Learn How to Install Headrest Monitors With or Without Integrated DVD Players in Any Vehicle
Qualitymobilevideo.com has put together a detailed set of resources to help consumers install all of the latest dvd headrest monitors in their vehicles. We have developed printable instructions and how-to videos to better explain the headrest monitor installation process.
We have put together a set of resources that will help you to install your headrest video system. We have also partnered with InstallerNet to offer nationwide prepaid installation services if you feel that self installation is too much for you.
Make sure to use our web forum where you can post your projects and ask questions to further help you through your installation.
Installing cut in headrest monitors in a Chevy Suburban
To remove your factory headrests you will need to use a allen wrench or right angle pick. Simply insert the allen wrench or pick into the hole on the side of the headrest post and pull the headrest up.
Checking for clearance and proper placement
Use the trim ring or cutting template to properly place your headrest monitor on the headrest. Makes sure to have at least 3/8″ of an inch from each corner.
Using a ruler cut your X pattern
After determining your placement with the template, start to cut you headrests from opposite corner to opposite corner. By cutting this way you will create an X pattern. Make sure to use a straight edge and start your cut 3/8″ of an inch inside of the corner.
Double check your X pattern
Once you have cut your X pattern you will need to verify that you have 1/4″ to 3/8″ from each corner uncut.
Cut the foam padding for mounting shroud
You will need to determine the amount of foam you will need to remove in order to have the headrest shroud mount flush to the headrest surface. For most monitors that is usually 1″ of foam that needs to be removed. Begin cutting the outline of the monitor.
Pull the material back to prevent accidental damage
Carefully pull the headrest material back to cut the foam out of the headrest. Cut in small step and check against the headrest shroud. It better to make a bunch of small cuts instead of one deep cut.
Check the depth of cut
Double check the depth of cut by inserting the headrest bucket into the headrest to determine whether or not you have removed enough foam. As a rule of thumb, we cut and extra 1/4″ of foam out in order to have the headrest bucket look slightly recessed in the headrest.
Run your wires and install the headrest monitors
Run your power wires through the seat an install you headrest monitors with adhesive or screws.
Pic 1: Surveying the area where you want to mount the monitor. In many vehicles with sunroofs they have a dome light where you will want to place the monitor. Make sure that you have an area that is flat. Make sure to check for a roof support that will carry the weight of the monitor by placing your hand in between the sun roof slider and the headliner. Check to see if you can feel a metal support. It usually looks and feels like corrugated card board with ridges and valleys.
Pic 2: Removing the dome light to check for reinforcement. Another easy way to check for a reinforcement plate is to remove the dome light To remove the dome light, you will need to use a pick or a small screwdriver to remove the lens. The lens is market with a small square cutout that indicates a place to pry against. You can also check your instruction manual for dome light bulb replacement for better removal instructions.
Pic 3: Pulling the dome light lens cover off. Some dome light covers have a plastic retain clip that holds them in. Using your pick, just unclip the lens clip to remove the dome light lens cover.
Pic 4: Pulling the dome light down to expose the the dome light wiring. Use your pick to carefully pry the dome light from the headliner. Once the dome light is removed you will want to check for a metal reinforcement plate. The metal sunroof reinforcement plate is where you will attach the monitor mounting bracket to the vehicle.
Pic 5: Locating the metal reinforcement plate. Looking through the dome light hole should expose the sunroof support bracket. This is the bracket you will screw the monitor bracket to. As you can see in this picture, the metal plate is a reinforced with a series of bends. The bends make the metal plate roughly 1/4 of an inch thick. When mounting the monitor bracket you will want to use screws that are shorter than the height of the reinforcement plate.
Pic 6: Placing the mounting bracket. Place the mounting bracket on the ceiling of your vehicle in a location that will firmly attach it to the sun roof reinforcement bracket. You will want at least a 2 – 3 inch overlap so that you can install at least 4 to 6 screws to firmly attach the mounting bracket.
Pic 7: Cutting the headliner for firm mounting. When doing installations locally, we always cut the headliner, this ensures the monitor mounting bracket attaches firmly to the sunroof support bracket. Many people have just attached the monitor mounting bracket sandwiching the headliner only to discover that the monitor will bounce as the vehicle moves down the road.
Pic 8: Exposed sunroof support bracket. This picture clearly shows the sunroof support bracket. As you can see, we have left two to three inches exposed to ensure the monitor bracket will attach firmly to the factory sunroof support bracket.
Pic 9: Tapping and drilling the factory sunroof support bracket. Before drilling or tapping anything, make sure to check behind the surface you are drilling. Make sure you are not drilling or screwing into factory wiring or plumbing. To prevent damage to the vehicle roof we place the monitor mounting bracket above the surface you are drilling to prevent accidental damage to the vehicle roof. Make sure to use a drill bit that is the appropriate pre-drill size for the tap you are using. We generally use a 10-24 machine screw tap and drill.
Pic 10: Complete all your final wiring and mount the monitor. Enjoy your road trips!
Pic 10: Here is a video documenting a full installation of a overhead dvd player in a vehicle with a sunroof. As you will see it is very similar despite being a totally different vehicle.