Gen 5 McIntosh head unit replacement

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Gen 5 McIntosh head unit replacement

Postby aag321 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:55 am

Hey All,

This guide is written to replace the factory Gen5 McIntosh System with an aftermarket stereo whilst keeping the factory McIntosh amp. if your the kind of person that's up for anything DIY then this guide is for you. Word of warning this is not a small job!

I'll start off by giving a big thanks to Tresidder17 and his write up for his replacement in his gen 4. Without this guide i would have never begun to attempt this. I'm not going to be covering how to do the McIntosh plug conversion as this is covered by Tresidder17's post, more info here: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=35068

This is the starting point and the head unit i will be replacing.


The parts you will need :

A gen 5 outback / lib non navigation face covering ( i bought mine from onboost parts)
Aerpro FP8223
Aerpro APP09 - Because i didn't want cut the factory loom.
Aerpro APA53
6 -7 component cable plugs ( used to cut up and wire in)
dc to dc converter to wire up factory camera.

On each side of the car you will need to pull back the covering, unplug the Antenna clip on the passenger side, and the amp plug on the drivers side.

Antenna plug
Amp Plug

Pull the vents off, Just getting your fingers in the vents and pulling the plastic seems to be the easiest way to remove. unscrew all the obvious screws and remove the deck.

At this point with the head unit out, your going to have to cut the McIntosh pug from the deck, leave your self plenty of slack to wire this up.


At this point follow the wiring guide provided in this post : viewtopic.php?f=22&t=35068


The new deck unfortunately doesn't slot straight it as it fouls on the rear plastic housing and probably not ideal. This step may not be required with some decks, but i will be removing to make more room with a simple box cutting blade.

Once i cut this off i got a small mallet and bent back the steel brackets


Much more room now to play with now and deck is ready to slot in.

Here's my first attempt with the stock plastic housing on.


My attempt to fit with the outback housing:


Wiring in the steering control was a little different then most places documented. I ended up having to go through service manuals to confirm where everything was wired up.


On the main 20 pin loom:

Steering ground can just use normal ground.
Input one is wired into Pin 4
Input two is wired into Pin 11


Running through the learning options on the stereo, it seems to pick up all the inputs as expected.

Reversing camera proved to be a little bit of a pita. The deck does have CAM + and CAM - but this seems to be too much voltage and the camera didn't function with these inputs. I needed up going to jay car and buying a dc to dc converter for 10 bucks. The stock reversing camera requires 6V to operate. This did the trick and now functions as expected.

The Green connector houses the reversing sensor wire. Wiring into the brown wire will give the reverse sensor.

The pins are labeled correctly on this diagram looking at connector J901. I spliced the stock wires and added my composite end to the stock wiring loom.



Apologies for the blury photo.


Working reversing camera.

With everything working i though i'd try spraying the outback covering. Turns out i'm not so great at spray painting, but it will do for now. I may sand it back and give it another go at a later stage.


Any questions I'm happy to answer!

Happy boating!

Last edited by aag321 on Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Gen 5 McIntosh head unit replacement

Postby Tresidder17 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:45 pm

Nice write up buddy. I'm glad my guide worked for you and thanks for linking my work :D
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Re: Gen 5 McIntosh head unit replacement

Postby fedaykin » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:59 pm

Great stuff, thanks.
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Re: Gen 5 McIntosh head unit replacement

Postby ck5533 » Thu May 10, 2018 8:51 am

fedaykin wrote:Great stuff, thanks.

+ 1

Thank you. very helpful
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Re: Gen 5 McIntosh head unit replacement

Postby bananabrah » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:55 pm

Great post, thank you! It's seriously hard to find information about GEN 5 Liberty installs.

Can you provide some more information about the fascia you bought? Did you buy an additional fascia piece that immediately surrounds the double din? Looking at fascias from standard Liberty and Outback the double din area seems to be angular. There are parts on ebay that look like they will fill that small void, but they are another $45.

What did your fascia cost from Onboost? I'm trying to get a quote from them but they've been very bad at getting back to me. I got one quote elsewhere for $145. Is that reasonable?

I'm looking at replacing the whole system, including the amplifier. Can you clarify something for me please... do the speaker wires run from the stock head unit to the amp through the din cable, then from the amp directly to each speaker location? How is the cabling run from amp to speaker? If I am installing a new head unit and new amp perhaps I am best off rewiring everything?

I'm collecting up all my parts now... I think it's gonna be a long process! Thanks for all your help!
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Re: Gen 5 McIntosh head unit replacement

Postby aag321 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:22 am

No problems! The main reason for the post was because it was so hard to find information online!
I'm trying to find the receipt for what i bought, but from the images it looks like it was:

With onboost, i ended up going to them and visiting them and picking from a handful of options they had. i recall paying 130ish.

Speaker cables run to the amp under the seat in the harness loom. i dont have a pin out of that loom, but that might be a little trial and error if you replace the whole unit to figure out what wires do what.
If you go down that path, please share your findings of that pin out! would be handy to have!

Good luck! its defiantly not an easy task and requires a little patients.


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