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: Stereo wiring

06-03-2010, 07:59 AM
I finally found a shaft-style stereo to replace the non-working stock stereo in the rabbit. On the back of the stock stereo there's 4 plugs for the speakers (two wires each) FR, FL, RR, RL and three additional wires POWER, DIMMER and GROUND.

Now the new stereo, a Pioneer KE-1818 is completely different. There's no labeling on the stereo so I found a wiring diagram (attached). The Pioneer has 8 wires, labeled P.GND, ACC, SP RL, SP FL, SP RR, SP FR, B.U and +B REMOTE.

My questions are

1) How do the speakers connect? Before there was two wires per speaker, the new stereo seems to only have one wire per speaker.

2) How do the other wires connect? Is this correct?


06-03-2010, 08:52 AM
ok so that wiring diagram is way over kill... if i remeber right there is are green, grey, white and purple wires on the harness for the CD player which would be your SP FL, SP RR, ect... there should be two wires for each color one strait color and the other with a black strip these would be the wires that go to your speakers.

as far as the other wires just remember that the yellow wire on the CD player is your constant power wire which needs power at all times. take a volt meter and i believe the red wire from the car is constant (key off with 12v). the red wire on the CD player side is your tickle wire which gets voltage when you turn your key. there is not such wire from the car so you will have to run it to your fuse box. i Put mine to the defrost i believe. as far as the dimmer good luck ive never seemed to get that from any car i have wired.

06-03-2010, 09:13 AM
Thanks. The stereo doesn't have a CD player, however it does have a cassette. It looks like this:

I'll try and post a pic of the wires tonight. Based on my memory, here's the colors:

P.GND = Black
ACC = Red
SP RL = Green
SP FL = Green w/stripe
SP RR = Gray
SP FR = Gray w/stripe
B.U = Orange
+B REMOTE = Blue

06-03-2010, 09:46 AM
The speaker wires are in colors paired, that is the Green green/white is the pair for one speaker the solid being the + wire for hte speaker and the striped is the ground return for that speaker.

I have never seen where the Green was one side plus and the green/white was the other side plus in years and years... They quit using common grounds on the speakers since the mid 80's.
Make sure that you have the proper wires, and usually on the head units it has the color key for the wires.

06-05-2010, 04:04 PM
Ok, today I tried installing the new radio and here's what I did. I connected:

dash -> radio
brown -> black
red -> red
+ speaker #1 wire -> green
- speaker #1 wire -> green w/red stripe
+ speaker #2 -> gray
- speaker #2 -> gray w/red stripe

The radio comes on, but there's no sound. I'm positive the speaker works. Do you think I need to connect additional wires? I have 3 more wires coming out of the dash (red w/black stripe, gray and gray w/blue stripe).

06-05-2010, 05:59 PM
The blue is for the power antenna.
gray/blue ?

When in doubt I would think the black/red is also a ground.

You can take a 9Vdc battery and touch the speaker wires to the terminal ends and you should hear scratching or pop, it you don't maybe the speakers are dead. The Original non-stereo speakers on my 81 were in series, so you may need to run a new wire to the speaker as you are grounding out the unit.

Take a speaker out and jumper it to the back of the radio if it works then you will have to run new wire to the speakers.

06-07-2010, 04:22 PM
as far as the dimmer good luck ive never seemed to get that from any car i have wired.
Just connect the dimmer to the cigar lighter light. That is the way they originally wired the center console lights as well.

06-09-2010, 12:05 PM
Thanks for all of the help. Knowing very little about stereos, I'm still having issues. I have 4 speakers in my Rabbit which results in 8 speaker wires (+ and - for each speaker). I also have 5 more wires coming out of the dash. These are:

1) red (power when key is on)
2) red w/black stripe (which I think is always hot, not sure)
3) gray (dimmer)
4) gray w/blue stripe (I have no idea)
5) brown (ground)

I've tested the speakers with my original stock VW stereo and all 4 speakers work. The VW stock stereo has those funky 3-prong connections for all four speakers (both + and -) and 3 other wires, power, ground and dimmer which is 11 total wires.

The new Pioneer stereo only has 8 total wires on the back. They are labeled:

P.GND (black)
ACC (red)
SP RL (green)
SP FL (green w/stripe)
SP RR (gray)
SP FR (gray w/stripe)
B.U (orange)
+B REMOTE (blue)

I've tired to wire up the Pioneer stereo to the Rabbit wires a few different ways. Here are my failed attempts:

Attempt #1 - stereo powers, has no memory, no sound
P.GND (black) = Brown
ACC (red) = Red
SP RL (green) = speaker #1 +
SP FL (green w/stripe) = speaker #1 -

Attempt #2 - stereo powers, has no memory, no sound
P.GND (black) = Brown
ACC (red) = Red
SP RL (green) = speaker #1 -
SP FL (green w/stripe) = speaker #1 +

Attempt #3 - stereo powers, has no memory, very low, scratchy sound
P.GND (black) = Brown
ACC (red) = Red
SP RL (green) = speaker #1 +
SP FL (gray w/stripe) = speaker #1 -

Any thoughts? I'd hate to give up on it as took me 6 months to find a working dual-shaft stereo. During all of my attempts I did have the antenna connected, if that matters.

06-11-2010, 01:04 PM
My stereo is now installed and working. I needed to combine and connect all speaker grounds (4) and the stereo ground to the single ground wire from the car. Duh. Thanks for the help.