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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Instructions 1 of 2

Hi,

I'm brand new to this forum and signed up to post instructions on how to upgrade your standard head unit to an after market double din unit.

I had a bit of a hard time as I couldn't find any instructions. A lot of it is pretty easy, so I havent photographed everything. Hopefully my instructions will suffice. But please ask away if you need further clarification.

I have a 2011 159 with a double din front and single din rear head unit (non sat nav).

1. Remove this unit by either purchasing the removal prongs from Halfords or any car audio shop or do what I did and make em using a coat hanger and push in to the 2 slots on either side (marked in red)... this will release the head unit.

2. Un plug the connectors at the back of the stereo. 3 in total and the radio antenna.

3. You must now remove the fascia, starting with the gear stick one and then the rest.
In front of the handbreak, below the gear stick, carefully using a flat screwdriver prise up the fascia. (marked in red) Remove the gearstick leather cover and take away the fascia, unplug the connectors (marked in red) and keep it safe so you dont scratch it.

4. Now you have to remove the Airvents. Grab yourself some long nose pliers and wrap them in electrical tape so you dont scratch the airvents.. Carefully grab the centre of the airvent (marked in red) and pull back gently to the remove the airvents. do the same with all 3.

5. Behind the left and right vents are 2 screws. remove them. and 2 screws at the bottom of the fascia, (marked in red) remove them also. Carefully pull away the centre fascia. Carefully unplug the cabling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Instructions 2 of 2

Head unit removal

6. The aircon has a blue adaptor with a black hook (maked in red). Lift the black hook and the adaptor comes free.

7. Now the back of the cage is visible. 4 screws in total hold the cage in place. remove them.

8. If you have a black box at the bottom of the cage (marked in red in instruction set 1), that is your Blue&ME unit. This also has blue adaptor with black hook. remove it.
Regardless of you using blu&me or not, this unit has to be plugged back in otherwise your 159 will throw you CANBUS error by way of making your mileage flash constantly.
As you can see its a bulky unit, and if you fitting in a proper double din unit, this causes issues.
To overcome this, I took out the blue&me from its housing, (clips on either side and top and bottom) and opened it. (4 hex screws). I took out the board which is tiny, carefully wrapped it, plugged it back in again, and pushed it down the side. Worked fine! If anyone has other ideas, please share.

9. Now you can fit your new unit. Which must be fitted with a head unit fitting kit which you would have got from your audio dealer.
and reverse fit all the fascia and airvents.

Sorry last image isnt very clear as it got dark by time i finished.

After fitting, I had a few problems where my alarm stopped working and my mileage was still flashing eventhough i fitted the blue&me back in.
I also noticed my interior ligts were not working and message on dash saying "Alarm not active" or something like that.
This happened because the fuse F39 in the fuse box blew which is the fuse for the interior lights. I replaced it, with the spare fuses provided (10a) and all was well.

I hope this is of help to someone.

Any questions please ask.
 

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Dont use a pair of snips/plyers to remove your vents!!!!! You will damage them...

All you need is 14" of wire coat hanger.

1) Bend it in the middle to make a U shape that is 2" wide at its widest
2) bend over the ends to make small hooks about 2-3mm long.

This device slides in through the vent openings (without marking them) and goes to the back of the vent where it can hook the rear of the vent unit and pop it out with a quick tug :thumbup:

I have put this in here quite a few times on a few instructional threads related to head unit and/or dash removal.
 

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8. If you have a black box at the bottom of the cage (marked in red in instruction set 1), that is your Blue&ME unit. This also has blue adaptor with black hook. remove it.
Regardless of you using blu&me or not, this unit has to be plugged back in otherwise your 159 will throw you CANBUS error by way of making your mileage flash constantly.
As you can see its a bulky unit, and if you fitting in a proper double din unit, this causes issues.
To overcome this, I took out the blue&me from its housing, (clips on either side and top and bottom) and opened it. (4 hex screws). I took out the board which is tiny, carefully wrapped it, plugged it back in again, and pushed it down the side. Worked fine! If anyone has other ideas, please share.
I got around this issue in my 3.2 Brera in a similar way.
Like you I removed the pcb from the plastic cage and wrapped it in tape.
There is not enough room to fit it it back in at the side in my car but after some experimentation I found that it is just possible to push the blue connector through a hole at the top of the space above the aperture and back out again through an adjacent hole.
You can then reconnect it to the pcb and push the bulky connector back through the hole.

If you then partially remove the double DIN cage its just possible to fit the PCB above it and then re-insert the cage fully.
Works a treat and no more pesky flashing odometer! :thumbup:
 

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Good write up ASHR1UK,just wondering why the gear lever/hand brake fascia and air vents need to come off?
I did not need to do any of this either.
Managed by just putting the gear knob to the 6th Gear position but my car is a Brera not a 159.
 
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I don't understand why you had to dismantle. Doesn't the double din just fit in the space vacated?
What is the box marked in red in your second image?
 

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I don't understand why you had to dismantle. Doesn't the double din just fit in the space vacated?
What is the box marked in red in your second image?
Any aftermarket headunit requires a different cradle attaching to the facia from behind as well as a new facia adapter on the face to re-fill the gap properly as the Original HU is a bespoke shape and mount pattern.

The box highlighted in the cradle is the B&M unit. The Original HU is actually a single din unit with a double din face.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I got around this issue in my 3.2 Brera in a similar way.
Like you I removed the pcb from the plastic cage and wrapped it in tape.
There is not enough room to fit it it back in at the side in my car but after some experimentation I found that it is just possible to push the blue connector through a hole at the top of the space above the aperture and back out again through an adjacent hole.
You can then reconnect it to the pcb and push the bulky connector back through the hole.

If you then partially remove the double DIN cage its just possible to fit the PCB above it and then re-insert the cage fully.
Works a treat and no more pesky flashing odometer! :thumbup:
Excellent! :)
The only thing I'm worried about is the PCB heating. What you think? I havent driven the car enough to figure out if this happening...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good write up ASHR1UK,just wondering why the gear lever/hand brake fascia and air vents need to come off?
HI Sorry about the late response. Didnt know anyone read this... :)

The replacement unit I purchased is a double din front and back. However the original in the car is a double din front with a single din back. The original cage has to be removed and the only way this can be done is by removing the fascia, and then removing 4 screws holding the cage in place.

I also had to remove the Blue&Me unit and re-position it elsewhere.

I then purchased myself a replacement cage to house the new double din unit.

All in all about an hours labour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
As mentioned. If it's been "designed to fit" it clearly doesn't need a cradle change.
Hi,
Yes that particular unit has been designed to fit the 159 etc.

However if you go get a 'real' aftermarket unit, e.g Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood etc, you will need an aftermarket cage to complete the fitting. This applies to most vehicles not just the Alfa.
 

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Hi Ash,

Great post and guide! you've inspired me to replace my headhunt (mainly so i can stream music from my android phone through the car audio system which i have never been able to make work through the blue and me system).

Probably going to buy the Pioneer F70DAB unit. with the blue&me still attached does it still operate as normal through steering wheel controls once the new head-unit is fitted?

cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi Ash,

Great post and guide! you've inspired me to replace my headhunt (mainly so i can stream music from my android phone through the car audio system which i have never been able to make work through the blue and me system).

Probably going to buy the Pioneer F70DAB unit. with the blue&me still attached does it still operate as normal through steering wheel controls once the new head-unit is fitted?

cheers
Hi Fiorentina

Glad I inspired you. :blush:
I also changed it Coz after buying a new iPhone I couldn't stream to my b&m anymore. Even tried upgrading the software, just didn't work.

I had to buy a small add on that connects to the existing cabling to activate the steering controls. It was £30.
The audio shop I purchased from were very helpful. I just have them model of car and they told me what I needed.

Let me know and I'll forward you their details if you like.
They price matched too and were the cheapest in the UK for the stereo I wanted.
Cheers
Ash
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi Fiorentina

Glad I inspired you. :blush:
I also changed it Coz after buying a new iPhone I couldn't stream to my b&m anymore. Even tried upgrading the software, just didn't work.

I had to buy a small add on that connects to the existing cabling to activate the steering controls. It was £30.
The audio shop I purchased from were very helpful. I just have them model of car and they told me what I needed.

Let me know and I'll forward you their details if you like.
They price matched too and were the cheapest in the UK for the stereo I wanted.
Cheers
Ash
Hi Ash,

Great post and guide! you've inspired me to replace my headhunt (mainly so i can stream music from my android phone through the car audio system which i have never been able to make work through the blue and me system).

Probably going to buy the Pioneer F70DAB unit. with the blue&me still attached does it still operate as normal through steering wheel controls once the new head-unit is fitted?

cheers
Hi Fioretina,

This is what I had to purchase to connect the aftermarket system to the original steering controls. It enables the steering to control the volume, track change and answers the phone.
https://www.dynamicsounds.co.uk/alf...-adaptor-phone-button-support-ctsar002-2.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'd thoroughly recommend the following post (in the stickies), which is a more in depth discussion of the parts needed and, goes further with instructions for those of us who need to wire in a microphone.

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


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App[/color
Hi,

I managed to route the microphone into the existing microphone holder behind the map lights... works perfectly, cant see it. The cable is so thin I managed to squeeze it into the roof lining and down the pillar on the drivers side, under the steering column, and into the center console.

I did the same with the antenna for the GPS, but stuck right in the corner of the dashboard by the side airvents. Out of the way. I did try fitting it under the dashboard as some have recommended but noticed the signal was very poor.
 
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