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Discussion Starter #1
There's lots about TomTom in these forums, and it's possible that somebody has asked this already, but I haven't been able to find it. So:

Has anybody looked into modifying the navigation/TomTom configuration?
I actually liked the way Fiat started, with the removable device. I took it on several trips away from the car with me and it worked flawlessly. I got so exasperated with the build-in version in my 2017 500e that I thought about writing a review about it somewhere, but never got around to it. Still, it was frequently inaccurate, hard to use, and often difficult to read in Southern California's glaring light. Why on earth would you put the screen for an important system on a shiny surface mounted flush with the rest of the dashboard? I can't tell you how many times I couldn't read it.
I bought the car despite those flaws, but I did think about them.
Now that I own the car -- and, once again, have been sent on a wild goose chase by incorrect TomTom data and a screen I could barely read -- I'm wondering: Is there a work-around out there? I'm not talking about just hooking my smart phone to the dashboard on some kind of mount, with no communication with the car. I'm wondering whether anybody's developed a better navigation system that could be incorporated into the dash. Or, failing that, an app that could send Waze data and stuff like that to the screen from a smart phone, as you can already do with a Subaru and probably lots of other cars.
 

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I just finished replacing the junky 5” UConnect in my 2018 500e with a 9” Alpine unit that supports CarPlay/Android Auto (so Apple, Google, or Waze maps.) It was a huge hassle, but it has been worth it so far for many of the reasons you mentioned.

I am not aware of any simple solutions, hacks, or mods for the stock UConnect.
 

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What was so hard about it carrrl? Was it just getting the center console open? I would love to replace the head unit with something that supports Car Play. That would be awesome.
 

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Getting into everything was easy, there is a YouTube video showing the basics of that. Retaining factory features without aggravating the non-standard CAN bus is the hard part. I found very little online about the 500e specifically so it was a lot of trial and error.

The key takeaways are:
  • It’s a standard double DIN opening but it’s tight and needs a “dash kit” for a finished look.
  • Don’t plug anything into the OBD-II port.
  • iDatalink Maestro is not supported and they have no interested in supporting us, but I got it to mostly work. Flash as 500 but disable “Gauges” and “Vehicle Info”. Their wiring diagram is about 50% wrong for the 500e compared to same year 500.
  • You may need to get your signals/triggers from somewhere other than an interface or CAN bus.
  • UConnect app access goes away, but it never worked as intended and expires anyway.
  • Easy access to change software settings goes away (DRL, hill assist, etc)




 

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I just finished replacing the junky 5” UConnect in my 2018 500e with a 9” Alpine unit that supports CarPlay/Android Auto (so Apple, Google, or Waze maps.) It was a huge hassle, but it has been worth it so far for many of the reasons you mentioned.

I am not aware of any simple solutions, hacks, or mods for the stock UConnect.
It wasn't a huge hassle for me. I've used the connects2 canbus adapter. Only on two things I had to modify the harness (I had to solder RCA-s for the line output, and connect the amp control wire form the unit, to the harness). Steering wheel buttons work. I didn't use the cruise control however. Even the backup camera is switched from the can signal. Some car setting can be made from the adapters menu too, but I don't plan to change them anyways.
 

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It wasn't a huge hassle for me. I've used the connects2 canbus adapter. Only on two things I had to modify the harness (I had to solder RCA-s for the line output, and connect the amp control wire form the unit, to the harness). Steering wheel buttons work. I didn't use the cruise control however. Even the backup camera is switched from the can signal. Some car setting can be made from the adapters menu too, but I don't plan to change them anyways.
Awesome! 99% of my troubles came from the Maestro, glad there are other options. I checked your thread and it looks like the CTUFT01 from connects2 would lose the OE reverse camera on 2018+ models. That wouldn't be a problem for Sudaval and others in the '16-'17 models.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's great to see others are taking the problems w. the stock setup seriously and have the skills to come up with alternatives.
I'm not in that high-skill set. For me, fixing leaking plumbing in the kitchen is a challenge. I wish I had the skills/perceptions alluded to here, but I don't.
Is there any southern California mechanic/body/car electronics person who will take on a task like this? Dunno if I could ever afford it, but it would be nice to know.
 
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