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Old 01-20-2009, 04:07 PM   #1
elwray
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Lightbulb Kenwood DNX5120 installation summary

After gathering LOTS of info from this site (thanks for all your help!!) I decided on installing a Kenwood DNX5120 in my 2009 WRX.


I figured I'd post this here so if someone does a search they'll get this info all in one place.


I'll break this post down into:
-Equipment/Tools needed
-Install
-Review
-Afterthoughts

Equipment I purchased to make this happen:

Kenwood DNX5120 Head unit ($600 shipped, al-eds.com [authorized kenwood retailer])
Kenwood KCA-iP300V ($30 shipped with HU)
PAC SWI-JACK ($60... can probably found cheaper on eBay, but I got the newest version of the unit)
Scosche NN04B/NN04 Nissan Wiring Harness ($10)
Scosche SU2027B/SU2027 Subaru Dash Kit ($20)

There are also Metra options for both the wiring harness and Dash kit available; seems to be the same price.

The basic electronics tools (soldering iron, wire strippers, etc) and installation tools (screwdrivers etc) were on hand. I also have a collection of electronic connectors that came in handy such as splice-in connectors and ring terminals.

Installation

I got most of the info for the installation from this thread.
Pin out information came from this post.

I appologize ahead of time for not taking pictures of this. There were PLENTY of pictures in this thread so I figured taking more pics of the same thing would be overkill. Unfortunately, the pictures aren't working there anymore!?

First, disconnect battery! Then removed the stereo bezel trim. For me this required nothing more than prying it off with my fingers from the corner. Others have had to use a "tool" to do this..

From here I had 6 screws, 3 on each side. The top 2 and bottom 2 hold in the stock head unit (remove), the middle 2 hold the bracket for the iPod adapter (leave these in for this step) Slowly pulled out the OEM stereo and just unplugged all the connections and set aside.

The things I unplugged as as follows:
-Power/speaker wire harness (the main plug)
-ipod adapter input (black plastic harness)
-auxillary jack input (8 pin connector)
-antenna (90 degree cable)

Then I removed the iPod mounting bracket, and the iPod interface. One end of the interface unit was connected to the OEM stereo, from the other I unplugged the iPod cable that goes from the center console to the inside of the dashboard.

After this I was ready to hook up the wiring harness to my Kenwood Head Unit.

WIRING HARNESS

I had some discrepencies here. I hadn't seen this on other posts about the 2008-09 stereo, but there was an intermediate wiring harness between the one described in the pin-out thread and what was connected to my stereo. I BELIEVE this was the connection for the factory Subwoofer under the driver's seat. Either way, I didn't mess with it or trace it anywhere except to verify that the colors and locations described in the pinout corresponded to the locations on my end of the harness. I figured if it went into my stock head unit, it would have what I needed for the Kenwood. My factory subwoofer still functions with this setup.

My Scosche NN04B harness was 100% correct as far as colors and locations went. Definitely double check this though when you are going to connect yours.

The "illumination" lead on the Kenwood I connected to pin 1 "illumination" on the harness. Pin 2 "dimmer" is left unconnected.

I grounded the parking brake safety lead to prevent the lockout.

Here I decided to test it before I went any further and finished the install.

SWI-JACK

Follow the directions from THIS EXCEPT ignore parts 2 and 3. Connect the SWI-JACK's white wire to pin 14 yellow steering wheel control (+).
*ALSO be sure to ground pin 4 brown SWC's (-)*
Follow the rest of the directions in the SWI-JACK instructions.

I used splice in connectors for the connection to pin 14, and the power and ground. The SWI-JACK has an output specifically for Kenwoods, and I connected that with a splice in connector to the head unit's "remote in" wire.
--note: the Kenwood came with a male bullet connector on the remote-in lead. I used a splice in rather than cut this off, but I would have preferred putting a female bullet onto the SWI-JACK and making a better connection. I intended to go back and change this but honestly, unless it breaks I never will.

***a few lines up I mentioned grounding the wire to pin 4. Please be sure to do that, otherwise it will take you an hour to troubleshoot why your SWI-JACK isn't programming. (Ask me how I know .......)

Programming isn't difficult. Follow the directions word for word and you'll be fine. EXCEPT be sure to skip step 5 when working with the Kenwood, SEEK UP! When you get to 5 press the SWI-JACK button once to skip it.

GPS Antenna Mounting

I tried taking a picture of this but it wouldn't come out at all. But you'll know what I'm talking about once you start digging in:

I mounted the GPS antenna on a "ledge" just under the surface of the dash forward of the clock pod. Just stick your hand in there and feel around, I couldn't really see it but felt it.
Aside from being "in" the dash and covered with an eigth of an inch of plastic, it has a clear view of the sky through the windshield. I have no problems with it like this so far *knock on wood* and it saved running a long wire around the car or drilling through the dash.

ASSEMBLY

The Scosche dash kit is self explainitory. I did however borrow two additional screws from the OEM stereo mounting hardware.

The head unit comes with extensions for the iPod USB connection, which I ran into the glove box then connected the iPod cable there, on the off chance I want to connect a thumb drive to the USB port instead of the iPod (only 1 USB port on this unit)

The hardest part, seriously, is getting all of these $#@*& wires and SWI-JACK and everything to sit comfortably in the dash. There's a LOT of room to work with back there, if you are more organized than me perhaps some well placed zip ties would save some hassle.

What needed to be grounded I put ring terminals on and connected to a mounting screw, with a washer to ensure a good connection since unlike the OEM mounts, the Scosche is plastic.

_____

I hope I've been overly descriptive and that this helps someone installing one of these. I've never done ANY kind of car audio work before but from the help I got here I managed to do it quite easily.



I used a lot of info from different places to do this, so I wanted to consolidate it all into one thread.

Sorry about not having any pics of the install, but between a gaping hole in the dash and an indistinguishable mess of wires, they don't help. The threads I've linked to have much better information than my pictures would provide.

I'll add my pictures of the new, smaller, blue SWI-JACK later this afternoon when I get my pictures off the camera. That's worth seeing. Also, I have a picture of the final look of the install.

I hope this helps someone!!!
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Last edited by elwray; 01-20-2009 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:08 PM   #2
elwray
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Default dnx5120 review

REVIEW

This Kenwood unit ROCKS. Seriously. With the Scosche dash kit it looks factory.

Navigation by GARMIN was a must for me, I love their interface and accuracy. It can't be beat IMHO.

The iPod interface is incredible; the touch screen browsing through the library is amazing. *note wouldn't work with my Gen 4 iPod Photo, but had I read the reviews beforehand I would have known this. Works with my 30GB iPod video perfectly. The album art display takes a second to load, but adds a really sharp touch to the whole experience.

It's not THE most user friendly interface to navigate all the menus on the unit, but it is DEFINITELY not as bad as I've heard. Took a bit of trial and error and [GASP] paging through the user manual to figure out some features. Just have to play with it.

The DVD player is cool, but I'll never use it unless I've got a passenger on a road trip. I prefer music.

One of the best parts about this is the modularity of the unit. I didnít want Bluetooth or satellite radio or a back up camera now, but if I do in the future itís already wired to accept those.


Overall I would definitely recommend this unit.

Last edited by elwray; 01-20-2009 at 04:26 PM. Reason: added review
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:09 PM   #3
elwray
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-reserved for thoughts and pics
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:15 AM   #4
fulltimeW.O.T.
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pics please or I might even check it out in person.

I'm gonna be doing this to my 09. Not sure yet which kenwood unit I will be getting. I might get the DNX7140 or 7120.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:19 AM   #5
elwray
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Come check it out in person if you'd like - I can give ya a hand with the install; it's pretty easy. How far "north jersey" are you? What's the difference with the 140 over the 120 series now?

These are the crappy cell pictures I have of it.



Naked chick riding the Subaru logo, startup screen





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Old 04-01-2009, 03:06 PM   #6
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WOW that does look awesome! GJ and writeup
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:59 PM   #7
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haha how the did you make the logo!
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:17 PM   #8
elwray
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It's got cool logos for all the major car manufacturers built right in!



Actually I was planning on putting the standard Subaru logo, or maybe WRX, but when searching for the logo I stumbled upon this, and went with it!
http://polarweasel.org/garage/subaru...Subaru_002.jpg

In addition to the startup splash screen, you can change the background of the music screen but you don't see much of it.. I just went with some red wavy design that matches the interior..
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Old 04-02-2009, 02:07 AM   #9
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How did you get the picture on your unit. I tried to put pics on mine with my ipod, usb, and data cd but it doesnt find the folder??
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:04 AM   #10
elwray
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SophietheSubaru View Post
How did you get the picture on your unit. I tried to put pics on mine with my ipod, usb, and data cd but it doesnt find the folder??
You want me to reveal ALL my secrets!?



I wrote out the procedure here:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...84&postcount=8

It has to be on the USB thumb drive. Good luck, let me know what you choose for the startup screen! Good luck
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:52 PM   #11
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Nice write-up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by elwray View Post
... there was an intermediate wiring harness between the one described in the pin-out thread and what was connected to my stereo. I BELIEVE this was the connection for the factory Subwoofer under the driver's seat.
Yes. Subaru uses a T-harness for the OEM sub. It goes between the car's radio harness and the factory HU. As you discovered, the wire colors on the T-harness are completely different than on the factory radio harness.

Quote:
The "illumination" lead on the Kenwood I connected to pin 1 "illumination" on the [Scosche] harness. Pin 2 "dimmer" is left unconnected.
Are you saying the Scosche NN04B harness had a wire at pin 2 (which you didn't use), or that there was no wire there?

In general, most aftermarket harnesses for Subarus don't have the Orange/White Dimmer wire.

Quote:
Connect the SWI-JACK's white wire to pin 14 yellow steering wheel control (+).
*ALSO be sure to ground pin 4 brown SWC's (-)*
People who would prefer not to tap into the factory harness could buy a second Scosche NN04B (or Metra 70-7552) harness and "transplant" two wires over to pins 4 and 14 (the SWC pins) on the harness you use to install the radio.
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Old 04-02-2009, 04:06 PM   #12
elwray
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Yes I came to the conclusion about the T harness after playing with it a bit since this post. I was worried about not having the sub work without the stock HU, but all is good.

It's been a little while but I believe what I was referring to with "Pin 2 unconnected" was Pin 2 on the stock wiring harness. It is going to an empty slot on the Scosche harness. So no, pin #2 on the Scosche harness is unpopulated.

From your pin out information (VERY helpful), the pin#2 dimmer on the Subaru is a reverse 0-12v incremented power line IIRC, so it's backwards of what most head units will recognize, so unless you modifiy the output of that it's not useful anyway so it can stay unconnected.

Either way, that step has turned out to be a moot point for me; I set the dim function to match the Navi clock. I was having trouble with syncing the dim to the headlights since I like to drive with my headlights and foglights on even during the daytime. I believe the dim/bright time that the Kenwood uses corresponds to the Sunrise/Sunset time in the Garmin nav. Very satisfied with the switching, it's only "too bright" or "two dim" for a minute on the cusp of each.

As far as the transplanting of wires goes, I'd suggest that for people that are going to be keeping the SWC's. Tapping the stock harness can be messy, and splice in connectors are unreliable at times. It seems like their pin connectors are a pretty universal size, so if you're only transplanting them you might be able to get away with ordering a cheaper harness to scavenge?

Hey, do you know what the pins on the end of the harness wires would be offically called? I'd love to find a source for them since I've botched a few of my early transplant attempts in other projects [read: didn't know how it worked so just yanked ]

Last edited by elwray; 04-02-2009 at 04:08 PM. Reason: Added a bit more info.
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elwray View Post
It seems like their pin connectors are a pretty universal size, so if you're only transplanting them you might be able to get away with ordering a cheaper harness to scavenge?

I'd love to find a source for them since I've botched a few of my early transplant attempts in other projects ...
I've been looking, but haven't seen any other aftermarket radio harness that uses the same pins as on this new Subaru harness. That doesn't mean there's not one out there, but I haven't seen it yet.

There are actually thousands of different styles of contact pins out there. Even the different radio harness manufacturers use slightly different pins on this same 20-pin harness. The part that plugs into the Subaru car or radio is the same, but the portion that locks into the plastic shell is different.

The places that sell these pins only want to talk to you if you're going to buy many thousands. Generally, places that do sell things in smaller quantities don't deal with these types of shells and pins.
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:37 AM   #14
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id love to have one of those. but theyre easy targets for thieves especially i have an older car and i live in nyc.
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Old 04-04-2009, 07:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVXdc View Post
I've been looking, but haven't seen any other aftermarket radio harness that uses the same pins as on this new Subaru harness. That doesn't mean there's not one out there, but I haven't seen it yet.

There are actually thousands of different styles of contact pins out there. Even the different radio harness manufacturers use slightly different pins on this same 20-pin harness. The part that plugs into the Subaru car or radio is the same, but the portion that locks into the plastic shell is different.

The places that sell these pins only want to talk to you if you're going to buy many thousands. Generally, places that do sell things in smaller quantities don't deal with these types of shells and pins.
Oh wow, didn't think there were that many out there!

I guess even if Radioshack sold them, you'd end up paying 6 bucks for each pin lol
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Old 05-07-2009, 06:20 PM   #16
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Dude you made my life so much easier, I ordered the same headunit last night and your write up is definately helpful. Thanks!
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:26 PM   #17
elwray
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No problem! Glad you found it helpful. Feel free to post any questions here or send PMs; I'll try to help as best I can
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:40 PM   #18
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Does the steering wheel mounted controls still work?
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:51 PM   #19
elwray
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Yes, but requires an intermediate unit to translate the "Subaruese" coming from the stock steering wheel controls into "Kenwoodese" so the stereo knows what it means. I used the SWI-JACK made by PAC. There are probably others out there; I don't know what they are...
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:32 PM   #20
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Cools, thanks for the info. I will need to look into one of these.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:50 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elwray View Post

SWI-JACK

Follow the directions from THIS EXCEPT ignore parts 2 and 3. Connect the SWI-JACK's white wire to pin 14 yellow steering wheel control (+).
*ALSO be sure to ground pin 4 brown SWC's (-)*
Follow the rest of the directions in the SWI-JACK instructions.

I used splice in connectors for the connection to pin 14, and the power and ground. The SWI-JACK has an output specifically for Kenwoods, and I connected that with a splice in connector to the head unit's "remote in" wire.
--note: the Kenwood came with a male bullet connector on the remote-in lead. I used a splice in rather than cut this off, but I would have preferred putting a female bullet onto the SWI-JACK and making a better connection. I intended to go back and change this but honestly, unless it breaks I never will.

***a few lines up I mentioned grounding the wire to pin 4. Please be sure to do that, otherwise it will take you an hour to troubleshoot why your SWI-JACK isn't programming. (Ask me how I know .......)

Programming isn't difficult. Follow the directions word for word and you'll be fine. EXCEPT be sure to skip step 5 when working with the Kenwood, SEEK UP! When you get to 5 press the SWI-JACK button once to skip it.
OK... So I did this same setup (DNX5120 with SWI-Jack on an 08 WRX), and there's a step I couldn't find here or anywhere else which I thought I should add.

I read, and re-read all the installation steps, and I couldn't get the steering wheel controls to interact with the DNX. I checked all my connections, and the programming procedure was responding as it was described, but no luck. I went through the programming procedure like 4 times, and through the Test and Troubleshooting procedures many more times and nothing.

So here's the missing step (in my case, since I couldn't find it directly specified in the instructions from here or the PAC site):

Once the programming is done, and after the 7 seconds have passed where you get the LED flash 3 times for "programming end" and 3 more times for identifying the selected radio (in this case the Kenwood DNX5120), turn the car key to the OFF position and set the "Radio Select" switch in the SWI to number "3". Once you set the switch back to 3, turn the key to the ACC position, turn on the radio and follow the test procedures on the SWI's instructions.

I don't know if I misread, but this step was only mentioned briefly before the programming procedure, so I couldn't understand whether it was done before or after the programming because this switch has to be moved during programming, and since I was only repeating the programming procedure, I always started the steps after this part.

I spent like 1/2 an hour trying to figure this out. Everything else was done perfectly by following your guide, so Thanks, a lot.
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:11 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cianuro View Post
I spent like 1/2 an hour trying to figure this out. Everything else was done perfectly by following your guide, so Thanks, a lot.
No problem! Thanks for adding your extra info.

The SWIJACK was the only complicated part of the whole thing. Took me a few times to program it as well.

Now the buttons seem to work intermittently for me... so I still have to investigate that to see if it's a loose connection or my SWIJACK is dying...
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Old 03-29-2010, 03:34 PM   #23
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as removal the stereo bezel?
thankīs!!
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Old 03-29-2010, 03:38 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Omi View Post
as removal the stereo bezel?
thankīs!!
......?
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Old 03-29-2010, 04:22 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elwray View Post

Now the buttons seem to work intermittently for me... so I still have to investigate that to see if it's a loose connection or my SWIJACK is dying...
I've noticed this happening once since I got it. Check your grounds... If this doesn't do it, then this situation might help:

I had my DNX5120 on my previous car which was a 2005 Lancer Ralliart. There were some times where its behavior was kind of weird. Sometimes, the volume knob wouldn't respond. The ATT function would work but turning the knob didn't do anything and vice versa. At other times, the optional remote wouldn't work either. The only solution I could find for this was to turn it off and on again and everything would behave normally. I've read in some forums that this unit does that, and some other issues about it being a bit slow when using CD info and thumbnail, which also causes the unit to become non-responsive at times. Kenwood's solution to this is to avoid using CD info and thumbs... Dumb, huh? What's the point then?

In my new WRX, the ATT wouldn't respond, but it has only happened once. Apart from this, the only issue on the SWI is the lag on response, but I've gotten used to it. It's been a breeze not having to look at the screen to just move to the next song or manage volume.
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