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2017 forester XT Touring automatic
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bit the bullet and replaced the factory headunit in my 2017 Forester XT without nav, with HK.

For the longest time, if we wanted to replace the factory headunit, we would also have to replace the factory HK amp.

Here’s my detail on replacing the factory unit while retaining the factory amp.

Items purchased:
- Pioneer AVIC-W8400NEX Navigation Receiver
- iDatalink Maestro ADS-MRR Universal Radio Replacement & SWI
- iDatalink HRN-RR-SU2 Install Harness for select Subaru models
- Scosche SU2031B Subaru Kit 15-up Impreza/XV Crosstrek, DD, Black
- Toyota & Lexus antenna adapter 09-Up Toyota/Lexus
- SiriusXM SXV300
- USB 3.0 Mount Cable - Powerbeast Dual USB 3.0 Extension USB Mount,Dash Mount,Flush Mount


Additional items used:
- Solder gun
- Solder
- Shrink tube
- Tessa tape
- Electric tape
- Ratchet, a couple extensions, 10MM(magnetic if possible)
- Working light, it’s dark
- Computer with account to Idatalink for programing the Maestro module.

First item of business, research. I took my time selecting the right new radio and what items I may need for the install. I also read a lot of instructions.

Wiring
This is where I merged the two Maestro wiring harnesses with the Pioneer harness. The SU2 harness comes with a few different adaptors and you’ll need to find what adaptors you’ll need for your car model and features.
Below are some picture of merging the harnesses together and some prelayouts. I used Tessa tape afterwards




Radio removal
There are a few good videos on how to remove the factory radio on YouTube. A simple 2017 WRX radio removal will get you a few different ones. There are a few different methods to getting the bolts unbolted from the side. For the passenger side, you just have to remove the glove box. No tools required. The bolt will require and 10MM and a couple extensions. I don’t have a magnetic socket, so I just taped a magnet to the socket. For the drivers side, I just removed the small panel beside the console. I believe it was a small screw on the bottom and a couple tugs to remove it. It’s a little hard to see the bolt, that’s where the extensions and magnetic socket work.
Use a pry tool to remove the top vent. I spent 5 bucks and got a trim removal set off Amazon. Best 5 dollar purchase.
As you start to pry off the vent, you may want to use a trim tool or screwdriver to push the tabs on the two electrical plugs you’ll have to remove.
As you pull that vent off, the radio and AC/heater controls all come off together. There are a lot of plugs on the back of the radio. Don’t forget to reinstall that AC/heater controls on the Scosche trim panel. Don’t forget to remove the starlink module and put it back in. It’s like a puzzle, but it will fit back in. See picture below. If you don’t plug all the harnesses back in, your Starlink will not work and neither will your front speakers. My trick was putting it in vertical and then laying it sideways once it was back in there.
The pink wire below is the starlink wire that has to be tapped.

Below is the finished install.I also put the dual usb port in where the 12 volt power plug went. It’s a simple removal of the 12 plug from the back in push the usb plug in. I was able to attach them to usb 1 and usb 2 on back on the unit.



Don’t forget to route the mic to your liking. I routed mine to the side of the rearview mirror.

When used with the Meastro RR, you’ll have gauges you can display.

There’s also a TPMS sceen.



OK, I've had the radio in for a few weeks and here's some of my latest comments.

1. The radio signal is horrible, granted I hardly use it. I believe I know how to fix it. Pioneer doesn't have a power antenna wire. Initially I planned and tried to solder the car side blue wire(antenna power) to the red accessory wire. I kept blowing the idatalink wiring harness fuses. After I did some testing and digging, I removed that wire from the accessory wire and the radio will work. Idatalink told me that there's another blue wire in the 6 pin harness that needs to be cut. From what I gather, that wire is grounded in that harness as it fits other cars too. I'm told if I cut the 6 pin blue wire, I can wire the blue wire in the 20 pin back to the accessory to have better radio reception.

2. I'm still working out the Sirius radio details. I've been lagging here. I'm not in a big hurry as I have the siriusXM app that holds me over. I might get a Toyota adaptor to hook up to the blue SiriusXM satilite antenna. I've read a few confirmations on that it will work.

3. My GPS speed on the navigation is off, unless I drive it at what it says. IE.. driving 48 while displaying 48.While the idatalink gauges are correct, they read from the OBD port, the GPS speed doesn't match the signal speed vss that's going into the unit.I do have to say that I'm getting great GPS signal. Idatalink blames the unit and Pioneer is blaming IdataLink. sounds fun right! Pioneer said I could try to cut the VSS wire to the unit and let the GPS do all the speed calculations. I feel I shouldn't have to do that, but I may have to try when I fix the other things. It's cold out and the carplay works enough to not care about regular radio.

4. Wireless Carplay is what this car should have came with. It's such a huge improvement so far. I enjoy using Waze for navigation and Pandora or Amazon for music.

5. The sound has improved so much on top of already having the HK system.
 

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2018 Forester CVT
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I am doing something similar as you with my 18 Premium 2.5i. The one thing I did not like is having the cable coming out of the armrest and I had my iPhone mounted on the vent with the stock 7" infotainment. I prefer to do what you did in the bottom as I ordered fro Amazon the "USB 3.0 Mount Cable - Powerbeast Dual USB 3.0 Extension USB Mount,Dash Mount,Flush Mount " but I was going to mount it on the opposite side of the 12 volt adaptor, in pic#7. I did go with the Maestro RR but am using AutoHarnessHouse custom harness. I do have SiriusXM that came with stock but waiting the antenna adaptor that was suggested from another forum. My son will be doing the installation as he was an installer in his early 20's. Although I did not pick the same radio I did pick up a Kenwood 9904s. The reason I went with AutoHarnesshome as they did have the cable set for the 6volt rear camera. So far the biggest hurdle I had was with updating the firmware Maestro RR on my Laptop that has Windows 10 until I found after searching I had to turn on NET framework then Weblink worked for the firmware update. Brian from AutoHarness did let me know I will loose the two USB in the armrest but they will still charge. He did offer me. away to have them work but I prefer how you are doing it.
When I was traveling out west I rented an Escape 2018 and I had both my TomTom and iPhone mounted and I hated those wires coming out that armrest. Yes that's why I bought the Subaru the Escape was okay but the Forester had better visibility!!

Lou Cioccio
 

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2017 forester XT Touring automatic
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Discussion Starter #3
The one thing I did not like is having the cable coming out of the armrest
I actually am using an iphone cable hooked up to a fast charger in the arm rest. I know it sounds silly, but I use it to keep my phone charged when I do long trips. I do a few 8 + hour trips a year and use my phone a lot for radio apps and navigation. I would rather have a cord I can pull out of the arm rest than one under the radio.
I prefer to do what you did in the bottom as I ordered fro Amazon the "USB 3.0 Mount Cable - Powerbeast Dual USB 3.0 Extension USB Mount,Dash Mount,Flush Mount " but I was going to mount it on the opposite side of the 12 volt adaptor, in pic#7.
I also didn’t want to drill another hole in that lower section when I already had one that works fits perfectly. My preference I guess.
I did go with the Maestro RR but am using AutoHarnessHouse custom harness.
That’s another reason I initially went with the SU2 harness, it already has the stepdown built in. The only downside is I need keep the OBD connection plugged in for the gauges and backup camera to work.
I do have SiriusXM that came with stock but waiting the antenna adaptor that was suggested from another forum.
What antenna adaptor did you do with? I’ve done a little research and found there maybe a couple different methods depending on year. I’ve had some email discussions with David from AE64 on the subject.
It could either be adapted at behind the radio, blue connection, or possibly behind the shifter.
Here’s a picture of a harness that will not work for my forester. Notice the green square. It also replaces the antenna adapter as well.

Here’s what it may look like in the WRXs

There’s a connection behind my shifter. It’s the purple one below.


David told me I can get an universal fafka adaptor to SMB female adaptor (Sirius module connection) and it should work at this lower purple connection. I haven’t done that yet.
I have also read on a Toyota truck forum that someone used a cable from Maestro ACC-SAT-T02 and that worked with the blue connection behind the radio.
In the meantime, I just pay 5 dollars a month for SiriusXM app on my phone that works on carplay. It’s not the best, but it cost about the same as buying some cables. Once my 6 months are done, I’ll go to the cable adaptor. I’m not going to run that blank antenna to the top of my car. I really don't want to pull the radio again either. Sadly, I do have to pull the radio soon to make some wiring changes.


So far the biggest hurdle I had was with updating the firmware Maestro RR on my Laptop that has Windows 10 until I found after searching I had to turn on NET framework then Weblink worked for the firmware update.
Oh yes, I had a couple hurdles here. For one, I only owned apple products. It took me a month to get a computer I could use. Oh yea, the motherboard fried the moment I turned it on. It was only 1 year old. It took me another month to get another one. My mom had it for a few years and it’s been sitting for 2. It took me a couple days to update everything. I also had to turn off all the safety settings within the browser to get it to connect to the module. I also did some dual programing of the buttons that I found very useful. Like holding the up volume brings up all my gauges on the radio, holding the mute button brings up the radio nav( it also switches to carplay map as well), and some others.
 

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Update I finally figured what i did wrong with the RR is that I used their 2018 firmware thinking it would work. I had to refollow the threads i was reading I used the 2017 Forester firmware and it works but no tps as something changed from the 17 to 18 hence the RR2 being released in the summer. To tap in the obd I used t taps on the red and blue wires at the large connector in the telemetric unit and a t tap at the STARLINK. Now I have the proper led on instead of red. The antenna wire you need is their Maestro TO2 one of them you’ll use.
The sound with the Kenwood 9904s is noticeable for a fellow with two hearing aids.
The USB ports in the bottom covey look OEM. So I still have 12vdc there plus 12 vdc in the center no USB will work in the center as it is disconnected. I could not find anything without re-wiring an pulling too much out to lay wire there. So I’ll take it where I put it. You would think the aftermarket would have a way to retain some OEM usb.

Lou Cioccio
 

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2018 Forester CVT
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Got the Kenwood 9904s working on the 2018 Forester using Maestro RR and 2017 Forester firmware. One of the Australian Car installers showed how you can roll your opening screen at 800x480 so I had to resize one that I found using Photoshop. The OBD II I am using t-taps for now when the new Maestro RR v2 is available I will remove the the t-taps and solder the connections. Not all Gages work but did list fuel remaining capacity as 79%.
Lou Cioccio
 

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Commend you for your DIY efforts but no way in hell do I have the patience,, I do love that unit though and glad I just had someone do it and I got a 200 dollar rebate out of it as well.
 

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2017 forester XT Touring automatic
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Discussion Starter #8
Just an update.
I had to replace the radio with another exact model. I was running into a few uncorrectable issues. Big thanks to Crutchfield with the assist in getting me a new replacement that works. I was having blackouts, 10 second lag times, and weird connections issues. That was with the latest firmware from Pioneer too. Excellent service from Zane at Crutchfield.

I was able to get my FM radio stations to work. I cut a blue wire in the 6 pin harness and connected the blue wire on the main harness to the amp power on wire. That's also powering the amp turn on. Idatalink doesn't mention that in their instructions as FYI. I believe it has something to do with that pin on the 6 pin is a ground for the sub I think.

I was also able to use a Maestro Acc-SAT-TO2 jumper from the SiriusXM box to blue connector. Fit like a glove. The folks at Idatalink also told me this would not work. I confirmed with with someone else with a forester and on some Toyota truck forums. The only problem is you have to buy 3 adapters and only need one for 20 dollars plus shipping. I had a free 30 dollars from Crutchfield so I just used that.

I also got my GPS speed on the unit to work. I just cut the VSS wire and it's within 1 or 2 MPH.

Overall, best mod to the car yet.
 

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2017 2.5i Limited
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Hi guys, just wanted to check in. I've done the exact same mod with a Maestro RR/SU2 harness and everything works from the SWC to backup camera.

However, I'm unable to view the backup camera through the head unit when not in Reverse like I was able to on a previous Kenwood unit. Just wanted to see if this was experienced by others here and if anyone had any idea on how to fix it. I figure that a possible reason is that the camera isn't powered on when not in R, but wasn't sure what wires to use to make that happen.

Thanks!
 

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Thanks for your post and details. I just upgraded my wife's 2017 Forester XT with HK and NAV to a Kenwood DNX995S. Took a bit of time but everything works great. I may create a new thread with my details and pics.
Dave
 

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@exwookie Just wanted to check-in and see if you're still enjoying this setup after a few months of use. Any complaints/issues? I'm considering doing an install identical to this in the next month or so.
 

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The pink wire below is the starlink wire that has to be tapped.

What did you tap this into? I installed an Android Head unit but realized this is for the Starlink.
 
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