A client from Clayton, North Carolina, brought his 2015 Ford Mustang to Adrenaline Autosound in hopes of adding Apple CarPlay to the vehicle. We called every supplier we know in search of a dash kit that would allow us to install an aftermarket source unit, but came up dry. In fact, there were no integration harnesses or steering wheel control interface modules and, from what we can tell, no one who had attempted a project like this. We did find out that the radio control panel is also part of the heater controls and the push-to-start, traction control, hazard light and steering control switches. It was no wonder that nobody offered a solution.
In spite of the constant challenges, the client remained determined to achieve his goal, so we got creative!
Divide And Conquer
Our plan was to relocate the circuit board that was home to all the switches that had to work to a location under the passenger seat. To make this work, we had to extend all the electrical contacts for the switches, as well as the LEDs for illumination and function indication on the switches. We soldered extension cables to each and every switch and LED contact on one end and to the circuit board on the other.
To keep the system serviceable, we installed several sets of Ford-style OEM plugs in a location behind the glove box. We wrapped everything in cloth Tesa tape for factory-look. In total, we made 344 solder connections to perform this relocation.
We modified the factory dash panel with a piece of half-inch–thick acrylic, then fit the new piece into the opening left after removing the radio. We created a cutout for an Alpine iLX-007 head unit. We chose this unit because it is very shallow. (There is no room behind the factory radio panel for a full-depth DVD unit.) We used several more pieces of acrylic to make mounting brackets for the new radio. We chamfered the edge of the new radio opening to give it an OEM look. We wrapped up the modifications with a coat of satin-black paint.
We thoroughly tested all the switches that we had relocated to ensure everything worked exactly the way it did from the factory.
The new source unit provides the client with his much-desired CarPlay solution, and our custom relocation project makes the whole thing look like it rolled off the assembly line this way. The client loves the results and is proud to be the only person with a CarPlay Radio in the dash of his 2015 Mustang – at least for now.
If you have a project you want help with, contact Adrenalin Autosound today by clicking here.