Welcome to Marvin's Guide to installing an MP3 (or auxiliary input) into your New Beetle

This install was done on a 2002 New Beetle with a Blitzsafe auxiliary wiring harness so I could utilize a 6gb Archos MP3 Recorder/Player. See end of page for links to vendors and manufacturers if you want more information or need to contact them with any specific questions.

The Blitzsafe wiring harness gives you 2 RCA inputs and fools your factory head unit into thinking that it is playing track one of disk one. All you need is to pick up an RCA to 1/8" stereo cable and dual phono plug coupler from your local Radio Shack and your all set to plug in your favorite MP3 or portable CD player.

This is the Blitzsafe VW/AUX Input Interface V.3 that plugs into the back of the head unit in place of the CD Changer controller harness. Their tech support tells me that it will work with New Beetles 1998-2002, and I believe that they said that it didn't matter if it was Monsoon or not...you can email them and verify this. Follow Blitzsafe's instructions - have ignition and radio off during installation.
...And this is the poor unexpecting Monsoon head unit we are getting ready to fool into thinking that it has a CD Changer.
...And this is my MP3 Player.

Now that all of the introductions are over...

You are going to need to get a hold of the removal tools from your VW service department, borrow some from someone or build a set out of a hacksaw blade (I really read that last statement on a website...personally, any item that has the word "hack" in the name doesn't come anywhere near my NB).

Just a suggestion (thanks to my wife) since the NB has such a soft surround, it is easily scratched. I used some painter masking tape to mask the opening around the radio before removing - then you need to be careful of where the head unit hangs.
...You will notice I didn't mask it the day before and there is slight marring at the top right under the vent...I had mine replaced under warranty because the dealership gouged it the day before...
Here is a shot of the back of the radio. The blue connector is the one you are replacing. It is a harness that takes the 12 wires to the back of the car - where the factory CD Changer harness is located.
First test run of the Blitzsafe harness...you will notice that the harness is rubbing against that vent...ah ha! I have found the perpetrator of the scratches in the earlier shot.
Rule #1: If you look at the blowup pic of the harness at the top of the page you will notice 2 RCA's and a black wire...that is the ground wire...it MUST BE GROUNDED in order to complete the circuit and allow the interface to work...or you will get this lovely message.
Here is a shot of the top of the radio showing it's wiring harness layout.
Another shot of the top...
Grounding the system: I used a set of RCA Monster Cable that has a 3rd wire like the harness - connected the RCA's to the harness and the ground to the harness ground. I fished the cable down behind the head unit to the floor then across under the trim for the shifter into the area where the emergency brake is located. I used another wire to add length to the 3rd wire and attached it to a bolt that secures the arm rest to the chasis, as in the photo above. (black wire that snakes around is the added ground wire.)
Here is a bad shot of the head unit being "fooled" into thinking it is accessing a CD Changer
All that bulky stuff can now be hidden from view. (looks like Marvin is angry here!)
1st install with MP3 player - you will notice the RCA Monster Cable and a Radio Shack adapter to complete the connection.
I decided that the 1st adapter set up was too restrictive and I couldn't easily change tracks and read the display so I changed it out to this configuration: RCA to 1/8" stereo cable and dual phono plug coupler.

Here is the final setup. Plenty of room to pass the MP3 Player back and forth. Sure beats the heck out of only 6 CD's worth of songs.

Currently I have 1,492 files/songs on my MP3 player and am only taking up 4.5 gb of space.

Links:

Archos - MP3 - Player/Recorder/Multimedia harddrive

RCA Input.com - the online vendor I purchased mine

Blitzsafe - manufacturer of the wiring harness

To contact me: Antoine De Hon

Antoine's/Marvin's website

Just a note:

Blitzsafe also produces an interface that plugs into the factory harness in the truck (VW/AUX Input Interface V.3A)- but I had no success with this harness. If you can get this harness to work installation would be much easier - I didn't want to remove the radio, originally.

Updated 05.07.2003
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