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Old 10th May 2013, 15:10   #1
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Default DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls

It's been ages since I could contribute to the forum. Been busy all these days travelling and spent only 60 days in India over the last 18 months. My Punto Emotion 1.3 MJD was lying idle for a long time. I was never happy with the factory fitted OEM stereo. I had succesfully amplified it using a Blaupunkt THA 555 PnP and replaced the factory speakers with Polk db6501 components in the front, Polk DB651 coaxials at the rear and a JBL 10 inch Sub. All thanks to the 5 channel Blaupunkt amp. Everything was good, till I started lacking USB and Bluetooth on the head unit. To blame, of course, the rental cars I have been driving in the US and Sweden over the past few months.

Fiat being not so popular in the states, I couldn't get hold of any accessories. However, this time around, being in the EU it was heaven for Fiat accessories (aftermarket). I was actively looking to replace the factory Head Unit in my Punto. Fiat's electronics are a little too complex for our ICE installers to comprehend. The whole CANBUS neural network with each end point being a node and everything controlled by the body computer (ECU) is wonderful technology. Unfortunately it doesn't allow much customization. Solution is available though, will get to it in a bit!

When I had pulled out my head unit to install the PnP amplifier myself, I had taken a few pictures of the pin out diagrams on the head unit. No surprises to notice no ACC/Ignition wire/lead available for an after-market stereo. I have seen a few posts where this wire was pulled out from the 12V accessory socket. I never wanted to splice any wires or add any additional load to the factory fitted nodes (CANBUS terminology). The CAN A and CAN B are essentially the two wires which send out software commands to literally everything related to the head unit, these include Ignition, Speed Pulse, Data to the MID, Illumination et al.

The image on the factory fitted Blaupunkt Stereo

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-12102010177.jpg

The Solution:
I tried to look for Plug and Play adapters which could help decode these software commands from the ECU and give me a plain analog input which I can use for an aftermarket stereo. A 2 week long research, phone calls and emails finally gave me the proper solution - a CANBUS adapter. The logic is pretty simple - Plug one end to the factory ISO adapter, and you get the other end (ISO Standard) to plug it to any aftermarket stereo. You get the Ignition, illumination and Speed Pulse wires too! What I purchased is below. I just love the plug and play harnesses. An additional advantage is you can still preserve the Steering wheel control interfaces by purchasing an additional stalk adapter specific to the after-market head unit. I do not have steering wheel controls, so was not interested to buy one.

The green and white CAN A and CAN B wires from the new harness. These go to the mastermind

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The mastermind which translates commands from ECU to analog signals.

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-themastermind.jpg

The Whole unit:

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-unican_plug-play.jpg

The plug and play connector which goes to the car:

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The standard ISO connector for after-market stereos:

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The ignition wire is now a part of the standard ISO connector

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The steering wheel stalk adapter (Got this free as I ordered a JVC one, changed mind to Alpine later, but since I do not have any steering wheel controls, wouldn't need this)

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-steeringwheelstalk.jpg

This CANBUS adapter works with over 180 cars and is self programming. One less thing to worry about. This gives me a flexibility to use it later in case I wish to part with my Punto (highly unlikely).

More documentation:
DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-fiatcanbus.jpg

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Now that I have this adapter, I was looking out for headunits. I decided on the Alpine CDA-137BTi. Has literally everything I can ask for. Once I plug it in, I would let my ears decide if I need to upgrade the 5 channel amplifier to a 4 channel + a monoblock. I might still need a month to try that out as I am stuck in Sweden till end of May.

Any question regarding this solution are welcome!

Last edited by eagle_bush : 10th May 2013 at 15:31. Reason: Spell check and grammer edits
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Old 11th May 2013, 16:22   #2
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Default Re: DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the DIY Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 14th May 2013, 17:40   #3
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Cool Re: DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls

Few updates to my OEM stereo upgrade

Resolving the CANBUS issue and moving further needed a choice of Head Unit. Alpine was on my mind since ages. A little bit of online Window Shopping helped me fix on CDE-147BT. The major reason of course was Bluetooth and 3 Preouts. The additional advantage being that this HU has a very lovely Amber which gels with Punto's instrument cluster lighting.

Price: 200 USD

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As I mentioned earlier about my love of Plug and Play harnesses and Installation kits, I went ahead and purchased an Alpine 16 Pin to Standard ISO connector to ease my installation and avoid any kind of joining wires using a tape.

Price - ~320 INR

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To ensure I would still be able to use the Radio (Only odd FM frequencies I am assuming for now as the HU is sourced from the US) I purchased an ISO to DIN Ariel adapter.

Price - ~300 INR

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Last thing I needed was a fascia plate to complete all the required tools for a complete installation.

Price - ~1140 INR

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All items above except the HU have been sourced from EBAY UK. My stay in Sweden is definitely helping

I would detail all steps of installation as soon as these items are home
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Old 14th May 2013, 18:56   #4
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Default Re: DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls

Nice DIY, awaiting your next steps. I am guessing this can be done on any other car also.
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Old 14th May 2013, 20:15   #5
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Default Re: DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls

Quote:
Originally Posted by neofromcapone View Post
Nice DIY, awaiting your next steps. I am guessing this can be done on any other car also.
Thanks much neofromcapone.

Yes, these steps can be followed for any other CANBUS cars (Read almost all European ones). Just the Plug and Play harness and the steering wheel stalk adapter (HU based) would be different.
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Old 23rd May 2013, 16:25   #6
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Default Re: DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls

All parts arrived today except for the Head Unit. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

The fascia adapter from Autoleads had a very different color. The quality was really bad and the surface of the adapter was very rough. Online shopping can be a pain sometimes. I ordered another part from Connects 2 and the quality was a lot better (great in fact). Not being with the car is a little annoying when you want to confirm color matching.

AutoLeads fascia
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Connects2 fascia
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In case these 2 adapters do not match the color, I might have to get them sprayed to match the exact color of the dash. I know it might have been a little cheaper and a color match would be close if I could source the spare from a A.S.S. Unfortunately with FIAT no longer being friends with TATA, I have only 1 option in Hyderabad - Tejaswi Motors. I had a very good contact in Malik Cars service center for spares and stuff, but unfortunately they no longer service FIAT, neither does Concorde Motors who was my dealer for the sale.

Well, the excitement of installing my new stereo would be prolonged trying to source the part from FIAT A.S.S. So I didn't mind spending a few extra bucks on sourcing the fascia.

All the other items were just as described, especially the Alpine to ISO connector. I was skeptical about the quality as the seller was from Hong Kong, but it turned out be better than average.

The complete Harness - One end to factory connector other end to Alpine HU

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The ISO to DIN Ariel adapters were just as good. I didn't realize that it was 2 pieces I ordered. The effective cost was ~150 INR per adapter. I can donate one if anyone needs it.

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One more week to go till my friend is back from the US with the Head Unit. I am so excited and eager that I have been making all the possible connections with the harnesses I have and visualizing the circuit.

For damping, I went ahead with DampMat. Ordered a bulk pack from our T-BHP'ian Monty Paaji. I hope it would arrive next week.

The wait of fixing everything is killing me. It's going to be one of the longest weeks in my life!

Total cost breakup (in INR, as per the bank statements)

Alpine CDE-147BT - 12236
Fascia (2) - 3200
Ariel Adapters - 326
Alpine ISO Harness - 342
CAN BUS Adapter - 8433
DampMat Bulk Pack - 8990
Total 33527

I would need some advice for -
1. Should the connections from the HU to the amp go via RCA or would the High Level inputs do the same job? Reason for this question is I have a PnP Harness that goes to the THA 555 PnP. The HU gives me 4V Pre-Outs. Would there be any difference in SQ with RCA vs High Level Inputs? If RCA is the way to go, can anyone advise on the cables (brands) I need to buy?

2. Alpine HU have a 'Power IC' function which when ON the HU drives the speakers and when OFF turns in inbuilt amplifier is switched OFF and the output is from the RCA. If I use the High Level input to power the amp, with Power IC setting ON, will the Sub Out still be available from the HU via RCA?. The reason I need Sub-out is to be able to control the Sub from the HU. I lost the remote sub woofer control adapter from Blaupunkt .

Last edited by eagle_bush : 23rd May 2013 at 16:39.
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Old 24th May 2013, 22:13   #7
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Default Re: DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls

Great ones. Will love to see the blue and me working flawlessly on this. On the other note you could have saved your money on the Fascia kit.

You get the OEM fascia kit right over the counter at Fiat showroom at just 250 odd bucks. I got one.
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Old 25th May 2013, 17:05   #8
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Default Re: DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_mechengg View Post
You get the OEM fascia kit right over the counter at Fiat showroom at just 250 odd bucks. I got one.
Does the OEM fascia kit have the exact color match? I don't know what color to call it, Silver or Light Grey.

Can you please post a picture of the Dash with the fascia if possible?
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Old 25th May 2013, 21:49   #9
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Default Re: DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls

Quote:
Originally Posted by eagle_bush View Post
Does the OEM fascia kit have the exact color match? I don't know what color to call it, Silver or Light Grey.

Can you please post a picture of the Dash with the fascia if possible?
Yeah its an exact match. Mainly the Fascia you get outside is just a plate. The one you get in Fiat centre is plate plus the mounting bracket which goes inside.
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Old 26th May 2013, 20:33   #10
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Lightbulb Re: DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls

Hi,

When i was about to replace the OEM HU to pioneer 80PRS got the same facia plate but it is difficult to fix the HU cage to OEM HU holder & the facia, i got the Dynamic/Active facia from concorde, you can try to get the same from below link.

Hope it will help you.............

http://www.99rpm.com/replacements/bo...676db1e471086e
Attached Images
 

Last edited by subbarao : 26th May 2013 at 20:38.
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Old 26th May 2013, 20:49   #11
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Default Re: DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls

Quote:
Originally Posted by subbarao View Post
Hi,

When i was about to replace the OEM HU to pioneer 80PRS got the same facia plate but it is difficult to fix the HU cage to OEM HU holder & the facia, i got the Dynamic/Active facia from concorde, you can try to get the same from below link.

Hope it will help you.............

http://www.99rpm.com/replacements/bo...676db1e471086e
This seems to be exactly what I need . Thank you so much!

I will try to visit local A.S.S to see if I can buy it off the shelf. Worst case, will order from the URL above and wait for it.
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Old 29th May 2013, 19:35   #12
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Default Re: DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls

@eagle_bush Thanks for sharing the info mate. I have plans of changing my Punto Sports HU shortly. I would greatly appreciate if you could share more info on the SQ improvements post changes.

The HU what you are using has Tune-It app support. If the application does what it claims to do then it would be awesome. Could you please confirm if you have used the same ?. If so how was your experience with it ?.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 30th May 2013, 10:59   #13
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Default Re: DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls

I reached Hyderabad today at 340 AM, and guess what was the first thing I did?

Unpack - take the stuff to the car and plug it all in to see how things work with all the stuff I purchased.

The Unican canbus adapter worked like a charm. Turn on the ignition and the HU came to life. The difference in SQ was HUGE! I am still running the THA 555 PnP Amp from the high level inputs, but will change them to RCA's by evening as I now have a Amp Remote Turn on lead from the Alpine HU.

Quick summary -
1. Time Alignment gave a whole new perspective to the music I listen to in the car.
2. One of the most amazing microphone ever, I called about 5-6 people and no one realized it was from my test of the HU in my car.
3. Parametric EQ settings are a little complicated for me, will test it with the Tune it app and update the thread.

One sad thing about my DIY - the fascia panels were both crap, none fit perfectly even after removing the factory cage. I ordered an original from 99rpm.com. That should save my project.

DampMat is set to arrive tomorrow so weekend is going to be busy !

More pictures of the temporary setup coming up in the next post. Got some office work to wrap up!
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Old 1st June 2013, 19:22   #14
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Default Re: DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls

Here are few pictures of the complete installation.

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-connections.jpg

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-connector2.jpg

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-connectorfinal.jpg

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-bt-microphone.jpg

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-cables.jpg

The toolkit for the job.

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-toolkit.jpg

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-rca-cables.jpg

The perfect color match to the standard amber color.

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-final-color-match.jpg

The SQ is amazing now. I am researching more on the TA settings and Parametric EQ not to forget the Active crossover.

DampMat has arrived, but I realized it is a little too much for me do it completely. I need to hunt for an installer now.

A Friday night after work - well spent
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Old 2nd June 2013, 17:00   #15
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Default Re: DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls

And finally the audio upgrade project has come to 98% completion. This part though is not a DIY as it was too much work for me.

I spent 3 hours today to get all 4 doors and the boot damped.

I cannot speak about the difference, its just pure bliss

I'll let the pictures do the talking!

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-fr.jpg

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-rl.jpg

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-rr.jpg

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-frd.jpg

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-fld.jpg

DIY Solution: Fiat Punto after-market Stereo + steering mounted controls-rrd.jpg
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