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Old 25th August 2008, 20:31   #1
wptk999
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Smile Lowline to Hiline upgrade - started at last!

Some of you may recall about 10 months ago I bought a load of satnav and audio gear as a job lot on ebay. From Denmark! Work, family and other cars have kept me busy but I've finally got around to installing it.

I thought it would be straightforward - after all, I had all the kit in a box.

Well, getting the car ready for the install was OK. Bit of a struggle getting the back seat out, but otherwise OK. Once I'd tidied up the new wiring harness, it wasn't too hard threading it all through the car. Once I'd worked out that it's easier if you started from the boot! I did it on my own, but it's really a two person job.

All the connectors are colour coded, so all the bits got plugged in. I decided to check it all before I threaded the wiring harness up through the dash.

It didn't work...... The CD changer clunked and checked itself. The screen on teh head unit had a white strip at the bottom, then nothing. And the red light on teh GPS unit came on. But that was it.

Fast-forward a couple of days and I've started wondering about the small, flat black connector that's near the big socket that joins the new harness to the radio connectors in the dash. There was nothing in the car that it would connect to. According the the manual, the matching connector should have been right there with the black and brown radio connectors. But nothing. After taking even more of the dash apart, and pulling off the cover from the sterring column, I still couldn't find anything. By now I'd worked out that this little connector is a vital link - it connects up the steering wheel radio controls and, even more importantly, it has the one essential wire that allows the new equipment to communicate with the rest of the car! An innocent looking white and red wire with yellow bands is the vital link to the K-bus!

Several hours later. and after comparing various versions of the wiring diagrams I figured out that the lowline unit connects directly to these vital wires and the little black connector doesn't exist in cars with this spec!

The K-bus wire is in one of the blue and yellow connectors that go into the lowline unit. The other wires for the steering wheel controls were in the grey radio plug.

10 minutes later they had been cut off and joined up with the wiresfrom the mystery black plug. And everything came to life!

The TV works, the cd changer changes CD's and the radio is just fine. I can't fully check the GPS as I still need to track down the discs (e-bay, here I come!)

So there you are, it is possible to do the upgrade from the basic low-line, providing you have the additional harness. Without that, you would never do it! Oh yes, and you need to do a bit of surgery!

Anyone need a spare head unit? I have two..... (and they both work)

Bill Kelly
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