remove car head unit

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Old 11-30-12, 07:17 PM
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remove car head unit

I need to remove the head unit (cd player/receiver/deck) from my car. I installed 5 or 6 years ago but don't have the installation instructions anymore to refer back to. For the life of me I can't recall how exactly I installed it, so I can basically do reverse of that and get it out. I think I need to replace a fuse that plugs into the back of it. Everything works but all of a sudden I have absolutely no audio and I think it might be that fuse. How do I begin to get the unit out? Start prying on the rectangular trim piece maybe? Then what? Any help/advice appreciated.
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Old 11-30-12, 07:20 PM
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Most unit are DIN....square type. Yes....you can take off outer black ring. Some units needed removal tools. What's the make of your stereo and what kind of car is it in.
 
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Old 11-30-12, 07:27 PM
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Its a Pioneer DEH-P4600MP, in a Ford Ranger. What does DIN mean? thanks
 
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Old 11-30-12, 07:38 PM
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Go to page 4 and figures 5 and 6. Pioneer uses two flat pieces of metal that go into either side of radio. After you push them in they release two catches and the radio will slide out. I'm guessing that with your truck there doesn't appear to be a removeable plastic bracket that radio is mounted in.....called a dashkit. If I remember right your vehicle doesn't require a dash kit.

DIN is the type of radio where the unit is square and pulls out the front. Not like the older style where the radio had two knobs holding it in.


http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/pi...eh-p4600mp.pdf
 
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Old 11-30-12, 07:51 PM
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Great. Thanks PJmax, that should set me on the right track. Mentions a "release pin" in figure 5, and "extraction keys" in figure 6. I don't have those, so what might be good substitute tools instead to perform those tricks?
 
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Old 11-30-12, 08:56 PM
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Two thin pieces of metal are all that are needed. There is a catch on both side of the radio. If you were to use the removal tools Pioneer gave you when you bought the radio..... they would be L shaped. The long part of the L's would have a small tit on it so that when inserted they would release the catch and you would use the small end of the L has a handle.

Any thin metal strips.....like the thickeness of a business card.......maybe 3/8" of an inch wide. You only need to insert them in about an inch or so.
 
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Old 12-01-12, 12:43 PM
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Okay I was able to remove it with two thin pieces of metal. I checked the fuse plugged into the back of the unit, and it's fine. I have an identical unit installed in another vehicle, a 92 Honda Accord, that now I'd like to remove and replace for the unit in the Ranger that lost its audio. You don't happen to know whether the unit installed in the Accord would have required a dash kit, or should it be removeable the same way as from the Ranger? thanks
 
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Old 12-01-12, 12:46 PM
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Probably same way as the Ranger.
 
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Old 12-01-12, 03:57 PM
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Okay I was able to exchange the unit out of the Accord and install into the Ranger, and the one from the Accord works fine in the Ranger. I wonder what happened to the one I had in the Ranger. It had been working fine in there for years, then I noticed a few times recently it would just randomly power completely off by itself, and not work again until I turned the car off and then back on. Then recently all of a sudden a few different times while playing it would just lose all audio; CD, radio, or auxillary would produce no sound, although power and all functions worked otherwise. Most recently, the audio just quit like that and never did come back. Something in the circuitry of the unit just gave out I guess? Any comments/advice about what I might check or try to get it working again? thanks
 
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Old 12-01-12, 04:28 PM
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Yes.....if you're handy......pull off covers. Resolder the power/speaker connector and the big IC chip (audio amp) usually on the back of the radio. DO NOT create any shorts across the pins.
 
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Old 12-02-12, 06:23 AM
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Try it first. Sometimes letting a device sit without any standby power will cause it to reset.
 
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Old 12-02-12, 10:35 AM
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Not sure what you mean by try it first, I've tried it, over and over. Turned power on tried, tried it, and get no audio. Turned power off again, then turned power on again and tried it again, but get no audio. Not sure what you mean by stanbdy power either.
 
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Old 12-02-12, 10:48 AM
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Most electronics (esp stereo units) in cars have an always hot connection to retain memory and such. If you still had it connected to the battery...just turning power off won't remove the standby power.

Since you easily removed it have you tried putting it in the Accord and see what happens.

I do have to agree though...sounds like a faulty component or bad solder joints.
 
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Old 12-02-12, 10:54 AM
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I see. Sure I'll give it a try in the Accord, see what happens. thanks
 
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Old 12-02-12, 11:26 AM
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You need a GOOD pencil tip soldering iron. You need rosin core solder (not plumbers solder)
A magnifying loop with light is a big help but not required.

The boards in these units are soldered in a wave bath. That's like a tray of molten hot solder that the board just skims over. Great idea but can be tempermental. If the solder isn't hot enough it wont wet the parts correctly if it's too cold the solder joints are cold.

Large parts like capacitors, switching semiconductors, jacks, large IC chips require a hotter solder job then a wave solder. Some companies went and resoldered those parts by hand to insure they were done correctly. Some companies did not. Sometimes parts were missed.

Based on all the years I've been working on electronic equipment.....and especially mobile equipment..... the soldering of the board dictates the quality and durability of a unit.

If you take the bottom cover off the unit you should be on the solder side of the printed circuit board. Easy enough to spot the apron connector (power cord jack).

Usually on the back but possibly on the side you'll see two rows of metal pins.Typically around 16 pins. That would be the audio output IC chip. That needs to be resoldered. Look around the outside of the board.....you'll see groups of 3 pins. These are voltage regulators and dc switching components. They also can be intermittent.

These components run hot and fatigue the solder connections.

If you attempt to resolder the board you need to be very careful about causing shorts across the pins you are soldering. You can short the pins when the unit is disconnected from power but they need to be fixed before power up.
 
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Old 12-02-12, 11:44 AM
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Okay, thanks PJmax. Once I manage to take the bottom cover off (which so far has seemed a rather tricky feat in itself), and gain access to the aforementioned audio output IC chip where I could resolder it, I'll acquire a good pencil tip soldering iron and the correct solder and go from there. Chances are I'll be posting back with further questions as I proceed. I'll keep in mind being careful about causing shorts across the pins as I solder.
 
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Old 08-12-13, 12:17 PM
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Usually on the back but possibly on the side you'll see two rows of metal pins.Typically around 16 pins. That would be the audio output IC chip. That needs to be resoldered. Look around the outside of the board.....you'll see groups of 3 pins. These are voltage regulators and dc switching components. They also can be intermittent. These components run hot and fatigue the solder connections.
I'm fairly certain I see the two rows of metal pins which is the audio output connection, and as well it's soldered connections on the bottom of the board (next two photos):





Around the the outside of the board, I think I see the groups of three pins, which maybe the voltage regulators and the dc switching components (screwdriver in this next photo pointing to one of those groups of three pins):



The next photo shows the cd disc unit separated from the head. I'd like to at least disconnect it before attempting to do any soldering work on the board, just to get it out of the way. What is the trick to disconnecting that type of connection as shown in the following photo?





To my naked eye the 16-pin soldered connections at the board, as well as the 3-pin groups look okay. But I assume you can't usually tell by that type of inspection? Perhaps with a magnifying glass I might see tiny cracks? If not, just probably assume that resoldering the board connections (properly) as suggested should fix my issue?
 
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Old 08-12-13, 02:16 PM
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In the pic below I highlighted the audio output IC that probably needs to be re-soldered. It wouldn't hurt to re-solder those three pin semiconductors scattered around the board.

Usually the CD cable just slides out of the socket. Hard to see from pic if that's a releasable socket.

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Old 08-12-13, 02:47 PM
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So that I'm clear on this, would the pins I need to re-solder on the audio output IC be these where I'm pointing with the pen? They're just underneath that component you've got the red arrow drawn, on the bottom of the circuit board. There looks to be about 25 of them when I count (not 16).



Also, as far as being able to release that CD cable, there looks to be some small black tabs on either side of the that light brown colored socket. Do I those have anything to do with being able to pull that ribbon/socket off from that circuit board?
 
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Old 08-12-13, 02:58 PM
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The CD cable socket may slide apart. They can be an issue reconnecting. Try leaving it connected while you're working.

That looks to be the audio IC. My post above said typically 16 pins. It's usually the biggest IC in the unit.
 
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Old 08-12-13, 03:21 PM
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I see. Okay then thanks PJmax. I'll go ahead then and see about getting that audio output IC re-soldered, as well as those three-pin semiconductors. I'm just not handy with doing such soldering myself (nor properly equipped to do it right either), but know a guy who is, so will have him do it.
 
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Old 08-12-13, 03:27 PM
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Those ribbon cables can be a real pain. It's basically just a stiffened area at the end of the cable with some contacts. Sometimes the mounted connectors have little slide locks on each side that need to be slid open simultaneously to release pressure, other times the cable just uses a tight friction fit. I'd leave it connected as well if at all possible.
 
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Old 08-12-13, 03:33 PM
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I'd leave it connected as well if at all possible.
Will do. Thanks for the input Gunguy45.
 
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Old 09-02-13, 12:56 PM
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Today I took the board to the guy who does electronics/soldering for a living. I explained/showed to him those connections discussed here I would want resoldered. He took a close look at the connections and then indicated they looked fine to him. Said he could resolder them for me if I really want (for 15-20 bucks) but "that won't fix it". So I decided against it, for now anyway. PJ?
 
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Old 09-02-13, 03:03 PM
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I can't tell from the picture the condition of the solder connections. I also can't speak for the guy you took the board to.

The audio output IC's are very reliable and well protected. They very rarely "just" fail. The number one cause of intermittent power and audio was as I mentioned..... solder connections. In the course of repairing a unit......whether is was a scanner, radio, amp, CB .... I would resolder all the heavy power supply parts on the board.

If the solder connections are good and the speaker wiring is ok then you have a logic problem on the board which I'm not going to be able help you with much online.
 
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Old 09-02-13, 03:29 PM
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Okay. Well the speaker connections shouldn't be the problem because I've got an identical head unit plugged in the wiring harness where this one used to be, and no problems with audio output. If I could manage to take a clear close-up picture or two of the solder connections and post them here is it possible perhaps to determine the condition of those connections?
 
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Old 09-02-13, 05:30 PM
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Never mind on the idea of taking a close-up picture good enough to see the solder connections. My camera can't do it.

I looked on Ebay. Another option would be to throw this unit away and just buy another used one exactly like it (with working audio) for 45 bucks.
 
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