Can someone do a guide on "HOW TO INSTALL AFTERMARKET HU IN A 159/BRERA" Please - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Wave Can someone do a guide on "HOW TO INSTALL AFTERMARKET HU IN A 159/BRERA" Please

Hi
Can anyone do a guide, as in the title, which would cover any Blue & Me issues etc , Single and Double Din Headunits , Handfree and Sat Nav and Steering Wheel Controls .
I'm sure a lot of us would find this very helpful indeed .
Steve

Last edited by Alfa-Steve; 12-11-09 at 20:06.
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To remove the existing headunit/radio in a Spider/Brera/159 you will require 'prongs'. I used 4 straight 'kebab' skewers.
Insert your 'prongs' into the 4 holes on the headunit and this will unlock the radio. You can then pull it out and disconnect the various plugs. Note that if you have B&ME the lower unit will have a large blue blue which is locked into place with the black lever and, pulling this lever in an arc from the cable side of the plug to the other side will unlock it.

Once the original radio is out and you have selected your new radio , you will most likely need to remove the central dash facias to do your install.
This is a simple process and requires only a medium sized phillips screwdriver , a pair of thin nosed pillers and some soft cloth (kitchen paper will do).
Take hold of the gear stick facia infront of the gear stick and lift until it comes away. There are a couple of plugs in this to disconnect after you have lifted it and the button and velco around the stick will need to be undone to remove the facia completely.
Using the thin nosed pillers with the soft cloth inside the jaws of the pillers (to protect the car from scratches) grab the center vane of each of the 2 air vents in the top of the center fascia and pull firmly. They will come out easily and are only held in place with 3 spring clips.
You have now uncovered the 4 phillips screws that hold the center fascia in place (2 were under the top edge of the gear stick fascia and there are 1 each under the 2 vents you removed). Undo these screws and the fasica will pull out. It again has a couple of plugs to disconnect.

The original radio 'cage' is virtually useless for aftermarket installs and so can now be unscrewed and removed.

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Your next issue will be installation gear for you new radio.

As I installed a 2DIN radio I will use my experiences as an example. Many of the factors in this example will affect most others installing a new 1 or 2DIN aftermarket.

If you have B&ME you will need to relocate the module (which was the lower half of the original radio , with that large blue plug) to another location else the mileage on the drivers display will flash at you all the time (and trust me it gets annoying).
This is achieved with a cable that I got from a Pioneer retailer called 'CTBLUE.MELEA' which is actually produced by Connects2 and rebadged by Pioneer. I am sure other manufacturers has the same 'deal'. This is basically an extension lead for the B&ME cable so you can put the unit elsewhere.

The 'best' place seems to be behind and below the glovebox and this requires you to remove the glovebox.
This is done by removing the panel on the side of the glovebox (usually covered by the passenger door when closed) which normally will have a keyhole in it to disable the passenger airbags. This panel just pulls off and the plug for the keyswitch can be removed.
Once it is out , you will see a screw at the end of the silver (in my case) strip at the top of the glovebox. Undo this screw and the strip will pull off (it's held in along the rest of its length with pins in grippers , it's tight but just pulls off) , dont just pull from 1 end as the leverage will break it , pull at one spot and then move along as you progress.
Undo 2 large plastic 'nuts' from the underside of the glove box that hold the front edge of the 'felt' under panel to the glovebox in place and then remove the underpanel.
Open the door of the glovebox and undo all the screws that you can see around the edge of the glovebox and under the strip you removed. The glovebox will just pull out when you have found and undone them all. The will be 2 plugs , one for the light and 1 for the USB (if you have it).

Route the existing cable from the center fascia area back and up and you should find a route to the glovebox area. You will want to get the cable to go this way far enough to see the plug in the glovebox area. This route will be the same route you might use for a new handfree mic or a gps antenna so if you need these , route them through now. I went behind the A-piller trim for my GPS antenna and it works well there. A new handsfree mic can then be routed behind the same A-piller trim and then further up to the roof courtesy light area.
Once you can see and access the plug from the glovebox area , use the CTBLUE cable to extend it further and route this to the back of the area the glove box was in , aim for the lefthand side if you have a RHD car and go for the very back of the empty space that the glovebox was in.
Refit the glovebox , testing that you can reach the extended B&ME cable from under the glovebox before you screw it back up. You are going to reconnect the B&ME module and 'jam it up behind the glovebox and use the underpanel to hold it in place.
Don't forget to reconnect you plugs , the USB one , the glovebox light one and most important (as it will cause an airbag error) the one for the key that disables the passenger airbags.
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OK , so you have now removed all the central fascias and relocated you B&ME module (and also installed a new GPS antenna and handsfree mic if required).

Next you will need the pieces to install your new radio. Most manufacturers will have accessories to install a new radio. These normally include a harness adaptor and might also include steering control adaptors and a car specific installation 'cage'. You might also need an aerial adaptor but this is easy to find at any motor factors.

In my case I bought (all from the same supplier as the radio) , the Alfa 159/Brera/Spider radio 'cage' and the steering control adaptor (which was also the harness adaptor).
These will normally come with instructions (mine did) which should be followed. They will adapt the Alfa radio pugs into the format you need to easily plug into the new radio.

There is really little I can say to make this stage any easier for you as every brand and model of radio will be slightly different but, if you have ever installed an aftermarket radio before then you will be fine

Basically refit the central fascias (just reverse how you took them out) , fit the harness/steering control adaptors , fit the radio 'cage' making sure you can still reach all the adapted plugs , plug in the new radio , push radio into cage until it locks into place.
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nice description.

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nice description.

Thanks mate , there is so much more I could add I guess but, it was such a mass of badly formatted text already that I decided it would do

Better formatting and a mass of photos would be the first big change but , there is no way I am going to take my car apart again to take pics
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Well Happy

Thanks TimboZero
The installation of the stereo itself seems ok , the hard part seem to be stripping down the panels etc . Do you have any pics etc on the panel disessembley ?
Steve
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Sorry mate , I didn't take any pictures when I did the install.
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Thanks for the great fitting guide, really made my job today a lot easier! Most daunting part was removing the vents, was convinced I would rip the flaps off, but just used the hook on my swiss army knife, worked perfectly.
Other tough bits were removing the glove box (there are two screws down the right hand side behind the plastic trim), and putting the carpet back, no need if you don't have blue and me!
Also getting the microphone from the glove box to up the A-pillar, but of a tight squeeze, had to take the rubber door trim off in that area to get the cable up, after that, was fine.

I'd also recommend putting some tape around the din entrance whilst you do it, I managed to make a few dints in mine.

Because the Alfa has an amplified aerial, most stereos don't work properly with it, this item 'should' resolve the problem:
http://incartec.co.uk/Pages/Product.aspx?P=2537

The cable you will need is the CTSAR002.2 for the canbus/ steering wheel interface.

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Hi all,

I found this thread really useful for fitting the new unit to my 159 - all good and really pleased. Thanks for posting... I have a couple of observations from my experience....

Removing the console front panel: The screws in the top of the panel are behild the outer air vents. There is no need to disturb the middle one. The screws are not easy to see and you have to look down inside the holes. Also, on my car (2010 tourismo sport SW) there were 2 screws in the side of the radio cage.

Re-locating the B&M unit. I managed to re-locate the Blue and Me unit without using the extension cable. The shop I went to (Western Car Radio in Bristol) said it wasn't needed and didn't sell me one for 30. Great service. By removing the side panels and carpet at the side of the console, I found there is quite a bit of space there. The cable is long enough if you are careful. It's worth wrapping the unit in bubble wrap or similar to stop it rattling about.

Double Din Cage. I looked at the original cage and liked the way it was securely screwed to the console front panel. The aftermarket one would have been secured with bent metal tags and didn't look too clever. I drilled out the spot welds and removed the middle shelf and the unit fitted after a bit of fiddling. The result is a secure and safe install.

I hope this helps.... I took some pics but I was working in the dark (pretty much!) so they were rubbish!

Phil
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What is b me please and is it worth having, only
Just bought my 159 dont think itsd hit it. 56 reg. Cheers very informative past want to change mine for a better unit withsatnv in.
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Blue and me I the in built blue tooth and USB MP3 player , you should have a logo appear in the car computer display when you turn the engine on.
Is it worth it? Do you need a blue tooth phone connection? Most aftermarket stereos have it built in.

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B&M is not easy to retrofit. If you car doesn't have it now, then I wouldn't bother trying to fit it. It would be very expensive.

Better value to change the headunit as suggested. Check out Alpine, Pioneer, Clarion, Kenwood, if you want a ncie quality version. Or a cheap ebay model if you don't care too much about quality, and quick performance.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by philw View Post
Double Din Cage. I looked at the original cage and liked the way it was securely screwed to the console front panel. The aftermarket one would have been secured with bent metal tags and didn't look too clever. I drilled out the spot welds and removed the middle shelf and the unit fitted after a bit of fiddling. The result is a secure and safe install.

Phil
Phil

Are you saying that you used the original cage rather than buy a new one?
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Quote:
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Phil

Are you saying that you used the original cage rather than buy a new one?
I briefly thought of doing this too. None of the guides (that I saw) mentioned these 2 screws 'inside' the cage. Only after some hefty tugging did I realise they were what was preventing the dash fascia being removed. However, it was just so much easier to use the new cage, despite it being 'less secure'.
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It was the 40 quid saving I was thinking about!!
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Keeping it in one thread, but this place sells the fascia adaptor for both the standard stereo and for the larger OEM satnav systems.
http://incartec.co.uk/alfa-romeo/146...o/Browser.aspx


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I'm trying to replace the OEM satnav in my 159 with a Pioneer AVIC. The Connects2 adapter I've been supplied doesn't seem to fit the socket on the end of the car loom when removed from the OEM unit. Been told that it works OK for the stereo but possibly not for the satnav. Any suggestions on what specific cable/adapter I should be using.

Help gratefully received. Thanks
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There was another thread with a user saying that some of the newer satnavs have 'quadlock' plugs in the back (any chance you can get a picture of it?),
in which case you may want to look at the following:
Celsus ICE - car audio accessories
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the car loom quadlock connector

thanks. I posted this in the other thread as well.

So here's the photo. Any suggestions welcome - or does anyone want a Pioneer AVIC F30bt in great condition?!
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Quote:
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Phil

Are you saying that you used the original cage rather than buy a new one?
yes - I took the middle 'shelf' out and the double DIN unit fitted pretty well....
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Because the Alfa has an amplified aerial, most stereos don't work properly with it, this item 'should' resolve the problem:
In Car Entertainment, Bluetooth & Multimedia fitting solutions and interfaces
I tried putting a Pioneer head unit in my '09 Spider,mainly because I wanted bluetooth,but there is no MW reception at all,(I do listen to 5live quite a bit)everything else works fine,would this aerial adapter sort the MW out? I don't want it to just amplify the noise.
Thanks,
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Originally Posted by Alphamale View Post
I tried putting a Pioneer head unit in my '09 Spider,mainly because I wanted bluetooth,but there is no MW reception at all,(I do listen to 5live quite a bit)everything else works fine,would this aerial adapter sort the MW out? I don't want it to just amplify the noise.
Thanks,
Yes!


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Thanks,will have to give it a go then.
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Following my earlier question,has anyone fitted a single DIN using an aftermarket fascia to a Brera/Spider/159?
When I was trying the Pioneer,the fascia didn't seem to fit very securely in the original cage,it didn't 'click' into place, is it better to take original cage out and fit single DIN cage that came with the Pioneer?
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