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Thanks for the info, ramblerdan. I went back to the DR table and had a look. It would seem that if I can remove the two knobs, the buttons are in a tray that will pull out easily. But from the picture you posted, it would appear that everything from that circuit board forward will come off.

BTW I'm horrible with this stuff. I just don't have the touch...I'll break something trying to remove it. But I figured if I'm going to buy a new HU anyway, what's lost if I ruin the original?

So getting the trim bit wasn't difficult and, with care, I was able to get the face plate off. I can kinda see how that front piece attaches, but getting it off is another issue.
 
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Wait!......Wait!

I don't think you'll be able to get the CD out without ruining the head unit.
Not true.

You could try using a paperclip to try and hook the CD, but I don't think that's going to fix your problem.
I don't think so, Tim.

You'll be amazed at how readily the major components of the EX HU come apart
BINGO!

The biggest difficulty is prying out the plastic surround before you can even get at the radio mount. That sucker is in tight!
No. Remove the console bezel first, give yourself some access.

Disassembly commences with lifting the trim piece that goes all the way around the head unit. Right?
WRONG! Remove the console bezel first.

I'm pretty sure I don't just dig in with a screw driver. What's the best way?
Remove the console bezel by sitting in either front seat and placing eight fingers around the radius of the lower console bezel. Two photos needed to show finger placement. Use all eight fingers.




Pull straight up. It may hurt your fingers, but it won't hurt you E. Slide your fingers along the bottom to unclip the opposite side. Once the bottom is loose, gently lift the sides and finally the top. If auto-trans, select N. Disconnect Hazard and Heater Control. Now, you are ready to remove the Audio Unit.

DISCLAIMER:From this point forward, I'm basing my solution on prior experiences NOT including Element.

It seemed to me that the best approach would be to remove the faceplate, which I have successfully accomplished.
Bad choice. There should be a top cover to the Unit. I'd start there. Remove the top cover, and what you'll find I'm clueless. I'm guessing either a PCB, or the CD drive mechanism. From the top of the Audio Unit, by gently poking and prodding various mechanical angels, springs, sliding actuators, turning small motors..etc, you should begin to see how the eject drive works. Then figure what jammed and unjam it. The discovery of how or what to move to manually actuate the eject mechanism could take awhile. DON'T force anything. If it jams, find out why. Eventually, you'll eject your CD, I wish.

I've been successful with this technique many times. I've removed VHS tapes, cassette tapes, both automobile and home units, CD's, DVD's, etc...They all have something in common. The box has a top. Remove the top first. The Element Audio Unit should be no different.

Good luck. PM me for my ph. no. I may be able to "walk" you through it.
 

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Not true.
Bad choice. There should be a top cover to the Unit. I'd start there. Remove the top cover, and what you'll find I'm clueless. I'm guessing either a PCB, or the CD drive mechanism. From the top of the Audio Unit, by gently poking and prodding various mechanical angels, springs, sliding actuators, turning small motors..etc, you should begin to see how the eject drive works. Then figure what jammed and unjam it. The discovery of how or what to move to manually actuate the eject mechanism could take awhile. DON'T force anything. If it jams, find out why. Eventually, you'll eject your CD, I wish.

I've been successful with this technique many times. I've removed VHS tapes, cassette tapes, both automobile and home units, CD's, DVD's, etc...They all have something in common. The box has a top. Remove the top first. The Element Audio Unit should be no different.

Good luck. PM me for my ph. no. I may be able to "walk" you through it.
Thanks for the input. You can kind of see in the faceplateless HU that there's a piece of metal a few mm below the upper outer case. Probing with a knife, it seems to be a shell within a shell. It's hard to see in there but it seems like part of the assembly is attached to it.

BTW I did remove two screws from the back, hoping that top would just slide off. No dice.

I think I'll bite the bullet and have a new one installed. But my brother, who's pretty handy with these things, may be able to fix it when I see him at Christmas.
 

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Thanks for the offer NBPEX---that's a very clean unit---but I too have gone another way:

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c222/rhythmace/Clarion003.jpg

Here's the link to full info:

http://www.clarion.com/us/en/products/2008/audio/source_units/cd/DXZ385USB/us-en-product-pf_1172385079029.html

$236.xx installed, out the door @ Car Toys.

I suppose you could order it from Amazon @ $99, get the harness kit and dash kit for $30...they had to install 2 x RCA to the subwoofer as well. Add some S&H and the full install might have cost $75 but it was done in an hour. I figured it was worth the install $ to be able to return and complain if it wasn't done right, have it fixed.

Sound? Fantastic. Wow. Just...wow. I was afraid that with 50W x 4 it wouldn't be as powerful as the original but it's better. I don't want to turn it up full blast with the original speakers though maybe I could: it sounds very clean. FWIW the installer said his wife has an E. He said the original HUs aren't really as powerful as they advertise.

Some upgraded features: USB connection for iPod supposedly charges it while playing. If I had an iPod, I could verify that. It will also accept flash drives...how cool is that? Then there's also a plain ol' 3.5mm jack for other non-iPod stuff. And it has a remote which I actually like b/c the controls on the panel are stiff.

Now I just have to read the manual to figure out all the features. Thanks for all the advice etc.!
 

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Update on the Clarion...

Although they hooked up the sub with RCA jacks, I'm not getting much out of it. The installer said that the levels on the original HU are set higher than what most aftermarkets use. He said an in line amp would boost it...about $50 installed. Hmm. Maybe my bro and I can install one later.

Flashdrives for the stereo are kinda kewl. I bought an 8 Gb and a 4 Gb at Circuit City today for under $30. Obviously that's a boatload of storage.

The bad news is that finding the song you want is a big hassle. If you make a folder for a group (e.g. Beatles) and put all the Beatles albums in there, it won't be able to open them. Allegedly it will work with an iPod and I'm meeting up with a friend tomorrow---I don't have one but she does. We shall see. If I do ever buy one, it's nice to know that I don't have to buy an Apple if I don't want that brand...it has the 3.5 mm jack and a USB.

BTW the installer said it would play off a computer; the manual says it won't. Supposing it did, I would think a laptop would give you mondo control over choosing files, storage, yadda. :cool:
 

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I am having the same problem with my O3 Element. It says there is a disk in it, but I really do not think there is one in it. I had ejected a cd, then tried to put a new one in and all-of-the-sudden it wouldn't take the new disk saying that one was already in...frustrating.
 

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The roller is slipping. Common symptom on many players. Part of wear and tear. it needs to be cleaned, possibly replaced.
 

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Mine is still having the same problem and I now just use another CD to put a little down force on the one inside the unit and it comes right out.:)
 

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CD stuck in factory head unit...is my HU fried?

I have the premium factory head unit (w/sub), when I tried to eject a CD a few nights ago, it made some sad noises, then nothing (readout said "DISC EJECT" I think). Now, nothing happens when I press the eject button (no noises, nothing at all), and I can't even select the CD option on the head unit, only AUX is available (everything else works fine but CD). I've searched the forums to no avail, even tried ejecting with the power off as an earlier poster recommended. Nothing.

Is my head unit toast? Any suggestions?

:-(
 

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Welcome, HillbillE. Search term "eject" returned eight threads, now merged. See if any of the posts above help.

P.S.: No_Code offered a very helpful suggestion in post #23 above, almost two years ago. Because people keep starting new threads instead of searching for existing ones, it got buried. There are other photos and tips elsewhere in this thread.
 

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Thanks for the help, RamblerDan. I did my best to search the forums first, and found some of these posts, but I'm not certain they apply in my case.

I've tried the "turn the car off first" tip to no avail, also applying downward pressure on the CD while ejecting. But I don't think my issue is the same.

I'm getting no response whatsoever when pressing eject, there's no noise, no readout, no effort at all, so it's not as if the eject roller is slipping. I can't even get the CD selector to work, only the AUX is available. Curiously, the CD light is still lit, indicating that there is a CD in the player, but it makes no effort to eject, nor will the CD player activate in any way (display indicates AUX only).

I'm curious if there's some sort of reset function? If all else fails, I will try disassembling the CD, but this seems like a last resort in my case. Perhaps this additional input will help with a diagnosis.

Thanks again for your help. I'm hoping to avoid replacing the factory head unit (the only stock head units I was able to find online were priced around $550-!). I'm fairly pleased with the sound overall (though I've considered new speakers & tweeters for a bit crisper sound), and love the clean stock look over a shiny new head unit. Any input is greatly appreciated.
 

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Try to push another cd in, and the other one will eject itself 80% of the time. :)
 
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