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-   -   HOWTO: Peripheral Electronics ipod Interface to 05+ stock headunit w/ AUX (

torradan 06-05-2007 09:52 AM

HOWTO: Peripheral Electronics ipod Interface to 05+ stock headunit w/ AUX
I tried to maximize the number of search words in the title to help people out, because I know its been asked 394 times, mostly with the "get a new headunit" response. That irks me lots.

I got tired of seeing everyone asking what item they'd need, or how to do this, so I tore my installation apart and took a few pictures to share. Takes a whole 10 minutes.

Our best friend here is a Peripheral Electronics PXDP2. I picked it up from Best Buy for $99+tax, but appears they aren't stocking them any longer. The original sticker price was $149. You can enter your ZIP code on PE's site for local dealers in your area. I've seen a couple other products around, but I can't vouch for them. I got this one because it would do exactly what I wanted it to do: I connect it, and I don't have to look at it again.

NOTE: Your headunit must say "MP3" on it, or this will NOT work.
If it doesn't, then "get a new headunit", which irks me, applies to you unfortunately. And FM transmitters suck. :(

So, lets get started here.

Removing the bezel around the stereo. There is already a howto about this, but oh well. I was having fun taking pictures.

Grab the top lip of this guy, and give it a little tug down to remove it:
a little product placement in there.

Now that the little useless tray it out of the way, stick your hand up in there, and GENTLY push the bezel out. There are four prong things that hold it into the plastic. Once you get the bottom out, work your fingers along the edges, and then pop the upper ones out.

NOTE: For automatics, pull the parking brake, and put it into 1st to give yourself some space.

Next, check out your new goodies.

The only thing missing is the cable for the ipod, as I ran it along the console and into the armrest. The sucker is 11ft long, so you can pretty much run it anywhere your little heart desires.

Next up, remove the radio. There are four 7mm bolts holding it in. Be careful not to drop them, or you'll be putting three of them back, because you've dropped one down under the carpet. Not that I know this from personal experience or anything.

Unplug the big connector, and put the PE harness in line with it. Also, the other little connector goes into the empty spot on the radio.


Plug everything into the interface box, and tuck it away.

It sits in there pretty nice. Couldn't find any zip ties, so we'll see what happens.

Now slide everything back in place, and reverse the order of removing the radio.

All set!

Here is where I put my ipod:

Easiest way to do this is to disassemble the arm rest, because you'll have to drill two holes. I put a rubber grommet in there to prevent any rubbing, and its a little more aesthetically pleasing than a boring hole in plastic. ($1 from autozone in the help parts. I believe its a Toyota PCV something-or-other).

Now, the best part: Forget that the iPod is there! The only time you need to touch it is to connect or disconnect it. The headunit and steering controls will control everything. This was the deal maker for me with this item. I don't like to take my eyes off the road to fiddle with things. The menuing system allows you to select playlists/etc.

I hope this helps people out! If you have any questions, drop me a line. I'll probably be quick to answer on weekdays, because this place helps keep my sanity while at work.

EDIT: Adding armrest pictures!

The first thing you want to do here, is remove the plastic bit from behind the armrest.
You should be able to pry it out with your fingers. Start at the top and pop it out.

Next up, remove these two screws! They hold the whole armrest on.

After you've taken the screws out, remove the two plastic circles. They're only held on by a pair of clips. Be a little gentle with them.

This is what happens when you take a header into your car after slipping on ice:
It makes the armrest wobble a little bit, but those plastic circle bits hold things in place. The pivot for the armrest is only plastic.

Next up, remove one screw on each side. This releases part of what holds the black inner plastic part to the rest of the armrest:

After this, remove the 3 screws holding the top of the armrest:

Once you have those screws out and the cover set aside, you'll notice a notch that was hiding. Place anything flat in there, and it will just come loose.

NOW BE CAREFUL because the front of the inner part of the armrest is held in with two clips:

That pretty much disassembles the whole deal. Then you just need a spade bit to cut the holes into the inner and outer pieces. I think I used a 1/2" bit. I just sized one up with the plug that goes into the PE interface box.

The bottom:

The inner part:

This is where the wiring ran down into the whole console:

Now, when you wire this in, it needs to be done BACKWARDS. Because you'll never get the connector for the ipod through these holes.

To remove the whole console, its only held in by 3 screws. One under each cup holder in the front, and then under a plastic plug in the rear cup holder (good luck removing this -- and it will probably be destroyed upon removal). Unplug heated seats/traction control switches, wrestle it out of the way, and run your wiring. You shouldn't have any problems getting the wire up from the bottom and into the cavity where the radio goes.

Reverse the process, and voila, all the wiring is hidden.

BRIEF UPDATE: socalsuzuki sent me a message about this interface causing Mustangs to go haywire (gauges not working, car not starting, etc). I emailed Peripheral Electronics, and got a reply back assuring me that the problem is only with the Mustang, and not the Focus.

p0sitivevibez 06-05-2007 09:58 AM

WOW. That is really cool you got that tucked away in the armrest. I never put anything in there either. Did you run it under the seat or under the carpet or even under the shifter/cupholder housing?

torradan 06-05-2007 10:03 AM

I pulled out the whole console and ran it back there. Tried to push it up under the edge, but I was afraid of cutting into the cord with any sharp edges.

TKE_Quailman 06-05-2007 10:15 AM

awsome you should of run a how to on how you put it in your armrest

torradan 06-05-2007 08:42 PM

I'll yank it apart and take a couple pictures after work tomorrow to add to the end. It comes apart pretty easy.

jumpboy 06-25-2007 11:52 AM

Bump, for the armrest part :) Are you still gonna post it?

torradan 06-25-2007 12:03 PM

Sorry about that! I totally forgot about the pics

Made a note for myself to do it this afternoon!

torradan 06-25-2007 06:50 PM

Updated for TKE, positivevibez, & jumpboy's enjoyment!

BeeFzX3 06-25-2007 08:13 PM

That is exactly what i wanted to do, except put just a regular AUX in "the little useless tray" so i can plug in there whatever i want.
I was planning to use PIE FRD04-AUX Adapter (
Nice job!

Lockdown 06-25-2007 10:37 PM

Nice I will be definitely be doing this soon. My Ipod just died on me but im going to buy a new one next week.

Also were did you run the cable so it would get to the arm rest? What did you have to remove or mod to get the cable their also (mainly to get the cable out of the dash)

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