2008 Head Unit Replacement / upgrade - Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2016, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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2008 Head Unit Replacement / upgrade

I'm going to replace my head unit. I've read a lot about it already (a lot on here) and I'm going to go with the metra double din dash kit because it's the only one I've found. I want the steering wheel to work with the controls and I'd like the LCD screen to stay working as well. I haven't decided which head unit to go with. I want something that can work seamlessly with my iPhone and must have Bluetooth calling I have a sub box I'll install in the trunk as well, I'll probably upgrade the stock speakers in future as well but right now I'm looking just to replace the head unit.

What'd I'd like is a point in right direction as to where I can find the best prices on what all I'm going to need to do this, and advice on what all I'm going to need to do this. I would also like some advice as far as head units go that will do what I need and be compatible with the steering wheel controls. Any advice tips / tricks from those who have done this already would also be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 12:08 PM
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As for a headunit, that's totally up to you in terms of budget mostly. If you want seamless iPhone control, go with something with Apple CarPlay. Any NEX Pioneer will do or higher end Kenwoods.

If you go with a "major" name brand (Pioneer, Kenwood/JVC, etc) you can go with the iDatalink Maestro (ADS-MSW) which is connecting 4 wires in the car and flash the module online and that's it. I would highly recommend this, it doesnt require manual programming in the car, already pre-programmed when you flash it and you can customize each button for whatever you want. Hands down the best option available for SWC retention.

Some "off-brand" headunits will not work with the Maestro. They may or may not be compatible with the Metra ASWC-1. Some come with the SWC control wires already "built-in" to the harness but are extremely unreliable.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rannelbrad View Post
I'm going to replace my head unit. I've read a lot about it already (a lot on here) and I'm going to go with the metra double din dash kit because it's the only one I've found. I want the steering wheel to work with the controls and I'd like the LCD screen to stay working as well. I haven't decided which head unit to go with. I want something that can work seamlessly with my iPhone and must have Bluetooth calling I have a sub box I'll install in the trunk as well, I'll probably upgrade the stock speakers in future as well but right now I'm looking just to replace the head unit.

What'd I'd like is a point in right direction as to where I can find the best prices on what all I'm going to need to do this, and advice on what all I'm going to need to do this. I would also like some advice as far as head units go that will do what I need and be compatible with the steering wheel controls. Any advice tips / tricks from those who have done this already would also be greatly appreciated.
As @ctg162 said, the brand and specifics is really up to you. If you buy name brand, you'll get good results but you'll pay a premium. To find lists of parts you'll need, use crutchfeild to find what fits your car, then go to Amazon to buy those components for much less

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-01-2016, 03:51 AM
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What kind of connectors are typically needed for an aftermarket HU install like this?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-01-2016, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by thzpcs View Post
What kind of connectors are typically needed for an aftermarket HU install like this?
as far as connectors you'll generally have a wiring harness specific to your car that you will connect to the one that comes with the radio, then you'll have the connector that comes with the steering wheel control adapter. sometimes you need an antenna adapter, but I'm not sure if mazda's need this or not as I haven't replaced a head unit in a mazda yet. The only other "connectors" you would need is if you decide to use crimp barrel connectors to join the wiring harnesses.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-01-2016, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thzpcs View Post
What kind of connectors are typically needed for an aftermarket HU install like this?
Metra kit comes with the harness for the radio already, just have to make your connections from that harness to the radio harness. Then connect the appropriate connectors to the metra kit for hazards, rear defrost, air circulation, and a/c.

As for steering wheel controls, the metra harness is pre-wired for an ASWC-1 (metra) so its just plug and play to get that to work. I personally did and ADS-MSW which works a lot better, but you have to splice into wires in the car...so if youre not comfortable doing that, you may not want to go that route.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-01-2016, 01:41 AM
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What's the functional difference between the two systems?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-01-2016, 01:53 AM
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What's the functional difference between the two systems?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-01-2016, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thzpcs View Post
What's the functional difference between the two systems?
ASWC from metra is direct plug and play with the kit and harness. Little to no programming required, stock steering wheel control functionality.

ADS MSW is fully customizable with up to two functions (press and press & hold) per button done via flash online. Must be flashed, must be hard wired for ground, accessory, and two steering wheel wires at the car side radio harness (pins 12 & 13).

Troubleshooting is way easier with the MSW because you unplug, reflash, or check wiring. ASWC requires resets or hard resets and multiple button pushes at the steering wheel to find out what's wrong.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 07:43 PM
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Ah, that's good to know.
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