What is the sound of one piston slapping?
What is the sound of one piston slapping?

The stereo in our 15 year old Honda Element had a worn out volume knob, so whether you wanted to turn the radio up or down, there was a one in four chance you were going to get the result you wanted. That gets annoying fairly quickly, so I replaced the head unit. $250 to the fine folks at Crutchfield gets a nicer stereo than is in any of our other cars. The Element uses a double DIN form factor radio, so I got a Sony head unit that’s one knob and a big ass screen that does Apple Car Play. It’s got an AM/FM tuner but that’s it. No tape deck, no CD/DVD, just a USB connector on the front for your phone. Now I have navigation, handsfree phone, satellite radio (via phone app) and all my other music foo so that’s pretty cool. An extra $80 added a backup camera.

I spent the day fishing camera wires through various trim panels so my install looks marginally decent. I kind of gave up on the handsfree mic though. There’s no good place to put it, so I’m going to epoxy it to the dash and I just drilled a big ass hole in the dash to run the wire through. The hole had to be big because the 1/8" right angle phones plug is molded onto the end of the stupidly long cable. Bare wires I could cut to length would have been much better. Luckily, it’s a 15 year old Element so I’m not SUPER concerned about the 1/2" hole in the dash. Maybe I’ll fill it with epoxy and paint it to match.


I still have a little drilling to do on the tailgate to get the camera wires to the outside of the car, but I left the proper tools at work so it’ll have to wait. The dash is all buttoned up and everything is tested and working so unless I somehow destroy the last of the camera cabling I never have to open that up again.

Since it’s central Texas, I probably lost couple pounds of water weight from sweating. A big glass of lemonade and tea and a cold shower never felt so good.

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