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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For 1st Gen Cruze owners that would like to add Android Auto or Carplay to their vehicle with minimal modifications and keep the original look of their interior without resorting to off-shore clones of questionable quality - Pioneer has released the DMH-C2550NEX. It is a digital media receiver version of the Cruze's radio & screen design and is intended for use in vehicles with limited dash installation space. If you want to have wireless CarPlay support also, CarLinkit makes an adapter that is compatible with this headunit.

Installation is very easy. The screen is only half as deep as the original screen and about 1/8th inch shorter, so you will need to add some support for it on the screen bezel, but nothing that would be permanent and prevent you from going back to the original system later. (I used some small clear adhesive drawer bumpers.) You connect the factory USB port to the radio using a 3 foot male to female USB-A extension cable. The factory AM/FM and XM antennas will work with adapters. If you are upgrading from a Cruze that has the basic green, non-touch sceen display you will also need to purchase a different display bezel. Part number 95216932.

Optional - If you would rather use the built-in hands free microphone instead of the one provided by Pioneer, you can make an adapter cable. Directions are in the next post.

Connecting the C2550NEX to your vehicle using an iDatalink Maestro RR allows you to control the same settings that the original radio (non-mylink & mylink) controlled as well as additional functions. It also allows the headunit to work with both the standard and premium sound systems. It seems that Axxess and PAC-Audio are also starting to develop adapters that have the potential for the same level of control, but nothing has been released by either company for the Cruze yet.

You will lose use of the dash mounted radio/navigation controls, however I am looking into seeing if it can be retained with the help of the aftermarket wiring harness companies.

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
How to make an OEM hands free microphone adapter cable for aftermarket head units.

You will need the following items:

1) 2.5mm or 3.5mm mono right angle plug to bare end microphone cable. The size plug needed will depend on your head unit. I recommend a 6 ft cable be used as this will give plenty of length to work with. You can also just cut the microphone that came with the head unit off it's cable if you don't think you'll move the new head unit to a different vehicle later.

2) Terminated lead (GM Part Number 13579944).

3) T-Tap connector. The type needed will depend on step 4. Amazon Link

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Step 1 - Plug the cable into your head unit then run the other end through your center console so it comes out the back by the BCM. Make sure the cable is loose and not binding or rubbing against anything.

Step 2 - Remove the sound insulator from under the glove compartment. This is held in place by 2 bolts (9/32) in the front, right below the glove compartment door. Once you have removed the bolts, it will drop onto the floor (if it didn't already start doing that). Put the insulator someplace out the way for now.

Step 3 - Loosely run the microphone cable across to the right side kick panel. once you do that, add another 12 inches of length and cut off the excess.

Step 4 - Reach up behind the dash above the RH kick panel. This is where the onstar module is located. You will need to unplug the 2nd connector from the top and pull it down. If there is not enough length, you might need to also remove the top connector. Once you have the connector low enough to work on, verify if a wire is already installed in the #6 position - looking at the side the wires plug into, this will be the top row on the right side. If it is not there, install the terminated lead you purchased in #6.

Step 5 - Use the T-Tap connector to splice your microphone wire to the #6 wire.

Step 6 - This is the most important step. Test the connection by triggering Siri/Voice Control on the new head unit. This will be a lot easier with Siri... I have not used Android Auto so I don't know if it gives a visual indication of audio input received. Do not say anything, just watch your display to see if there is any activity. The less shown the better as this means that the system is picking up very little ambient/electrical noise and you will have a clear hands free audio signal. (My installation shows a perfect flatline in Siri when tested, even with my vehicle running.) The system will probably timeout while you are checking this. If it does, trigger Siri/Voice Control again and try a command to verify that it is received and understood.

Step 7 - If you have a clear audio channel and your commands are received and understood, then tuck the cable up out of sight in the dash and reinstall the sound insulator.

Thanks go to @dhpnet for providing the original diagram and Onstar pinout information as part of the Mylink retrofit project.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I should point out that none of the photos of the radio functions I have posted require the Maestro RR to be connected to the obdii port.
 

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Thanks for all your posts on head units. They are great. Have you received any more info on a wiring harness to retain physical controls? Did you use a idatalink harness or another? Any idea if the RR2 would provide more connectivity than the RR?
 

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I love it - I'm all over this. I'll definitely be doing the microphone splice as well. It's a bummer that you lose functionality of the stock control panel, but I'll be keeping an eye out for updates on this. It seems like this is an area actively under development at least at Pioneer. My only other tiny complaint is that the physical buttons on the unit fall under the bezel, but again - I'd be willing to bet this is an item that will be under development. I'd also be willing to bet the oem bezel could be modified if someone really felt the need.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
@DeCAY
The RR and RR2 are the same thing, except that the RR2 can be reprogrammed wirelessly using a smartphone.

@EJ1171
Alpine also has a shallow depth receiver, the ILX-W650. It looks beautiful replacing the OEM screen (their menu system is an OEM Mylink clone), but you'd have to get a custom bezel made for it. In fact that is how I discovered the Pioneer unit. I tried the Alpine and loved it, but could never get a bezel made. A local custom installer refused to even consider it (I suspect because most of their clients drove things like porsches, lambos, bentleys, etc not cruzes...), saying that the only option was to go the dual screen route. Later the same day I came across a reference to Pioneer's new modular systems and immediately returned the alpine. About 3 days later, I went back to the shop to show them I found a "bezel" for the radio and see what they thought. They were surprised when I pulled off my trim and showed them the new radio and said they had no idea such a thing existed; which was funny because they carried the W650 which was announced at CES 2019 at the same time as the C2550.

To both of you, as far as I am aware there is no way to convince the dash controls to work with the radio system. It'd have to be done through the wiring adapter and good luck getting the manufacturers to do that. Well, Pac-Audio might be willing, but I can't see iDatalink doing it.
 

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I just think it’s so weird that the cheap knock offs from overseas work with the stock control panel, but that capability hasn’t been developed here yet. There’s a YouTube video out on one of Seicane’s units, and it maintained the OEM control panel function. I wish I knew how they did it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
The chinese knockoffs use their own custom CPs not the OEM one. Can you show me the video of the seicane unit using the OEM CP? I can't find it anywhere and do not see any units on Seicane's site that do not completely replace the OEM screen and CP.

Here in the US there was no point to the support because there wasn't an aftermarket modular radio created until last year. Since they were touch screen and (especially in the case of the cruze) could only fit in the same space where the original radio and CP were located there was no need or point to supporting it.

Like I said, I could see Pac-Audio offering the support. They seem more open to new ideas/designs than iDatalink does.
 

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The chinese knockoffs use their own custom CPs not the OEM one. Can you show me the video of the seicane unit using the OEM CP? I can't find it anywhere and do not see any units on Seicane's site that do not completely replace the OEM screen and CP.

Here in the US there was no point to the support because there wasn't an aftermarket modular radio created until last year. Since they were touch screen and (especially in the case of the cruze) could only fit in the same space where the original radio and CP were located there was no need or point to supporting it.
Here’s a video of one unit. This one isn’t sold any longer. The CP looks OEM, and a little later in the video, there is an unboxing section, and I don’t see a new CP in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
You are missing a link :)
But I have a feeling that it is the video I watched just a few minutes ago. I do see the CP working, but it would be a custom job by Seicane and not technically OEM.

Something to think about - Why does Seicane not offer the ability anymore? I have a feeling there were issues with it and it was easier to drop the function rather than try to resolve it.
 

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If I get the Maestro RR, will this radio connect to Carplay when I use the OEM USB plug in the center console?
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
The Maestro has nothing to do with the USB port and CarPlay. It’s only function is to allow the speakers, steering wheel controls, power & vehicle settings to work with the new radio.
 

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I would like to do this mod to my Gen 1 Cruze, however, How do you support the screen, as well as the Maestro?
 
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