplate in half. Once the HU is in the dash, there is not enough room to get the full trimplate in, so I did it in halves. If you cut off more of the back of the bracket, you might be able to maneuver the trimplate into place in one piece. In any case, you'll need to trim some material off the bottom of the trimplate where it hits up against some plastic ridges in the lower portion of the dash opening. This is hard to do once you have the HU in place, so I recommend doing a test fitting before you commit to hooking up wires and such.

That is the real Hazard button. On the stock faceplate, I mounted one with the backside cutoff so it would clear the inner trimplate (check a junk yard for this part).

I have not yet colored the foam or put rubber trim in the gap.



Blurry, but it fits over the concealed aftermarket HU.



Finished daytime photo. Note, the wires in the pocket are for my K-Pro and Aux input into the HU. I thought about using some black cloth tape around the gap instead of the rubber weather strip, but couldn't find the stuff any more. Perhaps you'll come up with a better way to finish the gap.



Night photo. The HU is a Clarion DXZ755MC. You can set the RGB color of the display and the buttons. Better red than . . .

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Last edited by 9/11 RSX-s; 06-19-2005 at 02:24 PM..
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Old 06-19-2005, 08:00 PM   #4
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dude that is freakin awesome! seriously i think its brilliant, definate alternative to removable faceplates!
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Old 06-19-2005, 08:38 PM   #5
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that's sweet! too bad i can't try that DIY since I swapped my stock for a pioneer
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Old 06-21-2005, 10:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h4rapture
dude that is freakin awesome! seriously i think its brilliant, definate alternative to removable faceplates!
Thanks.

Yeah, and since almost every aftermarket HU has a removable faceplate, people break in anyway and then look in the glovebox for the faceplate since most peeps don't actually take the thing with them.
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Old 06-21-2005, 10:26 AM   #7
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When the entire radio was removable, this was a lot easier --

My first aftermarket deck was a pullout model. I pried the faceplate off of the stock HU and Superglued the buttons & knobs in place. When I wasn't comfortable with wherever I parked, I would pull out the aftermarket head, put it under the seat, and cover the hole with the stock faceplate. Nobody could tell the difference by looking into the car.
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Old 06-21-2005, 11:33 AM   #8
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Man, that is amazing!
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Old 06-21-2005, 11:35 AM   #9
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Talk about stealthy. Props for creativity and originality.
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:32 AM   #10
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That is awesome!!! hahaaahaahah
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Old 06-30-2005, 12:58 PM   #11
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Minor update. My HU came with a remote. Turns out that I can leave the stock faceplate in place, prop open the cassette slot, and run the Clarion HU with the remote. Stealth mode
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Old 07-16-2005, 08:58 AM   #12
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sweet idea... + rep for you!
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Old 07-16-2005, 09:02 AM   #13
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Very unique idea... hahaha
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Old 08-05-2005, 02:35 AM   #14
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nice
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Old 08-05-2005, 12:24 PM   #15
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haha! wow thats awesome! i still remember those decks that you had to completely take out. old school shiet.
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Old 08-05-2005, 08:56 PM   #16
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wow, good stuff there, i like stealth =)
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:38 AM   #17
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bluej511 is a hardcore rep whore
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plus rep for u man but get the tape cover out and then u can use ur remote and never remove the front face or drill a hole where the IR sensor is muahahah even better
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluej511
plus rep for u man but get the tape cover out and then u can use ur remote and never remove the front face or drill a hole where the IR sensor is muahahah even better
Actually, I just sort of stick the end of the remote in the tape slot and fire away.

Hey, thanks everyone for the comments.
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Old 08-07-2005, 02:09 AM   #19
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good enough fuck it as long as it gets the job done u should get a shit load of reps from this thread its def amazing work write that in ur sig ur the first one buddy congrats
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Old 08-07-2005, 03:33 AM   #20
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damn thats some cool shit right there
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Old 08-08-2005, 02:17 PM   #21
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its a little extreme, but the thing looks insanely ugly without the cover. Kudos for the novel idea... Now if you can get the antitheft light to blink, that would be hot.
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Old 08-08-2005, 06:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MueveloNYC
its a little extreme, but the thing looks insanely ugly without the cover. Kudos for the novel idea... Now if you can get the antitheft light to blink, that would be hot.
agreed
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Old 08-09-2005, 04:18 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9/11 RSX-s
Minor update. My HU came with a remote. Turns out that I can leave the stock faceplate in place, prop open the cassette slot, and run the Clarion HU with the remote. Stealth mode
Except you wont be able to switch cd's without taking off the stock headunit plate
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Old 09-16-2005, 10:25 AM   #24
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Brilliant. I'd been thinking for some time that the best security would be finding a way to do this. I always hated pulling the faceplate off my fancy stereo, so I haven't bothered putting it in this car. Good to see someone had the initiative and ingenuity to figure it out. Seems like there should be an aftermarket outfit specializing in finding ways to make a nice h/u look stock, or like a cheap h/u. It's the ultimate combination of security and convenience.

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Old 09-19-2005, 02:13 AM   #25
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That is really a cool idea and it looks great.
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