Add MP3 Playback Ability to Your C5 for $400

Add mp3
playback ability to your C5 for $400!
I recently undertook a simple
project to add an mp3 changer to my stock Corvette deck. Since I bought
my 2001 Corvette new, I really didn�t think the stock CD changer was a
good value at well over $500. I decided to wait patiently for something
better to come along, and this solution has been working well for
me.
What you need is the stock Corvette CD changer wire harness, an
adapter, and the Kenwood KDC-CX89 10 Disc CD changer. As I said the
approximate cost is about $400. I am going to list the items I used on
the Crutchfield website, but I would encourage you to shop around to find
the best deal. I have a single disc CD player head unit in my
Corvette.
The stock CD changer cable I used is
here:

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-Na7FohCXnlV/cgi-bin/prodview.asp?i=469CORHAR

Crutchfield
has it for $69.99, and that was about as good a deal as I could find.
I�ve since seen it on various message threads for less than
$50.
The adapter I used to go from the stock CD changer cable to
the Kenwood CD changer is
here:

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-Na7FohCXnlV/cgi-bin/prodview.asp?i=469GM10KNW

This
item I did see cheaper somewhere else. If you can find it for around $70,
I�d say that is a good deal.
Finally, here is the CD
changer:

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-Na7FohCXnlV/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?i=113KDCCX89

Note
that Crutchfield no longer sells this item. I believe I found it
somewhere else online for about $240.
One thing about Crutchfield,
they are an excellent vendor. They provide additional literature for
installation free of charge and they want you to be happy as a customer.
The extra documentation they supplied was definitely useful. The entire
project is the same as adding any other CD changer to your Corvette. I
was able to route the stock CD changer cable from the passenger foot well
to the rear of the vehicle in about an hour and a half with little more
than a Phillips screwdriver and some needle nose pliers (it probably takes
less time, I like to work while having a few beers). I have to give Chevy
credit, the panels in the Corvette might be basic, but you can pull
everything apart quickly and easily. Also unlike some cars, they actually
go back into place where they belong. I am not going to explain
everything here because there are already some very good articles written
by other forum members that cover this subject. If you would like links
to the Chevy installation guide, they are here courtesy of UNX
PGMR:

http://www.corvetteforum.net/c5/unxpgmr/ChangerInstall/Images/changer1.jpg

http://www.corvetteforum.net/c5/unxpgmr/ChangerInstall/Images/changer2.jpg

http://www.corvetteforum.net/c5/unxpgmr/ChangerInstall/Images/changer3.jpg

http://www.corvetteforum.net/c5/unxpgmr/ChangerInstall/Images/changer4.jpg

As
for installing the actual CD changer, I decided to mount it against the
rear deck, above the center storage container. I put the changer about an
inch above the removable hatch so it would not interfere with the hatch
itself or the roof when it was stowed in the back of the vehicle. The
hardware that comes with the changer is enough to mount it. Just drive
the 4 self-tapping screws into that material and it seems to be holding
just fine, although I probably don�t drive as aggressively as some
Corvette forum members. Next to the eject button in the CD changer, there
is a switch that allows the CD changer to send mp3 text display to the
deck. Obviously since I used the stock deck, I cannot read mp3 text
labels, so it needs to be set to �O�. Here�s a final
picture:

http://www.geocities.com/bigstud4ubaby/vette/bazook.jpg

Just
a quick side note, as you can see I put a sub woofer in the center storage
area. That is a Bazooka EL8A. It fits perfect in there, is self-powered,
and has its own cross over. I basically just had to splice some speaker
wires into the rear speakers, and then connect them to the harness (since
Corvettes have Bose systems that operate at low voltage, I had to cut off
the RCA inputs on the harness and use the low level in). A constant can
be obtained by splicing a wire off the center console accessory power
adapter. The unit automatically turns on and off. Here is technical data
on it, but I got it much cheaper on
eBay:

http://www.crutchfield.com/cgi-bin/S-Na7FohCXnlV/ProdView.asp’s=0&cc=01&c=10&g=51000&I=204EL8AHP+

In
addition, while you have all the trunk carpet up, it is nice to add sound
retardant underneath. You can see in the picture what kind I used. I
heard all sorts of good things about putting sound retardant underneath
the carpet, but it did not make much of a difference to me. Although, I�m
glad I did it.
As for burning CDs, I tried using Nero, Record Now,
Music Match, and Easy CD creator. All these tools for some reason only
let the deck see 56 tracks (pretty strange). Using Music Match, I�m able
to get 72 tracks on 1 CD (strange too, why can�t I get 99?). That�s a
total of over 720 tracks (including your in dash CD player), which should
easily get you across the country without having to listen to any songs
more than once. So far this is the only method I found to add mp3
capability to my Corvette and keep the stock system. I know there are FM
modulation solutions out there but if you care anything at all about sound
quality, skip them. Besides, this costs LESS than getting the stock CD
changer
installed.

http://www.geocities.com/bigstud4ubaby/vette/deck.jpg