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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks,

I just finished a complete OEM navigation swap to my 2015 Nissan Frontier SV. This project is not for the faint of heart. My SV only had the original display radio, no nav, no backup camera, etc... Attached are the 2015 pin-outs for the stock display radio, and the navigation radio for comparison. Yes in 2015, nissan made the secondary harness/pinouts slightly different from the 2014s and earlier. I will post photos a bit later today/tomorrow. As a footnote, all features work as expected, no surprises. I added the factory nav, and factory rear camera. Details to follow...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Adding more details:

Here are photos of the actual radios (both Nav unit, and standard unit) front and back views with connector labels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Ok, now for the meat of the install. Parts list needed:

First set of parts is for the 24 pin connector required for the new navigation radio. This is the one labeled secondary connector and provides the connections for the rear camera, aux port, and factory blue tooth. You will need to construct this connector.

- Quantity 1 - New 24 Pin Connector sourced from Mouser Electronics - Part Number: 571-1318917-1 at price $2.10 each.
- Quantity 20 - New Terminal/Pins also sourced from Mouser Electronics - Part Number: 571-1123343-1 at price $ .13 each

Next item is the nav radio and rear camera components:
- Quantity 1 - Nissan Frontier/Xterra OEM navigation unit 2015 model - Sourced from Ebay at $379
- Quantity 1 - Nissan Frontier OEM rear camera - Sourced from Dealer at $258
- Quantity 1 - Nissan Tailgate finisher (new handle assembly, plastic cover, etc) - Sourced from dealer at $80
- Quantity 1 - Nissan chrome logo for new finisher above - Sourced from Dealer at $35
- Quantity 1 - Misc. cable harness for rear camera consisting of video lead, and other wiring. at $40
- Quantity 1 - GPS Antenna Assembly from Altima - Sourced from Ebay at $50

Once you have these components you can begin.

Starting with some photos, 1st up are the existing Connector/Harness photos:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
So the bulk of this swap is really building out the secondary connector. As mentioned previously, this connector is used for the rear camera, aux connection, and bluetooth.

Here are photos of building this connector. Again this is the connector sourced from Mouser electronics. To make the job easy on myself, I chose to crimp/solder the new pins to extra vehicle wiring (short 6 inch wire leads - variuous colors to match vehicle wiring) I already had. Now, if you have the special crimping tool made for these pin types, then you don't need to solder. I did not, so I crimpled them slightly with needle nose pliers, then a very small touch of solder and this worked nicely. So again the pin/terminal side is done at my work bench with these short wire leads. Inserting the pins to the connector housing is relatively easy, however when you push the pins in, remember that you will likely need to use a small tool (jewelers screwdriver or such) to help push the pin from the rear until the pins click. They only go in one way!

After doing the pin insertion work I then used uninsulated butt connectors on the other side of each wire lead. These butt connectors are what I use to splice into the existing vehicle harness. I mentioned uninsulated butt connectors since once crimped, I then use heat shrink for that nice finished job, not those ugly plastic insulated butt connectors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Now for some details that are not clear when comparing the pin-outs for the nav & non-nav radios. You would think Nissan could leave at least one harness/connector in place that would not require modification, but alas no, the main harness needs one pin/lead removed and relocated to the secondary connector and an additional jumper as well. Details below:

So the old display radio uses pin 8 on the main harness as Illumination GND. This pin/lead needs to be removed form the main harness and moved to pin 44 on the secondary harness. By moving this lead, you enable the buttons to be illuminated with your dash lights. Now it doesn't just stop there, the nav unit also uses one more illumination lead that is not clearly identified. So in the pin-out doc for the nav radio, notice that pin 23 of the secondary harness is labeled MR Output. This particular pin requires a jumper from the main connector Pin 9 to the secondary connector pin 23 (MR Output). The MR output controls the navigation map color scheme. So when your lights are on the MAP changes to night view, and when your lights are off, it switches to day view. I found this out the hard way.

Last but not least, nav units for many vehicles are able to interface with the can bus of that vehicle. The Nissan nav unit is no exception. There are two connections noted in the pin-outs on the nav head unit for "can high" and "can low." These connections do not exist in the harnesses for the standard Nissan radio head units. They are also not required for this install either. The NAV unit does not use any can bus information in any of its primary functions. I have no doubt that there are reasons for the interface such as attaining can bus information/status for other modules, or sending errors to the ECU, etc., etc... So in stating this, my install does not interface to the can bus, and I have no loss in any function, no error messages, no idiot lights, etc... I see no reason to do it and tempt fate. All that said, it is very possible to interface the unit to the can bus by creating those connections, but that would be up to you.

So here are additional photos of the harnesses/connectors:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
So here is some information on the rear Camera portion of my install. My particular frontier did not have a rear camera at all. So I needed to add one along with a harness going to the *** end of the truck. Now I got lucky and scored a gentex video mirror harness for $35 bucks off ebay. The nice thing about this harness is that it was complete. I just needed to snip the existing connectors off each end and redo them for this application. This harness contained a 4 lead shielded cable (camera video/power) along with the additional reverse lead and additional power lead. This saved me considerable time as I did not have to manufacture one. I also got lucky in that the local dealer keeps a box of cut out connectors from all different nissan cars/trucks. I was able to dig through their box and found a connector that would mate to the "new oem camera" connector itself.

Although you can use any rear camera you want, i.e. license plate cameras, other aftermarket ones, etc., etc.., I chose to use the stock camera, and stock mounting location. The stock camera also uses 6vdc supplied by the nav head unit. Aftermarket cameras use 12vdc. In addition, the nav head unit provides the trapazoid guide lines, so no matter what camera you choose, make sure to use a camera that does not provide those guide lines. Finally, in using the stock location/camera, the trapazoid guide lines line up perfectly based on the camera angle. This is important as it matches the owners manual guidance regarding the distance intervals for the guide lines and objects seen on the screen.

The only problem here is that the oem camera is a bit more expensive and you need to replace the finisher/tailgate handle assembly as well. You can cut the old one so the camera can be inserted, but it won't look as nice, and the finisher is only $80 or so. Be carefull when removing the spoiler/top cap from the tailgate as it uses plastic clips. You will see when you separate the top portion to expose the bolts.

One more note here: Tailgates are supposed to be removable on trucks, so remember to use a connector setup on the harness outside of the tailgate so you can unplug it/camera harness when removing the tailgate. Many many people forget this fact.

Here are some photos of this portion of the install: Sorry, I did not take any step by steps on this section as I was just to busy in the project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
So finally, I need to add in the GPS antenna. I used an Altima GPS antenna since the harness was rather short as it was going high inside the center portion of my dash. Now, you can order an actual Frontier GPS antenna new from the dealer, but I was able to score the one I used on ebay for $50 bucks or so. The placement needs to be as far forward and center as you can go. You need to make sure no metal is on top of the antenna. Be carfull as there is a big wire loom in the center just below the plastic dash board top. My antenna went on top of this thick loom which also served as a good mounting point for me.

GPS Antenna Used:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
For the final post here, I just have the completed photos of the nav unit in my truck. I cycled through the different screens so you can see all functions. In fact, every function works as expected. These include: steering wheel controls, bluetooth, rear camera, navigation, illumination day/night maps colors, sound, XM, apps, aux port, and finally USB.

Again this install is not for the faint of heart. It requires knowing how to wire, solder, build connectors, run cable, read pinouts/schematic diagrams, and some general audio/video knowledge. Throughout the install, I attempted to make every connection, harness, modification, etc., to as closed to factory as is possible without replacing to many items. All of course as cost effectively as possible. So notice that a good portion of items were secured from eBay, while some required purchase from the dealer. I think all total I probably have around $850 invested. Hopefully this information is helpfull to folks that may want to proceed with this endeavor. Cheers!!!
 

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Thank you for your write-up. Those pin-out diagrams are just what I needed to be "sure" about what wire is what on a 2015 to install a cheap backup camera with my factory radio. You brought up a very good point I didn't consider...the built-in grid lines on the factory head unit are configured for the camera in the stock position. I found a good write-up on how to disable the grid lines on a generic backup camera and planned on mounting it near the hitch. If the grid lines on the factory head unit are going to be way off, then I think I'll move the backup camera closer to the tailgate latch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, my local dealer was very accomodating in providing me the 2015 pin-out diagrams. I could not have done the work without those. Good luck with your camera install!

Cheers,
G:
 

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Thanks for the great write-up, you gave me the incentive to give this a try. Purchased a head-unit from a 13 Titan on eBay and all the noted extra hardware. Install went very well with the only exception that I cannot get my phone to work. The phone will sync to the unit but the answer/hang-up and the volume controls do not work for the radio. I do have four extra wires that we left taped off and assume some or all of them are the ones for the phone controls but can't figure out where they go. Can you give me some pointers on this part? Thanks, appreciate the help.
 

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This is a great write up, but I have a curious question. If you had it to do all over again and money wasn't a limiting factor would you do the same modification or go with an aftermarket head unit, especially if you were considering speaker upgrades with a multichannel amp and a subwoofer to be added in the mix?
 

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First of all, I applaud your effort. I read through the whole thread and you put a lot of work and time into getting everything working. I've done projects where I went two or three steps beyond, no shortcuts and no mickey-mousing, and after reading your post I like how you had the same approach. Nice job, not a lot of people are willing to go that far.

So I'm wondering... after all is said and done, in your opinion was it worth all that trouble? Your cost (minus labor) added up to $846 and change (and that was sourced parts, not regular MSRP)

It is definitely possible (and more convenient for regular peeps) to get an aftermarket double-DIN in dash receiver with better base sound, more audio adjustments, bluetooth, built-in nav, built-in rear camera input, a standalone backup camera, steering wheel control interface, dash kit, and you might even squeeze a pair of decent front speakers in there too. What was your actual goal here? Was it just to see if it could be done?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the great write-up, you gave me the incentive to give this a try. Purchased a head-unit from a 13 Titan on eBay and all the noted extra hardware. Install went very well with the only exception that I cannot get my phone to work. The phone will sync to the unit but the answer/hang-up and the volume controls do not work for the radio. I do have four extra wires that we left taped off and assume some or all of them are the ones for the phone controls but can't figure out where they go. Can you give me some pointers on this part? Thanks, appreciate the help.

I had no taped off wires. All were used in the new connector. Follow the pinouts at the top of this post. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
First of all, I applaud your effort. I read through the whole thread and you put a lot of work and time into getting everything working. I've done projects where I went two or three steps beyond, no shortcuts and no mickey-mousing, and after reading your post I like how you had the same approach. Nice job, not a lot of people are willing to go that far.

So I'm wondering... after all is said and done, in your opinion was it worth all that trouble? Your cost (minus labor) added up to $846 and change (and that was sourced parts, not regular MSRP)

It is definitely possible (and more convenient for regular peeps) to get an aftermarket double-DIN in dash receiver with better base sound, more audio adjustments, bluetooth, built-in nav, built-in rear camera input, a standalone backup camera, steering wheel control interface, dash kit, and you might even squeeze a pair of decent front speakers in there too. What was your actual goal here? Was it just to see if it could be done?
Yes it was worth it. There is OEM and then there is everything else. OEM has no problems with mating up with bluetooth, camera, matches dash illumination, steering wheel controls work, etc., etc.. With aftermarket there is always a compromise where things don't match quite right, or maybe you need other modules to get certain items to work. And resale is always better, because it appears that the dash has not been compromised with aftermarket junk. blah blah blah... Just my humble opinion. ::smile::
 

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Yes it was worth it. There is OEM and then there is everything else. OEM has no problems with mating up with bluetooth, camera, matches dash illumination, steering wheel controls work, etc., etc.. With aftermarket there is always a compromise where things don't match quite right, or maybe you need other modules to get certain items to work. And resale is always better, because it appears that the dash has not been compromised with aftermarket junk. blah blah blah... Just my humble opinion. ::smile::
Actually these days neither does aftermarket - I have 100% working bluetooth, OEM rear camera, matching dash illumination color, all steering wheel controls... plus working OEM USB and (IMO the whole point of swapping out head units in the first place) a much better sounding source for the audio. Sure it takes a couple of harness adaptors (premade, plug and play) but then again you had to get some harnesses as well. Then when it comes to resale you can simply pull the aftermarket HU out and put the stocker back in (unless you sold it).

Either way, A+ on the job you did. Excellent work. ::smile::
 
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