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Bluetooth phone prep and speech dialogue system retrofit Audi A6 (4F/C6) Avant MMI High (possibly relevant also for Q7/A8)

8.7.2008 (updated 17.6.2009) - This article is an English summary of my earlier, more comprehensive Finnish report at http://a6retrofit.tripod.com/articles/a6puhelinvalmius.html. Finnish speaking readers may wish to read both this and that article as well for further details.

This is my recollection and experience of the Bluetooth phone prep and speech dialogue system retrofit, done back in 2006 and 2007. Use this information at your own risk, I make no guarantees about its accuracy.
Project: Install factory Bluetooth phone prep with microphone (but without phone cradle) and speech dialogue system retrofit to a 2007 model-year Audi A6 Avant 2.0 TFSI multitronic MMI High, left-hand side driving (continental Europe / Scandinavia), with multi-function steering wheel (latter needed for speech dialogue and phone control, although phone control might work without it too). This should be similar for the sedan, with obvious differences.

See also (before installing) my notes on a potentially easier phone-prep installation, almost completely in the glove compartment: http://a6retrofit.tripod.com/articles/a6gloveprep.html

Optional: You could easily do this project without the speech dialogue system as well, that part is only one module that is inserted inside the radio module in the trunk (work is done there anyways with phone-prep cabling) and you can choose to not order/install it if you don't wish to.

Parts used:
- Bluetooth FSE Audi A6 4F "Nur Bluetooth" incl. Sprachbedienung (part-no. 33899) from Kufatec (www.kufatec.de) with new cables/microphone and used phone-prep and speech dialogue system modules (phone cradle was not ordered/installed), note that Kufatec will require information such as MMI version of your car (press SETUP an RETURN at the same time for 5 seconds, then see under "Interfacebox" and then "Software Index") and language of the speech dialogue system module when ordering

- VAG COM cable, version HEX-USB+CAN, and software (www.ross-tech.com) as well as a generic Windows laptop for coding the car software after installation

- Some basic tools (especially make sure you have a range of torx screwdriver heads handy as well as a "multi-teeth" screwdriver tool for undoing the driver's seat bolts)

- Dealer component protection removal for speech dialogue system (phone module didn't require component protection removal in my case)

Installation (driver and rear foot well area):

1) Before starting, make sure the battery (in the trunk) is disconnected. See Installation (left side of the trunk) below for more on the trunk part of installation.

2) Remove the plastic cover on the left-side of the dashboard, where there is a fuse box. It just pops out with the help of e.g. a screwdriver, instructions can be found in the car's manual in the section covering fuses. This is where the phone-prep power line / fuse goes to. You can check your car's fuse map for the actual fuse slot, mine was empty and not connected to power.

3) Then plop out the small plastic covering on the A pillar next to the removed plastic cover (not the fabric covered top part, but just the small plastic part below it).

4) Remove the plastic trim under the steering wheel. To do this, you need to undo three 8 mm bolts: two in the foot well on the underside of the dashboard, one next to the fuse box you just uncovered. After the bolts, the trim is still held in place by hooks on the top and black and white plastic holders in the bottom. It just pulls out, but be careful and do it step by step. (It may - or may not - help to remove the foot-rest plastic next to the pedals before pulling the trim out, see later in the article for details.)

5) Before removing the trim from the car, disconnect the wires going to it - there is the diagnostics port and foot well light cabling at least. They are easy to disconnect, just press the release latches in the connectors and they disconnect nicely.

6) Remove the plastic foot-rest next to the pedals. It is held in place by a torx screw on the top. After that it just pulls straight up (held in place by a plastic hooking in the bottom part of the piece), but may require some force. Try not to bend it while removing for the plastic hook behind it won't break. Also be careful not to harm any cabling overhead when pulling the thing out.

7) To remove the bottom plastic trim on the A pillar, you first need to remove the engine hood opening lever. The lever just pulls out, but not until you have pulled out a locking plastic from behind it. After that a T20 torx screw is revealed. Unscrew that and you can pull out the trim.

8) Next is removing the driver's side door area floor plastic trim from front and rear as well as the bottom trim on the B pillar. They are held in place just by V shaped clips and pull out using force. You need to pull out the B pillar plastic first, because it holds in place both the rear of the front trim and the front of the rear trim. When the B pillar bottom plastic is out, both the driver and rear passenger trim can be pulled out. In the rear you need to lift up the rear seat a bit and pull out from under the C pillar to remove all the plastic trim.

9) Now expose the rear side of the fuse box you uncovered in the beginning. To make things easier, undo two bolts holding down the fuse box and then pull out the rear plastic part (it opens on plastic hinges so be sure to pull from the correct side). The red wire from phone-prep should go to fuse slot 16, which is probably empty and not connected to power at all.

10) Next is removing the driver's seat. It is held in place by four bolts that can be opened with a star-like "multi-teeth" screwdriver; sorry I'm not familiar with its proper English name. Remove plastic cover from the floor below the seat and disconnect cabling going to the seat. You can then just lift the driver's seat over the folded back seats (make sure rear seats are folded and the trunk cleared of everything), just be careful not to damage the interior with the seat rails.

11) The entire driver's side footwell front and rear is now clear and free for access. By pulling up the carpet under the driver's seat area, you can probably find screws (standing bottoms up from the cars metallic floor) already in place for fitting the phone-prep module. Just bolt the phone-prep module's plastic container here and cut enough of the foam under the carpeting so that it will fit snugly in place. Take your time with cutting the foam, you don't want to cut too much.

12) You can see a cable tunnel in the floor under the carpet that you should use for cabling (the tops of the covered sections just lift up by pulling). Route the Kufatec-provided cabling as follows: black MOST fiber-optic looms one towards the front (the one attached to a green K line wire) and one towards the rear, just check which one goes where from the Kufatec instructions. Microphone and brown and red power cables towards the front. There is a further cable tunnel that goes up from under the floor on the left side of the driver's foot well.

13) Under the dashboard the red power cable goes to the fuse box, the brown ground cable is screwed to a bolt in the side of the car where there are other similar brown wires terminating. The microphone cable you can leave there for a while, it will be routed to the roof up the A pillar later. The MOST cable with the green K line wire goes behind the glove box. I didn't open the dashboard for the factory route, I used the open area in the rear part of the foot well area that is open between the left are right sides of the car to rout the MOST and K line cables. Just make sure you find a route where the MOST cable can be routed safely without pressure on it.

14) In the fuse box connect release the purple locking mechanism by pulling it slightly down and then connect the long red power wire to slot 16 (check your car's fuse map for the correct slot) and the short red patch wire hanging from the long red power wire to the other side of the fuse slot. Then solder or otherwise connect the end of the short red patch wire to the main 12V power line in the fuse box, it is an exposed piece of metal extending to various fuse slots. Attach fuse, 10A mini was needed in my car.

(If ever have the need to remove a fuse connector (the metal piece at the end of a power wire) from the plastic frame that houses all the fuses, you will notice that it will not simply pull out - even after unlocking the pink plastic lock, which you need to do first, of course. This is because the fuse connector will likely have two outward pointing tongues on the top-side of the connector, on both sides of it, to keep it locked in place once inserted. To pull it out, push these tongues towards the center of the connector simultaneously (from the top) while pulling the connector out (from the bottom). You can use sticks or special tools to push the tongues towards the connector.)

15) Once you have everything else sorted out and tested (especially microphone, see below), the trim pieces in the driver and rear foot well area go back in reverse order.

Installation (front passenger foot well area):

1) Remove the plastic cover on the right-side of the dashboard, where there is another fuse box (you don't need to connect anything to this fuse box, though). Instructions are in the car's manual.

2) Remove the glove box by undoing five 8 mm bolts, two in the bottom part and three in the top part inside the glove box. You don't need to undo the four torx screws under the glove box. After undoing the bolts the glove box just kind of drops on the floor, maybe a hint of pull is needed. Be careful though.

3) Behind the CD changer you can see the wires where you will connect the phone-prep. See above for instructions on how to route the cables here.

4) Before connecting any cables please check Kufatec's instructions for correcteness of this information. Disconnect outgoing MOST cable from the CD changer. It is left in the car disconnected, you can cover its head with the plug that covered the Kufatec MOST cable. Replace with the Kufatec MOST cable you routed here. For instructions on handling MOST connectors, see the link below in the left side of the trunk section.

5) Solder or otherwise connect the green K line wire pin 5 of the regular wire connector in the CD changer (there is already a cable in that pin so you need to join the cables). Apparently in MMI basic plus this would go to pin 14 of the MMI basic plus CD unit (the connector is different because the CD unit also serves as the head unit in MMI basic plus), but I have no experience to confirm that information.

6) When done, just put back the glove compartment. Do mind the MOST cabling especially and make sure no pressure is applied on it once you bolt things back up.

Installation (left side of the trunk):

1) For information on trunk installation, please see my DVD navigation instructions at http://a6retrofit.tripod.com/articles/a6navigator.html for details on trim removal. Clear out the trunk area and remove the left side wall trim entirely.

2) Route the Kufatec MOST cable to the rear media rack. Replace with it the incoming MOST cable in the top-most component, the amplifier. Double check this information from the Kufatec instructions to make sure you get it right. The phone-prep now sits in the MOST loop/ring between the CD changer behind the glove compartment and the amplifier in the trunk media rack.

3) To install the speech dialogue system module, you need to remove the rack (again, see instructions in the link above). Remove the radio (second component from top, above the DVD navigation unit) by undoing the two screws on its sides. Once the radio is sufficiently pulled out (it pulls out towards the back of the rack), lift up the sort of door behind the radio, which is held in place in three spots you need to release first. This reveals expansion room inside the radio covered by plastic covers. Remove the right-most (looking at the radio module from behind) plastic cover to reveal a connector. Now slide in the speech module and close the door. The speech module's heat sink remains visible once the door is closed.

4) Bolt back the media rack and the rear trim.

Installation (roof/microphone):

1) Remove the top cover on the A pillar. It just pulls out by pulling from the top (you can squeeze your hand in there in the point where the A pillar trim meets the roof trim), but do mind the special two top clips designed to allow airbags to deploy which require special attention once you've pulled them out initially half-way. This link has some information: http://forums.audiworld.com/c6a6/msgs/26806.phtml

2) Remove the roof-module (the one that contains the front reading lights etc.). Instructions can be found in the car's manual, in the sunroof section.

3) Remove the driver's roof sunscreen, it is held in place by a screw under a small plastic cap on its left side. I didn't unscrew the right-side latching point, because I could access enough of the roof without doing that, but obviously more you remove better for the actual installation. Be careful not to bend the carpeted trim too much.

4) Route the microphone cable up the left wall of the car to the A pillar, up the A pillar (just don't obstruct the airbag in the A pillar), behind the roof carpeting to the roof-module area. Connect the Kufatec-provided Audi microphone to its slot on the front left side of the roof-module and connect the cable you routed to the microphone.

5) Reinstall all the trim.

Finally, you need to follow the Kufatec instructions to code the phone-prep and speech module using VAG COM, check that the modules are enabled in the CAN gateway (module 19) coding checkboxes in VAG COM. Also, your dealer will likely need to remove component protection from the speech module. Component protection is probably active if pressing the speech button on the steering wheel results in beep and immediately the speech "cancel"; just check the VAG COM error codes to make sure. You can not remove component protection with VAG COM, your dealer or other Audi authorized site needs to connect the car to Audi's factory servers that check against a theft database before removing the component protection.

If your phone-prep coding has the phone-prep limited speech system set on in VAG COM, make sure to set it off (check the VAG COM coding help in the telephone module, module 77, and make sure the speech digit is set to zero, not any other number, not even nine) - when coded on it will collide with the full speech module and probably result in neither of them working. Of course you can alternatively enable here the phone-prep limited speech system, which covers only phone functions, if you didn't install the full speech dialogue module.

Enjoy your newly expanded freedom of speech!

UPDATE 6.8.2008 links about the speech dialogue system:

http://www.navplus.us/forums/showthread.php?t=6394 (part numbers)
http://www.navplus.us/forums/showthread.php?t=6974 (pictures from A8 which is similar, except the radio module is in the rack on A6)

Some old links to check out about various issues concerning or somehow related/relevant to this Bluetooth/SDS install or my quest for information on tearing down various sections of the car (in no particular order):

http://www.navplus.us/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2563
http://www.navplus.us/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2173
http://www.scoty.de/Umruesten.pdf
http://www.navplus.us/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2478
http://a6.stufftoread.com/wiki/index.php/Nachrüsten
http://s77.photobucket.com/albums/j62/mlk_05/
http://www.navplus.us/forum/viewtopic.php?p=20500
http://www.motor-talk.de/t1237436/f309/s/thread.html
http://www.navplus.us/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3555
http://forums.audiworld.com/c6a6/msgs/26806.phtml

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