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#1 (permalink) Old 11-10-2011, 08:01 PM
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Post Removing Command System

I have an 01 S500. Personally I don't like the command system, it's user unfriendly and I want to remove the stock am/fm, tape, nav unit and replace it with an all new aftermarket system. I want to know what, if any, issues i'll have with anything. Is there anyone out there that can shed some light on this for me? Thanks
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-10-2011, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scothollywood View Post
I have an 01 S500. Personally I don't like the command system, it's user unfriendly and I want to remove the stock am/fm, tape, nav unit and replace it with an all new aftermarket system. I want to know what, if any, issues i'll have with anything. Is there anyone out there that can shed some light on this for me? Thanks
Everything you want to know about this is right above you in the sticky marked Encyclopedia.. It's fairly well documented.

Your car has a D2B fiber optic bus. Basically if you want to add an aftermarket nav you will need to buy a new bezel, a dash kit, a wiring harness (or cut up your factory harness), a new amp (Or try to find a fiber optic converter), a CANBUS module if you want steering wheel controls, and with a new amp you will need all new speakers. This will also make your phone system, CD changer, teleaid and various Comand functions like the time on the guage cluster and the ability to set the speedo for tire changes a thing of the past.. though I am sure the last two can be set by the dealer..

There are a few builds on here but they have all gone well into the thousands..

I myself recently took my unit out and replaced it with the 2003 Comand MOPF.. this unit is losely based on the Comand 2.0 builds (You have Comand 2.5) but it is actually NOT Comand 2.0, it just shares part of the wiring. If I had to rate it in a numbered sense like the last two it would be a Comand 3.0.. but instead it is named MOPF (Some refer to it as APS, but actually the APS is the MOST bus unit, which you can't use.) it is a widescreen navigation unit with the same features as the original but alot newer looking and ofcourse widescreen.. This route only cost me a few hundred dollars, though I am having issues with the navigation cutting out due to the speed signal that is routed thru the CANBUS.. looks like I am either going to have to start swapping out CANBUS modules for 2003 versions or purchase a speed signal converter from Sweden. I will probably be ordering the converter from Sweden tomorrow, which is almost a few hundred dollars right there.. I have thought about whether or not I should have gone the aftermarket route but I have to say, I like the stock look, the factory features retained and the Bose system does sound very good, I have seen alot of aftermarket systems with very good components but without being matched correctly they don't sound anywhere as good as a matched system.. there is a very fine art to building a good sounding system..

If you decide to do either of these swaps let me know as I am very quickly becoming an expert on these cars as I am burried in the vehicle's schematics most days for atleast a few hours.. I can tell you one thing, compared to most other vehicles there is not much information out there on this car's sound system.. meaning, if you go below the skin and not just plug things in, you will find there is nobody out there that knows anything about how these things actually work in this car..

Last edited by cmpcpro; 11-10-2011 at 10:07 PM.
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#3 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 05:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scothollywood View Post
I have an 01 S500. Personally I don't like the command system, it's user unfriendly and I want to remove the stock am/fm, tape, nav unit and replace it with an all new aftermarket system. I want to know what, if any, issues i'll have with anything. Is there anyone out there that can shed some light on this for me? Thanks
Check out Cartronics for direct fit upgrade replacement units... touch screen and all...

CarTronics, the Leading Authority on Vehicle Electronics
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#4 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 05:34 AM
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Wow, I just checked out Cartronics...$$$$$. While they have a lot of options therer, I would dig around the site, especially the recent posts by cmpcpro. There seems to be many more cost effective ways to upgrade your system tastefully.
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#5 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 12:47 AM
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Actually, you are in luck as I just replaced the COMAND unit in my dads 2001 S500!

FYI: you do not need to get new speakers and the rumors of the bizarre impedance are from somewhere on something. I did not encounter it. I think people used a multimeter to measure the current speakers. This will not give you the actual speaker impedance but the speaker DC resistance. There is a a difference and its an important one. As, a speaker may be rated for an impedance of say, 8 ohms, but a multimeter will show 6.3 Ohm. Why? The impedance is measured with a frequency injected in order to have both capacitive and inductive reactances generated, which then, after an equation, will yield the "impedance". Typically, a speaker/driver is measured at 1kHz. But, some manufacturers provide a "sweep" chart.

FYI2: A car driver will typically have an impedance of 4 ohms. So, a "bizarre" DC resistance of around 2, maybe lower if its a tweeter, would not be unusual.

This is a serious undertaking and most certainly not for the faint of heart. If this is your first car-radio install, I suggest budgeting about four weekends to complete the job. Seriously. It's that involved.

We replaced the COMAND with a Pioneer X930BT, Pioneer GEX-P920XM, and a Rockford Fosgate R600-5, CANPULSE2. If you need info, look the bits up on Amazon. But, I will have some rationalizations after the "steps".

Any ways, I will give a brief breakdown of what we did below, "days" are 8 hours (+/-):

1) The first thing we did was safely remove the COMAND system up front, and then the associated bits in the rear: disc-changer, amp, etc. This is a lot of work as you have to remove the interior of the trunk and take it all out. About a day.

2) Ran new audio cables to the rear. This was a big job as removing the interior panels can be tricky as you don't want to break the retention tabs. Also, getting the cables into the trunk was also tricky and we had to use a line to pull them through. Half-day.

3) Fabricated a bracket to mount he Rockford Fosgate amp. It's much bigger than the original one. We chose to mount it on the corssbrace that is between the gas tank and trunk. This took awhile as the determination of where to put it, plus removing the crossbrace, modifying it with the amp mount, test fits, and reintsall. Took about a day.

4) Had to find all the signals that I needed for the amp. This was a weekend in itself as I had to find the info online. Then, read all the schematics I could find to determine what was what to do what I needed it to do. Two-days.

5) Make all the wire looms for the new system. Another weekend. This is not easy as I had to unwrap the existing wire looms, separate specific wires that I needed, and then recombine them. Plus, I wanted to make it look "stock" so I bought cloth friction tape to wrap the new looms with. Looks awesome. Two-days.

6) Starting to install it all: first the amp. It will not fit like you thought and you will have to back and forth to make it fit. Plus, routing the wires to make it look decent. A day.

7) Head unit install. Very complicated. Since you will have to route the GPS antenna, XM antenna if you want XM, external mic (can't use the stock one), make space for additional cable bundles required for iPhone interface, XM radio, etc. I'd say two-days, maybe more, I forgot, but its a PITA to reroute all new wires for antennas and what not.

8) NOT YET COMPLETED: Install the SWI-PS to utilize the steering wheel control buttons. Probably a day as I will have to take out the X930BT to interface to it.

How does it currently sound: Awesome. Much better than than the stock COMAND and amp. Literally blew me away while I was driving it. Brought a smile and giggle and made the whole insane effort worth it.

Pioneer X930BT: Has bluetooth, decent nav system, recent so things like XM and traffic radio add-on's are actually available. Also supports external inputs and an external monitor. Also, you can choose your button colors! I was able to make it match the red-orange of the S500 almost exactly! Oh, also has a removable screen. $520 plus $100 for the XM.

Rockford Fostgate amp: It can drive a 2 ohm speaker, has five channels (four channels plus sub), and is about $200.
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#6 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 07:41 AM
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Do you have pictures electronbee?
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#7 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electronbee View Post
Actually, you are in luck as I just replaced the COMAND unit in my dads 2001 S500!

FYI: you do not need to get new speakers and the rumors of the bizarre impedance are from somewhere on something. I did not encounter it. I think people used a multimeter to measure the current speakers. This will not give you the actual speaker impedance but the speaker DC resistance. There is a a difference and its an important one. As, a speaker may be rated for an impedance of say, 8 ohms, but a multimeter will show 6.3 Ohm. Why? The impedance is measured with a frequency injected in order to have both capacitive and inductive reactances generated, which then, after an equation, will yield the "impedance". Typically, a speaker/driver is measured at 1kHz. But, some manufacturers provide a "sweep" chart.

FYI2: A car driver will typically have an impedance of 4 ohms. So, a "bizarre" DC resistance of around 2, maybe lower if its a tweeter, would not be unusual.

This is a serious undertaking and most certainly not for the faint of heart. If this is your first car-radio install, I suggest budgeting about four weekends to complete the job. Seriously. It's that involved.

We replaced the COMAND with a Pioneer X930BT, Pioneer GEX-P920XM, and a Rockford Fosgate R600-5, CANPULSE2. If you need info, look the bits up on Amazon. But, I will have some rationalizations after the "steps".

Any ways, I will give a brief breakdown of what we did below, "days" are 8 hours (+/-):

1) The first thing we did was safely remove the COMAND system up front, and then the associated bits in the rear: disc-changer, amp, etc. This is a lot of work as you have to remove the interior of the trunk and take it all out. About a day.

2) Ran new audio cables to the rear. This was a big job as removing the interior panels can be tricky as you don't want to break the retention tabs. Also, getting the cables into the trunk was also tricky and we had to use a line to pull them through. Half-day.

3) Fabricated a bracket to mount he Rockford Fosgate amp. It's much bigger than the original one. We chose to mount it on the corssbrace that is between the gas tank and trunk. This took awhile as the determination of where to put it, plus removing the crossbrace, modifying it with the amp mount, test fits, and reintsall. Took about a day.

4) Had to find all the signals that I needed for the amp. This was a weekend in itself as I had to find the info online. Then, read all the schematics I could find to determine what was what to do what I needed it to do. Two-days.

5) Make all the wire looms for the new system. Another weekend. This is not easy as I had to unwrap the existing wire looms, separate specific wires that I needed, and then recombine them. Plus, I wanted to make it look "stock" so I bought cloth friction tape to wrap the new looms with. Looks awesome. Two-days.

6) Starting to install it all: first the amp. It will not fit like you thought and you will have to back and forth to make it fit. Plus, routing the wires to make it look decent. A day.

7) Head unit install. Very complicated. Since you will have to route the GPS antenna, XM antenna if you want XM, external mic (can't use the stock one), make space for additional cable bundles required for iPhone interface, XM radio, etc. I'd say two-days, maybe more, I forgot, but its a PITA to reroute all new wires for antennas and what not.

8) NOT YET COMPLETED: Install the SWI-PS to utilize the steering wheel control buttons. Probably a day as I will have to take out the X930BT to interface to it.

How does it currently sound: Awesome. Much better than than the stock COMAND and amp. Literally blew me away while I was driving it. Brought a smile and giggle and made the whole insane effort worth it.

Pioneer X930BT: Has bluetooth, decent nav system, recent so things like XM and traffic radio add-on's are actually available. Also supports external inputs and an external monitor. Also, you can choose your button colors! I was able to make it match the red-orange of the S500 almost exactly! Oh, also has a removable screen. $520 plus $100 for the XM.

Rockford Fostgate amp: It can drive a 2 ohm speaker, has five channels (four channels plus sub), and is about $200.
I am glad to hear about the speakers only being a rumor, and I want to elaborate I don't intend any disrespect, but I have to greatly disagree on your times.. Maybe you have never done a car stereo before but removing the head unit (Comand) infront takes about 4-5 minutes, it's four screws. Remvoing the amp/CDC/PSE/VR in the trunk is maybe 10 minutes max, not a day! You only need to remove the trim around the CDC, which just pops out, then two plastic clips and one screw for an interior hook and the whole side of the trunk lining comes right out, then there are five screws holding everything in. Runing the lines from front to back again is very simple. You run them from the drivers side door sils. Pop off the plastic pieces and run them under the carpet where it meets the side of the car, they can easily be fished through to the back with a coat hanger from the side of the seat. Push up on the seat firmly while pushing the wires under it, then pop back on the plastic door jam covers to hide them.. make sure the wires don't get caught in the clips! Running the amp wires will be super easy becasue the battery is in the trunk.. ten minutes tops.. the RCA's and amp wakeup can do down the side like I stated.. the wires for the stereo can be taken from the factory Comand power plug, the canbus wires are in the larger connector (NOT the largest connector). Setting up the can adapter for wheel controls can go very quickly or sometimes be a bear.. tops an hour with trouble.. I am sorry, again I don't mean any disrespect but this job is a one day job for someone who has atleast put in a few systems.. even if you have never done one before I couldn't see how it could take longer than a weekend..

I have seen a few systems go into these cars and helped with one, not including my own.. it's actually easier than most cars because the battery is in the trunk, you don't have to run that big fat amp cable through the car..

Also, XM antenna can be ran under the dash, on top of dash, up a pillar and two sided taped behind rear view mirror, or ran down side of car like above and velcroed to accesory tray behind rear seat.. that is where I have mine.
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#8 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 11:10 AM
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Also have not seen how the gas tank is mounted in this car yet, but I am not so sure you want the amp right on the gas tank.. if that is how it is..
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#9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 11:42 AM
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You don't mean to disrespect? But, you just did, you're too much cmpcpro!

The guy already finished the job and took the time to explain how he did it, for the benefit of the forum. The time it takes "him" 10 days or 1 day is irrelevant, and nothing really takes 10 minutes in these cars. I think you owe an apology to the fellow member.

And please, no need to "quote" when everybody knows what you're replying to.
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#10 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by xexpo View Post
You don't mean to disrespect? But, you just did, you're too much cmpcpro!

The guy already finished the job and took the time to explain how he did it, for the benefit of the forum. The time it takes "him" 10 days or 1 day is irrelevant, and nothing really takes 10 minutes in these cars. I think you owe an apology to the fellow member.

And please, no need to "quote" when everybody knows what you're replying to.
Excuse me? I clearly stated I didn't mean any disrespect. I clearly explained if he wants to take 4 weekends to finish this job that is his choice. I have no problem with that, infact that is quite the dedication. He is claiming however this is a 4 weekend job at 8 hours a day, when it's just not the case. Again, if he wants to take his time, and explore and see how things work, the more power to him, that is great, but to tell people who are considering this swap that it's such a big job it will take 4 weekends will greatly discourage others from doing this swap. He isn't even changing the speakers. He is talking about a HU swap and an amp/sat install. He mentioned taking the amp/cd changer out as being a one day job, when I just did the same thing in about 15 minutes. Again, I am not calling him a liar, or incompitent I am clearly stating this just isn't the case, unless you are really dragging it out, or are not following any directions and just pulling on things.. I have been installing car audio systems for many many years, and I just finished swapping in the Comand MOPF unit in my car, not to mention retrofitting the phone PSE system. I have learned a great deal about this system, the canbus, and the D2B fiber optic system in this car. I think I am qualified to speak here as I have done exactly that. I am not here to call someone out, I just don't want others to see this and be afraid to tackle this swap. When I was reading up on the MOPF I found a great deal of miss-information, and I decided to go ahead and do it anyway, and I am so glad I did! I am also glad I was able to share that information for others. The same thing with the phone system, nobody knew or cared to document just how to use the fiber optic loop/chain. I had to figure it out myself.

Second, I don't appreciate being called out by you. You are not a moderator, nor the person I was talking to. If the OP has a problem with my response or feels I was disrespectful he can let me know and I will again explain that is entirely not the case. I have never been disrespectful to anyone on this board, and I have tried to help as much as possible. I have only been here a month and have already figured out a few things that have not been mentioned here in 10+ years. I am sorry, but I don't feel this is your place to tell me I am being disrespectful or that I owe someone an apology. Reguarding the quoting system, that is what it is for. If you would have used it in my 18" wheel thread I wouldn't have had to have guessed if you were talking to me reguarding the wheels being genuine.

Reguarding the person I was talking to above: Again, if my above reply seemed disrespectful I am very sorry, that is not what I meant. I know everyone has their own pace, and I realize there are people out there who may like to go very slow as to not make any mistakes. The only reason I responded was because I didn't want anyone, including the OP who may be thinking about this swap to become discouraged thinking it is a month long job. Maybe I took it a little personal because I had to fish through alot of miss-information doing my swap, but to most people who have done stereo swaps before (If they haven't then maybe they shouldn't be trying to install a navigation unit in this car) shouldn't have a problem getting this job done in a day, two tops.
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