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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is about replacing the radio in a 2014 CRV EX with iMID and HandsFreeLink, without Navigation or a factory amp. It should cover similarly equipped 2012 - 2014 models. This is post install notes that someone considering replacing the factory head unit might find useful. Sorry if it is a bit rambly, and some things might be obvious, but I wanted to put in the answers to questions that I came up with while deciding if I could tackle the project myself.

This is my first real car audio install. The one time I installed a radio before, there was just wires for power and speakers. I just stuffed the radio in the hole in my dash left when the original radio was stolen, not caring how it looked.

While I was working, the negative side of the battery was disconnected. The one exception was when I tested before putting the dash back together, but I disconnected again before even moving the radio after testing. Without doing so, you run a risk of doing something to disrupt the air bag sensors. Fixing them can be an expensive endeavor.

I installed a Pioneer AVIC-8100nex, and did so without cutting into any of the vehicle wiring. To do that, I initially tried a Connects2 CTSHO006.2 Steering Wheel Control Interface, the only one I could find with a harness to the HandsFreeLink (HFL) Steering Wheel Control wiring. However, I seem to have received one with old firmware, as I could not set the clock. You can find them on Ebay direct from the UK (cheaper with current exchange rate), where they are made, and hopefully have newer firmware. I switched to a Pac-Audio RP4-HD11, and did not bother with getting the Connects2 sorted out, me being in California and them in the UK.

For the wiring connections, I used solder and heat shrink to connect all the wires. The Connects2 has a female ISO connector on it, so I attached a male ISO connector to the Pioneer harness rather than cutting the connector off the CTSHO006.2.

When I swapped to the RP4 I connected the female ISO connector to the RP4 rather than removing the male ISO from the Pioneer harness and connecting directly between the two. I soldered the brake, speed, and reverse directly to each other between the RP4 and Pioneer. I also moved the 32 pin harness to the SWC phone button wire on the RP4.

I could have connected all the wires from the RP4 directly to the Pioneer, except the SWC phone wire, but I had the parts so I used them.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connectors_for_car_audio for the wiring diagram of the ISO 10487 A and B connectors if you don't know about them. The Metra 70-1784 is a male ISO, with the Accessory and Power colors reversed. All the other wires color match the Pioneer. The A Connector of the Metra only has power, accessory, ground, and illumination, which is the same on the CTSHO006.2.

The Pioneer wiring and several of the RP4-HD11 wires do NOT color match.

To round out the parts list, I also used a Metra 40-HD11 antenna adapter, a Scosche HA1714B dash kit, a HDMI cable, and a USB extension. The 8100nex comes with only a single USB extension, and I wanted access to both USB ports.

I connected the blue wire on the antenna adapter to the blue/white system remote control wire on the Pioneer.

Tools used were soldering iron, solder, and heat shrink. A 10 mm wrench to disconnect the battery. Assorted pry tools ($10 from Amazon), Phillips and straight screwdrivers. A flashlight to see inside the dash.

The total disassembly of the car so far has been disconnecting the negative battery line, removing the two air vents, the radio, the cover plate surrounding the shift lever, and the left kick plate in the passenger foot well.

I have not yet properly run the mic, and will likely need to remove the cover panel on the pillar on the driver side of the front windshield, and probably a driver side footwell kick plate or two, to get the mic to the rear view mirror. In all the install documentation I've found for running various devices to the mirror, all use the driver side, not the passenger side.

I tried connecting to the factory mic, but didn't have the correct pins to add to the HFL harness.

The USB and HDMI cables are in the passenger footwell, and end between the seat and center console. I could have put any of them in the front glove box without opening the dash further.

I have not yet found a CD-RM10 to connect the factory Aux, but was going to by adding the connection to the 24 pin harness. The one star reviewed item on Amazon claiming to be a CD-RM10 is not. The ground is in the wrong location, so you can't even use it by swapping around the RCA colors. I might try putting together a standard stereo 3.5 mm connector to pins salvaged from the 24 pin harness from the CTSHO006.2.

You can find YouTube videos showing the basics of how to remove the radio if you want to see it done before starting. Pry out the air vents on either side of the radio using a wedge in the top seam. Freeing the two clips in the upper corners is the key. The vent assembly comes straight out toward the rear of the car. Once the vents are removed, there are two screws, one on each side, holding in the radio. The face plate of the radio is also secured by clips on the top and bottom edges, so can take a good bit of force to get out after removing the screws

Be warned, pull the radio out only 1-3 inches to first disconnect the hazard light switch. You can then pull it out further to get at the back of the radio to remove the remaining connectors.

The difficult part, that I could not find any real information about before hand, is disconnecting the HFL connector. The location of the unit is behind the base of the shift lever, engine-ward and down a little. The only way I could get to it was by taking off the trim around the shift lever. Not the black piece with the P, N, D, etc. but the next piece out if you think of it as a circle with the lever at the center. To start removing it, I reached in through the hole where the radio was, and pushed the panel from the back to disconnect the first clip at the top corner. I then used wedges to get it out the rest of the way.

Once I had that cover off, my hand didn't fit through the opening to disconnect the connector. I used one of the pry tools to press down the catch on the connector, then a long flat head screwdriver (with tape on the tip to not scratch/damage anything) to gently work it out by pressing on a little lip on the connector. Had I not been able to do that, I likely would have had to perform some major disassembly of the dashboard to reach it, or find someone with MUCH smaller hands. Removing the center console might give access to the HFL, which I will be doing in the near future.

To retain the phone steering wheel controls, you need to connect to one wire. One end is in the steering column, and the other in the HFL connector. Pac-Audio says to connect to the steering wheel end, Axxess to the HandsFreeLink end. The Connects2 CTSHO006.2 has a harness that connects to the HFL connector. I was able to get the connector to poke out just enough of the open panel in the footwell to connect the harness. I moved that harness to the Pac-Audio when I switched to it. If I had not had that harness, I would have either needed to disassemble the dash a great deal more, or take apart the covers on the steering column. There isn't enough room to work to connect a wire without the harness with just the one plate off no matter the size of your hands.

Once I had everything apart, I moved the hazard switch to the new faceplate. I routed the USB and HDMI cables down through the footwell opening. The USB cables are coming out underneath that panel, as there is enough of a gap for them to fit. They are running along the bottom of the center console, and are hidden by the floor mats (Honda OEM all weather). The ends come up between the passenger seat and center console. They are not too obtrusive there, but I will probably move at least one of them into the center glovebox. The HDMI cable I have is too thick to fit under the panel, so comes out over it. I've not come up with a good solution for it yet, and it is just sort of there in the footwell for the time being.

The GPS antenna is inside the dash. I placed it on a metal support strut that runs front to back, located down and right from the opening made in the dash when the radio is out. I made sure to route the wire below where the air vent runs when put back in. GPS is getting great signal reception there using just the strut, I did not use the metal plate that came with the antenna. I first tried placing it on top of the radio, but there is no space for it to fit when in the dash.

I connected all the remaining harnesses, then reconnected the battery to test. Everything was working, so I disconnected the battery again, stuffed the wring behind the radio, and put everything back together in reverse order.

After the install I lost the compass, easy reverse camera angle change, audio information display on the iMID (it says "Audio Off" at all times), the factory mic, and factory Aux connector (but might get the last back).

With the Pac-Audio, the steering wheel controls work for both the iMID and radio, and can set the clock. I can access all iMID menus, including the service menu (where the not easy reverse camera angle change is located). I can import iMID wall paper from a USB stick.

Getting the harnesses soldered together took about 2 hours (I am slow, it probably could be done in less than an hour). The disassemble reassemble took about 4-5 hours, which included changing out the interface, and a couple minor interruptions.

One minor note, it seems that the illumination output when the headlights are in auto mode and headlights on is not correct, as the 8100nex goes to normal brightness when in auto mode, even when the headlights are on. It does dim to night level when the parking lights or headlights are on when in the regular on position.
 

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Pioneer only supports a single backlight dimming level - it does not support variable dimming. If you connect the orange/white wire from the RP4 interface harness to the orange/white wire on the pioneer headunit harness then the pioneer *should* dim when the headlights are turned on.

Nice write-up BTW. Thanks for posting this.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Pioneer only supports a single backlight dimming level - it does not support variable dimming. If you connect the orange/white wire from the RP4 interface harness to the orange/white wire on the pioneer headunit harness then the pioneer *should* dim when the headlights are turned on.
The illumination wire is hooked up, the Pioneer self diagnostics sees it, and the radio dims both when the parking lights are on, and when the headlights are on with the switch in the "on" position. In my (one and only) test so far, when the switch was in auto and the headlights were on, the radio was NOT dimmed.

Edited to add: the Illumination lead is direct from the car harness. It does not pass through the RP4-HD11. It is a Honda problem at the moment.

I am going to test it again tonight to make sure the headlights really were on when it was in auto. If I am correct, it is only annoying, as I can just flip the switch when the lights come on in auto mode if the screen needs to be dimmed.

Nice write-up BTW. Thanks for posting this.
Thank you. Considering the length, I would not blame anyone for not reading it. I was thinking of putting the info on accessing the HFL into a separate post, as that was the one thing I could not find any detailed information in advance on. "Disconnect it" and "in front of the shift lever" were the two pieces of information I could find.

And thank YOU, as information you posted here helped with my install a great deal!
 

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Ah, now I understand. When the CR-V is set to 'auto' headlights, Pioneer doesn't follow. Sounds like a bug in the RP4 firmware - we should report it to PAC Audio.
 

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Wow awesome write-up. I am planning to do the exact same Pioneer install on my 2014 CRV, mine has the 7 channel amp w/sub but it should be very similar. A couple of follow-up questions:
1. Is the Pioneer connected to the factory USB in the center console or did you just install another USB somewhere else? If it's the factory USB how did you connect it?
2. Since you switched from the Connects2 to the PAC, I got a little lost with how you did the wiring harnesses. Is it possible to just install the PAC without additional harnesses? Or is there an easier way using additional harnesses?

I've done a couple of stereo installs before, but I'm looking for the simplest "plug-in" method with as little splicing and soldering as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
1. Is the Pioneer connected to the factory USB in the center console or did you just install another USB somewhere else? If it's the factory USB how did you connect it?
The factory USB is still connected to the IMID system. I left it alone so I could import new wallpapers.

At the moment, the USB are coming out into the passenger footwell, and running between the seat and center console. I have since learned how to take apart the center console (I think), so I can run them into there. I will post that info as a separate comment in this thread.

2. Since you switched from the Connects2 to the PAC, I got a little lost with how you did the wiring harnesses. Is it possible to just install the PAC without additional harnesses? Or is there an easier way using additional harnesses?
You can connect all but one of the PAC wires directly to the Pioneer wires. You do not need the extra ISO harness I added to connect those together.

The 32-pin harness I moved from the Connects2 to the PAC is for that one wire, and only to connect the steering wheel phone buttons. This is NOT the volume, track, source, etc., those work without that extra wire, this is just the Answer, Hang Up, and Voice buttons. The wire in the 32 pin harness is the same wire that the PAC instructions talk about in the steering wheel column. The 32 pin harness connects to the behind the dash end of it, to the harness that was connected to the HFL unit.

I was not able to find the 32-pin harness as a stand alone purchase, but I stopped looking after finding the Connects2 without having explored all the possibilities to find one.

If you have those buttons, and don't mind cutting into the CRV wiring, you do not need the 32 pin harness. You will need to take apart the steering wheel cover panels, or much more of the dashboard than I did, to get to it to splice in.

The combination of reducing what I needed to take apart, and not having to splice any existing Honda wires, were worth the price of the Connects2. With the exchange rate at the time I bought everything, it was about $60 shipped from the UK, purchased via Ebay.

I might have been really, really, really lucky on getting the harness out of the HFL by poking it with sticks, and you might need to take apart more than I needed to. Removing the center console might give access, and that now looks easier that taking apart the dash.

The speaker wires on the PAC come with male RCA connectors on them, and the amp output on the 8100nex are female RCA. That will save you from soldering 8 wires.

One side note about the PAC and the Pioneer Voice function. Do not assign a Long Press function to the button you use for Voice if you have a iPhone. You have to assign the Voice function as a short press, but hold it for a long press to invoke Siri. It might also work having the Voice function being a long press, and holding it even longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Editing after having actually removed the console. Thanks gman737 for help as well!

This is in a 2014 CRV EX that does NOT have NAV, Heated Seats, Factory Amp, or Rear Entertainment System.

For routing my USB cables, I found this post:
http://www.crvownersclub.com/forums/24-do-yourself-mods/42842-2012-4th-gen-rear-usb-charger-mod.html

I am extra cautious (paranoid, you might say) and disconnected the battery since wiring is disconnected when opening this up. If you have RES, there are extra steps I don't know.

You need a flat head screw driver taped to prevent scratching, Phillips head screw driver, 10 mm socket with extension, pliers, and the usual panel removal tools.

There are 5 bolts (10 mm), one screw (Phillips), and two wire harnesses that need to be disconnected.

Remove front and rear floormats.

Take off the footwell center kick panels in the front of the console on both sides, both have 2 pins and clips. Drivers side has a hinge like flange at the front.

Remove the pin on each side revealed at the front of the console after removing the kick panels.

Remove the rear panel of the center console, clips around top and sides.

Remove the two bolts revealed.

Open the console glovebox, and remove the rubber mat from the bottom, it isn't attached.

Remove the two bolts and one screw revealed.

The 5th bolt is behind a small cover behind the shift quadrant, just above the center console cup holders. The cover is held by 4 clips.

The two wiring harness connectors are on the driver side, revealed when the footwell kick panel is removed. They are connected to each other and clipped to the center console. Detach the clip holding them to the console by squeezing the tabs with the pliers, then move the console backward to get at them. The release catch for one of them is between the two connectors. Use a flat head screwdriver to release it.

One you have everything disconnected, fold the armrests up, then put both seat backs all the way back to make the seats as flat as possible. Move the console toward the rear of the car, then lift up the front and angle it out.

There is plenty of room to pass wiring through the console to the center glovebox. If it is there, stay clear of the brake cable adjustment that is under the console when routing cables.

Reverse the steps to put it back together.

My choice was to purchase the cupholder assembly for the model with the RES, which has a heated seat switch on either side. I pulled out the two switches, and put bulkhead USB/HDMI cables in place. I will be filling in the gaps with Sugru

The cupholder details, $20 from my local dealer:
Holder assy., cup *nh167l*
Part Number: 83403-T0A-A11ZC
Color: (GRAPHITE BLACK)

It comes with the garnish, switches, and power port already installed, you don't need to buy them separately.

To get the cupholder replaced:
Remove the top trim (clips all around).

Remove the screws from the top of the side panels.

Carefully bend the sides of the panel out and remove the four screws revealed that are holding in the metal bracket at the front of the cupholder. Also remove the one screw attached to the cupholder.

Remove four screws in the corners of the cupholder.

Disconnect the harness from the power port.

Reverse the steps to put it back together.
 

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Thank you for the feedback! I know I rambled a bit. I have edited that section, so hopefully it makes more sense now.
No worries, I'm a little slow, it was probably me and not you :)

Thanks for following up with the dis-assembly. I wanted to ask you how you took everything apart. They don't print a service manual anymore, makes it difficult to figure it out.

You should post some pictures of your project, I bet it looks awesome!
 

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For routing my USB cables, I found this post:
http://www.crvownersclub.com/forums/24-do-yourself-mods/42842-2012-4th-gen-rear-usb-charger-mod.html

From the pictures, it looks like this is how to remove the center console.
...
Take off the footwell center kick panels in the front of the console on both sides, both have pins and clips.
Remove the pin on each side revealed at the front of the console after removing the kick panels.
Remove the rear panel of the center console, clips around top and sides.
Remove the two bolts revealed.
Open the center glovebox, and remove the rubber mat from the bottom, it isn't attached.
Remove the two bolts and one screw revealed.

The wiring harness connector is at the front that needs to be detached on driver side, revealed when the footwell kick panel is removed.

I think that is it, but there might be something hidden under the panel that is held in by the screw that was under the rubber mat. But with the four bolts connected to the frame, there probably is not. Once the console is detached, it looks like there is plenty of room to pass wiring through the console to the center glovebox. Stay clear of the brake cable adjustment that is under the console when routing cables. To give you a rough location for it, it is located behind a panel in the center console under the rubber mat.
I am currently installing the USB cables into the center console and I have a few install "notes".

First, you can't access anything until you unbolt center console from the car. I made the mistake of trying to disassemble it while it was still installed. Doesn't work that way. :rolleyes: You don't have to take the whole thing out of the car, but you have to unbolt it so you can get to everything.

There are 5 bolts securing the center console, no other hidden clips or screws. Four are as you described. The 5th one is behind a small cover behind the shift quadrant, just above the center console cup holders. The cover is held by clips, very hard to remove.

Once the bolts are removed, there are 2 harnesses to disconnect, they are on the driver's side at the front of the center console. They were tricky to disconnect due to limited visibility.

Once the center console is loose you can disassemble it further to get access to whatever part you need to. This is illustrated in the post 2012-4th-gen-rear-usb-charger-mod.html. As you suspected there is plenty of room to route whatever cables you need to, and lots of spots inside the center console to mount them. Outside, not so much.

I am replacing the charging plug by the cup holders with a USB cable to that goes to my stereo. This was really the only spot on the outside of the center console that I could mount anything like that. Here is the part I am using: PAC USBCBL 6-Feet USB Cable with Mounting Bracket Getting the charging port out was a pain, and the PAC doesn't fit in the hole securely, so I am using plastic epoxy to hold it in place. I will post pics when I am done.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you very much for the info! I updated the comment with the new info.

Presuming all the parts arrive, I am going to try again this weekend. I've ordered a replacement cup holder and other fiddle parts for a CRV model that has the heated seat switches on either side and the power port in the middle. My plan is to put a PAC USB CBL on one side, and a bulkhead USB/HDMI on the other in place of switches, if I can get it to look nice.

If not, then I switch to what you are doing with the PAC cable and the other goes inside the center glovebox.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Had a change in plans today and managed to get "phase two" done. Pulled out the center console, and replaced the cup holder assembly with one from an EX with heated seats. In place of the seat heater switches, I put a USB on one side, and a combo USB/HDMI cable on the other. Still have the factory power port in the middle. I will update the earlier comment about the center console removal instructions with a few more notes from today.

Got the factory Aux input working by putting some wires from a different harness into the 20 pin connector and hooking it up.

Tried out the factory mic again, better than my first attempt, but the quality still wasn't there. Siri kept miss hearing me when I was sitting in a quite garage, so no chance if I was driving. I stuck the Pioneer mic to the roof panel and ran the wire around and down the A pillar and through the dash.

Updated the firmware on the PAC while I had the dash open, but the Auto dimming still doesn't work.
 

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I am planning to do the exact same Pioneer install on my 2014 CRV, mine has the 7 channel amp w/sub but it should be very similar.
I apologize if this is a stupid question. I'm assuming the 7 channel amp is part of the head OEM unit that was removed, and not a separate unit?

The reason I ask, I'm getting close to finally getting the JL Audio Stealthbox and Amp and having it installed. Curious about how some of the 2012's have an amp and some don't.

http://www.jlaudio.com/car-audio-stealthbox-honda-cr-v-generation-4
 

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I apologize if this is a stupid question. I'm assuming the 7 channel amp is part of the head OEM unit that was removed, and not a separate unit?
The reason I ask, I'm getting close to finally getting the JL Audio Stealthbox and Amp and having it installed. Curious about how some of the 2012's have an amp and some don't.
All 2012 or newer CRVs with the premium sound system (sub under the seat) have an external amplifier that is not built into the head-unit. these are typically the EX-L (or Touring) models.
 

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Question for you, did you hookup your backup camera to your 8100nex?

I'm a little confused on the connects2 deal, so you bought the unit but never returned it because some of the harnesses made it so you didn't have to cut into the cars wires? Did you use those harnesses for the pac hd11?

You you wired the USB/HDMI through center console how did you get them to come out in a nice professional way? Also is the HDMI just purely for mirror link or what else can it do for your iPhone?

Lastly, did you use the cars internal mic or the one that came with the Pioneer? Which one is better and how hard is to to place it somewhere good?

A few photos of this process would really help us understand what it looks like (I'm a visual learner).
 
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