Just me being lazy.

Bringing back to life an 18 year old Audi A8 D2 part 6 - sound system upgrade

In this post I will cover what I've done to the audio system in the car.

To begin with, my D2 came with the optional Bose audio system and (back then) range topping RNS-D head unit:

My car in 2015 - taken from a sale ad.

By today standards its old, out of date (last map update was released in 2012) and it doesn't offer much in terms of phone connectivity and integration.

The Bose system cannot be upgraded by simply removing the head unit and fitting another one as it uses floating ground audio signal, whilst most aftermarket units use common ground phono interconnects. This causes speaker-damaging pops each time the head unit comes on, is muted or the head unit comes off like this:


So to do this properly you have to totally remove the old audio system except speakers and speaker cable and remove the RNS-D head unit, the Bose amp and the associated navigation and CD changer system and run new RCA interconnects between the amp and the head unit so...

I started off by removing the interior:

Running new Audio cables from the amp compartment in the boot, to the head unit at the front. I also ran reverse camera cable and GPS antenna cable whilst at it.

Removing bose harness.

And also added some sound deadening because why not.

I decided to locate the GPS antenna under the rear parcel shelf as it will be hidden and out of the way. I could have used the original 'gps wart' in the rear of the bootlid, but i plan to install a 'gps wart' less rear boot lid in the future.

I de-lidded the suppled gps antenna and printed an enclosure for it:


Antenna installed in its position


Signal test:

The aux and usb ports were moved the the storage cubby in the drivers knee panel:

I also added some factory LED's in there as a nice little mod. IRL the light isn't as strong:

I then had to chose an audio amp. I went for a 5 channel Kenwood X802-5 as it has been successfully used by D2 Doctor in the past, it fits in the original bose amp tray and looks factory:

Here's the amp mounted in its tray, i had to cut a bit of it off as all the wiring comes out in a different place compared to the Bose amp:


Here's the amp in its factory position:


And a pic of the amp with the boot trim in place, looking as oem as possible:


Down at the other end, i had to remove the dashboard instrument cage to remove all the old audio cable stuff and run the new wiring:


With the cage out, it was easy to fit the new head unit. I decided to go for a dedicated Hualingan HL-8818GB from Icebox Auto:

Audi A8/S8 1994-03, get the best Audi audio upgrades for your early naughties, late 90’s Audi A8 and S8 models today @ Iceboxauto

Reason? First of all its the only dedicated head unit which fits the D2 fascia, I didn't want to play around with making adapter panels or sanding down the edges of a C5-based head unit and similar, it always ends in tears and looks terrible.

This HU being 'dedicated' still needed lots of modifications to work.

First of all the L shapied piece of the audio cage had to be removed:

It was as easy as drilling out the rivets which hold it into place:


Then, a rubber piece down the bottom had to be removed too, i think it was there to stop the RNS-D from rattling:


Then, I had to improvise as i didn't have my 3D printer yet: I screwed on a 17mm thick piece of skirting board to make a little stand for the new head unit to sit in:

This way, the rear enclosure of the head unit sat level and flush with the wooden fascia:


Then, because the rear 'box' was much narrower than the original, i used plastic shims and double sided sticky tape to make it all fit snugly into the cage:



Finished product:


In the process of being installed:

Head unit mounted in the car:


the 'dedicated' fit, not too bad:


Carplay working ok:


And android Auto:


Night shot:


Later on I stubled upon Agama Launcher in play store, which could be customised to look very audi:

Here are random pictures of ugly shoehorned 2din units for comparison, they look ugly and illfitting:

Reverse camera was first trialed in a spare numberplate tray not to risk damaging the original black one. I installed it right in the center as theres nothing in the way except for a plastic ridge which was dremeled away.

Another pic of the same camera mounted on friends car:

To make full use of the head unit and improve comfort and ergonomics, I also fitted a 4 spoke MFSW. Keep in mind my car came with a 3 spoke tiptronic steering wheel only from the factory.

This in itself was terrible 4 week long adventure which cost way too much money and time due to melted clock springs and wiring to name a few but in the end i ended up with a 4 spoke heated multifunction steering wheel with tiptronic:

It fully works with the head unit, significantly improving comfort and safety as everything can be done from the steering wheel rather than trying to reach the head unit.

The guide i partially used can be found here:


But on top of this, I had wiring diagrams from Elsawin and followed another thread on a8parts forum, specifically a post describing removal of the TMC box behind the cluster to allow CAN communication between the MFSW relay and the Android HU's canbox adapter:

A8 Parts Forum - View Single Post - RNS-E Retrofit into a D2....
The UKs only dedicated Premium Audi User Forum

To condense the MFSW retrofit as much as possible I basically had to add extra wiring in the relay box in the front passenger compartment:

Add the MFSW relay in its oem location:

Source a heated clock spring and steering wheel:

Notice the green wiring, - that's the heating filament.

..And strip most of the dash and front interior to wire everything up.

Here's the basic loom:

Heated and non heated clock springs:

Head unit learning the buttons:

All done:


Part 6 - fixing alternator whine:

Bringing back to life an 18 year old Audi A8 D2 part 7 - fixing the alternator whine
Ever since part 6 of this project, ever since when I fitted and installed a brand new head unit and amp, I’ve been plagued by a constant, rpm-dependent whine of the alternator in the speakers. To fix this I have tried every single ‘noise isolator’ and adapter known to man,