Installing a Handsfree Car Phone Kit

Introduction

This is how I installed a Nokia CARK-91 Handsfree kit in my late 1998 Saab 9-5. The car had a factory fitted microphone and aerial lead already in place. I chose to do the Saab “Telephone 1” installation which uses the car radio speakers. When a call is made or received the radio is muted and the call volume can be regulated with the buttons on the steering wheel.

I also chose to use an internal “Tax Disc” aerial which sticks to the inside of the windscreen, rather than fixing an external aerial on the rear screen and using the pre-installed cable.

9-5 models built in 1997 and early 1998 do not have a pre-installed aerial cable from behind the radio running via the roof lining to the rear window, or the pre-installed microphone.

What follows is a description of what I did and how I might have carried out some of the alternative options. I am not an electrical expert and followed the instructions in the Saab and Nokia kits with generous advice from others on various bulletin boards. I have carried out basic electrical and mechanical repairs on many of my own cars over the years and felt confident that I could do this job safely. If you decide to follow these instructions you do so entirely at your own risk. Make sure that all connections are secure and that wires cannot chafe against sharp metal edges and that all fuses are used correctly, an un-fused short circuit could start a fire.

What you need to have before you start

  1. Saab 10 pin multiplug and cable. Part No: 400 108 130.
  2. Saab Telephone Mounting Bracket (optional). Part No: 400 106 423 (RHD) or Pt No: 400 106 415 (LHD). You can use the universal type mounting bracket from the car kit, but this will leave holes in the trim.
  3. 2.5mm coaxial jack plug (mono) – for microphone connection.
  4. 3.5mm coaxial jack plug (mono) – for speaker connection.
  5. Spade connectors.
  6. Insulating Tape.
  7. Soldering iron and solder etc.
  8. Sharp knife for trimming carpet.
  9. Basic tool kit with spanners and screwdrivers etc.
  10. Drivers for “Torx” headed screws.
  11. Crimping tool for spade connectors.
  12. Some bits of sticky back Velcro (optional)

Preparation

  • Disconnect battery.
  • Remove radio – needs standard DIN radio removal tools (bent coathanger?).
  • How to Install Handsfree Car KitRemove SID unit – just snaps out and unplugs.
  • Remove Air /Climate Control Unit – just snaps out and unplugs.
  • Remove ashtray – also snaps out but a tight fit and not so easy. Some models have a storage box in place of the ashtray.
  • Installing a Handsfree Carphone KitPut some cloth beneath the working area round where the ashtray was. It will stops screws etc. falling down into the bowels of the centre tunnel. They are very time consuming to recover, as I know to my cost!
  • Remove the carpeted box under the dashboard in the passenger footwell against the centre tunnel. This is fixed with 3 plastic trim fixers. Push the centre of the fixer in about 1/8th inch (3mm) and pull the complete plug out.
  • Remove under-dash trim panel in passenger footwell – 4 Torx head screws and clip at front (of car) end.
  • Remove Glovebox – 6 Torx head screws.

gloveboxPull out dashboard end panel. This is the panel you can get to when the passenger door is open.

Carefully remove interior trim to passenger side pillar. (not necessary if you use the pre-installed aerial cable and stick an external aerial to the rear screen).

If you fix an external aerial to the rear screen you will need to release the rear roof lining and retrieve the end of the pre-installed cable, before gluing the aerial parts to the screen. If you do this use a clear part of the screen away from the heated window elements and similar looking radio aerial elements. The aerial is not supplied as part of the Nokia kit.

Installation – Telephone Mounting Bracket and Phone Cradle

  1. Fit the Saab Telephone Mounting Bracket. This is a bulbous plastic housing that sits against the centre console by the passenger’s knee. It has two flanges that fit under the wood trim and a bolt that screws into an existing hole behind the carpet.
  2. Follow the instructions that come with the bracket. They are correct for a left hand drive installation but need to be “mirrored” for RHD.
  3. In summary, you slacken off the Torx headed bolts that appeared when you removed the radio, SID, AirCon console and Ashtray. These loosen the wood (or other) trim from the dashboard. Slacken just enough to get the flanges on the bracket under the trim. These screws take the same size Torx bit as the Glovebox etc.
  4. Offer up the Bracket and you will see where the bottom fixing screw goes. Pull down the carpet here and trim off the bit that’s in the way of the bolt and bracket.
  5. Remove the plastic plug from the hole, fit the spring clip and screw in the bolt.
  6. Tighten up the wood trim fixing screws.
  7. You can now screw the telephone cradle to this bracket. Screw the angle bracket on with four screws. Make sure that the screws are not too long and so do not go too far inside and damage the trim underneath.
  8. Screw the Holder to the bracket, adjust the angle and tighten the clamp screw. Make sure that when the phone is in the holder it can be seen easily from the driver’s seat. You also need to keep everything clear of the cupholder and the open Glovebox lid.
  9. Take the Nokia power cable (five wires going into a white plastic plug). Crimp on insulated female spade connectors to the Red, Blue and Yellow wires. Crimp on a male spade connector to the Black Wire.
  10. The Green wire is not used, it provides power to a motorised phone aerial. Insulate the end and tie it back out of the way.
  11. Run the phone and aerial cables from the telephone holder under the bracket and behind the carpet and up behind the trim into the Glovebox area.

console

Installation – Saab Multi-plug and cable

  • The plug is supplied with one of the ten pins unused. The pin numbers are cast into the side of the plug.
  • The multiplug fits into the socket fixed behind the Air Conditioning / Climate Control Unit. It has the standard Saab locking connector which in this location is quite difficult to fit. Prise up the red locking tab. When fitting the plug the locking tab has to be pressed down at the same time as the plug is pushed in.

The wire colours are as follows:

 

Pin No.

Function

Wire
Colour

Comment

1

12
volt power (always on)

Red

2

12
volt power – ignition controlled

Red
/ Blue

3

Microphone
earth

Green

To
2.5mm jack (outer)

4

Earth

Black

5

Telephone
Mute

Yellow

6

Blank
– no pin

7

Telephone
– Line Out – Signal

White
/ Grey

To
3.5mm jack (inner)

8

Telephone
– Line Out – Earth

White
/ Blue

To
3.5mm jack (outer)

9

Not
used

Brown

10

Microphone
Output

Brown
/ Grey

To
2.5mm jack (inner)

 

  • Test fit the multiplug and check the route of the wires. They all need to end up at the top of the centre console roughly behind the cupholder because this seems to be the best place to fit the Nokia Handsfree Unit.
  • When you are happy with the test install, remove the multiplug and solder on the two jack plugs.
  • Take the smaller 2.5mm jack plug, solder the Brown / Grey wire from Pin 10 on the multiplug to the centre pin of the jack plug and the Green wire from Pin 3 on the multiplug to the outer connector of the jack plug.
  • Take the larger 3.5mm jack plug, solder the White / Grey wire from Pin 7 on the multiplug to the centre pin of the jack plug and the White / Blue wire from Pin 8 on the multiplug to the outer connector of the jack plug.
  • Crimp on a female insulated spade connector to all the other wires on the multiplug except the Brown wire from Pin 9. This wire is not used and the end can be protected with insulating tape and the wire tied back out of harms way.
  • Plug in the multiplug to the socket behind the Air conditioning / Climate Control Unit.
  • Note that, although Saab refer to the connections to Pins 7 & 8 as “Line Output”, they mean speaker output from the Nokia control box. I was confused for a time because “Line Output” means something else on domestic hi-fi and audio units.
  • Fit the Nokia 2 Amp fuse and holder to the connector on the Red wire from the multiplug (Pin 1). Remember this wire will be always live once the battery is re-connected! Make sure it does not chafe.
  • Fit a Nokia 1 Amp fuse and holder to the connector on the Red / Blue wire from the multiplug (Pin 2). This wire is live when the ignition is on!
  • Fit a Nokia 1 Amp fuse and holder to the connector on the Yellow wire from the multiplug (Pin 5). I’m not sure that this fuse is necessary, but it was spare (not needed for a phone aerial motor).

Fitting the aerial

  1. I used a “tax disc” aerial that sticks to the inside of the windscreen. The necessary wires are encased in the flexible plastic backing of a normal looking tax disc holder. I feel that this is more discreet than the external metal aerial stuck onto the outside of the window. In addition, it is more vandal-proof and does not need removing in car washes.
  2. I had fears that the reception would not be as good as an external aerial, but I have found it entirely satisfactory. There are many types of aerial that are similar. I searched the web with Google for “tax disc aerial” and there were plenty to choose from.
  3. Follow the instructions that came with the aerial. Clean the inside of the windscreen and stick the aerial in place. Make sure you have checked the position before you do this because you only get one chance to get it right.
  4. You need to check the run of the cable from the aerial and also check that the access slot for changing the tax disc itself is pointing in the right direction.
  5. Run the cable to the side of the windscreen and tape it in place on the screen pillar where it will be hidden when you replace the pillar trim.
  6. Run the cable further into the glove box area.
  7. Screw together the aerial lead from the tax disc aerial and the aerial lead from the phone holder. Tape it to the body panels where necessary so that it will not foul the glove box when it is replaced.

Fitting the Nokia Handsfree Unit and final connections

  • You are free to fit this anywhere, in view or behind a panel. I fitted this inside the upper part of the centre console next to the cupholder (when shut). The area can be reached from the glove box area but is hidden behind the plastic panel. The kit provides a screw and bracket to fit the unit. I could not find anywhere to drill the screw hole safely, so I fixed it with some stick on double-sided “Velcro” pads.
  • Fit the Handsfree Unit with the sockets at the top so that you can get at them.
  • Plug in the large plug from the phone holder into its socket in the Handsfree unit, making sure the clip engages.
  • Plug in the 3.5mm jack plug into the speaker outlet.
  • Plug in the 2.5 mm jack plug into the microphone socket.
  • The original jack plugs on the Nokia microphone and external speaker lock into place with a half turn. If you use standard jack plugs you will need to tape them in place.

Connect the remaining wires as follows:

From
Saab Multiplug

via Fuse

From
Nokia Handsfree Unit

Red

2
Amp

Red

Red
/ Blue

1
Amp

Blue

Black

None
– connect direct

Black

Yellow

1
Amp

Yellow

 

 

  • Make sure that there are no bare wires or connectors visible. If there are, tape over with insulating tape.
  • Make sure that there are no wires in the way of replacing the Glovebox, radio and other units removed from the fascia.
  • Refit the radio and plug in the SID and refit in the dashboard.
  • Refit the battery lead.
  • Test the phone operation, including the radio muting and the steering wheel volume controls.
  • Adjust the volume with the buttons on the phone if necessary.
  • You can also set the initial volume through the car speakers. To do this, press and hold the “TP/PTY” button on the radio while turning on the radio. Press the “SEEK” button until “TEL VOL” appears. The number next to it shows the initial volume that the phone will have when activated. To change this volume, turn the volume control on the radio. The numbers go from 0 (low) to 30 (high). The factory setting is 14 for the phone. To save the new value either wait 10 seconds or Press the “RADIO/BAND” button.
  • Refit Air Con control unit. If this has been unplugged it will need recalibrating. To do this Press “AUTO” and “OFF” on the Air Con unit and wait for about 30 seconds while the unit recalibrates. If there are any faults in the system the number of faults will be displayed on the left and the fault codes on the right.
  • Refit the ashtray or storage box.
  • Reset the Time on the SID unit. To do this, tune the radio to a strong signal and then Press both the buttons under the clock simultaneously.
  • Refit the Glovebox, making sure that the interior lamp is in place and that the rubber cooling pipe is still attached.
  • Refit the dashboard end cover, but check through the hole that no wires are trapped by the Glovebox first.
  • Refit the carpeted box to the centre console beneath the Glovebox. The three plastic fixers will need to be inserted in two parts.
    Remove the centre stud and push in the outer body of the plug first.
    Then push the centre pin in until the top is flush with the outer part.
    Do not push it too hard or it will go in too far and release itself.
  • Refit the trim panel beneath the Glovebox. Locate the clip at the front of the panel and then screw in the 4 Torx screws at the rear edge.

Take your car for a drive and ring all your friends.

Remember to abide by all safety recommendations when using your phone in the car.

Author: S. J. Gould

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