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· lulz generator
691 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all.

I completed installing an Pioneer AVIC-F900BT in my car a few weeks ago. AVIC-F900BT

Here's what I did. Be warned, its a long one.:eek:

First, Sorry for the lack of pictures. I got a few, and I'll draw the rest (painfully) in paint to get my point across. I'll replace them with real pictures once I get my camera fixed.

Before I start, lets get the technical stuff out of the way:

Car: 2004 TSX Non-Navi

After install, what will/will not work?:

The only things that will NOT work are the stock radio, stock amp, front tweeters and (if you don't set it up) stock dimmer controlling the new AVIC unit. (you CAN still dim everything else.)

You'll also lose:
Front Bin, not an ashtray/accessory.

The A/C, Climate Controls, Clock, Security LEDs. (hell, even the cd changer (no audio) will all still work.)

What I used, What you'll need:

AVIC Unit (or similar double din unit)
Double Din Install kit, Like
A Honda radio harness, Like This Possibly Two (explained step #2).
Butt Splices or other connectors, or solder.
Hand Tools (Mostly Philips), very small flat head (paperclip MAY work)
Cutting things. Like sissors, hobby saw, possibly dremmel tool (helps alot).
Quick Splices or Tap Splices.
Small Corner brackets, commonly used in cabinetry.
Small, short bolts with flat faces.
Electric Drill, Drill bits.
Self Taping Screws.
Wire Crimpers/Cutters/Stripper.

It's also a good idea to have as much information as you can on the car and the audio system. I'm certain this would have been a bit of a nightmare if I did not have my dealer manual.

Others may not need it, but either way its Strongly Recommended.
Part One. Panel Removal

Firstly, we need to get at the internals of the center console.

Lay your hands flat on the top and bottom of the center bin.
Gently (or not, its going anyway) pull towards the back of the car.
(samxeyeam's Picture :tu: )

Be sure do disconnect the wire to the light, its clipped onto the top of the bin. Its also secured to the rear of the bin with a white wire clip. On the top, slide the wire portion out, the twist and pull upward on the plug portion.

That's the upper panel, now for the lower:

If you have a M/T, the book says loosen the lock nut on your shift knob, then remove it (I'm not sure its an absolute must)

Next, we have to remove the center console.
The piece of plastic with the seat heater switches, that runs on top of the plastic covering the area above the transmission tunnel comes out first.

This is held on by 8 "fasteners", er clips. Start (carefully) from the front, with a smaller flat head screwdriver, (or similar) and gently pry the panel up. Better to work from the sides in, than the center out.

6 of the 8 clips are around the shifter/mode selector. Two on either side of the front, and the other two on the left and right sides of the panel, in the general area of the shifter/selector.

The remaining two are at the rear, where the center storage bin/armrest starts. Don't be afraid to give these a good yank if they give you trouble, they will likely give you the most headache.
Once the panel is loose, carefully pull it straight up. Remove the connectors to the seat heater switches (squeeze and pull type).

Finally, we can remove the lower bin. There are Philips screws at the 4 corners of the bin, once those are gone, pull the bin towards you some.

Disconnect the power connector to the accessory hub, from the rear of the bin. Pop off the white wire holder from the bin also. It should now be free.

(samxeyeam's Picture, again :tu: )

Last, you may want to remove the rest of the center console. It's not required, but it felt like it gave me more room to work.
(Quicky version: for screws around the shifter, two inside the center box, hooked at the front. Accessory plugs underneath.)

· lulz generator
691 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Part Two, Wiring.

Extremely long story very short: The Honda wiring harness will plug directly into the back of the area underneath and behind the cd player portion of the remaining upper devices. Plugging it in this way will make the AVIC player work directly. However you will lose everything connected to that remaining upper center unit, including: A/C, Clock, Climate Controls, CD, Security.

Yes, I learned it the hard way.:banghead:

After a few sleepless nights and a lot of thinking, I figured out a way that would work for me, in my situation. (Jump to part 6, Notes)

The alternative to all of the below is to simply wire in the car, as opposed to using the harness. I don't recommend it.

First step is to identify the bits we are going to be working with.

  1. Wiring Harness from Pioneer ("BLACK HARNESS")
  2. Honda Wiring Harness ("BLUE HARNESS")
  3. Car speaker out plug (Plug connecting from amplifier, to speakers)

First, if you got the Honda wiring harness (Blue Harness) from crutchfield grab the sheet that came in the plastic packaging. Its useful to write stuff down on so you don't get confused.

Originally, the blue harness was going to plug into the back of the bottom of the CD player unit. We want to plug it into the plug going TO the speakers AFTER amplification.

Aftermarket Harness Modification​
We need to modify the blue Honda harness to work with the new location.​

If you only have one Blue Harness, you need to move the wire.

If you have two harnesses, cannibalize any 3 other wires from the sacrificial harness. The wire removal process is the same.

Look at the harness. Position the harness so the wires are facing toward you, with the blue (or blue/white) wire in the upper row, furthest to the right.

We need to move that wire. Grab a very small Flathead screwdriver (eyeglass ones?) or possibly a paperclip. The objective is to carefully press on the walls of that slot of the harness until the blue (blue/white) wire releases. It may take a little while, but be careful and persistent, it will slide out.

Next, we need to take our newly freed wire and stick it into an empty slot on the same blue harness, next to the red wire (Next to, not below Read: to the left.). Inserting the wire is the exact opposite of removal, stick it in the slot. If it needs to be seated better, gently press with the Flathead.

With the blue harness sitting in the same position we had it earlier: Locate the wire on the bottom row, second in from left (may be orange/white). Remove that wire using the same process.

Put that wire in the harness directly *below* the red wire from earlier.

If you had an extra blue harness you took the 3 wires from, do the same as above, plus:​

Take the third free wire and place it in the harness below the red wire and left 1 slot.

If you did NOT have an extra blue harness / extra wires: We will hardwire the third wire later on.​

Wiring Continued.

Now that we have our blue harness setup, time to connect it to the pioneer supplied black plug harness.

Grab your manual and follow along!

Black Harness---------------------------to --------------------Blue Harness
*Wire Job* (Wire Color from black harness)-----------------------------------------(Wire Color from blue harness)

*12v Constant* (Yellow)--------------------------------------------------------(Yellow)
*Left Rear Door (+)* (Red)------------------------------------------------------(Orange)
*Right Rear Door(+)* (Green)----------------------------------------------------(White)
*Drivers Door(+)*(White)----------------------------------------------------------------(Blue)
*Passenger Door(+)*(Grey)-------------------------------------------------------------(Red)
*Left Rear Door(-)*(Green/Black)---------------------------------------------------------------------(White/Black)
*Right Rear Door(-)*(Violet/Black)---------------------------------------------------------------------(Grey/Black)
*Drivers Door(-)*(White/Black)--------------(ONLY if had 3rd wire, if not skip)------------(Third Wire Color)
*Passenger Door(-)*(Grey/Black)-----------------------------------------------------------------(Orange/White)


Butt spice, solder, or otherwise wire together the wires as shown above.

Take the Violet wire on the blue harness, tap it to the Grey wire on the Blue harness.
Take the Green wire on the blue harness, tap it to the White wire on the Blue harness.
Take the Black/Green wire on the blue harness, tap it to the White/Black wire on the Blue harness.
Take the Purple/Green wire on the blue harness, tap it to the Gray/Black wire on the Blue harness.

· lulz generator
691 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Part Two(Three), Wiring Continued/III.

Now that we have our wire harness all made up, go give it a test. Plug the black plug end of the harness into the pioneer unit.

Make sure your car is off!

Find the correct plug on the rear of the amplifier (I believe it is the plug on the right side, as your looking at it). The amplifier is on the bottom, below were the "Not an Ashtray" used to be. Remove the plug from the amplifier and plug it to the Blue Harness. Start the car.

You will not have full functionality yet, but we'll discuss that later.

Things that aren't going to work:
  • GPS (Unless you plug it in..)
  • Drivers front speaker (Unless you wired 3rd wire)
  • Front Tweeters
  • Bluetooth (No Microphone.. Yet)
  • Anything you would need the parking break set to access (Including most adjustments)

On the AVIC'S, there is this *ding* sound that is factory setup to play as you navigate screens. This will be adjustable later, but should not be at this point, just turn your speakers down.

After your done playing around, shut the car off.

Only if you did not wire 3rd wire before: Find the White/Black wire from the Black Pioneer harness. Carefully cut some of the tape by the front of the white plug we just used from the car, exposing about an inch or so of wiring *BE CAREFUL*.
Splice the unused White/Black wire on the Black Pioneer harness to the LIGHT GREEN wire from the plug in the car.

Next, take the green and white wire from the Black Pioneer Harness, Splice it to your (black) ground wire.

Plug your harness back up, Start the car. The Front drivers speaker should work now, and you should have access to the other settings previously unavailable.

Assuming everything (except what I listed above) works, congrats, your unit seems to be in good nick and you can continue on to Part 3.

· lulz generator
691 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Part Three, Cutting.

This is the tough part of the custom dash work. Where to install.

There are a few options here.​

1.High Mounted option: In the middle as far as modification needed. Closer to the driver, so easier to see/use. Presses on wires a bit, rear clearance can be an issue if not careful.

2.Center mount: Least Modification needed. Still gives good sight lines to screen, marginally easier to access. Plenty of clearance. Can give a little extra "tilt" to make the screen easier to see.

3.Lower mount: Most modification needed. View likely blocked. Marginally easier to access.

I went with sort of a hybrid high/center mount. A bit more modification but it allowed me to give the unit more tilt, which made it easier to see/access the screen and did anyway with any rear clearance issues.

A good way to figure out where to place your unit, and what you'll need to cut, is to grab the bin that comes with the double din dash kit and line it up.

There's really no right way to do this, just take your time and think it through. Don't be scared.​


I figured I needed to remove three groups of plastic to have enough room for my bin.
  1. The upper square plastic brackets that the upper bin's upper clips went into. One on either side of the upper area.
  2. The thin, plastic shelf protrusions on either side of the now bare console area. I think this is part of what the upper pocket lay'd on.
  3. Some of the arched plastic that sticks out a little further (like #2) except it runs basically the entire length of the lower 1/4 of each side.

(samxeyeam's again)


Cutting wise, I was able to do it all with a small hobby hacksaw (I build model ships, rockets). It works very well. The area is too big for a regular hacksaw, so a dremel with a reciprocating saw attachment, or just grinding it out with a grinding attachment should work.


First I tackled the top square brackets. I believe I simply cut off the parts that stuck out further than the rest of the plastic piece it came off of. I.E. I cut off the boxes just to make it one flush rectangle of plastic hanging down from above.

Then it came time for those thin runners about mid way down either side of the plastic sides of our inner dash area. I just lopped them off flush with the rest of the inner panel.

(for the next one, cut from the top down first, then from the outside in)

Last, the arced plastic on the lower sides of the walls. I checked my clearances with the metal bin from the mounting kit before I cut. I cut it exactly to how I wanted the bottom of my metal bin, and my AVIC unit to rest. Including height and angle.

I set the angle, and cut the height just about straight on with the very front of the angled bit.


BEFORE YOU CUT: You need to take into account the clearances needed for your new double din unit. Make sure there is enough room for the fan in the back of the unit to flow air freely, be sure there is enough clearance for your cords. The pioneer instructions also said not to mount the unit at a sloped angle greater than 30 degrees.

Trim bits at a time until the metal bin fits where you want it to.

Keep in mind the golden rule of trimming things to fit: you can always take down, but putting back can be a pain.​

· lulz generator
691 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Part Four, Bracket Fitment.

This is assuming you have your bracket fitted correctly.

Now is the time to run all the extra wires your going to want.
Secure with Zip-Ties, Of course. :drool:
  • GPS
  • Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS)
  • Bluetooth Microphone
  • Rear Camera (if your installing one)
  • Alternate Screen Connections (DVD out)
  • Extra Radio Features (Sirius, XM, HD Radio)
  • Attached USB connector to passenger compartment.

For the GPS, I ran under the dash to the right side of the top of the dash. It's hardly noticeable, I'm not worried. I just pushed it as far forward as it would go, no other securing yet. Though I'm considering Velcro.

For the Bluetooth, I ran it all the way up the opposite side pillar. Secured it with Velcro.

For the VSS wire, I followed this DIY. Props to Peregrine! :tu:

For the HD radio I put in, I followed the instructions, simple.

If your going to install a rear camera, or DVD out, you need to read my NOTES.


Lets talk final install of the bracket.

The clarion kit I used comes with three main pieces.
  • Metal Cage for Double Din Unit
  • Metal Brackets
  • Tiny Screws

The brackets screw onto the side of the AVIC unit. Make sure they are facing the correct way, the lip on the front of the metal brackets should be facing out, the brackets are installed towards the front.

The idea is, you put the metal brackets onto the AVIC unit, then side the bracketed AVIC into the Metal Cage, and the tiny screw holes on the front line up.

Once you have the brackets attached correctly, grab the metal cage. Get an idea of where exactly you want the unit, this is when the fine adjustments need to be done. Once you have it figured, grab the corner brackets (used in cabinetry) I mentioned earlier (your not asleep yet, right?).

When the AVIC unit is inside the case, its not touching the bottom of the metal cage. This is so you can bolt the cage in, and still have space for the head of the bolt. Choose your bolts carefully! Measure twice, drill once.

We're going to drill holes in the Cage, so we can bolt the corner brackets (used in cabinetry) to the Cage. Measure, Mark and Cut these holes. Bolt the Brackets to the Cage, the brackets should have their corners facing out, not in(stubby screwdriver). Lock washers aren't a bad idea. Be extra sure its secure.

Inside the car, place the Cage/Bracket assembly exactly how you want it. Mark where to drill the pilot holes for the self tapping screws on the side walls(Silver Sharpie?). The size bit you choose should only be slightly smaller then the screw itself. If you skip this step you may just crack the plastic.

Moment of truth. Drill the pilot holes. Be careful not to go too deep. (Dremel with flex-shaft attachment works very well here).

Once the holes are drilled, grab your Cage/Bracket assembly and get it to position. Put the self tapping screw through a hole on a bracket, and tighten. Get one side well set (but not all the way), then do the other side. Tighten, but don't overtighten.


· lulz generator
691 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Part Five. Final Install.

Almost done now.

A quick word about the extra stuff left behind the console.
  • The light from the upper console shelf, I simply snipped the wires off before the bulb assembly. I use the switched 12v as my remote for Sub Amp. I also used the 12v switched and the ground for that light to hard wire V1. Now would be the time to do it.
  • Any other loose wires should be taped off
  • Collect any loose items, shavings, screws, tools
  • If your not going to run a rear view cam, or a separate DVD screen out, don't plug in the harness for those.
  • I did not tape the accessory connector, I just left it loose.

Your bracket is all installed, your wiring is done.

Grab the AVIC unit, Plug up all the wires. Tape any lose ones. Give it a final test to make sure everything you installed is working. Slide it into the installed Metal Cage.

On the front of the Metal Cage/AVIC unit, the holes for the screws should (or almost should) line up. If it needs persuasion, use a paperclip to prop it into place. If available, use a magnetized screwdriver to put the tiny screws in, as they are very easy to drop.

That's it, you've completely installed the AVIC Unit.


Part Six, Notes.


Currently I have my AVIC trimmed in plywood, I haven't decided how permanent it is yet, but I will likely get fancy with fiberglass before the end of the summer.
I actually cut two pieces, one to trim the main unit. The other filling in the gap at the bottom, between the center console and the plastic that is ontop of the center tunnel.

  • Plywood. Cheap, Universal, Common. Hard to cut without splitering.
  • Fiberglass. Complicated for first timers, materials are less common.
  • MDF. Medium Density Fiberboard. All of the pluses of Plywood, will not splinter. Less Common. Look for cabinetry trimmings in Home Depot.
  • Carbon Fiber. Expensive, Hard to Cut (without jacking up your cutting tools), Likely need to order your carbon weave. Strong, Unique look.
  • Plexiglas. Unique look when paired with lights and mirrors. Could be too distracting.

General Install Notes​
  • If anyone needs help doing this, or a similar install. Shoot me a PM, or an AIM.
  • If your going to install a rear camera/DVD out device, you need to do some re-wiring in the harness. See for more info.
  • Parking Break Hack from, They have a bunch of good stuff.
  • The parking break hack is really for those who can drive and use their device responsibly. Drive Safe.
  • Be Careful with this install, be sure its what you want because its near impossible to bring back to stock.
  • Don't attempt the install if you don't feel comfortable with the level of complex wiring or such involved.
  • If I got something wrong, or missed a step feel free to PM or post. I'll correct it ASAP.
  • I use my old CD changer as a CD holder. Novel, I know.

Important Info on Sound System​
  • I have 4 Alpine Type R speakers all around, this is partly why I'm OK with losing the stock amp, and the Tweeters.
  • They can always be wired in at a later date.
  • I decided to forgo the stock antenna, I do not know how much of a pain it is to do. I opted for an HD radio adapter instead.
  • I also have Infinity 6x9's in my rear deck, which have a crossover. I don't know if I would have wired them into the rear speakers otherwise.
  • My subs are tied into the rear 6x9's. I use the regular rear speaker out (as opposed to the subwoofer setting).
  • I would be hesitant to try this install with a stock sound system.
  • At startup there will be a screen informing you the AVIC unit thinks the parking break sensor is wired incorrectly. This is the parking break bypass working, just hit OK and continue.
  • Any other music devices HON3, XM, so on, will not work after the install as there is no more sound from the old CD player.
  • Be sure to pull the attached USB connecter into the cabin before finishing install.

Wiring Specifics​
  • The Dealer manual wiring chart was hugely helpful in this.
  • The Colors on the aftermarket Honda wiring harness differ. I have seen both white and blue. For the purposes of this DIY, if you plug is white, substitute "Blue Harness" for your white plugg'd harness.
  • The wiring colors may not be the same for every harness, although I do believe there is some sort of Honda standard scheme. Double check the wiring order to the plug.
  • I will be happy to help anyone who needs help with wiring.
  • It's always a good idea to keep a voltmeter handy, just in case.
  • The final wiring order will be *Pioneer Plug* to *Aftermarket Plug* to *Plug from Car*
  • The wires from the Pioneer harness were thicker than the wires on the aftermarket harness. Not drastically so, but enough so stripping was affected. Take note.
  • I can provide specific wiring diagrams/charts for this specific application if needed. I have to draw them up, PM Me.

Thanks to:​
  • samxeyeam. I blatantly jacked some of your pictures. I hope its OK. I'll PM you to ask permission as soon as I post this.
  • Peregrine. For the VSS post. :thumbsup:
  • Work, for paying me to sit here and write this while I watch a progress bar. Midnight server migration. I'll wait till I'm home to post tho.

All done. :lickout:

· , Moderator Emeritus
2,851 Posts
+rep man awesome!

· Registered
285 Posts
you can get the stock tweeters to work, just use the harness thats into the factory radio and use a 70 1721 harness and also get a 71 1721 harness to go back into the factory radio , now you will have to tap the red yellow and oranges from the 70 to the 71 and everything will work fine, i mean everything just no sound out of top radio

· whatever
4,376 Posts
good job
thanks for the write-up

· Registered
1,561 Posts
please make this a sticky so everyone else has some sort of info installing an aftermarket radio to their car without removing stock radio! this is awesome!! if i had enough time & patience to write up me doing mine, i would have!
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