Saturday, June 23, 2012

How to remove an Alpine 7814 Head Unit

I am no mechanical genius, but I love cars.

The oldest vehicle in the current Halfwise fleet is a 1984 Mercedes 280e, whose original Becker Europa radio was removed long since, replaced by an Alpine 7814 single CD player with the year 1994 on the back.  

No offense to Alpine, but in the interests of returning this vehicle to its original state a Becker Europa is required, and one has been obtained.  So the Alpine had to come out.

Easy?  Well, not evidently so.  The faceplate comes off just by pushing a button, but then what?  There are no obvious screws behind the faceplate.  The sides?  Access from the sides might involve dismantling the dashboard, which is not the way Mercedes would do things 30 years ago.

Remove the Alpine's faceplate and a fairly featureless expanse of plastic stares back. Of course it's featureless -- it was designed to look uninteresting to petty thieves.  

Some say the featureless plastic can be pried off.  I say that depends on whether you can get a screwdriver behind its edge, 3/8" inside the dashboard.  I could not.

But where finesse fails, brute force may triumph. I grabbed the bottom lip of the plastic with a blunt pair of pliers, and pulled.  The faceplate came off, a bit.  More importantly, the whole radio pulled forward and started to slide out.

Some days, there is less to something than meets the eye.

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