RNSE and Double DIN Dash Retrofit

wilco184

Member of the year 2015
Hello all,

Over the past few weeks, I've been collecting the parts needed for retrofitting both a double DIN dashboard and a MK2 RNSE. Both have been fitted this past weekend, and needless to day, I'm extremely happy with the result. :)



I figured I'd do a small write-up about my experience fitting both, and perhaps answer some questions that I couldn't find the answer to on here, before I began. I may be able to write an FAQ about the RNSE installation for others, should there be interest? I learned a lot before I started, and so I may be able to pass this knowledge on.

As 'craigyb' discovered, to use a MK2 unit with the A2, you will need a very specific model. I am referring to the 'B' revision of the unit, with the matt screen surround. The reasoning for this being that only this revision has the ability to use GALA for the speed signal, the A2 uses GALA, instead of getting the speed signal over the CAN-BUS, as other cars and other revisions of the MK2 unit do. A big thanks to Craig, his expertise has been invaluable to the A2OC.

To complete this installation, I needed the following parts:

- MK2 RNSE (8P0035193B HW02)
- Double DIN Dash
- Mini ISO to Quadlock Adapter
- Aerial ISO to Dual Fakra Adapter
- GPS Antenna
- 32 Pin Connector Block and Repair Wires (More on this later)

I started by connecting the RNSE unit to the car, and getting everything coded and working before anything was removed or cut. I'd certainly recommend this, it would have been a nightmare for me to swap out the dash only to find other problems with the unit not working. The process required for getting the unit working correctly with the A2 is as follows.

- Connect up RNSE.
- Use VCDS to change channel 97 in the navigation controller from 0 to 1.
- Insert the software 0150 disc.
- Let the software downgrade run.
- Use VCDS to code the RNSE unit for use in an A6(4B).
- Use VCDS to change channel 97 in the navigation controller from 1 to 0.
- Insert the software 0220 disc.
- Let the software upgrade run.
- Use VCDS to change channel 62 in the instrument controller and add 4 to the current value. (Ignore this step if converting from previous navigation)
- Check functionality.

I also checked that the navigation instructions were displayed in the instruments at this point. See picture below.





Next, I needed to swap my existing single DIN dash for the double DIN dash. I started by removing all of the obvious things, like the radio, climate control, glovebox, etc. I won't discuss removing the airbags as I don't want to be accountable if someone is to follow my advice and get hurt, but once they are out of the way, the steering wheel centre bolt is M12 XZN. I also removed the front seats to make access much easier. From memory of ElsaWin, I don't think you need to do this to remove the dashboard, but it certainly improved accessibility. The seat bolts are M8 XZN.

Without everything else out of the way and removed, I proceeded to remove the dashboard from the car. I expected it to be a minefield of hidden bolts, fragile clips and out of reach fixings, but it reality, you only need to remove a small handful of bolts, all of which are the same and can go back in any location; excluding the two Torx head bolts near where the drivers and passengers knees go. ElsaWin really is essential for this, and I wouldn't recommend starting it without this software.

With the single DIN dashboard removed, the double DIN was put back in its place. All of the bolts went back in without too much trouble, and it sat perfectly in position. Reassembly can then begin, bar the instrument cluster. All of it is pretty much the reverse of removal, and not too difficult. I didn't take many pictures at all during the installation, but I did capture the following two.





You will need to run a new wire for the GALA speed signal from the radio plugs to the instrument cluster plugs. Specifically, you will need to run a new wire from pin 1 of the black 8 pin connector at the radio end, and splice it into the wire coming from pin 31 of the blue connector at the instruments end.

You need to position the GPS antenna too. I chose to put mine behind the instrument cluster, as per Ben's guide. It was stuck down with a foamed double sided adhesive tape and then the wire passed through to the radio area.

For my retrofit, I had also decided to install an AUX input. There's a 32 pin socket on the back of the RNSE unit which can be used to install an AUX input. You'll need the connector and 3 crimped wire ends to this. The repair wires from Audi have a crimp at each end so you'll need to buy 2. The part number for the connector is 1J0972977G and the part number for the repair wires is 000979009E. Next, you'll need a 3.5 mm socket or plug, depending on preference. I chose a panel mounted socket, such that I could install it as seen below, in the second picture. The first picture shows my finished AUX socket loom, wrapped in Tesa tape.





With all of the wiring done, and the RNSE correctly coded and working, I started the cutting and reshaping process by starting with the climate control unit. The mounting points are exactly the same on the single DIN and double DIN dashboards, but the bottom corners must be 'rounded off' to enable my single DIN unit to fit into the new double DIN dash. This was done by making a template and then using a file to shape it accordingly.

Next, the RNSE unit must be cut to suit the A2's dashboard. The A3 RNSE fascia is much larger than that of the A2, and I can confirm there is more than enough plastic left around the outside. In fact, all 4 sides of the RNSE had to be trimmed in order for it to fit. Ben provided an excellent 'how to' for this, and it can be found in his guide for the Symphony to RNS-E retrofit. The link for this is here. http://www.a2oc.net/forum/showthread.php?4556-Retrofitting-RNS-E-from-Audi-Symphony-II I'd like to thank Ben for this post, it was extremely useful.

After this, everything is pretty much done! :cool: I had to do a little work trying to fix a rattle, but this was soon rectified.

I've used the RNS-E unit for a couple of journeys now, and I must say, it is very good. The way you can navigate through folders on the SD card to access songs is fantastic, and the song names are shown on the DIS. I think one of the biggest compliments I can pay to the RNSE is that it looks like it belongs in the A2's interior; something I feel is very difficult to get right when fitting parts from other cars, even Audi's, but it just looks 'right' to my eyes. The surface of the RNSE is very similar, if not identical to that of the A2's interior. The black looks the same and the texture is spot on. There's a close up picture of this below.

Anyway, the A2OC seems to like pictures, so I'll leave a few below of the result. :)

Regards,

Matt.
 

murdo

Admin Team
I can't just hit the like button for this. Great job Matt. Looks really excellent and a fab write up too.
 

Hass

A2OC Donor
Great write up Matt, it certainly looks the part, just a shame I don't/can't have this option in my car
 

DJ 190

Member
There's so much "stuff" behind my RNS-E, I can't get it back in! I have a "Media-DAB" box, A media-interface box for DBVT, bundles of wires, etc. I am currently extending the wires from these devices so that those boxes can be located in

the sub-floor compartment below the passenger-side floor. In the mean-time, I've been driving about with the RNS-E only half-inserted! I've got a Denison unit to add, too! That is to be able to connect an Ipod Nano3 to the system. My

advice is to keep the wiring fully bound with fabric insulating tape. It needs to be compact and tidy! Avoid my "nightmare" at all costs!

David
 

Birchall

Dick Chown Award 2016
Hi David

i had a similar problem but used the space behind the side panels in the centre dash near your feet

not a lot of space but i managed to get some bits in there.


Steve B
 

murdo

Admin Team
There's so much "stuff" behind my RNS-E, I can't get it back in! I . My advice is to keep the wiring fully bound with fabric insulating tape. It needs to be compact and tidy! Avoid my "nightmare" at all costs!

David

Good advice David. If your cabling is so messy that it can't accept the unit back into the dash I'd be concerned of a fire hazard especially with unprotected wires not bound in fabric tape as per OEM.

I know you're a keen hobby man but are you not tempted to have a professional sort this for you so you have peace of mind that it's safe as well as functional and not a 'nightmare'?
 

Birchall

Dick Chown Award 2016
Hi Murdo

Sound advice. ;)

Seriously though, anyone working on the electrics of any car should make sure that they are meticulous in their work.
Having had a few looms melt and smoke (early days of wiring) it is a scary thing. It could cause a write off let alone an accident if you are driving and suddenly smoke starts appearing.
the highway goes out if the window when that happens and panic sets in.

Steve B
 

dan_b

Member
To the OP, nice work - it's a big job but you've done well there! Good thinking on the Aux input. With my Mk2 RNS-E I went for a Bluetooth module instead for phone integration. I agree with you, the Mk2 RNS-E is a great upgrade for the A2 and really brings the interior up to date technology-wise.

I must admit I always wondered exactly why it was that the Rev B model was needed explicitly for the A2 - makes you wonder why the original Rev A, and subsequent Revs afterwards don't have the ability to use GALA? Enjoy the upgrade to your car. What's next? Bose?

To DJ190 - yes space is tight behind the RNS-E, most especially due to the bulky nature of the QUADLOCK loom adapters. To facilitiate this, why don't you move the indicator relay down underneath the trim in the centre tunnel - there's more space there - that's where mine is nestled, along with my Bluetooth FISCON.
 

DJ 190

Member
but are you not tempted to have a professional sort this for you so you have peace of mind that it's safe as well as functional and not a 'nightmare'?

I have done little electrical work to my A2. What I have done has been to the highest and most exacting standards. The RNS-E and electric rear-windows were wired and installed by "Skipton" ( Mike Hill). The Bose was installed by

"Craigyb", The DIS by Audi, Cheshire Oaks and the DVBT by "Hazzydayz" Nr Hatfield. Tony from A2Cars had recently informed me that it was necessary to perform extensive corrective work to the wiring on my A2. I understood that

some of that work involved the removal of the RNS-E unit and that I would find the RNS-E would be a better fit, I have fully paid for the stated work. I make absolutely no further comment. Then, Tom (Timmus) has very recently

worked in that area (DAB installation) Unfortunately circumstances were such that Tom had to leave things unfinished on my A2. That's where I am now. I've had other, more important work to do, so I've purchased all the "gear" that

I'll need to extend the wiring (Iroda solderpro 120 gas soldering-iron, heat-shrink tubing, wireable phono-plugs) I've got plenty of wiring from a scrapped

A2! I need to get this done quickly, though .... over to Holland in 8 days! It has been a bit scary driving about with the RNS-E hanging out!

David
 
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dan_b

Member
I have no doubt at all that Tony would have done a completely thorough, safe, and OEM-standard wiring job.
It does sound to me like you're simply trying to cram a lot of extra stuff into a very small space. These things need to be planned very carefully. As I said you can create yourself a bit of space by moving things like the indicator relay and bluetooth module underneath the trim along the transmission tunnel.
 

wilco184

Member of the year 2015
Thanks for the write up Matt!

It may come in handy for me in the future.

What is next on your list?

No worries, Paul. I hope it was of some use to you. :) I'll be fitting EGR blanking plates in the next week or so, but apart from that, there's nothing much else really that I'll be fitting for a while. As the car stands now, I'm very happy with it. :)

I must admit I always wondered exactly why it was that the Rev B model was needed explicitly for the A2 - makes you wonder why the original Rev A, and subsequent Revs afterwards don't have the ability to use GALA? Enjoy the upgrade to your car.

An interesting question, Dan, and one that I'm not really sure the answer too. :p

I like to think that Audi have prepared a little 'easter egg' for us owners of older Audi's, such that we can fit these brilliant MK2 units into our cars. Could they have left GALA in so people can retrofit them? I like to think so. :)

Regards,

Matt.
 

craigyb

Member
It also helps if you completely remove the ISO connectors and replace the ends of the wiring directly with a quadlock connector. Takes a few hours but it is so much better.

Now you have a MK2 RNS-E fitted all you have to do is get the road speed displayed onto the maps whilst driving.
 

wilco184

Member of the year 2015
It also helps if you completely remove the ISO connectors and replace the ends of the wiring directly with a quadlock connector. Takes a few hours but it is so much better.

Now you have a MK2 RNS-E fitted all you have to do is get the road speed displayed onto the maps whilst driving.

That sounds very interesting Craig.

Is the road speed display activated with VCDS or are other modules/discs needed? I'd be keen to have that working.

Regards,

Matt.
 

johnmed

Member
Many thanks, John! :)

I'll try and look after your A2 as best I can. ;) I trust the A8 is going well.

Matt.

It's your A2 now, I should have chosen my words more carefully!!!! You've done so much to the car, even if I'd wanted to, I never would have got round to half as much.

A8 is a beast, and yes, is going well. Thanks. All the best.
 
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