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Newbie install question and help please

1452 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Steve Z1
hey all,

just got my RNS-E from a trusted seller on this board and found a shop to install it. They want around $200 to do the job and I cannot be present while they do it( insurance ?)

I see that I can buy a VAG-COM at Ross tech for a little more. This way I can do it myself so if somewhere down the road I want to take it out or play with other settings I can...

what do you guys think. I am pretty good with computers and following directions...

suggestions, pro and cons etc please

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Buy the vag com and do it yourself. The installation is not hard at all.

I'd also be wary of a shop that says you can be there when they do the install. Yeah, insurance could be a reason, but still.
You don't say what kind of car you have and what exactly the shop is supposed to do for you. And I have no idea what the rates are these days, therefore it's hard to say how long they expect to work on your car and if $200 is reasonable.

If you have an A4/S4 B6/B7 or an A3/8P with the Symphony head unit and if you got the new GPS antenna for installation behind the instrument cluster, the whole job takes less than an hour and is completely plug and play. In this case I would definitely say get the VAG-COM and radio removal tools and do it yourselves.

If you have an A6/C5 or Allroad it's a little more work because you would need to find the correct wire to get the speed signal. If you don't feel comfortable tapping into the correct wire or want some kind of warranty for the work and if you don't plan to install a phatbox/icelink or similar at a later date, then I would probably let the shop do it.

If you got the radio removal tools with your RNS-E kit, why don't you try to remove the radio and see how it looks behind? You may even unplug the radio and plug the RNS-E adapter in, just to see if you have any wires/plugs left unused. And once you are there it's only one more step to plug the RNS-E in and see if it turns on.

In a B6 you don't have to remove the instrument cluster. You could either remove the glovebox or the trim below the steering wheel and put the GSM antenna somewhere facing up and sticking to some metal.

If you ever looked inside a computer, installed some memory or a new hard disk and installed some drivers yourselves I would say you can do it.
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I have an 05 Allroad>>

I have bookmarked Justins site and read over the instructions several times.

I have not decided whether or not I will install a phatbox or icelink yet. For now I was thinking of using the SD slots and putting a couple gigs worth of music on the cars at a time. I will then maybe get another 6 CD Audi changer or go with the phatbox/ or ice link for my Ipod. right now I have about 20gigs on the Ipod so that would be the way to go I guess.

I did get the removal tools as part of the package as well as a harness and GPS antenna. I bought them from Steve and the transaction was as smooth as it could be. Great guy to do business with!

Was the speed wire in Justins walkthrough. And I am not sure what you mean by "tapping" into it. I will go back and reread it again

I am comfortable building systems( Windows PC) I have built many from scratch for friends...

any other tips?

thanks very much for the help!
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So I guess you have an A6 or Allroad then.

This is where he gets the speed signal from one of the wires going to the instrument cluster.

That's probably the most difficult piece of the whole install. Everythign else should be straight forward.
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I would definitely do this yourself. You can find someone in your area with a VAG-COM that can help you configure it for free (or you just buy them a case of beer). :) Plus, if they install it, and you run into issues down the road, then you've got to bring it back for another $100+ charge. Better to know how everything was installed yourself. In my honest opinion.

I assume you have a 2002+ C5 A6. Yes, Justin's pix/installation will be extremely helpful. See also my pix below (via link) for additional background. As long as you have the right connectors, the install should be pretty simple.

Feel free to drop me an email and I can chat offline (via cellphone if you want).

-ted (soon-to-be-RNS-E-owner)
Where are you located? If you're close, I'll do the install for you! It's that simple!
Thanks for the help and suggestions...


I am on the left coast so it will be a little hard to take you up on your offer, but thanks!

Teddy, I am Out of town until next tuesday but am very interested in chatting with you via cellphone! I will drop you an email when I get home with my phone# and we can set up a time to talk then. I think I am going to try the install myself so I can use all the help or insight I can get. I want to make sure i have all the right "stuff" to do the job!

thanks again, everyone...this forum is GREAT!
Re: I have an 05 Allroad>>

jonnyz1245 said:
....... I bought them from Steve and the transaction was as smooth as it could be. Great guy to do business with!..........
Thank you so much for the kind words. My father in law passed away last Saturday and we had the funeral Tuesday. Our world has been turned upside down for now.

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