Pioneer Avic F700bt installed in my 08 9-3SS - SaabCentral Forums
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9-3 Sedan, Cabrio ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X Workshop 9-3 SportSedan, Convertible ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X , 2003 - 2012 Technical Forum

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  #1  
Old 11th September 2008
GGSaab GGSaab is offline
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Default Pioneer Avic F700bt installed in my 08 9-3SS

The shop just finished the install of my Pioneer avic and I thought I should share some pictures and info with the forum. Thanks to brunp and others for their posts on their installations. I learned allot from their postings.

The install was done @ Stereo Upgrade in Queens, NY

Now on to the details:

I ordered the facia kit and wiring harness from www.nexxia.co.uk
Part # for the facia kit is DFP-32-03
Part # for the Wiring harness is PC9-415
They both can be found here: http://www.nexxia.co.uk/Car_Stereo_fitting_kits/saab.htm
Ebayed the ipod cable

The only other part required was an antenna adapter which the install shop provided.

Pictures Here:







I had the microphone mounted in the exiting grill opening in the factory overhead console. Gives it nice clean look with no exposed wires







The installation went smothly. The only problem was when they took the vent above the radio out it came apart into like 20 pieces. It took an hour to figure out how to put it back together.

Also i can confirm that the PAC SWI-PS will not work with our Saabs Steering wheel controls. We tried installing it but no dice. The only thing that bugs me is that I cant use the steering wheel conrols.

Now for the bad news......
The F700BT is garbage. its riddled with problems. It takes 3-5 minutes to fully boot up, the screen is not visable during the day, the Text to speech only works on about 5% of roads, voice recognition does not understand any commands, User interface is poorly designed, and the worst part is i live in an area where all the house numbers have a dash in them (i.e. 4-07) You can not enter a dash in the house # field. If you just enter the number without a dash it can't find the address. I could go on and on. This is the worst unit i have ever used by far. I will be ripping it out next week and replacing it with a differant Nav unit. Not sure which one yet maybe a Kenwood or a Pioneer D3 if i can find one.
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Last edited by GGSaab; 11th September 2008 at 07:42 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11th September 2008
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brunp brunp is offline
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good thing you took the plunge with installing the unit, but sad to hear about the problems with this unit. I thought the F-series would be far better than the D3. The Kenwood unit has a better NAV system by far as it is based on the Garmin system and the MAPS are built into the internal hard-drive, no disks.

If I were to simply use it for NAV, I would have gone for a Kenwood. It could be my next unit if I ever decide to switch it out due to boredom. :-)

Now, having said this, give the avic411.com as it is the the Pioneer forum for all things AVIC from mods, to hacks to problems. It is as helpful as Saabcentral, so give them a try.

Paul
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  #3  
Old 11th September 2008
Wulf Wulf is offline
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I have the same unit installed in my 9-5 and it has been great so far.

I had some difficulties with installing the PAC SWI-PS as well so I contacted support. They suggested a fix and it worked great after that. Check out my website for the details. It may work for the 9-3 as well or perhaps their support can assist.

Did you apply the firmware update from Pioneer? The unit has been working much better after that. Startup is only a matter of 15-30 seconds now and you can turn off the voice recognition catalog process so it doesn't has to be done at every start-up. Text-to-speech also works great and they removed most of the static from the lady's voice. There have been many other improvements as well. Bluetooth now sounds great for the receiver. It is not perfect in every way but there is no other unit on the market with iPod control, speech recognition, BT, navigation and excellent sound for around $600. I would definitely buy another one for my next car.

The thread in the 9-5 forum:
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=129944

Install details on my website:
http://wulfers.net/auto/mods95/avic-f700bt/index.html

Firmware update from Pioneer:
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...+AVIC+F-Series
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Old 11th September 2008
Wulf Wulf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunp
The Kenwood unit has a better NAV system by far as it is based on the Garmin system and the MAPS are built into the internal hard-drive, no disks.
The AVIC-F700BT stores the maps internally so no need to use nav disks anymore.
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Old 12th September 2008
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Good to see someone else taking the plunge and replacing the headunit in an '07+ car. Sorry to hear about the problems, I had issues with my Kenwood when first installed, but after installing software/firmware updates from the Kenwood website, most issues have been corrected. May be worth checking the Pioneer website to see if they have any updates for your unit.
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Old 12th September 2008
JAGMAN JAGMAN is offline
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I've heard the the Pioneer BT series had problems with the first software/firmware versions, but that the updates sorted many of those problems. I'd make sure that you have the latest updates before you give up on it...
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Old 12th September 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wulf
The AVIC-F700BT stores the maps internally so no need to use nav disks anymore.
So as a result, the mapping functionality is faster. Which NAV system is used on the Pioneer F-series? Is it still the Navteq Software?

Paul
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Old 12th September 2008
iordonez iordonez is offline
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Hi,

I just purchased an 06 Saab 9-3 with the premium sound system 300W. I was looking at replacing the radio with a pioneer similiar to yours. I have the a pioneer avic d3 in my H2 that i want to move to the Saab. My question is would i loose any functionality by removing the stock radio, like the display above the dash or the remote entry feature. I know on some other vehicles they are sometimes attached to the radio system. any help would be appreciated. thanks!
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Old 12th September 2008
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The '06 Saab does not have the characteristics of the '07+ cars that allow you to easily swap units. The radio compartment size is smaller and it is the last year that the audio system was based on a fibre optical bus system as oppose to the more traditional ISO standard.

Paul
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Old 12th September 2008
iordonez iordonez is offline
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Thanks for the response. Would it still be possible to replace the stock radio on this vehicle. I guess the double-din units would be too big, but what about a single din unit?

If not really possible, do you know about integrating bluetooth? The car has a phone button, but when i press it nothing happens.
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Old 13th September 2008
GGSaab GGSaab is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAGMAN
I've heard the the Pioneer BT series had problems with the first software/firmware versions, but that the updates sorted many of those problems. I'd make sure that you have the latest updates before you give up on it...
Yeah i checked that already. i have the latest firmware already installed in it. From reading other forums it seems im not the only one who is having problems with these units.
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Old 13th September 2008
JAGMAN JAGMAN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGSaab
Yeah i checked that already. i have the latest firmware already installed in it. From reading other forums it seems im not the only one who is having problems with these units.
Too bad. They look like they'd be the best units on the market if they could get the bugs worked out. The "Hi-Def" display looks awesome.
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Old 14th September 2008
woody93 woody93 is offline
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Are you on the AVIC forums? A friend of mine has done some things with his to make it better, but not sure about the problems you're having.
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Old 15th September 2008
GGSaab GGSaab is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woody93
Are you on the AVIC forums? A friend of mine has done some things with his to make it better, but not sure about the problems you're having.
Yeah i was lurking there. alot of people are having similar issues. Its too bad beacuse this is a great deal for all the features it has. Pioneer just needs to work out the bugs on it.
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  #15  
Old 15th September 2008
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It is odd that you are having these problems. I do think that Pioneer could improve in a number of area's from a usability perspective and I did read that improvements were made in the F-series based on feedback from D1-D3 series owners.

Overall, I can't complain about my install, although, I think the FS installer could have done a better job, but it made it easier for me to actually perform the bypass. Reason why, he didn't solder the contact to the parking brake wire, so it made it easier for me to ground it as per the instructions.

Paul
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  #16  
Old 15th September 2008
Wulf Wulf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGSaab
It takes 3-5 minutes to fully boot up
Did you turn off the iPod voice recognition catalog so it doesn't go through that process every time it starts up?
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  #17  
Old 15th September 2008
GGSaab GGSaab is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wulf
Did you turn off the iPod voice recognition catalog so it doesn't go through that process every time it starts up?
I dont have an ipod hooked up to it. Dont know if that matters or not.
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  #18  
Old 15th September 2008
Wulf Wulf is offline
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Did you install the latest firmware yourself? It just sounds strange because mine starts up within 30 seconds. Menus are still a bit sluggish for a few minutes but at least is usable.
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  #19  
Old 15th September 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wulf
Did you install the latest firmware yourself? It just sounds strange because mine starts up within 30 seconds. Menus are still a bit sluggish for a few minutes but at least is usable.
No the firmware was already installed at the factory.
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  #20  
Old 15th September 2008
Wulf Wulf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGSaab
No the firmware was already installed at the factory.
You may want to check the version just to make sure.
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