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IMG_9884.jpeg IMG_9884.jpeg I don't usually post these types of things but I bought the Ridgeline Sport really wanting a RTL-E. The price and interest rate were too good to pass up and all they had available was the Sport so I went for it. I knew right away that I would not be happy with the radio so within a week of having the truck had already purchased the aftermarket head unit. Figured I would write everything here and update as I went along in case it helps anyone else.

I started with a Pioneer DMH-2660NEX. It was the latest from Pioneer and I've always had good luck with Pioneer in the past. I ordered from Crutchfield and of course they gave me all the adapters and things needed for the install. Once I got everything, I was not happy with the way the Pioneer fit. There were huge gaps in the dash kit. I called them and they were surprised with how poorly it fit in there. I could have made it work by placing some foam to block the gap but they offered me a Kenwood DDX8906S at a pretty good discount. Making room for the new Kenwoods I guess. It was on sale and the also took some money off for the Pioneer not being a good fit into the dash kit. A little more money for wireless car play - that was what won me over.

Here is what I ended up getting....

Kenwood DDX8906S
Metra Dash Kit 95- 7811B
Metra Harness 70-1729
Metra Antenna Adapter - 40-HD11
Axxess Steering Wheel Control Adapter ASWC-1
Axxess Back Up Camera Harness AX-HON24RVC-6V
Fosgates for the back doors (I opened them up anyway to put the longer door catchers in)

I wired everything today and although there are a few walkthroughs here and on youtube, I wasn't quite sure what I would find behind the dash. The biggest question was the steering wheel interface - the ASWC-1. The directions didn't match anything on here and sure enough when I pulled my dash apart today - nothing matched up - from here or on the directions from Axxess. The connectors from my 2019 Ridgeline have different wiring colors than what people with a 2017 wrote up in this forum. Even the Axxess directions reported different colors and wanted me to splice into a 20 pin connector that I didn't have! It started getting late so I did some simple running of wires (mic and the camera switch)
and figured I would call Axxess tomorrow.

Hoping it goes smooth!
IMG_9712.jpeg IMG_6701.jpeg IMG_9884.jpeg
 

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The Honda head unit was the main reason I skipped the lower trim levels. Hopefully you will get it all working perfectly. Thank you for sharing.
 
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Oscar B, please keep us posted. I'm trying to decide whether to do the same thing. I too couldn't find the trim level I wanted for the price and interest rate I got my Ridgeline at. You look like you're better at swapping stereos than I am so any info you can post will help. Question, does the new unit have Nav? Do you recommend the Crutchfield kit. Used them before but this is a lot more in depth than anything I've done. Thanks W.
 

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The Honda head unit was the main reason I skipped the lower trim levels. Hopefully you will get it all working perfectly. Thank you for sharing.
I dunno how long you own vehicles, but that decision will eventually come to haunt you if you own the vehicle for a decade. To date, I have not found a single person who's upgraded the 8" radio to something new. It's too integrated into everything.

There's a lotta people on these forums who own -T/E/BE models that would like to ditch the head unit in a heartbeat.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Happy to report everything went really smooth. The Kenwood went in without any issues and I was able to keep the three camera views (thanks to all the help on this site) with a simple 3 position switch. As you can see from the pictures, I didn't finish the switch but instead have it hanging out of the place where I will eventually mount it. The reason being that I haven't found a simple on-off-on switch that I like the look of. Wanted to keep it looking factory but they seem to be really hard to find! Also, I can confirm that the Axxess steering wheel controls work but you have to remap them. That is somewhat complicated to do. I ended up calling Axxess and they walked me through it. Took about 2 min and all the buttons including the HFT work. If it helps anyone I connected pin 11 and the ground of the Axxess unit directly to the chassis, pin 22 to the grey/red of the unit and pin 23 to the grey/blue.

Very happy with the look of it minus the switch but I will fix that soon. Hoping that the functionality makes it worth the time I put into the install. In a few months I'll add an amp and a front camera - just need to save some money first!

IMG_6065.jpeg IMG_4252.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I dunno how long you own vehicles, but that decision will eventually come to haunt you if you own the vehicle for a decade. To date, I have not found a single person who's upgraded the 8" radio to something new. It's too integrated into everything.

There's a lotta people on these forums who own -T/E/BE models that would like to ditch the head unit in a heartbeat.
Oscar B, please keep us posted. I'm trying to decide whether to do the same thing. I too couldn't find the trim level I wanted for the price and interest rate I got my Ridgeline at. You look like you're better at swapping stereos than I am so any info you can post will help. Question, does the new unit have Nav? Do you recommend the Crutchfield kit. Used them before but this is a lot more in depth than anything I've done. Thanks W.
The install is really not that bad. I installed quite a few when I was younger but it is different now. A few more variables I really tried to keep the wiring neat and clean by using zip ties and tesa tape like you see in pro videos but in the end it still looked a little crazy. Hats off to the pros!

As for Crutchfield, I always buy through them. I feel that you can't beat the service and the prices are usually very good. When I bought the Pioneer from them and told them it didn't fit, they tried to help and realized it was wrong. They had a new HU to me in a day. I even used my Crutchfield rewards points from this and put it towards a new wifi router. That shipped to my house in a day too.

My new Kenwood doesn't have Nav but that is the beauty of CarPlay - you can use apple maps or waze. It is integrated right in the unit. Strangely enough, it does require a gps antenna. Not sure why - maybe it uses that instead of the gps in the phone to help with battery drain? I'll have to look that up.

One pointer - if you do buy through crutchfield get a second harness. You can take the pins out of one of them and populate the one you will use. That way you don't have to cut into the factory wiring. In all of this, I only tapped into two wires - the reverse wire in the kick panel and one of the pins to give me the camera views. I would have added a pin for the latter but I didn't have the second harness to harvest pins from. I ordered one but was too impatient to wait for it.

Good luck!
 

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Have you gotten dimming working on the Excelon deck? I've got the step up (I think) DDX-9906, and using the same Axxess universal controller.

I DID have a shop install, but have been less than happy with the process. HFT is not working, nor is any of the three options for dimming of the screen in the option of the deck....

Heck, any tips on HFT would be great. I swapped out the same deck from a 19 RTL. Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Have you gotten dimming working on the Excelon deck? I've got the step up (I think) DDX-9906, and using the same Axxess universal controller.

I DID have a shop install, but have been less than happy with the process. HFT is not working, nor is any of the three options for dimming of the screen in the option of the deck....

Heck, any tips on HFT would be great. I swapped out the same deck from a 19 RTL. Cheers.

Not sure what year Ridgeline you have but the wiring color in my 24 pin harness didn't match with what was reported in the 2017 or 2018. Even still, I would think that you could get the htf button to work if you remapped it. Did any of the phone buttons work? None of mine did until I remapped. Not hard to do if you have them walk you through it. It was hitting the reset button on the axxess unit and then a series of pushes on the steering wheel itself. The biggest bummer for you is that you will have to open up your dash to get to the axxess unit.

As for the dimming of the unit, I did connect the illumination wire but to be honest, I just installed it and haven't taken it out at night. I did find this, maybe it will help?
IMG_6074.png
 

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Happy to report everything went really smooth. The Kenwood went in without any issues and I was able to keep the three camera views (thanks to all the help on this site) with a simple 3 position switch. As you can see from the pictures, I didn't finish the switch but instead have it hanging out of the place where I will eventually mount it. The reason being that I haven't found a simple on-off-on switch that I like the look of. Wanted to keep it looking factory but they seem to be really hard to find! Also, I can confirm that the Axxess steering wheel controls work but you have to remap them. That is somewhat complicated to do. I ended up calling Axxess and they walked me through it. Took about 2 min and all the buttons including the HFT work. If it helps anyone I connected pin 11 and the ground of the Axxess unit directly to the chassis, pin 22 to the grey/red of the unit and pin 23 to the grey/blue.

Very happy with the look of it minus the switch but I will fix that soon. Hoping that the functionality makes it worth the time I put into the install. In a few months I'll add an amp and a front camera - just need to save some money first!

View attachment 402139 View attachment 402138
I have that same switch, but I installed it where the blank for heated seats goes. Looks much better there and falls naturally with the shifting hand when reaching for reverse.
 

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I have that same switch, but I installed it where the blank for heated seats goes. Looks much better there and falls naturally with the shifting hand when reaching for reverse.
Sounds like a great idea but heated seats are next on my to do list. Early fall! How did you drill through the plate? With a step bit? The plate had some much junk in the back that I wasn't sure if it would fall apart.

I'm looking for something like this (Napa Switch) but it is only a momentary switch - it returns to center once pressed. Can't believe what I want is hard to find.
 

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Just search for a rectangular 3 position rocker switch. Shouldn't be hard to find.

The online parts places have them, amazon will sell you some, although I'm not sure how long it would take you to get it from them right now.

Here's one part# I found that should work. I haven't done this on my RTL and probably won't for a while as I'm not driving much and the factory radio serves well for me right now, so verify this works before you waste a couple of bucks on one. :)

SRB24A2HBBNN
 

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Not sure what year Ridgeline you have but the wiring color in my 24 pin harness didn't match with what was reported in the 2017 or 2018. Even still, I would think that you could get the htf button to work if you remapped it. Did any of the phone buttons work? None of mine did until I remapped. Not hard to do if you have them walk you through it. It was hitting the reset button on the axxess unit and then a series of pushes on the steering wheel itself. The biggest bummer for you is that you will have to open up your dash to get to the axxess unit.

As for the dimming of the unit, I did connect the illumination wire but to be honest, I just installed it and haven't taken it out at night. I did find this, maybe it will help?
View attachment 402171
I've got a 19 RTL, which has the same stock radio as your Sport. Turns out my installer either was a hack, or just didn't care. End result is the same. The same Axxess controller was used in my truck, but the only stereo function I have working right now, is volume. None of the phone buttons on the wheel do anything. Good times.

I'll play with the dimming more, but I'm almost positive I've went thru that process.

At any rate, thanks for the pic. Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've got a 19 RTL, which has the same stock radio as your Sport. Turns out my installer either was a hack, or just didn't care. End result is the same. The same Axxess controller was used in my truck, but the only stereo function I have working right now, is volume. None of the phone buttons on the wheel do anything. Good times.

I'll play with the dimming more, but I'm almost positive I've went thru that process.

At any rate, thanks for the pic. Cheers.
Yup, that is exactly what mine did before I remapped the buttons. You would also have to check and see if the attached the wires to correct pins for the harness. The directions from Axxess were wrong so if he didn't call or troubleshoot, that could be an issue. Either way you have to pull the unit out to fix.
 

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Yup, that is exactly what mine did before I remapped the buttons. You would also have to check and see if the attached the wires to correct pins for the harness. The directions from Axxess were wrong so if he didn't call or troubleshoot, that could be an issue. Either way you have to pull the unit out to fix.
Also, I think I figured out the issue on the dimming. Mine isn't working either. I am guessing your installer used the same harness I did to connect to the factory wiring. On that harness there is a orange illumination wire that I connected the illum wire of the kenwood to. I looked it up last night, I think the reason it isn't working is because the wire on the car/factory side ISN'T the illumination wire. It is a subwoofer wire. The illumination wire for the car is actually on the other harness. Guess I have to pull it back out too. I literally just put the last panel on less than 24 hours ago! Lesson learned. Might wait until I get the dash cam or some other stuff.
 

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Sounds like a great idea but heated seats are next on my to do list. Early fall! How did you drill through the plate? With a step bit? The plate had some much junk in the back that I wasn't sure if it would fall apart.

I'm looking for something like this (Napa Switch) but it is only a momentary switch - it returns to center once pressed. Can't believe what I want is hard to find.
The nice thing about the heated seats blank is it doesn't have as much junk in the back which further helped my decision. I thought about a step bit but ended up using a spade style wood bit. Just be warned that it will grab the plastic and try to rip your finger tips off.
 

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A spade bit on a small piece of plastic is recipe for disaster. As a minimum you need to figure out a way to hold the part securely and put it on a piece of wood so that you can overdrill into the piece of wood. A hole saw or better yet a forstner bit will give you the cleanest results but again you don't want to be holding the piece of plastic with your hand and you don't want it to move so figure out a way to anchor it. . . .
 

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A spade bit on a small piece of plastic is recipe for disaster. As a minimum you need to figure out a way to hold the part securely and put it on a piece of wood so that you can overdrill into the piece of wood. A hole saw or better yet a forstner bit will give you the cleanest results but again you don't want to be holding the piece of plastic with your hand and you don't want it to move so figure out a way to anchor it. . . .
Now you tell me... LOL! I knew... but am incredibly stubborn. Just ask my wife. But I do still, amazingly, have all my fingers. Actaully, all my good tools are miles away in my shop where I'm building a house, and I just wanted to wrap that part of the project up. I don't think I've driven the truck totally assembled for most of the time I've owned it.
 

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View attachment 402013 View attachment 402013 View attachment 402013 I don't usually post these types of things but I bought the Ridgeline Sport really wanting a RTL-E. The price and interest rate were too good to pass up and all they had available was the Sport so I went for it. I knew right away that I would not be happy with the radio so within a week of having the truck had already purchased the aftermarket head unit. Figured I would write everything here and update as I went along in case it helps anyone else.

I started with a Pioneer DMH-2660NEX. It was the latest from Pioneer and I've always had good luck with Pioneer in the past. I ordered from Crutchfield and of course they gave me all the adapters and things needed for the install. Once I got everything, I was not happy with the way the Pioneer fit. There were huge gaps in the dash kit. I called them and they were surprised with how poorly it fit in there. I could have made it work by placing some foam to block the gap but they offered me a Kenwood DDX8906S at a pretty good discount. Making room for the new Kenwoods I guess. It was on sale and the also took some money off for the Pioneer not being a good fit into the dash kit. A little more money for wireless car play - that was what won me over.

Here is what I ended up getting....

Kenwood DDX8906S
Metra Dash Kit 95- 7811B
Metra Harness 70-1729
Metra Antenna Adapter - 40-HD11
Axxess Steering Wheel Control Adapter ASWC-1
Axxess Back Up Camera Harness AX-HON24RVC-6V
Fosgates for the back doors (I opened them up anyway to put the longer door catchers in)

I wired everything today and although there are a few walkthroughs here and on youtube, I wasn't quite sure what I would find behind the dash. The biggest question was the steering wheel interface - the ASWC-1. The directions didn't match anything on here and sure enough when I pulled my dash apart today - nothing matched up - from here or on the directions from Axxess. The connectors from my 2019 Ridgeline have different wiring colors than what people with a 2017 wrote up in this forum. Even the Axxess directions reported different colors and wanted me to splice into a 20 pin connector that I didn't have! It started getting late so I did some simple running of wires (mic and the camera switch)
and figured I would call Axxess tomorrow.

Hoping it goes smooth!
View attachment 402012 View attachment 402011 View attachment 402013
I too went for the 2019 Sport, but wasn't satisfied with the base radio. I had an Alpine unit put in. It was buggy so the installer replaced it with a Kenwood that is working fine. The Sport model was fine for me otherwise. It replaced a 2004 Tundra base that was hit in December and totaled.
 
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