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Adding A 3.5mm AUX Jack To My Factory Stereo

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.

Finished product first of course
Finished product first of course
Image: DDaD
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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.

Sorry, No in-progress pics, but here’s my finished product.
Sorry, No in-progress pics, but here’s my finished product.
Photo: DDaD
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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.

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I found a computer that still runs and has a CD drive. What are the odds?
I found a computer that still runs and has a CD drive. What are the odds?
Photo: DDaD

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.

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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.

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