Installing a Sony XAV-AX6000 Headunit in a FD RX-7

The FD RX-7 comes with a “double DIN” opening to house a radio. I put double DIN in quotes because there is a small separator between the two single DIN slots that prevents you from just installing any regular double DIN housing. Furthermore, if you were to browse for headunits on popular websites like Crutchfield, you will notice that they only show you single DIN units as compatible. I wrote this small article to help those out there that want to use a double DIN headunit, and more specifically a Sony headunit. Fortunately, if you’re in the market for a Pioneer headunit, you’re pretty much covered by the rest of the internet on how to install it.

I grabbed the Sony XAV-AX6000 mainly because it has a capacitive touch screen, support for Car Play (note: wireless only), support for Android Auto and lastly support for a reverse backup camera. There are other options from Sony that offer similar features, and you can grab whatever you want, I assume they will work just fine.

The other nice thing about the XAV-AX6000 is that it is a single DIN unit with a double DIN screen, so theoretically you could plop it right into your existing single DIN slot and call it a day, but it will protrude quite a bit and leave a sizable opening on the bottom :)

You’ll notice, if you spend time searching around, that there isn’t a dedicated cage/housing for this unit, for the FD. In my research, I’ve found that a lot of people tend to rely on the Pioneer ADTVA133 2 DIN Installation Kit because it just happens to fit the FD’s opening perfectly. Since the kit is meant for Pioneer headunits and we’re working with a Sony one, we have to make some slight concessions that don’t really end up mattering.

When you receive your headunit, you will notice that it comes with some mounting screws. When you receive the Pioneer installation kit, you will notice that the sides of the outer cage are solid and that there is very little tolerance between the cage and the mounting plates. The mounting screws that come with your Sony headunit unfortunately are not compaitble with this installation kit specifically because the screws have a protruding round top. You can force the headunit in, but you will have bulging on the side and the trim piece will no longer snap into place properly.

When I first encountered this issue I thought of three solutions:

  1. Cut a hold in the side of the cage to allow for the screws to protrude freely. I didn’t have metal cutting tools available to me, so this wasn’t a super attractive option. However, if you do have a dremel or something, then this should be a fairly easy quick fix.
  2. Shave down the tops of the screws so that they’re more flush. This doesn’t seem like the best idea but theoretically it will work.
  3. Buy new mounting screws that are flat. This is the most painless solution.

I ended up buying new mounting screws. The screws that come with the headunit are M5 ISO screws, but pay close attention to the side of the headunit because it will tell you that the maximum clearance you have per screw hole is 9mm. So we need M5x9 (or slightly smaller) ISO screws. I grabbed these from Amazon and they worked great.

Once you have the screws on hand, you will only be able to use one of them per side, since the holes don’t exactly line up to the Sony headunit. This is ok, however, because the headunit itself mounts onto the cage with four screws on the front, so it will be solidly mounted. Tighten down the screws on either side quite well to the point that you cant move the mounting plates, and you should be good to go.

In the car, if you haven’t had a double DIN headunit ever installed, you will have to snip the middle trim piece out. If you had a very clean stock car like me, this will pain you a little. Just note that you could always re-attach this trim piece with some epoxy in the future, so hold onto it, especially if you sell the car in the future.

After you snip the middle trim piece, you can insert the cage and bend the tabs outwards to lock it into place. Then you can just slide your headunit in, screw in the four front mounting screws, pop on the trim piece and you’re done!

Hopefully this helped you figure out the things you need to install a Sony headunit into a FD RX-7 easily and cleanly.