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Old 09-18-2013, 07:01 PM   #1
junfan45
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Default Considering OEM BT for 2009 Impreza - Questions

I actually have several questions - and I apologize in advance for the ignorance!

1) Is it possible/worth it to install a 2011+ head unit (2011+ Clarion with BT from the current Impreza Premium, or 2013 Clarion HD with BT from the current Impreza Limited) onto a 2009 Impreza?

2) Would you need the BT steering wheel control module (part no. 83158FG000) and all the attendant wiring, or are these units able to be controlled without steering wheel controls?

3) Do you really need to install the mic by the map lights (per factory), or can the mic be placed somewhere else out of view?

4) Any recommended aftermarket alternatives? GPS not necessary, but I really do miss the BT!

I've seen the following tutorial in this forum, but I'm not sure if it would work with a 2009, as I understand the cabling is different:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2529864

Thanks in advance,

L.S.
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Old 09-28-2013, 01:17 AM   #2
SVXdc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junfan45 View Post
1) Is it possible/worth it to install a 2011+ head unit (2011+ Clarion with BT from the current Impreza Premium, or 2013 Clarion HD with BT from the current Impreza Limited) onto a 2009 Impreza?
Yes, it's possible. The main features (radio, CD, illumination) will work.

However, your non-BT SWC buttons will not work (see this post -- #42 in that thread, and #44 after that).

Also, your car's 8-pin aux harness is different from the newer HU's 16-pin socket, but I can build an adapter to fix that (which you'll also want to be able to connect a microphone).

See also this post, which compares the features in the models with the 4.3" screen.

As for "Is it worth it?", that depends on how cheaply you can obtain the new HU and all of the required parts, and how you feel about rebuilding your steering wheel...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVXdc
Quote:
Originally Posted by junfan45 View Post
2) Would you need the BT steering wheel control module (part no. 83158FG000) and all the attendant wiring
Short answer: Yes.

83158FG000 is the lower SWC "pod" with the three phone/Bluetooth buttons (Off-hook [answer call], On-hook [end call], and Talk [or voice recognition]). picture:
83154FG040 has the corresponding main audio SWC pod (the one that goes on the wheel's left spoke, with the volume, tune, and mode buttons), in cars with the BT buttons. Picture:
Note that the mute button was deleted.

P/N 83154FG040 includes the pod on the right spoke with the cruise buttons (these two pods share a harness). Drawing:
(the pair that is closer to the wheel, with the Y harness)

(There may also be other part numbers with identical buttons except in different colors. Those would all work the same as discussed here.)

When you install a 2011-up HU, you could also simply swap in the newer main pod, 83154FG040, onto your existing wheel. It will fit physically, and the plug will work electrically. However, only the volume up/down and tune up/down buttons would work on the newer HU. The mode button would be dead.

In order to make the mode button work, as well as the secondary pod 83158FG000, you would need to somehow add a new circuit path from the wheel to the HU.

I haven't examined Subaru's wiring diagrams thoroughly myself, but according to 'first suby 2010' (in his thread you linked to), the wheels in older models without the phone/BT buttons do not have a spare circuit path through the clockspring.

The clockspring is the part at the back of the steering wheel that allows the circuit paths to stay connected even as you turn the wheel. It literally looks like a coiled clockspring inside, with enough length and slack to allow you to turn the wheel -- either loosening or tightening the coil without breaking it. You may also see this called a "roll connector".

So to add the extra circuit path for the mode button and BT SWC pod, you would have to upgrade to the newer clockspring (in addition to getting the two newer SWC pods). I suspect (but haven't checked) that you would be able to keep much or most of the other components of your wheel. You would need a different factory plug to connect into the back (non-spinning side) of the clockspring, and you would need to adapt that to connect to the plug that is connected to the back of your current clockspring. CORRECTION: The clocksprings in both the non-BT (e.g., 2008-2010) and BT (2011-up) cars have a 14-pin socket on the rear (non-spinning side).

All of that will be time-consuming, and expensive (unless you have easy access to wrecked Subarus that you can pull those parts from).

Quote:
I've seen the following tutorial in this forum, but I'm not sure if it would work with a 2009, as I understand the cabling is different:
Adding BT buttons to an existing wheel part one
That thread describes how to keep the older-style SWC pod (with the mute button) and add and splice in the wiring for the phone/BT pod, to connect to an aftermarket HU. That trick won't work for any of the factory HUs.

If you were able to design and build your own steering wheel interface module (like the Axxess ASWC-1, PAC-SWI-*, or iDatalink Maestro), you could do that hack, and translate the signals on your car's 2 wires to what a 2011-up HU needs to see on its 3 wires. A homebrew module actually wouldn't need very many components -- just a small programmable microcontroller, a "digital potentiometer", and a few other resistors, voltage regulator, capacitors, etc.

I've heard from more than a few people like you who wanted to install a 2011-up HU into an Impreza or Forester with the non-BT SWCs, as well as people with the newer SWCs who want to install the OEM Kenwood Navi HU (which needs the non-BT SWCs). So someone who designs such an interface module could sell a bunch of them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by junfan45 View Post
or are these units able to be controlled without steering wheel controls?
I suspect that you can do all functions from the HU's front panel, but I don't know for sure. Some of the phone/BT functions may require a longer sequence of button presses than when using the SWC buttons.

Quote:
3) Do you really need to install the mic by the map lights (per factory), or can the mic be placed somewhere else out of view?
No, you can locate the mic anywhere that works for you.

Last edited by SVXdc; 10-13-2013 at 08:27 AM. Reason: non-BT and BT clocksprings have same socket on non-spinning side
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:25 AM   #3
junfan45
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What a response! Thank you a million times for this wealth of information, which I will take to heart and follow closely. I've started by getting a 2011 wheel with the audio and by buttons already installed. Now to find a clockspring...hopefully this will help. Again, thank you. This is why you are so well respected here.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:44 PM   #4
junfan45
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Just wanted to share this to make sure I'm on the right track.
I've ontained a wheel with the BT controls already installed:



Also, the clockspring from a 2013 WRX:





And I'm planning on buying this kind of head unit - Clarion OEM head unit from a 2011 WRX (Model: PF-3292A-A, Part number 86201FG620)







As I understand it, I would now need the microphone and I guess an updated harness, which I could get from you (SVXdc). Hopefully, this would make it easier (?), as I would need to hand it over to an installer...

Thanks,

L.S.
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:36 PM   #5
Chicago77
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Dark Gray Metallic

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Quote:
Originally Posted by junfan45 View Post
I actually have several questions - and I apologize in advance for the ignorance!

1) Is it possible/worth it to install a 2011+ head unit (2011+ Clarion with BT from the current Impreza Premium, or 2013 Clarion HD with BT from the current Impreza Limited) onto a 2009 Impreza?

2) Would you need the BT steering wheel control module (part no. 83158FG000) and all the attendant wiring, or are these units able to be controlled without steering wheel controls?

3) Do you really need to install the mic by the map lights (per factory), or can the mic be placed somewhere else out of view?

4) Any recommended aftermarket alternatives? GPS not necessary, but I really do miss the BT!

I've seen the following tutorial in this forum, but I'm not sure if it would work with a 2009, as I understand the cabling is different:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2529864

Thanks in advance,

L.S.
If you are talking about installing the stock HU from a 2013 just for BT I implore you not to, unless you really don't like listening to music and only want the bluetooth. It is TERRRIBLE.

Also, the bluetooth is pretty bad on it. In my '13 no one could hear anything I was saying most of the time (this might be because of bad stock mic placement), and listening to music really was just horrific. I changed the head unit and put its mic out of sight between the steering wheel and the bottom of the console. Now the stock speakers sound great, my head unit works well with my phone, I have better quality bluetooth streaming, people can hear me on the phone, pandora and such works, and I kept all my steering wheel controls.

Im sorry that I'm not answering your question on compatibility, but it just isn't worth your time. Spend a little bit more money for a good aftermarket unit. It is well worth it.

Last edited by Chicago77; 10-03-2013 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:11 AM   #6
junfan45
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I hear you (pun unintended, I swear!) - that radio is really not the best. I had a 2011 OBS that I lost in Sandy, and that was the radio. I'm just considering it because I can get it for like $60 and I'm in a bit of a hurry to solve the BT problem for now...although like you said, it might be better to go aftermarket, and probably get one with which I can answer the phone by pushing a button on it for now (then mod later for the SWC). Food for thought - thanks!

BTW, what unit did you end up with?
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:42 PM   #7
Chicago77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junfan45 View Post
I hear you (pun unintended, I swear!)


I went with a double din because I like things to look as close to stock as possible, and personally, I don't think there is a good looking single din setup without doing custom gauges which will probably be around $600. I am on my third HU and have settled on this:

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_130X700...T.html?tp=5684

I love it. Its sound quality is great and you can see it really well during the day even with our odd dash angle. Some reviews are that it is too bright, but I haven't found this to be an issue. It was much better than the first HU I put in that cost about $150 more that I couldn't see during the day. This one also color matches well with the car where the other ones could never quite get that orange/red. Its a bit older model so its cheap. Pioneer uses a better rating system than most other companies so its db outputs will look lower, but it is actually very powerful. The downsides I have with it are that it didn't have a rear usb-out so I couldn't run a wire back to my center console and that, like all after market HUs) it is slightly thinner than stock oddly shaped HU. The craigslist spacer looks alright. No one else notices it, but I do. Eventually Im going to get the JDM proper sized dash panel to go with it. It worked with all my steering controls accept the pickup end call button. I could probably custom program it, but I'm lazy and I actually like the button for that being on the stereo.

Definitely don't get this one:
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_113DPX5...T.html?tp=5684

It is cheap, plastic, has bad EQ curves, and impossible to see during the day, and blinks very distractingly at night.

edit:
- You may not have the problem with color in the impreza sport, I don't know what the interior looks like on that.
- If you get a BT aftermarket HU make sure BT is built in, not an add-on. USB add-ons generally are much less compatible with steering wheel controls.

Last edited by Chicago77; 10-04-2013 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:23 PM   #8
junfan45
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The car is not an Impreza Sport, but rather an '09 2.5 GT (a 4EAT WRX from 2008) - so the colors should be the same as yours...but the big noob mistake I did was get the wrong clockspring. I need to source the correct one (that supports everything on that steering wheel) and then settle for the OEM radio picture above (for now) - because I won't be able to afford anything else! Thanks, tho!

L.S.
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Old 10-11-2013, 01:16 PM   #9
junfan45
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Hi, Again

So that was a fiasco with that clockspring. But I haven't had luck getting info as to exactly what clockspring I should try to get. Could this be the one? It's advertised as a "2008-2011" Impreza clockspring, and it seems to have all the needed connectors:



Again, thanks for any info/advice!

L.S.
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:27 AM   #10
SVXdc
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I've spent several hours studying Subaru's wiring diagrams and pictures I've collected, and now have a better understanding of the non-BT and BT wheels.

A correction to what I posted earlier: Both non-BT (2008-2010) and BT (2011) clocksprings have a pigtail on the rear (non-spinning side) with a 14-pin socket, for the audio SWCs, horn, and cruise control buttons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by junfan45 View Post
So that was a fiasco with that clockspring. But I haven't had luck getting info as to exactly what clockspring I should try to get. Could this be the one? It's advertised as a "2008-2011" Impreza clockspring, and it seems to have all the needed connectors:
...
That first "clockspring" you found is P/N 27549FG000, which is a steering angle sensor.

The "2008-2011 Impreza" clockspring in your latest picture was taken from a 2010 Impreza (according to its eBay listing). I think that is P/N 83196FG020, which would be the same one as in your 2009.

The clockspring in a 2011 is P/N 83196FG030. I think that is the part you need (but I have not confirmed this, nor do I know if it has physical dimensions and mounting holes that are all the same as your 2009's).

I found this eBay listing, with "2011 WRX" written on it:
.
(click to see larger image)
You'll need to zoom the picture, but look closely at the socket on the ring (above the red airbag plug). Compare to the similar socket on the "2008-2011" [sic] part you found. The 2010 part has no metal terminals in that lower socket, where the 2011 part does. That is where the BT pod plugs in. It provides the 3rd circuit path that those buttons need, out to the 14-pin connector. The socket also provides paths for the two illumination wires for the BT pod.

Let's say that 2011 clockspring does fit your 2009. That will let you connect all of the plugs on the BT steering wheel you found. But you'll still have to deal with the 3 new circuit paths being used on the 14-pin socket. You'll need to somehow add 3 new wires with terminals to your car's B68 harness plug.

If you can take some clear, close-up pictures of your car's B68 (every unique side), I may be able to identify the connector and what terminals it uses. But I have a feeling that you'll end up needing to cannibalize another B68 plug to get 3 more wires with terminals to transplant into your car's B68.

You could splice into the wires just before they enter the 14-pin socket, but that would make the clockspring unremovable (without cutting those wires).
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:27 AM   #11
junfan45
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Thank you - I'll try and post pictures of that. I imagine that splicing into those wires wouldn't be such a problem since I'm not one given to upgrade/remove the wheel too often. Would that enable me to use the existing B68 plug somehow, and have the buttons recognized by the radio (or Axxes-like interface)? Thanks (again)
L.S.
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:53 AM   #12
SVXdc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junfan45 View Post
I imagine that splicing into those wires wouldn't be such a problem since I'm not one given to upgrade/remove the wheel too often. Would that enable me to use the existing B68 plug somehow, and have the buttons recognized by the radio (or Axxes-like interface)?
Yes, you would still use your existing B68 plug. That would still provide the connections for the horn, cruise control buttons, audio SWCs, and their illumination.

You need one new circuit path from the BT SWCs to the radio's power/speaker harness. I can provide a wire with the proper terminal for the radio end.

If you're going to cut/splice wires near the new clockspring's 14-pin socket, you can simply tap the two new illumination wires (for the BT buttons) into the existing pair (for the audio and cruise buttons).

You could do that inside the wheel, as 'first suby 2010' did. But it will be easier (with more room to work) near the 14-pin socket.

So you would wind up with only one wire that "jumps around" the B68 junction and goes straight to the radio.

BTW, once you confirm things are working OK, you'll be able to sell your old clockspring and audio-only + cruise SWCs to defray some of the cost of the newer parts.

Also, for someone who is installing an aftermarket HU and is willing to upgrade their clockspring as you are, they could keep their original audio-only SWC pod and add the BT SWC pod. It would require one additional splice inside the wheel (since one of the sockets the BT pod needs will be missing), but the end result would be 6 audio buttons (including mute) plus the 3 phone/BT buttons -- 9 instead of 8. Details in another post on another day.
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:17 PM   #13
junfan45
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Thanks again! That reads like a good strategy. I'm having the hardest time trying to find a microphone for the OEM radio (and apparently Subaru only sells them with the map light cluster)...
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:39 PM   #14
junfan45
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So I've finally decided to go aftermarket and bought the Kenwood DNX570HD:



http://www.crutchfield.com/p_113DNX5...-DNX570HD.html

I already have this steering wheel with the BT buttons:


So if I purchase the correct 2011 clockspring, and an Axxess SWC interface...would that change your recommendation (use existing B68 to the Axxess and run an additional circuit path)?

Thanks again,
L.S.

Last edited by junfan45; 10-24-2013 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:05 AM   #15
SVXdc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junfan45 View Post
So I've finally decided to go aftermarket and bought the Kenwood DNX570HD:

I already have this steering wheel with the BT buttons:

So if I purchase the correct 2011 clockspring, and an Axxess SWC interface...would that change your recommendation (use existing B68 to the Axxess and run an additional circuit path)?
Since you've decided to go with an aftermarket HU, you can now do what 'first suby 2010' did, and avoid retrofitting a new clockspring and adding a new circuit path to the HU.

And you can either use the new wheel with its SWC buttons, or swap your old audio buttons (6 buttons) in place of the newer wheel's 5-button pod.

Last edited by SVXdc; 11-01-2013 at 02:59 AM.
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