iSalajee

Grom Vline Lite Installation

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Posted (edited)

So I took the plunge and opted for the Grom VLine Lite system so I could take advantage of apple CarPlay. I saw that no one has really bought the unit before and done an install so I decided to take it upon myself to see how easy it would be to install.

Disclaimer* apple CarPlay needs to be 'activated' once installed! Fairly simple; press on it 11 times.

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This is the box that arrives with the top lid opened.

 

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Above shows the connectors on the rear of the unit. On the left is the DisplayPort connector that will run to the head unit behind the screen. the connector on the right is for the power cable that will run to the bottom of the head unit. 

 

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I haven't really seen a clear image of the front panel online so here we have HDMI IN, USB 1 (mainly for iPhones), USB 2 (mainly for Android and any other USB device), HDMI OUT, SD Card Port (below the HDMI OUT port), proprietary connector; used for connecting AUX, front facing camera, rear facing camera (not needed if you have the factory reversing camera as the car will still automatically default to the main reversing camera), GPS (again not needed if you're using apple Maps, Google Maps, Waze etc which will use your phone GPS), and an adapter for connecting a touch screen panel if your car wasn't fitted with a touch screen, then we have a Mic In port and the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth antenna. 

 

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The above image shows the power cable that will run to the OEM head unit and below that is the proprietary connector cable that connects to the various aux devices (it is not needed to run the Grom System and can be left out if not needed, such as in my case)

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The cable on the left with the blue connectors is the display cable, the cable in the middle is the USB extension cable and the cable on the right is the Mic cable. 

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Above shows all the components of the kit laid out on the table awaiting installation.

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Probably the hardest part was trying to get the air vent out. The 4 tabs (that have been circled in the picture and can be slightly seen) need to be pulled down and then the vent assembly can be taken out with the help of some trim removal tools. I found a video on YouTube showing me how to do this and it can be quite tricky! Beneath the vent is a cable with two connectors that needs to be disconnected and removed before you can set the air vent aside. 

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You then need to remove the 2 triangular plastic trim bits below which is super easy; just pull them towards you and they should pop out. Or use a pry tool!

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Use a 10mm socket with an extension to take out the two upper bolts holding in the head unit. 

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Then move onto the two lower 10mm bolts holding in the head unit. 

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If you're worried about dropping the bolts then you can always use a set of extension magnets. These were bought on amazon and really came in handy. 

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Clearly they came in use when trying to take the bolts out and placing them back in as my Halfords toolkit wasn't magnetised 😞

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You can unscrew the gear knob and press the 'shift lock' button to move the gear into DRIVE and leave it there. I felt this helped but it's totally up to you. Lay down a cloth and bring the headhunt out and lay it down on the cloth. This is needed as the bottom of the headunit is short and will definitely scratch your trim if not used.

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The display cable is a Y shape cable, with one going into the Grom Unit and the other two behind the head unit. The cable has a male and female end. If there was something already inserted in your head unit(it's a blue connector so it can't be missed) then take it out and insert it into the female end of the Y cable, then insert the male end of the Y cable into the slot that's empty in the head unit. The picture should help clarify!

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The power cable is essentially the same sort of Y cable. In my case there was nothing plugged in so I just had to find the slot and insert the connector.

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Above shows the power cable connected to the head unit which was originally vacant.

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Above shows where I ran both cables so they could route into the glovebox.

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I decided to remove the passenger air vent so I could get access to the top of the glovebox. This is straightforward as it pulls straight out but be careful as there is a connector attached. For those of you who have changed your air filter, you know there is a panel at the rear of the glovebox that needs to be removed. On TOP of that cover is another cover that can be opened slightly to allow the cable to enter the glovebox. It's quite hard to see from the picture but the cables were routed into the glovebox and came in somewhere near the middle.

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Above shows approximately where the cables entered the glovebox. I should mention that this is where I found it easiest to run the cables. You may have a different opinion!

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Now would be a good time to run the microphone. I attached it to the ceiling, just behind the rear view mirror and ran the cable around the window. I opened the side air bag cover on the A pillar to run the cable down and tucked in in behind the rubber seals in the door and ran it through to the glovebox. 

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Above shows the rear of the unit in the glovebox. It should be mounted so the display and power cables are facing the passenger door,

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and the USB cables should be facing the driver.

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I placed the unit on the glovebox divider and secured it down with double sided tape. Trust me; it's not going anywhere!

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Now would be a good time to do a test run. I turned on the car and pressed 'DVD' on the head unit and voila, it entered into the Grom system. I forgot to take a picture of the grom home screen, but apple CarPlay was activated and works a treat.

I shall hopefully do a review of the Grom system and apple CarPlay if I have time or will make a video if I can find another camera.

For £370 yes it is expensive even for such a basic system but or someone who uses apple CarPlay a lot, I guess I can justify the price!

Edited by iSalajee
The original images weren't showing so they were re-uploaded!
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Apologies if the images aren't loading; they were taken on my Iphone so they may need to download to be opened!

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A couple of images work but most give me this, and wants me a pay 79p to download the right codec to see it.

 

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14 minutes ago, chr15gb said:

A couple of images work but most give me this, and wants me a pay 79p to download the right codec to see it.

 

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I edited and re-uploaded the images so they should be visible!

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Great write-up and pictures.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

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Wow, I'd have been reaching for the valium halfway through that!

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Great write up, I installed my VLINE2 in exactly the same way.

If you are thinking of VLINE2 or VLITE, the install is the same as shown here.

Very easy, don't be afraid.

@iSalajee Out of interest, how are you finding the phone feature? I find the person on the end of the phone has echo using VLINE with apple CarPlay so I opt for the Lexus Bluetooth instead. Texting via Siri is very very useful indeed.

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3 hours ago, Billnick said:

Great write up, I installed my VLINE2 in exactly the same way.

If you are thinking of VLINE2 or VLITE, the install is the same as shown here.

Very easy, don't be afraid.

@iSalajee Out of interest, how are you finding the phone feature? I find the person on the end of the phone has echo using VLINE with Apple CarPlay so I opt for the Lexus bluetooth instead. Texting via Siri is very very useful indeed.

@Billnick I found it quite useful! The only issue I’m having is that it’s hard to hear people on the phone. I find myself turning the volume up to around 40 to hear people however they can hear me just fine. Apart from that there’s no issues 😄 I find myself using Siri often to send texts to my friends and wife and so far it hasn’t had any trouble understanding me which is great. 

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I agree it is a lot quieter using CarPlay. I think it's because the sound is fed through the entire set of speakers as if you were listening to music, whereas the OEM Lexus handsfree feeds it to the drivers speaker and probably increases the volume slightly.

I noticed you mounted the mic on the windscreen....and you haven't had any complaints from the people on the other end of the phone?

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@Billnick that’s a very good point! So far it’s not an issue but I just wish it was louder. 

I read that mounting the mic there will cause problems. I’ve asked the people on the other end, and they said it’s fine. No one can hear any static or vibrations. Mind you, my car is on lowered springs so  the ride is quite bumpy but even still, no problems at all 😄 

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Interesting. Maybe I will try moving mine to same place as yours.

Though I have VLINE2 and so dip in and out of Grom / apple CarPlay depending on what I am doing.

How do you find the graphics? I am finding Google Maps and Maps a bit hard to see. All of the roads aren't very clear being white blending into the white back ground.

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@iSalajeeI'm about to return the Grom BT3 and USB3 units I purchased from them a few days ago as they dont seem to integrate into my 2009 Se-i well. 

Even though the VL2 seems like the big boy here, I'm still thinking of going for the slightly cheaper Vlite model as I don't really need a totally standalone system.

A few questions I have for you are...

1. Did you need to connect to a specific chromecast device to mirror your phone's screen?

2. My IS2 Navi is non-ML so no DVD button to press will this be a problem in switching to Vline mode and back?

3. Can you navigate the cars touchscreen without having to touch the phones screen?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

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@LEXUS-4-LIFE The Grom BT3 and USB3 are not meant to work together. To use the USB3 unit with Bluetooth you simply add the Bluetooth dongle accessory for £40 - a lot cheaper than forking out £120 for the BT3 which won't work with the USB3 anyway https://gromaudio.co.uk/toyota-lexus-usb-android-integration-kit.html

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@juicestop  Oh yes I know this, sorry I obviously didn't explain myself very well in my previous post.

I originally bought the BT3 just over a week ago to see if it would support all listed functionality via my car stereo and unfortunately it doesn't seem to, at least after my extensive testing.

After contacting Grom support numerous times to discuss these issues, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the Grom USB3 to see if it would resolve the limitations of the BT3, but it doesn't seem to be much better as neither unit seem able to display any sort of track, album or playlist information on my nav unit even after setting up the devices as per grom instructions.

Grom have offered to refund both items once they are returned.

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@Billnick I normally have my brightness set to the middle in which I can see apple & Google Maps but yes any brighter and it would be hard to see. 

Also I noticed the mic has to be facing you as much as possible to pick up sound from your voice. If it’s facing another direction then it can be hard for the receiving person to hear you 

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@LEXUS-4-LIFE you don’t need any specific one. I bought the £30 1080p one from Google last year and it works just fine. In terms of the DVD button, it may be best to contact Grom UK and ask them as they may have more information on the matter. Yes you can control the cars touchscreen just fine with this system 

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On 8/10/2019 at 12:44 PM, iSalajee said:

@Billnick I normally have my brightness set to the middle in which I can see Apple & Google Maps but yes any brighter and it would be hard to see. 

Also I noticed the mic has to be facing you as much as possible to pick up sound from your voice. If it’s facing another direction then it can be hard for the receiving person to hear you 

I shall play around with the display settings till I hit the sweet spot.

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@iSalajee How are you finding the Vlite, any issues or is it all good?

I'm still considering getting myself one as I had no luck with their BT3 and USB3 boxes.

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2 hours ago, LEXUS-4-LIFE said:

@iSalajee How are you finding the Vlite, any issues or is it all good?

I'm still considering getting myself one as I had no luck with their BT3 and USB3 boxes.

@LEXUS-4-LIFE So far I haven't had any issues. I only use it for apple CarPlay and my friends use it to stream YouTube videos to the Chromecast I installed into the HDMI port.

The only problem I've had was that the heat last week caused the touch screen digitiser on the head unit to fail! A common problem in hot countries such as America and Australia. 

I've had to order a replacement digitiser from china as there weren't any available here so once its arrived I'll be able to take the head unit apart and replace it. 

Once I have the touchscreen up and running, I'll try to make a video on the unit if I can find a camera!

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Ok, hope you're able to get the digitizer sorted soon.

I didn't realise that the touchscreens on the IS2's were prone to failure, at least the fix doesn't seem too difficult too carry out. 

My last two IS2's were non nav, so this one is my first with a touchscreen.

Any particular model years affected? mine's MY59.

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I just got the digitiser in the post today so will hopefully install it this week. I'm not sure which ones are affected but its mostly the 05-09 with the [re-facelift infotainment system. The ones without the Lexus Enform System.

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Hi

I’ve a 2006 IS250, and i’d like some tips as to how I could upgrade to self dipping rear view mirror, Sat Nav or DAB upgrade as my car is the basic version. Unfortunately I didn’t carry out research before purchasing it. The exhaust mid section needs replacement, so mega money. Please advise. Thanks 

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After encountering loads of problems with screen flickering and finding that their technical support are good at sending out firmware update but very little else I decided to send my Vline unit back.

In a week they send me a number of firmware, it ended up with only a 1/3 of the screen working and it being totally unusable.

Sad really because the concept is pretty good, just badly supported by its own tech support


Sent from my Iphone using Tapatalk

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