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2017 Honda Pilot headunit black box on 2016 Pilot

313462 Views 622 Replies 209 Participants Last post by  bakke
Got my 2017 Honda Pilot black box a day early. Thanks UPS! Heres a quick video of the first startup. Glad it was successful. It seems my theory was correct. Everything was plug and play. Vin number doesnt need to be entered. The anti theft keyless entry is the actually module that gives the OK for the headunit to run. At start up it will do a quick diagnostic test. Then I pressed the Power + Menu + Brightness button then a pop up an anti theft box asking to hold on to the power button to verify. After that it cleared and everything went through. All my old fm radio stations came back so it looks like a lot of data isnt even stored on the headunit.

Will update the thread when i do some more testing. any questions ask away.


2017 Pilot Black box assembly Part # 39542-TG7-A12
picked mine up from hondapartsnetwork for $852. search your favorite site or dealership as google search won't pop up most site parts catalog.


Plastic trim removal kit

philips screwdriver, power tool to speed things up.

Removal and install info can by found in my sticky post of service info.
search audio in the remove install folder

will make a video on how to remove the black box cover to separate main unit from the screen. Honda didn't properly describe how to remove the ribbons and i almost damaged the ribbon.

Edit: added comparison pictures

opening the box

front of the black box without a screen

identical ports

2016 head unit black box top cover removed

2017 head unit black box top cover removed
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Hey All, I wanted to say thank you for all the information provided in this thread. I recently bricked my 2016 EX-L Head Unit by rooting it, and I had to replace it with something else. I wanted to add in my experience. Some of this info may be repetitious, and some is the little "gotchas" that I came across along the way. To be specific, I upgraded from 39542-TG7-A11 (2016 EX-L no RES/ no NAV) --> 39542-TG7-A13 (2018 EX-L no RES/no NAV)

1. Rooting via HondaHack appears to be relatively safe, but I think I got into trouble when I also added SuperSu and also BusyBox. I was attempting to install Viper4Android and remove the crappy factory DSP/EQ settings from my radio. Also, Android Auto with the amazon dongle does "work", but it's not very elegant. I didn't find it reliable enough that I would want to live with it every day. That's just one man's opinion.... At the end of the day, I borked my device screwing with this stuff, and ended up with a 2018 head unit anyway, which appears to be much more reliable.

2. Ordering a new head unit from LKQOnline was relatively painless from a process perspective. The hard part with this process is that the part numbers and item descriptions are all over the place. The part I ended up ordering was listed like the below. As you can see, no honda part number at all. There was the part number for the 2016 non-NAV head unit listed in the description 39542-TG7-A11, but that isn't what they sent me. What I actually received as 39542-TG7-A13. It has already been said previously, but I will stress it again, this site is a crap shoot. You really have to check the details before you order. If you are not sure, I don't think calling them will help. Probably better off coming here and asking for advice from the hive mind IMHO....

~299094922 - Radio Audio
YMM Fits: 2018 Honda Pilot​
1 EA​

3. The part I received was an exact replacement for my radio, meaning it was a clarion unit with the same exact plug configuration as my existing radio. As long as you stick between 2016-2018 and match your trim level, this should be plug and play. That being said, the part they send me was cosmetically NOT GOOD. The radio screen had a bunch of scratches, the bezel was chipped up, and the mounting brackets were bent to hell. Be prepared to swap out all these parts from your existing radio (Unless of course yours are in worse shape). Swapping the screen is not hateful, but it is going to take patience if you are not comfortable with electronics. You have to take the top off the radio unit and disconnect two ribbon cables to remove the screen. Not very hard, but not for the faint of heart either. Interesting tidbit, they sent me ALL of the wiring connectors as well. Looks like they just yanked the radio out of the dash and cut the wires off instead of taking the time to unplug them. Having these wires may come in handy. I have plans to try and power it on my work bench and unbork the radio. So far, I can't figure out the secret sauce to make this think come alive on a straight 12v power supply, but that is a conversation for another thread.

4. The Anti Theft code was interesting. I used the site previously quoted on here with success Honda Radio / Navigation Code Retrieval and Reset Instructions. The primary thing I noticed here is that it DID NOT MATTER which VIN I used on this site. I tried it with both the VIN of my vehicle and that of the donor car, and the codes produced were identical. The second code I was given worked like a charm! The largest gotcha here is the serial number of the radio. The sticker on it has a long alphanumeric number on it: ABCEFG123456789 When inputting that into the website, you have to omit the first seven characters: 23456789. That's the only way this works. No idea what the logic is behind that one.

5. After install and code input, the radio comes to life, but it has all the settings from the previous user. At this point, it's probably best to just go to the factory data reset option, and wipe this thing clean. I don't need random person's iphone settings on my radio, or the violet background colors, or the wrong time zone....

6. Only other really annoying thing is the android auto. For some reason, when I first fired up, the volume was all the way down. I struggled for a moment thinking something was wrong. Then I realized I just needed to turn it up to hear it. This lead me to the discovery that when I am in Amazon Music, there is no indication of what the volume currently is. It is not showing on the Driver's information screen and there is no Volume indicator on the screen for android auto. That is really annoying to me, but it is what it is. I have not yet figured out if this is by design, or a byproduct of this hacky little endeavor of making a square peg fit into a round hole. Losing the read outs on the driver information screen was unexpected, but I rarely used that anyway, so not a big loss for me. Just be aware that that appears to be a thing when you change radios to a newer model. I'm using an Alpine PWD-X5 in my system, so I have the annoying byproduct of two separate volume controls for my stereo as it is.

That's all I can think of at the moment. Sorry if I repeated information, but I hope this is as helpful to someone else as it was to me.

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So I bought a head unit ( 39540-TG7-A13) for my 2016 Pilot EX-L no navigation, from a 2018 Pilot. I must have purchased the wrong unit because there were no spaces for 2 connectors ( light blue and white) on the new unit. Can someone please tell me the exact year and make unit that will directly swap into my 2016 Pilot EX-L with no navigation. Thanks
Where did you buy the new unit? LKQ? You have to be absolutely sure that the unit you are buying is from a 2017 or 2018 EX-L. LKQ has the specifics on the donor car and pictures so you can double check. I'm pretty sure that with or without NAV doesn't matter at all. That's just software in the unit, and shouldn't have any effect on the connectors.
Great recap of your experience; but, if you find, in your adventures of getting the unit to work the way you want, that you're able to restore the driver's information screen connection, I'd appreciate that info. I liked this feature of the 2016/2016 match in my Pilot and do find it annoying that going to the 2016/2017 setup has taken that away.
The Driver information screen doesn't appear to have the programming to show the information for android auto, since our 2016 didn't have that particular feature set. It will show the navigation prompts, but it won't show the audio source information or volume when you are using android auto. I don't honestly think there is any way around that unless you also replace your dash cluster with a matching unit from a 2017-2018.
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I'm totally spamming this post now, sorry. I had screen problems with my swapped radio and I wanted to share what I found. When I first got the radio the plastic bezel and screen was scratched to hell. I popped the radio and the screen assembly apart and put my 2016 screen and bezel assembly onto the 2018 black box. That worked for about 6 months, but then my screen started exibiting strange symptoms. It would not respond to touch all the time. I would go to touch it and it would sometimes respond, sometime lag, and sometime appear to be completely frozen for about 30 seconds. My first though was that the underlying system was hanging, but it turns out that the actual LCD panel was going bad. I was torn about what to do because I assumed that the plastic bezel and LCD screen were a pair that could not be separated. I took a risk and did surgery on the leftover parts I had from my 2018 radio swap. It turns out that the plastic cover/bezel and the LCD unit itself can be separated. You have to take the circuit board off the LCD panel and reveal a single hidden screw under the circuit board. You also have to disconnect a ribbon cable that runs from the plastic bezel to the screen's board. Anyway, I managed to take the LCD screen module from the 2018 radio and marry it to the bezel assembly from my 2016. Effectively all the guts from the 2018 radio I got are now in the car, and the only remaining parts from my old radio is the plastic screen and vents. Hope this helps someone who may have a similar experience.
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I bought it on eBay and they gave me the vin number

i bought it on eBay and the vin checks out as a 2018 Pilot EX-L. I’m literally at my wits end trying to figure out which one fits my Pilot. Any help would be greatly appreciated 😊
Can you post pictures of the units, old and new?
I bought it on eBay and they gave me the vin number

i bought it on eBay and the vin checks out as a 2018 Pilot EX-L. I’m literally at my wits end trying to figure out which one fits my Pilot. Any help would be greatly appreciated 😊
After problems with my touch screen, I bought yet ANOTHER radio from LKQ. I too have the white and blue connectors on this latest radio. From what I can tell, they are for the NAV/RES model of the EX-L. I haven't tried it yet because I needed to get the anti-theft codes. I plugged the radio in and it does power on. All of the other connectors and wires appear to match. I am guessing that leaving the white and blue connectors unhooked doesn't have any negative effect, but I will confirm today, once I get it all plugged in and unlocked with the proper code.
I'll get the model number when I can get home and look at the sticker, but it is wildly different from the part number on my OEM 2016 EX-L radio w/o Nav and RES. Both my radios look like the pictures you posted, old and new, respectively. My 2016 Pilot DOES NOT have the white and blue connectors. Again, I assume that is because I do not have NAV or RES. I still haven't had a chance to tear the car apart again and see if it will work. I tried it last weekend, but I did not have the security codes to unlock the new radio. It powered on fine, but I had forgotten in the last 8 months what the secret sauce was to get the proper code. I thought I needed the VIN from the donor car, but that wasn't the problem. I was entering the wrong serial number from the new radio. The website only wants the last few digits, not the full number. By the time I came back here to reference my own post, I had already put the car back together. I will work on it tonight and see if the radio with the white/blue connectors will function.
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There should be references in these posts/ YouTube for getting the codes. If your 2016 PilotDOES NOT have the wiring for the Blue and White ports and it doesn’t work , let me know. Also let me know the model number. Thanks
Just installed the new radio in my pilot and it appears that the BLUE and WHITE plugs are for the Rear Entertainment System. My 2016 does not have RES, so there is nothing to plug into those ports. The radio works perfectly fine, it just has a menu option for "Rear Audio" now. Clicking on it does nothing, as there is nothing plugged into it, but it doesn't seem to cause any errors or affect the overall usability.

The model if the radio I just installed is 39542-TG7-A32

The model of the radio that came stock in my car is 39542-TG7-A11
That makes sense. Mine does have the rear entertainment system Did Honda mage 2017/2018 with RES and CarPlay?How long did it take for the radio to start to respond? Mine had nothing on the display after I powered it on but I didn’t wait very long to find out. Is there a lag Tim before something is displayed on the screen? Thanks
I don't recall seeing the Honda splash screen. The security code input came up almost immediately.
So I bought a head unit ( 39540-TG7-A13) for my 2016 Pilot EX-L no navigation, from a 2018 Pilot. I must have purchased the wrong unit because there were no spaces for 2 connectors ( light blue and white) on the new unit. Can someone please tell me the exact year and make unit that will directly swap into my 2016 Pilot EX-L with no navigation. Thanks
Where are you located? I have a head unit that will fit your car (it does have the blue and white connectors for the RES)

If you don't want it, I am planning on returning it to LKQ.
I just installed a radio from a 2017 EX-L in my 2016 EX-L. The salvage yard has it listed as a NAV model. So stupid question: Will a non-nav pilot support a radio with nav? From a salvage yard, the price difference is not very much (between nav and non-nav), so it's not a big deal. I mainly wanted the Apple car play, which is working. But perhaps this is why I'm not finding a way to bring up the nav. I thought maybe there's a super secret menu press combination that starts up nav, but maybe not. Everything went well. I purchased a set of body trim tools from Harbor Freight (four tools for $7). Well worth the investment.
As far as I know, the only difference is the software of the radio. My 2016 came from the factory as NON-NAV, but there is a little black box that is installed just behind the radio, which I believe to be the GPS antenna. There is a cable running from it directly to the radio and the connector is similar to the antenna connector for the AM/FM antenna. When I go into the service menu of the radio, and check the diagnostics, there is an option there for GPS and it shows that the antenna is fixed on several satellites.
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