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IPod Install in Armrest - How-to/DIY Guide

bezza Feb 1, 2010

  1. bezza

    bezza Member

    I installed an iPod kit at the weekend into my S3 and decided to write a little 'How-to' document as amazingly I couldn't find one.

    I decided I wanted the iPod installed into my armrest for easy access. After having a number of kits in previous cars I've always found the best way to control an iPod inside a car is to actually use the iPod controls. Everything else is either clunky or doesn't provide the functionality.

    So I decided to buy the Dension 100 kit. This allows the iPod to be connected to the car while retaining iPod controls.

    The armrest was a good location for the iPod as it was out of sight and convenient when I wanted to change tracks etc. It would of been easier to install it into the glovebox, but I'd of been forever leaning over to the glovebox then!

    So here goes, a step by step install with photo's and instructions.

    Firstly you need to remove the headunit. I've got the RNS-E sat nav system which requires 4 special keys to remove it from the head unit. You can buy the keys from your local Audi parts dept, or if you speak to them really nicely they might just remove it for you for free! they did for me! :) Apparently you can buy the keys on ebay, but I've read some horror stories of them being very cheap copies that can snap or break inside the head unit, so I'd only ever use the Audi keys or get Audi to remove it for you.

    I also had the glovebox CD changer so I got Audi to remove that as the same time, as once the iPod is connected I wasn't going to be using it.

    I started by removing the Armrest. Remove the ashtray from the rear by opening the lid and pulling it out.


    Then remove the tray under the ashtray by pulling up on it.



    The next step is to remove the armrest using a 13mm spanner. If you have the phone prep in the arm rest, they'll be some wires running into the armrest, simply disconnect these first.


    Now with the armrest removed you can move inside and carry out the next steps.

    Remove the end caps of the armrest, these simply pop off by hand at each end. You might need to lever a screwdriver inside them to help them off if they are quite stiff.


    You'll notice that on each side of the armrest there are holes and routes for cables to be run. In the above picture you can see the phone prep wires. We'll simply follow the same path for our iPod cable.

    Make a 13mm hole in the back of the armrest for the dension ipod lead and feed it through.


    Now feed the plug out of the passenger side of the armrest. This is fiddly and requires some patience but can be done! ;) The lead with the Dension 100 kit is just long enough to reach to behind the head unit, but only if you leave 2-3 inches of it in the armrest. If you leave more than that, the lead won't reach behind the head unit.


    Now put the covers back on the armrest and refit the armrest back in the car.

    Now you need to remove some of the trim at the front of the car to allow you to feed the wire up the central console and into the void behind the head unit.

    Remove the cover under the hand brake lever. It's easiest if you lever this out from the front of the cover.



    Remove the gear lever surround by inserting your hand as shown below and pulling up. I actually found it slightly easier to pull up from the front of the surround, but either should work. Once loose, pull it up and over the gear know out of the way.



    You should now have enough space and clearance to feed the Dension lead through from the back.

    Attach the dension lead onto a skewer using some electrical tape and feed it through from the back into the hole under the hand brake lever. Once here you can then feed it through by hand to the area next to the gear lever.


    Now I fed a stiff bit of electrical wire up from the gear lever hole into the void behind the head unit. This is a bit of trial and error until you get it through. Once through though, attach the dension lead using electrical tape again and feed it though!

    Now simply attach the other dension leads and adapter that came with the kit, then attach them to the back of the head unit. Reinstall the head unit, but before you push it all the way back in, turn the system on and check it all works.

    If it's all working then push the head unit all the way in and refit all the trim you've previously removed.

    You should now have a working iPod installed in your armrest!



    You might notice that the lead is quite short inside the armrest. I bought an iPod extension lead which allows me to lengthen the lead so that if I have a passenger who wants to flick through the ipod and choose songs, they can do quite easily.

    The only thing I couldn't work out was whether it was possible to remove the phone prep cradle attachment thing inside the armrest? I searched hard on google for this info but found nothing, so I can only presume that it comes with the armrest and can't be easily removed.

    Hope you like the DIY guide and let me know if you have any questions or comments! :)


    References - Big thanks to these couple of web pages and authors which helped me figure out how to remove certain parts of the trim without damaging them.



  2. dc240969

    dc240969 Member VCDS Map User

    Nice, l prefer mine in the glove box.
  3. davej_anderson

    davej_anderson Member

    Good mod, am going to think about moving mine
  4. Looks like a neat install, i prefer mine in the glove box though.


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