Jump to content
   
Beta Don

Installing Aftermarket Radio/Nav Unit

Recommended Posts

If anyone has any info on where to tap into the VSS signal. the Back-up signal and the Parking Brake signal for 2014 and newer TC's it would be great to post that info here.  I've done fairly extensive Internet searches and haven't found a clue.  Maybe someone has a Factory Shop Manual with that info?

Thanks!

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

No shop manual but I do have the wiring diagrams for the 2015. Didn't find a reference to the speed signal but here's the page that includes the backup signals.

 

DSCN0249.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And here's the parking brake info

(BTW: Attachments and photos since the forum upgrade is driving me nuts. Sometimes allowed, sometimes not. I keep having to try different methods until something finally works)

large.DSCN0248.JPG.eae9ef0fee53862a7b816

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you!! I really appreciate it

 I found a book like that for my 2014 on eBay  -  I'm gonna need it going forward I can tell

Don

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are you installing?  Your new unit does not come with a vehicle specific installation kit?

 

Your new unit does not have a harness, that you can then pair to the OEM harness?

 

Check with Scosche and Metra.  They will usually have everything that you need, from the new dash, to connection harness, to antenna adapter.  

 

fd6211ddb_ford_transit_connect_dash_kit_

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is the Metra dash kit is the one I used, but the $75 'plug and play' harness which mates with the OEM connectors in the van does away with the back-up camera on the OEM screen and that's not acceptable.  When you use that harness, the screen shows only the time. date and temperature

I now have the book of Wiring Diagrams and will be wading through that for the next month or so.  Hint  -  It contains more than 15 pages with dozens of wires on each page just for the ground connections and more than 200 pages which illustrate the connectors.  Everything you need to know is in that book, if you can find it!

For those of you looking to buy the book  -  I think it's about $65 from your Ford dealer, but I found one on eBay for $16 with free shipping

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting information in regards to the Metra harness eliminating the backup camera.  

I suspect that with the cars of the future, so many items will be tied in with the vehicle head unit, that aftermarket units will affect the performance of the vehicle.  The next generation of vehicle could very well come with a touchscreen head unit which allows for control of everything from cruise control, to oil life monitor, to diagnostic trouble codes, perhaps even security.  Imagine having to enter a pin code on your touch screen before you can start your vehicle.  Almost all of your switches, like headlights, wipers, turn signals, et cetera could be operated from a touchscreen.  

 

The days of wiring up your own 8-track HiFi are numbered.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎9‎/‎19‎/‎2016 at 9:29 PM, Fifty150 said:

The days of wiring up your own 8-track HiFi are numbered.

 

True  -  Most things in our TC are controlled by the CanBus  -  It even turns the audio system on and off and not a +12 signal from the ACC switch like in the old days

Won't be long and every wire under the dash will be replaced with fiber optic glass strands  -  When that happens, aftermarket accessories will be nearly impossible to install

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Well, the aftermarket will have to adapt and catch up.  I'm sure that an entire industry is not giving up.  The future technology may make it even easier to upgrade our electronics.  The aftermarket may provide simple flash loading upgrades to factory installed head units, or perhaps even easier to install "plug & play" replacement head units.  Head units of tomorrow may very well provide the nexus of your driving experience.  I want a car that I can lock, unlock, start, and provide entertainment, navigation, and peripheral support via a smartphone.  Your smartphone should be a wireless key.  Surely, the technology exist to integrate our phones to our cars.

 

I can recall the days when you actually had to figure out which wire went where, then splice and connect everything.  In today's world, I only have to use an OEM compatible harness.  

 

Aftermarket electronics are not going the way of Disco & Quaaludes.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, for 2014 and up TC's, the easy way to install an aftermarket radio with Nav is to buy the Axxess XSVI-5524-NAV harness for $50.  This gives you the Vss Nav signal, the reverse signal, the parking brake signal and it retains RAP  (Retained Accessory Power) so the radio stays on after you shut off the key until you open a door like the factory radio does.  It allows you to keep the OEM back-up camera on the TC's upper screen, but it does NOT give you steering wheel controls.  They do make an accessory harness which plugs into the XSVI-5524-NAV which does add the steering wheel controls.  I didn't buy that accessory so I can't comment on how it works

This harness makes it MUCH easier than trying to wire it up yourself. I went that route with some success, but never did find the Vss signal, nor did I have RAP  -  When you turned off the key, everything went dead.  I *like* this harness much better!

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good info, thanks. I have some issues with my factory HU, such as sometimes missing sound from the speakers, fine after the next engine restart, sometimes phone buttons on the steering wheel don't work etc. The dealer "reset" the head unit but it didn't fix it and considering their sub-par performance servicing my old TC I bet they will not fix it at all. So I might need to go aftermarket some day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were debating on how and where to install a good GPS unit (not easy on this van with the dash designed the way it is) and then we like playing music either from our phones or a USB stick and our OEM radio didn't allow for either, so we opted for the Pioneer AVIC-6100NEX and that solved both issues.  It has a good touchscreen GPS that is visible even in bright light.  Now that everything's working right, we're pretty happy with the install

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After having used different GPS units, in-dash and portable, my preference is for Garmin units.  

Obviously, in-dash units cannot be removed if you need to walk around.  20 years ago, there was the worry that someone will break into your car to rip it out of your dash.  And it's not as easy to update the maps, so as roadwork is done, you're getting the wrong information.  

Not perfect.  Nothing is.  But when your GPS loses signal, shows that you're 100 yards in the water as you're driving along the waterfront, shows that you're in the middle of the water as you're crossing a bridge, has you off by a block as you're driving through an alleyway, routes you into turning left where there's no left turn, instructs you to make 4 right turns to go around the block in order to get 80 feet behind you,  brings you the wrong way down a one way street, tells you to turn left when you should turn right..........

 

The real disappointment with Garmin is that the batteries are terrible.  So if you're looking for something that you can walk around with, it won't work with a dead battery.  For mos of you, it won't matter, but I like the Garmin trucking features, and the multiple languages.  Almost every Garmin also offers Bluetooth so that it operates as your car's speakerphone.  

 

For my Transit Connect, I'm using a tablet computer with a free app.  The tablet also functions as my music player over the OEM speakers, monitors my OBDII port, and even makes phone calls.....again, all with free apps.  In addition, I can surf the web anytime I want, all at my fingertip and mounted to the dash.  Then I simply put it in my pocket as I exit the vehicle......no worrying about break-ins. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The OEM radio in our van didn't have a USB connection  -  If it had, my choice for something to navigate with and play music may have been different.  We would probably have just stuck with our old tried and true Garmin GPS even though plugging and unplugging it every time you get in and out of the van has always been a real pain.   If we had a USB connection (like we do now) playing music from a phone or a USB stick is the easy way to go, of course.  Our other, older cars both came with the USB option on the standard radio  -  Our TC did not, so some sort of an upgrade was necessary

I bought a touch screen Garmin Nuvi 550 about ten years ago for use on my motorcycle nd I'm still using it today.  It's waterproof and has a built in replaceable battery.  On the bike (or in the car) I always used it plugged in,  but I also use it on battery power when touring new towns on our Segways  -  It's great for finding your way around a town you've never been to before.  The battery lasts 6 to 8 hours and I carry a spare in case I need to go longer.  I can recharge the batteries either from car power, 120 volts or from my laptop.  I update the maps every year by installing a new mini SD card I buy on eBay for about $20.  It's as close to a 'do everything' GPS as any I've owned, but the screen is pretty small. For the van, I wanted something built-in with a larger touch screen so I don't have to remove it every time we leave the van  -  Leaving a GPS or a tablet locked in the van is an invitation to thieves, whereas the built in Pioneer is useless to anyone if it's stolen.  The maps in the Pioneer are also easy to update by downloading them and installing them from a USB stick

To each his own  -  We all have very different 'solutions' to the same problem  :)

I scanned the forum for tips on how to go about upgrading to a Nav system and when I didn't find anything here,  I posted my findings on the easiest (I think) way to upgrade a late model TC to a built-in Nav unit for those who aren't fortunate enough to have the top of the line Ford Nav system.  I hope this saves a few others some time and trouble  -  I originally bought an aftermarket harness for my install and it did away with my OEM back-up camera and that wasn't a satisfactory solution, at least not for me

Don

Edited by Beta Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems like the electronics on these new vehicles is getting so sophisticated, that it's a real headache to do anything.  I'm glad it worked out for you, finally, after a little experimenting.  You're absolutely correct.  Hopefully, your post will save others a lot of headache and heartache.  

 

We're just a bunch of owners trying to do-it-yourself.  What do they do at aftermarket upfitters?  What special advantages or special tools do "the pros" have when it comes to installing aftermarket electronics?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With a couple thousand miles on my TC I am very disappointed in the Sync system. I was stunned after purchase to find out I can't install a sat radio tuner (REALLY?). I thought, OK, I'll just adapt and start streaming and playing music from my phone.

First off, the Sync system is even worse than Apple's Siri when trying to get voice command response. Frequently, Sync can't even understand me when I'm driving slowly down a quiet road with all windows up, in total silence. I will make several retries and typically give up in a shouting disgust and use manual controls. And control of music on a phone is so basic as to be almost useless. There is really no meaningful interface of the phone's music content, as there is from the phone and it's apps.

I installed a premium phone holder on my dash, but must reach out at arms length, my hand waving around and my eyes off the road, to do almost any music management on the phone itself.

My trade-in was a 2011 Nissan Frontier (with a premium touch screen head unit added after-market). This platform, of which I have owned two, goes back at least ten years, and is really another generation. So I was excited at the potential promised by the new Bluetooth-capable, voice-controlled concept of today's technology. Wow! Yeah...Wow!....What a disappointment! (my disappointment was more understandable when I found out Microsoft designed the system)

What I now understand is that, basically, aftermarket is over in the electronics department. What you get is what was in the vehicle when you drive it away. Anything aftermarket will be a trade-off that removes some degree of factory functionality, probably at a premium price. There is so much about my TC that I really like, but if I had known when I bought it what I know now, I may not have made the purchase. This has been a real education - to suddenly step into the world of auto connectivity, only to find that the implementation is still sadly lacking, and the promise is still just that. AND I NO LONGER HAVE THE OPTION TO ALTER IT ON MY OWN!

Edited by tcconvert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Voice control has never worked well and will not for a long time, before the AI gets to the level where the computer is able to undestand abstract thought, not just compare one audio waveform to another.

Starting at 4:30

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, tcconvert said:

 

First off, the Sync system is even worse than Apple's Siri when trying to get voice command response. Frequently, Sync can't even understand me 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not referring to A.I. I'm talking about using the commands indicated in the instructions. I.E.: "Play Bluetooth audio"   There are frequent occasions when I can repeat that three or four times, and Sync keeps responding..."blah blah, is that correct?" And no.....that's nowhere near what I was saying! And no, I do not have a speech impediment, and I enunciate quite clearly.....even when I'm shouting at the damned thing.

I always shout in multiple directions because I have no idea where the mic is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's exactly what this Top Gear clip is about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, tcconvert said:

With a couple thousand miles on my TC I am very disappointed in the Sync system. I was stunned after purchase to find out I can't install a sat radio tuner (REALLY?). I thought, OK, I'll just adapt and start streaming and playing music from my phone.

<snip>

What I now understand is that, basically, aftermarket is over in the electronics department. What you get is what was in the vehicle when you drive it away. Anything aftermarket will be a trade-off that removes some degree of factory functionality, probably at a premium price. There is so much about my TC that I really like, but if I had known when I bought it what I know now, I may not have made the purchase. This has been a real education - to suddenly step into the world of auto connectivity, only to find that the implementation is still sadly lacking, and the promise is still just that. AND I NO LONGER HAVE THE OPTION TO ALTER IT ON MY OWN!

Welcome to the present.  ANY VEHICLE PURCHASED TODAY IS "What you get is what was in the vehicle when you drive it away."

The TC is   f a r   from the being among the more advanced vehicles being sold today. The center "nav" screen/radio has become the de-facto access point to the on-board electronics and subsystems of the car.  BMW primarily, but other high end marque owners have been the guinea pigs for the total electronic control of vehicles for the last 15 years - remember the initial offering of I-Drive from BMW?  My 7-series BMW (pre-iDrive) nav system quit (due to a trunk leak) rendering my otherwise fully operational radio/CD system inoperative - it would play two minutes exactly and then shut off. Couldn't change the station, no CD, no screen at all.  This was a 2001 - 15 years ago!!  Had the nav system failed in the iDrive cars, I doubt the car would have driven at all - if lucky, limp mode. Yes indeedie, this is the near future for the "normal" cars. Many are already there. Thankfully, the cargo vans, like the TC, have lagged behind the passenger segment.

Even base models are afflicted with this technology - and more to come - the lane assist, automatic braking (scares me TO DEATH) many mandated by the government.  Not buying the TC would not have saved you unless you plan to keep your Frontier  (think about the name and the advancing technology - almost a pun) until your death.  ANY new vehicle will have at least the current level of intrusion.

Funny, the two most maligned features that cause vehicles to fall in ownership polls - Infotainment systems, and automatic transmissions. 

By time the car is (re)designed, the electronics have to be at least five-years old to have been part of the testing cycles required to put one on the road.  What did your 5-year-old phone look like?  By time the vehicle reaches its design end-of-life, how antiquated are the electronics within?  We live in a electronics age and are used to 6-12 month development cycles. Your vehicle, even the uber-expensive ones, with state of the art pieces are five-years old. How old are the designs that filter down to something like the TC?  Even the reports of the MB Metris slam the "infotainment system" as being an "older generation".

frank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess that's all the more reason to buy the stripped down model and then install whatever you like afterwards  -  You get a more modern unit which is easily upgradeable and in the end, it still costs you less money than paying the ridiculous option price for the factory Nav/Infotainment system

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, kxrf said:

What did your 5-year-old phone look like?  

motorola-dynatac-8000x1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×