This evening I decided to install the Kenwood stereo that arrived from England yesterday – this requires disassembling the center part of the dash, so I also took the opportunity to install my chromed toggle switch panel, and replace the silver downtubes with anthracite.
Here’s a photo sequence for how to install a new stereo … You will need torx drivers to remove most screws – normally #20 but I also needed #40.
#1 remove the downtubes
Open the glove box, and pull down on the knee bolster under the steering wheel, to get easy access to the two screws in each downtube, and remove them:
I remove the downtubes by forcing them out from behind the trim piece which is around the speedometer & vents – you can pull on the lower edge of this trim piece to loosen it, giving enough play to force out the downtubes (I find this much easier than disassembling the gear shift, mirror switches, cupholders, etc):
#2 remove the original stereo
With the downtubes removed, there are four torx screws holding the stereo in place – remove them and slide out the stereo, then disconnect the big (speakers/power) & small (antenna) plugs; both have clips which must be pushed to release them:
#3 install the fascia adaptor and the new stereo bracket
The fascia adaptor converts the non-standard MINI stereo opening to standard size, allowing a standard stereo mounting bracket to be used (except I found it very difficult to push any of the latching clips because of all the plastic behind the stereo opening):
#4 connect the new stereo and test it!
The wiring adaptors I got from MikeyTheMINI included one for the antenna and one for the speakers/power (which included a module to interface the MFSW buttons to the new stereo):
Be CERTAIN to test and make sure all the functions work before going any further (they all did for me, luckily)!
#5 Install the new stereo
Much harder than it sounds, because all those wiring adaptors have to be pushed in behind where the new stereo will slide in, without blocking it – I was able to push them back and then down (so I guess they end up mixed in with the HVAC controls); once the stereo slides fully in it will latch to the metal bracket you installed in #3, and lock into place.
#6 Replace the downtubes
Refitting is reverse of removal 😉
Push the downtube down onto its lower base, then force it behind the speedo trim piece – repeat for both. Then replace the two screws in each downtube, and force the speedo trim piece back into place.