Welcome to the world of Saab ! Register
Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1

    Join Date
    14 Sep 2016
    2002 Saab 9-5 2.3T Linear
    Thumbs Up:   0

    1997-2005 Saab 9-5 H/K Aftermarket Stereo / Subs Installation Notes

    There are very few resources on installing aftermarket stereos, amps & subs in 1997-2005 Saab 9-5’s, so now that I’ve done it I thought I’d give a few pointers. I didn’t make a full tutorial because a lot of what I did was trial and error but hopefully what I can offer helps someone. This thread confronts vehicle-specific issues and is not intended to be a step by step guide.

    I have an ‘02 9-5 with the Harmon/Kardon 9 speaker audio package. To check which system you have, count your speakers and check here:


    The first thing I did was order a single din Pioneer head unit from Crutchfield and added their free accessories to the cart. Items included:

    • Pioneer DEH-X6800BS Stereo
    • Wiring Harness - Metra 70-1784
    • Antenna Adapter - Metra 40-VW12
    • DIN Removal Tools - Metra 86-561
    • Scosche SLC4 Line Output Converter

    Items ordered from Amazon & ebay:

    • PAC SWI-RC (Amazon): I ordered from here because the kit was about half the price Crutchfield offered it for.
    • CT24SA01 dash kit: ebay was about the only trustworthy, non-Geocities looking website I could find that offered this kit. Costs almost 50 ridiculous USD.

    NOTE: Most of the threads and videos I’ve seen up to this point have mentioned using Metra 70-1786 (RCA). Some have used Metra 70-1784 like I did and added RCA cables to it, while others have cut them off. I don’t understand why they did this, as RCA jacks weren’t needed in my car outside the aftermarket amp. These notes are based on my particular 9-5 with the 9 H/K speaker set.


    NOTE: Some of the steps I took I ended up undoing, but I’ll leave them in for now. I’ll explain why as it goes on. Read ahead before attempting. TL;DR You want your stereo to work right, right?

    The first time I installed the stereo all I did was connect the (Metra 70-1784) wiring harness to the one that came with my new Pioneer stereo color for color. I had to add the included blue/white wire to the to the wiring harness in the blue #7 slot in the picture below, and connect it to the blue/white wire on the stereo. (This is because the Harmon/Kardon audio package has a factory amplifier.) Do that and BOOM… you’ve got sound.

    Later in the installation I found that I was getting a little bit of distortion at higher volumes through my factory speakers. I found that the included Scosche SLC4 line output converter fixed the problem for the most part.

    NOTE that some of the wires aren't connected at this point. In image B the Red, Black, Blue/White wires were left disconnected because there are other wires from the steering wheel controls & aftermarket amp that have to connected to these too. I'll get to that later.

    The Scosche SLC4 connects between the new stereo’s harness and the (Metra 70-1784) wiring harness. You can adjust the gain and control distortion by turning the 4 dials on the 'Factory Amp Gain Adjustment' side. I left the 'Line Out Gain Adjustment' turned up. The sound is much better but still isn't perfect at this point. I may go back and do some tweaking on the 'Factory Amp' side. Wiring it was a little confusing because I had to keep looking between manuals, but in the end I found that these are the wires needed:

    NOTE: I made the above image in MS Paint. It reflects how I hooked it up in my particular Saab. Consult your stereo/SLC4 manual before connecting different stereos or devices.

    Steering Wheel Controls:

    Next I installed the PAC SWI-RC. Out of the box you’re faced with an octopus of intimidating cables but I found that after reading up on it, it was fairly simple to connect.

    The white wire on the SWI-RC needs to be connected to a blue wire (slot 22) on the SID.

    I used a wire splice connector like the one pictured below and it was fairly simple to connect. If you're not familiar on how to attach one, search for "wire splice connector" or "quick splice wire connector" on YouTube. I got a pack for about $3 at Lowes.

    The SID pops out fairly easy with the factory radio out. Just reach behind and gently pull from the back, or pry from the bottom and sides.

    Step 2: Remember the wiring harness where I left a few cables loose? Connect the red and both black cables from the SWI-RC to their appropriate color in between the two harnesses. Cut the purple loop and cap either end. That’s pretty much it besides programming it.

    I’d recommend watching youtube on how it’s installed in other cars just to get the jist of how it’s done. This video... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxSzae_k4lE ...is a good resource on how to install the controls. There is a lot of irrelevant information in it (as the process is different for different cars), and he solders where I used a wire splice connector... but the information in it translates over fairly well. Throughout the whole process I made sure to take precautions I felt like I could later reverse in case something didn't turn out right.

    Here’s a link to the instructions on how to install it in my particular car with a Pioneer stereo. Other stereos may be different:


    And here's a link to vehicle-specific installation instructions where you can select different options in case you're using a different stereo:


    End Result:

    Sub/Aftermarket Amp Installation Notes:

    Once you get everything in, sub installation is textbook. There’s no need for me to go into great detail over how they're installed because there are thousands of resources on how to install subs/amps all over the internet.

    I used this kit to install the amp (though any kit with power, fuse, connectors, ground, RCA, remote line, and speaker cable for your subs will work):

    I chose 4 gauge wire because it offers more power, boom, and I never wanted to have to run another one. Ha. 8 gauge is cheaper, thinner, and will work in a lot of other cases.

    **Note about blue/white remote line: It’s perfectly fine to add a second remote line for your aftermarket amp to the other blue/white cables on your wiring harness if your car already has a factory amp like mine.

    **Where we ran the 4 gauge power:Initially we couldn’t find a good place to run the power cable that goes to the amp. We finally found that there are small rubber drain plugs in the driver’s side floorboard. This requires lifting the carpet/padding. You’ll see a circular indention in your floorboard. After drilling a small hole, we were able to get the cable back into the car and ran it under the carpet, and behind the back seat to the trunk. Just make sure that the cable is properly secured/zip tied in the engine bay. If not I could see it slipping and dragging on the road.

    +1 for sad feels when someone dumped a 5 gallon bucket of brown paint in my road. At least we got it off the body.

    **Where we connected the ground: There is a bolt under the spare tire compartment that secures the bumper. This is where we connected ground. Just make sure to scrape the paint to ensure you get a good connection. Picture below.

    Other Thoughts:

    It's not a bad idea to go through this process with reversible precautions. I used wire nuts instead of soldering and would have been SOL several times over had I soldered on the first attempt. Originally I took this route because because I was unsure if everything would work together, but it still seems like a good idea because you'll most likely want to check to see if the stereo works before adding other other devices like steering wheel controls (They use the same connection points between the stereo & Metra harness). If you do choose to solder, I'd wait until the the project was fully connected and functioning properly.

    Connect wiring harness through Scosche Line Out Converter and connect to car. Connect steering wheel interface. Wire/install amp and subs. No, you don't have to buy steering wheel controls if you don't want them. No, you don't technically have to use the Scosche SLC4 to get sound, but expect some distortion at higher volumes if you don't.


    1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 '97 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 Saab 9-5 AS3 Prestige (Harman/Kardon) Single Din Aftermarket Stereo Radio Guide Tutorial Installation Notes

    0 Not allowed!
    Last edited by FlossBandit; 15 September 2016 at 13:45.

  2. #2
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
    Join Date
    30 Jul 2010
    USA - Netherlands
    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
    Thumbs Up:   134
    Great write-up and pictures, thanks for sharing that. While not a complete tutorial as you mentioned, I added it to the Tutorials section anyways as it will be a great resource for many wanting to do the same.

    0 Not allowed!

  3. #3
    Saab Enthusiast Kazamario's Avatar
    Join Date
    07 Jun 2013
    Wausau, WI
    2006 Saab 9-5, 2004 Saab 9-5 Aero; 2002 9-3 HOT Hatch
    Thumbs Up:   5
    We run the power wire along either side the interior, underneath the trim. Everything else is perfect. WI roads won't allow for a power wire on the exterior of the vehicle in the winter! Beautiful write up however!

    0 Not allowed!



Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
All times are GMT. The time now is 20:12.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.5
Copyright © 2022 vBulletin Solutions Inc. All rights reserved.