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Upgraded the Head Unit for my 2015 LEAF S

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:33 am
by kamalchd
I just finished upgrading the radio/head unit in my 2015 Nissan Leaf S. The existing unit lacked the two features we needed the most - Bluetooth music streaming and navigation. I was able to find a Boss unit that had Bluetooth A2DP and Apple Carplay/Android Auto integration. At the time I bought it, I got it at a deal for $150 from Amazon. - correction, the unit was for $180

Buying the unit was the easy part, the install was the hard part. I ended up sacrificing the steering wheel controls since we did not use them much anyway. I did want to save the functionality but everywhere I looked, the METRA AXXESS ASWC-1 was out of stock and back ordered. Below is the parts list I ended up using:

BOSS Audio Systems BVCP9685A
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PF8LXFL

20-pin Subaru/Nissan Headunit/Radio Wiring Harness with Steering Wheel Switch Wires
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01D9K3L44

Wiring Harness Adapter 70-7552 and Cable Radio Install Plug For Nissan
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Car-Stereo-Wir ... 4329631925

Axxess AXNISUSB2
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Axxess-AXNISUS ... 1793580235

Spiral Audio UX-NI006
https://www.spiralaudio.com/index.php?r ... ct_id=1685

Ai NDK780 2011-2014 Nissan Multi Dash Kit Single ISO
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I86JXQK

I bought two of the Metra 70-7552 In case I had to pull some connections from one to add to the other, but I did not have to do that as I just gave up on the whole idea of keeping steering wheel controls. The Axxess AXNISUSB2 was to integrate with the factory USB port in the center console of the car. I used the Spiral Audio UX-NI006 to persist the factory camera although now I am thinking I should upgrade the camera to a better one since the video is grainy on the larger screen of the new unit. I installed the microphone for the new unit on the inside of the driver side A pillar at the transition from the trim to the headliner by snaking the wire from behind the head unit, under the steering column, though the fuse cover on the driver side, under the trim to the transition from the trim to the headliner. There is space behind the head unit and I just taped the microphone cable to a fish rod to snake the wire through.

I have been able to test all the features of the unit and everything works except the steering wheel controls (by design of missing connections) and Android Auto (caused by the software check mandating the parking brake be engaged on first launch of Android Auto)
Points to note while installing:
1. The NDK780 dash kit’s side plastic pieces do not have enough tolerances to go in the first time. I had to sand the plastic tabs a bit and then use a good amount of force to have them snap into place properly.
2. The screw holes in the NDK780 side plastic pieces are not correctly aligned. The plastic pieces were just not long enough to get to the screw holes on the side of the unit, so I just wedged them between the side of the unit and the bracket. I think it is held on tight enough to not move and come off.
3. Android auto will not be configured until the parking brake is engaged - Leaf did not have a parking brake engaged signal on the S trim though I believe there is one on SL/SV trims. I plan to open the dash again and ground the parking brake wire on the head unit. I believe that should allow me to bypass the parking brake check.

Completed install Image

Finally I have to thank the numerous posts I saw on this forum doing the same upgrade as I did. They provided the confidence I needed to attempt this myself :D

Re: Upgraded the Head Unit for my 2015 LEAF S

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:02 am
by gsutiger2
This is great! I just discovered today my "S" model does not stream audio via Bluetooth. Looking for options at this time.

Re: Upgraded the Head Unit for my 2015 LEAF S

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:37 pm
by kamalchd
I'd suggest buying a unit with AppleCarplay/AndroidAuto. It is totally worth it. You should be able to find units in the for approx $250 which have both. Let me know if you need help and I can write up and share detailed installation steps. Should be pretty easy if you are mechanically inclined a bit.
gsutiger2 wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:02 am
This is great! I just discovered today my "S" model does not stream audio via Bluetooth. Looking for options at this time.

Re: Upgraded the Head Unit for my 2015 LEAF S

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:51 pm
by NeilM
That looks great - nice job!! I have a 2014 Leaf S with the same configuration and I may also do the upgrade after my Sirius XM one year promotional deal expires! I was disappointed to find out that the "Bluetooth" logo on the dash did not mean that Bluetooth was installed!

Neil