Alfa 147 Double DIN Fascia too big - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Alfa 147 Double DIN Fascia too big

Hey Guys,

I bought a double-DIN fascia and steering wheel control kit from Dynamic Sounds UK.

https://www.dynamicsounds.co.uk/alfa...h=FKIT-ALFA-08

It seems the opening is not the standard double-DIN size (180mm x 100mm). It's actually 183x112mm on the inside lip, and 189x118mm in the main opening.

Am I going crazy?
See my image for how my new Sony XAV-AX100 looks with the fascia around it.
I've measured the Sony.. It's standard double-DIN size (well, actually ever so slightly smaller)

The opening is WAY bigger than a standard double-DIN, and the Sony looks ridiculous in it.
It looks like I'll need some sort of infill panel made up to make this even look remotely acceptable.

That's a pity because I really wanted to do a completely stealth install and wanted it to look factory.

I dummied up what it might look like in Photoshop.. See the FasciaDummy-current.jpg
It doesn't look too bad from the front, but from the side it's going to look stupid.

I also did a version of what it might look like in a perfect world - FasciaDummy-preferred.jpg
This is probably not totally achievable given that the fascia panel and dash are curved, but if the left and right edges were more or less flush, and then the middle of the screen was recessed a bit, that would be totally fine.

To get it installed like that would require some serious custom fabrication work though.

Has anybody else installed double-DIN head units into an Alfa 147?
Please show pics... I'd love to see how it ended up.

Also, I'm guessing it's totally possible that the particular fascia I got is just a bad one.. In that case, does anybody know of any others with a standard-sized opening?



PS.. The fascia kit I linked to above is the wrong version for my car..
I have a 2003 Alfa 147 GTA.
That kit is for the 2007 onwards models with CAN-BUS.. But AFAIK that only affects the steering harness, and I've since ordered the correct one.. It doesn't change the fact that the fascia opening is not standard double-DIN.
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File Type: jpg UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_a9b1.jpg (146.0 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg FasciaDummy-current.jpg (121.1 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg FasciaDummy-preferred.jpg (124.8 KB, 42 views)

2003 Alfa Romeo 147 GTA (silver/black)
1995 Nissan Skyline R33 GTR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azaram View Post
Hey Guys,

I bought a double-DIN fascia and steering wheel control kit from Dynamic Sounds UK.

....

PS.. The fascia kit I linked to above is the wrong version for my car..
I have a 2003 Alfa 147 GTA.
That kit is for the 2007 onwards models with CAN-BUS.. But AFAIK that only affects the steering harness, and I've since ordered the correct one.. It doesn't change the fact that the fascia opening is not standard double-DIN.
there is only 1 version of the fascia, all 147 and gt's over the years have been the same, including having CAN bus.
For some reason, most (web) shops make a distinction between pre and post 2007 models, which is wrong, there's absolutely no difference.

The facia looks quite normal. You're supposed to insert the metal holding cage through the fascia and fix it. The 2din HU then slides in the cage. The HU comes with a narrow bezel to hide the cage.

See my Pioneer:
http://home.planet.nl/~jwq/temp_pioneer/P2.jpg
http://home.planet.nl/~jwq/temp_pioneer/P5.jpg

alternative of course is to get one of the "clone" connect devices that are available, for example:
[YOUTUBE]
[/YOUTUBE]

Last edited by jwq; 30-08-17 at 12:02.
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Thanks jwq.

So the bezel between the fascia and the HU came with the Pioneer head unit?
My Sony didn't come with a cage or bezel..
I guess I need to buy one of those cages / brackets with a bezel on the front?

It's strange that the alfa fascia requires this.. I've seen dozens of Sony XAV-AX100 installs in various cars that are more or less flush with the fascia and don't include that bezel surround.. It seems unnecessary to me, but I haven't tried to put it in the car yet so maybe I'm missing something.
Surely a cage with a fascia that snaps on in front, with an opening of the proper size (180x100mm) would be a much better solution?

Anyway, I guess I'll pop into a car audio installer and see what they've got in terms of cages with bezels and see what looks best..
I'm still tempted to pay to get something custom fabricated.. I just don't think 3 bezels (fascia, bezel surround, HU bezel) is a very elegant or attractive solution.
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BTW, thanks for the pics jwq!

One question - did you have the bezel painted to match the fascia?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azaram View Post
BTW, thanks for the pics jwq!

One question - did you have the bezel painted to match the fascia?
Actualy, I just sprayed it myself with a spraycan, None of the 2din bezels completely matched my dash in colour, complicated by the fact that the gta has a dark gray colour instead of the standard silver.
Ended up respraying the whole centre console, fascia and frame to get it all to match
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looking at a sony 2din manual, it would appear the sony installation kit should come with a bezel.....
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File Type: jpg Knipsel2.JPG (121.9 KB, 22 views)

Last edited by jwq; 30-08-17 at 14:53.
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Great.
I managed to get hold of a fascia in the proper GTA anthracite grey, but looks like some spraying will be required to match whatever bezel I get.

Do you have any other progress pics of your install?
I'm about to launch into a major install, starting with the Sony HU and steering control kit, and then moving on to speakers and some other little details like iphone mount for carplay with hidden wiring.

I'm trying to keep everything hidden and factory-looking as possible.

I got hold of the nav kit steering wheel buttons (with the extra phone buttons) so I could use Siri and the phone from the steering wheel.
I also got the ASR button assembly from a GT with the extra fuel cap button, which I'm wiring up to my garage remote.

I haven't seen a whole lot of pictures for 147 speaker installs, so if you've done them and have pics I'd love to see!

I'll be trying to document my install as much as possible. I haven't been able to find a single pic of a 147 with a Sony XAV-AX100 in it, nor anything about upgrading the steering controls, so I'll put them up to help others.

Did you manage to retain the steering controls with your install?
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File Type: jpg GT-ASR-Fuel1.jpg (62.9 KB, 17 views)
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No pictures on the install....
I replaced the standard front speakers (including the tweeters) with pioneer speakers, and also used an adapter to connect the steering wheel buttons. Left the rear speakers standard.
Not sure if your sony requires a speed pulse signal. If so, easiest is probably to use a CAN adapter for connections. That takes care of power, lighting and speedpulse, as wel as interface for steeringwheel remote without having to pull seperate wires.
In my case, only thing that doesn't work is the phone button
http://www.connects2.co.uk/Product/P...tem/CTSAR003.2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwq View Post
looking at a sony 2din manual, it would appear the sony installation kit should come with a bezel.....
Interesting... you've read the manual better than I have.
I was a bit confused about those instructions, but now I do see the reference to an "installation kit".
I'll track one down.. hopefully there's an official one that matches the HU
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Originally Posted by jwq View Post
In my case, only thing that doesn't work is the phone button
So you already had the phone button in your GTA?
Did you originally have the navigation HU?
I hope I didn't waste my money on the new steering controls :P They weren't cheap!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azaram View Post
So you already had the phone button in your GTA?
Did you originally have the navigation HU?
I hope I didn't waste my money on the new steering controls :P They weren't cheap!
yep, my car originally had the connect+, which includes the steeringwheel buttons.
There are some threads here on people who added the buttons afterwards, it is possible however you will probably need to add the clockspring.

Had a look on the connects website, and they have a universal 2din installation set :
Connects2 Ltd

for the buttons, see f.i.
http://home.planet.nl/~jwq/temp_gta/...Components.pdf
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Wow you know a lot more about this stuff than I do :P

I have no idea what the clockspring is, but I can see it on the schematic.
I was hoping they'd just plug straight in and the car's firmware would automatically support the new buttons.

Regarding the speed pulse.. I don't think it would be any use for this HU. The AX100 doesn't have all the deep car integration that some of the more advanced HUs have. It's really just a straight-forward solution for Carplay and Android auto. The only car integration is for making the interface intuitive.. eg steering control config, reverse for the rear camera, park brake for safety (locking features) etc.
I'm going to ground the park brake wire.

Thanks for the link to the cage/trim kit.. I'll probably order one.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azaram View Post
....
I was hoping they'd just plug straight in and the car's firmware would automatically support the new buttons.
The buttons are not integrated in any car systems, they are simple stand-alone resistance networks, whereby each button you press outputs a specific analog voltage over 2 wires, one for the left button cluster, one for the right.

example :
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Member car:

Alfa GT Jtdm

Yesterday, on my GT, I installed new rear speakers. Made a nice difference. I've already changed headunit, front speakers and have a sub in the boot.



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The buttons are not integrated in any car systems, they are simple stand-alone resistance networks, whereby each button you press outputs a specific analog voltage over 2 wires, one for the left button cluster, one for the right.
Hey jwq.. I've finally installed the 8-button connect nav+ version steering controls.
The 6 regular buttons work (vol+,vol-,mute,next,prev,source), but the 2 additional buttons (voice,phone) don't work.. well at least they are not being detected by my Sony head unit.

You mentioned that I may need to install the clockspring.. is there a different version of the clockspring with 2 more tracks on it?
The only other thing I can think of is that the Connects2 CTSAR003.2 that I have isn't programmed to detect/process the additional buttons.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azaram View Post
Hey jwq.. I've finally installed the 8-button connect nav+ version steering controls.
The 6 regular buttons work (vol+,vol-,mute,next,prev,source), but the 2 additional buttons (voice,phone) don't work.. well at least they are not being detected by my Sony head unit.

You mentioned that I may need to install the clockspring.. is there a different version of the clockspring with 2 more tracks on it?
The only other thing I can think of is that the Connects2 CTSAR003.2 that I have isn't programmed to detect/process the additional buttons.
No, I suspect you will have to live with it.... Most radio's/interfaces do not recognise the additional buttons.
Nothing to do with clockspring or whatever, as the signal for the buttons is analog, and passed on via single wire per steering wheel cluster (left/right).

So if the other buttons work, the signal is being passed on correctly.
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No, I suspect you will have to live with it....
Hmm.. The Sony head unit has customisable steering controls.. but if I try to assign the new buttons it just doesn't pick it up.
It is getting the steering controls from the CTSAR003.2..

I guess there's 2 possible issues:

1 - CTSAR003.2
Maybe it doesn't acknowledge the 2 extra buttons and doesn't pass them onto the Sony remote input.

2 - Car - CANBUS
I'm not 100% sure if the steering controls are being passed over CANBUS or if it makes it all the way to the HU harness as an analog signal.
If they get transmitted over CANBUS, it's possible that the car itself is just not acknowledging the new buttons and passing them into the CANBUS.

So in figuring out which of the 2 above is the issue.. Do you know how the steering controls are wired to the harness?
Is it over CANBUS or an analog signal?

If it's analog, then there could be a solution.
If it's CANBUS, then that is something that cannot be solved I think. Unless I created my own device to read the analog signal directly from the steering wheel, processed it and output a signal for the head unit. That's a bit too much work to get 2 buttons :P
I could do it with Arduino, but it's a bit excessive.

I might have to do a bit more research on the Sony remote input protocol and the steering control wiring.
I bought the elearn CD, but realised I don't have a CD reader anywhere
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it's purely analog all the way, nothing to do with CAN bus, see my post #13
It's actualy 2 wires (and ground), one for the left cluster, one for the right, both transmitting identical analog signals with levels corresponding to button pressed

The only complication could be that it goes trough the connects adapter, that translates the analog signals to signals it "thinks" the Sony needs, probably combining the 2 left/right signals to a single output for the Sony.....
Don't know what the sony needs, analog or digital....

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found the following info :
https://esupport.sony.com/US/p/suppo...0&mdl=XAVAX100

Going from this, you should be able to bypass the connects adapter for the remote, and just connect the output(s) from the steering wheel directly to the sony remote input
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Well, after a little more research, it seems that the Sony remote input works on analog.
Also, it seems like the factory head unit has remote inputs, so I'm guessing the remote goes directly to the head unit as an analog signal, not over CANBUS..
I got out the multimeter, and there is absolutely no signal detected when the extra buttons are pressed. This is reading from the Sony head unit input..
I haven't tried testing the pins on the car side of the circuit, but given that it seems to be a raw analog signal, I'm 95% sure it's coming directly from the steering wheel button resistor network, so should be reading distinct values for the new buttons.

It seems kind of **** that the Connects2 unit doesn't read the values of the 2 extra buttons. This is pretty poor. You'd think they would have been advised of the values for those buttons which came as standard on all cars with the connect navi system and that they'd update their expensive steering control readers.

The good news is that it's fixable with some custom electronics for translating the analog values rather than CANBUS hacking.
It's a bit annoying, but I have literally dozens of arduino micros and 12v-5v power regulators hanging around, so I can program a custom button translator.

A quick search came up with an Arduino project for just this purpose.
https://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=230068.0

I'm almost tempted to start an open source hardware project for this, but I'm sure someone has already done it somewhere.
I'll have to do some more hunting around..

I'll leave the new steering controls installed for now and follow up on a custom translator when I get some more time.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwq View Post
you should be able to bypass the connects adapter for the remote, and just connect the output(s) from the steering wheel directly to the sony remote input
I just saw your replies..
Yeah I figured out some of that.. but didn't realise I could pass the analog signal directly into the sony remote..
I had assumed that Sony would want distinct voltage values of its own specification, but given that the head unit allows for button customisation it does seem plausible that it can read any values and assign them to functions.

I'll give this a try.. it's much more preferable to coding a custom translator.
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Originally Posted by azaram View Post
....
I'll give this a try.. it's much more preferable to coding a custom translator.
and realy easy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azaram View Post
I just saw your replies..
Yeah I figured out some of that.. but didn't realise I could pass the analog signal directly into the sony remote..
I had assumed that Sony would want distinct voltage values of its own specification, but given that the head unit allows for button customisation it does seem plausible that it can read any values and assign them to functions.

I'll give this a try.. it's much more preferable to coding a custom translator.
@azaram How did you go with this? I am trying to install an Android powered Chinese Xtrons unit but I also have the issue that it's smaller than the fascia!
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I have the same question, since I am about to install a new Xtrons head unit and there is a big difference between unit's size and fascia opening...
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Me too!

I have recently purchased a 147 Ducati Corse and have just got myself the Sony XAV-AX100 head unit and am looking to add the extra buttons to the wheel and do the double din conversion etc.

Would really love to find out how this ended up going, any images of the Sony in place, were the space issues sorted, was a solution to the extra buttons dilemma solved?!?! haha

Thanks in advance!
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