Planning the next
AO Silver Member
Join Date: May 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Remote radio control - another solution
Wanting remote radio/ICE control but very reluctant to go with a 147/156 steering wheel & cowl, I looked into other possibilities.
In the end I used a Sony RM-X2S remote stalk which fixes to the cowl with adhesive and /or screws ( see pic below ). I've taken the wire through the lights stalk aperture. I've mounted mine immediately adjacent to the top of the lights stalk aperture and as near to the wheel as I can without it fouling the wheel.
If you have a Sony headunit ( maybe Panasonic as well ), it'll plug straight in. For other brands you'll need the usual adapter. I have a Kenwood headunit so I emailed both Connects2 & Autoleads to ask if they have an interface but they never bothered to reply to my emails. Great customer service there.
Incartec however couldn't have been more helpful. The interface in question is their 29-699 which is actually for marine applications. Because I was using it in a car they offered to reduce the input lead of this unit from the 3m usual in a boat to a more realistic size for a car. Together with a suitable lead from the interface to my headunit it all plugged together with no fuss.
Although the RM-X2S has 12 functions available, I only get a subset of 6. But I'm happy with that as it gives me source select, volume up/down, skip forward/back & mute. If you have a Sony headunit, you could also fit it on the other side of the cowl ( above the wiper stalk ) and the orientation can be switched to reverse the direction of the volume and skip controls. The interface I have doesn't allow for that unfortunately.
The actual RM-X2S can be got fairly easily off eBay for less than a tenner used. Be sure it has the mounting plate though if you want one. Many on eBay don't.
You can also use a Sony RM-X4S instead of the RM-X2S. For some bizzarre reason though, the RM-X4S goes for much higher prices on eBay yet the devices I understand are identical except for the labelling on some of the buttons. Incartec state that the 29-699 is for the RM-X4S but it works fine with my RM-X2S.
I also looked at other stalks. The Ford stalk ( fitted to early Focus and other cars of that period ) was of a design that doesn't fit well on the 916 cowl. I also looked at Peugeot/Citroen ( 1990s Xantia era ) stalks, but they would require a large hole in the cowl and interior mounting.
So there you go. Remote control without the hassle of changing the wheel & cowl for relatively low cost ( especially if you have a Sony or possibly Panasonic headunit. Pity it's not quite the right shade of grey/black!