Subaru has switched many of its recent head units to using Toyota-style harnesses — completely different than the harnesses Subarus used previously. Models that have changed include all with the Fujitsu Ten navigation HU.
The following is a list of things you'll need when you wish to remove your factory FT nav HU and install an aftermarket HU, plus additional useful tips and information.
Power/speaker Wiring Harness
The FT nav uses the same power/speaker harnesses as recent Toyotas. This is a 2-harness set (one with 10 pins and one with 6 pins).
You'll need a 10– & 6–pin "forward" harness (similar to Metra 70-1761, Scosche TA02B, Aerpro AP1761, etc.). Link: 10– & 6–pin "forward" harness.
You'll need to solder or crimp that harness to your new head unit's (radio's) power/speaker harness, creating an adapter that is mostly "plug-and-play."
Before you buy a harness made by another manufacturer (or use one that you may have received free with your HU purchase), see my notes on the above product page about the leads for Amp Remote Trigger and Power Antenna.
BRZ & FR-S Door Speaker Amp
BRZ and FR-S models have an OEM amplifier in the trunk which drives the door speakers. That amp is fed from the HU's front speaker outputs (in addition to the car's dash speakers). You'll want to use your new HU's high level (amplified) outputs.
The car's amp is triggered from a pin on the 10-pin power/speaker harness, so be sure to order the version of my 10- & 6-pin harness that includes the amp trigger lead.
Models with harman/kardon
If your car has the OEM harman/kardon amplifier and speaker system, see this post.
I'm now recommending that people with the h/k amp use their aftermarket HU's line-level outputs. You'll want the 10- & 6-pin harnesses with male RCA plugs. See above product page for details.
In all of the Subarus covered on this page, the h/k amp is triggered from a pin on the 10-pin power/speaker harness, so be sure to order the version that includes the amp trigger lead.
28–pin Harness — SWCs, Aux, and Other Signals
Subarus with the FT nav (and many recent Toyotas) have a secondary, 28–pin factory harness, with the wires for the 3.5mm aux jack, audio steering wheel controls (SWCs), and some other signals. I make an adapter harness you can use to retain the factory aux jack and those other signals. See this page: Subaru 28-pin aux harness.
Can't Retain OEM Microphone
For the Bluetooth phone feature, your car has a factory microphone. In most car models, that is hidden behind the map light cluster. The mic is in a small module with an amplifier circuit (see this thread). The module's audio output is not like an aftermarket HU's mic. Nobody has documented a good way to interface the OEM mic to an aftermarket HU. See this thread for one attempt. Unless you're especially skilled at analog electronic circuit design, you should plan to use the mic that comes with your new HU.
Steering Wheel Interface Module
The SWC wires on the 28–pin harness are only part of the solution — that saves you from needing to splice into factory wires. However, most aftermarket HUs also require a steering wheel interface module — either the Axxess ASWC-1 (by Metra), iDatalink Maestro, Connects2, Parrot UNIKA, one of PAC Audio's various SWI-* models (SWI-RC, SWI-JACK, etc.— different models depending on your new HU's brand), etc.
Many Subaru owners have installed ASWCs and given rave reviews. In most cases, it programs itself and is ready to go a few seconds after the first power up. You can also manually program it if you want to reassign any buttons. Installation is much easier than with the PAC modules.
I have the ASWC-1 available. See this page.
To install, you will need to solder (recommended) or crimp some of the ASWC's wires to my 28–pin harness, the 10–pin portion of the power/speaker harnesses, and your new HU's harness. I can't pre-wire the harnesses for you, since you will need to combine with your new HU's harness.
Retain Factory USB Socket
Your OEM HU has a socket on the rear for its USB input. A factory harness connects from there to the back of the USB socket in your armrest center console (or on the dash in BRZ, FR-S, and 86 models). That harness has proprietary plugs at both ends. The harness only handles the USB socket — not aux.
Subarus with FT nav and some Toyotas use a Toyota-style USB connector at the OEM HU. The connector is made by JAE, in their "MX49" series.
To connect the car's USB harness to an aftermarket HU's rear USB input, you'll need a Toyota USB adapter (Metra AX-TOYUSB or PAC Audio USB-TY1). I have the Metra AX-TOYUSB available for $12. See this page: Toyota USB adapter. Price is $12.
The socket on the USB adapter fits the end of the factory USB harness that is (or was) plugged into the back of your factory-installed HU. Opposite end is a standard male USB "A" plug (which you'll plug into your new HU's rear USB input). Length of the cable is ~6.75" (170 mm) between the two connectors.
Before Ordering Aux and/or USB Adapters
Study the connection diagrams in your new HU's installation manuals. With the cables and interface adapters required for some phones or iPods, it's sometimes not practical to retain your car's factory aux or USB sockets (due to the physical layout of all the pieces).
Older iPods sometimes use an interface cable which splits out into two plugs at the rear of the HU — one to plug into a USB socket and the other into an A/V aux input (4-pole style, with both audio and video). Your car's factory 3.5mm aux jack supports stereo audio only — it will not support video for an iPod video cable. So if you plan to use that kind of iPod cable, you may not want the aux portion of my 28-pin harness. See this post for pictures and more information.
Also note: Pioneer AppRadio models SPH-DA01, SPH-DA02, SPH-DA100, and SPH-DA210 do not have any aux inputs! The new AppRadio 4 (SPH-DA120) does have an aux input (finally!). I'm not referring to other recent Pioneer models with AppRadio mode.
If you're in doubt, check your HU's installation manual to see whether yours has any rear aux inputs.
Retain OEM Subwoofer
If your car has one of the OEM accessory rear cargo/trunk subwoofers made by Kicker, those types of subs will work with an after-market HU without any modifications or special wiring needed. All of Subaru's OEM accessory subs have a T-harness which taps the front speaker outputs and power from the radio's power/speaker harness. See this post for details (post #4 in my 'Subaru stock HU Info' thread on NASIOC). Unfortunately, those OEM subs will not work from an aftermarket HU's subwoofer line-level outputs — those subs must be connected to the HU's high-level (amplified) speaker outputs.
If your car has the h/k system, your OEM subwoofer is driven by the h/k amplifier. Again, no extra harnesses will be needed to retain that. See notes about h/k system in the power/speaker harness section.
Retain OEM Camera
If your car has a factory-fitted rear view camera that is displayed on the Multi-Function Display (above the HU), see next section (MFD).
If your car has a factory-fitted rear view camera that is displayed on your OEM HU, I can probably provide a harness to retain the camera with an aftermarket HU.
Note: Subaru HUs supply 6 Volt power to the OEM cameras. The cameras operate internally at 3.3V and have a built-in voltage converter. In most models, you should give the camera something close to 6V, to prevent the camera's converter from overheating. However, the voltage converter in the Crosstrek's camera has been confirmed to work with an input up to 40V without any problem.
E-mail me to discuss what kind of "OEM rear camera retention" harness you'll need.
Note that the 8- and 16-pin camera harnesses currently listed in my 'Products' pages are to connect an aftermarket camera into certain OEM HUs.
If your car has an OEM camera being displayed in the mirror, I don't have any plans to offer a harness to re-direct that to an aftermarket HU.
Multi-Function Display (MFD)
Recent Impreza, WRX, STi, Forester, and Crosstrek models with the new dash design have a Multi-Function Display (MFD) at the top of the dash, above the head unit and A/C vents. When you switch to an aftermarket HU, the MFD will continue working as before.
Some models have an OEM camera shown on the MFD. I've made harnesses for a few people to re-direct the OEM camera to an aftermarket HU. I've also made harnesses to connect an aftermarket camera to an MFD in cars which don't have a factory camera. I can also make a harness to re-direct an OEM camera from the MFD to an OEM HU with rear camera capability (which the FT nav has). However, I have suspended offering all of these MFD camera harnesses, pending some additional research on the MFD. If you would like to be notified when these are available again, let me know.
AM/FM Antenna Adapter
All Subarus with FT nav HUs and many Toyota models have a Toyota/Lexus style plug on the AM/FM antenna connection into the back of the HU. To convert from that to a standard "Motorola" plug, you can use a Toyota/Lexus antenna adapter (e.g., Metra 40-LX11 or equivalent). I have those available for $8.
However, Subaru Impreza, WRX, STi, Crosstrek, Forester, Legacy, and Outback have a Subaru-style antenna plug near the floor below the HU (BRZ may have that too, but I haven't been able to check yet). The Toyota/Lexus plug you see is at the end of a "feeder cord" which converts from the Subaru plug. So a better alternative is to remove the OEM feeder cord and just use a long Subaru antenna adapter (like Metra 40-SB10-18) to convert directly from the car's plug near the floor to a Motorola plug. I have those adapters, also $8.
If you're planning to sell your OEM FT nav HU to another Subaru owner, the buyer will likely be interested in your OEM feeder cord (and GPS antenna) too.
On all Subarus covered by this page, the power antenna lead is on the 10-pin power/speaker harness. If you have a Subaru and obtain a Toyota/Lexus antenna adapter elsewhere (perhaps free with your HU purchase), you may extract the blue wire from that antenna adapter, to reduce the excess wire behind your HU.
Conversely, most Toyotas do use the power antenna pin on the antenna connector. For these cars, I include the blue power antenna lead on the Toyota/Lexus antenna adapter (and you may extract the blue wire from the 10-pin harness).
Retain Sirius/XM Antenna
If your car has a factory Sirius/XM antenna (likely on the roof) and you are planning to install an aftermarket satellite radio tuner, I have identified at least one Subaru OEM antenna adapter that should work in some cars. E-mail me to discuss.
Retain GPS Antenna
The plug on the FT nav's GPS antenna will fit some aftermarket Eclipse (Fujitsu Ten) HU models, but no other brands that I'm aware of. Rather than trying to adapt that plug to connect to a new navigation HU, I recommend that you remove the OEM GPS antenna and install your new HU's GPS antenna in the factory location. You'll likely find that you get better reception there than simply sticking it on top of the HU.
In Subaru models besides BRZ, the GPS antenna is located underneath the dash, above the instrument cluster (speedometer, etc.). GPS signals have no trouble passing through the windshield and thin plastic dash.
It's actually not very difficult to remove the instrument cluster to reach the GPS antenna.
The factory HUs in all models covered on this page have a face that is non-standard size. You'll need a dash kit to fill the gap. I don't carry any, but have listed options here...
Impreza, WRX/STi, Forester, Crosstrek
The OEM HUs in all 2008–up Impreza/WRX/STI, 2009–up Forester, and Crosstreks are 8" wide instead of the standard DIN 7". See dash kit options and more information here.
For Impreza, WRX, STi, and Foresters with the earlier dash (e.g., 2008–2014 WRX), there are alternate OEM fascias with a true double-DIN sized opening. Unfortunately, I haven't heard of any similar fascias from Subaru for the new dash (2012–up Impreza, 2015–up WRX/STi., etc.).
You may also want to switch to the non-nav version of the OEM fascia. The fascias in cars with the FT nav have corners that are more rounded, tailored to fit the outside edges of the FT HU. The outside corners of aftermarket dash kits have squared corners, meaning you'll need to modify either the dash kit or your OEM fascia for it to fit. The good news is that there are always Impreza/WRX/STi, Forester, and Crosstrek owners who want to buy the FT nav to transplant into their cars. They'll be interested in your OEM nav-style bezel as well (which you may want to trade for their non-nav bezel).
Converting from OEM navigation to aftermarket (or even to an alternate, non-nav OEM HU) is a similar situation as the above models — you will need to switch to the non-nav version of the OEM fascia. That places the HU up high, where the OEM nav screen currently is, and adds a pocket (with or without door) in the lower portion, where the OEM nav controls and disc slot currently are.
To install an aftermarket HU, you will also need an aftermarket dash kit (to fill the gap between the outside of the double-DIN HU and the larger, non-DIN opening for the OEM HU. See dash kit options and more information here.
BRZ, FR-S, GT86
To install an aftermarket HU, you'll need one of these "gap-filler" aftermarket dash kits — Metra 95-8202 (2-DIN), 99-8236 (1-DIN), Scosche SCN4202B (1- or 2-DIN, with optional pocket), American International TTR992 (2-DIN), TOYK966 (1-DIN), or similar.
AVIC Parking Brake Bypass
If your new HU will be an older Pioneer AVIC, see this page: Pioneer AVIC parking brake bypass wire.
My AVIC bypass wire does not fit any of the new AVIC NEX models, nor any of the old models (AVIC-D3, -Z2, -FxxxBT, -UxxxBT, etc.).
On most Kenwoods and some recent JVCs, you can simply connect the HU's parking brake lead to chassis ground.
I do not have parking brake bypass devices for any other aftermarket HU models (including Pioneer models starting with AVH–...). Search on eBay or Amazon. Be sure that you choose a device that is advertised to work with your specific HU model. The smaller, solid-state type devices are much better than a huge 30 Amp automotive relay.
To Place Your Order
See this page for shipping and payment options. Let me know if you have any questions. When you're ready to place your order (or for an itemized quote with shipping), please send the information requested on that page, in the section "To place an order".
Remember to mention you've seen this "Parts Needed" page.