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So I have all the parts I need to install my pioneer mvh-1400NEX & backup camera but I just haven’t had time to do it so I was going to get a quote from a local place to do it. They quoted me $500!!! Did the cost of car stereo installations go way up or is this guy just trying to rip me off? Feels like the later. The pioneer radio is only $350 new.
 

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... don't forget the time to take the dashboard apart...
 

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So I have all the parts I need to install my pioneer mvh-1400NEX & backup camera but I just haven’t had time to do it so I was going to get a quote from a local place to do it. They quoted me $500!!! Did the cost of car stereo installations go way up or is this guy just trying to rip me off? Feels like the later. The pioneer radio is only $350 new.
Even a professional doing a particular car for the first time is going to take 4-6 hours to get the installation done, especially with a wired backup camera, so $500 does not seem completely unreasonable.
I would get a second quote, then decide if a day of your time is worth $500. And, of course, the time and effort needed for the installation has nothing to do with the cost of the component being installed.
Do it yourself, it's pretty easy 5 minutes to remove the old radio + 2-3 hrs to install the aftermarket head unit
... don't forget the time to take the dashboard apart...
I wondered if the Solstice was that much easier than the Sky. It took me almost an hour to get to the radio the first time, and even the second time took a half hour.
After that it was 5 minutes to get out, but then it took another hour to put everything back together, so 2-3 hours total would be about right.
I haven't run the wires for the cameras, but I am expecting at least another couple of hours for that.
 

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Just bought a Pioneer AVH-601EX, I am in the same boat, also has an aftermarket amp in the trunk professionally installed by the previous owner, I bought the kits to retain steering wheel control and chimes, hopefully the install goes smoothly! May attempt this weekend
 

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I wondered if the Solstice was that much easier than the Sky. It took me almost an hour to get to the radio the first time, and even the second time took a half hour.
Solstice *is* pretty easy. Pop the gauge rings and pull the tunnels; Pop off and unclip the shifter trim ring; pop the panel behind the grab handle, undo 2 bolts, rotate handle out and off; pop the boomerang clips all the way round; lift boomerang up enough to unplug the 12V accessory connector and then pivot it up and tie it up to the roof clip (or you can disconnect all the other connectors and remove it completely - but not necessary). Boom - everything is exposed. Takes maybe 10 mins tops, once you've had practice.
 

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Just follow what tomato soup wrote. The last time I removed the factory radio it took me 3 mins, but it was my third time doing it lol. There is a video on YouTube on how to remove the dashboard/boomerang.
 

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Solstice *is* pretty easy. Pop the gauge rings and pull the tunnels; Pop off and unclip the shifter trim ring; pop the panel behind the grab handle, undo 2 bolts, rotate handle out and off; pop the boomerang clips all the way round; lift boomerang up enough to unplug the 12V accessory connector and then pivot it up and tie it up to the roof clip (or you can disconnect all the other connectors and remove it completely - but not necessary). Boom - everything is exposed. Takes maybe 10 mins tops, once you've had practice.
The first time I removed the boomerang, I pulled the gauge rings and tunnel off; however, the next few times I did it I realized it's unnecessary. Otherwise TS's instructions are great if you're interested in doing it yourself.
 

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the biggest problem I had was deciding how to run the camera wire to the head unit (had to drill a hole...), and then where to tie into the reverse light....
Bill
 

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the biggest problem I had was deciding how to run the camera wire to the head unit (had to drill a hole...), and then where to tie into the reverse light....
Bill
How did you route the cable? I have just started looking at options.
 

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How did you route the cable? I have just started looking at options.
the plug to the head unit was kinda big, so the hole had to be sized accordingly, we closed the hole with RTV but I suppose an appropriate grommet could be used. fished the power wire to the right rear backup light (but it might be possible to pick the backup wires out of the harness somewhere.

routed the wire to the head unit around the trunk and across to the center behind the seats and then down and along tunnel to dash/radio.

I spaced the camera out past the license plate light so the license plate light didn't interfere with the camera

if the new head unit has gps, the antenna can be tucked in an empty spot above the head unit

Bill
 

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Thanks Bill. That does look like the best route. I am considering getting power directly from the BCM, but haven't decided yet.
 

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$500 including wiring a backup camera doesn't seem outrageous to me. Cleanly installing the camera and properly routing the wire to the dash can involve a good bit if interior dismantling. $500 for just a head unit does, though. I swapped mine out to a 2010 OEM with USB input and I don't think it took more than an hour (maybe it's easier on a Sky?).

But I live in Seattle where we just got bids to replace a hot water heater that ranged from $2500 to $4000 (I ended up doing it myself).
 

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Be aware that the interior parts are NLS for the most part, so if you pay for a shop to do the install and they break a plastic part, they can just refund their fee and you are standing there with a broken part in your hand as they can't just call up the dealer and replace it - you'll be the one hunting around for a good used part from a wreck.

It's a question of whether your inexperience makes you more or less likely to break something from ignorance than a pro who is working to get it done as soon as possible. :dunno:
 

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Since stereo installation is out of my comfort range, I'm paying a company to install a 1400 NEX in my Solstice this week. They did the same install on my F150 a few months ago and they did a wonderful job. So for the unit, harness, steering wheel control adapter (and any other needed part),a back up camera and installation - plus a window tint, my cost is $850. A bit higher than the F150, but still worth it to me ... because I'd probably break something if I tried it myself.
 

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The head unit is really easy to change. I got step by step instructions from Crutchfield emailed to me, and aside from the handle removal I followed them to a T. Straight forward.
 

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A few more pics from my NA.
 

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installed my kenwood with gps and backup camera in about six hours. If it weren't for CRUTCHFIELD it would have probably taken me days. bought the radio, backup camera, steering wheel controls and all the necessary wiring harnesses from them. Only wire I had to splice into was the backup light wiring to power the backup camera when in reverse. Everything else was plug and play. Those guys really held my hand every step of the way. they even sent me instructions on how to remove the boomerang to get to the radio,and how to remove the waterfall to mount the GPS antenna. With installation instructions in hand and half a dozen phone calls to the pros at CRUTCHFIELD, got the job done that day. Even though all went smoothly for me, $500.00 seems like a fair price.

Bill
 
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