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Old 01-01-2017, 05:26 PM   #1
BLOZ UP
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Default Kenwood Excelon DDX9903S + iDatalink Maestro RR install

My wife got a new GTI with a rear view camera, which I initially thought was extraneous. But with the shorter days and my 5% rear tint in my WRX I figured if I ever replaced the headunit I would get one that supported a rear view camera. Since I wanted one that did Android Auto that pretty much guaranteed it would have video inputs.

Anyway, so I bit the bullet and got a Kenwood Excelon DDX9903S, Crux CUL-03 camera, and the iDatalink Maestro RR for steering wheel control integration and OBD2 stuff, and it came with a dash adapter (Kenwood one won't fit) and wiring adapter. I just now finished up routing the camera wiring and GPS and have been driving it for a week so far. Very impressed.



It seemed like a lot of wiring at first, especially with the MRR, but you don't use over half of the MRR wires. That, and the wiring harness (Metra) for the headunit was 1:1 with the Subaru dash harness and the Kenwood. Just had to solder it straight to the Kenwood connector.



I tapped into the reverse lights right at the junction on the passenger side footwell (just in front of the sill). I grounded the parking brake wire, as that got annoying real fast just from trying to test things out during the install. I ran the camera wire just below the glove box, down the passenger door sill, rear right passenger door sill, up to the right grommet on the hatch (seemed the least full), and across to the left side of the license plate, attached at the little plastic bar that holds the trunk release button. It only took an hour to run it, and I didn't break any plastic tabs, which is amazing.



The image is slightly crooked as I realized only later, because while the camera body is facing directly back, the little lense is a bit ****-eyed in it's housing. Oh well. It is ****-eyed inward, so it actually corrects some of the offset from not being mounted in the middle of the car.

You can't really get any more centered than this since there's the trunk release button directly in the middle, and then bosses for the bolts that hold this piece in place just beside the button. I suppose you could drill out one of those bolts to get it more centered, since there are like 50 of them holding the bar to the hatch for some reason.



The GPS came with a flat, metal, adhesive backed piece for some reason. Not sure if I really needed it on the dash, but the instructions said to so I did. Looks ugly and the dash bends ever so slightly, not enough to be able to bend the piece and so now it kind of sticks up.



Then there's this dumb microphone, which I haven't mounted yet. I really want to re-use the OE mic in the dome/map light housing. Those wires are available on the second smaller headunit harness, so it would be easy. However, the Kenwood uses a two wire (mono) mic, and the OE mic has 3 wires plus a ground. So not sure what's up with it. Will probably have to experiment a bit. Might have some noise cancellation built in or something. Anyone dealt with this before?





Android Auto worked, once. But it looks like my phone's USB connector is just too worn out. I am due for a new phone later this month though, so this is only temporary.

Otherwise, great unit. Really glad I went with a capacitive touch screen. The Maestro RR provides the OE steering wheel button functions plus additional functions when you press+hold each button. I have it setup as follows:



Changing the Mode button to play/pause instead of switch source was one of my better ideas. I never switch sources as often as I want to pause and play a single source. With the stock headunit, I wasn't aware of any way to pause/play (other than turning it off and back on).

Now I have a boost gauge, and range (which is bonkers), and some other OBD2 stuff. Neat.

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Old 01-01-2017, 08:36 PM   #2
BLOZ UP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiba
Im planning on doing a similar install into a 2013. I do have a few questions about the Maestro RR install. How did you tap into the OBD wires?
I have a remote start system (Fortin) I put in that also connects into the OBD2 system, so I knew where to tap in. The MRR instructions say to use the wires going into the OBD2 plug, but I used the wires going into the BCM, since they are closer to the center console.

If you are looking it up in the service manual, you have to tap into the high-speed CAN bus, not the low speed.
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Old 01-01-2017, 09:35 PM   #3
Shiba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLOZ UP View Post
I have a remote start system (Fortin) I put in that also connects into the OBD2 system, so I knew where to tap in. The MRR instructions say to use the wires going into the OBD2 plug, but I used the wires going into the BCM, since they are closer to the center console.

If you are looking it up in the service manual, you have to tap into the high-speed CAN bus, not the low speed.
What technique do you use to "tap". Did you splice, solder, or T-Tap?

Thanks
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:14 PM   #4
BLOZ UP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiba View Post
What technique do you use to "tap". Did you splice, solder, or T-Tap?

Thanks
I soldered and heatshrinked all connections.
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:49 AM   #5
warpdwhim
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FYI - the JDM radio bezel is a perfect fit for the head units. No filler trim required.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:47 PM   #6
BLOZ UP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warpdwhim View Post
FYI - the JDM radio bezel is a perfect fit for the head units. No filler trim required.
Ooh, that's nice. However, this trim is also the mounting bracket since the Kenwood bracket doesn't have anywhere to mount to.
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:21 PM   #7
quality_sound
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You don't need the GPS antenna on the dash. Pull that crap off and put the antenna behind the radio. It'll work just fine. I connect them to any of the metal structural pieces back there. I would recommend you keep it facing up, however.

You will not be able to reuse the OEM microphone. The nest option is to mount the Kenwood mic where the OEM mic goes.

You can mount the Kenwood with the metal brackets that OEM radio uses. Just unscrew them from the OEM radio and mount them to the Kenwood and use the JDM bezel.
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Old 01-03-2017, 01:30 PM   #8
bpol
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Cool looking setup.

Would you be able to share some more information (or just a list) regarding which gauges are actually available via Maestro RR / OBDII port? I've asked Maestro support and they just provide their generic list and add the disclaimer that "specific gauges vary by vehicle."
I'm thinking about a similar setup in my '14 wrx wagon.

Thanks!
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:43 PM   #9
BLOZ UP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quality_sound View Post
You don't need the GPS antenna on the dash. Pull that crap off and put the antenna behind the radio. It'll work just fine. I connect them to any of the metal structural pieces back there. I would recommend you keep it facing up, however.
Great idea, thanks. There was tons of space behind/above/below the radio in the dash there. I should also try moving my remote start/alarm receiver there too (it's on the left side in the same spot).

Quote:
Originally Posted by quality_sound View Post
You will not be able to reuse the OEM microphone. The nest option is to mount the Kenwood mic where the OEM mic goes.
Yeah, I considered that. I believe I have enough wire to put the Kenwood mic there, maybe I'll have to remove the ball mount/decase the Kenwood mic, but it should work.

I've got a spare mono plug I'm going to wire up to the OE mic and test out with my computer, just to try first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quality_sound View Post
You can mount the Kenwood with the metal brackets that OEM radio uses. Just unscrew them from the OEM radio and mount them to the Kenwood and use the JDM bezel.
I'd have to look again, but I thought the OE case was a tad wider and so just rested on the rails. That is, there wasn't a metal bracket attached to the OE radio. Any idea where to get the JDM bezel? eBay doesn't seem to have any.
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:48 PM   #10
BLOZ UP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpol View Post
Cool looking setup.

Would you be able to share some more information (or just a list) regarding which gauges are actually available via Maestro RR / OBDII port? I've asked Maestro support and they just provide their generic list and add the disclaimer that "specific gauges vary by vehicle."
I'm thinking about a similar setup in my '14 wrx wagon.

Thanks!
Quite a few. I can get a photo of the list. I also didn't know what I was getting but the gamble paid out--not that it was a deal breaker but I wanted to have a boost gauge.

You can set two 'pages' up with 5 gauges each, 4 smaller outer ones and one large center one. I also found a bug in the software where setting the bottom right gauge actually sets the bottom left (or something like that), but you can tap and hold on each gauge to change it that way (as opposed to going through the settings)
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Old 01-04-2017, 12:33 PM   #11
BLOZ UP
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For the gauges, I think there are two groups, center gauge and outer gauges. Here's what's available for the center gauge:




Here's what's available for the outer gauges:





It's hard to see but the ones with an X in front are not available (as in, the unit probably supports it but the car is not reporting it/doesn't have the sensor), the other ones that are grayed out have a number in them that means it is already assigned to another gauge.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:25 AM   #12
BLOZ UP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quality_sound View Post
You can mount the Kenwood with the metal brackets that OEM radio uses. Just unscrew them from the OEM radio and mount them to the Kenwood and use the JDM bezel.
So, after a little investigation and searching (which I probably should have done first before replying), I found this useful post that talks about the various bezels available. Notable is that one of the "JDM" bezels is available USDM/CDM: Part #66065SC130.

So I will be ordering that.

And yup, the stock radio has detachable metal brackets (completely missed that when I chucked it into the back of the car).



So this weekend I plan on:
  1. Replacing the bezel and mount
  2. Moving the GPS sensor in the dash behind the radio
  3. Moving remote start receiver in the dash behind the radio

I am also planning on getting a small 8-10" woofer and amp. Not sure where to put it. Gonna see what I can get under the front seats.
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Old 01-05-2017, 12:39 PM   #13
bpol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLOZ UP View Post
For the gauges, I think there are two groups, center gauge and outer gauges. Here's what's available for the center gauge:

IMG
IMG

Here's what's available for the outer gauges:
IMG
IMG
IMG
IMG

It's hard to see but the ones with an X in front are not available (as in, the unit probably supports it but the car is not reporting it/doesn't have the sensor), the other ones that are grayed out have a number in them that means it is already assigned to another gauge.
Awesome, thank you! Looks like most of them are available and you have plenty of options. Might have to get this myself...
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:28 PM   #14
BLOZ UP
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I got the "JDM" bezel from my USDM dealer. I suppose it's available as a part for another Subaru model.

Anyway, I will replace that soon and use the stock mounts. This will make me feel better as I don't like the plastic of the Metra mount.

And it looks like the microphone has a built in amplifier. People have got it working, but I think I will stick the aftermarket microphone up there as I don't have a available 5v source and don't feel like adding one.

As for subs and amps, options are under the seat(s) or next to the spare tire. I will have to measure. I don't want to take any room away from the cargo area, as I need it. I looked into self-contained sub/amp combinations but they are all 8" and seem to be good but I will probably want more bass sometimes. A single 10" will work for me. I've had one before and two 12" and a single, quality 10" was plenty.

I also got a USB to Subaru adapter so I can utilize the OE USB socket in the center console.
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:47 AM   #15
BLOZ UP
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Still haven't put in the "JDM" bezel, or done anything except get Android Auto working with my new Google Pixel phone. After a lot of problems at first I reset the Kenwood headunit and tried a few times more, and it works now. \_(ツ)_/

Android Auto is really nice, the navigation is the best part. Music is a little wonky and flaky sometimes but still very usable.

Still need to:
-Replace bezel
-Install Mic
-Relocate GPS
-Relocate remote start receiver.

And I'll do that once I get started on the bezel replacement but I've been busy.
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Old 04-04-2017, 01:31 PM   #16
BLOZ UP
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Got it all done in an hour or so this weekend. Only thing left is to re-install my phone windshield mount and route the USB cable for it.



I put the GPS and Fortin remote start receiver under the clock area, taped on top of what I believe are the defrost vent ducts. Haven't noticed any diminished receiver range. Really, since it's more toward the center of the car and further away from any metal range should increase if anything.

Also installed the Metra USB adapter for the spare USB port to connect it to the OE USB port in the armrest storage area (not pictured).
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Old 06-04-2017, 08:16 PM   #17
Haohmaru
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This is a great write up as I plan on getting a Kenwood head unit as well.

Is this Maestro RR you purchased (Crutchfield says this is the compatible model)? https://www.crutchfield.com/p_794ADS...e.html?tp=3486

I don't see an ODB2 plug in this kit, how did you interface with the car to get the gauges working?
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