How-to: So I bought a Jeep!

 

StereoOk not really I actually I bought one of these, a while ago (the Ebay seller simply added 2014 to the picture but is exactly the same) and finally decided to install it after nearly backing over a neighbours kid while reversing out of my driveway

I had been putting it off because I didn’t want to pay AU$300 to have it installed and wasn’t sure I wanted to rip my car apart myself. However in the end it turn out to be not as difficult as I expected.

The Stereo

While looking into which stereo to purchase I researched all the big brands and initially I settled on this Kenwood Stereo, but after much ringing around I couldn’t get my hands on one for at least two weeks so I decided to look around some more. I have seen plenty of articles and forum comments about the influx of cheap generic Chinese stereos which had heaps of features but also had highly variable quality. So after a little bit of research I decided to buy a stereo off an Ebay seller who shipped from Sydney. It took about 2 days to arrive and I had a quick look at it and then put it into the box and forgot about it. Now that it is installed and I have had time to play with it for a week or so, I can say that I am on the whole pretty satisfied with the stereo. It works as advertised without being an outstanding performer in any particular area.

Bluetooth

This works pretty well with it being able to connect pretty quickly with either my phone or my iPad, call quality has been pretty good with no dropouts and it has even seamlessly connected to my phone while in the middle of a call, if I am on Radio/Camera/Dvd/Aux and a phone call comes in it automatically switches to the Bluetooth interface. This brings up one of the few issues I have with the stereo, if I am on a call and the reversing camera kicks in it puts the call on hold until I come out of reverse, the only other downside I have found is that it won’t connect to two devices simultaneously .

Radio

Not much to say hear except it works as advertise and was a huge improvement over the Kia OEM stereo.

DVD

Works but not really used it that much, supposed to have a driving lockout but was easily bypassed.

TV

Probably works but not bothered to connect an aerial or even bother with tuning.

Reversing camera

The camera works pretty well, the install took a bit of fiddling but works, I do feel it could do with having a slightly wider view area.

Navigation

I chose a unit without navigation as I use either my phone or my iPad both of which have better apps/Maps anyway. It does however have an Aux video-in so I am going to look at maybe piping the iPad video in through that, some time down the track.

SD/USB

– I have managed to get it to run both movies and music off both, pretty simple to use.

Interface

– Pretty easy to navigate but also pretty basic, I do miss not having a volume knob though Smile.

 

Installation

Stereo

This was actually a really quick job, I found this YouTube video showing how to pull the dash apart and I have included some pictures below with further instructions, these instruction should be the same for most 2003-2007 Kia Sorentos. Once I had the facia off and the old stereo out I found I had to buy a harness adaptor for my current loom, a quick bit of research and I found one at AutoBarn which did the trick. It was labelled to suit a Hyundai and from my research it seems that if you can’t find your part in the Kia section look at Hyundai. There was however one little thing that caught me, when I connected it all up I found that whenever I turned off the car I lost all the settings, a bit of research showed me that for my car two of the wires need to be swapped over, I have shown this in the one of the pictures below. One supplies power on Accessories and the other is permanent power, having them the wrong way won’t harm anything but it may drain your battery and also you lose your settings each time. The stereo was a fairly good fit into the dash but it came with a surround that you could cut to get an exact fit.

The Camera

Now this took a little bit more effort, the camera came with a 5M cable but I found that with the Kia Sorento I needed a 10M one to get all the way to the back with some to spare. I ran the cable behind the dash and ran it down under the door scuff plates, once I reach the back of the car I had to pull some of the bigger inner panels off both to get the video cable through and to draw power from the cargo power socket. I bought the cable up through the rear passenger side pillar and into the headlining, I then used the existing cable tubing to get the cable into the back door. I finally routed the cable out past the numberplate lights and placed it above the number plate. I was lucky that the Kia Sorento has a ‘Lighter’ power socket in the boot so I was able to draw my camera power from there, the interior side panel is a real pain to remove though so be prepared for some frustration. Once I had it all connected and tested I put everything back together and I am pretty happy with the result, I have now also run a cable from the back of the head unit to the reversing sensor which means the unit automatically switches to camera when reversing.

The Verdict

Despite all the negative opinions on the web about some of these generic head units I have to say I am actually pretty happy with mine, I can’t see the point in installing thousands of dollar of sound equipment in a noisy vibrating box. So far the unit has done everything I expected it to do and in the process I got the satisfaction of a job well done. I will be adding some more attachments to article with some more instructions and helpful information.

Kia Sorento Dash assembly Kia trim removal Wiring Diagram for 2007 Kia Sorento LX

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