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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I've had my A3 since May of 2005 (one of the earliest models) and recently began considering an RNS-E retrofit.

I currently have the BOSE sound system (with XM radio). I have a Sport model and do NOT have the "Convenience Package" - so I have the very limited DIS. I do have a VAG-COM and limited experience working behind the dash / instrument cluster (boost gauge on my old A4, etc).

So here are my questions.

1) How hard is it to install the NavPlus / RNS-E into my car? From what I've read it doesn't sound too difficult.

2) Where should I buy the unit? Any suggestions? I assume I need the A3 unit (part number starting with 8P). Does the A4 (8E part number) work in an A3? I looked on Ebay and only saw the Euro A3 parts. I'm guessing there are better places to go though.

3) It sounds like I'll need at least one special adaptor for the wiring harness. But it's hard to tell since one post I read said they didn't need any new wires with a Symphony II radio. So do I need one or not? Is there a place that sells the unit and the adapter I'll need?

4) Since I don't have the premium/convenience package, I don't have a real DIS. Is that a problem? I'm guessing it's not really an option to retrofit one of those (partly because of the odometer and such)... is it?

5) My car doesn't have Bluetooth, can I add that at the same time?

6) Are there any iPod or other hard-drive based MP3 player adapters that work especially well with the RNS-E? How does the PhatNoise work with it? I'll probably just use the SD cards, but I'd like to know what options I'd have.

I believe I need:
-The RNS-E unit for the A3
-A Fakra GPS receiver
-An adapter for the GPS (ISO -> Fakra)
-An adapter for the RNS-E unit (not sure though, do I need that if I don't add Bluetooth/phone?)
-Radio removal tools

I've found that I can get everything except the unit itself from euro-parts.com.

My apologies since I'm guessing most of these have been asked before. But I was kind of overwhelmed by all the scattered information I've found and any help you guys can offer is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Brandon
 

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RNS-E retrofit for A3

Brandon,

I'm going thru a RNS-E retrofit for my 2006 A3 3.2S. I too have the Bose system, along with the symphony II 6-disc dash radio. I assume you have this too as Audi didn't really sell cars that have the Bose system without the Symphony II radio.

1. If you have the Symphony II radio, it's easy to install. As long as you don't have a concert (1-disc) radio, it's pretty much plug in play if you have the right parts. (If you do, you'll have to replace most of your center console and do some wacky drilling: http://forums.audiworld.com/a3/msgs/63879.phtml)

2. Check out the "For Sale" forum on where to buy the unit. You can email me privately and I can give you a couple of sources who sell them (weschan[at]gmail.com) that I researched before buying. (I don't sell units myself). DO NOT BUY AN A4 UNIT, IT WON'T WORK IN THE A3.

3. Most of these retrofit kits sold in the For Sale forum include all the special adapters. If you wind up buying everything separately, check out navparts.com

4. As long as your DIS displays stuff, my belief is that your RSN-E will display data from the nav unit on it. You'll have to enable this using the VAGCOM. If your DIS is totally missing, you're out of luck.

5. Yes, but you'll have to buy a retrofit kit. IN the for-sale forums as well. I have not been able to find someone who sells a plug-and-play kit for less than $755 (the factory-insalled option at the time of car purchase was only $435 in the US), and I find this hideously expensive. If you can find someone who sells them for cheap for the A3, please let me know.

6. There has only been one aftermarket iPod adapater I've found online that works with the A3 with nav kit: http://enfigcarstereo.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/DICE_I_VW_R.html. I've not installed it nor did I buy one so I don't know if it will work, sells for about $155 including shipping. I figure that getting 4GB SD cards is cheaper and also more than adequate. Also the iPod kit doesn't display the song title/ID3 data on your nav system & DIS, and the MP3s off the SD card will display, so i find this a better user experience.

Feel free if you have any more ?'s to email me privately. Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I'm actually the one that e-mailed you earlier about using my VAG-COM after reading your other post :)

I had actually just stumbled into the For Sale section which surely helps.

As long as the Nav works without the DIS being there I don't care *that* much. Where the DIS would be I just have the "idiot lights" and no place for it to output text. I just want to make sure the RNS-E unit isn't going to care that the DIS isn't there.
 

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Hello all,

Firstly thanks to all for the wealth of information in this forum to a newbie like me!

I have a 2006 A4 with the factory fitted bluetooth and Bose Symp II. I dont have the sat nav or the DIS. Am I still able to purchase a RNS-E from ebay and expect it all to work? Do I need to modify anything to keep the phone working for example? ALso will I be able to navigate through my phonebook on the RNS-E like I can do on my dash currently?

Many thanks in advance!
 

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In a 2006 A4 the phone interface should already support the high features (dialing/browsing from the RNS-E). To be certain you would need to read out the part number of the phone interface with VAG-COM/VCDS/dealer. If you don't have the DIS you can still use the RNS-E but it would make sense to retrofit the trip computer (add the wiper stalk and one wire to turn off the windshield washer fluid low warning), that way you can see the navi info on the DIS and get the trip computer as well.
 
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