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soulbarn last won the day on December 25 2016

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About soulbarn

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  1. Here are some pictures. Notice my gorgeous phone holding system—a magnetic pedestal stuck to the top of the dash with double-sided tape, then secured (because it kept falling off) with some inartfully-applied Sugru. Classy!!!!
  2. So, to continue a reply to an earlier thread, and to fulfill a request to share lessons learned/knowledge gained, here's how it worked when I installed a Pioneer NEX-4200 (a carplay/android auto compatible receiver) in my 2016 TC XLT with the 4.3" screen (non-nav/non-touch) sync system. In a word, it was close to perfect. Here's what I needed: 1) The Pioneer NEX-4200 2) iDatalink's Maestro steering wheel control box, plus... 3) Their FO2 (Ford harness) and 4) Their SAT-1 Satellite radio antenna adapter. 5) A Metra Metra 99-5831G Double DIN dashboard adapter. 6) A Sirius Satellite Radio adapter 7) A Metra antenna adapter Model 40-EU10 8) A USB port that replaces the TC's 12v power port. 9) A microphone. My total cost for all this was about $250 (plus the cost of the Pioneer head unit, about $500 with rebate). That's pricier than most solutions—but I think it was worth it for reasons I'll explain below. I worked with my friend John, who owns Angel's Electronics—a car stereo installer south of downtown Los Angeles. John has done all my installs, and he's very cool about allowing customers to participate. How it was done: 1) Prior to install, I downloaded iDataLink's very clear PDF-based instruction sheet. 2) Also prior to install, you need to flash your Maestro module to set it up for your particular car model. The flashing process allows you to customize steering wheel controls and other features. The module won't work unless it is flashed; to flash you need to register with iDatalink, download their (annoyingly Windows-only) software utility, plug the device into your computer with the included USB cable. The thread I linked below—from iDataLink's tech support—states that this only works with Windows. This is true and not true. If you have a Mac, you can make it work using the Parallels emulation software—but not with a Windows 10 installation (or even using an earlier version of Internet Explorer in that installation; you mayu have better luck than me.) Instead, you'll need to create a new virtual machine using Parallels. The GREAT news is that you don't have to buy Windows to do this. You simply use the Parallels Virtual Machine Creation Wizard to install a free Windows development environment, choosing "Modern IE test environments" from the "Free Systems" menu; from there, you'll be given the option of a number of test builds—I chose IE 11 on Windows 7, since that's the one that folks seem to have the best luck with. Once it is installed, you simply plug the iDatalinlk into your Mac's USB port; then (patiently) wait for the running Windows system to recognize it and install drivers. After that, you can download the Maestro flashing utility (you'll need to be registered for this, and registration approval can take a few hours, so be prepared for a wait if you haven't already registered.) The flashing interface and process is very quick, visual, and self-explanatory. 3) Once you've flashed and assembled the harnesses to your new radio, you have to remove the old one. You pop the top cover off, then the Ford dashboard adapter, exposing the radio itself. The radio pops out with a few screws; you'll need to carefully fish around for the connectors to both the radio and the screen above. Follow the instructions on iDatalink's downloadable PDF documentation. Everything is very self-explanatory and I didn't have to do any major cutting or rewiring. The fundamental principle at work here is that you're doing to be disabling—that means completely disconnecting—the Ford 4.3" screen; the iDatalink will move all of Sync's functions (yes, that includes backup camera and backup sensors) to the compatible head unit (the Pioneer worked) of your choice. That leaves you with a blank screen above the new head unit. I've seen that some folks keep the backup camera wired to that, but iDataLink says this leads to problems, so I was OK with the blank screen, since it gave me a convenient mounting location for my giant phone (see attached pictures.) Note: there is a European-import double DIN adapter that allows you to remove the Ford display and replace it with a pocket; CarAV is the manufacturer. It is available on Amazon, but delivery times range from 30-60 days to the US, so I passed. 4) If you want satellite radio, you'll need a Sirius adapter; the SAT-1 antenna adapter allows you to use the built-in Ford Sirius Antenna, but the receiver itself is built in to the radio you'll be removing, so you need a new receiver. 5) To keep things neat, I pulled the Ford 12v/cigarette lighter socket and replaced it with a perfect-fit USB/Aux adapter from Rerii (about $10 on Amazon), wiring the USB and Aux inputs from the radio, down under the console, direct to that. 6) Once you've got it all wired, reassemble and you're good to go. Your steering wheel controls will work—all of them, in my experience—as will your LED console display (the one between the instrument panel gauges). However, there are a few caveats and gotchas and notes: One is specific to the Pioneer unit I chose. It has a motorized faceplate, and the Metra adapter has a little bit of a lip that created a hitch to the faceplate's movement, both when turning the radio on and removing the faceplate. The motor keeps trying to push the faceplate forward when it hitches there, so that's bad. I did a little careful grinding down—about a millimeter; no more, because you don't want a loose fit—and the hitch disappeared. Another minor gotcha—and I think this would be true for any radio, although different types of display might perform differently—is that the Ford's dashboard design angles the radio display slightly up. You can see it fine, but that makes it more susceptible to glare. On a sunny Southern California day, the glare almost made the screen unviewable until I went into the Pioneer's settings and disabled the auto day/night brightness setting, leaving it on permanent daytime brightness. That makes the screen better than tolerable on the sunniest days/angles, and perfectly fine when there's no direct sunlight (of course, at night, the damn thing glows like a Cape Cod lighthouse, but...). Another solution I might try is a strip of tint at the very top edge of the windshield. I might try it. I might not. Another point is that the Pioneer unit seems to offer two different means of connecting your phone for calls—it's internal bluetooth, and the still-operative Sync bluetooth. I haven't played with this, and had to install and external microphone since I use Apple's Carplay, which (at least for the Pioneer) is currently a wired-only connection. One very cool thing is the iDatalink compatibility—one of the adapters included leads goes to the OBDI port on the car; that allows the head unit to display all kinds of info (I'll post some photos of this in a bit.) Other iDatalink compatible receivers—from Kenwood, Alpine, maybe others - should do the same. Carplay and Pioneer have some known glitches—random resets and disconnects, mostly, which I've noticed more when using the Audible audiobooks app—but we're talking very low frequency. Once nice thing about Carplay, if you've got an iPhone, is that you simply plug in your phone and it works; no drilling through menus for device selection. This makes my wife, with whom I share this car, very happy. So, overall—a pricier solution than the factory adapter Metra/Axxess offers, but potentially with some additional and useful functionality. I can't say mine is better, since I haven't tried the Metra/Axxess system. User BetaDon has installed that system, to very good results, he says, including retaining the upper/OE display functionality. His account is here: Other Links: iDataLink: http://maestro.idatalink.com Metra Dash Adapter: http://www.metraonline.com/part/99-5831G Metra Antenna Adapter: http://www.metraonline.com/part/40-EU10 USB socket adapter: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00S6IO0NG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1 A tech support thread I started on iDataLink to get advice on this (registration may be required): http://www.12voltdata.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=323&t=16019 I'll upload some pictures in the follow-up reply. Questions and comments, welcome, of course.
  3. soulbarn

    Buckets or bench?

    And I read them all. Expecting some secret to be revealed, you know, like in each episode of Star Wars!
  4. Bought the front and rear set, but I've got rear buckets in the second row, so these don't fit. They're black, brand-new, for a 2016 XLT. I'll sell them for $45 plus whatever it costs to ship them to you (I am in Los Angeles). Thanks!
  5. soulbarn

    Buckets or bench?

    Just bought a used 2016 XLT—the six-seater, with the buckets in the third row. We'd have preferred a seven-seater, but they were tougher to find. Does anyone know about the compatibility/swappability of the benches for the buckets across different models/model years? Mostly I've seen the bench as the second row. If one can be changed for the other, what's the best way to find one of those benches (I'd be willing to consider a swap, btw. I'm in Southern California. The seats are black.) thanks!
  6. You know, my main goal is to get carplay working (I like it, my wife loves it). Don't current Fords have a new Sync system that includes Carplay? It seems amazing to me that this can't simply be purchased and installed as an aftermarket or dealer accessory. Has anyone tried to do this?
  7. I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the iDatalink/Maestro aftermarket radio adapter/steering wheel control. A pricier solution than Axxess, to be sure, but it appears to offer vastly more functionality. Info here, and I've also attached a screen shot of the relevant product page and documentation. Would love some thoughts... http://maestro.idatalink.com/product/product/product_id/102 Transit Connect iDatalink.pdf
  8. So confused. We just bought a used 2016 (with our VW Diesel settlement check!) and I want to transfer my Pioneer 4000-NEX (double DIN carplay system, similar to the above). I contacted Axxess, and they said: " At this time, we don't have anything that's going to give you the backup cam, as well as the interface and all your factory functions. For now, the best thing for you to do, is going to be to run the XSVI-5524-NAV, along with the ASWC-1. Keep the screen plugged in, as this is a data loop for the system. The interface won't work if it's not connected, nor will the ASWC-1 (through data). To get your backup cam, you can tag your wires on the factory side of the display connector." I didn't know what "tag" meant, so he explained: "As for “tagging” the factory wires, you’re going to need to splice into the factory wires, and solder an RCA onto them. This way you’ll keep that factory display connector in-tact for data transfer, and will also be able to retain your analog camera." Does this sound right to you all? It means no steering wheel controls, right? What other Sync features will I lose (I assume I'll have to bluetooth and Sirus via the Pioneer unit and an add-on mic/sirius adapter/antenna.) I'll have a pro install it, but I want to be sure that it'll all work—backup camera, sirius, bluetooth, etc. Any advice or alternatives would be appreciated greatly! Thanks!