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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I've got a weird question I haven't really found the answer to anywhere.

I just purchased a new '19 Forester Premium, and absolutely love it. Lots of decisions were made into which model I would end up getting. One of the biggest trade offs I made was that I wanted cloth seats (I live in hot weather and like to drive without shirt on when going to/from beach and leather will just get too hot uncomfortable with that) - but to do that, I had to pick a lower trim model, which meant the 6.5" infotainment screen. I could have gone with the sport but felt like the orange styling was just too much of an eyesore for me personally (I know a lot of people love it!). So, with the Premium model, the only option even on the highest "code 15" is the smaller screen.

I'm not looking to get a HK system running, I don't care about nav, but I would love to know if it's possible (don't much care about price) to replace the head unit with the larger 8" non-nav version. I imagine it would fit in the same spot but don't know about the wiring and all that.

I also know aftermarket will eventually be a good option, but I am a little afraid about losing some of the Starlink features - I don't know if those all run through the infotainment system or are on another processor?

Thanks for any insight you guys might have!
 

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2018 Forester CVT
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145 Posts
I have a 2018 Forester I did upgrade to aftermarket HU a Kenwood 9904s the toughest part was the telemetric unit that sat underneath the infotainment radio. We had to bend two metal tabs and stuff into the lower cavity. I used a maestro RR version 1 version 2 is slated in mid summer. I will get to that later. We used the SU2 harness and was able to keep STARLINK and all the steering wheel settings for volume and hands free calling. I lost the the two USB ports but relocated in the cubby hole that had the 12vdc adapter. We used a step drill and placed the two usb opposite to the 12vdc and looks OEM. Idatalink Maestro will have a version 2 that they had to add some hardware to another UART chip as the data at the OBD2 changed from the 2017 to 2018 models. I did use the 2017 Forester software and I used t-taps at the telemetric unit and that gave me some gauges volts etc but not tpms for each individual tires for the 2018. I did retain the rear camera but had to turn off the guide lines in the Kenwood as they are retained in the Subaru probably by a some firmware imbedded.
Since I wanted Carplay it works as intended. The radio is compliant with XM but I chose not buy a tuner and let the trial period lapse.
Lou Cioccio

Edit my bad re read you want to upgrade to the larger infotainment. If the span is right for your model the fascia of the infotainment is all one piece except for the a/c controls. I have seen on other forums others have done that; and I think if they used the telemetric it should be plug and play. The hardest part in getting the infotainment console out is the two lower bolts 10mm that are left and right. You have to remove the glove box and on the other just remove that small piece of plastic mould on mine it had one Philips head screw. I did not need to remove the part that covers the fuses; you need to open the driver side door remove the plastic cover on the dash a couple of screws pull that out. This is what I saw on the you tube plus drop the air bag. I was very leery of that. I just removed the plastic moulding near the dash and console. Tape all the socket to the extensions (shame on me lost a bolt but I don't hear it) also a magnet on the extension to grab the bolts. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for all that info! Yeah, I'd prefer (for now) to stick with the Subaru units to make sure all features work, I think if I went aftermarket I'd wait a year or two until Wireless CarPlay comes standard. So from what you know, swapping out these two units would not be a big hassle if I asked the Subaru guys to do it? I don't know if I have the acumen to do it myself with damaging something (for example the air bag you mentioned).
 

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Thanks for all that info! Yeah, I'd prefer (for now) to stick with the Subaru units to make sure all features work, I think if I went aftermarket I'd wait a year or two until Wireless CarPlay comes standard. So from what you know, swapping out these two units would not be a big hassle if I asked the Subaru guys to do it? I don't know if I have the acumen to do it myself with damaging something (for example the air bag you mentioned).
He has a previous gen- so careful on the advice taken.

I'm looking into it as well. I swapped out a Sync 2 system to a Sync 3 system in the Flex, but that was pretty straight forward.

Need to get a hold of the wiring diagrams.
 

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2019 Forester Premium Lineartronic® CVT
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Does anyone have any additional information on this? I have a 2019 Premium and have removed the radio to install the Rockford Fosgate upgrade. Removing the headunit during that install got me thinking about installing the 8.0 Starlink system.

Is it a direct upgrade? Plug-and-play?
 

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I'll add a question. Is a fresh 6.5-inch firmware possible for the head unit? I know 8 'are stitched, but 6.5'?
 
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