1st, I know this subject has been covered in many other threads but hereís my experience fitting a new head unit.
I had a standard Audio 20 (A20) head unit with a 6 disk changer (No HK and no external amp) but was very disappointed with the audio quality and so had considered fitting better speakers or a dedicated base speaker.
After talking with other members I was told that changing the head unit was easy and gave much better sound from the standard speakers with the rear speakers actually working!
I decided to go for the new Android 8.0 unit from IceBoxAuto as they were recommended by a few users. I was a bit disappointed with almost four weeks delay on delivery with them saying it was due to waiting for new firmware, their Tís n Cís say that the max delivery was 30 days and so in that sense I canít complain.. except the firmware is all from March/April and so they obviously just didnít have stock!
When it arrived, I opened the box and laid out all the part (see pic), I looked for some instructions but there werenít any! I looked again .. but no, not a thing!! Only a small pamphlet on using the unit once installed. OK I thought, Iím a practical guy and have fitted loads of tech in the past, how hard can it be?? As it turned out.. not very
Order of install.
1. Start the car, put the auto in neutral and turn off the engine with the handbrake on.
2. Lift off the gear selector cover (just pull it upwards gently)
3. Unplug the C/S wire from the gear selector
4. Lift out the centre console unit that has the roof and mirror controls (again just pull it upwards gently)
5. Now feed the gear selector plate through the hole it covered so that the console panel can be lifted to the side.
6. Open the lower tray, remove the 2 bung covers and T15 screws, pull out the tray.
7. Pull out the climate control unit and move to one side
8. Remove 2 more T15ís and remove the Hazard switch bar
9. Open the top tray or cup holder, remove the 2 bungs and T15ís, remove the tray.
10. You can now remove the 4 x T18ís that hold in the head unit.
11. Pull the old head unit out and remove the large power connector by rotating the clip that covers the plug.
Youíre now ready to start putting in the new unit.
1st you need to select the correct cable to interface with your cars wiring. Look carefully
at the 2 main cables supplied with the new head unit and see which pinout/cables match the ones going into the cars socket. Itís fairly easy to see the difference and just select the one that matches the cars pin location.
Now you have the correct interface cable, move the CamBus reader onto this interface cable (they only supply one reader and plug it onto one of the main interface cables, so you need to move it onto the cable thatís correct for your car and you're using).
Plug in all the other interface cables that came with the unit (it will look really complicated but theyíre just for loads of options like rear camera etc, most donít need to be used).
The only ones I used wereÖ
1. WiFi aerial (I just tucked this under the console)
2. GPS connection (I stuck this under the dash and it gets a good signal)
3. External Mic (I fitted this above the steering wheel as I found the internal mic very quiet)
4. 2 x USB cables (one for my iPhone and one for a USB key with music on, place these somewhere you can reach. I put them in the passenger foot-well netting area).
Lastly, thereís an aerial adaptor that needs 12v ignition power on its blue wire. I connected this to the blue wire coming out of the new radio on the main plug pin 9 which is marked 'aerial wire' , this is the only bit that wasnít ĎPlug n Playí as I needed to solder this. If you donít do soldering, you could tap into the cigarette lighter as thatís also 12v ign power.
Now just put it all back together in reverse order and youíre done. (Don't forget the C/S cable .. everyone does!!)
About 2 to 3 hours work all in.
Once installed, here are a few things Iíve found out ..
1. Donít switch on the Ďloudí option if you stream music from your phone, it kills the quality! Leave ĎLoudí turned off and just use the equaliser settings to change the sound quality to your liking.
2. Others have said about the glare and reflection off the screen. I ordered a ĎMatteí finish screen protector for an iPad and cut it to size using a sharp modelling knife (donít use scissors as this will bend the plastic). This has completely fixed the issue with reflection.
3. The sound quality is SO MUCH BETTER
why did Merc cheap out so much on the head unit??!
Was it worth it? Quite simply .. YES!
It really was easy to fit, but a few fitting instructions / guides really would have made it easier (This is why Iíve just written all this up!).
I now have a modern head unit with Bluetooth audio and streaming, CD/DVD/USB music options, Sat Nav and hands free phone calls plus the option to add other Apps if required.
Hope this helps anyone looking to do the same upgrade.