...�. . . : : | | 2003 Passat Radio / Bluetooth / iPod Install | | : : . . . �...
My friend Bree just picked up this Passat as her daily driver and decided ... Show moreit was time for upgrades. She has 70 mile roundtrip commute as well as a side business as a professional masseuse and the factory radio just wanted cutting it. Bree is addicted to her iPod and does enjoy chatting on her phone.
Her Passat came standard with the double-DIN radio and Monsoon factory amplified sound system. Unfortunately, there really is no great iPod interface for the radio, as the radio doesn't display text and most of the VW interfaces treat your iPod like a CD changer rather than an MP3/multimedia device.
This means the radio can only support 6 playlists, each containing no more than 99 tracks (standard CD changer protocols). And with a "hands-free law" passed in the state of Washington, if Bree wants to talk on her phone while in the car, she will be required by law to use a handsfree kit starting in 2008. So my suggestion? Let's add a Pioneer DEHP-7900BT.
Pioneer practically designed this radio for people like Bree. The 7900 has built-in Bluetooth capabilities, meaning it can turn your radio into a hand-free mobile phone interface and it can also stream audio/mp3s from your mobile phone via the built-in A2DP protocol. Pioneer also takes iPod addictions very seriously. Although not built-in, the 7900 accepts the Pioneer ******* iPod adapter and offers high-speed iPod control, mimicking the iPod's clickwheel with its large blue back-lit rotary controller.
One thing to note: Her car does have factory steering wheel audio controls. A lot of folks assume these are lost when you pull the factory radio. NOT TRUE! Adapters are available to retain these controls. Some cars, such as this Passat, require to interfaces since the vehicle is equipped with a factory databus system. We are going to use the Peripheral SWIX and SWICAN for this install.
IN order to remove the radio from this and many other European vehicles, you'll need special Euro Radio Keys.
Technically for this radio you should pick up two pairs. But if you're smarter than the technology holding the factory radio in, you can do it with a single set.
Starting on one side of the radio, insert the keys into the slits in the upper and lower corners of the radio. The keys are labeled to indicate which direction to face.
(Hint: The long flat side faces the outside of the radio, the "arrow head" goes towards the inside).
SLOWLY slide the keys into the slot until you hear and feel them lock into place with a click. Using both keys, carefully pull the radio out just a little bit, so it's no longer locked into place (careful, He-Man, we're talking about an 1/8" of an inch). The radio is actually pulled out in the above pic; it's JUST enough to unlock it.
Follow the steps for the left side, except now you should be able to remove the radio.
"Unbuckle" the harness from the radio. Unclip th eantenna lead:
The harness is removed from the radio by lifting up on a little handle built-in to the plug. Neat!
The black plug is the actual radio harness. The blue plug WAS sharing real estate with the main radio harness, but I removed it because we'll need to interface this with the SWC adapter.
Also note the antenna plug is VERY different from most cars. VW has always used something other than a standard Motorola-style antenna, but this plug actually resembles a navigation or satellite radio BNC connector. You'll need an antenna adapter in order to install a new radio.
Here's a shot of the dash cavity:
Here's our wiring harness, ready to go!
Another to note on this car (and most 2001 VWs), they don't have an accessory power wire in the radio harness. This is another "benefit" of the CanBus databus in the car. You'll have to find an accessory power wire yourself. I tagged the accessory wire at the heat-seater switch (TEST YOUR WIRES WITH A MULTIMETER or TEST LIGHT FIRST!!)
(Note: A brown wire is ALMOST always a ground wire in a VW or Audi)
In order for the Pioneer's accessory wire to reach my new power source, I made my own accessory wire from bulk red wire. All I had as 22ga wire, so I twisted two runs together using my drill and finished off the ends in clear heat shrink. (sorry for the poor pic quality)
I spliced and soldered the wire into the OE harness, taped it back up, and fished the new wire around the cage into the radio cavity.
Make the connection to the radio harness. I prefer solder and heat shrink for most connections, but to each his own!
iPod Adapter Install
My next step was the iPod adapter. This is very simple install. Run your wire, plug into back of radio, done. No power wires to grab, no inconvenient translator box it hide. I did, however, want to keep the install stealth and keep her iPod out of the way. Since the radio controls and charges the iPod, there's no reason to keep it out in the open. I decided the armrest would be a great spot to run the cable, although the glovebox would work as well.
The storage tray is easily removed by gripping the edges with your fingernails or a small panel or staple remover.
I drilled a hole into the storage tray just large enough to accept the radio-side of the plug, but not large enough for the iPod side of the cable. Now the iPod plug won't accidentally slip into the armrest housing.
I ran the cable through the center console, fishing it up to the radio cavity for later connection to the radio.
Bluetooth Handsfree Mic Install
Since the radio is designed to also be used as a Bluetooth handsfree car kit, Pioneer also includes a noise-canceling mic. The mic should be mounted relatively close to the driver and Pioneer includes wire clips and a visor-mount clip to make your job clean and easy. However, that's not how I roll. :)
I like to put an individual touch to each of my installs. The Passat had a blank "dummy plate" below the passenger seat heater controls... This is where I chose to install the mic.
I removed the "grip" from Pioneer's mic-mount and sized up where I could fit the mic, using the grip for rear support. I marked my spot with the drill bit and made a nice hole.
(Again, sorry for the crappy pics)
I planned on securing the "grip" to the rear side of the dummy cover and gluing it into place. It fit almost perfectly except for a support spine for a mounting tab and a slight angle of the switch's shape. So I carefully cut a notch from the Grip's base to account for the small spine:
and then cut a slightly angled sliver on the opposite side to accommodate the angle of the switch:
Then I bonded the grip to the dummy plate using industrial plastic cement (a few good layers of Superglue will work too).
Once dry, I'll apply a little dab of glue to the mic and the "grip" to permanently secure the mic to the panel.
Steering Wheel Control Install
***COMING SOON*** Show Less