Description: My stock CDR-30 recently died in my 2009 Cayman (987.2) (no-bose) so I decided to upgrade to wireless Apple CarPlay via the Alpine ilx-107. I bought my unit from crutchfield along with their installation kit and instructions and set out to do the install by myself. With zero background on car stereos and only a basic understanding of electricity, the odds were stacked against me. But with the internet, all things are possible. Ready to do the same? Here are some tips on getting it done! The following are tips, not instructions. Read your install instructions first and these tips will help fill in the gaps.
Hire a professional
This is not a one hour job. For me, it wasn’t even a one day job. I was unqualified for the job, but I was also looking forward to the challenge. If you aren’t patient and curious and you just want the end result, pay a professional that has experience with Porsches.
Those annoying hex screws? Pinch and pull.
When you attempt to remove the old head unit, you’ll encounter 4 hex screws that need to be rotated 90 degrees before you can pull the head unit out. Easy enough, right? You’ll have a tough time fitting the hex wrench between the dash. You’ll also experience self doubt. Did I rotate this screw already? Did I rotate the screw too much? Will the head unit get stuck if I break it? Why won’t the head unit pop out yet? It helps to understand what is taking place. The purpose of these 4 hex screws is to depress 4 prongs that keep the head unit snapped into place. Give those hex screws a shot, but when in doubt, pinch the prongs inwards with your fingers while pulling the head unit out. I ended up working one corner loose at a time.
Tapping into the fuse box actually isn't that bad.
To install this head unit, you need to tap into an ACC line. One site recommends accessing an ACC line via the parking brake panel. That seems reasonable, but I went with the fuse box. I don’t like the idea of pulling panels with hook tools and cutting unmarked wires in search of the right one. The crutchfield kit came with a nasty little hook to wrap around a fuse. This youtube video taught me about "piggy bag" fuse taps and how to wire them. This seems like a far more professional solution. To my pleasant surprise, I could run an ACC wire out of sight to the fuse box and I could do it without pulling any panels off the car. First, remove the fuse box door, unscrew the three screws to loosen but not remove the assemly, then slip a “piggy back fuse tap” through the top. From there you can run the wire to the head unit while hiding it in the gap underneath the steering wheel.
Buy the parking brake bypass so you don't have to find the parking brake wire
To synchronize an iPhone with the Alpine head unit, the Alpine software requires a signal that the car is stopped i.e. the parking brake is engaged. This is an understandable safety feature, but it makes installation more painful, and perhaps you may think it is your job, not your stereo’s job, to obey the law and drive responsibly. You’ll find sites and videos on the internet that say you can bypass this feature simply by wiring the head unit’s parking brake wire to ground. Perhaps that is true on older model Alpines, but that’s not quite accurate for the ilx-107. If you turn on the unit then connect the head unit’s parking brake yellow-blue wire to ground, yes, it works. But if you connect the head unit’s parking break yellow-blue wire to ground and THEN turn on the unit, it won’t work until you release the ground and re-ground. In other words, the alpine head unit wants to see this signal change. Therefore, go to amazon or a local car audio shop and buy a microbypass for $20. It worked for me and it saved me from having to pull panels and cut wires in search of an unmarked parking brake wire.
Maybe I have an amp? Because I needed to connect the amp/remo wire.
I don’t have the Bose package, and I can’t find any amps in my front trunk, so I assumed I wouldn’t need to connect the blue “remote” wire from the ilx-107 that turns on the amplifier. Additionally, the wiring harness adapter that shipped with my ilx-107 from crutchfield didn't do this for me. However, when I first thought everything was wired correctly, the head unit was playing but there wasn’t any sound. This site again proved helpful. The "REMO" amplifier turn on wire for the ilx-107 is blue-white. In the cayman, it is the white-red wire within the blue 12 pin connector. Connecting these two wires fixed the problem.
Is there a better way to connect the aux?
The old head unit connects to your center console auxiliary cable via a green 12 pin wiring harness with green, pink, black, and orange wires. Your new ilx-107 expects a male auxiliary plug, so how to bridge the gap? Is there an aftermarket female side to this green 12 pin harness? The wiring harness adapter I bought with the unit from crutchfield didn't solve this problem for me. I ended up doing something I didn’t like, but it worked. I cut an old auxiliary cable in half and used a multimeter and some logic to determine which wires to connect to the green, pink, black, and orange wires in my car. The aux cable wires were extremely delicate and you even have to burn off a super thin acrylic layer in order to splice them into the car's four wires, and I’m pretty sure this wasn’t the best route, but it worked and I have an aux plug in case I'm on a road trip with an android user (gasp).
Hiding the mic and antenna under the steering wheel worked for me
I’ve seen others drilling holes, removing panels, and squeezing wires into the trim. That seemed like a lot of commitment, so I used the gap underneath the steering wheel. There is plenty of space to hold the microphone and the GPS device without creating something unsightly or dangerous. Additionally, there is actually a nice “valley” in the back where you can run the wire, making it difficult to see any wire even if you try to. To keep the wires in place and out of sight, I used some 3M clips designed to hang small picture frames.
Hear static? Make sure you aren't grounding through the antenna.
The final steps involve squeezing the new head unit into the dash while holding wires out of the way, avoiding scratching your dash, and keeping the wires connected. Right when I thought I was at the finish line, my excitement turned to despair when I noticed an intolerable static and ticking noise coming from the speakers. An hour of internet research and close inspection revealed that the ground wire in my wiring harness adapter had loosened, but I hadn’t noticed because the head unit was still operating via the ground it was accessing through the antenna. If you hear static, make sure you check out the various troubleshooting sites and make sure you have plenty of ground.
Replace that silly alpine splash image
I don’t know why Alpine thinks I want to see their logo every time I turn on the car. The Alpine instruction manual sort of kind of tells you how to upload your own image, but this site is much better. The instructions are pretty good, but my first attempts at following them resulted in a “usb device is not compatible” message. As the site mentions, the drive should be FAT32. On my first attempt, I had formatted my usb drive to FAT32 on a Mac. After reformatting the same usb drive to FAT32 on a Windows machine, the directions worked perfectly. A quick googling will probably even help you find an 800x480 BMP porsche image.
The outcome is excellent. The sound is better, I have all of my prior functionality and more, and I didn't do any damage to the car. Perhaps many of my struggle was caused by an inadequate wiring harness adapter? If so, certainly ignorance was a factor as well. I hope these tips help someone else make this upgrade a little easier!