Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX

I'm looking at upgrading my stock Pioneer AVIC-X940BT

to the latest Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX.

I have a 2012 Evora NA with tech package, etc.

Does anyone have have experience with this head unit?
It has great reviews and I'm hoping a one-for-one replacement since they are both Pioneer.
I've tried reaching out to Pioneer but no response.

Thanx in advance.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 05:28 PM
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I just did a very similar swap two weeks ago and it is a pretty easy swap once you find the pin out to the AVIC-X940BT. In fact, I didn't even cut a single wire. The pins in each of the wire harnesses can be removed by taking a pin and lifting up the small spring like clip that holds the pin in place and then you can pull each pin/wire from the harness. Going one by one, you end up connecting the wires of the old harness to the plug of the new Pioneer wire harness. I will save you a lot of time with the link below. This has the color pin out that the stock AVIC-X940BT wire harness had from Pioneer, and then what colors Lotus made the wires. Then using the new wire harness from the AVIC-W8500NEX, you go one at a time and make a new harness.

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f13...in-out-469074/

I don't know what the differences are between the AVIC-W8500NEX and W8400NEX are, I believe it's mostly AppRadio functionality, but they look the same for the most part. I installed a W8400NEX in my 2013 Evora and I love the upgrade. Follow the steps online about removing the aluminum cover, as that's the hard part about this swap. The backup camera, mic, and GPS sensor can all be reused and plug in to the new unit. There will be an extra plug that you can't really remove that was used for Sirius radio. If you want to keep Sirius, you'll need to buy a new adapter. I bought a Pioneer cable for connecting my iPhone through the glove box, but any durable cable will do. Also, because of the airbag, I wasn't able to fully remove the old 30 pin iPod connector cable, so that's zip tied on the inside of my dash.

In the end, I love the W8400NEX and after I had the pin out that I show above, the swap was easy for me, and I hate dealing with electronics! Let me know if you have any other questions about the swap.
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2013 Evora IPS - Carbon Gray
2016 BMW 328xi - Estoril Blue
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanx so much!
Was the audio better, I saw it has more eq setting choices. With the stock Pioneer AVIC-X940BT the bass on songs is either vibrating the car or I need to reduce it (via loudness and EQ) so that certain songs sound decent. I have an Android phone so I'm looking to that support

And how is the phone mic (does that need to be different, i.e. place somewhere else)? The stock Pioneer AVIC-X940BT is terrible. Most can't understand me when I answer calls

I'm only thinking about changing out the head unit, but speakers might be next
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 05:54 AM
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Thanx so much!
Was the audio better, I saw it has more eq setting choices. With the stock Pioneer AVIC-X940BT the bass on songs is either vibrating the car or I need to reduce it (via loudness and EQ) so that certain songs sound decent. I have an Android phone so I'm looking to that support

And how is the phone mic (does that need to be different, i.e. place somewhere else)? The stock Pioneer AVIC-X940BT is terrible. Most can't understand me when I answer calls

I'm only thinking about changing out the head unit, but speakers might be next
The stock sound profile on my W8400NEX was in the Powerful EQ setting and had the HPF for the sub On with a default cut off curve. This default setting sounded much better than the X940BT even after trying to get the 940 to sound good. Could I get better audio if I play around with it more? Yes, but out of the box it already sounds worlds better. One problem my 940 was causing was all treble was going through the sub and made it sound like there was a loose penny rattling around in the back seat at higher volumes. I even went looking for something loose. Turns out the 940 has a bad filter, even when on. The 8400 had a lot more customizability for adjusting the filter and for changing the EQ. The sub is now very powerful without the sub being turned up (still at 0 in the menu) and loudness is turned off; so I could crank up the sub and all the speakers a lot more if I wanted.

The sound quality seems much better to me, but that might be due to all the sound issues I was having with my sub. There used to be almost no bass and when I would force the sub volume up, all Iíd get is a rattle. Now the sub fills in the lower register, giving a more rich experience. With the 940, iPod songs sounded grainy and that would be putting it nicely. With the 8400, Iíve found the songs to be much smoother and not nearly as static filled as they were. However, when playing the same song through Apple CarPlay and then from a CD, the CD will win in quality every time. The 8400 sounds much better than the 940 from a digital device, but neither are perfect if youíre picky.

The mic in your car is the same mic that comes with the new HU. Iíve seen some people install the new mic above the steering wheel column, below the gauge cluster, but I didnít like the look of it. Placing a mic there would give you much better call quality though, and this HU swap would be the perfect time to change the position. I made only one call with the 940 over the course of 5 years and I was told it sounded like crap; this was while driving down the highway. Iíve made one call with the 8400 while parked in my garage and the person on the other end didnít know I didnít have my phone to my face. I didnít have the engine running when testing the 8400, but I did point the stock mic more at my face to get better pick up. You can always leave the old mic in place and add the new one to above the wheel, then test drive which position sounds better on calls. You just have to unplug and plug the 2.5mm headphone jack in the back of the unit to swap between them.

I only did the HU for now and the sound is much better from that alone, much more of a full sound. Changing speakers would help and sealing the sub would do wonders, but thatís more effort than Iím willing to put in for now. You can always swap those out later once you hear the difference the HU makes.

2013 Evora IPS - Carbon Gray
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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I pulled the trigger and ordered the new HD unit:
eBay I got it new for $840, Amazon has it for $877
I'll get it in a week.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 08:09 AM
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I pulled the trigger and ordered the new HD unit:
eBay I got it new for $840, Amazon has it for $877
I'll get it in a week.
How'd the install go? Get the new unit in and tested?

2013 Evora IPS - Carbon Gray
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 07:05 AM Thread Starter
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How'd the install go? Get the new unit in and tested?
I got the unit, but still still sitting waiting for my other project to get finished. Ugh.
I have the car up and replacing the bumper and A-Panels from HethelSports.

I hope to start on the head unit replacement soon. I'll let you know.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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How'd the install go? Get the new unit in and tested?
I finally finished putting her back together again.

Did you disconnect the battery when you swapped out the head units? And if so, where there any adverse affects of that.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 11:54 AM
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I finally finished putting her back together again.

Did you disconnect the battery when you swapped out the head units? And if so, where there any adverse affects of that.
Yes, I disconnected the battery. Just follow the instructions in the owners manual when disconnecting. Itís something along the lines of disabling the immobilizer and keeping the doors unlocked for 30 minutes prior to unhooking the negative terminal. This lets all the capacitors properly discharge and will save you from getting an airbag warning light when you reconnect. Because I waited the half hour, I had no ill effects. Just remember to open your doors before you disconnect so that the windows drop or you wonít be able to open them afterward.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I disconnected the battery. Just follow the instructions in the owners manual when disconnecting. It’s something along the lines of disabling the immobilizer and keeping the doors unlocked for 30 minutes prior to unhooking the negative terminal. This lets all the capacitors properly discharge and will save you from getting an airbag warning light when you reconnect. Because I waited the half hour, I had no ill effects. Just remember to open your doors before you disconnect so that the windows drop or you won’t be able to open them afterward.
I don't have the owners manual, but I do have a shop manual. I don't see this listed: disabling the immobilizer. I have an IPS, I think there are more steps?
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 01:35 PM
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I don't have the owners manual, but I do have a shop manual. I don't see this listed: disabling the immobilizer. I have an IPS, I think there are more steps?
You just need to unlock both doors with the key fob by pressing the middle button and make sure you open a door so that they don’t relock right away. Then wait the 30 minutes. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as what it sounds like it would be for an Elise. I’ve probably made it sound more complicated than it actually is!

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 02:55 PM
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And don't close/latch the rear hatch once you've disconnected the battery! I make it a point of manually closing the trunk latch just in case the hatch struts fail, or I forget 20 mins later and try to close it.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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well, I had to go down the route of splicing and connecting the harnesses. As when I cracked open the headunit area, the wires were not marked and crazy in formation. So I attempted to go wire by wire.

I started the unit and set it for 'Network Mode' (not standard) as I thought we have a high and mid speaker on each side.
Am I incorrect?

I'm getting an AMP Error after 30 seconds.

What I thought was strange is for purple and green wires sets (solid and lines) only one one wire is used, I used the solid pos(+) wire for each connection.
Did you?

The old unit had white and red subwoofer ports (SWL/SWR), and the new pioneer avic-w8500nex did not so I connected them to the harness subwoofer white and red.

Thoughts? I can get some pics tomorrow.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 02:42 PM
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When setting up the AVIC-W8500NEX, you'll want to put it in standard mode. While we have component speakers, the output isn't through the RCA plugs, so you'll want standard mode. This might be why you're getting an AMP Error after a short while.

The Lotus doesn't have rear speakers so the green, green/black, purple, purple/black wires are not used. The factory Lotus harness is completely blank in pins 9, 10, 11, and 12 for this reason. All four of these wires should remain disconnected on the W8500NEX wire harness.

For the W8500NEX, you have to use the RCA harness in order to plug in the two RCA plugs that go to the sub. The plugs were hard wired on the back of the X940BT, but you need the extra harness on the W8500NEX. I believe the only other plug you use on this particular harness is for the backup camera, so all other RCA plugs aren't going to anything. I used the caps from the X940BT to cap all the extra plugs on the W8500NEX RCA harness.

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