2003 LC Tesla Screen Install Write-Up

Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
43
Location
Centennial, Colorado
I was FINALLY able to spend some time and install the new Tesla style headunit in the Cruiser. Please let me know if you have questions and I'll do my best to answer them. I'm also happy to shoot video of any of the functions of the screen if you want me detail.

Overall, I'm happy with this headunit thus far. Here are my thoughts after using it for about 3 weeks or so.

It functions quite well. It's relatively responsive and has good sound quality.

One thing I noticed is that if I WiFi hotspot off my phone, the bluetooth connectivity suffers (not sure if it's proximity of antennas, bandwidth limitation, etc) - so much so that I have to mute the music playing from my phone if I need WiFi on the unit.

A couple of quirks (IMO):
  • The "next track" and "previous track" buttons are the steering wheel are backwards - the down arrow goes to the next track and the up arrow starts the current track over or plays the previous track.
  • Bluetooth doesn't automatically start playing when you restart the vehicle - even if the screen was just in "sleep mode" (not a full reboot)
  • It's really bright even at lowest setting. At night I just sleep the screen (there's a little icon for this on the top left of the screen).
  • I don't think you can change the elevation from meters to feet on the home screen
  • The compass is ALWAYS wrong - usually about 180 degrees off
Here's a few tidbits of info regarding my specific install before we go too deep.

The unit comes with two harnesses. Neither one worked for me. No audio and no HVAC control. I emailed with Stefan from Navihua and he was super eager to help. I took some pictures of the connectors, sent them to him and I had a new harness in the mail a week later. The HVAC was now working (PRAISE! It's been really hot in Denver!)

My investigation of the audio issue let me to find that there was no power reaching the factory, JBL amplifier. Instead of waiting for another harness to fix the audio, I decided to chop mine up and make it work myself. More on that later.

HERE. WE. GO!

BEFORE
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AFTER
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This is everything that came in the box. They sent two harnesses and all the CAN-BUS stuff that you'll need.
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There are a few things that I didn't take photos of along the way. Here's some detail:
  • I put the GPS antenna on top of the instrument cluster and tucked the extra wire next to the vent. It works well and has good reception there.
  • I ran the two USB ports to the glove box.
  • I also removed the factory NAV DVD player from under the drivers seat.
  • If you have factory NAV, you'll probably need to cut some wires down on the DVD player to get the front speaker to work. After cutting, join them together. LMK if you have this problem and I can take my seat out or try and get some photos.

To remove the old headunit, use a nylon spudger or equivalent to remove the two side ducts/panels - no screws, just plastic snaps. Disconnect the connectors and put them out of the way. Remove the four screws that secure the entire center section and pull it out.
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Last edited:
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
43
Location
Centennial, Colorado
Go ahead and disconnect all the connectors on the back of the old headunit. The new harness only fits one way, so no need to mark anything.
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Next, lay the two units next to each other and remove the HVAC controller from the old unit.
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Install that unit on to the new side rails/mounts that came with the new radio using the same screws that you removed in the last step.
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Then you can attach that bracket to the new headunit using the screws that came with the new unit.
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Then you can plug everything in and fire it up to make sure everything is working. This is where I ran in to problems.
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If everything works for you, re-assemble in reverse order of removal and you're good to go! If you need some audio help, keep reading.


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Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
43
Location
Centennial, Colorado
Get your soldering iron and heat shrink out (or butt connectors if they're your thing). This is how to fix the audio portion to work with a factory amplifier.

I cannibalized this harness to make this work. First step is to cut off the red and white RCA connectors.
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Then, prepare the wires for solder. Take note that this is shielded, single-conductor wire. So strip it once, pull the shielding aside and then you'll need to strip it again to get to the center conductor.
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Then cut these four wires (gray, gray/black, white & white/black) that run between the black connector that connects to the new headunit and the white connector that connects to the vehicle.
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The center conductor in each of the wires is the positive lead. Solder or crimp the wires together using the following "key":
FL - White
FR - Gray
RL - White/Black
RR - Gray/Black
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Then twist all four of your grounds together and solder them to a piece of extra black wire (18-20awg is fine). In the newest harness that was sent to me, there was a pink wire connected to the white connector for power to the external amp. If you don't have this wire, you'll also need to solder a wire on to the gray wire in this "low-voltage" harness.
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Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
43
Location
Centennial, Colorado
Lastly, connect everything together. I used a t-tap (they're the best) to connect my speaker ground wire to the vehicle harness. This allows for easy removal if necessary and only leaves behind a small wire prick. I also circled the correct wire to connect the gray wire to if you don't have a pink wire in your new harness (this is switched power for the amplifier). You can also use a t-tap for that connection.
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This is the diagram that I used to track down the amplifier wiring. Thanks to another Mud member for this diagram (sorry - I don't remember who I stole it from several weeks ago!)
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That's it, that's all!

Enjoy your new headunit!
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
65
Location
Northern VA
Good stuff! Any positives / highlights with the User interface and all of its features the past few weeks?
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
43
Location
Centennial, Colorado
Good stuff! Any positives / highlights with the User interface and all of its features the past few weeks?
TBH, I haven't been able to mess with it too much. I have an iPhone so these experiences are from using that. Some highlights so far:
  • You can Airplay to the display - watch videos, websites, whatever - it mirrors your iPhone. Pretty. Slick.
  • I had a Grom BT-3 before, and I think this headunit has better bluetooth quality.
  • Google Maps works pretty well. I downloaded my local area in offline maps so I didn't have to always have my phone hotspotted, and it works. I tend to still use my phone for live traffic updating though.
  • Radio sounds good. Lots of presets available - and the up/down buttons on the steering wheel cycle through presets instead of seek up/down (Toyota did that wrong on the factory headunit).

Basically, it does what I need it to. I'm not a super user by any means. I stream music from my phone and usually shut the display off right after I hit play and never turn it back on. My guess is that for family haulers, this would be sweet because it would be easy to integrate rear screens, backup cam, etc.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
43
Location
Centennial, Colorado
How responsive are the controls? Like the AC, etc?
They're pretty good. Every once in a while, I'll hit the up or down on the temp control and end up hitting it too many times because I get impatient. It's basically an andriod tablet, and not a super high-spec'd one at that, so it's a little slow.
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2012
Messages
371
Location
NorCal
Did you end up with any unused connectors on the radio harness? Working on installing my unit in my 06.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
43
Location
Centennial, Colorado
Did you end up with any unused connectors on the radio harness? Working on installing my unit in my 06.
Yeah there were a few on the vehicle side that I left unconnected. I think they relate to the DVD player for NAV under the passenger seat, and also the CD changer in the center console.


Thanks for the write up, it actually looks pretty simple to do. Where did you buy your unit from?
I bought it though Navihua. Basically just over email with stefan@navihua.com. He requested a PayPal payment (sketchy, I know) and I sent the payment and he sent the unit. They've been very helpful in working with me to get it all working.


My unit came today.. Looks like the same harnesses as yours. I hope mine are different as I really do not have the skill to do surgery on the wires.
Looks good! If you have a factory amp, my guess is that you'll run in to the same problem I did. But here's to hoping!
 
Joined
May 1, 2019
Messages
9
Location
Virginia
Did you end up with any unused connectors on the radio harness? Working on installing my unit in my 06.
Did you end up having to mess with the wiring or does everything work out of the box? I ask because I'm interested in this mod and have an 06 LC as well.
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2012
Messages
371
Location
NorCal
Did you end up having to mess with the wiring or does everything work out of the box? I ask because I'm interested in this mod and have an 06 LC as well.
TBD. My audio isn't working yet or my backup camera. AC is plug and play once you transfer the box.

I have a few connectors on the new harness that I am not sure where they go, if they're even needed.
 
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