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Re: Leaf S - replacing the radio?

Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:29 am
by aarond12
booper wrote:Any updates here? Interested to hear if anyone has had any success replacing a head unit in an S.
Interestingly, if you visit Crutchfield's website and select your LEAF S model, it shows double DIN radios that are compatible. Apparently they've done the work for us and found that a double DIN radio does fit. They also have some (extra price) kits that will enable the steering wheel controls to be active. Still looks like we would lose the rear-view camera though...

Re: Leaf S - replacing the radio?

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:30 am
by pereze
Wow, didn't know this thread was still alive until I was doing some additional searching a few minutes ago. I thought I might be able to give back with what I have learned so far.
  1. A double DIN radio will fit, but leaves a gap on both the right and left side. After doing a lot of image searches, I took a gamble and assumed a 2013 Frontier has the same radio (which also seemed to be confirmed after looking at wiring diagrams). I ordered the Metra 95-7619 ... B00GNG3X7W
    I was only able to use the middle insert and used a glue gun to attach it to the main dash kit.
  2. The wire harnesses for the leaf are odd. You will need multiple harnesses if you want to maintain certain functions like backup camera, steering wheel controls, usb, etc to work.

    Here is the completed harness in all its glory. I know it looks really bad, but I did clean it up a bit and tie it up nice. A bonus of the leaf is there is a lot of room behind the radio.

    Here are the various connectors I used:
    • Ax-nisusb-2 - for USB connector
    • 40-NI12 - for Antenna
    • 70-552 - standard harness. I actually used the Scosche version and moved over a couple of additional wires for steering wheel controls from this harness. You could also just use 2 of these
    • Ax-NIS32swc - for backup camera (more on this below)
  3. For the backup Camera I used the Ax-NIS32swc harness. This harness says it is for steering wheel control, but I found it mostly useless for anything but the camera. The camera on the Nissan's (and some other OEMs) are 6v cameras. While I read reports that you could feed it 12v, I didn't want to risk it so I dropped in a 12v to 6v step down converter. ... =12v+to+6v
    I wired that into the harness and plugged the RCA into the back on my new double din.
  4. The generic Nissan harness does not have wires for the steering wheel controls. I used a wiring schematic to figure out the pins I needed to use and then added wires from an extra harness I bought. If you get some good pliers, you can pull the wire out of the harness fairly easily and push it into the harness you are planning on using. I used the Axxess ASWC-1. If you look on their site for instructions for the Nissan Frontier, you will find the right pins and connections.
For me, I had so many different things to power, I used a relay to help distribute the power. You need power for the antenna, camera, steering wheel control module, emergency brake by-pass, the stereo itself and for a relay to any amps you are running. It seemed crazy that all of these things would need power, but it worked out in the end.

I am REALLY happy I made the change. It was a pain, and took a lot of planning, research, etc, but I love having a solid output to the amps, HD radio, Bigger backup camera, etc. I have only gotten volume controls to work from the steering wheel controls, but that was the main thing I wanted to work. I haven't had time to mess with it, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was something I did wrong that is causing the Source switch to not work.

Here is a (Bad) picture of what the rear view camera looks like on the screen.

Here is a first pass at the dash kit around the stereo. I ended up moving it back a little so it is more flush with the sides. *One note: Because of how far back the stereo sits and this particular stereo having a flip down screen, it doesn't flip down. I thought about spacing it out so the front of the stereo sticks out more but I haven't needed the CD/DVD slot in 6 months so I am not sure if it worth the effort.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Re: Leaf S - replacing the radio?

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:35 pm
by DuncanCunningham
good work

Re: Leaf S - replacing the radio?

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:06 pm
by jpadc
Thanks pereze - your installation looks great!

One day I may want to do something like this and its nice to know how sweet it can look when you are done!

Edit: Corrected username

Re: Leaf S - replacing the radio?

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:26 am
by booper
Pereze - looks great, thanks for sharing!

Can I ask what you did for speakers? Thinking of starting small and taking out the front speaker pair for a set of component speakers.

Re: Leaf S - replacing the radio?

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:45 pm
by pereze
booper wrote:Pereze - looks great, thanks for sharing!

Can I ask what you did for speakers? Thinking of starting small and taking out the front speaker pair for a set of component speakers.
I can't leave things alone, so I installed some 6.5 woofers in the doors and a tweeter in the A pillar. I have the S, which didn't have a tweeter but has the molding/holes for it in the A pillar..

The great thing about this car is there is a good bit of depth in the door. I used 3/4 MDF to make an adapter ring. Doing this gives me some extra depth and puts the speaker closer to the door card. You could probably by a speaker adapter and be fine with the depth. I first used a set of woofers from the Alpine SPX component set, but I just switched them out for a set of Dayton Audio DC160-4.

The A pillar has a safety attachment which is green and hooks onto the A pillar so that when the side impact air bags go off, the pillar doesn't become a weapon. If you reach in with some needle nose pliers, you can twist the green plastic attached to the a A pillar and get the pillar to release. The green thing goes in and then turns to "lock" in place. When you do this, you should replace the green thing (which are cheap) since it is now stretched. It will reattach fine, but its probably not worth the risk.

I am running my speakers active which means the crossover is in the back of the car (mine is actually built into the amp). You will need to run wire to the front tweeters since there isn't anything there to begin with (assuming you have the S). Since I was going for good enough, I ran speaker wire up to the deck, spliced into the speaker wire going to the door speakers and then used the factory wiring to get me into the door. Once in the door, I spliced into that wire to tie into the new speaker. It isn't the best way to do it, but it was simple and easily reversible while accomplishing my goal.

If I was going to add a component set, I would do something similar. I am not sure where I would place the crossovers, but I would probably keep them out of the door and just tap into the harness behind the radio for the door speakers and then run new wire to the tweeters.


Re: Leaf S - replacing the radio?

Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:23 am
by Snelling
Any chance you have a parts list of everything you used? Only things that really bugs me about this car (have a 2015 but same packages) is the sound system and the mirror (will get a homelink to install),

Want to get the parts then find a shop to do the install. How much in all did it end up running you?

Re: Leaf S - replacing the radio?

Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:55 am
by powersurge
Nice installation, it looks stock... For most weekend car hackers, however, I don't think that messing with the "S" radio is even worth It. I don't see that - - in order to get a bit better sound, navigation, and possibly a bigger camera screen, we need to rip out a perfectly good working, competent unit... You may loose the steering wheel buttons, USB, camera, or the hands free telephone... I have the 2015 "S" and actually feel grateful that I got the goodies I got with that radio, AND that it tells me the names of the stations, songs, and artist on the radio!. I have never had that! PS - Also, I have been into home and car audio for many years, and think that for what it is, the stock radio is pretty good. Also, I have always thought that replacing the stock radio reduces the value of the car. Have fun experimenting with your cars guys!!

Re: Leaf S - replacing the radio?

Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:04 am
by aarond12
powersurge wrote:For most weekend car hackers, however, I don't think that messing with the "S" radio is even worth It.
You know, you're probably correct. What I did with my i-MiEV (on lease) was add an amplifier and subwoofer to the stock radio. Be sure your amplifier has speaker-level inputs and a crossover.

When I added it to the stock radio (coincidentally the same manufacturer as the LEAF S's radio), it sounded great. The subwoofer setup allowed me to turn the bass all the way down to the main speakers, which allowed them to run louder without distortion. It wasn't "all bass" as you might imagine either. Granted, some adjustments had to be made on the amplifier.

Now that I have two kids (and sometimes two strollers, depending on where we're going), I'm going to wait to add the same setup in my LEAF. I need the trunk space more than the improved audio quality.

On the same vein, the audio quality from my iPod sounds very good hooked up through the USB port with the equalizer set to "Electronic". That equalizer preset seems to compensate nicely for the stock speakers and radio.

Re: Leaf S - replacing the radio?

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:44 pm
by booper
Yeah, agree with the previous 2 posts. I am wondering if anyone has had any luck adding component speakers up front in an S - maybe the best bang for the effort in a stereo upgrade for the S.