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2021 Sportage Nigthfall
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been digging into the process of swapping the OEM radio for something much better.
I want to add:
Other apps and try to consolidate some ECM monitoring stuff. I also will be upgrading the speakers, but wanted to start with the head unit.

I was almost about to pull the trigger on an 11" Alpine, until I thought about how I might be interested in adding a front camera (mount on the plate).
I also did a mock up of how big that 11" would be.....HUGE!!! I mean , it covers about 40% of each vent when installed. The dimension of the "tablet" part is 7.5" x 11". Basically a sheet of normal paper.

So, I settled on a 9" Pioneer "tablet" or what they are calling a "floating head unit". Two things pushed me to the Pioneer. 2nd camera input and the HD resolution.

I need to integrate the steering wheel controls, ECM, XM, and the 2nd camera (which I need to decide which to buy).

While I am waiting on that, I thought I would rip apart the dash to see if any problems may arise.

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Getting access to the radio is not too complicated. There are 4 screws to get to this point.
Everything else is just clips.
4 more screws holding the radio in.
Next post will have a walk through.
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All these daggon plugs......the repair manual is missing about 5 of them compared to what there really is.
What the manual list:

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What there really is

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to be continued......
 

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2017 Kia Sportage LX, 2015 Kia Soul EX, 2010 Can-Am Spyder RT, 2008 Kawasaki KLR650
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147 Posts
I did the same with a Kenwood unit with 2 camera inputs, except I had an installer do it.
 

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2021 Sportage Nigthfall
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would STRONGLY suggest you use the trim panel removal tools for this stuff. Screwdrivers will cause you nothing but trouble and money.
I will edit this with a link

First step:
Literally, rip the shift knob/boot off. Put the car in neutral (PARKING BRAKE!!!)
Pull straight up as if you were lifting Thor's Hammer.... it helps if you call the knob a parental fornicator.

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I took the pics putting everything back together for posting them here. I hope this helps someone else.
Roll the boot up for easy install.
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Next thing is to pull the cup holders off. It just snaps off. However, it does sort of have to be turned/twisted to clear the stuff above it.
There is also the connector that all the buttons need, so pay attention.

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Next step is to remove the section that has the USB/outlet....just two screws and it pops out too.
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Get out of the drivers seat and go to the passenger side.
There is a tringle part that needs to come out. Pull the weather stripping back and it will pop out with the trim tools.

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Just the one screw on the top needs to come out.
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Now you have to pry around those tab stops then you can pop out the center part that runs over to the cluster area.
 

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2021 Sportage Nigthfall
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22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
With all the stuff out of the way, we can now pop off the trim and vents around the radio.

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DONT forget the two screws on the bottom of the radio trim
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The radio will be left in the dash and 4 screws hold it in.

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As you can see this is the easy part.....

I will update as I get stuff delivered.
HOPING it all arrives before the weekend. I would love to have this all installed by Saturday afternoon.
 

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2021 Sportage Nigthfall
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did the same with a Kenwood unit with 2 camera inputs, except I had an installer do it.
I would have let them, but in trying to find out if all the stuff would work, the installer at the local shop gave me the willies.
There is NOTHING listed for the 2021, and the stuff listed for the 2020, is a bit far off from the 2019 and older. It seems I will be using unverified stuff....well, when they are all combined.

I should be able to run Torque Pro on this unit, which means I need to tie into the ECM, which also means more parts and harnesses.
There is ZERO dash install kits listed, so I will be winging the 2019 kit. If it does not work, I will have to fab up some brackets. I hope at worse case, the trim ring from the install kit works. I also hope I dont waste money on it.

There is also ZERO verification that the 2017 to 2021 share the same wiring.

My labor and time is much more inexpensive than paying someone, and I sort of deal with vehicle telematics devices for a living. Getting my hands dirty is not out of the ordinary. I will say I usually only deal with the "figure me outs". I spend more time teaching than doing... LOL
 

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2020 kia sportage lx awd
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147 Posts
Interesting. An upgraded head unit would be great. One thing, maybe im missing something but u don't have to remove the center console to get at the radio. The lower dash part coming down beside the deck will come out without removing the console. A little tricky. Did u remove the usb/plug panels entirely? Wondering whats behind it for space or for diff usb port options or relocating. Will be watching.
 

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With the 3rd party unit, will you lose the ability to control some car features or see the HVAC settings?
 

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2021 Sportage Nigthfall
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Interesting. An upgraded head unit would be great. One thing, maybe im missing something but u don't have to remove the center console to get at the radio. The lower dash part coming down beside the deck will come out without removing the console. A little tricky. Did u remove the usb/plug panels entirely? Wondering whats behind it for space or for diff usb port options or relocating. Will be watching.
There is a replacement USB port I will be running, so that is why I took it off. I will take a pic for you.

With the 3rd party unit, will you lose the ability to control some car features or see the HVAC settings?
I have not had a Kia that the radio controls the climate. It just displays it. I dont know if the new Pioneer will display.
I will let you know
 

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2021 Sportage Nigthfall
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have almost all of the hardware to do this install. I am waiting on the dash kit and the harness adapter that goes between the iData Maestro.
I have the XM tuner
Pioneer head unit
XM Ant. adapter that will let me use the OEM ant.
AM/FM ant. adapter
USB panel replacement
iData Maestro RR (steering wheel controls and ECU module)

Waiting on the dash kit and iData Maestro harness adapter and the front plate camera.

I dont expect the dash kit in anytime soon. I could not find one in stock ANYWHERE.

I "may" be able to use the factory brackets for now.

I should have the one harness today or in the AM.

If I get everything in by today or Sat morning, I will get all this installed over the weekend.

If not, it will be when ever the dash kit arrives. I assume a week on that.
 

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2017 Kia Sportage
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I have not had a Kia that the radio controls the climate. It just displays it. I dont know if the new Pioneer will display.
I will let you know
This is part of the technology package on the EX and is standard on the SX. I don't believe you will get climate controls on your aftermarket unit. That's why the upgrade path on the tech loaded EX/SX is generally a DSP LOC with the OEM head unit.
 

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2021 Kia Sportage LX
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I have almost all of the hardware to do this install. I am waiting on the dash kit and the harness adapter that goes between the iData Maestro.
I have the XM tuner
Pioneer head unit
XM Ant. adapter that will let me use the OEM ant.
AM/FM ant. adapter
USB panel replacement
iData Maestro RR (steering wheel controls and ECU module)

Waiting on the dash kit and iData Maestro harness adapter and the front plate camera.

I dont expect the dash kit in anytime soon. I could not find one in stock ANYWHERE.

I "may" be able to use the factory brackets for now.

I should have the one harness today or in the AM.

If I get everything in by today or Sat morning, I will get all this installed over the weekend.

If not, it will be when ever the dash kit arrives. I assume a week


This is off topic but i would be interested in the oem radio if it has sirius radio, if you wanted to sell.
my 2021 lx did not come with Sirius
 

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2021 Sportage Nigthfall
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
well Ess Oh Bee.

No wonder there are no stuff listed.

The OEM plugs are no where near close to any aftermarket options.

Seems I will be sitting on about $1400 worth of equipment until someone kicks out the harness. I do not want to hack off the OEM plugs.

OEM Radio connectors:
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iDataLink Maestro Plug
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And a few other plugs I have no idea what they are for..... I am thinking the UVO services as they look like data/signal connections.

118480
 

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2017 Kia Sportage
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I know it is too late for you, but always check compatibility at Crutchfield before you buy any units. They say this unit is not compatible with your Kia. When it is compatible, they will have plug and play adapters. I've put in custom units before (years ago), and the wiring is very messy. My guess is that you will never be able to get a harness that fits your Kia for this unit. The best you can to is to find a compatible Pioneer unit at Crutchfield and just buy the installation harness. Then, also get an installation package for a car that this unit does fit into. That way, you'll at least have the plugs for both ends of a custom harness. There were companies out there that would build a custom harness for you, but I don't know if they are still there. Those harnesses were very expensive. A high end installer may be able to wire the unit in if there are proper leads for all of the necessary connections, but that would cost more than the unit itself. If you can return the unit, I'd do that and get a compatible unit from a place like Crutchfield who would guarantee that it fits. Good luck...
 

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2020 kia sportage lx awd
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Installers around here wouldn't even attempt any custom work. Half of them wouldn't even kno how. I inquired bout upgrading the stock head unit when I first bought my Sportage, and they told me just for the harnesses it'd be hundreds of dollars, then any modules and possibly losing some feat it just wasn't worth it for me. Too bad cuz i was hoping there was a cheaper way to get a better deck. Sometimes u can find custom harnesses on ebay that may work. Good luck!
 

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2017 Kia Sportage
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Installers around here wouldn't even attempt any custom work. Half of them wouldn't even kno how. I inquired bout upgrading the stock head unit when I first bought my Sportage, and they told me just for the harnesses it'd be hundreds of dollars, then any modules and possibly losing some feat it just wasn't worth it for me. Too bad cuz i was hoping there was a cheaper way to get a better deck. Sometimes u can find custom harnesses on ebay that may work. Good luck!
This is not the case today. There are lots of upgrade options for your car and if you go to places like Crutchfield, it will be almost plug and play. The LX is the easiest to upgrade. The ones with the tech package require a more sophisticated approach.
 
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