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Discussion Starter #1
So I have a 91 MR2 SW20, fully stock (except the wheels and tires). The stereo was the premium sound cassette/CD/Radio head unit. Well, I was getting tired of using CD's, or a cassette adapter. I went out and bought 2 Kenwood DNX995S head units. One for my MR2, the other for my FJ Cruiser. I installed it in the MR2 and totally despised the way it looked. The screen protruded away from the trim way too much for the MR2...but it worked out well for the FJ Cruiser. I returned one of the units and downgraded to a DDX6706S since I didn't need the Garmin GPS function as I don't take the MR2 on long road trips in remote areas of the US. The unit fit nicely in the double din space where my old head unit was. The only thing that sucked is that it didn't have Wireless Android Auto like the DNX995S did. So after changing head units, I decided to try to mount a USB port in one of the blank punch outs by the fog light switch. I ordered the first one, trimmed out the blank and did the full installation. To my dismay, the port didn't' work. Damn-it! Ordered another one of the same...maybe it was defective. Tested it before I installed this time. Still didn't work. After doing some research, it seems Android Auto is pretty damn finicky. Quality cables matter when using Android Auto. In the interim, I ordered a "cigarette lighter" USB/Line-In port and installed it and it worked. Had to remove the entire lighter assembly in the MR2. It looked OK, but lost the back-lighting that is normally there with the cigarette lighter, so I wasn't totally satisfied. So after looking how beefy the new USB port was during the installation process, I ordered another one made by the same manufacture but ordered a single USB port with a rectangular plug. Received it, tested it, and it worked like a champ. Now it's installed where I want, so I can run a short cable from the port and keep my phone in the door pocket out of the way. Anyways, totally happy now.

The first picture with the "blue" USB port is the one that works with Android Auto. It's made by a company called Batige

The 2nd picture with the pink line in jack is the one that doesn't work with Android Auto. It does charge, and connect USB thumb drives with MP3's. But it doesn't feel very solid.
 

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Nice work. Only problem with that location, though, is that you need a long USB cable draped behind the steering wheel. I didn't realize they made cigarette lighter USB ports that were data capable. If I ever upgrade to an Adroid auto compatible head-unit in my car I might try one of those, even if it does mean losing the lighted ring. For now, though, if I want Android auto I just use it on my phone and broadcast to my current head-unit via Bluetooth. That's the nice thing about Android Auto... you can use it right off your phone.

BTW: blue USB ports usually mean USB 3.0, whereas black ones tend to be USB 2.0. I wonder if that had anything to do with the issue you were experiencing connecting to Android Auto. Don't know about the specs, but I guess its possible AA requires USB 3.0 or better.
 

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If you haven't already, two more fairly significant interior updates to bring the deuce into the present are:
  • Swap out your dash lights with LEDs
  • Replace or restore the clear plastic that covers the gauge cluster
 

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Other things to consider - the head unit may have (2) USB ports. One port will work with Android Auto / CarPlay, the other with MP3s. With my Sony XAV-AX5000, CarPlay/AA will only work on USB port 1. That may be one of your issues.

Why bother running the USB there instead of down the center console and into the CD/Cassette holder in the back? I'm doing that and using the top portion to house my phone. The second USB cable I have coming out behind the passenger seat so I can perform firmware updates and use it for thumb drives while keeping my CarPlay stuff running too.

-TC
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I plug my phone in with a short cord and dump it in the door pocket. No where to put it in the center below the stereo. The storage compartment between the seats is too much of a PIA to get to.

In regards to USB 3.0, I had no idea that's what the colors represented. Makes sense though. I know Android Auto is pretty finicky with cables and such.

The head unit I bought only has 1 USB coming out of the back that works for Apple Carplay or Android Auto. The other head unit I had DNX995S had 2 USB's. The other nice thing about the DNX995S is that is has wireless Andorid Auto...where as the head unit I replaced it with (DDX6706S) did not...even though the salesman said it did. Once I installed it, I didn't feel like taking it all apart again, so I just decided to keep it since I don't drive my MR2 much.

I tried to do the update to the head unit...followed the instructions to the T...but it won't update. I'll play with it more when I get back home in a couple months.

The clear plastic over my cluster guage is crystal clear still, however changing out the bulbs would be a good thing. My MR2 is garage kept, always has been and only has 13,750 miles on it. Upgrading to LED's is definitely on the "to-do" list. That speedo cable is such a PIA to disconnect, so I have been putting it off. I replaced the dome lights, but the flickering drives me crazy. Any knowledge of a good LED dome light that is dims without flickering would be nice.

The cigarette light adapter was solid, it was just a personal preference when I went with the USB on the left side of the steering wheel.
 

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Looks great, well done! Just purchased a double din head unit for mine and hope to do some quality of life improvements to the interior as well.
 

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If you haven't already, two more fairly significant interior updates to bring the deuce into the present are:
  • Swap out your dash lights with LEDs
  • Replace or restore the clear plastic that covers the gauge cluster
Not to sidetrack this, but any idea where to source the new plastic for the gauge cluster?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@1991MR2Turbo: The wire harness I used was the Autoleads PC9-406 Car Audio Active Adaptor Lead. It's came from the UK, so I had to repin it so it would match up with the USDM wiring harness.

@RePete: Definitely looking to go with LED lighting for the instrument cluster. My clear plastic cover is flawless...my MR2 only has 13,750 miles on it, and I keep it in the garage, and don't drive it in the rain, so there is no fading or discoloring. Still smells new on the inside.

@razor7: The head unit I have only has 1 USB plug/cable on the back. The whole thing was pretty frustrating because the chucklehead at Best Buy said it was Wireless Android Auto. He was wrong, and I didn't feel like returning it. It was definitely a USB 3.0 issue. At least according to all the Android Auto forums I read. In regards to the center console...in my opinion, it's a PIA to get to while driving...so I just don't mess with it too much. I just keep things I don't readily need access to in there.

@zacisapimp: I'll check...all I know is for my liking it stuck out too far and you could see the screen adjustment mechanism...to me it wasn't clean looking enough, so I yanked it. If I find pic's, I'll post them. I'm overseas at the moment, but will be home in a week. I have it in my FJ Cruiser, so I could at least take pictures of that. Doesn't look to bad in my FJ since the head unit is a bit more recessed in the surround.
 

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Not to sidetrack this, but any idea where to source the new plastic for the gauge cluster?
AFAIK, the gauge cluster plastic has been discontinued. Your best option is to polish/restore the one you have. I haven't used it, however, I have heard that "Meguiar's G12310 PlastX clear plastic cleaner & polish" works great for this kind of job.
 

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You could use a headlight restore kit, because mine is a premium jdm system I just made my own harness with connecter blocks,
69095
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Someone had asked for some pictures. Here they are:
1 of my MR2
the other is my FJ Cruiser head unit.
Last 2 images: 1991 MR2 Turbo 14 pin wiring harness decoded.
 

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