Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Peugeot Radio & CD Player

My CD player has been skipping a lot these days and it has been getting on my nerves. So I decided to take it apart and try to fix it. I guessed the laser lens is probably dirty or the guide rail has lost its lubrication.

To remove the player from the fascia, just insert four small screwdrivers into the slots at the sides.

The player is a VDO RD3-00, the type that has the car's VIN coded into its memory so that it won't play on any other car. More info at

ISO Connectors. Black for power, VAN bus data communication, etc. White for the four speakers. Blue for CD changer.

After opening the top cover, the fist thing I found was a piece of long hair wound around the disc clamp. This will definitely make a disc skip because it hinders the clamp's rotation. I'm not going to elaborate whose hair it was and how it got in. Removing the four screws shown in the picture allows removal of the CD transport mechanism.

The CD transport mechanism is connected to the main PCB by a ribbon cable. Gently pulling out the red connector will unhook the ribbon.

The amplifier is a TDA7385, giving out an average of 4 X 15W.

The main PCB. I think this is a good picture for the electronics engineer.

The guide rails looked dry. Since I did not have the right Torx bit, I could not remove the metal plate to get access to the guide rails and lens. Instead, using cotton buds, I dabbed some petroleum jelly onto the rails through the openings. Looking from the side, I also lubricated the screw gear. The lens can wait for another day.

Put some more petroleum jelly on the sliding mechanisms. Why petroleum jelly? It is the only lubricant soft enough that I have on hand.

After putting all parts back together into the car, the disc skipping problem is gone. Awesome!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Kicker ES60

Bought a new pair of speakers for my Peugeot 206. The Kicker ES60 is 6 inches in diameter and takes 195 watts peak.

Not sure about the polarity of the original wires, because they are unmarked on the original speakers, but a multimeter test indicated the brown/green is +ve and pink/black is -ve. The brown and black goes to a tweeter mounted near the side mirror.

Speaker fits nicely onto the mounting without leaving any air gaps.

Removed the tweeter near the side mirror and relying on the Kicker's tweeter instead.

Cut out a hole in the original plastic grille, to allow more sound into the cabin.

The Kicker's aggressive looking plastic grille does not match the interior, so the hole is covered with an aftermarket metal grille.

The original mid bass component speaker, used together with a separate tweeter.

Made by Goodmans UK, apparently rated at 20W.

Sound test verdict: definitely clearer and better quality sound, however lost a bit of bass thump. Perhaps the original Clarion RD3 head unit does not have enough juice for the hungry Kickers. Hmm... a subwoofer would help.