HOW TO: Nexus 7 Dash Install


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This will be the final thread for the install instructions. I decided I don't want this to be an article because it's possible that the instructions may need to be updated down the line at some point.

Disclaimer: I am not an electrical engineer, the instructions below reflect exactly what I have done in my own vehicle and it has not caught on fire. This does not mean that yours will not! I will not be held responsible for anything that you do to your vehicle or your tablet or anything else for that matter

Before I begin, I want to make it known that I did not come up with any of this on my own. Everything that I have put together I have done so by reading what others have done and using trial and error to get the setup that I wanted. Much of this mod was inspired by Kuchar09. This mod wouldn't be possible at all without the android developer Timur and his USB rom for the nexus 7, which allows the device to charge and run USB devices at the same time. Please read this thread from start to finish before attempting this mod, to make sure that this is something you are confident you can do. If you need any help with any part of the process, feel free to PM me and I will see what i can do to assist. Also, feel free to take this information and use it however you wish. Yours doesnt have to look exactly like mine :biggrin:. This is not the only way to do it, this is just how I did it.

Difficulty: Moderate to Hard, requires basic understanding of 12v wiring and moderate understanding of the android operating system. Also requires some soldering skills.

Estimated time: It's not quick. I did all of mine piece by piece over the course of a few months because i had to buy things as I went due to budget restraints. I think if you dedicated a Saturday to it, you would probably be good to go.

Parts list/costs:

Nexus 7 Tablet: $200
Stereo with aux in: $100
USB Hub: $10
USB Extension Cable: $5
USB cable, any type
3.5MM Stereo Cable: $3
USB Stereo Audio Adapter (use the one in my list specifically): $9
GM Antenna Adapter $5
GMOS-04 or GMOS-01 GM Stereo adapter(bose or non bose): $50-75
PowerGen Dual USB 3.1A 15w High Output Car Charger:$10
12v cigarette lighter socket - $5-10
Micro USB Host OTG Cable with Micro USB Power: $10 (you have to have the exact one in my link)
Antenna Extension Cable $5
Automotive Relay: $5
ABS Textured Plastic Sheet: $5
Heavy Duty velcro

Various wires, crimp connectors, solder, spade connectors, wire taps and other odds and ends. I recommend harbor freight for the wire taps and connectors.

Tools required: 7mm socket, wire cutters/strippers, wire crimpers, soldering iron, phillips head screwdriver, dremel or multi-tool with plastic cutting blade (way easier to control than a dremel)

The first two steps are going to seem like the most daunting for the non-tech savvy types. I assure you, it isnt that difficult!

Part 1: Preparing the Tablet

Step 1: Root your nexus 7

Download the Nexus Root Toolkit from Nexus Root Toolkit v1.6.3 | WugFresh and follow the instructions there to root your device and install a custom recovery. When the program loads, press OK on all of the prompts that ask you to download files.

Step 2: Download the latest version of USB Rom by Timur from USB ROM for Nexus 7
-Once downloaded, put the file in the root drive of the nexus (basically, not in any folders)
-Download quickboot from the play store, launch the app, and give it root permission, then click reboot to recovery
-once in recovery, click backup the swipe to backup. When that is finished click home then click wipe, then factory reset. When that is done click the home key then install then click the rom you downloaded and swype to install. When this is finished reboo

Step 3: Download car friendly apps

These are the apps I use in my setup.

Poweramp for Music (there are free ones, but poweramp is purty)
MX Player for Videos
Nav Free for navigation
and Torque for, well, torque stuff

Step 4: Enable developer mode on the tablet by going to settings - about tablet then click on build number repeatedly until it tells you that you have enabled developer mode.

Step 5: Go to settings - developer options and tick the box that says stay awake.

Step 6: Go to settings - lock screen - screen security - screen lock then select none

Step 7: put any widgets or apps that you may use on your home screen

Part 2: Preparing the wiring.
1. Take the pigtail from the back of the stereo that you purchased and extend each wire about 1 foot using 12v automotive wire. I think I used either 16 or 18 gauge for mine.
2. Once you’ve extended your wires, connect the wiring harness (gmos 01 or gmos 04) according to the instructions for the adapter.
3. Prepare the aux cigar lighter and relay the way it is in the diagram below.

View attachment 15317

4. Prepare your usb extension cable
a. Strip about 1 inch of shielding about 3 inches away from the male end of the extension cable
b. Cut the male end of a separate cable with about 6 inches of cable left on it.
c. Strip the shielding off of about 2 inches of the second cable
d. Cut the white and green wires from within the second cable, you will not need them.
e. Strip about ½ inch of the black and red wires on the second cable
f. Use whatever method is easiest for you to tap the black and red wires on the second cable to the black and red wires on the first cable. I personally cut them and spliced them in, these aren’t data wires, so it won’t make a difference.

View attachment 15318

The next step is using the plastic abs sheet to create a mount for the tablet and install everything. The way I did this was I cut the plastic to be slightly larger than the stereo opening so that it overlapped the screw holes. Then i marked where the screws went and drilled a hole in those spots to mount the abs. I then used the washers for spacers to bring the mount forward. You will have to play with the number of washers needed. After that you simply use the heavy duty velcro to cover the back of the tablet and the mount and mount the tablet. Then connect the tablet as shown below

View attachment 15676

The connector on the right is the Micro USB Host OTG Cable with Micro USB Power

A: Micro USB input. Plug the power adapter in here.

B: Full sized usb input, plug the extension cable from the USB hub in here.

The final step is to install the stereo and the usb hub into the glove box. This is farly self explanitory, there is room for the wires to feed in around the glove box brackets. Alternatively, if you wish, you can cut a hole in the back of the glove box to feed the wires through. Plug the usb sound card into the hub and the 3.5mm patch cable from the sound card to the input on the stereo. If you are using a usb drive for your music, then plug the usb drive into the hub as well. button everything up and make your wires look nice and you are done!


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I would also like to add that this system is expandable. If you have any ideas on how to make it better, post them here so that others may benefit from it!


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Also, if anybody has any questions or if anything doesnt seem clear, feel free to let me know in this thread.


Well-Known Member
Just an update, while this mostly worked, I never could get it to work fully and reliably. At this point, there are easier/cheaper ways to accomplish the same goals.
Attachments links don't work anymore :sadcry:
Due to several software changes over the years, our old image attachments are gone. Thanks to Photobucket's 3rd party hosting restrictions, we've lot a lot of that content too, unless you add a browser extension to rebuild the links.


Gold Supporter
Thanks to Photobucket's 3rd party hosting restrictions, we've lot a lot of that content too, unless you add a browser extension to rebuild the links.
Get a copy of Chrome, install the extension called 'Photobucket Embedded Image Fix', and you'll see the PB photo attachments again.
(fyi - there's no Android version available - I was looking for it again a day or two ago.)

Thankfully, PB hasn't quite deleted all of the original 'free' posting content that they want to make you pay for now.

There are other extensions you can install for other photo hosting services as well, but it appears that almost everyone (here) used Photobucket for their embeds. I only use the extension I mention above, and don't really have problems seeing what I need to see :thumbsup: