My customizations

Discussion in 'Subaru Levorg Modifcations' started by SkyBeam, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. SkyBeam

    SkyBeam Member

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    I gut my Levorg in April and over the past four months I have done a bunch of modifications and enhancements.

    I did an article about this on wheelcrowd. I am afraid it's too much to post here so I just provide the link for everybody who is interested on my modifications. The article should be accessible without any account on the page.

    Here's a quick list of the modifications I did:
    • Garage door remote mounted in map light compartment
    • STI front-bumper lip
    • DAMD rear under garnish
    • Complete interior LED light replacement
    • Interior LED foot area lights (coupled to interior lighting, so it's off while driving)
    • LED license place illumination
    • Osram LED DRL
    • Additional trunk lights
    • 12V plug in trunk
    • Kicker speaker replacement (all of them, 4 door speakers + mid/high tweeters)
    • Kenwood KSC-SW11 underseat subwoofer under passanger seat
    • Pioneer 4x45W amplifier
    • 9-Inch Android Head Unit with custom cabling and DAB+ (including parking brake signal etc.)
    • Front-facing DVR camera mounted in front grill
    • Stainless steel step protectors on front and back doors
    • Stainless steel step protectors for trunk (inside and outside)
    • Tomason TN17 18/8.0 wheels
    • Various blue-lined decals

    I think this is it more or less.
     
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  2. Stumpvold

    Stumpvold Active Member

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    Awesome color ;)
    Nice mods too, I've been thinking of changing out the headunit myself, I think the one you have is the one I've been looking at. What do you think of it?
    I got the damd garnish too, was a bit smaller than expected, but it does the Job.
    Any plans for future mods?
     
  3. SkyBeam

    SkyBeam Member

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    The headunit is not bad but I was a bit disappointed about the "audio/amplifier" part. This is why I also added a small dedicated Class-D amplifier (Pioneer). Moreover I am a bit disappointed about some noise audible at low volumes. I think there are some interferences and simply not enough high-quality audio processing. Despite this it serves the job. I was looking for something based on "standard" software and this is what I got. The unit is basically an Android 6 based 9-inch tablet with some added I/O ports. So now I can basically install any Android app or modify the OS according to my liking. Also I can use Torque using a Bluetooth OBDII interface. I am currently looking into some mods just for fun.
    I think subispeed has a similar unit which might even come with the correct cabling (Levorg requires 28-Pin, 6-Pin and 10-Pin cabling). I got mine from a chinese vendor who sent me a Subaru 20-Pin cable first. The replacement Cable (28-Pin) fitted but did not allow me to use the amplifier etc. Also got some problems with steering wheel controls I was able to solve using some custom circuit/cabling. For example the SWC2 button group did not work for me on the default cabling, fixed this by connecting SWC1 + SWC2 to the same sense line of the head unit adding an additional resistor to allow the head unit distinguish between the groups.

    In addition I needed an adapter from Axxess to supply 6V to the rear view camera (or use a custom step-down converter simply) and 5V for the microphone amplifier (or just use the built-in unit mic). All-in-all it was not a plug-and-play installation and required some customizations. Some might be worked around by getting the package from subispeed. Not sure if they include out of the box converters for 5V and 6V as well as connections to illumination switches, parking brake signal etc. At least it looks subispeed offers those adapters and harnesses as an option.

    Technically all those units are identical and called MTCA/MTCB/MTCD devices. My one is an MTCD device and I got the Android 6 upgrade with PX5 processor board. I didn't find any information on this on subisepeed. My chinese vendor by default sells this unit with outdated Android 5.1.1 on PX3 processor board.

    Mechanically the device I got fits the Levorg quite nicely. Unfortunately the mounting rails do not work as the Levorg got its head unit screwed from left/right bay as well as from front. Using this unit the top vent cover is attached directly to the unit. So you can't mount the rails from front any more. Actually I screwed in the rails and just pushed in the unit. It's hold in place by plastic clips on top and bottom and hold in place without any screw. Works quite fine for me. To remove it I just need to pull.
    The vent valve assembly needed some small modification to fit in too (not included).

    Conclusion is: These head units are cheaply made. Much cheaper than "brand" units from Pioneer, Pumpkin, Kenwood etc. Some things might not work out of the box but for me it's worth it as the platform can be customized and I might even get newer software/OS versions in the future or compile one by myself. For example there is a section on XDA developers about MTCD units covering also PX3/PX5 boards and custom ROMs.


    The DAMD garnish is just fine for me. It looks classy. I also expected it to be a bit larger looking at the official pictures. However I am quite happy it does not look that bulky. Just gives some discreet custom touch. If you don't know the Levorg you might think it's stock. Mainly I disliked the pretty primitive looking STI diffusor "bar". It's also cheaper than the STI garnish. But comes unpainted so additional paint job charges need to be taken into account.

    At the moment I consider the project "done" as everything I had in mind is working now. However I am sure I will have more ideas in the future.
    Just taking into account this is my daily driver. So top priority is practical use and street legal equipment (which is not always easy given the regulations here in Switzerland).


    btw. I was following your postings and especially pictures too @Stumpvold. Awesome looking Levorg you have there. I am pretty jalous about some things you did. Quite many of them (like headlamp covers and changed front grill) would not be street legal here. But I really love the style of your car. Thought about changing the Subaru badges on front/back too but didn't find any classy looking ones yet.
     
  4. Stumpvold

    Stumpvold Active Member

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    Sounds like I'm keeping the stock one a while more, it still does the job, but I'm used to parrot's headunit, and it has some more costumizability.

    I like the damd garnish too, looks like it should have come like that factory.
    I think we have the same strict rules here in Norway, everything has to be tüv approved. Aestetics can be changed, but not by much. (Grille is legal, my wheels are not)
    Headlight covers are not legal here either ;)
    Thanks btw! It needs some more low's thought :D
     
  5. SkyBeam

    SkyBeam Member

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    Yes, looks like Norway is similar in many aspects. Loved riding my bike through beautiful landscapes in Norway 2 years ago. I need to come back to this terrific country.

    Yes to tell the truth, the head unit was a bit pain in the back until I got it working the way I want to. Perhaps it would have been better and easier to go for a standard 2-din bracket and install any standard 2-din android head unit for Subaru. Ultimately they are internally identically, but can be installed in many other cars while the head unit I bought is specific for some Subaru models and not officially Levorg-approved. But hey, I am not complaining, I was looking for something special, spent a lot of time on it and now I am happy.
     
  6. Stumpvold

    Stumpvold Active Member

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    A bit colder this summer than what it usually is.
    10 years since I was in Schweiz myself.

    Sounds like android, a bit of work to get it working, but it will work excellent when it does work.
    The bigger screen is tempting, 9" instead of 6", maybe next year :D
     
  7. SkyBeam

    SkyBeam Member

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    Yes it looks good in the dash and integrates very well. So it does not look like any aftermarked part. This is why I like it.
    The downside of this is that all these units got a 1024x600 screen. So no matter if you have 6" or 9" they show the same content, just slightly bigger. I would have loved to get a unit with higher resolution like Full-HD. Anyway, perhaps the next generation of Android Head Unit Platform will provide this.
     
  8. ozkan bicer

    ozkan bicer Active Member

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    I had one of those Android HUs in my XV and man, it was not a good experience... Now I have a Pioneer F77DAB HU and music is music. Android auto is what I use for GPS and other stuff. And It looks OEM , thanks to piano black bezel I got . I have used Subaru NavLock bolts so thieves would not be able to steal it easily.
     
  9. Pooley1981

    Pooley1981 New Member

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    Hi Oskan Bicer, Just wandering if you have the details of the kicker speaker kit you installed. I just bought the same sub as you and an just about the install the Kenwood head deck with apple carplay.

    Thanks
     
  10. ozkan bicer

    ozkan bicer Active Member

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    Hi Pooley1981,

    I havent used Kicker upgrade speakers but I know someone who did. My setup has changed a lot over time and as of now I have the following in my ride:

    *HU: Pioneer Avic F77DAB
    *Front Speakers: Helix C 63C 3 way
    *Rear speakers: Helix C 62 C
    *Amplifier: Helix P6 DSP MK2
    *Subwoofer: Helix P 8E

    Kicker speakers are all coaxials and besides being flush mount, no advantages at all. I would recommend getting some spacers and speaker transformer plugs and install something better than Kickers. I can help you with spaeker installation gear but you will need to buy speakers there.

    Any 16, or 17 cm would do.

    Hope this helps.
     
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