Corolla 2006 CD Changer iPod Hack

This hack creates an Aux-like hook-up from the stereo to an iPod, as pictured below.

To download a .pdf version of this guide, right-click here, and Save As.

Corolla 2006 iPod Hack

Introduction

The hack was completed on a 2006 Corolla-S manual shift with a 6-CD Changer (model number: A51814.) The 2006 Corolla doesn’t have an auxiliary hook-up, and the stick physically interferes with a FM Transmitter – which sounds awful, anyway.

This hack was completed with zero knowledge about cars, stereos, or electronics.

References used:

Dante Cardova’s Stereo Removal Guide – no longer available

chrisayad’s Instructable

Matthew Jorgenson’s Ehow

Disclosure: Modifying your car and/or stereo may null/void any warranties, or cause irreparable damage. Working with a device that carries electrical charge may cause bodily harm. Proceed at your own risk; the author assumes no responsibility for any damage to the car, stereo, or yourself in following the guide.

Tools

Flat Head Screwdriver

Phillips Screwdriver

Socket Wrench

Paint Scraper (optional)

Wire Cutters

Headphone extension cable ($9 at Radio Shack – cut female end. Strip three inches to reveal three wires: red, black, and an exposed wire (gray))

Soldering Iron (requires a medium-level of soldering ability)

Solder

Silent CD (optional)

Stereo Removal

  1. Disconnect positive lead from car battery.
    Prevents air bags from accidently deploying. Wait three minutes for charge in the capacitor to dissipate. Write down radio pre-sets; they will be lost.Battery
  2. Pop the base around the shifter.
    Wedge paint scraper at the bottom to pop off the base. Turn the base sideways to keep out of the way.Shifter
  3. Remove single screw holding the A/C panel.
    Pull middle knob of A/C panel straight out. The screw is hidden behind it.A/C Console Unit
  4. Remove the A/C console.
    Four clips, located at the four corners, holding the console  in place. Start with the top right corner – reach through the glove compartment and apply pressure from the side to release.
    Next, the top left corner – wedge with the paint scraper, or apply pressure from the side. Tugging from the front (hook index finger on the inside of the removed knob) helps.
    With the top unclipped, unclip the bottom, one side at a time.

  1. Disconnect four cables hooked up to the A/C console.
    After removing the A/C console, cut a hole in the back of top change compartment with a screwdriver. The headphone extension cable will feed to the iPod at this point.
  2. Unscrew four bolts below the stereo.
    Use the long socket wrench, preferably with a magnetized tip. Dropping the bolt will send it tumbling down into the wiry dashboard. There’s a middle screw that does not need to come out.
  3. Pull out the stereo, which will come out with the vent assembly.
    Wedge paint scraper at the top corners to undo clips. The entire apparatus (stereo and vent assembly) will require some force to remove.
  4. Unplug the stereo hook-ups in the back.
    There are three, including the antennae.
  5. Detach vent assembly from stereo.
  6. Start with the top right clip, then top left, then the bottom clips. Force required.
    Stereo Modification
  7. Pop off face plate.
    Again, starting at the top right clip, top left, then the bottom clips. There are two ribbons connecting the face plate to the stereo; detach slowly to prevent ripping.
  8. Remove side brackets.
    The screws are thread-locked, and will require force to “break” before unscrewing.
  9. Unscrew the front, top, sides of the stereo casing.
    Start with the front, top, then the sides. Collect all screws in a zip-lock bag. Unscrewing the back of the casing is unnecessary, though there is one screw per side holding the sides to the back.
  10. Lift CD changer off the stereo circuit board.
    Two ribbons connect the CD changer to the stereo; carefully disconnect. Soldering occurs at the pins of the larger ribbon cable, as indicated in the picture below.

  1. Position the extension cable.
    The extension cable snakes out the back of the stereo, to feed into one of the change holders, which allows the iPod to be neatly tucked away. To execute, feed the extension cable from the bottom, through a cooling hole, then back up through a space between the circuit board and the casing.



  2. Solder.
    On the cable: Red – Right Speaker
    Black – Left Speaker
    Gray – Ground
    On the pin set:
    P1 – Right Speaker
    P2 – Ground
    P3 – Left Speaker

    Keep wires clear of where the ribbon cable plugs in.
  3. Secure head phone extension wire.
    Use hot glue, tape, or a twisty wire. Secure the wire along the bottom of the casing, where the wire was initially fed. Securing the wire shifts point of greatest tension from the soldering to the wire itself.
    Reassembly
  4. Connect ribbon cables, place CD changer back on top of the stereo circuit board.
  5. Screw back side plates, top plate, front plate, and replace the front screws.
  6. Reattach brackets.
  7. Reconnect front plate, re-clip vent assembly.
  8. Feed the new “Aux Cable” into the back, down to the hole in the change holder.
  9. Reconnect the three stereo connections, slide the stereo back into place.
  10. Screw in the four bolts. Snap the A/C console back in place. Screw in the screw from the fan control, and plug the knob back in. Snap the shifter base back in place.
  11. Reconnect the battery.
  12. Plug in the iPod.
    Run the CD player. The connection should override any CD that’s playing, although creating a silent CD is a better option.

Headphone Extension Wire Hole

To download a .pdf version of this guide, right-click here, and Save As.

UPDATE: 10.12.21

Drew Darrow completed this hack on a 2006 Corolla, non-sport, with a CD player, not a CD changer.

Below is his “graphicized” image of the circuit board, identifying Pins 1, 2, and 3 for both CD player and CD Changer.

Graphicized Pin Chart

Thanks Drew!

John Kelly successfully completed the hack on a ’05 and an ’07 Corolla. The end results are below:

John Kelly's '05 Corolla -- hacked

John Kelly's '07 Corolla -- hacked

Thanks John!

Blake’s successful iPod auxillary hack below:Blake's iPod Aux Hack

Leave a Reply

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82 comments

  1. Chris

    for what? no.

  2. Jon

    anyone know a good place to get replacement ribbon cables for the head unit => display. i broke mine and had just gotten it working 🙁

  3. morgan

    hey so I did this today and kind of failed horribly. I accidentally took apart the CD player instead of just taking it out. when I put it back together and did the soldering it will not switch to it and makes weird grinding noises.
    did I not put it back together correctly or is this just the cause of a bad solder job. also does it matter if the ground is covered because it touches the metal and that might be messing it up.
    any help would be appreciated I have a 05 corolla with a 6 CD changer.

  4. Chris

    morgan, i would try starting all over. take apart the soldering and get back to opening up the cd player. the cd player sounds like the problem.

    why did you open cd player? i ask because i wonder if the instructions weren’t clear enough. if that’s the case, what are potential ways to add clarity so others don’t make the same mistake?

  5. morgan

    No it was all my doing, the instructions were very clear I just didn’t read them very well. I just assumed the soldering stuff was inside the CD player and went tith that. I think I’m going to try it out but in the meantime I think I blew a fuse that controls all the center console stuff and the overhead lights. God I need to not mess with my car

  6. Runes

    Hi, is there a possibility to rather install a usb cable for a memory stick?

  7. Chris

    Never have tried this actually, what purpose would it be for?

  8. Runes

    Hi, ipod’s are really expensive in South Africa, but usb sticks are cheap. Most of the people here use usb’s for their music pleasure. The 6 disk unit has broken down so I had to strip the whole cd unit to get the 6 cd’s out.

    Now I need to have to listen to something else than the local radio stations.

  9. Ed

    Do you think it’ll work with a 2005 Matrix? The radios look similar, but not identical.

  10. Chris

    try doing a search for the mother board model number for the radio on the 2005 matrix. that’s what’s important.

  11. Ed

    Hmm, looks like your radio is model A51814 and mine is A51817. Well, it can’t be that different. I’ll open it up and see. How did you figure out which pin did what?

  12. Ming

    I googled around and managed to find a pin map for the board. Let me know what you manage to find.

  13. Ed

    I didn’t find anything, but I did take apart the radio. It looked identical to yours, so I soldered onto the same tree pins. It works perfectly now. Thanks!

    Oh, I watched this video before removing my radio.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ_US2DImH0

    Also installed a female audio jack near the 12V outlet like the video showed.

  14. Ming

    Hey Ed, so glad it worked out! And thank you for the video share — between that and this tutorial, I think people have a pretty comprehensive guide to this mod. Pretty awesome (I just wish I had that video when I first did mine!)

  15. Serge

    Hey Chris, I am doing this mod with a single disk CD, but I cannot tell from the picture which pin is P1, P2 or P3 – it is too low resolution. Do you have a better picture of it? Thanks!

  16. Ming

    Hi Serge, I don’t unfortunately! That image was provided by Drew Darrow, who I believe used this guide to complete his project. I am pretty sure, however, that’s it’s pretty analogus to the 6-cd changer, so just double-check what I did for the 6-cd, and mirror it for the single. Hope that helps a little!

  17. Drew Darrow

    Hey Serge and Ming!

    I don’t know how I sent a low-res version of that “graphicized” layout, sorry! But, for future readers and hackers:

    If Front = Where CD Comes Out (Player AND Changer)

    Then, From Front (Going Towards Back):
    Pin 1
    Pin 2
    Pin 3

    Blessings!

  18. Drew Darrow

    Hey all!

    I just finished this same hack on a 2010 TOYOTA TACOMA as well!

    Didn’t take any pictures, but the AUX cable went behind and to the driver’s side and I drilled a hole in the little change tray on the driver’s right, to the right of the steering column. This is more practical than the glovebox because most users will have an iPhone or Android phone and want access to it easily for a number of other purposes as well.

    BUT NOT TEXTING AND DRIVING!

    Blessings!

  19. Ming

    Drew! Awesome man thanks so much for both the update on the pin board and idea to drill in the change tray. That’s brilliant, not sure why I didn’t think of that when I first did this mod.

  20. Peter

    Thanks so much! Just completed this on a 2006 Corolla. Works great!

  21. Ming

    Yeeeeaeaaahhhhhh Peter! Good work man I’m happy it worked for ya!

  22. Franklin

    Thanks for posting this Ming. I just finished doing this for my wife’s 06 Corolla as a Christmas gift and it works perfect with my droid and her I phone. However, for some reason when I hook up her Samsung Galaxy Note 3 the phone doesn’t register that I plugged in anything through the headphone jack. Do you have any idea why this would be? I’m going to try and download a different app to play music and maybe that will work? Well either way, the hack worked great with all my other devices so thanks again.

  23. Ming

    That’s really strange I’ve never heard of this before. I’ve managed to plug in ipods, iphones, kindles and ipads. Never tried a Samsung so couldn’t tell you either way, unfortunately. But I’m glad it worked for your other devices thus far! Thanks for leaving the comment!

  24. Keith

    Thank you for sharing this. I was able to follow all the instructions clearly and made this mod. Works very well.

  25. Ming

    Hey Keith, you’re welcome! I’m glad it worked out!

  26. D

    will this still allow for the cd to play?

  27. Do

    Thank you so much for the pin layout. this really help.
    very nice of you to share the knowledge

  28. Bill

    Thank you it work for Ipod, iphone but not for samsung S3 or note2.
    If you plug in the S3 fisrt then turn on the ignition it will work but at the end of the song it will stop registed on the phone that the head phone is plug in.
    I will try to down load other app to play music
    I’m using the one that came with the S3 phone

  29. mario

    Can you use a 4 wire earphone cable with this and howwill the wiring be? I just got a hold of a broken one. Thanks

  30. Jesus

    I have a corolla S year is 07 it has the 6 cd changer. So does this mod remove the ability to play cd’s since there is an ERROR message when the stereo is in cd mode?

  31. Ming

    There shouldn’t be an error message. When mod’ed correctly, CDs will play just fine — the mp3 player will play “over” the CD.

  32. CMick

    Thanks for the excellent instructions. I just completed this successfully on a stereo model A51817 from a 2005 Toyota Matrix. Works great. I also added a 12v plug to the glovebox (where I also ran the input wire) and will add a Bluetooth receiver there. Will look (and be) seamless!

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