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Subaru B9 Audio/Entertainment & iPod Questions

dmitryzdmitryz Member Posts: 14
Is it possible to somehow wire an iPod to a '06 Tribeca?
I have the 7 seater with the Nav/Dvd. Pretty annoying in this day and age not to have a clear-cut option to attach the mp3 player/satellite radio, if you ask me.


  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    You should actually have an aux input in the rear seat area, on the left.

  • dmitryzdmitryz Member Posts: 14
    Yeah, I saw that, guess I'll have to run a wire through the back somewhere in the cock-pit area.
  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    After months of trying various FM transmitters, I have given up (too much static, etc). I ordered a direct-connect FM modulator and a couple of Subaru antenna adapter/connectors from Crutchfield.com. I could probably do this myself (I have the instructions DL'd and some knowledge of car audio systems) but I would rather find someone competent in the Phoenix (pref. northwest valley) area willing to install this...any suggestions?

  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    After checking with a couple of local installers, I decided to do this myself ("what's a Tribeca?" was my first clue). It was not hard at all, and the sound is a dramatic improvement over the half dozen or so FM transmitters I have tried.

    These are my generic directions...perhaps some of you will find them useful. Use at your own risk!

    I ordered a Scosche FM-MOD01 Fm Modulator from Crutchfield. When you select your vehicle, the online ordering system will tell you which antenna adapters you need. It was a total of $63 with tax/s&h for the mod unit and the two Subaru antenna adapters (male and female).

    I used the first part of the XM radio install manual for the Tribeca to see how the trim pieces came off. Turns out the antenna connectors are behind the drivers side kick panel, easily within reach. You don't need to access the radio at all (but I did anyway, just for fun, and since I was already half way there :-).

    I first disconnected the negative battery cable. (This means you get to use the seatbelt trick later to kill the bell ringing -- oh, goodie! :P )

    Then I pulled the side trim/kick panel to the right of the driver’s knees. I did decide to run the wires under the carpet then under the console and into the armrest storage compartment (near the twin DC power outlets), so I had to remove the console. I popped off the rectangular trim around the shifter knob, and then carefully popped off the trim piece underneath (there are 6 connector tabs...I used a thin putty knife to slide into the gap).

    Remove the back seat storage drawer from the back of the console. Remove the four front screws and then the four screws inside the storage compartment (hidden under a little rubber mat in the bottom). Carefully lift out the console part way -- disconnect the large white cable connector underneath.

    I wired the positive/red to one of the DC power outlets underneath, and then used the bracket the whole console sits on as a ground---rigged a wire blade tap right under one of the screws holes. You have to run all the cables on top of the bracket to avoid interfering with the drawer. I just slid the mod unit between the driver’s seat and the armrest (near the seatbelt), where I can access it if I have to adjust the gain or change the frequency.

    Here’s the best part of all...there is a little dummy pop out panel inside the compartment between the DC outlets!!! (Hmmm....foreshadowing?) I pulled it out and cut a hole in in to fit the switch, and then notched the corner to allow room to feed the audio cable through into the compartment...very neat looking when I got done!

    I'll post some pictures when I get some daylight to work with. Let me know if there’s anything which is not clear.

    I’m looking into power/dock connector options now. I tried the Belkin one with the audio output/volume control, but got a lot of whine and hum. I tried a Radio Shack ground loop isolator, but that didn’t help. The sound is actually pretty good through the earphone jack on the iPod, but I know the audio through the dock connector is better...I gotta have SOMEthing more left to do, don’t I ? Plus, I saved $38,000 by not having to buy an ’07 Tribeca!!!

    -Karen in AZ- :shades:
  • morey000morey000 Member Posts: 384
    Good on ya' Karen. Great post.
    (but you probably only saved $34000 on an '07... there are good deals to be had :) )
  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    Good on ya' Karen. Great post.
    (but you probably only saved $34000 on an '07... there are good deals to be had )

    Yeah, but I'd have to buy the Nav again for $1800 more, cuz now I can't live without it :-)

  • megreyhairmegreyhair Member Posts: 154
    Great!!! Only thing left is the retractable cargo cover, memory seat and power retention for windows.....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Did you get photos along the way? If so post 'em up!

  • tsportytsporty Member Posts: 13
    This is the best solution for taking advantage of all the ports for an ipod connection in a nav/dvd equipped Tribeca. Direct audio and video inputs and a power line too. It just stretches to under the carpet mats and up into the center console.

  • pschreckpschreck Member Posts: 524
    Nice, but the cables are only eight feet long. I don't think that will be long enough. I think my shortest cable was 16 feet. I geuss it depends on how you route them.
  • tsportytsporty Member Posts: 13
    It would be nice to have about 6 more inches just to give you more slack but in actuality it does make it to the center clamshell console just fine.

    I think the fact that it has the power plug and the direct A/V links makes this the best one that I have found. The sound and video quality are quite good, only the tiniest bit of buzz/feedback at only the highest volume.
  • x5killerx5killer Member Posts: 368
    I have a pioneer inno portable xm player connected to the rear audio input using a y cable with the red and white adio plugs on one end int the rear audio inputs and single jack on the other. then have longer single jack female on one side that the y cable plugs into and male on the othet that plugs inot port xm player or mp3 player.

    I havethe line out level set to max but the volume is low compared to fm radio or cd and you have to turn it up much higher and sometimed max is almost not enough with windows open etc.

    what could this be caused by? port xm player? xm itself? rear audi input isn't meant for that as its more for rear entrntnmnt sys? two cables plugged into eachothe part od the problem?

    for some reason radio shack didn't have a longer y cable so had to use a short one of that and then long single male and female jack cable.

    is the new front audio input which is made for mp3 player and such maybe get louder better sound? least could use one cable for that (shorter single to single as new for 07 front jack is just one audio input not a r and l audio input like in the rear with dvd.
  • robbie2005robbie2005 Member Posts: 6
    Karen in AZ - If you post install pictures that will only add to the ease of install when the parts come in. Thanks - Rob
  • robbie2005robbie2005 Member Posts: 6
    Thanks for posting this info. We installed the same modulator and cables this weekend. It works very well - sound is great - no static - no fade - no interference.

    We are using the headphone jack right now - but, I'm going to try: http://www.sik.com/din.php. It has a line-out female jack to plug the headset cable into. Should improve sound quality a notch.

    For Karen's instructions let me add a couple of things. One, the primarily yellow wire going into the "power plugs" is the center or hot lead. I didn't want to cut wires. We went to Radio Shack and got some tapping connectors for 22 gauge wire. One side crimps onto your existing wire, the other to the positive wire from the FM Modulator. For ground we drilled a small hole into the bracket and put in a small sheet metal screw for the ground - it ensures a solid ground.

    Lastly, we velcroed the FM Modulator to the underside of the cup holders. we first checked the gain and frequency. It's out of the way and works great.

  • gasgtgasgt Member Posts: 3
    I would like to hook up my iPod directly to the factory stereo through a line-in/aux-in connection and not through an FM modulator or FM Transmitter. I have a 2006 Tribeca 5 Pas Lmt. w/Nav. I do not have the audio-in port in the rear of the vehicle like the 7 Pas. Anyone know if it's tucked away in the 5 Pas?

    There is mention here of an iPod cable with RCA Video and Audio Plugs. Is there a direct connection to the stereo in the car? Is it in the back of the radio or nav screen? Anybody know how to pull apart the dash correctly to access the radio and nav screen?

    What does the AUX IN buttom control on the factory radio?

    I have also seen some posts here about using a Kenwood KVA-S300 to hook up a rear view camera to the Nav. The KVA-S300 offers 2 more Audio/Video RCA inputs. Could I use these to hook up and iPod? If so I believe I will be able to view iPod Video on the Nav Screen. Nice!

    If I get enough information and help I am willing to undertake this elaborate installation of a rear view camera, iPod and also a Sirius Satelite Radio. I will take pictures and detail instructions and post here and also on my personal website. Looking forward to hearing from everyone.
  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    The moment has finally arrived. The wiring info has been published for '06 Tribecas to directly connect your audio device, along with some final thoughts on how to ground your iPod, etc., in order to enable the AUX/RSE button. I have successfully done this, thanks to some folks at NASIOC. I am in seventh heaven right now enjoying my iPod playing through a direct radio connection.

    There are also some people there who have managed to hook up a backup camera to the Nav screen (which was probably even easier than the audio hookup). That will likely be my next venture.

    -Karen in AZ- :shades:
  • megreyhairmegreyhair Member Posts: 154
    YOU are the QUEEN...... Please tell us and don't keep us in the dark............. I can't wait to put a backup camera in. I am always afraid of backing into something or little people....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Awesome, Karen. Make sure you document whatever you do, because if I end up getting a used 06 'beca I'm gonna be asking you for it. ;)

  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    I'd be glad to forward the current (corrected) instructions (compiled by "slackr" on the NASIOC Tribeca page) to anyone interested....contact me through my profile info. -Karen-
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Thx Karen.
  • spence66spence66 Member Posts: 39
    I would appreciate the info
    i have sirius starmate and ipod (harmon kardon unit)
    wired through radio
    but I still have to find a station and it does not appear on radio display unit
  • gimleygimley Member Posts: 1
    What I need to do is to use my purchased music on my MP3 player installed on my car. It looks like absolutely impossible due to DRM restrictions. But I tried the program called Soundtaxi and it converts my purchased iTunes songs to MP3 or WAV ( I can select the output formats) very quickily. I recommend you guys have a look on their website - http://www.soundtaxi.info/ :)
  • khnkhn Member Posts: 4

    This is my first winter with the Tribeca 06. Every time I leave my car outside for the night and the temperature dips below minus 20 Celsius, I loose the memory of all my pre-set radio stations. Does anyone have an explanation?

    Thank you.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Possibly a bad battery? When it gets that cold, perhaps the battery isn't putting out enough amps to power the memory in the radio stations.

  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    Mine did the same thing after 18 months, but it wasn't the weather. It took two trips (and a recalibration of their battery tester) for them to find that although the charging system was working, the battery core was bad. The service tech turned on the key (not the ignition) with the headlights on for a few minutes before they could prove it. I have had a new battery for about month and have had no more problems.

    -Karen in AZ-
  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    Sorry, Spence, but the system won't let me send you a private email, and yours isn't posted. You can email me through my profile, though...-Karen-
  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    iTunes will allow you to burn your purchased/protected music to an audio CD in AIF format. You can then re-import them as MP3s onto your computer and burn those versions to an MP3 CD for use in your car.

    AIF files are much larger than the AAC or MP3 versions (sometimes up to 10 times the size), so it will take a bunch of CDs, based on your collection. Instead of using a tons of CDs (which are cheap these days) you could always use one re-recordable CD and just erase or initialize it each time you are ready to burn more AIFs. It's a long process, but one that is supported by the industry, it seems.

    Hope this helps! -Karen in AZ-
  • rmassiermassie Member Posts: 1
    Hi Karen, could you please forward me the instructions for the direct iPod "Aux In" connection to rickmassie@reddotcorp.com

  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    Hey, Rick, I tried but couldn't get your email to work. Go to my profile, and then email me from my website link...-Karen-
  • toolfan421toolfan421 Member Posts: 1
    I would love to get this info from you. i am taking a road trip next week and it would be great not to hassle with a modulator.
    thanx, toolfan421
  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    Go to my profile, and then email me from my website link...way at the bottom. -Karen-
  • elikasadamelikasadam Member Posts: 10
    Hi Karen-
    Can you please send me the instruction. Thanks.
  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    Check my profile for my e-mail address :-)
  • kilowattdiverkilowattdiver Member Posts: 1

    PLEASE send me the instructions if you could.

  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    Your email is listed as "private" so I can't contact you. But you can find the instructions on my web site, here.

    Let us know how it goes! -Karen-
  • top52top52 Member Posts: 2
    can someone give me The wiring info for '06 Tribecas to directly connect your ipod, audio device, along with some final thoughts on how to ground your iPod,in order to enable the AUX/RSE button.
  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    Read the info in the message prior to yours...that's the link you can follow...
  • top52top52 Member Posts: 2
    it work great thanks for all the help sorry about the email address it was corrected.
  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    No problem....that's what we're all here for!

  • skalibabaskalibaba Member Posts: 7
    Hi guys,

    just bought a used 2007 Subaru Tribeca with Nav and Rear entertainment system. I didn't test the DVD system at first, but when I got home, I inserted a DVD in the player. It was loading and then the message "Disk error" showed up. I thought the disk was on the wrong side, so I flipped it and inserted it back. Still the same result. So I tried a couple of other DVDs but I get always the same error message.

    Has anyone seen that before? What can I do? I know the A/V input works. Is it possible the DVD reader is broken? Can it be fixed? Or maybe I just need to clean it with some kind of DVD cleaner?

    Thanks for your help
  • ttentelhttentelh Member Posts: 46
    did you use a legal DVD? what region is it?
  • skalibabaskalibaba Member Posts: 7
    Yes I did use a legal DVD. In fact, I tried a couple of DVDs of mine as well as some backup copies of DVDs of my daughters. None worked. By region, what exactly do you mean? I live in Quebec, but the car is from New Jersey.
  • ttentelhttentelh Member Posts: 46
    USA DVDs are in region 1 format, Europe is region 2, i dont know if Canada is region 1 as well. If you are using DVDs from a different region will not work. Look at the cover of your DVDs what region they display, 1 or 2. If you are 2 or other number that is the reason your DVD player is not working. There is a globe sign with a number in it.
  • skalibabaskalibaba Member Posts: 7
    I checked out and it says region 1.
  • davic3davic3 Member Posts: 1
    I just found and joined this forum so sorry I'm late. this is exactly what I would like to do with my 06 Tribeca. Do you still have the info if so can you send it to me?
    I would so appreciate it
  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    Go to my profile and copy/paste my web site URL. The instructions can be found there :-)

    Let us know how you fare! -Karen-
  • TrihardTrihard Member Posts: 11
    To anyone who did Karen's mod. I just did this (just recently purchased a used 06 Tribeca), and I have the following issue:

    Normally, when I am listening to the radio or a cd, the audio volume sounds normal somewhere between 8 and 10 depending. For the iPod/iPhone, I find I now need to raise the volume level to around 22-24 to get the same sound output (even with the iPhone volume all the way up).

    Also, I noticed that when I wasn't playing a song, if I turned the volume up to around 27 or 30, I could hear static/clicks/interference noise. If I disconnect the iPhone it stops, but when I put it back, it comes right back.

    Someone suggested that I am hearing the normal distortion of the factory amplifier cranked up all the way, and I should consider getting a pre-amp to boost the signal so that I don't have to crank it up and thus will eliminate the interfering noise.

    Was this the case for anyone else? Are your volume levels the same as mine or did I do something wrong with the connection? Any info would greatly be appreciated. I have tried Emailing Karen, but I think something is wrong with her Email addy as my Email is bouncing.

    Thanks in Advance,
  • morey000morey000 Member Posts: 384
    I've got an '07 with the aux audio input port in the center console. Factory installed.
    I do need to turn up the volume a bit for ipod output, however only from perhaps 7-8 to 11-12.

    There are some podcasts which for some reason have low volume. the 60 Minutes one comes to mind. For that, I'm up at 20- but that's an exception.
  • TrihardTrihard Member Posts: 11
    My guess is that the factory install actually goes through the amp for the stereo, whereas the hack does not. Now that I have installed the n64 mini amp to the system, the volume from the iPod is about the same as the radio and cd. Would have been nice to know this before having done the work so I wouldn't have had to go back in to fix it.
  • regn8erregn8er Member Posts: 2
    After looking through the instructions for connecting an AUX jack to the factory radio I have a quick question. At the very end of the instructions there is clarification as to the grounding. Would the pin out for the left, right, ground be:
    Signal Ground=14
    So the RCA cable that was used in the instructions would be connected to 11, 12, and 14 and then you make an additional connection from pin 13 to the radio unit to ground the system?
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