Another trip to my father in-laws garage…
Found time this afternoon to install the replacement sunvisor I bought on eBay and the Dice Electronics iHonda R4 iPod adapter I picked up via Amazon.
The sunvisor install literally took 5 mins. Saved about $50 over buying one from the Acura dealer and got a pair of visors out of the deal to boot!
Next up, the iPod adapter…
In preparation, I archived all of the locations in my GPS weeks ago. It seems that this precaution wasn’t needed though as all my saved locations were not erased.
To begin, disconnect the battery, make sure the emergency brake is up and put the car in neutral using the shift lock override (AT transmissions).
Based on a couple articles I read on the subject, I removed the center storage box just under the factory stereo/GPS unit and followed the steps outlined:
It took a bit more force than I thought to pop off the console, but once we figured it out, it was easily repeatable. Unfortunately, we had to repeatedly remove the console. I kept bumping the data cable with the bin, disconnecting it from the stereo.
The articles I referenced do a great job explaining the installation of this device on a 2004 Acura TSX with an iPod or iPhone 3G and I don’t have much to add that hasn’t already been said on this subject.
I opted to hide the iHonda unit behind the storage console and used a 1/2″ bit to drill a hole in the upper right corner for the iPhone cable. My father in-law had a rubber stop that we used to fill in the gap. This allows me to slide as much or as little of the data cable from behind the storage bin.
It seems there is only one practical way to install the iHonda R4 on an ’04 Acura TSX with navigation that will function with an iPhone 3G.
The four dipswitches on the R4 must be set in the following order (from left to right): OFF, OFF, OFF, ON.
The result is that with the iPhone plugged in, the Aux feature becomes selectable. Choosing to ignore the “airplane mode” warning will allow the greatest overall featureset (explanation further below).
The navigation screen is limited to a display of the track and disc which is utterly useless. What’s important, is that you can access the iPod application on the iPhone and make selections on the touch screeen as usual. You can even shake the iPhone to shuffle through tracks, which is convenient when driving so you don’t have to look away from the road.
The greatest added feature about about connecting an iPhone to the iHonda R4, other than the fact that my phone gets charged while I use it, is the fact that as long as you ignore the “airplane mode” warning, you can not only still make/recieve calls, you can also access the web– to stream Pandora (and other streaming music applications) right into your car stereo!
I may never load another CD into this car ever again.
That aside, the iHonda R4 is quirky and prone to failing to recognize a connected device occasionally. Simply unplugging and reattaching the iPhone usually re-establishes the data link.
Overall, the Dice Electronics iHonda R4 is a clean solution that doesn’t require any permanent alteration or replacement of the factory stereo. It also has a standard audio Jack should you wish to connect non-Apple music players or a smartphone with music capabilties.
My only regret is that I didn’t get one of these sooner.