Honda Prelude Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, I am very new here, however, I have been working on cars for quite a while. Well, I just bought my 2nd prelude....and I was tired of the stock radio, because c'mon...CASSETTE TAPES!!?? I havent touched one since like...1989 (same year as my car :wave:)

So I looked around for a deck, and I found an Alpine that I really liked. I bought it, parked the car in the garage, and started to get to work.

Just a little FYI, I took several electricity/electronics classes and got endorsed by ANSI. What Im trying to say is that, I WONT DESTROY YOUR CARS ELECTRICAL SYSTEM PROVIDED YOU FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!
I am NOT responsible for ANY damages! You assume the risk!
To play it REALLY safe, and not having to worry about keeping hot wires away from grounds, go under the hood and pull the negative battery cable off. ITS THAT SIMPLE! Remember to put it back on when you done.

Ok, now that my disclaimers out of the way, lets work!


Tools Needed:
  1. #2 Phillips Screwdriver
  2. 8mm socket
  3. Crimper/wire cutters/wire strippers
  4. Voltmeter
Optional Items (May make your job easier/neater/professional looking):
  1. Wire nuts (Small, usually orange or for wire between 14 and 22 AWG)
  2. Butt Connectors (Blue, size BC-14, again for wire 14 to 22 AWG)
  3. Solder (for a extremely permanent solution and pro look, you'll also need the iron and somewhere to set it and get power while working in your car)
  4. After Market Radio Wiring Harness (For your year car. You can get this at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Circuit City, Car Audio Shop, Car parts store.)
Now lets start!


The stock Honda radio is attached to the center console with two (2) 8mm bolts/phillips screws at the back of the radio. The radio is attached to the ashtray/cigarette lighter assembly as one unit. You must remove the plastic center console housing before you can remove it.

The center console dash is secured to the body with three (3) phillips screws on each side of the plastic dash.

Once the screws are out, lift the back of dash up, and then pull back away from the stereo.

After the center dash has been removed, we can move on to taking the radio out. Six (6) screws must be removed.

Locate and remove one (1) brass phillips screw from each side of the metal frame . Next, locate and remove the remaining four (4) phillips screws that secure the front side of the plastic housing.

Now, pull the assembly out of the center console. Unplug the connectors that are plugged into the rear of the cigarette lighter, the black antenna cable, and the large white wire harness plugged into the stereo.

Flip the housing over, and look for the two (2) 8mm bolts/phillips screws. Remove them. Do NOT unscrew the pocket from the metal frame. once the screws have been removed, slide the radio out forward from the plastic housing.


The new radio will go in the space where the stock radio was, however, do to differences in size, your new after market radio will need (usually, mine did), a "sleeve" or "cage", that takes up the excess space and keeps the radio secure in the stock radio's space.

Insert the "sleeve" into the plastic housing. Slide the new radio into the sleeve. My Alpine has a "quick release". The deck actully snapped into the sleeve, and with a screwdriver, I can pull my deck right out.

Now, insert the radio housing assembly back into the center dash. Reconnect the connectors at the bottom of the housing for the cigarette lighter.

Now comes the fun part. The actual wiring of the new radio into your car. There are several ways to do this. I will explain each.

1. Direct Wiring

This method involves the use of the wire nuts, crimper and butt connectors, or solder (chose one that works the best for your needs and skill).

When companies started to develop after market radios for vehicles, they missed out on one crucial point. Auto makers are all different. Every make, every model, has a DIFFERENT wiring color code that will normally be 100% different from the wiring scheme that is present on your after market radio.
All in all, this was done for 1 very important reason. To make the radio universal, so that it will fit in more than 1 brand of car, instead of the company having to make a stereo for every make and model car. Theirs your economics for today, class.

You find some colors that are similar, and some that are import such as the ground, which is black, will usually match the after market stereo to the ORIGINAL wiring harness setup.

Now, all you have to do, is strip each and every wire, and using the chart below, splice each wire, connect to the right one, test to make sure it works, and then reassemble the center dash.

Heres the wiring diagram. This is the White Stock wiring harness connector that was plugged into the stock Honda Radio.

Match the PIN from the picture above. It will tell you what it is, the STOCK wire color (that was plugged into the stock stereo), and the "typical" after market stereo color, I used my Apline, but as far as I can tell so far, all after market stereo's use this same after market color scheme.
  • A--Right Rear Spkr(+)-----Red w/ Yellow Stripe----Purple
  • B--Left Rear Spkr(+)------Blue w/ Yellow Stripe----Green
  • C--Power Antenna(*)----Brown w/ White Stripe---Blue w/Wht Stripe
  • D--+12Volt Ignition-------Yellow w/ Red Stripe----Red
  • E--Right Rear Spkr(-)----Brown w/ White Stripe---Purple w/Blk Stripe
  • F--Left Rear Spkr(-)-----Gray w/ White Stripe----Green w/Blk Stripe
  • G--GROUND WIRE--------------Black-------------Black
  • H--NOT USED-----------------------------------------------------
  • I--NOT USED------------------------------------------------------
  • J--+12Volt Battery---Wht w/ Yellow or Blu Stripe--Yellow
  • K--Dash Light Dimmer----------------------------Orange
  • L--Left Front Spkr(+)-----Blue w/ Green Stripe----White
  • M--Right Front Spkr(+)---Red w/ Green Stripe-----Gray
  • N--NOT USED-----------------------------------------------------
  • O--Left Front Spkr(-)-----Gray w/ Blk Stripe-----Wht w/ Blk Stripe
  • P--Right Front Spkr(-)----Brown w/ Blk Stripe----Gray w/ Blk Stripe
So, in order to do this right, you cut off the white connector at the end of the stock stereo wiring harness, and directly wire the new stereo using the above chart.

The best and sure way to do this, is to connect everything according to the chart, and see if your radio works. 99% of the time it should. However, due to different radio manufactures, the after market radio wiring scheme could be different. To be sure, find your exact wiring scheme for your radio, and then match it up with the stock Honda wiring as shown above.

If everything works, remember to connect your
antenna cable back into the stereo.

(*)NOTE---Alright for those of us that like to make ear thumping systems pushing out a billion watts of pure musical power, this wire is important.

This wire is used as the remote turn on lead for your amplifier(s).
In a technical standpoint, this wire DOES not carry any significant amount of power. What it does is send a small, constant electrical charge to your amplifier(s), letting them know that your deck is on, and for them to power up.

Regarding the wiring: DO NOT TAP INTO THE STOCK HONDA WIRE, which is Brown with a white stripe. Instead, use the one on your after market stereo, which is usually Blue or Blue with a white Stripe. Always check your wiring scheme for your radio to double check as their are many variations!!!! It will be listed as Remote Turn on Lead, or in some cases Power Antenna. IF BOTH ARE LISTED (have seen it before, use REMOTE TURN ON for your amplifier(s).

Also, if you are running any sort of
amplifier(s), you will need RCA type cables, meant for hooking up amplifier(s). These will go into the RCA connectors on your deck. My Alpine has 2 sets. Make sure you use the one specified for the application you want (connect the RCA cable to the subwoofer jack if your amplifier(s) are going to be powering subs, or use the other set if your going to amp your speakers). Go to your local store, and buy an amplifier hook up kit. It contains all the material needed to install 1 amplifier. Follow its directions.

If everything works, install the radio into the console, and reinstall the center console dash. Clean up and go blast those tunes at the girl down the street! Dont forget about upgrading those speakers! (Coming soon!)


Ok, now for the EASIER way. Why didnt I list this frist? Well, some people may not want to purchase the after market harness.

For those that do, or just want a easier job installing your radio without all the hassle of trying to match up 2 different colored wires hoping its the right one,this will work for you.

Go to your local auto store, car audio store, wal-mart, best buy, circuit city..and look for the after market radio wiring harness for your year Honda. I think it was like 83 to 91 or something like that, that I used in mine. Just make sure your car year falls within the range of the harness.

Now, their is still wiring involved with this method, its just much simpler. You take the after market harness, and connect it into the stock white Honda wiring harness. What this does, is does all the wiring converting for you. You'll notice that the wires from the after market harness now match up with the wires on your after market radio (normally..if they got a funky deck).

Connect all wires together, and wire them using your preferred method (wire nuts, butt connectors and crimping, or soldering), connect your negative battery cable, and try it out. If everything works, mount the stereo into its sleeve, and install the center dash.

Very nice!


For BOTH methods, I strongly recommend this wiring order.

  1. Connect the Ground
  2. Connect the +12 Volt Battery or Constant
  3. Connect the +12 Volt Ignition or Switch
  4. Connect the Power Antenna/Remote Turn on from the DECK
  5. Now start wiring in the speakers

I hope this guide has in someway helped. If you have any questions, or if something is wrong, doesn't make any sense, or you just need some personal help with your stereo installation, please PM me! --AFLuder

* * * * * *
12,918 Posts
Might I add again that purchasing an aftermarket harness is the best choice.
Plus if you ever get a 5th gen lude or another Honda.. the plugs are exactly the same and your radio will plug right in without any hassle.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts