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  1. #1

    Gen 3 2006 Dodge Viper Aftermarket Stereo Install Guide Complete in detail

    Even though my Viper has 12k miles and I’ve only had it for a week, hanging wires for GPS etc. wasn’t something I preferred. So, I decided to swap the factory head unit with a Clarion NZ503, it’s a 1-DIN slide out head unit with every possible feature you can imagine.. I’m surprised it doesn’t drive the car for me

    The install took me about 8 hours start to finish(including the 1 hr to patiently unplug factory wires ), but I couldn’t find a single guide out there that walked through all of it. So here goes –

    *I lost the pictures I took while the dash was disassembled so apologies in advance.

    Parts needed –
    1. Clarion NZ503 – usually about $599, but I found a refurbished one off of ebay for $385.
    2. Metra 99-6503 Dash Kit for Chrysler/Dodge 98-Up -
    3. Metra 70-6502 Radio Wiring Harness -
    4. Scosche CRAB Chrysler/Jeep Antenna Adapter -
    5. Any decent Driving Kit with hex and Philips drivers -

    Now the fun part –

    STEP 1 – Follow Alex’s wonderful guide to disassemble the center console and dash cover-

    There are a few things that are missing from the guide, and you may figure it our depending on your skill level, but here they are anyway –
    · The connecter behind the 12v outlet next to the Handbrake is tight but there are no clips and it comes right out if you pull hard steadily (don’t jerk it around!)
    · When you remove the Factory Stereo, there are 2 harnesses in addition to the antenna, ignore the smaller harness for this install, its just for the factory CD Changer.

    STEP 2 – Connecting Harnesses

    We’re going to leave the factory harnesses as is.

    *ATTENTION* Never ever ever.. ever.. cut/splice through the factory harness!! Don’t be an idiot, just use $5.50 radio wiring harness, it’ll save you a lot of trouble.

    Now that the factory stereo is removed, plug the Metra 70-6502 harness into the factory harness, it should fit easily.

    Do not connect the Clarion harness to it's stereo yet, we’re going to connect harness wires only first.

    Wiring for the Clarion stereo (from the guide) –


    Connect the GROUND wire first

    *ATTENTION* Instead of wiring the Blue from the Viper to the Blue for Clarion, connect the Blue wire from the Viper to the While/Blue (remote amp turn-on) for the Clarion. If you don’t do this, the AUX, BT Audio, USB Audio will not work.
    Next, connect the speaker wires between both harnesses. Leave the POWER and 12v ACCESSORY wire for last.

    Once done with connections - .
    1. NO loose wires should be left from the Viper harness (you would’ve found the corresponding wires on the Clarion harness).
    2. The following wires from the Clarion harness will be left unconnected – Blue, Parking Brake cord, Reverse gear cord.

    Quick note about the Clarion – the other huge bunch of wires fixed to the unit will be a PITA to fit in Viper’s dashboard so I decided to cut all of them except Sirius, Rear Camera, HD Radio and Ipod. That made the head unit slide in easier, and it still works perfectly.

    *DISCLAIMER* Cut these wires at your own risk because this WILL void your Clarion warranty. If you can fit them all in the dash, good for you!

    *ATTENTION* Don’t forget the electrical tape ! Make sure NO wires are left exposed, it’s only a matter of time until one of them shorts something out.


    For this next part, I suggest covering the center console with a cloth and setting the Clarion stereo on top. Makes it easier to work and prevent scratching.

    STEP 3 – Radio adapter, GPS Antenna and USB Cord.

    Radio Adapter – Pretty simple, plugin one end into the Viper’s original antenna, and the other end into the Clarion. Done.

    The Viper’s dash has enough gaps that you can insert a couple of wires virtually effortlessly and without any tools.

    GPS antenna – I followed the placement guide in the Clarion install guide, and putting the GPS antenna above the passenger side dash tweeter is the best signal I got (accurate location with the garage closed, even my Garmin can’t do that). It also has a magnet underneath so it can stick on the tweeter without having to stick anything to the dashboard.

    Next, insert the wires into the door/side trims, taking it underneath the dashboard, into the console housing, and finally bring it up from the same area as the A/C control harness. Connect to the stereo.

    USB Cord – This will stick out from the same place where the GPS antenna wire went in.

    *EXTRA WIRES* – I decided to roll them up and slide them up the sides of the center console on the passenger side.




    STEP 4 – Fitting the Bracket.
    Just like any other aftermarket stereo install, remove the metal casing/housing from the Clarion stereo (use a screwdriver to gently but firmly release the latches).

    This casing is used to lock in the stereo and remove it without having to open everything up like we are right now. This casing will slide into the Metra Dash Kit from the front, after which you lock it in place by bending the teeth.
    If you don’t know how to do this, watch this video at 10:00 -

    STEP 5 – Test to make sure that the GPS, USB Audio, Tuner and Bluetooth audio works.

    STEP 6 – Slide it in (That's what she said !! Sorry, I couldn't help myself.) – Slide the Clarion in slowly, keeping the *fixed* bunch of wires (ziptied) to the left (there is a hole there that can hold these), and the rest of the harness in the middle-right, antenna wires to the right.

    Slide in slowly, and use a long screwdriver or stick to gently push wires to their places. The last 1 inch or so will feel like you’re pushing too much, but it’s okay, just push gently till you hear a click. Put on the Clarion faceplate and you’re all set.

    ***I might be out of image upload space, will update soon***

  2. #2
    Enthusiast chicagopd50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    I did everything u did but I have no sound. Is there a special wire I need to connect to the amp. My radio turns on all features work but no sound..
    Mike from chicago 06 coupe
    11.11@130mph 1.6 60ft

  3. #3
    Enthusiast chicagopd50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Never mind I figured out the blue wire.. thanks for the great write up
    Mike from chicago 06 coupe
    11.11@130mph 1.6 60ft

  4. #4
    Those of you that installed the Clarion, did you replace or re-use the stock amp?

  5. #5
    VOA Mamba Member
    since 2018
    Capital Vipers (DC/DE/MD/VA)
    V10Sidepipes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016


    Quote Originally Posted by X3 V10 View Post
    Those of you that installed the Clarion, did you replace or re-use the stock amp?
    You can do it either way... The most important consideration for doing so would be how far you want to go with the rest of the stereo. If you are happy with the sound you have now and are switching the head unit for convenience purposes (ie to get Bluetooth, gps, etc), then there is no reason to go any further. Enjoy the new functions the head unit will provide and use your right foot to fill in the rest of the noise.

    If, however, your goal is to get better sound from the stereo and you will be upgrading the speakers, you will most likely want to change out the amp for an aftermarket replacement. In my case, I changed the system completely and ended up doing the following:

    [] new head unit (pioneer touchscreen with iPhone control / Bluetooth (although I must admit for calling purposes Bluetooth is virtually useless as there is way too much noise in the car to have a decent conversation) / gps via iPhone, etc)
    [] new speakers- went with a component setup in which I deleted the rear "speakers" (if you can call them that) and upgraded to a new set of separate door speakers and dash tweeters
    [] aftermarket subwoofer in a custom box to fit between the seats
    [] aftermarket amplifier to run it all

    The end result is a MUCH better sounding system!

    ... when the car is off. The viper is just a loud car and although the sound is much better at highway speeds, if you have a non-stock exhaust on your car, it greatly diminishes the return. You do, in most cases, get the added benefit of being to able to turn it up louder without distortion though.

    My next round of stereo upgrades will consist of reworking the sub/box and adding some sound deadening which will serve two functions as it will help cut down the external noise that enters the cabin but it will also help to cut down on some of the heat as well if you use the proper products.

    Again, the biggest thing is deciding what you want out of it so you don't end up jumping blindfolded into a very expensive and time consuming rabbit hole!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Is there a center dash replacement for the bigger faced radios or do you have the cut the stock one up? Any before/after pictures?

  7. #7
    VOA Member
    since 2018

    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Cool of you to take the time to do that ... Thank you!



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