iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3

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Thread: iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3

  1. #1

    iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3


    I've just completed a project on the head unit of my 9-3 to provide an auxiliary audio input for my iPod. This is a variation on a couple of themes from this forum - you basically replace the audio signals from the head unit's CD player (I haven't seen instructions for this, hence my post).

    You don't need to cut any wires or tracks, and the mod is completely reversible, though the soldering needs a steady hand ! In it's current form you insert any old CD in the player to get it going, but the iPod/MP3 player gets routed to the amplifier, not the CD (who cares if you can't play a CD - you've got them all on your iPod !). I have an idea for a dual-purpose mod, which doesn't need a switch, but haven't tried it yet.

    Is anyone interested ? If so I can post instructions and pictures on a blog somewhere.



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  3. #2

    Re: iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3

    Sounds insteresting. You can post photos, scanned instructions, videos etc at www.saabphotos.com

  4. #3

    Re: iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3

    Check out my Aux in blog .

    Comments welcome.

  5. #4

    Re: iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3

    Has anyone given this a go yet (apart from me that is) ? Perhaps I made the instructions sound too complicated - it's pretty simple !

    Not available in the shops.....

  6. #5

    Re: iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3


    Thanks so much for the directions. I like your solution, however I was stunned once I openned up the radio just how TINY some of the parts were, epsecially the CD l & CDR conencitons which you suggest desoldering.

    Not quite sure if I'm coordinated enough - any suggestions? Also, it's a little unclear to me where you then did solder in your L & R wirs which go to your mini-jack. You wrote that one could "reuse" the pads you just unsoldered from, but again, they're so tiny, not sure if that's possible.

    Any opinions or ideas?



  7. #6

    Re: iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3


    To disconnect the signal wires you could carefully run a scalpel between the relevant ones for a quarter of an inch or so, and then snip them off with a pair of small sidecutters (I think I briefly mention that in the blog ?).

    Then to make the connections you don't necessarily have to re-use the pads - I used some testpoints that are close (and a through-hole component for the ground as I recall - nice and solid). You can make sure you've got the right signal by using a multimeter - one probe on the original signal on the pcb connector pads, one on the point that you think is connected (and there are surface tracks on the signals of interest I think, so you can follow them by eye).

    I was thinking of offering the conversion as a service (for a small fee of course !) - not particularly useful for you though, since I see you are in California !

    Hope that helps,


  8. #7

    Re: iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3

    Does anyone know how to tap into the CD changer lead instead? I have a boot mounted HD mp3 player that is connected up via the aerial input socket, but FM interference makes it practically useless at times. Wiring it via the CD changer is my only option since my eye sight sure won't be able to cope with the internal CD mod.

  9. #8

    Re: iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3

    I would love to go through the cd changer. My stereo is different than all the examples. I popped it open and I wasn't sure where to cut and fuse, etc. It was definitely a different model than the others and I didn't want to ruin my stereo. I was looking for an adapter that could connect a PC or MP3 player through the cd changer cable. I believe it's a C-Bus? It didn't have the right connectors, but I was thinking about trying to splice some of the cables together. I guess I need to know which wires are which though.

    Yes! A connection via the CD Changer/cable would be great!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Re: iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3

    I believe this has been done. If I remember right as follows

    You have to care fully split the cable to the CD player and piggy back an audio signal on the audio inputs. Don’t damage the I bus connection

    The CD player must be playing a CD i.e. a CDR with one large track that is recorded using a WAV file recorder or something similar.

    When the CD is playing, the head unit will receive the MP3 audio instead.

    You may need to cut or put a relay / switcher on the Audio in so as not to increase the voltage to the head unit with a pure piggy back.

    The CD won’t know the audio signal is not the CD as the I Bus is still connected to the CD player.

    The CD will stop when it reaches the track end and then resume when the track starts this will cause the CD to stop receiving Audio for a moment or two so put the track on repeat play and make the track as long as possible i.e. 74 min.

    Here is a web page with some info I found it has info on the input and out puts.


    Hope this helps let know how you get on.

  11. #10

    Re: iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3

    There is a drawing of the pinout of the CD changer connector on a sticker on the head unit. Pull the head unit out and you'll see it. Then you can pull the connector out, and see which coloured wire is which, and then find the same colour ones in the boot (you may be able to cut them at the connector that goes into the head unit so you don't have to risk cutting the cable sheath). Of course you could cut them next to the head unit if you wanted to.

    Full details (or at least a link to them) of this mod, and a switched version, are posted somewhere on this forum - search on 'audio' and you'll find it eventually.

    As mentioned you still need a CD in the changer to fool the system that it's getting its audio from the changer (so you need to make sure you don't cut any of the other wires). Any CD with playable tracks will do, but you might get mutes in between tracks, so a CD with a single track, 74 minutes long, is better (you still get a mute at the end of the CD). I generated mine with Adobe Audition (though not sure if you can download a trial version).

  12. #11

    Re: iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3

    I just pulled the head unit and didn't have any special sticker. It was just the sticker that said the part number, which is 42 24 929. I am searching for a thread or link in order to find out which wire to splice.

    Good news, I found the pinout for a head unit. I don't think it's my unit, but the cable looks the same, and the cd changers can go in any car, so I'm assuming the pinout is the same.

    Saab Audio Guide

  13. #12

    Re: iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3

    Hi all,
    I have just read all in the topic. I might be completely wrong here but it seems to me there is a much simpler way to crack this nut. The theory goes like this. My car has an aftermarket Nokia hands free system fitted, when the phone rings it mutes the music (from whatever source) and automatically directs the phone audio to the stereo. It therefore seems logigical to me that if you replace the phone audio with an output from any mp3 type device then the same thing should happen. All connectors are behind the dash and there will be no need to take the stereo apart. The problem with the theory is that the whole thing might be a Saab setup although most aftermarket in car entertainment systems have the phone input these days (even cheap ones).

  14. #13
    Full throttle
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Re: iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3

    In theory, this can be done, but you would only get a mono signal - even if it plays through all speakers. Also the phone connection uses the speaker output from the phone box - the mp3 may not be strong enough to power this.

  15. #14

    Re: iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3

    Inside the head unit there are pins for the phone input - two of them connected together on the circuit board itself. I have seen blogs elsewhere which say you can cut the connection and this turns the inputs to the amplifier back into two separate channels, giving you stereo.

    You still need to ground the 'incoming phone call' pin though, and RDS traffic won't work I don't think, wheras they will with my original solution.

  16. #15

    Re: iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3

    There's a load of stuff about this over on the Saab Central site


    Quite a long thread, but they go into some detail about hacking into the CD changer lead as well as the tape deck, FM modulators etc, and they seem to eventually provide a fix for 900's and 9-3's - not tried it myself though...



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