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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! First post and first Honda Pilot. I did a little searching around the Forum, but surprisingly I didn't see this covered, but maybe it's how I searched. If this has been covered, please point me in the right direction so I'm not doubling up the topic.

We purchased a 2011 EX-L with RES for our little family. We would like to upgrade the stereo to an aftermarket double din with navigation and a few more bells and whistles. Probably have a car audio shop do it, but if it's pretty simple I'll definitely do it myself. The unit doesn't have to be a $2000 head unit, but something that will give us some more [now standard] features like blue tooth, wifi connection from hot spot, maybe Apple car play, etc. We stream pretty much all our music and movies, so it doesn't have to have CD/DVD capabilities, but it certainly would be nice to have the option if that's even possible these days.

We intend to use the factory speakers and the powered sub, since they seem to be in good working condition with no issues. We can always replace those later if they start showing their age and need to be replaced. I'm always open to the discussion, though.

The bigger, more obvious topic is the compatibility with the factory RES setup for the back seat. Is that going to be a problem or pretty straight forward? The whole reason we bought the vehicle was to have that RES installation for the kids.

Additionally, I don't love the rear view mirror backup camera display. I would love it if there was a possibility for it to display on the head unit and hook into the factory camera. But, if that's impossible, that's okay too. We can retain that system in its stock form. If it IS possible, we need to replace the stock auto-darkening rear view mirror anyway and could maybe use a Touring mirror that doesn't have the LCD in it. It has the lamination issues that apparently is common. It works, but looks bad.

LASTLY! If there is a stereo that would be compatible to run OBD2 for vehicle monitoring, that would be great, but PURELY a luxury. I wanted to at least inquire in case it was a slam dunk and simple interface.

Anyway, seems like a great place! If anyone has any recommendations for any of the above, I would really appreciate it. This is an upgrade we would like to do pretty quickly. And again, if this has already been covered, I apologize. Please point me in the right direction.

Thanks everyone!
Scott
 

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The big question is: what does your dash look like?
I suppose like this?
Car Gear shift Vehicle Speedometer White

If so, you should be able to replace your factory head. There are trim kits to fit a single-DIN stereo, and with a little bit of trim alteration, you can squeeze in a double DIN.

Now to go over your points:
The sub is not 'powered' It is powered by an amp in the factory head. If you want to keep using the sub, you will need to install a small mono amp for it.

If factory unit goes, I am afraid your factory RES might be toast. OEM head is the hub of RES - it houses the DVD, it accepts the aux jack inputs, it can control the overhead screen. If you swap out the head, you will have to go aftermarket for the RES as well.
See this guide:

You would likely want a 'Video multimedia receiver' type unit. For example, this Pioneer unit:
Considering its A/V inputs/outputs, it actually may be possible your OEM aux inputs and overhead screen to work with it... maybe.

Rear camera - yeah, definitely can rewire that to go to the new head screen. Should be quite easy.

OBD2: Look into MaestroRR iDataLink. You will need a steering wheel controls adapter anyway, and Maestro RR goes the extra mile, giving you the OBD2 connection. Just make sure you get an iDataLink compatible head. (The Pioneer I linked is compatible)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The big question is: what does your dash look like?
I suppose like this?
View attachment 145847

If so, you should be able to replace your factory head. There are trim kits to fit a single-DIN stereo, and with a little bit of trim alteration, you can squeeze in a double DIN.

Now to go over your points:
The sub is not 'powered' It is powered by an amp in the factory head. If you want to keep using the sub, you will need to install a small mono amp for it.

If factory unit goes, I am afraid your factory RES might be toast. OEM head is the hub of RES - it houses the DVD, it accepts the aux jack inputs, it can control the overhead screen. If you swap out the head, you will have to go aftermarket for the RES as well.
See this guide:

You would likely want a 'Video multimedia receiver' type unit. For example, this Pioneer unit:
Considering its A/V inputs/outputs, it actually may be possible your OEM aux inputs and overhead screen to work with it... maybe.

Rear camera - yeah, definitely can rewire that to go to the new head screen. Should be quite easy.

OBD2: Look into MaestroRR iDataLink. You will need a steering wheel controls adapter anyway, and Maestro RR goes the extra mile, giving you the OBD2 connection. Just make sure you get an iDataLink compatible head. (The Pioneer I linked is compatible)
Thanks for the response! Ah yes... that's what I was afraid you would say.

Okay, starting in response. YES! That's what our dash looks like. Correct!

No problem on the amp. If the wiring is there for signal without running new wires, that seems like a simple amp install. I'm sure there are other threads on that . Great!

Sounds like the rear camera should be a simple rewire. I'm assuming it's not an RCA input, but could be converted to RCA?

For the OBD2, YES! I have a MaestroRR that I bought for my 4Runner that I'll be installing. I've seen them in action and really like them and the prices are very reasonable. I will consider that for this, too. Thanks!

So getting down to brass tacks, it seems a double din could be adapted in-dash with a little work, but that RES will be the loss during the process. Shoot. I hate to replace all that RES after what we went through to find a decent Pilot that had it. Not knowing how it works yet (picking up the vehicle tomorrow from detail) I can't even comment how I even like it. Seems like a nice system, though. But maybe there's an alternative to all this...

Is there an A/V input on this head unit or an adapter that can be purchased for Bluetooth that would allow the ability to stream to the system? I'm guessing the RES will only run off of DVD's, which will be okay for bit, but eventually we'll want to stream when we run out of DVD's or we can't even buy them anymore. The only thing I hate is that all the factory controls in the back would be useless. I've never owned a vehicle with any type of RES, so I'll have to research how all that works.

Maybe upgrading the RES is the inevitable in order to run a modern head unit. In the meantime, maybe we can at least figure out a way to establish a Bluetooth connection so we can stream audio to the vehicle and use our phones hands free.

Thank you for the response! I appreciate it! Keep it coming, if you have any other ideas. Sounds like no matter what I'm going to have to get pretty creative and do some extensive work to upgrade the system for modern conveniences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I think I'll look for a Bluetooth adapter in the meantime to at least get connected to the vehicle. I ran across this GTA Bluetooth adapter. Does anyone have experience with this or something else that provides connectivity? This would also get me some experience with digging into the dash to see what I've got going on.


This one also looks like it could be good

 

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For camera, see this post, it describes the pins at mirror. You extend that to head location. RCA is wired onto the 'video signal' and 'video ground' pins.

The RES can accept A/V input from those jacks in the rear, not just DVD. The trick is, if you want to stream video from a phone, is to convert the output to composite. It can be an adventure all of its own.

My own take on RES, considering you never had one. How old are your kids? What are their entertainment preferences? I have two about 2.5 years apart, they never ever could agree on what to watch. On all our trips, they each do their own thing on their own device. IMHO, modern phones/tablets killed car RES as a concept. If anything, I would invest in a pair of holders that allow mounting a tablet to a seat headrest, i.e.

Far as new head units go, I would recommend going for a floating screen, singleDIN body unit. While you can fit a doubleDIN with some trim alteration, it just won't look as good.

One of those bluetooth units might fill the gap indeed. Just think how much use you are going to get out of it, maybe best to just go for a head upgrade?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
For camera, see this post, it describes the pins at mirror. You extend that to head location. RCA is wired onto the 'video signal' and 'video ground' pins.

The RES can accept A/V input from those jacks in the rear, not just DVD. The trick is, if you want to stream video from a phone, is to convert the output to composite. It can be an adventure all of its own.

My own take on RES, considering you never had one. How old are your kids? What are their entertainment preferences? I have two about 2.5 years apart, they never ever could agree on what to watch. On all our trips, they each do their own thing on their own device. IMHO, modern phones/tablets killed car RES as a concept. If anything, I would invest in a pair of holders that allow mounting a tablet to a seat headrest, i.e.

Far as new head units go, I would recommend going for a floating screen, singleDIN body unit. While you can fit a doubleDIN with some trim alteration, it just won't look as good.

One of those bluetooth units might fill the gap indeed. Just think how much use you are going to get out of it, maybe best to just go for a head upgrade?
That is all good and very practical input!

The floating type head units (like the Halo9, or similar) seem to be a super easy install with a single DIN and maybe instead of using the little "cubby" that goes underneath, I can just 3D print a solid panel (or buy??) and put some auxiliary USB connections in there. Do the floating units have a lot of vent blockage?

There's part of me that wants to figure out a way to retrofit an updated RES in that stock location and make a remote to replace the stock one for controls. I'm guessing the headphone jacks might also be usable on some level with a little work. The geek in me kind of wants to do something trick to make the stock stuff work, but maybe replace the screen with a touch screen, or something. But I guess, the remote can just live in it's holder and I could replace the RES screen with an updated one and retrofit updated controls in the console below. Could be pretty neat and probably not a terribly expensive project. Seems it would just tie into the A/V outputs on the back of the head unit.

We have two girls, now 19 months and 3-1/2, so about the same split as yours. Amazingly, right now they're agreeing on movies, but eventually I'm sure that will change. Good point. We have a couple tablet holders for them now for our 4Runner and that works fine. Plus, one child is still rear-facing. I'm sure eventually, they'll want they're own music devices and everything else.

We are planning on having this vehicle for awhile, unless it starts giving us some issues, so I feel like the upgrades will be worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If anyone has any interesting updates they did to the factory RES setup for use with an aftermarket unit, I would love to see what's been done!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Well... my wife (the boss) said she really does not like the floating screen stuff for her Pilot, so it looks like I'll be trying to figure out how to cram a double din head unit in this thing for a more "factory" appearance. Sounds like there might be a couple little modifications that need to be made around the bottom corners of the installation for it to fit with the factory dash pieces. Researching how it's mounted, it seems like that would be a very minor modification if I can find some kind of universal arrangement to hack up. Any suggestions? It doesn't look like I could start with the single din setup that has filler piece underneath, but maybe I can.

Also, can the factory RES display be made compatible to work with the A/V outputs of an aftermarket head unit? I'm assuming the A/V signal wires for the display would need to be converted to RCA's to be compatible. If none of that works, then maybe adapting another display in the factory ceiling bezel?

EDIT: Additional question... If I upgrade the stereo (to any type) am I going to lose functionality of the upper climate control display? None of that is integrated into the stereo, is it??? If I'm going to lose the climate control display, I'll have to rethink ALL of this. :oops:
 

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The floating type head units (like the Halo9, or similar) seem to be a super easy install with a single DIN and maybe instead of using the little "cubby" that goes underneath, I can just 3D print a solid panel (or buy??) and put some auxiliary USB connections in there. Do the floating units have a lot of vent blockage?
That extra cubby would just be blocked by the screen. If anything, I would recommend installing those extra USB ports in the lower portion of the console - so you don't have wires dangling across your climate controls.
About vent blockage: depends on the unit, but most of them have a screen about 9" wide which should just about fit between the vents with next to no blockage.

Not sure if you 'sold' the floating screen idea well enough... anyway, here is a thread about fitting a normal DIN on a 2010:
Doesn't look too bad.
And yet another example:

If you dig around this forum, you should be able to find a Pilot 2009-10 service manual download link. But the relevant page is this one:
Rectangle Schematic Slope Font Parallel

If RES unit can be powered independently and play incoming audio/video, you are in business.

Looking at something like this one:
It has an additional A/V input (separate from AUX) that can accept the RES A/V RCA jacks. Also has an HDMI input.
It has a separate zone A/V output that can go to the rear screen, as well as to the headphone jacks in rear console.
It can play DVDs and comes with a remote control for rear seat operation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That extra cubby would just be blocked by the screen. If anything, I would recommend installing those extra USB ports in the lower portion of the console - so you don't have wires dangling across your climate controls.
About vent blockage: depends on the unit, but most of them have a screen about 9" wide which should just about fit between the vents with next to no blockage.

Not sure if you 'sold' the floating screen idea well enough... anyway, here is a thread about fitting a normal DIN on a 2010:
Doesn't look too bad.
And yet another example:

If you dig around this forum, you should be able to find a Pilot 2009-10 service manual download link. But the relevant page is this one:
View attachment 145885

If RES unit can be powered independently and play incoming audio/video, you are in business.

Looking at something like this one:
It has an additional A/V input (separate from AUX) that can accept the RES A/V RCA jacks. Also has an HDMI input.
It has a separate zone A/V output that can go to the rear screen, as well as to the headphone jacks in rear console.
It can play DVDs and comes with a remote control for rear seat operation.
Now you're talkin'! You are a wealth of information. Thank you!!

I personally don't mind the floating, but she wants it to look a little more "factory". Guess I can't argue with that.

It's looking like it wouldn't be all that terrible to start with the standard din kit with the pocket and cut away the unneeded portions. Looks like just a tiny bit of nibbling on the stock side dash pieces and it about falls together.

I think I saw where if we have a standard factory head unit without Navi that the upper climate control display will work just fine, but just won't show compass, radio stations, or time. I'm certainly not concerned about that stuff. Just as long as I can see the climate control stuff, I should be just fine.

And I REALLY like the idea of that Pioneer unit you provided the link to and that's about what I would want to spend, as well. Seems like the fitment of the double din can be navigated, so then it's just getting everything working again. I like the idea of the mono amp for the factory sub as well as eventually updating all speakers.

Seems like long as the aftermarket head unit has a additional output for A/V then the RES stuff could be managed one way or another. May have to just cross that bridge when I come to it. We have tablet holders. HAHA!

And the backup camera... Is it worth replacing the whole camera with one that will fit in the stock location and be easier to hook up, rather than dig into the harness, or am I overthinking it? Certainly I like the easiest approach for the camera stuff. I definitely would prefer that it display on the head unit and not on the mirror. That display on the mirror is just so tiny, it seems hardly usable.

I'm going to consider the Maistro OBD2 setup to work with the vehicle as well. Not sure if I'll do it right out of the gate, but eventually. I want to try it out in my 4Runner for a little while and see how often I actually use it.

Lots of great information here!! I feel like there's a chance this could turn into a fun project. The good kind of "fun", and not the BAD kind of fun. HAHA!
 

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EDIT: Additional question... If I upgrade the stereo (to any type) am I going to lose functionality of the upper climate control display? None of that is integrated into the stereo, is it??? If I'm going to lose the climate control display, I'll have to rethink ALL of this. :oops:
That is what my very original question was about. If your audio unit looked like this, you would have a problem.
Audio equipment Machine Font Cassette deck Multimedia

Just for kicks, here is a floating screen install. (Halo9)

Kinda have to say, a bit too much. But then again, I always found Halo9 screen unnecessarily huge, mainly due to very wide bezel. It is 9.25 x 6 inches and it sticks a full two inches out. (http://support.alpine-usa.com/products/documents/IM_iLX-F309_EN_ES_FR.pdf see page 18)
The Pioneer units such as 6600NEX are a lot less obnoxious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That is what my very original question was about. If your audio unit looked like this, you would have a problem.
View attachment 145937

Just for kicks, here is a floating screen install. (Halo9)

Kinda have to say, a bit too much. But then again, I always found Halo9 screen unnecessarily huge, mainly due to very wide bezel. It is 9.25 x 6 inches and it sticks a full two inches out. (http://support.alpine-usa.com/products/documents/IM_iLX-F309_EN_ES_FR.pdf see page 18)
The Pioneer units such as 6600NEX are a lot less obnoxious.
Yeah, my dash doesn't look like that one. It looks just like the first picture you posted... (reposted it below)
145958


Standard stereo with disc changer and the DVD for the RES and looks like an XM function. No Navigation or anything like that. All the climate controls stuff reads out on the upper dash section that sits under the visor. Also displays compass and a few other things.

Yeah, that Halo9 picture is exactly what I showed my wife. Pretty big. I'll check out the Pioneer, though. Maybe you're right... Maybe I didn't sell it well enough. HAHA I'll check that one out. I only looked at the Halo9. That was my ignorance. That giant Halo 9 also makes the climate control settings impossible to see (assuming they'll still be visible). So the Pioneer is much smaller? Installing with a standard DIN kit and no modifications would certainly be convenient, AND, I could modify the "pocket" to comfortably mount a MaestroRR. I could redesign the box and 3D print it to nicely package that and anything else I may need to stash in there that I wouldn't need to access after everything is installed.

I drove two hours in it last night and really enjoyed the vehicle. I actually used an FM modulator for the stereo and it wasn't terrible to satisfy the connection issues temporarily. Worked fine. Obviously not ideal from an audio standpoint, but quick easy solution to get it functional while we plan the upgrade. Definitely think it might need some speakers, but admittedly, I haven't messed with the stock settings at all.
 

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Ok, 2013 has rather similar dash configuration, and there is barely 8 inches between those round vents. There's just no way to make any of the 'floating screen' or modular options to look 'built-in'. Even Pioneer 5500NEX, which probably has the smallest screen module, is 8.5 inches wide. So looks like you are sticking with regular doubleDIN head units. Can even go with a DVD-playing one...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, 2013 has rather similar dash configuration, and there is barely 8 inches between those round vents. There's just no way to make any of the 'floating screen' or modular options to look 'built-in'. Even Pioneer 5500NEX, which probably has the smallest screen module, is 8.5 inches wide. So looks like you are sticking with regular doubleDIN head units. Can even go with a DVD-playing one...
Yeah. That's what I'm thinking as well.

After spending a little bit of time with the Pilot so far, it actually feels like everything is suiting us pretty well. We're even having thoughts of just leaving the stereo alone and adding the bluetooth module for a little more seamless connection. We're also wondering if we can maybe just stream to the RES display using the RCA inputs down on the consul. Seems like if we could just convert from an IOS device (probably an old iPhone or iPad because we have them) to the RCA A/V inputs that we might be able to do about everything we want to do without major changes, for now. I would like to add some USB charging ports, though.
 

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That is what my very original question was about. If your audio unit looked like this, you would have a problem.
View attachment 145937

Just for kicks, here is a floating screen install. (Halo9)

Kinda have to say, a bit too much. But then again, I always found Halo9 screen unnecessarily huge, mainly due to very wide bezel. It is 9.25 x 6 inches and it sticks a full two inches out. (http://support.alpine-usa.com/products/documents/IM_iLX-F309_EN_ES_FR.pdf see page 18)
The Pioneer units such as 6600NEX are a lot less obnoxious.

So I have this and it is eating my cds. What can I replace it with? I can't seem to find anything but then it maybe because I have no idea what I'm doing. Thanks!
 

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If you have the navigation version with a color screen and a smaller display area for climate just above the audio controls, I am afraid you don't have any simple options other than replacing it with a better working OEM unit. Anything else would require some custom dashboard remodeling.

That said, CDs are really a technology of the past. They deteriorate. Any form of mechanical handling gradually damages them. Storing a CD in its 'jewel case' where nothing actually touches either surface, can greatly prolong its life. But in a car, people nearly always keep their CDs in CD wallets cause jewel cases take too much space. Both CD surfaces are constantly in mechanical contact with sleeve material, shifting while car is in motion. I am saying all this cause it might not be your car radio 'eating your CDS'. It might be your CDs themselves. Even if you replace with a brand new CD head, even a high-end one, it might not solve the problem.

My suggestion is while they are still usable, rip them all to MP3, put the MP3's either on your phone or upload to some form of cloud, and play them off the phone either via aux or bluetooth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@Jenn H I'm with @scorrpio on this one. Between my wife an I we have mountains of CD's and have resigned to the idea that we will just be streaming. There are blue tooth adapters you can wire into this stock unit pretty easy (there are some threads on it) or just use an FM modulator for like $20 (not idea, but it works and it's what we use when we need it). If you have the unit with the DVD player, as I've suggested we do in this thread, then hopefully that's still working for you. After lots and lots of research, it seems the only solutions are as suggested. Single DIN unitl with floating screen, double DIN until and some dash mods, or make the stock one work.

With or without the disc changer unit, if your head unit is truly eating your discs like cookie monster eats cookies, you may just want to look for a replacement stock unit, if it works well for you. There are some great Youtube videos on removing these head units, and re-installing them is basically just the reverse, it seems. Hope you get it worked out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Since this got bumped, I'll give an update. We've done basically... well... pretty much nothing with the stereo, at this point. We thought we would give it a test run before getting too serious and honestly, it's been working pretty good. We bought some USB adapters for the 12 volt receptacles and the RES works awesome and we bought a bunch of DVD's cheap through FB MarketPlace for them. My wife uses the stock XM radio and when she wants to connect to her phone, we use a cheap FM modulator. It just made more sense to give it a shot as-is before getting into serious modifications. Plus, we've had a few repairs to make that were a bit costly and kinda killed that budget. We ended up having to do the timing belt (turned out the previous owner drove it 149K on the stock timing belt!!!!!! YIKES) and the low pressure return line was showing signs of failure. All stuff we were prepared for, but were hoping to do some "fun stuff" first. Oh well.

I think in the future, if we decide to do a head unit change, we'll probably just keep it simple and do a single DIN floating screen.
 
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