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Kenwood Excelon DNX893S HU Install

29518 Views 40 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Heli ATP
The Kenwood DNX893S was to be released last month. CarPlay certification seems to be the cause for the delay.

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I will update this post when I do the install. For now I wonder if anyone has a left over pocket that sits below the Head Unit (see pic 2 below), for when I update my SE.

Current setup in SE

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Future setup with DNX893S (DNX9990HD pictured)

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Thanks Optimus.
Yeah I could purchase it online, part # is 77280-SJC-A02ZB. Hoping to get one through the forum. I have a few bits n pieces I could trade.

Special Edition decal.
Plastic for 4 doors removed when sound deadening material added during speaker install.
Rear right (all red) light assembly. Rear left (black trim) light assembly.
and more...
Do you plan to add XM to the new unit? and if so how do you plan to handle tha antenna? I don't think you can reuse the current XM antenna.
In order to get XM radio from the Kenwood DNX893S HU a Sirius XM tuner such as the SiriusXM SXV300V1 is recommended and that comes with its own antenna. I have seen people put the antenna next to the third brake light or stick them under the dash or the under side of the roof with their magnetic base. The important question to ask is if we can get the Sirius XM tuner already in the RTL's and SE's to work with after market Head Units? Since I have headrest DVD monitors that work independent of the HU now, and the DNX893S has dual outs, I'm thinking of sending cables to the back wall of the truck that could feed TV/Audio in the bed. (Just like the 2017 :).
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Finally completed the install of my Kenwood DNX893S Head Unit The install is physically the same as the DNX9990HD I had in my RTS. I had to shave about 1mm off the bottom of the Metra trim kit so the screen would flip down for access to the DVD and SD card slots.
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Added the Sirius XM tuner, Boss CE200M amp to power the stock sub behind the seat and the Kenwood Cmos-320 camera in place of the stock one in the tailgate handle. Installed the PAC SWI-RC steering wheel control but wished I had used the Axxess one as the PAC is difficult to program, and when I got it to work it lost some of its memory. I have read multiple similar stories online.
I like this HU a lot. I waited for it to come out as I believe it meets all my needs. Android Auto is cool and Garmin NAV is tops. HD radio and dual AV outs were also a big motivator as I have headrest monitors in the back. While running the rear camera cable I removed the rear seat back and put 1/4" Dynaliner on the inside and Ballistic sound deadner on the outside of the back wall.
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The similarity between the stock camera and the Kenwood surprised me, with the Kenwood being a little longer in size but has more features. I was able to use the stock mounting hardware to install the Kenwood rear camera.
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I used Velcro to stick the Boss amp under the dash. Put the GPS antenna next to the stock one under the dash and put the XM radio antenna near the third brake light. I moved it to one side away from the brake light and the stock antenna.
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I had disconnected the stock antenna some time ago and replaced it with a roof mounted one which increased signal considerably.
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Yes put the stock sound deadener back in. I did the doors with Extreme Dynamat last year when I upgraded to JBL GT-6 speakers. May do the roof in the future but am nervous of dropping the headliner and how easy it will go back up without damage.
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The Boss CE200M amp is behind the HU and to the left of the sunlight sensor that sits on the dash. I put a couple of drops of super glue on the sticky side of the Velcro so it won't peel off with heat. Its an ideal location as its light is visible and fuse accessible when the HU is pulled out. Also the amp harness isn't that long and I didn't want to extend it to the location you suggested.
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This HU has two USB cables for Android Auto and Car Play. One is in the glove box and the other in the center console with a 3.5mm aux jack. I split the stock Aux jack so the one in the passenger cubby still works.
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Here is the cable routing for the rear view cam. The yellow on the bottom left corner of the rear wall. The hole was already there and the camera came with a grommet that fit nicely in that hole. The hole above that one is the wires for my DIY tailgate lock. The larger cable roll on top is for the rear lights etc.
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Hey Heli.. Like that location for amp.. Are there any chances off amps overheating back there.. I recently purchased precision power 400 watt 2 channel.. For my components.. Very small amp..
So far so good. I haven't had any problems with that location. There is plenty of room under the dash, finding a flat spot is the problem. I guess if you are willing to extend the amp harness it could be put in a more accessible spot but the harness with the Boss isn't that long.
I haven't had much time to play with the HU. My son (10) set up the android auto, otherwise I have just been listening to the radio. Everything about this setup is way better than stock. No regrets!
I don't believe the stock XM tuner can be used but I'm sure they could tap into the XM antenna if they have the know how. I will be curios to hear how your FM radio sounds with the stock antenna. I had horrible reception with the stock antenna and a Kenwood DNX9990HD in my 2011. FM radio is really good with an aftermarket antenna in my 2014. I pick up HD radio further out from stations than I imagined I would. Looking forward to your update.
The Seat Covers are Wet Okoles. They were in my 2011 for three years and now they are in the 2014. The seat pockets are optional.

See the Headrest Monitors here....
I'm having trouble getting my PAC SWI-RC steering wheel control to work...
What exactly is your problem?
I had problems with mine as well. The instructions called for a pink wire where I had a brown one. I had to reprogram it a couple of time to get the settings to take. The website for the PAC SWI-RC has good instructions if you input your model, year, etc. They have good customer service and the guy on the phone talked me through a few things. If I had a do-over I would get the Metra Axxess steering wheel control instead as it self programs. Otherwise I love my Kenwood setup.

There are a few threads on this site that may help if you use the search feature.
Here is one...
Depending who you get on the line when you call, sometimes they will only talk with approved installers. I told them I was about to return the part but was giving them one chance to fix my problem and make me a happy customer. I also called on a Sunday when I would expect the lowest call volume. I had my tester available and was asked to check voltage at certain connections, which led to a quick result. YMMV.
I do notice that your unit is installed much more "recessed" than mine is, and I kinda like that. Mine is sticking out a little bit. You have the top of the unit about flush with the top of the kit and mine isn't like that at all. (Suppose I should add a pic or something.) I certainly couldn't fix it, I might ask them to "slide it back" more, but I don't know if things are a tight fit or what. Or maybe I shouldn't care and just enjoy it. :)

BTW for Steering Wheel control I did the iDatalink Maestro RR. Getting the gauges on the HU is pretty badass. I can check battery voltage. Helped me figure out I needed a new battery. (Northstar FTW.)
Not sure if this is what you need but the DNX893S has screen angle tilt memory. When you power up the unit press the furthermost button to the right. Select number 1 and press memory.
Surprising about you getting the gauges on the HU. Cool.


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Mine sticks out at 0 also. I used the Metra 95-7870G — Trim Kit provided by Crutchfield with my DNX893S HU purchase and keep the tilt on 1 with the memory function. In the past I used a Scosche Trim kit for my DNX9990HD and that fit well too.
You can see pics of the latter in my other thread.

Now I got to work on the gauges :)
I've had a few questions about the wiring for the PAC-SWI with the DNX893S. Where a pink wire is called for in pin 16 of the civic24 connector, there is a Red/Green wire in its place. At least this is true for my '14SE and it seems the 2012 RTL also. Here are some prep notes from my install that may help.


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I got the panel off and saw that one of the white plastic clips was broken. But oddly, I found a spare on the floor. (Which worries me which clip they didn't put back in. I haven't found any other lose panels.) Anyway, I took the "spare" clip (uh oh) and used it to replace the broken one on the kick board/panel and snapped it back in but it didn't seem to help. It's "loose" towards the front of the car. Dunno if that's normal or not.
Re drivers side floor board...
I snapped off my driver side door floor board and took a pic for you. Mine has just two clips but towards the front there are pieces that clip into the kick panel ahead of the floor board. If these pieces are not lined up just right they may bend and stick up rather than snap together. As for the spare clip, just hold on to it and if you hear a rattle in the future you can see if its the cause. A lot of those clips are available at AutoZone or Advance Auto. You can also get them rather cheaply on ebay.


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Yes, the gauges are very cool. Also, see attached. :)
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I've been researching 'getting the gauges'. Chrutchfield says it's not an option for the 2014 Ridgeline. Any input appreciated.

iDatalink Maestro ADS-MRR Interface Module Connect a new stereo and retain the steering wheel audio controls and factory amps in select Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, and VW vehicles at

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Crutchfield appears to be wrong.

SEARCH RESULTS FOR Honda 2014 Ridgeline Factory Navigation

I chose those results because your RL had factory nav. Mine doesn't. You need the RR version to get gauges.
Thanks for the clarification.
I contacted iDatalink asking for one module to cover my 2014 with the DNX893s which would keep the HFL (hands free link) steering wheel buttons and a remote start. A new product will be released in spring of 2017.
Here is the response...

Thank you for contacting us. First of all, we do not offer a solution that would do both remote start and radio features. It is 2 different systems.
For remote start, I would recommend our HC remote starter. We have multiple iteration depending on where you are located. Please send me your zip code/postal code so I can refer you to an installer in your area.

For the radio replacement, we do offer a solution using our ADS_MRR module that would retain your steering wheel controls, but we do not support the factory voice command at the moment. Meaning, the button will work on your steering wheel, but you will have to install the aftermarket microphone that comes with the Kenwood radio.

We are currently working on a solution that would retain everything, but I believe the release date has been pushed to the spring of 2017 for manufacturing reason.

If you want to stay up to date on the release of this solution, please subscribe to our newsletter from

Have a nice day,

Louis-Gil Levert | Customer Experience Manager
Automotive Data Solutions Inc.
8400 Bougainville, Montreal, Quebec H4P 2G1 Canada
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If you remove the rear seat and the bed panels you will see the hole where I passed the wire with the yellow tape on it. If there is a black rubber grommet in the hole remove it. Put a hole in the grommet for the wire to pass through and replace. Then run the wire down the left side to the tailgate and replace the bed panels.

From the head unit I ran the wire behind the pedals and under the left floor boards {inside the doors} and through the rear wall, along the left bed side and followed other wire going into the tailgate. Where the wire might be damaged I used wire loom.

I remember looking at the Handa instruction for parts reference. Since my camera didn't need power from the rear lights I didn't have to remove the light, the bumper, or mess with the control box under the seat. Sounds like your camera will plug into the back of your new HU too.

Consider changing out your tailgate handle for one with a hole for the camera. I think it's a neater install.

Good Luck with your install.
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Installed and amp and sub behind the rear seat. Replaced the PAC SWI-RC steering wheel control with the iDatalink Maestro control module which adds gauges on the HU. The Amplifier is the Kenwood class D 5 channel KAC-M8005. The SubWoofer is the Rocford Fosgate 8" in a home made box. The stock sub worked fine but I couldn't take the pop from the Boss amp anymore. Now if I could only understand the settings on the amp... HPF, LPF Input Sensitivity etc????
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Prob a dumb question but I saw you comment in another thread you ran the wire underneath the truck. What exactly is the “rear wall” referring to?
On my first Ridgeline I ran the wires for the rear camera under the truck, but with my second I ran them from under the back seat carpet and out through a hole with a grommet, and under the bed side wall to the tailgate,
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