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Pioneer AVIC-W8400NEX Installation and Review

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by Techsan, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. Sep 27, 2018 at 8:31 AM
    #1
    Techsan

    Techsan [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it's expensive -- but it's also an amazing little piece of technology. I decided to upgrade my stock head unit for a lot of reasons, but the wireless Apple Carplay feature was probably on the top of my list. The phone never leaves my pocket unless it needs to be charged. This thing obviously has lots of features. You just have to decide what they're worth.

    The capacitive touchscreen is great. So much nicer than the mushy resistive screen. Connecting via wi-fi rather than Bluetooth is impressively better as well. I installed a Pioneer AVH-X4700BS in my daughter’s car a couple of years ago and the Bluetooth was slow to connect and prone to random drop outs. This is night and day different. Very fast and robust. Haven’t had a single connection error.

    My 2017 SR5 came with the Entune Plus system and (as everyone knows) the “Scout GPS” is complete garbage. I now have the ability to use either the built-in GPS or a phone GPS through Carplay. Again, a huge improvement.

    The iDatalink Maestro black box gives me back my OEM steering controls as well as access to a subset of information available from any OBDII device. Engine monitoring, tire pressures, door ajar, collision sensors, (if I had them) fuel data, etc.

    The sound is terrific. I’ve done the Subaru tweeter/Kicker door speaker replacement, and now I’m very pleased. I’ll get the fever to add a sub at some point, but for now I’m happy. Lots of connectivity options that I haven’t even explored yet.

    As far as the installation goes -- I'm not easily intimidated. I'm an electrical engineer who has been installing audio equipment in vehicles since I saved up and put a Craig 8-Track player in my 1974 $500 high school ride. The stereo was quite literally worth more than the car. Nostalgia aside, the installation of the 8400 along with the Maestro box and all the cabling was somewhat challenging. Lots of stuff to figure out how to connect and get working again. Back-up camera…USB input…lots of wires.

    The Pioneer/Maestro integration instructions were mediocre at best. Programming the Maestro was a piece of cake. (I had to revert to using IE to get the plug-in to work, but flashing the unit was simple) The wiring installation instructions, however, were pretty sketchy. There are undoubtedly support people from iDatalink that walk folks through this every day, but I’m too stubborn to ask for help. Never had to call anyone, but I was close once or twice. From popping off the bezel and removing the OEM head unit, through taking it for a drive to test the GPS was about a 4-1/2 hour process.

    The finished product really looks amazing though. Aside from a few back-spacing washers to make everything line up perfectly, (anal-engineer issue) the dash kit from Crutchfield worked extremely well. It’s as close to "OEM looking" as anything I've ever installed…or anything I’ve seen installed professionally.

    I’m still feeling my way around the new system and trying to figure out all of the features, but so far I'm very pleased. I struggled spending the money, buy now I’m glad I spent a little extra and bought the 8400. I spend a lot of time in the truck and I think it’ll be a solid investment.

    I’ll post this in both the A/V and 3rd Gen forums for anyone interested.

    Factory bezel removed:

    Beginning reconnect of Maestro module (lower left)

    Blue painter's tape to prevent scratching everything up. Rewiring continues.

    8400 Sitting on the seat to begin testing

    Back in the dash. Plastic covering that glossy capacitive display.

    Final adjustments

    Hard to see, but there are two washers behind the screw to perfect the alignment of the aftermarket install kit with the OEM bezel. I used a total of four washers....ymmv

    All done!

    Carplay...

    Corresponding center display...
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
    delonix, SandyTaco4x4, Voda1 and 9 others like this.
  2. Sep 27, 2018 at 11:21 AM
    #2
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I fix people's crappy stereos

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    Looks good! Proud of you for figuring out the Maestro! As a Geek Squad installer, I have 3-4 people a week bring me much less complicated harnesses that they just gave up on. And once people do the install themselves, it gives them some perspective of the 1.5 hours I'm allotted to do this same install! And usually, the radios are way harder to get out than these 3rd gens.

    Great job! Keep us posted over time
     
  3. Sep 27, 2018 at 12:12 PM
    #3
    Techsan

    Techsan [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Appreciate that. Yeah, now that I know all the nuances I figure I could do the next one in about half the time -- but 1-1/2 hours would be tough! :)
     
    RoninVA likes this.
  4. Sep 27, 2018 at 12:43 PM
    #4
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I fix people's crappy stereos

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    Once you know what goes where, it's all pretty easy. But I'm sure someone doing HVAC work would say the same, or lawn care, or any other profession. Time and repetitiveness. Hopefully you never get good at it because this unit keeps you happy!
     
  5. Sep 28, 2018 at 9:55 AM
    #5
    Techsan

    Techsan [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Added a couple of pics showing the cluster audio display for anyone interested...
     
    destin_meeks likes this.
  6. Sep 29, 2018 at 9:10 AM
    #6
    Mountain2018

    Mountain2018 Well-Known Member

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    I see Best Buy will do free install of the unit when purchased. But i know doing the add ons, Sirius active, steering control integration,, it still adds up.
     
  7. Sep 29, 2018 at 9:56 AM
    #7
    Techsan

    Techsan [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I love doing things like this myself. I’m too much of a perfectionist to let anyone else touch it. :)
     
    CoastieRon, RoninVA and Mountain2018 like this.
  8. Oct 2, 2018 at 4:38 PM
    #8
    US Marine

    US Marine Semper Fi

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    This has mirroring like the W4400NEX ???
     
  9. Oct 3, 2018 at 6:56 AM
    #9
    Techsan

    Techsan [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it does.
     
  10. Oct 3, 2018 at 6:56 AM
    #10
    Techsan

    Techsan [OP] Well-Known Member

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    And as a final comment, I just sold my factory Entune Plus head unit for $240 on eBay. Still a big gap, but it stings a little less.

    Curious to know what others have managed to sell theirs for.
     
  11. Oct 3, 2018 at 9:28 PM
    #11
    US Marine

    US Marine Semper Fi

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    This model Pioneer HU is awesome !! , going to take me a little while to understand all the functions
     
    Techsan [OP] likes this.
  12. Oct 4, 2018 at 3:19 PM
    #12
    boulderoffroader

    boulderoffroader Well-Known Member

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    So you took the restock upgrade you mentioned in your thread? That sounds like a sweet deal. I've heard the capacitive screen in the 8400 makes all the difference. Responsive as an iPhone. Look forward to your review.
     
  13. Oct 21, 2018 at 3:20 PM
    #13
    astro237

    astro237 New Member

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    On a Gen 3 Tacoma with the factory backup camera are the backup guidelines still displayed on the AVIC-W8400nex? I will be replacing the Entune Plus but may opt for another system that can support guidelines with the Maestro.
     
  14. Oct 21, 2018 at 4:54 PM
    #14
    Techsan

    Techsan [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Back up camera works exactly as it did with the factory HU.
     
    El Duderino likes this.
  15. Oct 23, 2018 at 6:26 AM
    #15
    JaTe

    JaTe Well-Known Member

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    Did you reuse the OEM GPS antenna or did you route a new one that came with the pioneer?
     
  16. Oct 23, 2018 at 7:05 AM
    #16
    Techsan

    Techsan [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I used the one that came with the Pioneer HU. My OEM system was the Entune Plus so I didn’t have the GPS antenna in my shark fin. Had it been available, I would’ve used it.
     
    JaTe likes this.
  17. Oct 24, 2018 at 12:14 PM
    #17
    mykie

    mykie Active Member

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    The Gen 3 gridlines are actually built into the camera instead of the head unit, the W8400NEX doesn't actually have its own gridlines.
     
    Mezzanine likes this.
  18. Oct 24, 2018 at 1:38 PM
    #18
    Mezzanine

    Mezzanine Member

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  19. Oct 24, 2018 at 2:07 PM
    #19
    mykie

    mykie Active Member

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    It's my understanding that the 2018 Pioneer decks don't have gridlines...My older 2017 AVIC-8200NEX does have them, but they can be turned off.

    Good news for people with the stock camera, bad news for anyone replacing it with a 3rd party camera.
     
  20. Oct 26, 2018 at 11:57 AM
    #20
    okichewy1

    okichewy1 Just chuggin' along!

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    Ultra Flex bed cover, TRD PRO Grille, 32" LED light under grille, Pop n' Lock on tailgate, OCD organizer for center console and glove box, LED bed lights, OEM bed mat, black TACOMA tailgate letters, LED illumination light package, black vinyl overlays for badges, OEM bed step, plasti-dipped front valance and mirrors, 15% tinted windows and sun strip, vinyl letters on dash, vinyl letters on tailgate handle and door sill protectors, TRD Pro shift knob, home-link rear view mirror, mountain vinyl decal above Tacoma on door, FN FX pro wheels, AVS bug deflector, AVS in-channel window vents, front bed rail, red line hood struts, LED interior lights, TRD Pro skid plate, slim line front license plate holder, CaliRaised LED Ditch light brackets with LED lights, Bilstein 5100's, OME 888's, Dakar HD leaf springs, cubby covers, CaliRaised LED Fog light kit,
    So what is the benefit of this model over the W4400NEX model by Pioneer? I have the JBL system in mine and hate the HU.
     

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