Prius C 2013 Head unit replacement

Discussion in 'Prius c Audio and Electronics' started by sartyr89, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. sartyr89

    sartyr89 New Member

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    So, I’m a bit new to installing a new head unit to my 2013 Prius C 3. My question is how do I go about it? I’m looking at getting the Sony XAV AX5000 on Crutchfield so I’ll be getting all of the parts necessary to complete the install. I haven’t had much luck with finding an installation online so any info is really appreciated!
     
  2. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Crutchfield's instructions are adequate, I had no difficulty getting the factory deck out and a similar Sony deck installed in ours.

    Crutchfield did have a few goofs in their database regarding extra parts required for certain functions. They had to ship me something extra to support linking the factory rear vision camera to the Sony. Eventually it was perfect but it took them a couple of rounds of shipping extra parts. Now, they told me they were correcting their notes so the next guy wouldn't have any of that trouble.

    Given how few Prius Cs there are, and how unpopular DIY car audio has become, you probably are the next guy. Good luck!
     
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  3. sartyr89

    sartyr89 New Member

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    How easy was it to swap out the head unit? Was there any soldering involved? I don't believe my car has an amplifier and I'll be getting the adapter for the steering wheel controls as well. I've only checked at a couple places for the price of labor and was blown away by the price of something that is starting to look quite easy.

    Also, I have one more question: I noticed Crutchfield has a Ready Harness Service that looks like they solder all the harnesses together that need to be soldered. If I choose to use their service will that eliminate any sort of soldering that I would have to do?
     
  4. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Soldering was optional for every wire joint. I chose to use crimp connections for every wire joint. I do some light wiring work as part of my job so both methods come naturally to me.

    I can't speak for the crutchfield harness service. I didn't use it. It appears to depend on 100% accurate information about the car's wiring and the wiring for the accessory device. Just to point it out- this is what Crutchfield was lacking when I did my stereo. Hopefully they've updated their databases.
     
  5. jscoot

    jscoot Junior Member

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    I just received my aftermarket head unit from Crutchfield. Pioneer AVH-W4400NEX. It's been a long while since I've installed a head unit. Last time around, there was one vehicle plug and one head unit plug, connect the wires together, and plug in the antenna and maybe an aux cable and USB cable.

    This time, there are multiple connectors and adapters. Backup camera, stock USB port, steering wheel controls, OBDC connection (for vehicle info). In my case, I got the iDatalink Maestro RR for steering wheel control and OBD info connection, and the Toyota-specific harness that goes with it, and a USB adapter for the stock port, and an antenna adapter. These and a fascia plate and mount plates were the "recommended installation" package for about $180. For your Sony AX-5000, the recommended installation bits are $85. It doesn't use the iDatalink, but it has a steering wheel controls adapter.

    I also sprung for the $30 to have Crutchfield pre-crimp the radio and iMaestro harnesses together (Ready-Harness service) Well worth it, IMO. I would have spent another hour or two at least (counting obsessively double-checking that I was crimping the right wires together). I would have also had to buy some crimp connectors. By the way, the red/blue ones you find in the auto parts stores suck.

    So far, no crimping/soldering for me. Even so, I spent a good deal of time looking up wiring diagrams from Crutchfield and iDataLink before I touched the car. The Toyota-specific harness that I ordered with the iDataLInk iMaestro RR has the connectors that plug into the RR already wired in, but those connectors are also included in the RR box - probably half a dozen different little plugs with pigtail wires, that as it turns out I don't actually need because I have the harness. Took some reading to finally figure that one out.

    My aftermarket backup camera was a plug-and-play with the original '13 C three system, but it looks like I may need an adapter to deal with the power and reverse signal. Not sure about that yet.

    The stock aux port doesn't look like there's an adapter for it, so I may have to forgo that one and just connect a regular aux-RCA and dangle it somewhere. Could get a panel-mount, or maybe do some surgery, but I just want the basic thing working for now and AUX isn't something I personally need, given USB/Bluetooth/Carplay availability.

    I got most things plugged in, and did a rough cable run of the OBD cable, bluetooth mic, and GPS antenna (used for CarPlay and Android Auto GPS enhancement -the head unit does not include Nav). This could have gone faster. I mounted all of these somewhere on the left side of the dash or headliner, so I could have fished all three **at once** under the dash and over the steering column to behind the radio. It's probably easier to do this if you remove all the trim under the steering wheel, but I didn't want to figure that one out. Instead, I made a wire-fish out of three foot-long brightly-colored pipe cleaners that were sitting in the household crafting supplies.

    I then called a halt as it was dark and I was tired of trying to see things with a desk lamp and my phone light. Too easy to screw something up.

    Will continue in the morning.


    TL;DNR: Not hard, exactly, but more like putting together a complicated puzzle. Half in the dark (due to time of day). Oh, and if you puzzle wrong, you can short something out. Badly.

    Pics of Crutchfield's Ready-Harness crimping, the spider's web of harness, and some wire fishing.

     
    #5 jscoot, Nov 16, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  6. jscoot

    jscoot Junior Member

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    Note: Now that I've posted the above, I took a quick look at what is recommended for installing your AX5000 - it looks like a much simpler setup. I'll recommend again the Ready Harness thing - avoid all the crimping if you can. Crimping isn't terribly hard, but it's tedious and loose or badly crimped connections can come back to bite you in the end.

    As far as how you go about it: Go slowly. Read and doublecheck. Download the manuals and wiring diagrams - beats the tiny print on the inbox materials. Watch a few youtube videos.


    Especially look at youtube videos for the Prius C for removing dash trim. Also see those on installing backup cameras and bluetooth mics, and maybe dash cams for tips on running wires behind/underneath panels.

    Oh, and your AX5000 is on sale but only through tomorrow.
     
    #6 jscoot, Nov 16, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
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