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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I have a mazda 3 2.3L 5 door and I've never really done any interior modding of my cars before and I got the ipod link from therpmstore.com for christmas. I wanna install it myself if possible and run it either into the ash tray or somewhere else thats hidden. Anyone have experience with this and/or have more detailed notes on how to do it? I've already done a search and read through the installation threads but they are all autos and I have a manual, anything different? Again, I think I just need some reassurance and ideas cause I'm new to this stuff.

http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=7671 <--- ive been reading this one and the other one with the picture walkthrough.

Edit : and how the hell do I disassemble the dash. the last picture I saw just said to pull on it, It seems as if that little carbon fiber holder is gonna break.
 

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You will be fine man. Its really not that hard- and once you do it you'll be glad you did because you will have seen whats below the surface of your car- and youll just wanna do even more ;p

That carbon dash piece is always a source of angst it seems- Gimme till tomorrow morning and Ill take a picture of it removed so you can understand how its retained- thats the best way to show you how to remove it. Basically though, you do pull it straight towards you to pop its clips out- the only catch is the far right side has what looks like an L on it- it opens out to the right, which means you slight it towards the left to get it out. You will understand when you see a picture.

Theres not going to be much difference in AT / MT - you will need to retain your wires considerably more carefully in an MT to keep them out of the way, but thats really it.

best advice I can give is be patient and dont be put off by the idea of stopping mid-way to come post and wait for answers if you need to. A 1/2 finished job is always better than a finished, but dangerous or damaging job.
 

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Thanks Zorminster, any idea of where I should put the iPod? I want it to be hidden away for the most part but easily accessible if needed. I thought of these 3 places... glove box, top of the arm rest (but thats where I keep my GPS stored) and ash tray. All of which involved drilling, i think.
 

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honestly? no. Currently i use a cigarette adapter FM Transmitter and I just toss my MP3 player into the cup holders. Easy to acess, I leave it laid over on its side and can close the lid to hide my expensive player from the outside world. I used to leave it where the ashtray is, but I found it to be annoying to pull it out since the wire usually wrapped around the shifter. If you opt to use the cup holder area like i did, there shouldnt really be any drilling- the left side (nearest driver) of the compartment is actually open and you can run a wire right in from underneath with little or no trouble. I'm not sure abou the IPOD plug- it may be too large to simply slide through.

I would advise against using the glovebox- it means youll be all up in your passengers lap whenever you wanna play with the music- and it tempts your passengers to mess with the music; which, in my car is grounds for you being deposited on the side of the road.

I've also used the center console (both the top and bottom compartments) and found it to be as annoying as the ashtray since I have to lift up my arm and pull out the mp3 player.

Now, i'm not really familiar with the IPOD audiolink unit- does it let your steering wheel controls work the IPOD? If it does, then accessing your pod isn't really an issue and you could use the center console or the glove compartment- Something to consider, can you turn on and off the ipod w/o accessing the ipod itself with this unit?

You could also consider the left side of the dash, under where the HID leveling switch would be there is a small pocket- i'm not sure if it would accomodate the IPOD, but I do know that it isn't impossible to fabricate something to hold your IPOD there, facing the driver. Theres really endless possibliities once you start thinking about what can be made.
 

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Just my 2 cents...

I've got an iPod with AudioLink, and every once in a while you have to hit the play button on the iPod to get it going again (especially after cycling through HU modes). So putting it in the glovebox might end up getting inconvenient. The ashtray seems promising. Another option is the cupholder.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm gonna see if I can take a look at it tomorrow before work. I'll look forward to the pics.
 

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Zxello, don't worry too much about this. This is a very simple install, and once you do it you'll just laugh at how freaked out you were getting yourself. :chuckles: The only difference between taking apart the trim on a MTX vs ATX is the shift knob. With the ATX the trim around the shifter (where the NAV controls would be) just pops loose, however on a MTX you have to unscrew the shift knob, and then pull the trim/boot up. Sometimes the boot sticks to the top of the shifter (under the knob), but it comes loose easily. Before you remove the gear shift surround you need to remove the cupholder section. Once both of those are removed then you'll see two screws that hold in the ashtray section.

The CF strip has....... four tension clips, and one hook holding it in. Open the glove compt. and grab the strip on the far left of the glove compt. and pull towards the back of the car. While you're doing this keep one hand on the far right of the strip to make sure the hook doesn't pull free. Disengage the tension clips between the LCD and the hook, and once that's done gently flex the CF strip to disengage the hook. After everything to the right of the LCD is released then pull back to release the last clip to the left of the LCD.

Beyond that look at THIS walkthrough for removing the HU.

As for where to put it I suggest that you disassemble everything and run the wire and then just sit there as if you're playing with it..... or drive around with your dash disassembled and play with it. My suggestion is for the cupholder, or the ashtray. Either way you won't need to drill. For the ashtray you'll need to remove the insert, and with the ashtray/lighter section removed you'll be able to fish the wire through the back right next to the lightbulb without drilling. That's how my AuxMod wire is run. Also (like someone said) you can just run the wire in through the left side of the cupholder without drilling.

Let us know if we can help you out more.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks a bunch! I'm gonna have to go back out and take a look at it.
 

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[quote author=icspots link=topic=65469.msg1121982#msg1121982 date=1167238118]
btw the pics are on page 4 of that.
[/quote]

bah! well thats embarassing... now how the heck did i link the wrong page... lol. anyway- its proper link now.
 

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[quote author=Zorminster link=topic=65469.msg1122469#msg1122469 date=1167258815]
just-routed my fm transmitter wire so theres now a pic of where my MP3 player sits up on page 4 as well. was quite simple to get the wires where they needed to go.
[/quote]

Now you just need an AuxMod and avoid using the FM transmitter altogether. :)
 

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Yea, or i could save myself some cash. If i'd known what I know now, I would have gotten a modulator instead of a transmitter. This iRiver FM Transmitter has worked great for me though and I really don't have any complaints about it.

What I really need, is Mazda to quit being such cheap SOB's and to make a 6 disc changer that could read MP3s. But thats certainly asking too much of them : /
 

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[quote author=Zorminster link=topic=65469.msg1122532#msg1122532 date=1167261935]
Yea, or i could save myself some cash. If i'd known what I know now, I would have gotten a modulator instead of a transmitter. This iRiver FM Transmitter has worked great for me though and I really don't have any complaints about it.

What I really need, is Mazda to quit being such cheap SOB's and to make a 6 disc changer that could read MP3s. But thats certainly asking too much of them : /

[/quote]

They do make one...... you just have to buy it from them for ~$450. ;)
 

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My ipod sits on the little device-holder spot next to the shifter.
I drilled a hole in the center console cubby, and pass the Audiolink wire through there.
That way, the wire can stick out of the cubby, run alongside the handbrake, and reach where the ipod is sitting. It looks very clean. However it requires removal of the entire center console and drilling of plastic.
For storage, the ipod is a perfect fit inside the ashtray and the Audiolink wire sits inside the cubby. I can post pics if you need them.
 
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