This has been something I wanted to try for quite a while. I’d been making do with one of the cassette tape adapters and I was just not thrilled with the fuzzy audio quality.
So I did something similar to this ToyotaNation thread where the author soldered his aux cable straight to the circuit board of the radio. Except I wanted mine to be removable and I really didn’t feel like soldering directly to the board. So, I ordered a cable from Amazon with questionable reviews and quality designed to go between the factory radio, a cd changer, and the navigation. But, all I really cared about was that it had plugs that matched, and extra wires for me to cut.
This process was fairly simple. Right audio from the 3.5mm cable to the right channel off the cd player splitter. Same for left and the signal ground. I used this guide from PinoutGuide (which was fortunately correct), soldered it all together with several feet of extra wire in the middle because the donor cable I hacked up had some serious length issues.
I chose to run my wire out of the glove box so I could tuck it out of the way when not in use, accomplishing my goal of adding an AUX input without being able to see it when I wasn’t using it. At this point we’re almost done but now comes the real hard part. Finding a blank CD. My generation doesn’t really believe in physical media so I wasn’t initially sure what I was looking for. Turns out they’re these little plastic things that people used to store data on.
So grab a random mp3 file that claims to be 32 minutes of silence. Burn the disc, throw it in the CD changer, and you’re good to go. I do have a disclaimer to make here: My factory 3 disc changer doesn’t like this file at all. It’ll play it, but refuses to play more than 18 seconds of it. So I just can’t leave any other CDs in it.
Could I have just gotten a plug and play double DIN with bluetooth, a USB port, Android Auto, and a fancy touchscreen? I mean yeah I guess. However, that’s not as fun. And since the factory radio made it 20 years, I figured it was only fair to leave it in.