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


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.


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)


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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Unplug the stereo hook-ups in the back.
    There are three, including the antennae.
  9. Detach vent assembly from stereo.
  10. Start with the top right clip, then top left, then the bottom clips. Force required.
    Stereo Modification
  11. 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.

  12. Remove side brackets.
    The screws are thread-locked, and will require force to “break” before unscrewing.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.
  18. Connect ribbon cables, place CD changer back on top of the stereo circuit board.
  19. Screw back side plates, top plate, front plate, and replace the front screws.
  20. Reattach brackets.
  21. Reconnect front plate, re-clip vent assembly.
  22. Feed the new “Aux Cable” into the back, down to the hole in the change holder.
  23. Reconnect the three stereo connections, slide the stereo back into place.
  24. 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.
  25. Reconnect the battery.
  26. 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

Minimalism: Attire Guide


Overabundance of option and choice make slaves of us all. Cutting to the “core” of your closet, then building from those essentials, simplifies traveling, moving, and living. The challenge is whittling down to your core closet.

Core closet – 1. the attire an individual wears 90 percent of the time. 2. the attire selected under an extreme quantity constraint that allows an individual to perform 90 percent of his day-to-day activities at 90 percent comfort level.

Even when running on a skeleton of a closet, we’re assaulted with a multitude of options: colors, cuts, sizes, materials, brands.

The purpose of this guide is to assist in the creation of the core closet.

Disclosure: All links are non-affiliate links. Most link directly to either Backcountry or Moosejaw; please support these companies with your business. All costs are approximate.

Base Layer

Icebreaker Line

[from right to left: 140 Tech-T, 200 Hopper, Long-Sleeve]

The Icebreaker Line

The following Icebreaker products are 100% Merino wool. Merino wool surpasses cotton in nearly every aspect. It traps heat, wicks sweat, and dries extremely quickly – three to four hours, hanging. (To extend the life of Merino wool garb, do not dry by hand wringing. Instead, lay out garment on a towel, and roll into a tight cylinder. Do not stick Merino wool into the dryer).

Merino wool is also antimicrobial. After a rinse in cold water, there is close to no odor.

The Bodyfit150 Ultralite Short Sleeve Atlas T-Shirt ($45 – not pictured) as the name implies, is a fitted, athletic-cut shirt (short on the arms, short on the torso.) Out-of-the-box, Bodyfit resembles more of an undershirt than a t-shirt.

The SuperFine140 Tech T Lite($50) fits more like a casual t-shirt. A size small fits comfortably fits a frame of  5’7”, 140 lbs.

The SuperFine200 Hopper T-shirt ($65) also possesses a casual t-shirt cut. The weight of the t-shirt possesses substance, and unlike the above shirts, does not feel like it’ll rip after mild wear.

The Bodyfit200 Oasis Crew ($70) has an athletic long-sleeve fit. Think Under Armor, without the feel of a synthetic fabric against the skin. The Oasis Crew is nearly a perfect base-layer for cold conditions (sub-40 degrees.) It suffers the same sizing issue as much of Icebreaker apparel – snug fit on top, but short on the length.

Save for the SuperFine200 Hopper T-shirt, there’s been the unfortunate experience of ripping in all the Icebreaker products mentioned above. Ripped articles were worn strictly under casual use and light athletics (running, weightlifting.)


The Stoic Line

The Stoic brand is the exclusive brand to Backcountry. Shirts tried on typically have a looser fit, and none exhibited the next-to-skin (NTS) quality found in Icebreaker or Under Armor brands. At first touch, the quality of merino wool feels cheaper than Icebreaker; though it still wicks sweat, holds heat, and is antimicrobial.

As a whole, the Stoic brand is less expensive and offers a greater variety of colors. The back of the shirt “tails” at the end, and fits more comfortably than Icebreaker during casual wear. The sleeves are extra long, and stay in place when pushed up the forearms.

Stoic Line

Stoic Merino Bliss ($80)

The Merino Bliss has three noteworthy features: thumb holes at the end of the sleeves, a zippered chest pocket, and a zippered half-collar. The former two are welcome additions to the Stoic brand. The style of the latter, however, feels strange. Unzipped, the shirt opens just north of the solar plexus, and wearing in this fashion produces odd looks. (The functionality of the zipper length can’t be denied, though; there’s an immediate cooling affect when unzipped.)

The Stoic Merino Crew ($60) is an alternative to the Icebreaker Oasis Crew. While the Oasis Crew has a heavier, warmer feel and is NTS, Stoic Merino Crew is longer in torso and arm length, and the sleeves have thumb holes.

Other Base Layers (in brief)

SmartWool Sport NTS Crew – Long-Sleeve ($80)

Looseness around the wrist “cuffs,” lightness of the material, and price make the SmartWool Sport NTS Crew inferior to its Icebreaker and Stoic counterparts.

SmartWool Men’s NTS Lightweight Bottom ($70)

A comfortably snug, lightweight bottom that discretely keeps the legs warm beneath jeans and slacks.

EMS Techwick ($20)

Techwick pills and doesn’t battle odors well, but at less than half the cost, it’s a noteworthy Merino wool alternative.

Ex-Officio Men’s Wicking Boxer-Brief ($25)

A nylon-spandex blend boxer-brief that’s antimicrobial, stretches, and dries in a few hours.

SmartWool PhD Outdoor Light Cushion Micro Sock ($13)

Merino wool blend makes it an excellent athletic sock.

SmartWool Diamond Jim Sock ($18)

Merino wool blend and three-color argyle makes it an excellent dress sock.

Mid Layer

Icebreaker Nomad and Icebreaker Quantum

Icebreaker Sport 320 Nomad ($160)

The Sport 320 Nomad is one of Icebreaker’s heavier products, weighing in at 320 g/m2. It’s a quarter-zip, pull-over hoodie. Unzipped, the hood has a triangular look sitting atop your head. Fully zipped, the hood sits snug on the skull, creating a “speed skater” appearance.

It’s an extremely durable product, with double stitching at the bottom hem, at the end of the sleeves, and inside the thumb loops.

Like other Icebreaker apparel, sizing fits slightly small.

Icebreaker GT Quantum Hood ($170)

The GT Quantum Hood is lighter than the Sport320 Nomad (260 g/m2) but what it lacks in weight, it makes up in style. It’s a sleek full-zip hoodie with a plethora of features: drop tail hem, two zippered stash pockets (one on the chest, a second at the small of the back) and a reflective zipper. The most prominent detractor is lack of hand pockets. For casual wear, size-up.

Thumb Holes

Coolibar Shirt ($60)

A lightweight long-sleeve with a 50 UPF rating. The material feels like cotton but dries as fast as nylon or Merino wool. Gusseted sides keep you cool, a tri-fold collar keeps the sun off your neck, and solid construction means the Coolibar shirt is built to last. Size small fits a 5’7” to 5’8”, 14½ – 15 inch neck.



Ex-officio Nomad Pant ($40)

This pair of pants deceptively looks like an ordinary pair of cotton trousers. Only closer inspection reveals its versatility: nylon-material brushed with Teflon makes it stain and wrinkle resistant, light, and fast drying. It features an “indestructible button,” an elastic waistband and belt loops, two hip pockets, two zippered back pockets, and a discrete security pocket on the right leg. Sizing on the length runs about an inch long – may require tailoring.

EMS Profile Convertible Pants ($40)

The Profile Convertible Pants is an ideal model as far as convertibles go. It possesses all the properties of nylon material, has a built-in belt, and cargo pockets along the thighs. Overall it’s a loose, casual fit; the zip-off attribute of the pants isn’t unnoticeable, but it is discrete. As shorts, the length of the cut falls at approximately mid-knee. Sizing on the leg length runs about an inch long – may require tailoring.


Footwear is the natural enemy of any core closet – in no other attire form does your environment, activity, and company so greatly affect your selection. Unlike a base layer, it’s unlikely to come across a “one-shoe-fits-all” product. Function varies widely, and few articles of clothing communicate personality better than footwear. Even after selecting a brand, the magnitude of models, colors, and styles could submit even the savviest of shoppers into choice-paralysis.

The following link to brands/models of Core Closet footwear: Crocs, Keen, Vibram Five Fingers, Rainbow Sandals, The Northface Ultra 104 XCR, The Northface Hedgehog, The Northface Ultra 103 XCR

Dress Layer

In reality, the Dress Layer isn’t part of the Core Closet, but rather an extension of it, naturally bridged by your profession, personality, and desire to accessorize. It does not lend itself to mobility, but may be essential in day-to-day operations. It’s where the Core Closet exhibits the most variance. Here are some components of the Core Closet Dress Layer of an urban professional:

(2) Suits
(3) Dress Shirts
(3) Ties
(2) Pairs of Dress Shoes
(2) Belts


The Minimalism: Attire Guide should be used as that – a guide. It’s not an attempt to start brand wars, or to trumpet one brand, model, or style as the premiere.

Insights in the Minimalism: Attire Guide inspired by authors like Tynan, Tim Ferriss, Kareem, and Taylor Davidson.

Author’s Selection:


(2) IB Hopper T-shirts
(1) Stoic Long-sleeve
(1) SmartWool Bottom
(2) Ex-officio underwear
(1) Ex-officio nomad pants
(1) Nomad hoodie
(2) SmartWool Socks
(2) SmartWool Diamond Jim Socks
(1) Crocs

Author's Selection