Review & Install Video
Hey, guys, Adam here with americanmuscle.com, and today we're taking a closer look at and installing the Raxiom by Insane Audio plug and play navigation head unit, available for the '05 to '08 Mustang. Now, if you're the owner of an early S197 and you might have a base model Mustang, which means you didn't get the navigation package, you don't have a touchscreen, you don't have any other modern bells and whistles that you really want out of your car that we all wish came from the factory.
Now, this particular unit is somewhat OEM-looking, which actually looks really good, but it gives you a ton of features that your Mustang did not come with. You are gonna get 3D navigation, you have a GPS that allows you to have United States and Canadian maps preloaded onto the device. You're also gonna get Bluetooth 4.0 LE. You're also going to get a number of other features with app support, things like Waze, it supports iPhone and Android, you get hookups for them. In addition to that, you're also getting a number of other things, AM/FM connection, like you'd expect. There's preset hookups for backup and front-facing cameras. You're also getting something very unique, live gauges and data logging as well as a DTC reader. Now, that's very unique, this isn't something you normally get from a head unit. This one in particular is gonna offer you the ability to track live engine vitals such as coolant temps, air fuel ratio, boost, so on and so forth, which is really nice for guys who have boost, but also for guys who just wanna know how their vehicle's performing. The DTC code reader is gonna be able to throw the description up on the screen. If you ever have a check engine light come on you can read and clear what it is right on your head unit, which is really nice. You're also getting SD card slots as well as other slots to make sure that you can load other media. So, if you're going on a long road trip, you wanna watch some movies, you can load them on the SD card and actually watch things on your unit. Now, of course, you wanna, be safe on the road but if you have passengers who wanna be a little bit more entertained, you have this ability right here on your screen. I'm gonna break down all of the additional features in the unit in just a little bit. But those are really the gist of things that you get with this one that you don't have from the factory, so big, big upgrades there.
In addition to that, you're really just getting some cool things like this big touchscreen, it's about six inches diagonally, it's really really gonna stand out. It also comes out a little bit from the trim, which gives some dimension to it. Some guys might like it a little bit more flush, I don't mind it as it is. Obviously, it's aftermarket, but given the way that it fits into this I'm happy with the way it works. Now, the unit itself is not going to retain CD players. So, your factory unit had a CD player, this is not gonna have that, but you are gaining USB connections, which I think is really nice. We ran that to our glove box as well as an iPod connection. So, where it lacks in the CD it makes up for in a more modern media. All of your climate controls stay the same, which I like. Some other units will delete that and give it a digital touchscreen kind of unit, this one utilizes them. And the whole screen here is gonna come in right around 1,000 bucks. So it is a little bit more affordable than some of the other options out there in the category. It's also more affordable than other gens as well, which I thought was very interesting.
Now, this unit's installation is plug and play, as the name suggests. So you're not splicing, you're not wiring, none of that nonsense for base model guys, but it does give you the option and includes wires for additional subwoofers, or amplifiers, or sound systems, additional TV units, anything that would really use additional RCA hookups, it does come with. It also comes with all the wires available for backup and front-facing cameras. So, you can install those, like, RockCam for this particular option. So, this thing really does think of most of the things that you would need when you're upgrading some of those features in your Mustang. Now, I'm gonna walk you through every step of the install. I'm gonna give it two out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter, not because it requires any modification, but there are a lot of steps involved to make sure that this does work properly. There's a lot of harnesses included that you need to understand how they work. So, I'll show you guys how that works. Takes about an hour from start to finish depending on your experience, what do you say we walk through the features and then jump into how to get installed?
Jumping right into things here. Here's your main menu when you boot it up. Now, for the most part what you see here is customizable including the background. I kind of like what it's got going on, it's more of a motion function. But on the bottom that's where the key motions are. Now, we have radio, music, Bluetooth, apps, Bluetooth music, torque, which is your OBD check engine light and engine vitals app, and then RockCam for your front or rear-facing cameras. Kicking off radio, super simple. That's gonna be what most people are gonna be using. You have your radio function presets, scan tools. It's also touchscreen at the top so you can slide through pretty quickly, which I really like as well. At the bottom AM/FM functions, local, a whole bunch of scans. So, really really useful stuff, really easy to navigate, pretty straightforward. Jumping back to the home page, you can use the back button if that's your previous screen, or the home button here on the left side, it's a physical button.
Moving on from there, music. If you have an iPod connected or an iPhone, you can boot music up from there. Bluetooth is also gonna be very useful. There's an OBD-II device that you plug into your OBD-II slot in order to have Bluetooth functionality. You can also call if you're connected, you can look through your contacts, receive calls this way as well. So, useful stuff. But if you wanted to use Bluetooth music, that's a different app here. Once it's connected, obviously we don't have something connected, but once you do have something connected it will pop up here for you to navigate. Apps gives you all a whole lot of options here, guys. You can use the Google app to search the internet, Gmail, check your email, Adobe Acrobat, open Acrobat files, so on and so forth. There's audio video in, so if you have additional units that you wanna connect to this you can do so through there. There's a browser, Bluetooth music, again. FileBrowser is gonna be useful if you're utilizing your SD card slot which is down here on the bottom. You can throw your SD card in there once you load media files onto it including pictures, or movies, DVD, so on and so forth, you can use that slot there. It's a little tricky to get back in there, but it snaps in. So, that's a useful app as well.
Going back to the app screen here, we have a number of other things including Insane EQ. There are nine EQ levels you can mess with to make the audio to fit your preference. From there, the torque option, I think, is pretty interesting. There are six gauges you can monitor at once. Again, fully customizable, where they are, what they represent, the background. We don't have the car on at the moment. So they're not reading any information but there's revs, speed, coolant, acceleration, throttle, and boost. If you scroll down, it focuses on revs. And, again, you can customize that underneath. If you wanted to add any additional screens you can do so using this little cog button at the bottom, which will add additional options if you wish. Finally, let's go to nav.
Now, with your GPS chip inserted, which is right out of the box, you'll be able to load up your navigation. You can save favorites, save custom presets to make your life a little easier and navigating this a little bit quicker, which is what you'd expect from a stock nav unit, so that's what you get here as well. Now, you can click "Show map," enter your destination, there's "Route options," and "More." "More" gives you things like trip monitor, sunrise and sunset, country information for different roads. You can load new maps onto there as well using that SD card slot, so really useful stuff, and you can turn it off from there as well.
So, all in all, that's really your screen, lots of customizing you can do. You can add additional things at the top here as well, which are blank right off the factory line. So, sliding down, you get a couple of more things like simple brightness adjustment, AMP adjustment, speed of the actual navigating, volume control, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. So, it really functions like a smartphone at that point. So that's really your features. What I wanna do is show you guys how to install this, so what do you say we get started?
Tools used in this install include a panel removal tool, extension, 9/32 socket, 10-millimeter deep socket, 1/4-inch ratchet, and a Phillips head screwdriver.
So, the first up here, for our manual guys, we do have to take our shift nob off. Now, for whatever reason, our shift knob here is attached to the shift boot itself. So what you're gonna wanna do is pop off this trim piece that has the shift boot on it. You can either pull straight back and pop it off, but if that's a little difficult you can grab a panel removal tool that'll pry it off. So what we're gonna do is just basically invert that and twist the whole thing together. I know it looks pretty silly, but since the shift boot and the shifter are attached, we wanna just make sure we're not damaging that trim. All right. So, from there were just gonna invert that back and set it aside. Now, the reason we did that is because we need to get our center console out of the way. Now, in order to do that next, you're gonna pop the center console open and remove the two Phillips head screws at the back corners. All right. Now, for safe keeping, I'm just gonna put them inside the center console.
Now, from here we can start to lift up this entire center trim. Now, you don't wanna lift too low. This is a pretty thin piece at the top, so you're not really pulling from the inside. What you're gonna do is just disconnect this top portion where the screw is held on, just like that. Now you'll have to maneuver this around your e-brake as well. So, just be careful of its position. Might wanna pull it all the way up. All right. Now we can set this aside.
Next is our two trim panels to each side of our head unit. Now, for this I recommend using a panel removal tool, just because it has the hook on the end that gets you a little bit better leverage. I like to start down where those two small bolts are. What you'll see is I'll stick this in that opening and just pry back. Disconnects it safely, and you can set this aside. Same thing over here. That gives you access to 2, 4, 6 of the 9/32 bolts. Now because these bolts are in plastic you don't wanna use an impact gun for them, so we're gonna grab our 1/4-inch ratchet and extension and our 9/32 socket, and we're gonna get these guys out. I'm gonna loosen all them up and then just use the extension to get them out. We wanna hold onto these to be reinstalled later. All right. From here you can just pop that trim panel off. What you wanna be careful of is the harnesses connected to the back of it.
All right. So, now we're under the hood because we're gonna start working with wiring. So we wanna disconnect the negative cable on our battery to be safe. This is an 8-millimeter nut. All right. Once you have that guy out of the way you just wanna secure it back so it doesn't touch the terminal. All right. Now the next step, once you have your battery disconnected, is to disconnect your wiring. Now, the main thing here is your 12-volt cigarette lighter. Now, to get this off, you're gonna need either a flathead, or a Phillips head, or something small to push this pin in. I'm gonna use the Phillips head that we've used for the screws in our center console. So you're gonna grab the pin right in that green portion and push that in, simultaneously pulling out on the wiring, which we disconnect it. From there, you can just pinch and disconnect the other two. All right. So that's the top, we have one more large one on the bottom. All right. For this, you'll see there's this gray locking tab. You wanna disconnect that and pull straight back. You'll drop it down, it loosens up, it really just pops itself out. From there, you can set this aside. All right. Next there's four more 9/32 screws, two on each side of the radio. So we're gonna pop those off. All right. With all those out of the way, pull straight back. Now, again, there's gonna be harnesses on the back of it. So you wanna make sure you're not pulling too far out, reach back there and disconnect. Now, you can't pull the radio farther than this, so it's gonna be hard for you guys to see. But there's three things you need to disconnect, all of which are just pinch and pull. And you'll disconnect two harnesses, then finally, the radio adapter, which is just...you just pull it straight back. All right. Now we can set this aside.
So we got our factory unit out of our '06 GT next to the Raxiom by Insane Audio unit. And I wanna show you some of the similarities, but mainly the couple of differences here. And there isn't a ton to talk about on the table, most of it we already spoke of earlier in the video with it installed on the car. But just to take you through some of the physical differences, you can see that factory unit is extremely outdated, there's a lot more buttons, it's not touchscreen, there's no larger display, and because of that, you're not getting any navigation, you're not getting any of that Bluetooth, or anything that would be a little more modern. Now, the Raxiom unit removes so many of those buttons. You're still keeping the volume dial and things like that, you've got the nav button, the home button, a few of those, as well as an SD and GPS card slot. On top of that, your main focus is that touchscreen. Now, because it is going to replace your factory unit that has brackets built in, it does come with this trim that goes around the edges just like that. Now, the trim is meant to look very, very factory. Now, if we put this trim up against our factory trim that we took off, it looks almost identical. So that's something I really do like about this when comparing it to stock. It looks like it could have been there from the factory. That's what I look for in a head unit. I personally don't like to look for something that stands out like a sore thumb. So, the more OEM, like this trim, the more I'm going to be more gravitated to it.
So, we're going to install this, guys, and I'll take you through some of those features that are actually built in, but I wanted show you some of the similarities. Before we actually throw it in the vehicle, we do have to install a couple of brackets on the sides here, so we're gonna start there. All right. Now what we have to do is take the two plastic brackets included in the kit along with the new trim panel and attach them, but there is a certain way they have to go on. What you're going to do is take the two open hole tab brackets and insert them into the plastic bracket on the side. From there, you'll rotate them inward and they clip into place. So that goes on both sides, insert and rotate, so they're perpendicular with this once it's installed. So you're just gonna make sure that they seat all the way, and they snap into place. From here, take your nav unit, you're going to insert that into the trim panel. With them seated all the way in, you're gonna take the screws included in the kit, the small Phillips heads, they're really tiny, and install them into the threaded holes that line up with this bracket. All right. Same thing on the other side. With that secure, we can start assembling a couple of antennas on the back end.
All right. So, next you wanna grab your really small antenna, this is your Wi-Fi antenna. Tilt the screen upward and find the port that's labeled Wi-Fi, it's gonna be on this left-hand side, screw that into place. You wanna make sure that's facing upward and is securely tight. Next you wanna grab the GPS. And this has the same type of connecting style, so you're gonna connect that to the GPS one, which is just the other side. All right. Now there is a lot of excess wiring because you do have the option to mount this elsewhere. If you're in an area that has bad signal you might wanna put it somewhere closer to the top of the dash. But, right off the bat, you can stick this to the top of your unit. And all this excess wiring is just twist-tied together. So I'm gonna leave it just like that. On the underside there's 3M tape. What you wanna do is peel off that 3M backing which will help you stick this in place and get it secure. Now, if this position doesn't work, you can always just stick this to the underside of the bracketing inside the vehicle. You just wanna make sure if you are doing this you're not sticking it over the vents, stick it over that circuit diagram. Now we can head back in the vehicle to get this installed.
All right. Back in the vehicle, we're gonna run a couple of wires now. Before we install our nav unit, what you wanna do is take care of everything that needs to be located back here. Now, in my right hand I have an iPod cable, in my left hand I have a USB cable. Now, these you're gonna run to your glove box. Now, you can run it under your center console to your cup holders or really wherever you want. I find it to be the easiest way to go straight to the glove box, and it gives you easy access to them to plug in. So, USB cable's great for, you know, if you wanna charge your phone, you have the iPhone cable with the USB, plug that right into the glove box and connect your phone. This one here, a little outdated. It's the old iPhone connector from back in the day. If you still use an iPod, this is a good thing to have on hand. So what you'll do is run this to the glove box, this is of course optional. I find it to be easy just to run it any way just in case you ever do wanna plug something in that uses this style connector.
So, step number one, we're gonna remove the twist ties. Now, from in your instruction manual, if you open that up you'll notice that it says you can drill a 1-inch hole in your glove box to get these to run. I find that to be a little unnecessary, you don't really need to. There is sufficient access to the glove box without having to drill. So what we're gonna do, start with our iPod cable, pop our glove box. From here, you're gonna reach your hand upward and in while also simultaneously feeding these cables through. You feed it through, just find it with your hand and pull it out. All right. Once you find that just pull it all the way through and tuck that excess in the glove box. Now we have this wire behind our nav unit where we want it. Do the same thing to the USB cord. Now, for the USB, you wanna make sure you're using the female end, not the male end, to go to the glove box. So this is what we'll feed in. All right. So now you just wanna make sure your glove box still closes. Perfect. This is why I think it's a little unnecessary to do any drilling, because there's enough room back there that it doesn't get caught or snipped in anything.
Next we're gonna run our external microphone. This is great for voice control of your phone, making phone calls. Now what we're gonna do with this is run it, just like we went to the glove box, we're gonna go the opposite way and run it up the steering column and mount it right above our steering wheel. Not on the portion that turns, you wanna go behind that to the solid portion on the actual column itself that tilts and rotates. So, what we're going to do is unravel this, make sure you're moving that twist-tie, lower your steering wheel as low as it goes, just to give yourself a little more room, grab the microphone portion, and you're gonna feed it this way. Now, it's a tight space, but if you can just find your hand you can pull it all the way through. All right. Once you get this all the way through, you wanna make sure this area is completely clean. Peel off that 3M tape backing, and we're gonna stick it in place. You just wanna make sure you're just sticking it right on top in the center facing you, the driver. All right. Once that's stuck in place pull that excess through. Now there's a lot of extra cord, so what I like to do is just wrap this extra up with that twist-tie that we had before we started. Now, those can sit in here until we put our nav unit in.
All right. Next up, grab your main harness, we're gonna start plugging stuff in to get prepared for the back of the head. So what we're gonna do is grab this big connector and go straight to the big connector from the factory harness, those will clip in together. Perfect. The other end is gonna go to the back of our unit. Now you'll notice, on this main wiring harness there are a ton of extra wires that have caps on the end ready for splicing. These are for additional accessories that we do not have in our '06 GT. So they're things like AMP control, this one here is backup detection, so if you have the audio for that. There's also other things on the back of this, also, for additional speakers. The same thing is gonna be the case for this RCA harness. Now, this won't be used by guys who do not have additional speakers. If you don't have a subwoofer, an amplifier, or anything like that, you don't need this. I like to install it anyway just in case you do end up adding speakers in the future. This will be good to have preset in the back of your unit. Now, this will plug into the back of the unit. These RCA cables, the yellow, red, green, white, all of these will be used for your speakers. So, we're gonna go ahead and just install that in the back of the unit in a minute, but it's worth noting that guys who don't have speakers don't need this.
All right. So let's grab our unit. And we're gonna plug a couple of things in it first, I'm gonna put this right on my knee here. What you wanna do is grab the mic cable that we just installed over the steering column, and we're gonna plug that into the microphone slot over here on this side. All right. That's good. This cable here is gonna go to your iPod cable we ran to the glove box. So if you didn't run this, this isn't gonna be used, but we did so we're gonna plug this in. All right. Next up, the USB we ran the glove box, run that to the bottom. Now, there are two of these included in the kit. So if you wanna run both, you can, there's two slots in the back. Maybe it's better safe than sorry. If you wanna use one and have your passenger have one, you have that option. We're only using one for the purpose of this install but there's two in the kit. From there, you're going to take the larger main harness, I'm gonna plug that guy in. Notice these ports over here. There's one labeled RCA, one labeled TV, the other one is blank. TV, with those two, are not going to be used unless you have additional hardware that you wanna install with this kit. If you have an additional subwoofer, you're going to install one. If you wanna pre-install this harness, now's the time to do so. This is gonna plug in, of course, to the RCA input slot. All right. We don't have anything to plug into the back of this, so we're not gonna worry about that. Now, your radio antenna. For '07 and '08 Mustang owners, you'll use the adapter included in the kit. You'll plug the adapter into your factory harness back here and that will then reach to your slot, you have a different harness from the factory. Guys who have an '05 and '06 Mustang like we do here don't need that, just use the factory one inside the vehicle, so that's what we'll do. Because it's super short, that's gonna be the last thing that we install. From there, you'll notice there are a couple other harnesses up top. These are for cigarette lighter, your 12-volt, and these two are also for the factory trim panel, so we'll install those with that trim. There's a couplemore plugs at the back here. These are not gonna be used. One of them is there for things like your CD player, which doesn't get reused for this unit, so we don't need those harnesses, so those will just be empty back there. Finally, we have these two at the bottom, they'll also go to your trim panel. These two right here, that'll go to your yellow harness on the trim which we'll install and just a little bit.
All right. So we're gonna pop this back in. Remember guys, you want to install that radio antenna. It's really tight back there, you're not gonna able to see it. But you're gonna have to reach over, make sure the trim harness goes on top, grab the radio antenna and plug that guy into the bottom right of the unit. All right. Once that's inserted, line up your new unit to the factory holes. Grab those factory screws and tighten them down. Grab your 9/32 socket and tighten those guys down. All right. For the trim panel, I'm gonna pull our shifter back into 4th, just so it's out of the way here. We wanna tilt this downward and grab our harnesses from up top and plug those guys in. Gonna go cigarette lighter, just wanna line that up to how it clicks in place. All right. That'll click, and then attach the other two harnesses. All right. Top's connected, now we have to do the bottom portion.
Bottom portion is a little trickier because there's not a ton of room to pull the harnesses outward. This one that goes to your yellow clip here has a little bit more room but not by very much. So what we wanna do is connect that. All right. Once that's connected, gonna push up that gray locking tab, get that locked in place. The one on the left you're not gonna be able to see, it's very very tight. But what you wanna do is install the trim panel first and push it in as far as you can. Now there's an open spot on the left here where you can go in and grab the harness to plug it in. All right. Once you have that snapped in, set your trim panel back in, grab the three screws on each side and tighten them down. All right. So we have one last thing here to do, we just pop on our power outlet cover, if you still have one. From here, test your unit and then finish putting your trim back on on the sides as well as the center console.
All right, guys. Once you reconnect your battery to test your unit, just throw your key in the ignition, turn on your accessories, let it boot up, make sure everything's working properly, if not, you wanna go back in the system, figure out where wiring may have gone wrong, fix any issues, and we can move on from there. All right. So you wanna test out your radio functionality, make sure that sounds good, you can adjust your volume, use your home button, make sure your climate control, everything works there, AC kicks on, that's working well, you wanna make sure your hazard lights are working. So, really, just check every section there. These buttons will control your setup, you can put in your info, make sure that's good. Once you've verified everything, you can turn the key off, and we can finish up our trim.
Next up, grab your trim from the sides, obviously they're very side-specific. Just gonna snap them into place, it's pretty simple. Then finally your center console. Now this can be tricky. You wanna make sure you're doing e-brake first. Opening up that center console. All right. That snaps right back into place. Replace the two screws at the back, and then we can do our shift boot. All right. Shift boot. Again, you have to invert it, screw the shift knob in place, get that all the way tight before you can move forward. All right. From there, snap that back in, seat your shift boot all the way down, and you're good to go. Most satisfying part of the install here, make sure you're peeling off that plastic cover. All right. This little blue module is your Bluetooth module, this will plug into your factory OBD-II slot on your driver side dash. Once it's connected you'll see it blink, transmitting Bluetooth.
Well, guys, that's gonna wrap up my review and install for the Raxiom by Insane Audio plug and play head unit for the '05 to '08 Mustangs. If you wanna get yours, you can do so right here at americanmuscle.com.