PROJECT STATUS: Incomplete – On Hold
I’ve recently begun the process of figuring out how to bring this 10-year-old car into the modern age technology-wise. The goal is to get a 7″ double din system that will interface with our phones, play music, provide navigation, allow for hands free phone use, display/store OBDII data and support a rear view camera.
Head Unit (radio/cd-player) OEM Part # 2W93-18B876-AK
My first step was to investigate the type of connections that are in use on the current system. I removed the center console and then removed the stereo just enough for now to see what type of connections it has. It appears to have a fiber optic connection which surprised me because I thought that only the cars with factory navigation had this. Right now I am researching what my options are and will update this post when I have more information.
Update: July 26, 2015 I did some more research on the connections to this stereo and I’ve found that the fiber optic connection I mentioned goes to the CD-changer. This is great news for me since I don’t use that anyway (I’m not really sure who does these days). I was also able to find that there is an ISO adapter available for the main harness connector that will make it compatible with a lot of aftermarket stereo options. In theory, all of this means I just need to pick out a stereo system and get it purchased then work out all the kinks once it arrives. Since I will most likely be purchasing from Amazon I should have a 30-day window to make it work and I will have the option to return if I can’t make it happen.
Update: July 28, 2015 I decided to make a move and ordered several components that I need for this project. Based on Amazon reviews I decided to give one of the Android systems from no-name manufacturer a try. They rated 4 stars and most of the reviews seemed pretty positive. For the price, it is worth a shot and if it doesn’t end up working out for the Jaguar I will use it in one of my other projects.
Based on this Jaguar Forums thread I found out some of the other things I would need, such as the antenna adapter, harness adapter and the S-type dash kit. He also mentions a steering wheel control interface but one of the reviews that I read specifically mentioned that this unit doesn’t need that… we shall see. Unfortunately there isn’t a double DIN kit for the XJ8 that I could find so the s-type kit will have to do. It looks like with some black vinyl wrap and a little ingenuity it can be made to look right at home in the X350. I also ordered a waterproof backup camera and a relay switch that is apparently required to make it work properly.
Update: August 6, 2015 The things that I ordered have arrived and I’ve tried to figure out exactly how I’m going to wire this up. The more I research this the more I’m concerned whether or not I’ll be able to make this work in our car. I had said earlier that the fiber optic connection is just for the CD-changer but it may also connect the amplifier. I need to confirm once and for all if we have the premium sound option in our XJ8. Based on what I researched I am 90% sure that we do. I’ve read up on some things to check for to determine if we have the premium sound option in our car.
- Are there 2 subwoofers installed in our rear window deck? Yep, we have these.
- Is there a DSP button on our stereo? Not that I can find.
- Is there an option to adjust the sub-woofer in the audio settings? Yes there is.
If it was a yes for us on all of those then I would have had no doubt, but since we don’t have the DSP button I’m still not 100% sure. I couldn’t find any documents online that would confirm if all X350 Vanden Plas models came with premium sound but I would guess that they do. To confuse things even further I found this forum post that seems to say that the premium sound system is the base system and the upgraded one was called Audiophile.
My next move is to remove the left rear trunk panel and try to find the fiber-optic connections to see if they terminate in the CD-changer or if they loop to something else as well. If they connect to anything else I believe I will have to scrap this initial plan for the Jaguar and go back to the drawing board. I will likely end up using the Android system that I purchased to put in our Volvo S60 since I want to see how it all works and our son could use a rear view camera.
Update: August 7, 2015 I removed the rear trunk panel last night to investigate further. Unfortunately my findings weren’t good for this project. The fiber-optics do go to more than just the CD-changer, they connect to an amplifier as well. I suppose I should have checked this before ordering the parts but in the past I’ve suffered from “paralysis by analysis” and this time I decided just to make a move.
All is not lost, I will continue to work to figure out how to get this car updated. I also plan to shift my focus of the Android system install to our Volvo S60. I’m hoping to the install will be more straight forward there. Luckily I have my S60 parts car to test some things out on first!
Update: August 22, 2016 Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I’ve messed with this project, luckily there are folks out there who aren’t being as lazy as I am about it! Lorenzo was kind enough to complete this project and provide a write-up for the procedure he used. Here is the link to his write-up: