Steve's CR-V Audio/Security Page

Steve's CR-V Audio/Security Page

The Honda CR-V seems to be gaining quite a following on the internet, in places like on Usenet, and probably other newsgroups and services. Since the news servers I use don't carry this group, I usually follow it by searching for "CR-V" on dejanews.

One of the popular topics has been the upgrading or replacing of the factory audio system, and another has been the installation of an alarm system. In the interest of helping others benefit from what I've learned, I decided to put together a page describing what we did with our CR-V.

CR-V Audio

I decided right from the start that the factory stuff had to go. The stock deck is an AM-FM radio and puts out about 3 watts. The stock speakers are paper coned drivers (though the front speakers also have "whizzer" cones... Boy, that must've cost then an extra ten cents!)

I purchased an Alpine 7830 CD/Receiver (4x35w amp built-in) from Sean at Century Stereo. The deck has a removeable faceplate, and is one of the ONLY decks I've seen (of late) which has a rotary encoder (knob) for a volume control. Since I was determined NOT to get a deck with up/down volume buttons, this was important. As it turns out, it was an even bigger issue for me than the fact that it has green illumination (as opposed to the CR-V's orange dash illumination). And, although the deck has four pre-amp outputs, I'm happy (for now) with the job the built-in amp is doing.

Sean was extremely helpful in deciding what to purchase -- it was nice to meet someone who has been dealing in Alpine equipment for MANY years and actually knows their product line. If you're anywhere near San Jose, I recommend you talk to him before you buy, especially if you're interested in Alpine and/or A/D/S car audio equipment. Century Stereo is located at 620 S. Bascom Ave., near 280 & 880, in San Jose. Their phone number is (408) 998-7474.

Sean also set me up with some awesome Alpine 5 1/4" coaxial speakers for the front doors, and some less expensive Alpine 6 1/2" coaxial speakers for the rear. I would've liked to put 6 1/2" speakers in the doors, but they just wouldn't fit without major modifications to the door plastics. Since I wasn't interested in paying for these major modifications, I had to live with the smaller speakers in the front. In the end, though, the system sounds great!

The actual installation work was done by CarAcoustics in Campbell. You can reach them at (408) 866-1250. Sean recommended them, and I have to agree, they do nice work. I actually spent the day there while they did my install (their first CR-V) and I'm very happy with the results. Evidently they work on a lot of BMW's (and other expensive cars) - there were two M3's in the shop the day I was there.

For the curious, the CR-V has a "standard" Honda audio connector, so the usual Honda wiring harness adapters will work just fine. Unlike the Civic, you won't lose any other car features when you pull out the factory deck.

I may put some pictures up someday...

CR-V Security

Since I also have a 1990 Integra GS with an Alpine stereo and alarm, I decided to put an Alpine alarm into the CR-V too, to protect the car as well as the Alpine system I installed.

Since I'm short on time and sleep (for now), I'm going to just paste in a bunch of alarm thoughts and ramblings that I've collected. I'll straighten it out later, I promise...

First, some comments on the Honda Security System. It's not very clear from the published accessory information what each of the "pieces" includes, so let's look at each one:

The Security System ($199 retail, $495 installed, if is referring to the same thing as my dealer's accessory list) is the main alarm "brain" along with two remote controls, a disarm/valey switch, and a blinking LED which mounts in the steering column. At the least, this requires the Attachment kit (below), and optionally supports the siren kit and hood switch kit (below). Without the siren kit, the alarm (presumably) just sounds the car horn when it goes off. It offers keyless entry (press once to unlock the driver's door, twice to unlock all doors, a second button unlocks the hatch, and there is a panic button). It also flashes the lights when the alarm is armed, disarmed, or activated. [Disclaimer: This information is from what I've read, since I didn't purchase this system but rather installed my own Alpine 8027 along with the following Honda options.]

The Security System Attachment kit ($65 retail) consists of a mounting plate for the Honda alarm unit, along with four relays that plug into the factory wiring. I haven't fully identified what functions each relay serves, but I'm relatively sure that one is for the "unlock only the driver's door feature", one is for the starter interrupt function, one is for flashing the parking lights, and the final one may be for activating the horn in the absence of a siren kit.

The Security Hood Switch ($35) is a VERY nice hood switch that mounts to the radiator bracket. It plugs into the Siren Kit's wiring harness (see below), and is therefore somewhat useless without the Siren Kit (unless you intend to connect it to a non-Honda alarm, in which case you could wire it yourself). This switch beats the hell out of the typical "drill a hole" pin-switch.

The Security Siren Kit ($113) includes a siren and bracket, along with a nice wiring harness, shielded in black plastic split-looming (for that factory-wired look) that connects to both the siren and the hood switch, and includes a grommet that goes into an existing hole in the firewall, and connects to the Honda alarm. The Security Siren Kit *ALSO* includes a short wiring harness that is designed to plug in between the factory harness and the Honda alarm, with a third connector into which the under-hood (siren/hood switch) harness connects.

To me, this short wiring harness was worth the cost of the siren kit, since I chopped off the Honda alarm connector end of it, plugged the other end into the car, and used it to connect to my Alpine 8027 alarm right into the CR-V.

As mentioned, I purchased the siren kit, hood switch kit, and attachment kit to use in conjunction with my Alpine 8027 alarm. My goal was to not have to cut or alter any factory wiring, and this was completely achieved by using the short adapter plug included in the siren kit. I did make a note of the part number on this cable since it would serve as a great starting point for anyone who wants to install a 3rd party alarm, but as I understand it, this cable is not yet available as a separate service part. For now you have to purchase the siren kit.

The way I see it, if you were to go "All Honda" you still would want to buy these extra security "options". In my case, I bought the Alpine alarm instead of getting the main Honda one because I wanted the added protection of having a dual-stage impact sensor (which is not included in the Honda alarm). Also, I want to purchase another Alpine alarm "brain" to act as "car 2" on our remote which will be connected inside the garage to open/close the garage door with the same remote that controls the car.

We did take some pictures while doing the installation. I hope to post these soon.

Installing the Honda alarm is definitely more straightforward (no cutting, crimping, or soldering involved, though it will still take you a good day or so to put it all in), but for the adventurous folks out there, it *IS* possible to install a third party alarm, and you don't have to touch any of the stock wiring if you don't want to. Of course, if you don't mind tapping into factory wiring (which is most likely what places like Circuit City and Good Guys will do), then all you really need is the pinout of the factory alarm connector. I'll include that information here shortly...

That's all for now - hope this helps, and check back soon for updates...

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Last update: 01/01/00 - Updated Century Stereo link.
Previous update: 12/27/99 - Moved this page to its new home at
Previous update: 4/3/97 - First version.
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