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iPod Car Adapter - How To Install An iPod Into Your C5
Installing An iPod In Your C5 Has Never Been Easier
Dec 1, 2007
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iPod Car Adapter - How To Install An iPod Into Your C5
Here's what you need to take your iPod music on the go in your Corvette: (left to right: Harman/Kardon Drive+Play, an iPod, and an optional (but highly recommended) wired FM transmitter adapter.
All the required cabling, mounting hardware, cable ties, and detailed installation instructions are included with the product. The "brain" of the unit is the rectangular unit at the top left; the display unit is at the top center on its mounting pedestal (which I later removed); the controller is at the lower right. Depending on your installation options and method, you may not need all the cables or accessory mounting bases supplied.
The forward shift console of the C5 must be removed for this installation, and this starts by popping off the two plastic covers to expose the two 10mm armrest console mounting nuts beneath them at the rear of the console. You can use a nut driver or socket and ratchet to remove these nuts. As always, put all removed hardware in a safe place, as you'll need it again for reassembly.
Lift up and remove the traction control cover, unsnap the wire connector, and put the cover in a safe place. Disconnect the connector from the rear of the auxiliary 12V power outlet at this time as well. Then remove the two 10mm nuts that hold the front of the armrest console in place.
You'll find that it makes life much easier if you remove the lid of the armrest console; this is done by using a Philips screwdriver to remove the four lid hinge screws. Put the lid in a safe place for now.
Pry off the cover next to the ignition switch to reveal the Torx screw and remove it.
Two Torx screws are also found under the flip-up cover to the ashtray/lighter compartment-one is next to the lighter and the other is behind the ashtray-remove both of these Torx screws. When these are out, put the gear lever in drive (or Second if it's a stick), push back on the armrest console as far as it will go, and lift the tail of the console up and back; unsnap the electrical connector attached to the cigarette lighter and continue to lift and remove the console. Slip it over the gear shifter and get it out of the way. This takes a bit of doing, as it is a tight fit and it can be stubborn. Just take your time, have perseverance and patience, and, eventually, it will come out.
Remove the two 7mm screws that hold the radio in place. Once they're out, pull the radio out to gain access to the antenna cable at its rear and unplug it.
If you wish, you can power the Drive+Play unit with the cigarette lighter cable supplied, or you can hard-wire it directly to a 12V power source, which is the way I opted to go. The C5 fuses are located under a removable panel on the passenger-side floor. On the inside of the panel cover, the fuse layout is listed along with a location diagram. Two electrical feeds are required: a constant 12v to retain programming, settings, and preference memory for the Drive+Play brain (I used fuse No. 7-the cigarette lighter), and a switched 12v feed that turns off when the ignition is switched off (I used fuse No. 10-windshield wipers); it's this latter connection that actually powers the Drive+Play unit. I connected the black ground wire to the metal frame superstructure of the console assembly.
With these connections made, you can plug the antenna cable and the power connector into the D+P brain unit, which you can see resting at the lower left of the console. Notice that all surplus wiring has been coiled and bound with cable ties-all this will be stuffed into the lower portion of the console structure to get it out of the way. The brain itself will reside on the left side of the console frame, a few inches above its current location, and it will be hidden from view when the console is back in place.
The C5 radio uses a mini-antenna jack, so you'll need an adapter cable like this one. Plug the mini-plug into the radio, then plug either the wired FM adapter cable or the Drive+Play antenna cable into the socket on the adapter. If you're going the wired FM route, then plug the Drive+Play antenna cable into the wired FM adapter. Route the cable down the back of the radio into the bottom of the console compartment, slide the radio back into position, and replace the two 7mm screws to secure it.
Back on the workbench in the garage, I took the pedestal base off the display unit using Torx drivers, after establishing that it will fit in the console opening in front of where the ashtray used to reside.
Another trial fit to make sure the display unit will fit where I want it to go, and it does, nicely. Now the console goes back out to the car, and the cable from the display is plugged into the brain with the surplus cable tucked away.
I wanted to keep the iPod itself in the armrest console where it would be protected and easily unplugged if I wanted to take it with me. In order to do this, I had to notch an opening for the Drive+Play connector cable to pass through. I did so using a file next to the opening for the 12V auxiliary power socket. Optionally, you can just leave the socket out and have the cable pass through its opening, but I wanted to have the convenience of the 12V socket as well, so I notched the opening. This was rough (I cleaned it up more with the file after this shot was taken).
The wiring diagram supplied with the Drive+Play unit is clear and easy to follow, as are the excellent installation instructions. Even if you've never done an installation like this before, the connections shouldn't be a problem even for a novice. It's getting the console out and back in again that's the tricky part.
After everything is plugged in, it's time to replace the console and button everything up. Reassembly is the exact reverse of disassembly, in that order. I recommend plugging in the iPod and powering on the Drive+Play first, however, just to make sure everything is working as it should before reassembling the console. Be sure to confirm all your cable routing at this time as well, otherwise you'll have to take it all apart again to correct any mistakes.
I attached the controller to the cover that holds the traction control switch and simply routed the cable under the front of the cover since I ran it under the console. This way the controller is within easy reach of both the driver and passenger. The display unit is also easily readable in daytime or at night in its location under the flip cover of the console.
And the iPod itself nestles comfortably inside the armrest console. I usually keep it in its leather case to protect the screen, but I left it exposed for this shot. When I want to take it with me, I simply unsnap the Drive+Play connector cable from it and away I go.
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