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Upgrades (non TDI Engine related) The place of handling, lighting and other upgrades that do not relate to the performance or economy of the TDI engine. In other words upgrades to your TDI that don't fit into TDI Fuel Economy & TDI Engine Enhancements.Please note the Performance Disclaimer

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Old October 25th, 2019, 20:12   #1
TDIFan1989
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Default Replacement Radio for Double DIN style

Just putting feelers out there for anyone who has experience with replacing the Dobule DIN style of car-radio. The stock radio is quite nice, but there are certain features like Bluetooth hands-free calling that I would like to have available (potentially a back-up camera as well).


I know there are tons of aftermarket solutions available. What I really want to know is if any of these aftermarket guys have twigged unto the idea of just giving those radios a stock connector.


Years gone by I did 2 radio replacements, they were inherently messy because I'd have to clip off the stock wiring and then mate it with the aftermarket radio. I don't like having to do that if I don't need to.


I'm doing my own investigation through Amazon and other sites but figured someone here might have the low-down on this info.
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Old October 25th, 2019, 21:54   #2
Matt-98AHU
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I've been installing OE China VW radios for people.

Simple, easy to use and figure out, cheap. Easy installation. Bluetooth for calling and audio streaming, though it's maybe a little limited in its function with Android phones as far as controlling streaming via the radio and doesn't import contacts on Android either. But, still streams just fine.

Did I mention cheap? Oh, and if you have a mid 2002 and newer car that already has the factory double din setup (quad lock connector, CAN bus to the radio, Fakra style antenna connector) there is a plug n play adapter that also makes the job easy and even works with the factory steering wheel buttons.

The early 2002 and earlier that were single din from the factory with the ISO wiring, steering wheel controls are not compatible. At least I haven't yet found a LIN to CAN converter for those controls.

RCN210 on AliExpress

If the car you're wanting to install this in is your 2000, you should be the single din with older ISO connector. The adapter this radio automatically comes with is compatible.

If anyone has a 2002 and newer that was double din from the factory with the quadlock connector, there is a different adapter you can buy to make it all plug n play (and again, works with steering wheel controls):

Quadlock adapter and CAN converter

The prices are indeed super cheap, but they'll get you on shipping. So, even with having to order the extra quad lock adapter on later cars, with shipping it could total $120 or more for both items. Still a steal for an OE quality radio that's a nice, near drop-in replacement for Mk4s and B5.5s.
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Last edited by Matt-98AHU; October 25th, 2019 at 21:56.
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Old October 26th, 2019, 03:56   #3
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Just out of curiosity do you have any single DIN recommendations? I have two 2001's that have aftermarket radios that don't work all that well. Mostly what I'm looking for is Bluetooth. Anything more is a bonus. I like the cubby hole above the radio so would like to keep the single DIN setup. Thanks
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Old October 26th, 2019, 06:36   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDIFan1989 View Post
Just putting feelers out there for anyone who has experience with replacing the Dobule DIN style of car-radio. The stock radio is quite nice, but there are certain features like Bluetooth hands-free calling that I would like to have available (potentially a back-up camera as well).


I know there are tons of aftermarket solutions available. What I really want to know is if any of these aftermarket guys have twigged unto the idea of just giving those radios a stock connector.


Years gone by I did 2 radio replacements, they were inherently messy because I'd have to clip off the stock wiring and then mate it with the aftermarket radio. I don't like having to do that if I don't need to.


I'm doing my own investigation through Amazon and other sites but figured someone here might have the low-down on this info.
Installing a new radio shouldn't be messy, where you shouldn't be clipping off the connectors on the stock harness to mate it to the aftermarket radio.

Considering that you have a 2000, you need a K-line harness, which has everything you need, including the ACC and ILL leads.

The main feature on the head unit you need for installation, is a headunit that comes with a mounting cage, that you have to install into the plastic cage of the center console.

Example:
https://www.sonicelectronix.com/item...s-DDX25BT.html
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Old October 26th, 2019, 18:24   #5
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I see a lot of good information being put forward but I do need to clarify a few things.


Firstly, and totally my mistake, I now have a 2003 VW Jetta TDI. This one comes stock with the VW Double Din radio. As awesome as both inputs from CD and Cassette would be back in that time, I need features like Bluetooth for handling calls. I am also looking into back-up cameras as well.


The harness looks good, but waiting that long for it to arrive might be the undoing of anything good there. I am currently looking at Amazon to see what they have. I think I got something here: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Although I realize I will still have to do some wiring, at least the stock harness in the car should remain untouched.


Yes, in the first inception of these aftermarket radios, the radio makers encouraged people to clip off the stock harness and connect up to their wiring harness instead. I fell for it and did it with the 2000 VW Jetta I had. I want to do it properly this time around as this is a nicer vehicle. The other one was a beater. I don't even remember the single din radio staying in the compartment properly but at least it had Bluetooth and CD.



Are all these aftermarket radio manufacturers using the same kind of plug harness for their equipment? I wonder because if some aftermarket manufacturer is putting out a conversion harness, I would assume it might not work for every radio out there.


Again, thanks for the wonderful suggestions so far. I am doing as much research into this as possible. If I ever get this figured out, I will post plenty of pictures or perhaps make a video for it.
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Old October 27th, 2019, 19:01   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDIFan1989 View Post
I see a lot of good information being put forward but I do need to clarify a few things.


Firstly, and totally my mistake, I now have a 2003 VW Jetta TDI. This one comes stock with the VW Double Din radio. As awesome as both inputs from CD and Cassette would be back in that time, I need features like Bluetooth for handling calls. I am also looking into back-up cameras as well.


The harness looks good, but waiting that long for it to arrive might be the undoing of anything good there. I am currently looking at Amazon to see what they have. I think I got something here: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Although I realize I will still have to do some wiring, at least the stock harness in the car should remain untouched.


Yes, in the first inception of these aftermarket radios, the radio makers encouraged people to clip off the stock harness and connect up to their wiring harness instead. I fell for it and did it with the 2000 VW Jetta I had. I want to do it properly this time around as this is a nicer vehicle. The other one was a beater. I don't even remember the single din radio staying in the compartment properly but at least it had Bluetooth and CD.



Are all these aftermarket radio manufacturers using the same kind of plug harness for their equipment? I wonder because if some aftermarket manufacturer is putting out a conversion harness, I would assume it might not work for every radio out there.


Again, thanks for the wonderful suggestions so far. I am doing as much research into this as possible. If I ever get this figured out, I will post plenty of pictures or perhaps make a video for it.
With that harness, you need to find a source for the ACC and ILL.

ACC: S-contact in the steering column or run a wire from the 75x terminal.
ILL: something that is controlled off of the headlight switch, iirc gray wire with blue stripe.

Or you can get a harness with a CAN-BUS module that will give you those 2 connections (it will not act like the factory radio though, with the ACC).
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Old November 1st, 2019, 16:59   #7
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I've managed to assemble the radio correctly now. I had to splice the ACC wire from 75x, and now it is behaving correctly.
The radio turns on and off with the ignition being turned on or off. I'm still scratching my head as to why the stock wiring was indicating ACC but really was hard wired.


I had already set a wire coming off 75x to an auto-reset fuse holder and ran it to the cigarette outlet so my GPS would also turn on or off with the ignition, so I spliced in after the fuse.


I'll have to do a video review later for it. I got the radio mounted, I still want to put in the back-up camera.

Last edited by TDIFan1989; November 2nd, 2019 at 10:08.
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Old November 3rd, 2019, 11:36   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GEFP View Post
Just out of curiosity do you have any single DIN recommendations? I have two 2001's that have aftermarket radios that don't work all that well. Mostly what I'm looking for is Bluetooth. Anything more is a bonus. I like the cubby hole above the radio so would like to keep the single DIN setup. Thanks
The closest to an OE look fit and finish has been VDO radios, though the backlighting is annoyingly bright and not dimmable. But otherwise has decent features and the radio almost looks like an OE unit.

I've installed one of these in Deegingerkid's 2000 New Beetle, the other handy thing is it's 100% plug n play with the cars that have the ISO standard wiring from the factory, which is most VWs from early 2002 and earlier. Mid way through 2002 they switched to double din and also switched the wiring to the quadlock with backlighting and S contact signals sent via CAN bus instead of individual signal wires to the back of the radio.

Literally no adapter harness required. Just plug it in and go.

ECS Tuning sells them among other outlets.

They have other versions that include a CD players as well, but I liked the bigger buttons on the non-CD version as these days I mostly just use USB or bluetooth anyway, so the above linked version is what I tend to gravitate towards.
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Old November 4th, 2019, 06:57   #9
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And just for the record - there is a phone input on the stock radios. I had a Motorola bluetooth adapter running to stock DD radio for a long time (that car is gone now).

That said I was looking backup camera, too. One idea was to ditch the cup holder and put a motorized screen in its place. Have thought about different ways to do this;
1) car PC in glove box to handle everything I want to do
2) remote mount radio and use the fold out screen
3) screen only for back up camera and possible video player, keep stock radio
4) ????

Sounds like a cheap radio from AliExpress would do most of what I want for good price and a lot less hassle. Main concern is build quality - how well it works and for how long.

Jason
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Old November 4th, 2019, 10:51   #10
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I've heard good things about the Dual Audio double DIN CarPlay/AndroidAuto receiver recently, and they're in the ~$200 range, plus the adapter kit to neatly connect to the factory wiring.


For being a relatively unknown brand, I've seen some good things out of them, and good reviews from some owners, as well as some audio shops (at least when the shop wasn't completely stuck on it not being Kenwood/Alpine/Pioneer/Clarion/etc...)
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Old November 5th, 2019, 14:54   #11
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I had my 2001 Golf TDI for 18 years, and I finally updated the stereo 4 months before I sold it. The guy who bought it wanted the stock stereo, so I uninstalled it and put it back in the box. It's been sitting in my garage since then. I have a mk7 now, so installing it in there is a no-go.

The stereo was a Pioneer AVH-1300NEX with Apple Carplay. It was a HUGE upgrade over stock. It also wasn't very hard to install. Just buy the harness for your car and the bezel for installation. attach the radio harness to the car harness you bought using butt connectors, and plug and play. I did have to run the microphone behind the dash, but that actually wasn't too hard. I routed it up the A-Pillar to the visor. The stereo lighting could be any color you want, so I set the buttons to red and the LCD to the blue theme.

The 4 months that I had that stereo were GREAT. Having carplay, not only could I take calls, but I had navigation, all of the streaming audio services, and it has the option to add satellite radio. I miss it so much that I'm starting to look at piecing together a later sound system from a mk7 just to get carplay back.

Don't be afraid of aftermarket (at least too much). It's worth it with the right stereo.

By the way, shoot me a PM if you want to work something out for this one. It's in new condition.
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Old November 6th, 2019, 08:40   #12
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mk7 has car play. At least the MIB II does. There are some threads on vortex about swapping those radios. I have a MIB II in the wife's tiguan and it is pretty nice!

BTW - with car function in MQB car like your Golf, kinda have to keep stock radio.

Jason

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Old November 6th, 2019, 09:24   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverGhost View Post
mk7 has car play. At least the MIB II does. There are some threads on vortex about swapping those radios. I have a MIB II in the wife's tiguan and it is pretty nice!

BTW - with car function in MQB car like your Golf, kinda have to keep stock radio.

Jason

PS - PM sent
Unfortunately, TDIs only came in the 2015 mk7, which had MIB1. It sounds great, but functionally it's pretty weak. I'm looking to upgrade to the MIB2 unit with carplay at some point, but there's a lot of hoops to jump through. There's a huge thread over on golfmk7.com that explains how to do the upgrade.

PS - PM'd back
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Old November 7th, 2019, 12:47   #14
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Yeah, swap keys and getting around component protection. It's a bigger hassle to get working than buying used on ebay and putting in a radio code.

I have heard of a few guys also getting a version of the digital cockpit working. But biggest issues is difference in CAN version and older (IE:2015) don't work. Can't remember if it has to be 2016 or 2017 to be new enough?

Jason
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Old November 8th, 2019, 07:56   #15
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My #1 recommendation would be either an RMT 100+ or the MFD nav unit found in some MKIV R32's and B5/5.5 Passats.

Unfortunately, both take up the double DIN opening and only the first has built in bluetooth. Though the Crux BTS-VW2 should work for later MKIV VW stuff.

One of the first things I think you need to determine is does your current OEM radio use the quad-lock connector, or the older style?


I recently added a rear view camera using 1 of those that attaches to the current rear view mirror and adds front camera recording. I did it as a test, as I think it is a necessity (for me) in the Audi TT we picked up this Summer. I must say, I'm surprised at how much I like it.

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