McGinkleschmidt's New Mods: Leather & Navigation Receiver

mcginkleschmidt

Active Member
It has taken way more time than I ever expected to have the two following mods done to my Titan but, voila, the following mods are now finished.: New leather with frontseat heaters and a Navigation Receiver.



Leather skins on my seats is a mod that I've wanted since late in 2005 when I was trying to get a group buy on leather seats done through http://www.leatherseats.com. Since only about 2-3 people showed any interest in the leather group buy at the time, it was cancelled due to lack of interest. Still, it was always my intent to buy new leather skins for my T.



The primary holdup up of my leather seat purchase was that I wanted also to install carbon fiber seat heaters at the same time as the leather install. Instead of using the common round seat heater switches that come with the carbon fiber seat heaters, I wanted to incorporate the use of the Nissan OEM seat heater switch assemblies, 25500-AX600 and 25500-AX601, mounted into their position just below AC/heater control knobs and use these switches instead of the switches that come with the carbon fiber seat heaters.



I was hoping that someone would do a write up, a how-to wiki, of using the Nissan OEM seat switches with my intended application but none ever materialized and my lack of knowledge of electricity and reading of schematics did not permit me do the seat-heater mod on my own. A couple of people wrote on Titantalk.com that they did the Nissan heater switch mod but when contacted on the forum by PM, neither ever gave a response. Thusly, time and my continued delay in replacing my seats with leather skins was a can that I kept kicking down the road.



My 2nd mod, the installation of a touch screen navigation receiver, was delayed for the same reason as the first as I wanted to have both of them done at the same time. Back years ago I first considered the Pioneer AVIC Z1 model. Year by year, the Pioneer touch screen navigation receiver models changed as newer updated models were introduced, ZI, Z2, Z3, then Z110BT, Z120BT and now Z130BT. I kept thinking, soon, very soon, but time kept marching on.
















Instead of buying the Pioneer navigation receiver, in the end I decided to go with the newly marketed flagship Kenwood DNX9980HD navigation receiver. Neither the Pioneer nor the Kenwood receivers are perfect and both have their strong and weak points but the Garmin navigation software and better Bluetooth telephone sound performance were the deciding factors for my going with Kenwood receiver. HD AM/FM radio is a nice feature too. The image below show the placement of the bluetooth microphone. The GPS antenna is below the mirror under the dash just behind the windshield base in the same position as the OEM Nissan Navigation Antenna.







By buying the Garmin EcoRouteHD bluetooth accessory dongle that connects to the OBD2 port, any engine error codes are report to the receiver unit. This also tracks for speed and driving habits and reports your driving costs and carbon emissions.







The really irksome things about my Nissan OEM Radio/6-CD Changer was the inability to play mp3 audio. The AUX input plug would have largely solved the mp3 problem except the 2004 Titan input Plug, although it is functional, is useless and a joke and I wonder if it was ever tested before it was released.



Years ago I made the decision on my leather seat skin color options, Bronze (095), as the primary color with a lighter contrasting color as the insert color. I would have probably preferred that the whole seat be the dark color Bronze, but with all of the inside door panels being the same dark bronze color, I thought a lighter 2nd color, Ash (087), would give a pleasant and brighter contrast that might temper the dark, cave-like mood given off by a solid dark interior. The color Ash very closely approximates the lighter interior trim colors of the 2004 Titan A pillar for example and I thought it would make a nice color complement to the Bronze.



















Since the color Bronze makes a perfect color match with the vinyl covering of the fold-down console compartment top, I decided to keep the OEM console lid covering. However, I kept the new console cover material in case at a later time I want to replace it with the new covering. In the image below I have positioned the new Classic Soft Trim lid cover beside the Nissan OEM lid cover and I believe you will agree the color between the two is virtually identical. Just yesterday when my son-in-law saw my leather for the first time, he commented, "they did a great job on the lid cover," and I had to tell him lid cover material was the factory lid cover that came with the truck.



If/when the Nissan front bench seat lid cover material degrades, I will replace it with the new Classic Soft Trim "pleather" lid cover that is sitting to the side in the image below.







My leather brand is Classic Soft Trim ( http://www.classicsofttrim.com/), also known as Roadwire (http://www.roadwire.com/) and the sole reason I chose this brand is because they were the only brand to offer the color Bronze. Quality wise, I believe Katzkin and Classic Soft Trim to be on par.



I chose in both mods, the navigation receiver and leather, to have the installation done professionally. I currently have way too much on my plate to fiddle with my own installations.



Pricewise, and I'm sure many will want to know, the Kenwood navigation receiver was $1799 with a $300 rebate that nets out at $1499. Other accessories, Metra ASWC Steering Wheel Control, Ipod/IPhone/USB cables, rearview camera, double din faceplate, was about an additional $350. Installation cost for navigation receiver, with telephone bluetooth, USB/IPod/IPhone cables was $215 plus an additional $125 for rear view camera. The cost for the leather covers was $999 that included installation. In round figures, the complete cost for both leather covers, two front seat heaters ($400 seat heaters including installation) and Kenwood navigation receiver was about $4K. One might question the wisdom of throwing $4K at a 7 year old vehicle but I plan on keeping this truck for a very long time (26,300 current miles).
 

mcginkleschmidt

Active Member
[quote name='steves' timestamp='1306517285' post='160951']

Looks very good! Did you do all the installs yourself?

[/quote]



No, I have too much other sheep going on to fiddle with the installs. I had everything professionally done and I hope I helped the general economy in the process.
 

ss350z

New Member
Nice, your truck looks like brand new. I was recently in a friends new car, lamenting not having BlueTooth or MP3 capbaility in any of our vehicles 2003,2004, 2005. So I guess this is a much cheaper option than buying a new vehicle. I have to wait until 2013/14 for a new Cummins 4 cyl diesel anyway <img src='http://www.titanspot.com/Titan/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/005.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':smt005' />
 

honeykeeper

New Member
Great mods and now I'm thinking of going with the leather covers too.......congrats and I can't wait to see it when you drive on up here sometime soon!
 

krh2

Administrator
So love this! Steve n I have the Kenwood DDX514. I have BT, Nav, BU camera, Ipod, steering wheel controls... everything. Im loving how yours reads codes. Your T is THE nicest close to stock T hands down. Great Job! Did you show Byron? How are he and the twins?
 

steves

New Member
I bought your rear seat covers :D



What kind of shop did you find to install the leather? Upholstery?
 

mcginkleschmidt

Active Member
[quote name='steves' timestamp='1307362141' post='161050']

I bought your rear seat covers :D



What kind of shop did you find to install the leather? Upholstery?

[/quote]



The shop that installed my leather covers was Custom Soft Trim, the same company that made the leather covers. Unlike Katzkin, who contracts with a network of privately owned installers around the country, Custom Soft Trim owns their installation facilities around the US. Besides leather, CST does sunroofs, audio and navigation systems and such.



I didn't pay that much attention to the cloth covers as I packed them up to ship to the buyer in TN but the rear seat in particular, the wide one, has a stiff plastic band attached to the fabric, about 3 foot wide, and I'm guessing that was part of the system for attaching the covers to the seats. There may have been some Velcro securing straps but I didn't pay that much attention to them. It didn't appear that the OEM covers used any kind of hog ring system as does the aftermarket leather.



Of course you will need to unbolt and take your rear seats out of the truck in order to remove and install your covers. When you remove your seat cover, be mindful of how the fabric is secured and just work in reverse. I wish I had paid a little more attention to the attachment system but I'm certain it is a job you could do on your own in a couple of hours. It is probably not necessary for the rear seats but if it were me, I would disconnect the negative battery cable anyway so I wouldn't get any unexpected surprises.
 

honeykeeper

New Member
I had the front seat cover replaced on the 04 Titan I had and watched the guy......he did use a trim tool of some sorts. Seemed liked a fork......and the plastic buttons may need to be replaced.....not sure since it was way back in 04!....
 

mcginkleschmidt

Active Member
[quote name='steves' timestamp='1307362141' post='161050']

I bought your rear seat covers :D



What kind of shop did you find to install the leather? Upholstery?

[/quote]





steves. did you install the rear KC seat covers yet and, if so, did the install go easy or not?
 

steves

New Member
It will probably be a while until I get around to looking at them LOL. I've got a stack of projects lined up at the moment :D
 

mcginkleschmidt

Active Member
[quote name='steves' timestamp='1308242030' post='161110']

It will probably be a while until I get around to looking at them LOL. I've got a stack of projects lined up at the moment :D

[/quote]



The covers will definitely stay cleaner and not get coated with sunburn lotion the longer they are stored away and not in use. <img src='http://www.titanspot.com/Titan/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/003.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':smt003' />



The amount of time to swap out the rear seat covers is probably about a six-pack.
 
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