2007 S3(8P): Symphony II+ to RNS-E conversion
Car: Audi S3 (8P) - MY 2007 - 07
ICE spec: Symphony II+ (MP3), Audi factory fit Bluetooth, Audi factory fit iPod dock in glove box, Audi factory fit Bose upgrade, Audi S3 FBMFSW
Ease of job: (1* = easy, 5* = v.hard): ***
Time required: 45 mins max (exc. VAGCOM play time)
4 stereo removal keys for double DIN (Horizontal)
8mm deep socket, extension bar and ratchet
Pair of pin nosed tweezers (or iPhone SIM removal tool / paper clip)
Anti slip mat or a towel
VAGCOM (although it will work without it - just not set up right)
Missing any of the cables/connectors?:
Check here: GPS antenna , Quadlock, Antenna (Fakra)
How it all came about
After nearly 2 years of lamenting not buying the Audi approved RNS-E head unit (went Symphony 6 disc MP3 unit instead), my portable in car SatNav finally sent me down a wrong road too far. After trying to send me to Canvey Island the other week (instead of Southend), this timewasting along with the overbearing boredom of sticking some cheap plastic into the car and having trailing wires everywhere pushed me into action.
Flavour of the moment, and subject of almost every other thread on Audi forums seems to be the old RNS-E retrofit, so I though that now was as good a time to do it with the RNS-E on offer at around £500 (instead of the original £2000+), particularly as the TOMTOM was knocking on the door of £300. And after losing about 8 e-bay auctions by about a tenner each time I finally won a 'Best offer' bid for a 2007 RNS-E unit which 'pretended' to be living in Fleet Street London, however was sent from Hamburg Germany :confused:.
After reading many informative threads on here I went out and sourced some head unit keys from fleabay, ordered a deal pack of 4 SD memory cards (non HD ones) and an SD USB card reader from 'mymemory.co.uk' in Jersey.
Now I hasten to add, ahead of this job, I am not a mechanic. I'm also not an (auto)electrician. In fact when it comes to cars whilst I have many opinions based on 15 odd years of VAG motoring, I am absolutely NO expert at anything (even my wife will back that up :blahblah1:). So whilst I know one end of a screwdriver from the other, there was a slightly unsettling shake in my hands at the prospect of peeling my pride and joy apart and undertaking surgery which could set off warning lights / stop things working.
Before I began the job I printed off all the necessary research, put a box aside for all the bolts I'd remove (a grand total of 2 in total!!!), and then decided about what I should do about one of the two hardest parts of job (mounting the GPS antenna). Eventually I elected to peel the clocks out as I couldn't be doing with the airbag light. That decision over the job commenced.
Now before I go into the ins and outs, I want to apologise for the frankly shocking photos I've attached. They are camera phone photos taken with one hand in poor lighting conditions.
So firstly the easy bit, 4 keys into the Symphony to get the old unit to slide out. Nothing complex about that. There is plenty of cabling to allow you to clear the dashboard, then it is purely a case of:
1) Flicking the latch at the bottom of the QUADLOCK multiconnector at the base of the passenger side of the Symphony, and raising the hinged swingarm to remove the QUADLOCK connector (it all comes away in one piece)
2) Disconnecting the aerial block (white connector) from the base of the drivers side of the unit (again click latched from the bottom)
The easy bit was now completed.
At this point MANY people recommend using masking tape to cover the dash panel around the stereo to protect it from knocks and scratches. Unfortunately all I had was electrical insulation tape which (due to the cleaning products I have chosen to use), decided I needed sticking to more than the dash. At this point I got a roll of anti slip mat (the sort of stuff you use in a toolbox drawer), and rolled this up and around to the dash aperture (as its naturally sticky), although a towel may do.
At this point I did a side by side comparison to see whether what I had purchased look much more 'trick' than the original head unit. What I find amazing when comparing side by side is that they manage to fit all that capability into the RNS-E.
Getting the keys out of the head unit is quite an art. I ended up using some tweezers (to press down the head unit catches from the top and bottom of the unit), and then pressing the sides of the catches inward with my fingers. There must be an easier way than this, but I'll be damned if I could find it.
So back out to the car, I now decided to undertake removing the clocks :think:.
I pulled the steering wheel outwards and downwards to its maximum position (towards you, not inwards), then got a grasp of the section in front of the clocks (a trim panel that contacts the fake leather trim). There were no bolts on this, and all you have to do to take it off is GENTLY pull it towards you in a horizontal movement. The leather trim is a bit awkward, and again it's one of those jobs that requires a bit of Jedi skill to put it back in later, but no bolts pleased me.
PLEASE NOTE this trim segment did not release completely, so I had to rest it on the steering column to allow the clocks to come past when I removed them.
This exposed two 8mm bolts holding in the clocks (positioned centrally under each clock face). I took a deep socket head, an extension bar, and a small ratchet and undid both bolts.
PLEASE NOTE keep your fingers on the bolts as you undo them. The threads aren't that long, and if you drop them into the dash, it will require you taking much longer removeing the underside of the dash (assuming they don't vanish into the special black hole where missing screws go when you drop them!).
The clocks pull towards you (again BE GENTLE!), and you will need to move them past the trim panel you removed. You could disconnect the clocks, but I chose not to (for fear of repurcussion later on). After setting the buzzer off on the clocks (as I knocked the indicator stalk downwards into parking light mode :applaus:), my panic was over and I gently rested the clocks against the side of the steering column against the indicator stalk (again on anti slip mat pile). The clocks are as light (in weight) as you could imagine, so are very unlikely to damage anything being left here.
So next I got the Kufatec GPS antenna and went looking for the shelf I had seen in so many photos. Nada - nothing.
There was very little in the way of any space at all, so at this point I coiled up and cable tied the excess cable (ensuring there was enough at EITHER END for the head unit (when pulled out of the dash), and then eough for me to re-position if required. I removed the Kufatec sticker as it was almost off anyway, and used two pieces of HEAVY DUTY velcro to mount the GPS module to the top of the dash CENTRALLY ABOVE where the clock unit goes (you can just make out in the photo above the sliver sticker on the Kufatec unit).
I then had to get the cable from the GPS unit to the head unit opening. I did this by putting my hand into the head unit opening, and pushing my hand in the general direction of the speedo clocks. When I eventually saw my fingers in one of the openings (looking through from the clocks aperture), I passed the cable through and routed it out from the head unit opening ALLOWING AS MUCH EXCESS CABLING GIVEN BY AUDI FOR THE QUADLOCK AND THE AERIAL CABLE.
Then to make sure I was getting some 'satellite action' I connected the RNS-E (out of dash), punched in the code (which worked), and then had to brush up on my German to get the unit into English speaking compatibility (thankfully the top option in the main settings menu!). In a very enclosed road, with the car backed half way into the garage I got 2-3 on the GPS bar which was encouraging, so assumed the positioning was a success (although it is not hard to change if it isn't - 10 minute job).
So I disconnected the RNS-E again, stuck down with tape any areas where the excess GPS antenna cable could rattle on dash internals, then rebuild the clock cluster.
Fortunately the GPS antenna DID NOT foul the clocks, and when pushed snugly back into place (trust me they are VERY snug), I reseated the 2 8mm bolts, polished the plastic clock screen from skanky finger marks, then reinserted the trim panel to complete the dash (no mean feat!!).
To reinsert the dash panel section there are effetively 3 pieces of leather trim to set back in. One on the right hand side, one on the left hand side, and the easiest one at the back (no fiddling needed on this one). The right and left one need to be tucked into the dash sides as far as you can press them in to the side slots, then as you move the trim panel back (again horizontally towards the plastic locator pins), keep retucking the side leathers in until they vanish. There should be no overhang 'roushed' leather exposed at the sides if you have done it properly. If you are struggling with this put your spare hand into the dip where the leather sits, and try and pull it through as you insert with the other hand - it is hard to explain, but you'll get my drift if you try it.
So with the clocks back in and the steering wheel reset, I now had the other hard bit to do. Rewiring for BOSE.
Thanks to JohnS3 I had a picture of how the pin configuration in the main quad block connector (in the blue mini connector) had to be reconfigured for Bose sound.
Here is the diagram John supplied to help me:
At this point I wanted to despair as this isn't what I enjoy doing. However it really isn't hard if you have the right tools.
Firstly you have to remove the blue mini connector unit from the main quadlock unit by releasing the catch that seats it in there. Once this is done, you will then need to release the blue outer casing from the connector body to perform the wiring surgery (moving the BROWN Bose cable from port number 6, to number 7).
The picture below shows what you are left with once you remove the blue cover from the connector block (again using a catch to release). It can only go back in ONE way, so you can't get it wrong).
The brown cable will be located (IF YOU HAVE BOSE) on the bottom row, second in from the left hand side (looking from the wiring side).
Tip the connector upside down and use a sharp pair of tweezers, an iPhone SIM remover tool or a paperclip to release the metal clip of the BROWN cable, and move if fron PORT #6, into PORT #7 (see the cable is dangling free in the picture above - sorry very bad picture!). You will hear a click when it is seated correctly, but I would give the cable a light pull to ensure it wont come out.
Now replace the connector block into it's BLUE casing, and reposition it back into the main cluster within the QUADLOCK unit.
Now the hardest part of the job is over.
At this point I took the personal decision to clean out the aperture, and add some further cushioning to the dashboard to reduce any unwanted noise. I did note that where the head unit seats against the main dash fascia AUDI have put a piece of cloth material against the bottom left hand seating lug. As my Symphony always creaked and rattled in the dash, I used some sticky backed felt (stuff I had purchased to protect wooden floors from furniture legs), which I cut to shape and put on the other lugs.
I then repositioned the anti-slip mat, offered it up to the dash aperture and connected:
1) The main quadlock (make sure the hinge mechanism is at 90 degrees to the quadlock pre-insertion as otherwise you will end up wondering why it wont go in!!). Once pressed in, move the hinge downwards until you hear the click. Give it a gentle tug to make sure it wont come off.
2) The white / creme aerial cable. Thankfully there was no modifications required here as the 07 S3 uses the same cable connector configuration as the RNS-E unit.
3) The blue GPS connector (this is the cable you routed through the dashboard from the clocks). It attaches above the QUADLOCK, and again clicks into place.
Once all the cables have been checked again, push any excess back into the dashboard fascia, then gently offer the RNS-E to the dash, and push firmly into place. I didn't find any need to reposition or move any cables, so there is enough space if you cable intelligently.
So, the moment of truth, would it all work again?!
I turned the ignition key and up came the MMI screen as I was hoping. Despite having disconnected it between installation processes I did not have to re-enter the code.
I had a quick bash about and all seemed well. I programmed the stations on the radio, checked the iPod connector, set up the sound settings and checked the nav capability. All worked fine.
Whilst there are people who will find the thought of this job pretty unpleasant, I can only say this is 45 minutes work doing what I did above (max).
VAGCOM codes (link)
All that is left to be done is the VAGCOM coding for:
1) S3 entry screen (Module 56 - Channel 18 - Option 1)
2) Setting the tyre size: 225/40/18 summer tyre (Module 56 - Channel 10 - 1943)
3) Setting up the bose sound system characteristics (Module 56 - Function 7 - Sound characteristics - Option 5)
4) GALA Bose (microphone) (Module 56 - Channel 8 - Option 255)
5) Voice commands for sat nav for Right Hand Drive car (Module 56 - Channel 126, Option 00013 [US & Europe 0500+] OR Option 02632 [Europe <0500]) - As my unit came from Germany (LHD cars), I have to do this one, if yours in UK sourced you wont have to.
PLEASE NOTE, depending on your options (eg. iPod / Bluetooth / Bose / where in the world you sourced your NAV unit, you may require different coding to that mentioned above - see provided link in the VAGCOM title for more options).
Questions that remain unanswered
I have only 2 questions to resolve once I have sorted the VAGCOM stuff at Storm Developments this weekend.
1) How do I get the RNS-E to upload my phone book (like the unit in the Q7 did when I borrowed that)?
2) Can I store favourites and home location in the sat nav?
3) I have dragged some music from my MacBook Pro HDD into the SD cars (by album folder), but how exactly do I set up a .m3u playlist? Do I create a new folder called ?????.m3u and just drag tracks into it?
Once again, many thanks for all the help I have received on this forum from the members who have given their time to reply to threads / or have written their own install experiences, (esp. JohnS3 who has been a great help as always)
And finally (the small print)
As always, I have to say if you follow the instructions I've described above, you do so at entirely your own risk. I cannot be held accountable for any issues, failures, damage or incidents you may encounter by doing this yourself. Best of luck. If I can do it, anyone can!!