Mr Chops NE51 Rider (RIP mobile data plans)

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#1
Although I don't have big plans for the bus I do plan to do quite a few updates to it. So, this seems a good place to bore you with my ramblings :p

Some background on my Elgrand story first...
  • Early Feb 2016 I meet up with @blingo who offers to show me his Rider (Thanks mate), and I'm totally hooked!
  • 18th Feb 2016: after missing a couple of potential buses I put a deposit on a white NE51 Rider in Japan with just the right spec. We saw about a dozen photos on the dealer's laptop...umm'd and ahh'd.. and decided to have it. Left a sizeable deposit and went away to wait for it to make it's way across the globe to Southampton
  • 14th Apr 2016: Mercury Ace arrives at Southampton
  • 3rd May 2016: The Elgrand is delivered to my door, minus documentation which is currently with DVLA
Turns out it was a (heavy/chain) smokers car and the interior is yellow and absolutely stinks. The next time I see an auction photo and the Japanese driver is wearing a mask I will know why!

I've only driven it up and down the street so that's no road test but it feels smooth and is nice and quiet.

So here's where the real fun begins!

 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#2
These were a surprise to find when I removed the back number plate holder and found it was wired into one of the number plate lights. Totally useless for our plates but still cool.






The number plate lights don't come on with the sidelights but I'm sure they should. Not sure how it passed the MOT..unless there's a switch inside for this :wondering:
 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#3
Nope, no switch..and in the bulb holders - yep, no bulbs.


The EL panel has been bodged into the driver's side wiring cutting one of the wires near the plug, which is damned annoying as it'll need soldering back together.


I've put bulbs in them but need to sort out the bodgings before both light up.

I need to find the MOT tester, he'd get all my future testing!

I could hear the Sub-woofer in the back corner of the cabin making pathetic tapping sounds instead of playing music so I whipped the covers off to find, just as I had suspected, the suspension foam had turned to black cheese.


I continued to install the Pumpkin HU and removed the front section of the console with the cup holders, tray etc. to get better access. It's going to be a bit of a squeeze getting all of the cables in there.


The HU has two USB sockets and although I liked the idea of flushing them into the console somehow I eventually decided it would probably end up looking like a bodge. I've cut a hole in the back of the tray and pushed the USB (and iPod) connectors through.




I found the HDTV box under the passenger seat so I want to see where this is wired in to. Some wires of the same colours run out of the carpet to the back of the DVD Nav drive so maybe that's where the video enters the system. Not sure really, I'll probably run phono cables from the HU to the rear AV inputs anyway.
 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#5
Hello there
Quite an interesting read,how did you find a dealer in Japan you could trust.
I was running out of time looking for one to import and after missing a couple already in the UK we just went to a trader in the Midlands to see what they had. Although the ones they had weren't what I was after they had one just getting on a boat in Nagoya, which would make it here with time to spare before our France trip at the end of May.

I still haven't received the reg/MOT documents and I still can't drive it so I'm not out of the woods yet...
 

blingo

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#6
Looking good!

Have you checked that the rear aux ports actually work yet?

I tried mine at the weekend as I have bought another media player with the intention of connecting to them or trying on the av in on the pumpkin... and no they don't seem to work!

Mine had a digital TV tuner fitted (although in a different location to yours) and that's where I connected the av out (for the dvd) from the pumpkin. I guess that TV tuner is connected to where the aux ports in the back should be and that's why they don't work anymore.

Worth checking as I wouldn't be surprised if yours is the same.

When I get a chance, I'm going to try the av-in on the pumpkin.
 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#7
Good idea, I was going to run a phono lead at the weekend but found the one I have is not long enough (3m)...maybe this was a sign!

I've ordered a box of assorted Nissan panel/trim clips as the ones on the drivers step shattered when I popped it off. I've found a few clips and trim pieces that are particularly brittle so I expect things to turn to dust now when I touch them. The plastic spudgers I bought are worth their weight in gold.
 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#8
I connected the HU to the AUX port in the back with an RCA cable and got nothing on the drop-down roof screen. So I had a look at the factory remote control and pressed VTR...and it came on! I pressed quite a few other buttons first :) I had Avatar playing in the back (the sound was great, really surprised me) and could use the Pumpkin for other stuff without disturbing the film. Love this unit.


The quality of the rear screen is ok, probably pretty good back when it was made. Certainly watchable. Reminds me of the head rest screens in planes.

I could not unfortunately find a way to output video playing from SD card to AUX. Couldn't find anything in the factory settings either that looked related.
 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#9
My front cabin filter arrived today and as I've got rid of the majority of the smoke smell I fitted both cabin filters. I bought genuine Pitwork items.


NS010 is the front filter.

Looking at the sticker in the back it hadn't been changed for over 73,000 KM :eek: It now has a new sticker with today's date and KM.

 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#10
There's not a lot of space behind the head unit, and the Pumpkin has quite a few wires coming out of the back, so I thought it might make installation slightly easier if I removed the black bricks from the cables. I popped all of the pins out of the connectors and paired them up, double checking as I went. I cut heat shrink for each connector, slipped it on and soldered the connectors together.



Everything was going fine until soldering the grey/black wire, when it just came off the connector. The wire itself seemed to have disintegrated and the core of the wire was all powdery. I thought maybe it's the heat of the soldering iron but all the way back to the Nissan connector it was the same, there was very little wire in it and it just broke up no matter how carefully I stripped it. Frustrated I popped the pin out of the Nissan block and pulled a similar wire from an old Skyline engine loom I have laying around for when I need wire. I soldered it to the pin, pushed it back in and soldered the other end to the other wire. Hmmm, cheap ebay item..

After heat shrinking each wire I slipped a large piece over and finished it off like this:


Hopefully (if I've got it all correct) it'll work fine and give a little more wriggle room behind the dash.

Finally tonight I filled the gap below the HU using the extra bezel that comes with the Pumpkin. I cut it to size and secured it with double-sided tape. Looks neat IMO.

 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#12
Tonight! Hmm, sounds familiar..

First job, charge the battery after the last few days playing in the bus completely flattened it. In fact I was testing the DVD player on the rear screen when I noticed the front Japanese screen text was starting to 'bend' to the left in the middle. It was getting worse and I was worrying that the screen might have a fault. Then the head unit shut down and everything else dimmed to nothing. Completely flat.

I installed a 5m phono cable which is the perfect length to go from the head unit, under the drivers side carpet, along the inside of both steps and then behind the side panel before coming out next to the AUX ports. It all came apart fairly easily with only a few clip casualties (mostly under the step covers). I didn't look closely when I bought it and it's coax so about as fat as household aerial cable! Works perfectly though.

Guess what, I had no right channel audio when I put my modified harness in. I checked continuity of the wires and found at least 4 (I lost count) that had breaks in them. The head unit's wires were perfect, the Autoleads Micra/ISO adapter was at fault. Oh, and a correction to my earlier post, it was from Amazon not ebay. FWIW. So that was a waste of more time fixing it.

I then removed the rear EL number plate illumination panel and fixed the hacked number plate light wiring. Both number plate lights now work perfectly.

Next time should be refitting the head unit and the console properly, shampoo the carpet and the head lining again and clean the leather.
 

blingo

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#13
I could not unfortunately find a way to output video playing from SD card to AUX. Couldn't find anything in the factory settings either that looked related.
The av in does work if you want to connect some other device to handle this, I posted in the ICE helped needed with more info...
 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#18
So something's happened in the console because tonight when I took her out for the first time (yay!) it seems that the driver's front speaker isn't working :( It was working at the weekend when I was trying the DVD stuff.

Oh well, sometime this week the headunit will have to come out again. It's just such a pain to get it all back in. I think I'll just replace all of the wires in the shitty adaptor harness.
 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#19
Fitted a new dash cam this morning after fitting the Mrs' cam into her new Juke. Relatively simple job, just had to remove the passenger A-pillar first and run the power cable inside the headlining, then down the pillar and down the side of the dash. Glove box out to run the cable behind it and then route it under the centre console to come out of the DVD drive cover and plug into an adaptor in my 'AV drawer' (the drawer under the ash tray/cup holders now has the USB/iPod connections in it as well as the 7-way USB/power outlet).
Dash cam - Amacam AM-C60 (Amazon link being weird..)
I added a 32GB Samsung SD card, the maximum capacity the camera will take.

More crazy happenings with the speakers afterwards however, some speaker channels missing or moved and no FM reception. Took the HU out tonight and aerial was connected and, of course, it was working just fine again when I tried it. :fubar:

Whilst apart I took the opportunity to connect up the steering wheel controls which work great. Every cloud etc. etc.
 

blingo

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#20
:D I've given up counting how many times I've taken my stereo out now...

I fitted a dashcam today too, nextbase one - seems pretty good, hopefully won't need to use it!

Now trying to decide which sat nav to use... not that keen on the IGo one that came with the stereo but really want something that allows offline use. Here Maps looked good but crashed twice today when testing it :(