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Aftermarket Headunit Possible?

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I'm considering buying either a Lexus ES 300 (2000) or RX 300 (1999), and was wondering if there is anyway to fit an aftermarket 1 DIN headunit in these cars, because I have not been able to find a kit for either of these cars. The only reason im looking to an after market headunit is because of MP3 capability, and not being able to do that may change my mind on buying a Lexus.

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Really? Looking for a single DIN in-dash install kit? Like this one for the 2000 ES300?? http://www.installer.com/item/display_item.php?it=99-8155

Don't know about the RX, though.

Oh wow, thanks :) If I got that kit, do I need to buy that 28.00 harness from them, or can I buy a regular harness off ebay, b/c they don't have a harness on there for the GS, not the ES.

This is what I had in mind:


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That looks about right... not sure about your year, but mine had two plugs coming out of the back of the head unit. The smaller plug was to all the speakers, and the larger plug had the power and accsy wire, etc.

The problem I think you'll come into is the fact that these "speaker wires" on the factory head unit go to the factory amp... that means they come off the head unit at line-level, or RCA jack level... then they go into the amp and get powered-up. So, to use those wiring harnesses, you still need to go and remove the amp, then jumper the wires from incoming (from the head unit) to outgoing to the speakers. In mine, the previous owner had a shop install an aftermarket head-unit. They picked off the speaker wires from the amp and ran new, clean wires up to the head unit. They picked off the old power wires, though, which isn't a good thing (aftermarket head units pull too much power for the gauge in the factory location).

If you are going to run a good aftermarket head-unit, you'll want to run a clean power line off the battery (be sure to fuse it within inches from the battery incase it grounds out). This will give your head unit plenty of power without taxing your car's electrical system... it also keep engine "hum" or "noise" from getting into your audio system. lastly, you can run this clean line all the way to the back to power subs if you want (that's what I did... all worked nicely).

All in all, it's not a super easy swap. Since the head unit is just the "signal provider" and the separate factory amp adds the power, you need to work around both of them to get your new, aftermarket head-unit straight to the speakers. You can always run new clean speaker wires, but that is a REAL pita.

If you are running separate aftermarket amp(s) for the main speakers, then just wire in the head unit, pull the RCA signals back to your amp, then you need to run the powered amp'd speaker wires to the bypassed factory amp harness... I think on your year that amp is in the dash... on mine it was under the passenger seat.

Good luck!!

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