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Old 08-15-2012, 02:12 PM   #1
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Default Need Feedback on My Aftermarket Stereo!

I finally pulled the trigger on just pulling the entire NAV unit out of the car and replacing it with a pioneer unit. Before I had modified the stock unit to accept a single din Clarion Nav Unit which worked ok, but honestly the Clarion was a complete POS. After driving the car I realized I never use the factory NAV unit so it's getting pictched!

I went with the Pioneer AVH-8400BH. In the past I've always been a Kenwood man and steered clear of Pioneer, however after lots of research I found this unit had several features that made it the best option. Most importantly it has "Advanced App Mode" which supports apps from my iphone that can be controlled by the head unit. The three main apps that caught my eye were Pandora, GPS Drive and most importantly Dash Command.

With this unit I can use the GPS Drive Naviation App (fantastic app by the way) which allows me to save several hundred dollars over the built in DVD/Nav units. Plus the app will stay current with maps, traffic, etc without requiring additional map upgrade purchases down the line. The Dash Command is what really got me excited, I bought an iphone wifi OBD-ii dongle which will send signal to my Iphone and then to my NAV Unit. I will be able to pull real time engine info including rpm, mpg, intake temps, etc from the OBD and display it on my head unit. In addition I can pull and clear CEL codes directly from my head unit!

Dash Command: http://www.palmerperformance.com/pro...mand/index.php

Pioneer Head Unit: http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...rs/AVH-P8400BH

Now here is my dilemma, the aftermarket dash kit looks like complete sh*t, looks like a sea of plastic on an already plastic dash. I'm pondering ideas on how to dress this up a bit through paint, decals or wrapping it in leather or vinyl. I cannot for the life of me think of what would look good, I think any color other than black would look stupid and straight black wouldn't really solve the issue. I tried wrapping the bottom HVAC in carbon fiber vinyl and it looks cheap IMO. Any thoughts, opinions?

I did just order some of this stuff which may look slightly better than what I tried already: http://www.ebay.com/itm/200787236484...84.m1497.l2649

Also ordered some of this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/320942645341...84.m1497.l2649

Possibly thinking of this which looked great on my valve covers: http://www.vhtpaint.com/products/wrinkleplus/

Here are some pics, first two are my old setup, next three are what I have now.

Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 08-15-2012, 02:19 PM   #2
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I don't think anything looks as good in the dash as the factory unit. Looks naked without the buttons. But... I do like the second idea way better than the first. Keeping stock navi unit and having a flip out is kinda tacky IMO. Flip outs are old news and look like crap IMO unless u have a 94 Chevy truck and the only space u have to work with is the factory single din slot in the middle of that horribly designed dash. Lol dash looks naked to me but I do like that little caddy crest. I'm sure that Alpine head unit is much nicer than stock though!
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:25 PM   #3
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Could you hydro-dip something on the new Nav surround?
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverSatisfied02 View Post
I don't think anything looks as good in the dash as the factory unit. Looks naked without the buttons. But... I do like the second idea way better than the first. Keeping stock navi unit and having a flip out is kinda tacky IMO. Flip outs are old news and look like crap IMO unless u have a 94 Chevy truck and the only space u have to work with is the factory single din slot in the middle of that horribly designed dash. Lol dash looks naked to me but I do like that little caddy crest. I'm sure that Alpine head unit is much nicer than stock though!
Agreed on all points!!

There is no comparison between the stock and aftermarket unit, completely changes the entire car. Even have the ability to stream netflix in the car and the sound is 1000 times better with this unit even over the clarion.

That said I am sacrificing looks but I think there is a why to clean it up with some creativity. One option is to buy a CTS unit and mod it like the one below, that way I could use the factory DTC screen still, only thing I don't like is it still has useless buttons on the side. I would also have to mod the factory screen to get ride of the orange which isn't a big deal but kind of a PITA

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BudRacing View Post
Could you hydro-dip something on the new Nav surround?
That's a great idea! I wonder what pattern I could go with that would look decent?
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:35 PM   #6
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Wow, that one pictured above is the best retrofit I've seen yet.

You could always find uses for the "useless" buttons. I know you're one for gadgets. Lights, gauges, nitrous...
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etcts-v View Post
That's a great idea! I wonder what pattern I could go with that would look decent?
Perhaps custom? Do a greyscale collage of caddy and V emblems? Anything but woodgrain LOL

It could be a nice touch to mold a clock (like infiniti) into the spot where your crest emblem currently is.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BudRacing View Post
Wow, that one pictured above is the best retrofit I've seen yet.

You could always find uses for the "useless" buttons. I know you're one for gadgets. Lights, gauges, nitrous...
Haha, true although I have none of those and no need for any gauges. But the asthetic appeal would outweigh the useless buttons!
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:27 PM   #9
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I would have thought someone would make a clip on for an IPad to take up the whole space and an app to tie it ll together.

Would be nice.
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:45 PM   #10
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Crutchfield sells a dash kit that is perfectly color matched to the rest of the center colum. Just FYI. One more thing sitting on a table waiting to be done...
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:50 PM   #11
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would love to see your pioneer in this setup. has any one ever used a stock CTS DIC- do they really have all the info features like Mpg, fuel used,oil, trip ODO..
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Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmax/04V View Post
Crutchfield sells a dash kit that is perfectly color matched to the rest of the center colum. Just FYI. One more thing sitting on a table waiting to be done...
this one?
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_1209920...k.html?tp=3121
Click the image to open in full size.

looks like etctsv's.. idk
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:22 PM   #13
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Thats the one, doesn't look like it in the pic but i held mine up next to the oem nav and column and it I couldn't tell the difference. That may be the case with the one in the above pics as well.
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyLS6 View Post
this one?
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_1209920...k.html?tp=3121
Click the image to open in full size.

looks like etctsv's.. idk
Yeah that's the one I bought!
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:27 PM   #15
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Ok so the dash kit just shows different in pictures good to know. Glad I caused all that confusion.
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2004 CTS V- More mods than FuzzyLogic- SOLD
2006- CTS V- Infrared and Bone Stock- SOLD
1996- Eldorado- Took 7 cows to make the interior- SOLC
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heavymetals View Post
I would have thought someone would make a clip on for an IPad to take up the whole space and an app to tie it ll together.

Would be nice.
Yeah that would be sweet, although I don't think the I-pad is the most suited for audio control, could be wrong though. I've seen a few "carputers" that look good.

Here is a successful I-pad one, bad photo but get the idea:

Click the image to open in full size.

photo shopped version:

Click the image to open in full size.


Here is where I think I may head, still have my old unit although it needs to be unlocked to my vin with a tech2.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:37 PM   #17
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I've been casually thinking about the tablet idea. I think you would just have to have a separate amp with an external volume level that you could mount in the dash to give it an OEM look. With a tablet you could have every function you could want and for a lot cheaper.

Just my thought though.
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnsafeAtAnySpd View Post
I've been casually thinking about the tablet idea. I think you would just have to have a separate amp with an external volume level that you could mount in the dash to give it an OEM look. With a tablet you could have every function you could want and for a lot cheaper.

Just my thought though.
Tablet sounds good also.

Anything big enough to use all the space.
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:41 PM   #19
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The only drawback I can think of is the lack of bluetooth phone support. I don't think Android devices can connect and link like that. There are always the OnStar options for that though.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:59 PM   #20
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I have a pioneer unit as well with the big plastic dash kit, which in the light is a slightly different shade of black than the rest of the dash. IMO, even though it is a LOT of empty space, i can still overlook that to have the factory pos out of there.
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