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Ok guys - I read a few thread where a couple of guys were talking about expanding their Xtrail audio..... I do not know if the stock head units (HU) differ with various Xtrail models.....but my original HU looks like this:



I replaced mine with a Kenwood double din HU (DDX 812). Cost me US$ 713 at Onlinecarstereo.Com - Wholesale Car Audio/Stereo Deals At Bargain Prices. It now looks like this: (Sorry about the glare on the screen). It's up to you whether you want a double din or not. I suspect most guys will want a 'finished' look and lean towards the double din. Only problem is that they are on the expensive side. In the pic directly below you can see a blue USB (2GB) stick that I have plugged in to the USB input of the HU with MP3's in various folders. The HU allows me to browse through various folders even while a song is playing! Which for me is f*&king sweeet! I do not own an Ipod - but this unit also has a dedicated connection for one. Not that I'm advertising for Kenwood, but the unit can be expanded to include an external CD changer, TV, Sat radio and Nav if you want to invest in those further on.





After removing the stock HU, and disconnecting the wires from the loom, the rear of it looks like this:



As you can see - there is no auxiliary input to hard wire anything into the HU. There is a receptacle at the bottom that was not connected to anything...and I have no clue what it is for. I figure if that was for possible expansion, the HU might have had some more knobs or options available on the front...?? It could be a programming input??

It appears that our only options for expanding for use with your Ipod (or any other mp3 device) is what has been discussed in other threads: FM transmitters / FM modulators / cassette adapters. It seems as though the inline modulator would be your best choice if you want to keep things original, and get the best quality? Tough luck if you want to play mp3 CD's or mp3's from a USB stick.

If after reading this far, and you are still interested in upgrading your stereo...read on....Note: this is pretty much the same thing for any Japanese car.

For safety - Please disconnect your -ve battery teminal before attempting this. I did not disconnect mine while swapping the HU's as I needed power to the wiring behind the deck to figure out what wires was for what. If you choose to do it like that...do it at your own risk.

This was available in another link, but here are a couple of pics showing how to remove the face to access the stereo...Pop the face off with a flat head screwdriver at various corners, and pull the face out. Be careful not to damage the upholstery or the face - as it could look unsightly after.





Please note that this was surprisingly very easy to do....and as such the word thieves come into mind... :mad: However, my stereo was screwed down with T20 tork screws (pic below - slightly out of focus - sorry)....which luckily I had a driver for. The common thieves would probably not have that with them - so that was a bit of relief for me. Incidentally, alot of other screws around the upholstery were tork screws (T20 or T15). I actually swapped my HU with the one in my bro's XTrail - as his CD section was not working, and his deck was screwed down with phillips screws.



Disconnect the harnesses for the 4WD, A/C and hazard lights. These may be a bit tough - and a narrow blade flat head may come in handy here to prize the clips off. You would now be able to see the screws that are holding the HU in place. Remove them. Pull the HU out - and disconnect the antenna and two harnesses at the back.

I don't know if there are adapters that you could use to plug right in to these original jacks, and go straight back to your new HU....But I didn't worry about that. I cut off both jacks from the wiring. Ensure you leave sufficient length of wiring on the jacks in case you want/need to re-connect the original HU. The use of a nippers allows you to cut them quite easily. Plug the jacks back into the HU and store your HU in a safe place.

Now the tricky part...figuring out the wiring....Note: this is similar for most Japanese cars I have come across (Nissan, Honda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Toyota). Your colour coding on the wiring may be different from mine....but I think the wires should be the same. If you look at the pic above of the rear of the deck - you will see two wires taped together (not the plain green ones)...those are the +ve and accessory wires. Now (please don't kill me, but) I can't remember which was which. I want to say that the orange one is the acc input, and the yellow coloured one is the +ve wire. If you didn't disconnect your battery terminal as yet, a multimeter (or a spare 12V dc bulb) would be real handy right about now. Or you may want to reconnect your batt and check. Be sure no wires are in contact with each other, or any part of the vehicle!! In case you don't know how to check this with a multimeter....let me know. The single wire taped to the green wire is the ground (gnd / -ve). I did not use this to reconnect the new HU - instead I connected the new gnd to a screw that screws in to the body for a more direct ground. I don't know if it would make a difference...but you can try it.

You would also see a red wire pointing upwards....this is a 12V+ supply that comes out from the HU and powers the antenna. You would need to connect the 12V+ out (normally called P cont on aftermarket HU's) from your new HU to this. Many aftermarket units (probably if not all) also have an Ant Cont wire for motorized antennas....You can probably use this one too...I didn't - I used the P Cont wire. (I also used this supply for the turn-on for my amplifiers).

The wires that are twisted together are the speaker outputs. The ones on the connector with four wires are for the rear speakers. I can't recall which ones were right or left. If it matters to you (and you tend to play with your balance often - which I never do), you can test this with a AA 1.5V battery between the two wires, and see where the sound comes from..... I can't recall which ones were +ve and -ve either (sorry again :-( ). But if you are going to attempt this on your own, PM or email me - and I can check back my wiring behind the stereo to see which is which. Or I may find some time later on to check it, and edit this post. Insert the antenna plug into the HU.

Once you've made your necessary connections and all loose ends and joinings are secure....it's time to test. Reconnect your battery - and turn your ignition to ACC. Go ahead and test to make sure everything is sounding right before you button back up. Enjoy.

I expanded my system to include two amplifiers, changed out the door speakers, and threw a sub in the rear. I utilized the existing wiring behind the HU to feed the door speakers. I know this is less than ideal....but it makes for an easier, quicker install, and still sounds great. A couple points of note if you're messing with door speakers...I had to install 1 inch spacers between the new speakers and the door in order for the magnets to clear the window track. Also, before you remove the old speakers, mark the circle where they are located. Use this as your guide for the placement of the new ones, as improper placement would interfere with the cut out in the upholstery for the speaker. The amps are screwed down below the two front seats. I had to remove the seats and centre console to make access to do this.

My final install comprises:
Kenwood DDX 812 head unit (with 3 pairs of crossed over outputs)
Zapco Studio 204 (50x4) for mid-upper range feeding
1 pair Boston Acoustics component set in front doors (tweeter pictured)
1 pair Soundstream Picasso 6" 3 way in rear doors (pictured)
Zapco Z300 (300x1 @ 1 ohm) sub amp feeding
1 JL Audio 12W3 (dual 2 ohm).

Studio 204 amp:



Doors:





Z300 Competition amp:



Sub:




Bonus pics:


Stuck in a music video dvd to see the quality of the picture:


Well I hope the 2 hours I spent putting this together is helpful to some of you guys out there looking to upgrade, and answers some questions about expansion. Future plans may see a 10" flip down screen added to the roof of the cargo area for an upcoming island car show for Easter.:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
GS1 It's extremely easy....just ease a flat, thin, blunt object (in my case a flat blade screwdriver) in between the silver face and the upholstery, and prize out or twist the screwdriver. Do this at the bottom or top corners. The plate will pop off or you should have enough room to grab under it with your fingers....and you can then use your fingers to pry around the remaining outer edges..
 

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GS1 It's extremely easy....just ease a flat, thin, blunt object (in my case a flat blade screwdriver) in between the silver face and the upholstery, and prize out or twist the screwdriver. Do this at the bottom or top corners. The plate will pop off or you should have enough room to grab under it with your fingers....and you can then use your fingers to pry around the remaining outer edges..
thanks for the detailed reply - much appreciated :waving:

once again thanks for taking the time too produce this thread :cool:
 

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Very nice set up. That Kenwood HU is S-W-E-E-T! Unfortunately, I don't have $700 bones to spend. :( Nice amp too! That must have been tricky to install. It looks great, but it is a snug fit under the driver's seat.
 

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dSly If you want to play mp3 CD's you will need to change the stock stereo.....I recently changed mine to a Kenwood double din (changed it myself) and it fit like a glove...I actually did a full music install with two amplifiers and a sub box. If you need more info on it, or pics let me know...I can throw up a few.
Wow! Neat project. Thanks for all the details.
 

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Very nice write up... I added it to the "How To" list in the Stickies.

thanks,
 

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and for anyone with a UK spec X-Trail, yes, the back of the original HU is the same as this one. I'm about to swap mine for something that will converse with an ipod, but will see how that sounds before changing/adding speakers.
 

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Thank you for a great write up P11SR20DET! I found it very useful when I started working on the audiosystem in my X-trail! :thumbup:

A few thoughts though: the placement of the amps? Aren`t they a bit exposed for the backseat passengers feet aso? Or are you perhaps planning to add some covers perhaps?

Otherwise the install locks fine! Great equiptment as well: Zapco and JL... :D

/Freddi
 

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Very nice write up... I added it to the "How To" list in the Stickies.

thanks,
ValBoo and others - Thanks. Good to know this is useful to you all.

Freddi - I really couldn't put the amps anywhere else - plus they fit really snug under there. The other day my family (parents, uncles, cousins) were out on a "camping trip" - and the bass amp overheat and shut down - well the protection kicked in - and the mids amp was f*&kin hott as hell too! I soaked a couple towels with some cool water - and placed them on the amps to cool down. So my point is - the location and exposure makes for good aeration and easier access - as they tend to get pretty hot. Covering them up is not a good idea for me. I use the floor mats to kinda conceal them though.
 

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well done, very informative... was thinking about doing a indash nav and seeing what you have done looks like a doable project
 

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Great post, just came across it as i'm looking to swap my stock 6-disc deck in my '05 x-trail for a relatively stock looking Clarion CX400 with rear usb/ipod control. I just called my local electronics superstore who told me I would need an install kit from best kits. BKNN1491B Did you need a kit or bracket or did it the kenwood fit in clean? Thanks!
 

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Just thought I might update my findings for Canadian owners out there... just replaced the double DIN stereo in my 2006 X-Trail Bona Vista with a single DIN JVC.

I used a wiring harness from Best Kits - BHA7550 to make the connections to the new stereo wiring harness - worked great.

When I removed the old stereo (closely following instructions above plus the PDF from the Aussie Forums) I took the metal brackets off of the old stereo, and then used them on the new single DIN stereo along with a Scosche UI3050F pocket on the bottom part of the double DIN opening. Worked out OK, but a little tight - might need to cut the pocket frame width down a bit to get it to fit perfectly. Works OK for now and will see....
 

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Scotte23 I didn't have to fab anything to install the Kenwood. It was a straight swap.
bestvader Thanks for that. I wasn't aware that wiring "jumpers" were available for it. It does make for a neater install. I had to cut into the stock speaker wiring since I tapped my amp output into it.
 

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This is a great thread. But, has anyone upgraded the speakers in a more recent xtrail? Mine is a 2008 model. I've had the double Din unit upgraded, and fitted a small sub, (it's a commercial vechile) but I've been told I need speaker adaptors to upgrade the stock front door speakers.... I'm not very good with a set of spanners, so I'm not sure if I really do need adaptors or not. There's no information out there about this, or anyone selling adaptors.... so any help would be very very much appreciated, so I can get some good sounds into my ride!
 

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Jesso - welcome to the forum! I had upgraded my front door speakers as well to a component system. Unfortunately, I did not take any pics when I changed them. However, I can't remember if I needed adapters for the front doors, but I know I needed them for the back doors. But then again - it depends on how much mounting depth is required for the new speakers you have. If you haven't purchased them as yet, you probably better off checking to see what mounting depth is available before you get them. The stock door speakers come in a plastic housing that needs to be removed together with the speaker. I can get pics of those for you if you want. But I suspect you WILL need spacers or "adapters" as you can see in the back door pictures of my install. The spacers are just 6 inch inner diameter rings cut out of MDF and covered in fabric. It's just what thickness you will need. If you're not good with tools - I would recommend you have an installer do this for you. I used a power drill and dry wall screws to screw the spacers onto the door, then to screw the speakers onto the spacers. Plus I needed someone to hold the spacers in place while I screwed them to door. It was easy enough for me, and you can probably try it yourself once you have the right tools. Good luck. PM me if you need pictures.
 

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You would also see a red wire pointing upwards....this is a 12V+ supply that comes out from the HU and powers the antenna. You would need to connect the 12V+ out (normally called P cont on aftermarket HU's) from your new HU to this. Many aftermarket units (probably if not all) also have an Ant Cont wire for motorized antennas....You can probably use this one too...I didn't - I used the P Cont wire. (I also used this supply for the turn-on for my amplifiers).
Hey folks,

I bought the aftermarket harnesses to plug into the XTrail for installing my new double-DIN head unit. In reading this tutorial, it all looks pretty straight forward, I really appreciate everyone's efforts in getting the info out there.

The only item that I am wondering about is the accessory/remote/power antenna wire. There is a wire in the XTrail harness for "power antenna", and a remote wire coming from my head unit for "remote output only" (amp, EQ, and/or auto antenna). The antenna on the top of my XTrail is obviously not powered in terms of extending when the radio is turned on but I imagine it might have some signal amplification circuitry that gets turned on with the radio... is this the case, and should I connect these two wires together?

cheers,
Milo

PS: Mine is a 2005 Canadian XE model if that makes any difference.
 
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